Not trying to start a fight or anything.... but my mom is AWESOME. Completely. I feel almost like a clone of her.... but with pieces of my dad. like I got my dad's ability to negotiate someone's pants off them, his ability to analyze a situation and take something apart and put it together again, his ability to draw, and his research capabilities. I am just like my dad in the way that he likes to research every decision to find out what is the best route, what is the cheapest solution, is there an alternative way....
But back to my mom. I look like her. My sister and I both do, and people always make comments on how Liz and I are sisters through and through, our looks, voice, mannerisms.... Of course the is tall and thin and dark haired and I am tall and not thin and red/blonde haired, but we are a perfect mixture of mom and dad. Our mom is super super crafty. She used to be so crafty that Martha Stewart would be jealous. But then my mom got what is known as "craft burnout." So now she does some crafty things but could care less about others. But she instilled the craftiness into me. And my aunt was also super crafty, so the two of them together turned me into a super crafty child that has spawned a super crafty woman. Crochet, painting, basket weaving, beading, scrapbooking and card making, and pretty much being super handy with a glue gun. Home decorating, flower arranging, gardening.... I love them all. A gift given to me by my mom. When I was a kid, 4 years old making valentines, she helped me to cut out hearts and fold them in half, then put suckers inside with the stick as a mouse tail. I was the kid with elmers glue, paper heard doilies, felt, googley eyes, and walnut shells. Pipe cleaners? You bet. She kept me entertained constantly.... which must have been hard because I was always "bored." Poor mom.
On top of that, my mom is a hella good cook. As in she cooks for a living, and for a family, and her recipes are sought after and her ideas of what taste good are right on. So I believe I was destined to love food, although my sister counters that theory with her hate of all things animal and vegetable. And her size 2 pants. So my mom made all the food for our wedding reception, with the help of some co-workers. She makes kick ass potato salad and italian beef, so good that people go back for seconds and thirds... and ask "who made this?"
And the luckiest thing? She passed it to me. She passed me recipes. She passed me the love for food, and for baking. My favorite thing to do is make bread. If I had a week off work I would make bread for the entire town of Wyanet if I could. I love love love to make bread. Part of that has to be owed to my friend Angela and her very missed grandma Sadie. Sadie taught Angie (and Angie's mom Joan) a way with tea rings and all things baked with yeast. I always loved going to Angie's house growing up because it seemed there were ALWAYS tea rings in progress. And always dough rising in the big yellow tupperware bowl. They made tea rings constantly, and froze them. I also have Grandma Sadie's tea ring recipe.
I have to tell you, I CHERISH recipes. When people give me their good recipe, it is like the best best best gift. When selling Pampered Chef, I met my super hostess Maureen (Mo) Pasker. Mo gave me her recipe for Neiman Marcus Dip. Every function I take it to, I get comments and questions "what is IN this?" so thank you Mo for great recipe. My mom passed on her love of crafting and her love of food.
Our mom is a smart woman. You don't (almost) ever get anything past her. When we were growing up, we always said she had eyes in the back of her head. I never thought I had that, until one day Evan's friends Clint and Cody made the comment that talking to me was like talking to the cops. They said that they swore I always knew when anyone was lying. They said they don't ever want to piss me off. I heard them tell someone once that I can't be fooled and god help the person who tries. I am not saying that is entirely true, but that came from my mom. She always knew what we were going to do before we even knew it.
Plus, she is a cool mom. You can talk to her about anything. And my sister and I tell her just about everything (much to the dismay and shock of our boyfriends and husbands). She tells it like it is. Liz and I got that from her too. She can keep a secret and she knows who she can trust. And you know, there is a line where a cool mom can become a bad mom, like the mom who hired the stripper for a 16 year old son's birthday. That's over the line. And my mom completely knows where the line is. She was my sister's designated driver on her 21st birthday. And my sister is no dork. My mom went out with all Liz's friends and made sure my sister was safe. That is a cool mom.
She bought Evan and I a dishwasher for our birthdays one year. We needed it desperately. THAT is a cool mom.
She's tough. She doesn't take crap from people. She beat breast cancer. She beat my ass when I hit my sister. She made shorts for us one year when we were kids, and even though she sewed the straight pins into the elastic waist and left them there, they were cool shorts. She went without things for herself to give us what we needed and even things we wanted. She planned the coolest birthday parties for us, using creativity and craftiness. She spent hours piping little icing stars on character cakes and making invitations.
I hope that my mom knows how much she means to me, and to Liz and that she has left some gigantic shoes to fill. If I can be half a good of mom as she is, I will have done okay.
My mom turns 50 this month, so if you know her, send her an email to wish her happy birthday and remind her how cool she is.