Let's start with the mom I love the most, my own. Becoming a mom has given me a whole new respect for mine. There are so many times I go to do something with Carter and realize it was what my mom would have done for me as a kid. I look back and think, she really knew what she was doing! Funny how it takes becoming an adult to appreciate that! My mom believed in explaining things to us and answering our questions truthfully. That's something I have always respected. When my grandparents weren't doing well she was completely honest with me and because of that I was motivated to go visit more. I am so thankful that because of her I have those precious memories and no regrets.
I hope that as Carter and Elise grow up I can have the kind of relationship with them that my mom and I share. When something funny happens I always instantly want to call my mom to share it with her. I know no matter what she is happy to hear from me and appreciates the stories. I don't get the laughter and great reactions from anyone else like I get from her.
Like I did with my dad, I'd like to share 10 things I love about my mom:
1. What an amazing grandma she is. She's not afraid of messes. She'll take Carter out to splash in puddles. She'll give him free range with the cooking utensils. Whatever he wants, within reason, he gets. There are so many times I laugh thinking she never would have let us do that as kids.
2. Her love of supporting causes and running races. I swear I get almost weekly emails from her with details on a race she's interested in. If we want to run it with her, she'll sign all of us up. Some of my favorite memories of all of us together as a family are at races and I have her to thank for that.
3. The excitement she gets for holidays. She still has Santa visit us even though we're all around 30 years old! She loves the surprise of putting out the Santa presents in the middle of the night. She also likes to put together fancy table settings and decorations for our holiday dinners.
4. How much she loves Ty. When we were dating she was worried we would break up and she wouldn't get to see him anymore. She jokes with my brothers that he's her favorite son. They go on outings together just the 2 of them, garage saling or shopping.
5. Her love of animals. She has a hard time saying no to an animal in need. That's why she prefers medium sized dogs but currently has two 70+ pound dogs.
6. Her willingness to create things for us. If I see a hat I like, next thing I know she's crocheted it in multiple different colors. Ty rips his pants, they are fixed. Elise's room is elephant themed, she has an elephant stuffed animal made by Oma to decorate it.
7. The way her mind bounces from one thing to the next. You'll be talking about something and the next thing you know, you are attempting to connect the dots in order to figure out what she's moved on to talking about.
8. Her unending support. When I was working and trying to convince myself it was what I wanted she was very positive about me working. When I decided to stay at home she was encouraging that it would be the right choice. Now that I'm staying at home she points out all the benefits she sees. No matter what I do, she supports me. Back in my competing days I could hear her cheering for me over everyone else.
9. How excited she gets to play games. We'll be calmly playing a game and the next thing you know she's excitedly screaming out answers.
10. Her love of books. She's always reading and recommending books. When I was a kid I knew if we went to the toy store we were getting what we went for and leaving. The bookstore was a completely different story. I got to pick out a book every time we went. If I couldn't decide between 2 books most the times I got them both. Scholastic book orders were like Christmas they were so exciting! I'm glad she instilled that appreciation for books in me at a young age.
Now on to my mother-in-law, Leina. Obviously she is a great mom. She raised Ty to be the amazing man he is and the same with Paul. I had a friend in college tell me to only date guys who had sisters because they were more sensitive and understood girls. Boy was she wrong because Ty has every guy I know beat! She is also an amazing grandma. She was rooting for Elise to be a boy because she said she was a "good boy mom". But I knew regardless of sex she would be an awesome mom or grandma because she is all the things that make someone a good mom: caring, loving, respectful, sincere, forgiving, understanding, firm when needed, and so much more. Just like I did for Rocky, I'll share 5 things I love about her.
1. Her cooking. Not just that it's delicious but that she does it as a display of love. It's not just a meal, it's an outpouring for those she cares about. When we visit she plans out special meals. Before Elise was born she made us food to freeze and eat.
2. Her love of jammie time with Carter. It started out as her getting some extra play time in with Carter while allowing us to sleep in. It has evolved to her planning out special activities as well as recipes to make.
3. How she loves to paint us girls' nails when we come to visit. She'll do the whole works filing, shaping, painting. We've even had nail parties. I look forward to Elise joining in on the fun.
