Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Tribute to Mi Madre

Happy Mother's Day everyone! I wish that I could be in Alaska to celebrate with my mom in person, but since I am far away, I will do the next best thing: an internet tribute. The internet can replace real-life interaction, right? That's what my Second Life family has taught me at least (please, please know that I kid.). This will second as a test of whether or not my mom actually reads my blog. Since she is the only one that I feel like I can count on to read this mess, it is doubly important to me that I gain this reassurance.

Anyway, I have the greatest mom in the world. I was a surprisingly bratty teenager, and, although my sisters all had their own strings of oddities, I am positive that no one was as annoying and dramatic as I was. I think I got nicer when I went to college, but then wedding planning last year set in...and it was like ninth grade all over again. The tears. The ultimatums. The Full-House storming away re-enactments. Yikes. Because I put her through those four months of horror, I think that she deserves an especially big shout-out this mother's day. So here it is:

10 Reasons That I love My Mom and Think that She is the Best!

These are in no particular order...

1. My mom is really funny. I think that she has a great sense of humor, and she taught me about many things that I still find funny today. I mean, if you know my parents you will know that both of them have a great sense of humor. My Dad's is a little more obvious (read: public, like over the pulpit in church and from the microphone at my wedding...always risky) but really my mom can be super goofy too. She once dressed up in a hot dog suit and walked through a really nice restaurant for her friend's birthday. My sister Grace is always texting me quotes from our mom and they are hilarious. Some moms I have noticed do not really get jokes...but mine definitely does. She had to to have married my Dad or she would have been in a world of hurt.

I wish I had a pic of my mom in the hot-dog suit but this one of her and my sisters dressed up for the YW tacky party will have to suffice. 

2. My mom devoted many years of her life to homeschooling me and my sisters (from 3rd-8th grade for me) . I know that homeschool is always a controversial topic, but she did an amazing job. My sisters did really well when they made it back to public school in high school. I did ok too I guess...but you never would have caught me at a Math Counts competition) Both of my sisters won awards for math...not me...oops...and we all graduated in the top 5% of our class. Both of my little sisters (that have been through high school) rocked the ACT and got really great scholarships to BYU. That doesn't just magically's because she worked really hard at teaching us. A lot of moms I know rejoice at being able to put their kids back in school at the end of the summer so that they have some time to themselves, but my mom gave up any semblance of personal time that she may have had. 

3. On that same note, my mom is really smart. Seriously, she is. She graduated in Math Education from BYU but she is good at every subject. She reads like crazy and definitely taught me to love to read. She would totally learn any subject that we needed help with, if she didn't know it already. Just the other night Dave and I were trying to figure something out on his homework--his COLLEGE homework--and I sighed and was like "I wish my mom was here. She would know how to do this." 

4. My mom is a hyper-perfectionist. This tendency has been a point of some argument between us for basically my whole life, since I could not be less this way, but she always takes what she is doing and totally goes above and beyond. Like the time she made like five hundred million rainbow jello cups for youth conference, and it took her like five days to do it layer-by-layer. Or the time she stayed up all night helping me with my poster on the Supremes for AP History, intricately weaving a feather boa across the top of my poster with some floral wire. Was that necessary? No. Did I try to tell her that? Yes. But my poster was awesome and it did land me in one of the few yearbook pictures that I got in high school, so I am thankful. And, although I always got mad at my mom for trying to make me be a perfectionist like her, I accidentally (not really) married one, so I guess it is a quality that I admire deep down.

5. My mom likes things to be tidy and not cluttered, and I am really thankful that I got this from her. I HATE when things feel cramped and there is stuff everywhere. The show "hoarders" is like our worst nightmare. While my habit of throwing things away has already landed me in trouble several times (like the time I threw away our mail key on accident and we couldn't get the mail for two weeks...) I think it is a good skill to have. Our tiny apartment is the better for it, even though maybe we only have one pan because I want everything to fit neatly in the cupboard and Dave never knows where his things are because I put them away while he is still using them. (My mom is also picky about her furniture and doesn't like stuff all over the walls. One of my favorite memories is when a Jehovah's Witness knocked on our door when I was like 12, and was like "oh, did you just move in?" and I was like "no, we have lived here for two years", and she said "oh, well there just isn't that much furniture in your house..." what can I say, my mom has specific, minimalist tastes. Her father is an architect.)

