Today is my Mom's 50th birthday which is kind of a big deal. And I know I've been getting all sentimental and nostalgic on you lately but you're just gonna have to forgive me because I'm about to do it again. Big time. In fact, in celebration of this milestone birthday I jotted down 50 things I love about my Mom...because when you love someone, you should tell them. So here goes:
1) I love that she's always made everything a learning opportunity. From every meal I ever watched her make ("Are you watching what I'm doing? See how I put the water an inch over the rice?")...to driving ("Okay, what's our escape route right now? If the car in front of us slams on it's brakes, what should we do?") and everything in between.
2) I love that anytime I so much as come close to having a freak out moment, I can hear her voice saying "I choose to remain calm".
3) I love that she signed up to coach my elementary school cheerleading squad despite her lifelong distaste for cheerleaders...then went to workshop after workshop to make sure she was doing a good job...then continued coaching until I graduated high school.
4) I love that she made every single one of my childhood halloween costumes and let me pick out the pattern and fabric.
5) I love that she's tough.
6) I love that she's patient.
7) I love that she's such a talented artist.
8) I love that she's such a hard worker.
9) I love that she made it such a point to let our family know that she was for us. We always knew she had our back against anyone.
10) I love that she hated when we went back to school after summer break and stressed how much she enjoyed spending time with us.
11) I love that she was a "Room Mom" in every one of my elementary school classes and pretty much put all the other Room Moms to shame.
12) I love that she trusted us enough to give us a few "enough is enough" days growing up, where we could stay home from school for the day, no questions asked.
13) I love that she can move mountains and conquer armies but can't tell a joke to save her life. "A frayed knot walks into a bar...wait, that's not right..."
14) I love that she's worked hard to create not just a home, but a safe haven for anyone that needs it.
15) I love her deep sense of protectiveness. Come after her family and she is the destroyer of worlds.
16) I love that, despite the fact that we only had a family of four, she typically made enough dinner for about 10 because you never knew who might drop in.
17) I love that she would orchestrate "Papa appreciation nights" where we'd set time aside to thank my Dad for working so hard for us. She'd make his favorite foods and help us make signs and cards and little gifts...it was such a great lesson in the importance of showing gratitude.
18) I love that she's made it so I don't have to be afraid of getting older. She's aged not only beautifully but with grace.
19) I love that, at one point or another, she's called Eminem "Eniem", Britney Spears "Whitney Spears", Mandy Moore "Randy Morgan", Linkin Park "Limpin"and my personal favorite, Keith Urban "Kurt Cobain".
20) I love her pearls of wisdom... ("You can't change people...God can, but you can't..." "Moisturize your neck, it'll keep you from aging prematurely..." "Clean as you go when you're cooking, otherwise you'll be so discouraged at the mess after you won't want to do it as much...")
21) I love when she uses an expression then says..."It sounds much better in Spanish"
22) I love that I can call her in any state of mind and she'll bring me back down to earth.
23) I love her singing voice.
24) I love that she's such an amazing cook.
25) I love that she has two breakfasts almost every day.
26) I love that she made growing up so fun.
27) I love that she's an expert "solution finder".
28) I love that she's good at everything she tries.
29) I love that she believes in me.
30) I love that she works so hard to help my brother and I achieve our dreams.
31) I love that she raised Joey and I to protect each other.
32) I love that she's brave.
33) I love that she can get any stain out of anything.
34) I love how kind she is to my Dad.
35) I love that she's such a devoted daughter, daughter-inlaw, sister, aunt, godmother (and the list goes on...)
36) I love that she's purchased formal, black tie appropriate gowns for me on more than one occasion "just in case something comes up"...
37) I love that she goes so far out of her way to do nice things for people without even being asked.
38) I love that we can have conversations about Lady Mary Crawley and Lizzie Bennett like they're our friends...
39) I love that she takes such good care of her employees.
40) I love that she's confident in the company she's built...she knows she does good work and stands by it proudly.
41) I love that you can be in a competition with her and not even know it.
42) I love how she can put on a pair of $20 earrings and make them look like they cost a small fortune.
43) I love that she notices and values things like good posture.
44) I love that she values the arts and made sure our childhood included frequent visits to museums and concerts.
45) I love that when I watched the movie Hancock my legitimate first thought was "Hmm...doesn't age...super strength...I wonder if my Mom is an actual super hero?"
46) I love that she's 100% serious when she says things like "Tim Tebow is single, isn't he? So why don't you just date him?!"
47) I love that she's unpacked, re-decorated, re-packed and cleaned nearly every place I've ever lived (and that's not exactly a short list)
48) I love that she raised us to love the Lord and to trust Him even when things don't work out like we planned.
49) I love that I can't read Proverbs 31 without thinking of her:
"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate." Proverbs 31:10-31
50) I love how easy it was to come up with 50 things I love about her and I love that I could write 50 more without an ounce of trouble.
So there you have it...it's an incomplete list, but an honest one to be sure. There's just no one like her in the world and I'm so proud to be her daughter. Don't forget to wish her a happy birthday today!