4. That she loves to treat her grand babies. She'll buy cat and dog treats for Skippy and Harper. When we bring Harper with us she'll have a Kong filled with peanut butter in the freezer waiting and a bed complete with stuffed animals made up. She surprised Carter with a personal pan pizza when she ordered from Pizza Hut and the look on his face when he saw it was priceless!
5. Her voice. She has such a sweet, cheerful, and calming voice. I especially love how she talks to Carter and Elise. Her voice is filled with love.
For my grandmas I'd like to share a memory or short snipet about each one.
I wrote about some of the most special memories I have of my Grandma Darlyne in this post. Growing up I always thought of her as the perfect lady wearing lovely dresses, crossing her ankles as she sat, drinking coffee after dinner, and always playing cards. I loved the sound of her voice and the feel of her skin when her cheek pressed against my cheek. I wanted to be just like her and even trained myself to sleep without a pillow because she didn't use one due to breaking her neck in a car wreck earlier in life. She loved deeply and fiercely and us grandchildren could do no wrong. She believed in us, bragged on us, and hugged us tight. When Jeremy hit the age when he didn't do hugs she would race over, wrap her arms around him, and squeeze him all while he fake tried to get away. It was the sweetest. When I think back over all the wonderful memories I have of my grandma I wish everyone could be so lucky as to have a grandma like mine.
My Grandma LeAnn is a mother to 4 boys and always wanted a girl. I was the first granddaughter which has always been special for me. I loved the girly clothes my grandma made me, especially a frilly, lacy pink dress she made for me to wear at my uncle's wedding. Then my cousin Megan came along and added another girl to the family. My grandma would invite us for girls weeks at her house in the summer and we'd do all types of fun stuff. One time she bought all the materials and we learned how to make those bead lizard keychains that were all the rage. Going shopping with her was a blast. She always encouraged my super girly side. Now as a mom it has been fun to talk with her about motherhood and babies. It amazes me how similar we are in that our babies are born early and fast once they decide to come! I hope I am as vibrant, full of life, cheerful, and optimistic as my grandma when I grow up. When I talked to her a couple weeks ago she'd been nursing my grandpa and had laryngitis herself but was still chipper and fun to talk to.
I first met Ty's Grandma Gail after we'd only been dating for a short time. Other than Ty's brother she was the first person in his family I met. Obviously I was a bit nervous but she was so warm and welcoming, the butterflies quickly faded. Ty and his grandpa rode in one car while his grandma and I rode in another. I was impressed with how easily the conversation flowed. I have come to know her as the woman who will always tell you exactly what is on her mind and welcomes you with open arms. She's always giving out hugs and it is sweet to see how warmly they are received from her grandsons. It has been so neat to see her take on the role of Gigi, always quick to scoop Carter up. Each time we visit I enjoy looking to see which pictures of Carter she has printed from the blog to display in her home. Her frames have been switched out each time we see her.
Ty's Grandma Shupe is just so sweet. I love to see her reactions to things and will never forget how her eyes welled up with tears when we shared the news we were pregnant. I enjoy sharing exciting news with her because I know she will have the best reactions. Just thinking about it I can hear the words she excitedly says when she hears pleasing information. "Oh my word," often comes out of her mouth and hearing it makes me smile. I laugh at how sure she was Elise would be a boy, but sent girl presents to our gender reveal with Leina just in case. Possibly because she's been through pregnancy 5 times and knows you deserve it, she spoiled me during both of my pregnancies. She makes the most delicious bunny cake and surprised me with it multiple times. This last time she brought it over to Ty's parents' house and sent Carter in to share the news. He came running in to where I was, declaring there was cake. I looked at Ty and excitedly said, "There's cake?!!?" He said there wasn't any and Carter must be referring to the Rice Krispy treats. I talked to Carter about it but didn't get up to investigate. After sending Carter in multiple times she finally swiped his finger through the icing and sent him back in. He came holding his finger out to me and when I licked the icing off I raced in to see if it really was the amazing homemade icing that goes on her famous cake. She laughed so hard at my reaction and how long it took to convince me to come check it out. It was a wonderful surprise!
I am so lucky to have such amazing mothers in my life to help guide me through the wild ride that is motherhood. Their successes help me know what to do and their less than successes give me hope that I'm not alone. I love them for the grandmothers they are to my children, for the mothers they were to their own, and the support they are for me. I am thankful for them every day and am glad Mother's Day reminds me to voice that. Thank you all and I love you!