What My Momma Taught MeCelebrate the little things (and the not so little things).
Every holiday, every award, and every achievement were always celebrated in our home. It may have just been a card with a note of encouragement, or a run to Dairy Queen for a sundae, but Mom has always been amazing at making us feel special. (This could be related to the fact that she works at Hallmark.) But in all seriousness, life's too short to not celebrate the little things. Surprise someone. Make them feel appreciated and loved.
Invite others into your home.
I can't even remember a time when our home wasn't filled with life and laughter. My parents are always hosting family events, parties, and celebrations. My mom is an amazing cook, and her lasagna and brisket are top notch. She can pull off a party for 100 people with just last minute notice. I'm still working on my hostessing skills, but I hope I can someday be as good as she is. No cups or stomachs go empty when she's around.
Don't be afraid to laugh at yourself.
I distinctly remember my mom getting drilled in the eye by a baseball once when we were playing as a family in Colorado. (She may have thought the phrase "Heads up" was to be taken literally.) People legitimately scowled at my dad because they thought he had beat her or something. Her reaction when she looked in the mirror? She laughed. What else can you do? Things happen that we can't control. Life is short and we're all silly. We've all got our quirks. We can't be too cool or too afraid to laugh at ourselves sometimes. It's healthy and real.
Don't try to hide your feelings.
Why do moms always have a way of knowing that we aren't okay? I remember telling Mom in my frustrated little middle-school voice that "nothing" was wrong, but she always knew that something was. Eventually I learned that speaking my mind was healthy, and that keeping things all bottled up really wasn't the best. This was preparing me for my marriage and I didn't even know it. She taught me what it meant to be honest and that we didn't always have to pretend to to have it all together. That it was okay to cry. Thanks, Momma.
Sacrifice for others.
My mom is seriously one of the hardest working people I have ever met. While we were growing up, she juggled three young kids, a demanding career, three sports schedules, a coaching husband, church activities, and a puppy- all with ease. She would always take us shopping every year for new school supplies and clothes, but I don't recall her once going shopping for herself. (Seriously, the woman still has clothes from the 80s.) She never complained, never asked someone else to cook dinner, and never told us that she'd had enough. She just played Gloria Estefan CDs and danced in the living room while folding laundry, always finding time to read a story with us or say our prayers together while she tucked us into bed. Oh, and did I mention that she sacrificed a whole lot to help her four year old son beat cancer while she was also raising a toddler and a second grader? (See A Miracle).
Seriously, my mom is a wonder woman. I hope I can be half the mother you are someday, Mom, and I know that my future babies are going to have the best grandma in the world! Thank you for all that you've done and continue to do. I'm so thankful that God gave me you to learn from, to love, and to laugh with. Love you!
Currently (and forever),