i've been talking a lot about mama's lately. mama's giving me advice, me being a mama. now it's time to talk about my mama.
you see, today is her birthday.
i have literally been thinking of something special i could do for her birthday for so long! and blankness just comes every time. i'm the kind of person who likes to do something meaningful and special on special days [probably because that's what my mama and daddy do!]... so this one has been tricky for me. sorry mama.
i've finally decided, for her birthday, i would like to tell the world all the amazing things i love about my mama so that you all know just how incredible/marvelous/wonderful she really is [if you just didn't already]. happy birthday, mama!
let's start at the beginning.
it occurs to me that not too very long ago, you were in the same situation as i am right now; pregnant with your first little one, a girl [oh, yeah me!]. and as easy as i've actually had it, it is still a sacrifice. being in your shoes now, i can look at you in a whole different light and with a whole new respect. thank you for wanting to be a mother, and for all the love that came with that job.
when i think of you, i usually think of sacrifice, you are my greatest example of that:
you gave up a lot of your life when you joined the church and made Christ the center of your life.
you gave up a quick graduation to be a mom, slowly make your way through college, and eventually got through it all with three little kids trailing behind you. and then added two more! ...smile..
you gave up your time and sacrificed things you needed so we could have things instead.
you gave up even more time when you decided to keep us home and teach us every single day, preparing lessons, gathering supplies, finding curriculums, school groups, projects, and so much more so that we could spend time together as a family and have a solid education.
even still you give up things on your to-do list so your kids can finish theirs.
you don't just give up for your family, though, you do it for others, too.
you enjoy making food for families in need, taking care of kids so other mama's can have a break, being chaperon to any and all ride-lacking teenagers, and at the end of the day, you wonder why you are tired. i don't. you do a whole freakin ton of stuff and rarely are you at the top of that list. thank you for teaching me that sacrifice brings happiness to everyone around you.
even though i'm far away, i always know i'm in your thoughts.
a random card in the mail.
a birthday package with all the love and meaning behind it anyone could ask for.
emails of recipes, news stories, and family updates.
thank you for letting me know that i am always always loved. i never even have a chance to doubt it.
i don't know if this next list can even be completed in the time i've allotted for typing, but i want you to know that your teaching and example has not gone unnoticed, unheard, or unappreciated. you taught me so much.
you taught me how to tie my little black swede shoes with the flowers on the ankles.
you taught me how to sing.
you taught me how to not be afraid on stage [mostly because we were just there all the time!].
you taught me how to be reverent at church and respect the house of the Lord.
you taught me how to treat other people's property [return it in better condition than you received it].
you taught me how to braid hair, fish tail hair, curl it, wash it, and even shave it... yeah.
you taught me how to play the piano, even though i hated practicing.
you taught me how to be a friend, invite other people, reach out to the lonely, welcome the newbies, and play nice with everyone.
you taught me how to share, take turns, and play nice.
you taught me how to say sorry when i did something wrong, and you taught me about the feelings of guilt when that happened. you taught me why we had those feelings, so that we could repent, make amends, and be better. i remember that day, because i stepped on your ankle and it hurt you really bad and i felt terrible.
you taught me about my savior, about heavenly father, that i am a daughter of god, and that there is a plan for us.
you taught me how to choose the right, that families can be together forever, and that temples are important.
you taught me how to take advantage of the sacrament, that i should be quiet, pray, listen, ponder, and think about the savior.
you taught me how to bake, cook, do the dishes, and shop for good deals.
you taught me how to save money... it helped that we had cool little banks, but you still taught me that.
you taught me how to budget, plan ahead.
i don't know if i should thank you or curse you for this one, but you taught me to make lists. ...wink...
you taught me how to be positive.
you taught me how to be in control of my body, my thoughts, and my actions.
you taught me how to do the laundry, clean bathrooms, sweep, vacuum, and all other forms of work that must be done in a home.
you taught me how to be clean.
you taught me how to be organized.
you taught me how to be a learner and not just rely on others for my knowledge.
you taught me how to keep a journal [even though i suck at it].
you taught me how to serve others, sacrifice, and be an example of Christ.
it's a little scary, daunting, and exciting to know that in just a few weeks, i'm going to be a mother, too [and you will be a gramma! whoa!]. i hope and pray that i can do as good of a job as you did. obviously, i had a pretty amazing teacher, i can only hope that i can live up to everything you did, everything you still do, and everything you are. i love you, mama. thanks for being mine.
and to all you out there who love your mom, had a fabulous one who raised you right, or are just grateful for all you mama did, share this, send it on. you can borrow my words if the words are hard to say sometimes. send this to a mama you love [or mama-like figure] who has touched your life. for my mama's birthday, i want mom's everywhere to know how much they are appreciated.
disclaimer: what the heck? all of my photos of me and my mama... are at my mama's house! not cool... i gotta change that.