Macaroni noodles and boo-boos

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Thank you mom for all that you taught me and all of the things you did to show your love.

Thank you for wearing necklaces lovingly crafted from macaroni noodles; for hanging countless masterpieces on the fridge, for making me believe I was gifted, talented, beautiful and brilliant, for all the boo-boo’s you made better (and yes that DID sting);for watching all the “plays” and dance routines and listening to the unending songs I made up as I went and never once making me feel stupid.

I thank you for your smile, you know, the one that told me I was your world.  I thank you for your long nails that gently scratched my itches, even when I was dirty.  I thank you for the soft, gentle voice that read to me and explained life to me.  I thank you for all of the meals you crafted and I apologize for the many times I stubbornly refused to eat something “gross”.

Thank you for never leaving my side when I needed you, for all the coddling when I was sick, for wiping my nose countless times before I could do it myself, for all the diapering, wiping and cleaning duties, which I know you did the majority of.

I thank you for the dresses you made, the many times you baked after everyone else was asleep, so that my class would have cupcakes for a party, for the way you knew how to stretch a dollar in lean times to feed and clothe all three of us. Thanks for lying across my bed with me when I was a teenager and making me feel comfortable to tell you the truth, knowing that even if there were repercussions, they would be fair.

Thank you for never forgetting a birthday, an important event or to tell me you loved me.  Thank you for your prayers and for teaching me about God, and for teaching your children morals and values.

Most of all, I thank you for being you; the wonderful, beautiful woman I called Mother.  I miss you!

Mom or Mother?

Rose

As the day we celebrate Mother’s Day draws nearer, I can’t help but think about mine even more than normal.  My mother was the epitome of the mother deserving of all the accolades the holiday encourages.  Everywhere you look this time of year there are advertisements for the perfect gift or card or dinner; many choices to bestow them honor.

We actually called my mom “mother” until we were in our teenage years.  As we grew older and I think due to the influence of our friends, we slowly, carefully tested out “mom” and eventually made the switch.  I say slowly and carefully because my dad didn’t like the term “mom”; he thought “mother” was far more respectful.

Today I was remembering how all of our friends loved mom.  She always had a smile, a kind word and a way of making them feel special.  She was very discerning and could quickly tell if someone was going through something and needed a hug.  She was always compassionate and loving, but they also knew she didn’t put up with any shenanigans and showed her the utmost respect.

On a fall day, if we had friends over to play football in the yard full of crunchy leaves, she was inside making a big pot of chili and brownies, enough for all to share.  On a trip to the mall, our car was busting at the hinges with teenagers who weren’t the least bit ashamed to hang out with “Mom Goff” which is what most of them called her.  I still have one of her old scrapbooks and it is full of pictures, cards and even poems that our friends gave to her through the years.  The expressions of their love continue past high school, as some kept in touch with her long after they’d lost touch with us.

How I would love the chance to honor her on this Mother’s Day now that I am older and fully understand how truly blessed I was.  Don’t get me wrong, I knew it then; we all did, but she died when I was a mere 30 years old, pregnant with my 2nd child.  In the years since, my girls have grown up and moved out and away to begin their own adult lives and I am Nana to a precious five year old.  I know so much more than I did then about the joy and yes, even the pain of motherhood.

I know more of how she felt at graduations, weddings, the birth of a grandchild.  I know more about the sacrifice, the beauty, the love and the heartaches that every mom partakes of.  I’ve walked in similar shoes, I guess you could say.  I now understand that from the moment you birth that child, they own a piece of your heart.  Because of that, you feel not only their joy, but their pain for a lifetime.

Motherhood is worthy of honor; it is a lifetime calling.  You can’t quit, take a break, walk away and find yourself or turn off your emotions when you feel like they might pull you under.  You are in it for life!  For those of you who might be saying, some aren’t worthy of the praises you offer; some abandon, some mistreat.  You are right, and I sincerely offer my heartfelt sadness and regret for those who can’t celebrate their childhood.  However, those can begin a new chapter and leave a better legacy and those of us who know how, can help them.  Women everywhere should try to help fill those voids in children who have broken hearts and low expectations with love and understanding.

