So, the hardest thing about doing a post about your mother is actually finding pictures of her, especially from your childhood. Nine times out of ten she is usually the one holding the camera. But when you look past the adorable blonde angel child (aka: me) at the bigger picture, you see events being celebrated, milestones being marked, personality showing through of not only the important person in the picture, but what is important to the person taking the picture. The ones I've featured here are mostly pictures of pictures, and they don't even begin to cover the hundreds, most likely thousands of pictures my Mom has taken of me and my sisters over the years. Here's what I have learned from looking at pictures my mom has been in or taken:
1. It's fun dressing up and being silly with your sisters and friends. (My mom is on the far left)
Case in point:
(L-R: Mom, Aunt Jeanne, Aunt Joyce, Me, my 2nd cousin McKenna, my seester Vanessa)
2. Making stuff is awesome and you should take pride in it!! My mom MADE this dress she's wearing and that's a state fair 4-H ribbon she's holding. Go, Meem!
3. Nurture your artistic side! I'm finger painting here, and I remember doing so many different arts and crafts type things growing up. Thanks for inspiring my creativity early, Meem!
4. Fashion is important! Note the rainbow brite sweatshirt/trackpants combo, and my sister's baby Nike shoes. Also, never underestimate the value of a good turtleneck ;)
5. Family traditions are a big deal! As long as I can remember, the whole family got new jammies on Christmas Eve. We would open them that night and then sleep in them. It got to the point when we stopped growing and literally had no more room for new jammies before we stopped the Christmas Eve jammies tradition. But it will live on in glorious pictures like these:
Why, yes. That IS a Billy Ray Cyrus night gown I'm rocking. Jealous?
Easter baskets were super important as well. Mom always did a little something for almost every holiday to show she was thinking of us and that she loved us. I think she shared some of our joy in opening presents.
6. Nature is awesome! The first house I ever lived in had a lake with woods surrounding it. I can remember finding a turtle shell and taking it for show-and-tell in kindergarten... Anyway, Mom has always been a huge fan of animals and nature in general and we learned to appreciate it from spending time outdoors with her.
7. It's the little things. For some reason when you're a kid, every ride at every fair or park or what-have-you looks like THE BEST THING EVARRRR!!! To an adult it's just a merry-go-round or a little car on a track and it would be easy to discourage your child from wanting to go on it because it doesn't appeal to you. But Mom chose to (usually) indulge us and let us have that experience because we were little and it was cool to us. She let us be kids by letting us enjoy the little things. Like riding ALL THE RIDES!!!
8. Be resourceful- Whether it's using plastic bags to keep your kids' clothes dry while they help with dishes or straight up child labor (just kidding) Meem was great at thinking of new ways to use the things we had already. Something she undoubtedly picked up from her mother over the years.
So, happy Mother's day, Meem. You're literally only a few hours away from being a Grandma!! How cool is that? There are hundreds and thousands of other things I've learned from you and I'm most certainly not done learning yet. You had an amazing example of a mother to learn from, and I am fortunate enough to say the same. I think you're going to love being Grandmeem or Meema or whatever we end up calling you, and I have no doubt you'll do a great job at it. Thank you for everything. You're beautiful, and I love you.