Happy Mother’s Day from me and my brood!!
“Mothers are not the nameless, faceless stereotypes who appear once a year on a greeting card with their virtues set to prose, but women who have been dealt a hand for life and play each card one at a time the best way they know how.” — Erma Bombeck
Wow. Were truer words ever spoken? I mean really. Very rarely do any of us moms feel like we truly have it all together or that we are that Hallmark-prefect greeting card epitome of motherhood the world seems to idolize. I think we’re all doing the best we can each day we are here on this earth. Some days are better than others, naturally. And some days we’re pretty sure someone is going to call CPS on us. These children we have that we love so very much challenge us to the very limits of our nature, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
We learn from the moms around us. We see beauty and aptitude in others that we completely miss in ourselves. And I think Mother’s Day is the perfect day to give a shout out to the ones who mean the most in our lives.
Today, I’d like to introduce you to the moms who make up my family. I guarantee you that not a one of them has taken the same path to motherhood as another and that life has dealt them each their own unique hand. I guarantee you that they do not have “greeting card prose” lives. But I also know to the depths of my soul that we have some amazing moms in our family and I want to share a little bit about them with you.
First and foremost, there’s my own mom, of course. And, in my very humble opinion, she’s the absolute best there is. Hers hasn’t been a greeting card kind of life, although she would tell you she wouldn’t change a thing. She is a wife of 41 years, a mom to four kids, a mother-in-law to four more, and a grandma (probably her favorite job at this point in her life) to seven children here on this earth and one beautiful little boy in heaven.
My mother will give and give and give and not think twice if someone she loves needs her. She loves and supports without limit, tells you the hard truth when you need to hear it, and makes the best biscuits and gravy I’ve ever put in my mouth.
Mom has taught me everything I know about how to be a good mother to each of my children. It’s as simple as that. Singing is our mutual love language and she is my favorite musical collaborator. We sing together each and every time we visit and harmonies just sound sweeter when they’re sung with her. She’s my confidant, my adviser, my touchstone, and the beating heart of our big, crazy family.
My mom is always first and foremost my mother, but as I’ve grown older and gained some experience in this life, I am blessed to call her my friend.
I am thankful to Nancy every day for the greatest gift she has ever given me…my husband. She had Mike raised an absolutely amazing man that I am blessed beyond measure to call my own.
She’s a wonderfully supportive Grammy to all six of her grandchildren. She attends baseball games, band performances, third grade recorder concerts (bless her heart for that one!), and swim meets in the hundred degree Florida sun. My girls like to call her Fancy Nancy because of her love of jewelry, sparkles, and the color purple.
I’m not sure she knew exactly what she was signing on for when this Catholic girl from a big, loud family married her only son. But I will certainly give her credit for being a super good sport and being open to our crazy big life. She even stays with our four kids, feeds them, and keeps them on schedule —by herself!— when Greg and I go out of town and for that right there, I will be forever grateful. (I mean, if I’m being honest, even I consider that a monumental task to do on my own and I’m used to it!)
My sisters…Monica & Alison
Monica is one of the smartest, strongest women you will ever meet in your life. She has a razor sharp wit, can pull song lyrics and movie quotes out of thin air like nobody’s business, and has her doctorate degree in audiology. Her laugh and her heart are as big as her beautiful hazel eyes. I don’t remember a time in my life that we weren’t best friends (even if some of those times included phases where we didn’t like each other very much). Because of Monica, I know that true joy after true sorrow is possible. The stillbirth of her oldest son, my beautiful godson, revealed a depth of faith in her that I don’t think even she knew was there.
It has been beyond fun to have her as my children’s aunt, but it has been a gift to watch her be a mother to her son and, now, her gorgeous daughter Maggie.
Alison was born when I was halfway through the 7th grade. My baby sister started kindergarten the same month I started college. She is technically closer in age to my oldest son than she is to me! Most of her growing up was done while I was far away at college or having my own kids and I’ll be honest when I tell you that I feel I missed out on knowing her then. So, how strange it is to me that she’s now a music teacher, a Marine Corps wife, and mother to her own sweet baby boy, Thomas! She’s stunningly beautiful, has a huge laugh, amazing talent, and my kids love their “Ali” dearly. What a joy it is for me to grow more and more into real, woman-to-woman friendship with this baby I held in my arms so many years ago.
My sisters-in-law, Kim and Jenny
Oh, sweet Kim. You took pity on my crazy brother and married him and for that, our family is forever grateful! Kim has such a quiet, unimposing manner and a heart as beautiful as her curly brown hair. But look out, because her quietness hides a sense of humor that will knock you flat when you’re least expecting it. She’s the first to help with any task that needs to be done and is the only one of us girls who has managed to attempt and succeed at making Mom’s famous biscuits. And to top that off, she’s a wonderful mama to Ada who, by all signs, will have those same wildly lovely curls when she grows up.
And Jenny, who as a high-schooler, used to try to spy on her big brother and me when we came down to visit their family. I’ve watched her go from 10th grader, to sorority girl, to grad student, to wife and now mom. She truly does it all. She has a successful career, two beautiful kids (Isaiah and Anna Claire), and is involved in her church. And through it all, she has style that doesn’t stop and the tightest hugs you’ll ever get.
Thank you, ladies!
Thank you for helping me be a mom. I honestly don’t know what my life would be like without any one of you. God bless you all as you travel on the unique journey He’s graced you with. I love you.
And special thanks to all of you who have read my blog, encouraged, and supported me on this new adventure. It means the world!!
Happy Mother’s Day!!