And for those of you who still have your mother, whether you call her mom, mother, madre, or mamma, I would encourage you to spend time with her!  Cherish every moment because I can assure you, you will be glad you did when she is gone.

I am glad my mom knew how deeply her children loved her and I am beyond grateful for the 30 years I had her in my life.

Wish I was eating cake with you

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After all these years, I can still see you standing there.  You, in your blue jeans, with your unruly curls, your lipstick on, nails polished, smelling like Cinnabar.

It is hard for me to imagine that if you were still here, today you would be celebrating your 68th birthday.  Time stands still and I remember you forever at 49.

Time hadn’t etched many lines in your face and your eyes were clear and bright.  The hand that only ever got to feel Morgan, when she kicked in my 8 month pregnant belly, was steady and bore no signs of age spots.  Before sickness took it’s toll, you were energetic and vivacious!

I don’t question why anymore, as I trust God’s timing in all things, but oh, mother, how I still miss you!

My heart still aches with grief sometimes and yes, the tears still fall, but not nearly as often.  There are so many things I would love to be able to share with you and I can’t count the times I still desire your wise counsel and advice.

Until heaven, I must be content with memories, so I am eternally grateful and immensely blessed to have a million good ones with you.

Feeling highly favored to have called you mine,

Lisa

I am mom

Dearest Mother BIG tag

Dearest Mother BIG tag (Photo credit: AForestFrolic)

From the time you see that soft, wiggly, bawling baby, you fall in love.  You become a fierce protector.  You are mom.  This tiny gift from heaven rocks your world and melts your heart.

You vow she will always be safe in your arms, sheltered by your love, kept far away from all evil and danger.  She needs you.

She will be given every opportunity, receive plenty of praise and encouragement along with proper discipline and instruction.

As the years go marching by in this journey, you stumble, yes you even fall a time or two, but you do your best.  You learn quickly that this thing called parenting is no easy feat.  Your best isn’t perfect, but you never give up.  You defend, you teach, your love grows deeper.

She drives you crazy sometimes.  She reminds you of when you were that age.  She makes you want to tell your mom you’re sorry again.

She grows up overnight and it seems she doesn’t need you as much anymore.   Thankfully, she still calls and asks your advice.  She doesn’t always take it.  You probably drive her crazy sometimes.  You have dreams and goals and hopes for her.  She has different ones, but you will love her anyway.

Your love grows ever deeper and she returns that love.  She begins to realize that you often make sense and tells you so.  You watch her become more like you in many ways.  You become one of her closest confidantes.

She’s not perfect; she stumbles and yes, even falls sometimes, but she gets right back up. You are her biggest fan and you secretly hope she got that tenacity from you.

Your role as a parent never ends; it merely changes.  You continue to pray that as the years pass and you both continue to grow older, that you are always what she needs you to be.  You are mom.

Love you mother!

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I was blessed with one of those Moms like the one from Leave It to Beaver, only better.  Hers was the shoulder I cried on, and it was her hand that I held.  She was strength when I needed it and a resounding voice of wisdom during my trials and troubles.

In my early years, she was my fiercest protector, my biggest encourager, my most invested teacher and an abundant source of love and gentleness.

As I grew, she cheered me on, she poured positivity into me, and she taught me forgiveness and reminded me to turn to God for all things.

In my teenage years, she cried with me as she stroked my back, bringing hope to a broken heart.  She defended me like a lioness, when she thought I’d been wronged.  She never lost faith in me or what I could become.  She was my mentor, my solace, my sole confidante.

When I became a mother myself, I learned to appreciate her more than ever for it was then that I recognized her sacrifices and identified with them myself.

Now, after almost 17 years, I can still remember the sound of her voice, the strength of her touch and thankfully, all the things that she taught me about love and life.

I will miss her until the day the good Lord calls me home and I am reunited with her.

For those of you who didn’t have the greatest mom, I am truly sorry and I know there are many situations out there that are heartbreaking.  The good thing is, you can be that yourself, whether you are a mom or a mentor, you can give someone hope.  You never know how you can be used to pour into a life until you do it.

