Sunday, May 12, 2013

35 Things I Need to Thank My Mom For

Mom, I want you to know just how much I appreciate everything you've done for me. Ever. Plus, it's not really in my SAHM budget to send flowers and chocolate and I don't think all of this would fit on a card. So, just a quick recap. Thank you for:

  1. Changing my diapers. Especially the poopy ones. And cleaning up the messes that somehow made it out of the diaper and onto the crib. And the walls. And my clothes...
  2. Brushing my hair, even when I complained about it being tangled.
  3. Humoring my inner supermodel as a tot and taking hundreds of pictures of me in silly poses and ridiculous outfits.
  4. Taking me to swimming lessons, even though I was always scared to put my head under water.
  5. Putting up with my impatience while you tried to teach me to write my letters (and then algebra, and chemistry, and calculus and physics.)
  6. Laying with me at night until I fell asleep, especially since I'm sure you had Important things to do.
  7. Making me jelly rolls for lunch. On flat bread. With the crusts cut off. 
  8. Keeping up with my constant flip-flopping on the topic of spaghetti sauce.
  9. Taking care of me when I was sick. Even when I had the pukey kind of strep throat in fourth grade.
  10. Not killing me when I finger painted the whole back porch and thought I could clean it up with my Alex Mack super powers. (Note to readers: I do not have Alex Mack super powers.)
  11. While we're on it, thank you for not killing me when I cut my brother's hair or pierced his ear. With scissors. 
  12. Providing the security of a safe and loving childhood home. I never once had to worry about the roof over my head, the clothes on my back, or the food on our table. Even though I'm sure there were times that you did.
  13. Driving me to cheerleading practice and spending all day every Saturday at the football stadium when Jeremy and I both had games.
  14. Coming to all of my awards assemblies and always encouraging to do my best in school.
  15. Understanding when "my best" wasn't perfect.
  16. Taking us to visit our grandparents every summer and Christmas. We always had the best time.
  17. Giving me more experiences than "things" growing up.
  18. Our family vacations to Disney. It really was the most magical place on Earth.
  19. Always loving my father and hugging and kissing in front of us. I learned what a healthy relationship should be like because I always had you two as an example.
  20. Taking me to see *NSYNC in middle school. I have a sneaking suspicion that you didn't share my enthusiasm for their musical talent.
  21. Not killing me when I hit puberty and became a raging drama queen.
  22. Forgiving me for every time I told you I hated you when I really just meant that I was angry about not getting what I wanted. 
  23. Our family road trip to DC and NYC. Getting to see Rent changed my life.
  24. Being supportive when I told you I wanted to be a Broadway superstar instead of getting a "real" degree. 
  25. Giving me your car so I could drive myself to the theatre. And concerts, even the ones in Orlando and Tampa.
  26. Being supportive when I decided journalism was the way to go instead.
  27. Buying me a car in college even though I totaled it three months later. (I still miss that car!)
  28. Taking care of me when I was sick. Even when I got mono at the end of my last Fall semester in college.
  29. Funding my study abroad trip to Europe. That is an experience I will never forget.
  30. Letting me make my own mistakes. And boy did I make some big ones...
  31. Helping me plan my wedding, but letting me make all of my own decisions.
  32. Being supportive of my marriage and loving my husband.
  33. Being in the delivery room when I was in labor with Josie. I couldn't have done it without you.
  34. Changing her diapers in the hospital and helping me with all of those "new mom" things when I had no earthly idea what to do.
  35. Loving my daughter. It means so much to me that she can have a relationship with you even from over 1000 miles away. 
My mom holding Josie minutes after her birth. May 8, 2012.

Most of all, thank you for giving me life and being the best mother, teacher, nurse, therapist, and friend I could ever ask for.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Happy First Birthday, Baby Girl!

Josephine Lily,

My beautiful baby girl. You are a whole year old today, and my how you’ve grown! (I mean it; you’ve more than tripled your birth weight!) There were so many days when I didn’t know how we would get this far, but we did it. And I am so happy that this is the first of many years I get to spend with you as your mommy. 

You are strong and fearless. You walk, climb, and run anywhere you can without hesitation, and if you fall and scrape your knee on uneven ground, you get right back up without so much as a whimper. You love when I chase you in circles around the kitchen and dining room, always laughing hysterically as you run away from me. Instead of carrying you, now we walk together down the street to the mailbox. You still enjoy your piggyback rides in the Beco, though, and I am so grateful for that. I love having you close to me, even if you pull my hair and pinch my armpits sometimes.

You are smart and beautiful. You have your daddy’s rhythm (thank goodness!) and such a contagious smile. Everywhere we go, you make someone’s day just by looking at them. How special is that? Please don’t ever lose that brightness in your eyes. Or your sense of adventure. Or your enthusiasm for making new friends. Life can be quite lonely without friends.

This is a big day for me, too. We’ve reached my personal goal of breastfeeding for 12 months, and we’re still going! We’ve had our share of issues from the beginning but have also reaped so many benefits, and although there were times I swore I would quit, I am so happy that we didn’t. There is a special bond a nursing mom has with her baby which you can never replicate and that has made it all worth it.
I know I am far from a perfect mom. I may not have made all your baby food or taught you sign language or read to you every single day. We push the limits with bath time, I let you watch TV and stay up late, and sometimes I raise my voice when I’m upset. But please know that for the rest of your life, I will love you with my whole heart and you are the best thing that has ever happened to me. Some days, when I feel sleep-deprived, overwhelmed, and under-qualified for this job, the only thing that keeps me going is watching you grow.

I'll spare you the birth story until you are a little bit older, but just know that you were surrounded by people who love you on that day, just like you are now. Did you know that today is also Mommy and Daddy's wedding anniversary? Isn't that special? I’ll say it over and over until I can’t say it anymore. I love you!

Happy birthday, sweet girl. You are the best anniversary present ever!

<3 Mama