This weekend we celebrated my mom. I always, always brag on my mom. But today I feel like I have a little more reason to. My mom is my kids’ babysitter, recipe book, study guide, wise counsel, inspiration, marriage guru, shopping buddy, prayer warrior, my biggest encourager, and my truest friend. She crafts with me, cuts my hair, tells me how to cook chicken, and makes me stop at road-side oddities. She goes with me to get tattoos, to take our kids to Seaworld and to bible studies. She goes out of her way for me, often and I am so, so grateful that she is mine. I am proud of who she is, and proud to be associated with her. It is an honor and a privilege, and a huge responsibility.
When I was getting married, me and all 5 of my sibling were living at home. Me, 21, my brothers, 20, 14 and 12 and my sisters who were both under 3. She homeschooled all of them, taught classes, volunteered in her city, walked with my dad as he lost his own dad, served at her church, didn’t miss the boys’ baseball games, and planned my entire wedding. While doing all of this, she didn’t miss a beat. Her home was clean, her makeup was done, her hair was colored. Her kids were disciplined and loved on. She made dinners, hosted youth groups, baked cakes. She brought meals to people in need and made time to be with her husband. She read scripture and spent time with the Lord. She did projects for her home and mine. And yet when my brother would get home at 11, ready to talk, she’d do it. When I’d insist she go with me to every floral meeting, make the calls to caterers, cut, sand, stain and burn 200 wooden chargers, she’d do it. When she had to drive all over town to get my brothers to their games or their friends houses (homeschool community is weird, y’all) she’d do it. When my sister wanted her to paint her nails, when her mom wanted to stop by for coffee, when my dad wanted to go on a walk, she did it. And she’d do it with joy and intention in her heart. She didn’t make any of us feel like we were an obligation or a hassle. She made us feel loved and she made it all fun.
That time taught me so much. It opened my eyes to how much my mom juggled on a daily basis and how easy she made it all look. It showed me how little sleep she got to make sure she could spend the time with her kids who were leaving. It reminded me how truly incredible it is to have someone who loves me and cherishes me the way my mom does. She has taught me so very much, and I want to remember it all and tell my babies about it.
So I made a list of things I’ve learned to live and embrace from my mama.
1. Choose fun.
2. Wait for your husband.
3. But then always have more sex.
4. Be consistent.
5. You can make most things you see in the store, better, cheaper and have way more pride in it.
6. Fake it til you make it.
7. Offer food, always.
8. Make marriage attractive.
9. Style isn’t defined by labels and tags, quite a few rocking outfits have been purchased at Walmart.
10. You can always make time .
11. Follow through.
12. Clean your home, often.
13. Do things without expectation.
14. The Lord cares about the small desires in our heart, down to the color of carpet.
15. Animal print is like a neutral.
16. Other people’s perspective and opinion don’t define you.
17. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.
18. Faith in the Lord always comes back to the same basic foundational beliefs, don’t get too caught up in the rest.
19. Make memories.
20. Have a baked good available, always.
21. When nap time is outgrown, quiet time is good.
22. You do better when you feel better.
23. Spend time, not money.
24. Be a parent first, a friend later.
25. Start the day around the table with breakfast, your family and a Bible story.
26. Presentation counts. So take time to do it right.
27. Pray out loud with people.
28. Live in today, don’t worry about tomorrow.
29. Go on adventures.
30. A cute party is worth the trouble.
31. Asking hard questions is how you get to truly know someone.
33. You are as capable as you think you are.
34. You define how people treat you.
35. A good bra is important.
36. Show up.
37. Remind your husband that you appreciate him.
38. Be careful with your words.
39. If you’re nice to everyone, they won’t have anything negative to say. And if they do, no one will believe them.
40. Say yes.
Mom, you’re everything I hope to be when I grow up. I love you and I’m so thankful to call you mama, and friend. You make the best food, throw the best parties, wear the cutest clothes, decorate the cutest home, have the sweetest marriage, and raise the best kids 😉 You really do know best. Happy Birthday.