Shopping with royalty

TiaraToday was Prom dress shopping day for the last prom ever to be celebrated in this household, so my daughter, her friend and I set out around 10:30am.   We had about an hour’s drive to get to the closest David’s Bridal so by the time we arrived close to our destination, we stopped for lunch.

Next stop was the dress shop which proved to be low on stock, therefore, disappointing and fruitless, so we had to go elsewhere to continue the quest for the perfect dress.

By the time we reached the mall, I was feeling the effects of the heavy lunch and starting to feel like I could curl up on the dressing room floor and take a nap.  I shook it off like any self-respecting trooper would do as I had to be fully alert for the fittings and price tags.

My youngest is quite the princess and enjoys the fanfare of modeling the dresses over and over (and over) for me and whatever loyal friend comes along for the show.  The decision on which dress to choose is of vast importance and can’t be rivaled with our trivial banter.  It’s serious business.

Three stores and at least ten dresses later, we think we may have found the one.  Now mind you, the left-behind friends have been group-sent pictures of every one of the dresses and although they are not there to enjoy the drama, their opinions are discussed and are definitely a large part of the decision.  So, while the lady in waiting for the day takes pictures and then reports what each loyal subject has to say about each dress, I wait and watch asking the price every now and then.

We found THE dress so I paid and she thanked me.  I sighed a sigh of relief that the search was finally over and home was in my near future and then remembered the shoes. I mean, what’s the perfect dress, without perfect shoes to go with it?  Thankfully, the shoe search was an easy one.  She feel deeply and passionately in love with the second pair she tried on and at this point, I didn’t even look at the price, just bolted for the register where I got a little jolt when the very pleasant and understanding cashier gave me my total.

We were finished, at least for today.  Yes, I know there will be hair and makeup and accessorizing in my immediate future.

It was 4pm and I was exhausted.  It amazes me how just a few hours of shopping nowadays can turn me into a zombie.  Shopping used to be like a crazy, happy fuel.  Oh wait, that’s because back then MY mom was the money tree.

I am finally home and honestly, all kidding aside, I had a wonderful day with two great kids.  My daughter is blessed with faithful loyal friends, (several of them) and I’m thankful for that.

I will miss this. Every, single, moment of it.   I am grateful that I’ve been blessed with amazing girls and so happy that they share their lives with me and enjoy my company.

Ahh, a relaxing shower….HAH

English: Shower

Okay, so we all know if you’re expecting a call, the best place to wait for it would probably be in the shower, right (or at least the bathroom)?  No, of course it won’t come if you think of it that way.

However, it never fails, especially if I am home alone, enjoying the solitude and the free time, yes, the me time, that while I am in the shower, usually in the midst of shaving my legs or conditioning my hair, the phone will ring.

That horrid noise, breaking the peace, making you absolutely certain that this is THE call, the call of the big news you’ve been waiting for, or the call from a long lost friend, or, oh no, not that one, the call where your child has been injured at school.

The last is the worst, because for the remainder of the shower, you are entertaining usually ludicrous and sometimes gory and grisly ideas of what happened to them.  Did they just pass out?   Did they fall from the monkey bars and break a bone?  Did that bully hit them and they are missing their front teeth?  Oh, it just has to be something horrible.  These fears are greatly multiplied if a moment later the phone rings again, because then you just know…YOU KNOW….they have to reach you right away, as the situation is dire.  Sometimes, you even imagine someone at your door.

Just as you slice a hunk of meat from your leg because you are dragging the razor across the delicate skin way too speedily, the phone stops and the minutes seem like hours before you can get to the phone and read the caller i.d.  Or, you step out with suds dripping from your scalp, stinging your eyes so badly, that you can’t find the phone to check it.  If you are one of the clumsy ones, like I am (particularly at times of certain hormonal fluctuations), you may slip on all the water you’ve allowed to leak onto the floor and barely, by the grace of God, keep from injuring yourself.

Where is that phone anyway?  We have two of them and neither is ever in the proper place unless I have been at home long enough to take care of this mindboggling dilemma.  It’s mindboggling, because for the life of me, I cannot understand why NO ONE ELSE who lives here actively demonstrates the skill or ability to do the same.