6. My mom taught us to like to travel and experience new things. One thing that always annoyed her was when kids just automatically hated something new that they have never experienced. Not that our family is that out there or anything, but my mom and dad made traveling something that was important to them and I am so grateful for that. We also ate spicy food and things that most kids are really picky about. Not that I have super exotic tastes, but I can try new things without throwing a temper tantrum about it (although my family will tell you that I can throw a mean temper tantrum. Dave can tell you that too actually. And don't ask them about my blood sausage experience, everyone is allowed a bad day). This has come in handy as I am now Japanese :) It turns out eel isn't as scary as it looks (I tried it. Didn't say I loved it). 
7. My mom always gets these big ideas and wants to implement new stuff in her life. For example, the ubiquitous chore chart that would make an appearance every January. We would all groan and roll our eyes, but my mom was all excited about trying this new idea she had to improve us. Some of her plans were a little out there, but they are my favorite memories. Like the time she decided our family needed to exercise together and she made us get up at 6 every morning and do this circuit system she had developed in our basement. Just imagine three girls (Tess was still tiny), my Dad in various stages of inappropriate workout wear, and my mom clapping to wake us up and yelling at Grace to take that blanket off while she was on the treadmill. She even made a disco tape that we worked out to, and "Staying Alive" still gives me flashbacks. It was seriously the funniest thing ever, but I think my Dad like lost weight from it and our family actually loved it. I love that she is enthusiastic about things and always wanted to improve herself.

This dance routine was perfected last summer on one of said traveling experiences.

8. My mom has a very tender heart, and as much as we tease her that she is heartless sometimes (because she can say shocking things at times...mostly about me and Anne's choice of clothing and hairstyles) she is really so kind and thoughtful. She is always helping these random wonder she was a great high school teacher. She has thrown birthday parties and going-away parties for all of these kids that me and my sisters knew. She was always offering to have missionary discussions at our house, much to my sometimes dismay (let's just say that there was one girl who, although very nice, was really into Parkour. My mom's insistence that I go with her to the park and "learn Parkour" ended terribly. Turns out I am not that great and doing flips off of stuff).  I hope I end up with as generous of a heart as my mom...I am not there yet.

9. My mom is soooo creative. It is one of her best traits and something that she is rather famous for. She and my Dad are both really creative people, and I am wondering why it didn't make it across the placenta or whatever to me...seriously. She make the cutest stuff and can master and craft or home-improvement thing she sees. She is always sending me packages with headbands or necklaces that she has made for me. When I was little she re-did our entire little house with re-upholstered furniture and hand-painted stuff she got at garage sales and it was so cute! We always had matching dresses that she had sewn for us. My mom definitely gave me the confidence to try to make things for myself  (although I don't have the skills to match. Just an over-abundance of confidence. For proof, come look at the bulletin board I made for my apartment...falling apart and hung up with thumb-tacks).

10. And finally, my mom is the best example of teaching us about priorities and making the gospel the center of our lives. I know that it is because I got to spend so much time around her growing up that my testimony is what it is today. She always taught me that I need to have faith in the Lord and that the gospel is what would bring us the most happiness in our lives, and that we shouldn't look to the world for happiness or fulfillment. She spends all of her time on our family and serving other people and in the church. She would always fast for us when we had big things in our lives, even when I went to college, so I always told her when I had big stuff coming up because I wanted her help. When I got married I remember looking and her and my dad sitting there in the sealing room with me and being so immensely grateful for both of them and the fact that they were sealed together so that our family can be together forever, and that they taught me how important being worthy to go to the temple would be. It has really brought me the most happiness that I think I can ever experience. 

So there you go! There are a million other reasons that I love my mom, so maybe I will have to do a follow-up post. I didn't even mention her amazing jigs that she does or her hilarious Diet Pepsi issues. Or, the fact that she was the strictest mom I know about language and therefore I don't let Dave say "butt." She really is the greatest and I love her very much. She also sends great packages, like the Easter one that had exploded Jelly Bellys. Ok, enough. I will stop. I love you Mom!


  1. What a lovely tribute to your mom. She is very special.

  2. I always thought that if you had been just a little better at Parkour, then Mignon would have gotten baptized. Another of your many failures.

  3. Claire,
    Your mom isn't the only one who reads your blog. Melissa's mom (that would be me) reads it, too. Nice tribute to your mom! I'd love to meet her. I like any girl who loves her mommie. Congratulations on your half marathon too!

  4. I read your blog all the time! Like at 3 in the morning when I can't sleep. You're mom sounds amazing! Even though I love my mom I'm a little bit jealous that she doesn't make me cute things. Also, I think that you're a lot more like your mom than you realize. I see basically all those things in you!