Then we look at our mom and see how she pretty much knocked it out of the park in everything.
She had veggies at almost every meal, often from her flourishing garden. She shared the bounty of that garden with neighbors all the time. (Take that Whole Foods!)
She raised 5 crazy children, including a red headed one (that is extra mom points) with only 7 years between the oldest kid and the youngest. (How she managed to avoid that recipe for depression, I don't know)
|Me trying to hold Lil' Sis|
She worked part-time as a ER nurse on the weekends with a young family and then became a CNA instructor and substitute teacher. (She earns working mom points too)
She sewed clothes for us and all of my father's plays, even reupholstered several pieces of furniture.
She valued her marriage. She went on a date with my dad every Friday night when we were growing up. She always said babysitters were much cheaper than therapists.
She also sacrificed time her husband to multiple plays a year. She supported him in all of his rescues of lost children, including fostering a teenager and several exchange students. I never heard her complain when he spent as much or more time with others kids as he did his own. Never did I hear a complaint of his time spent in bishoprics, young men's presidencies, or scouts. I couldn't do that. (Wife of the year!)
She was the original pinterest mom, making reindeer out of palm bark, skeletons out of milk jugs, and snowflakes out of plastic pop can connectors.
She decorated for every holiday.
She canned fruits and veggies, made pickles and jam, and even made her own butter. Taught us all how to do those things as well. She always wanted a cow, but our property wasn't zoned for it.
She was a couponing mom and fed her family of 7 on $400 or less each month, with a well-stocked year supply. She snuck whole wheat into everything without the internet telling her how.
She scrimped enough to take her family to Europe, picked up her son in south America, went with me to Japan, and took Lil' Sis and me to England. She never let fear of the unknown stop her. Oh, and she's been to Antarctica.
She kept a scrapbook for every kid and for the family. It wasn't fancy, but they were done and up to date within a year during my entire childhood. It took me two years just to start J's baby book.
She speaks fluent French from serving a mission and now speaks Spanish from serving a mission again. Trilingual!
She worked at the temple and did indexing.
She threw a birthday party for each kid, every. single. year. These often included personalized invitations and gorgeous, homemade cakes. I still don't know how she made that barbie cake pan into the Beast for my 7th birthday.
She waited up for us no matter how late when we can home as teenagers.
She regularly visited our widowed neighbor.
She made Family Home Evening happen every week, scriptures every week day, made our lunches, did laundry twice a week, and cleaned the whole house (including making her children do it which is more work than doing it all yourself) every Saturday.
She was still spontaneous and fun! We skipped through parking lots and she'd ride the grocery cart too. She played in the snow with us and probably mopped up all the after after.
She made homemade play dough and helped us with our skits and puppet shows.
She volunteered in our classrooms. She chaperoned much every field trip I ever went on.
She made sure all of her kids took piano lessons (even taught to me and Lil' Sis), served on football boosters, and went to more badminton matches than anyone could actually enjoy.
HOW DOES ONE WOMAN DO ALL OF THIS?!!!
So Mom, know that even though the occasional parenting slip up is what comes up in conversation, what your kids remember you for is much, MUCH more than that. None of your kids would be who we are without your amazing influence. The world is so much richer because you were born. We love you and Happy Birthday.
(And see you tomorrow!)