You can guess what happens next.  I find the phone, after my world has been shaken up, my mind all set to all sort of imaginations.  It was not THE call, nor was it a long lost friend and nope, not the school number either, which I know by heart (like any self-proclaimed wonder woman mom would).

The number begins with 866…..a solicitor has done all of this.  Suffice it to say, there is a moment of anger, right before the relief.  And once again, all is quiet; all is right with my little world.

Easter morning reminiscing

Me and my mom's version of the Easter Bunny cake around 69'

Me and my mom’s version of the Easter Bunny cake around 69′

On Holidays, we always think about the ones we loved so much who are no longer with us, and this Easter Sunday, is no exception for me. I think about my Mom, who died almost 17 years ago, while I was pregnant with my youngest.

My mom loved holidays and to me, she was a combination of all the best in Martha Stewart, Betty Crocker and June Cleaver (for those of you too young to know who this is, google “Leave it to Beaver”).

She made all holidays special and I think Easter was one of her favorites. She made the “bunny cake”, and let us help sprinkle the coconut or place the whiskers. It wasn’t only pretty, but also tasty enough to make even Julia Childs stand up and take notice.

She dyed eggs with us, and let us hunt them until they were crushed, rotten or eaten. She was a bona fide pro, though and had fresh ones in the fridge. She laid out a delightful, delicious Easter dinner and usually invited family over to share.

Mom, Dee and I

Mom, Dee and I

Our outfits were adorable and immaculate and we changed out of them immediately after church. I sometimes think about her in church with us at ages 1, 2 and 3 (yes, we were little stair steps) and this makes me all the more in awe of her. We will be 45, 46, and 47, as soon as my brother catches up with the program, turning 45 on April 22nd.

She made sure we visited both sets of grandparents and she took pictures to document it all for days like this, when I’m reminiscing and want to remember their faces more clearly.

Most of all I am blessed that mom taught us the true meaning of Easter; that is wasn’t all about colorful eggs and dressing up and bunnies, that the true message was in the Resurrection and the hope we all share because of it.

So today, on this beautiful Sunday morning, I am grateful for my Christian heritage. I’m picturing Mom in heaven this morning singing and praising with the angels, as this must be a joyful day there as well.

Blessings and Happy Easter!!!

Missing you

Wishing you were here

Knowing you can’t be and you’re in a much better place

Thinking of all the things you missed

Wondering if you’d be proud

Smiling when I realize I know you would be

Missing your advice and guidance

Grateful you taught me so well

Feeling that knot in my throat and knowing tears will follow

Thankful for the wonderful years I had with you

Memories that still grip my heart like it was yesterday

Someday I will see you again in heaven

Wishing you were here

Make a memory!

Good Morning!  What is everyone up to?  Some of you have been up since before daybreak cooking, cleaning, mixing, chopping; all to make sure that those families of yours have a sumptuous meal.  Me?  Well, I get off somewhat easy this year as I’m only responsible for about 3 dishes and a dessert.

I just wanted to remind everyone of a few things as we busy ourselves in the kitchen and wish we had 30 minutes to do our makeup before everyone shows up.  It’s worth it…..it really is.

My mom was the quintessential Susie home maker, her nickname of Susie was very fitting.  She labored over the stove for days before and the day of Thanksgiving, but boy, did she put out a spread.  My sis and I are still more than satisfying our families with those same recipes today.

My love for all things Thanksgiving, is largely due to the time and effort she put forth to make great holiday memories and for that I am very grateful.

For all of you who are already tired, your back aches, you wish you’d had another hour to sleep, your manicure is ruined and the hot flashes are rearing their ugly head about the same time you have to check something in the oven, Well, you rock!  You are amazing and you are helping to make memories.

Let’s remember to thank those today who put so much effort into pleasing their families and even those who just keep a spot on the sofa warm.  Let’s be thankful for families and friends and do our best today to share moments, not things.

And above all, love, love, love.  We never know what tomorrow holds, but we can act today.  We can make someone feel special and loved.  Check on your neighbors, take someone a plate, invite a new guest who doesn’t have anyone.

Have a beautiful, blessed Thanksgiving!

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