These People I Live With: Mom

In some sort of bizarre Mother's Day celebration on the radio this morning, callers were discussing ways they are turning into their mother. There was much talk of cankles, hips, and a tendency to nag. I understood the entertainment factor of what the DJs were trying to do, but I grew more and more bothered as I drove. My hand was on my phone ready to dial when one caller finally said, "My mother is incredible! I only wish I were more like her."

Thank you, I thought. 

Because like this caller, I also have an incredible Mother - one I am constantly trying to emulate. I also inherited some real gems from her without even trying! Like - great cheekbones. Attractively shaped fingernails. A love for reading. The insatiable urge to hostess. 

My mom is just cool. Like, owning two i-pads cool. Like being top dog in her career while also maintaining an orderly home and being a great cook cool. 

Everyone should know my mom. Allow me to introduce you!

This is Tammy:

Classy as Ever

She has never been a fan of her name (I quite like it), and has always felt a bit cheated that she didn't get a middle name as a fallback plan.

My mom has always been ridiculously adorable. Proof:

She had the most amazing blonde hair, and in the 70's she and her sisters used to iron their hair straight with a clothes iron to get that sleek, perfectly smooth and flat look that was so coveted at the time.

My mom had lots of suitors - even made a boy or two cry in her day (what can she say? They always tended to grow more serious about her - and more quickly - than she did about them) - but my Mom was no fool. She fell for this guy...

engagement photo-shoot

...who made the smartest move of his life when he asked her to be his, and was the luckiest man alive when she said yes (He reminds us of this fact constantly). Especially because her missionary had just returned home - but that's another story.

Newlyweds Tammy and Russ were just two crazy kids in love - and in school - when...

My beautiful mother, Jamie - 1 years old, Me - a wee howling beastie.

Jamie was born a year later. Stephanie (aka Stepper) was born just 14 months after that. And my angel mother, ever the example of quiet self-sacrifice, pressed pause on school to focus on me and my sister so my Dad could focus on finishing his degree.

I wish we all still dressed like this.

When Dad graduated, my Mom went back to school and finished her Masters degree. This is heroic to me, because it's hard to go back to school after such a long break - let alone with two kids! And now, my beautiful Mother leads in her field of Speech Pathology. She's constantly being recognized and winning awards in her niche and in the community for her work in the school districts.

She has four daughters:

See? cheekbones.

My mom is graceful, has a feminine strength that I so admire, can do anything (seriously) except figure out Facebook (seriously) and has a mean fun streak that has the ability to evoke the biggest giggle-fits in her daughters you'll ever experience.

She used to own/ride actual horses, even after one of them crushed her foot.

On long vacation drives, she brings a tote filled with magazines, books and baby carrots. She rolls up her pant legs, takes off her shoes and puts her feet up on the dash, letting the sun warm her legs while she reads and munches on carrots. This is the ONLY time she puts her feet up in the car.

She wears big-brimmed sun hats and large sunglasses when she works in her garden, and reminds me of a blonde Audrey Hepburn. With tomatoes. Which she turns into her own homemade salsa. Which is the condiment of the gods.

She makes potato rolls from scratch that have won awards. She allows me to make these coveted rolls for family functions, now. But her homemade freezer jam still trumps all as the perfect compliment to said rolls. It's so good, my sister Soup used to poke a hole in her roll, hollow it out and fill it to the brim with the jam. I'm pretty sure my dad would do that too, if he thought he could get away with it. grin.

She has a glorious singing voice.

She makes personal sacrifices for her family every day, and never complains. Like the time she finally had an evening off after a long month of a grueling schedule, and was looking forward to having some down time - but ended up last-minute babysitting my sister's kids instead.

Or that time I forgot to take my laundry out of the dryer when it was her laundry day, and instead of being irritated that she couldn't move her laundry over, she took it out and folded it for me.

Or the time she and my dad completely re-arranged their entire basement in one weekend so that her daughter and her family could move in with them.

My mom is the Queen of her Home, the Love of my dad's Life, a Domestic Goddess, a Successful Career Woman, a Comedian, and a Devoted Daughter of God. She is steadfast and steady. She is classy. She has triumphed over some major life trials (she celebrates her 6th year of being cancer free this June!) and emerged as graceful and strong as ever.

To me, she is the ultimate example of what it means to Endure it Well.

My Angel Mother is nothing less than radiant.

Mom this past Easter - in her element, hostessing the BIG DINNER/EGG HUNT.

Can I turn into her? Pretty please?


MikkSolo said...

I want to turn into her too!

MikkSolo said...

Sorry - Shawn doesn't want to turn into her, I do.


MikkSolo said...

Love that woman!

Shawn (just to be clear)

Diana said...

What a tribute! Your mom is one lucky mom and you are one lucky daughter and, most of all, Bill is one lucky son-in-law and husband. Thanks for sharing. I totally miss my mom on Mother's Day. Please take good care of your mom. She is a treasure. P.S. I wish you could have met Bill's mom. She was a treasure, too.

Charms said...


You are so blessed. Your mom sounds incredible!

So...I want you to be my "Find a Friend Friday" for next week...please please please??? If I send you a survey will you fill it out?

Stepper the Mighty said...

Charami - ABSOLUTELY! :D

Grandpa Rusty said...

She is the love of my life, my example in all things, the mother of my four amazing daughters, the world's best grandma for 8 (to become 9 this year) grandkids who adore her (not just her treat cupboard), the ying to my yang, my voice of sanity when I'm crazy and the voice of lunacy when I'm taking things too seriously. She makes me better than I really am. And, yes, after 33-1/2 years she is still my best friend and the love of my life.

Anonymous said...

Aren't you and Jamie 13 months apart? Nov 15 and Dec 23?