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09 May 2010 @ 02:06 am
Happy Mother's Day!  
I have lots of memories of my mother as a little girl. Our home was modest, but always comfortable. Money was tight, but my mother still made breakfast, packed our lunches and made sure a hot dinner was on the table every night. I remember coming home from playing outside and smelling dinner cooking as I walked up to our front porch and thinking, "Wow, that smells great!" Mom made me clothes, braided my hair, rolled it up in pink spongy rollers for church, then hot rollers when I got older. She taught me "Pain for beauty" and "Pretty is as pretty does" and the dangers of navelgazing (Mom's term for being too self-obsessed). She made sure that I didn't leave the house in jeans that were too tight, let me raid her closet and jewelry box, and taught me that less makeup really is more.

Mother always made sure that the tooth fairy did her job, that the Easter Bunny was on time, and that Santa Claus used different wrapping paper than all the other presents under the tree. Christmas was always an especially fun time; we baked Christmas cookies and hung out in the little kitchen at 214 E. Vilbig Street, watching mom do what she did best.

She changed my sheets and washed my clothes, gardened and grew vegetables for the family to eat, taught me the value of work and to aim higher, to be consistent, to not be satisfied with mediocre results, and that unless I was bleeding out, I was going to school. She taught me that no good would ever come of whining, and that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. I learned the value of getting a job and making money, and the pride that comes from a job well done.

Mom helped to give me (and Nolan by default) an incredible wedding. Nolan and I still say that that our reception was the best party we've ever been to. (And hey, we're us. We've been to some great parties. Not only is mother a good mom, she's also a good mother-in-law. Nolan and Mom didn't really like each other for the first few years we were married; I remember some pretty intense "discussions" (read: fights) but thankfully, due to some unspoken agreement between the two of them and their mutual love for me, I believe that they truly love one another now as mother and son without any strife at all. That gives me more joy than you can possibly imagine.

She's a phenomenal grandmother. All it took for her to hop a plane to Amarillo when I was two weeks past my due date with Ethan was that she couldn't reach us on the phone. She took a cab from the airport and showed up at the hospital; the woman loves me, and she adores my sons. I LOVE that she loves my kids. They adore her, too, and get so excited when "Granny Carolyn and Papa Tom" are coming to visit. (As a sidenote? I love Tom more than my luggage. I'm sad for everyone who doesn't have Tom in their lives.)

And today, after Nolan, mom is the first person I want to tell my good news to, one of the only people I call when I need to cry and the one I talk to when I need someone to pull me back from the edge of insanity. She's a strong woman, a wonderful mom and a great Granny. We couldn't possibly ask for anything more.

Love, you, Momma. Happy Mother's Day. And because I'm me and half Dad's (and a procrastinator to the very end despite all your hard work), your present is gonna be late. I'm nothing if not consistent. And that's all due to you, little woman.
I feel:: gratefulgrateful
I hear:: Nolan snoring. :)
sue_bridehead on May 9th, 2010 08:07 am (UTC)
She sounds like a wonderful lady. You are very lucky, and so is she.

Love ya, Carrie! Have yourself an enjoyable, relaxing Mother's Day.
Carrie Leigh: Bluebonnetscarrie_leigh on May 9th, 2010 05:55 pm (UTC)
Love you, too, Colleen! Have a great day. :)
seegrim: pink daisy (bright)seegrim on May 9th, 2010 08:07 am (UTC)
This is beautiful, Carrie. I'd say this is a present in an of itself.

Love you!

Happy Mother's Day!
Carrie Leigh: carrie blue bowcarrie_leigh on May 9th, 2010 05:56 pm (UTC)
Well, to be honest it's a stopgap 'til I can get hers to her. ;)

Love you, too! Happy Mother's day to you, as well!
stardust_20: Castle - Beckett happystardust_20 on May 9th, 2010 12:06 pm (UTC)
I have a lot of these same memories of my mom from when I was growing up. She was truly a lady in the real sense of the word and my inspiration for how I live now and do for my family.

Love your mom as much as you can and make sure you tell her while you can. I miss mine more than I can say and would give almost anything to have her back.

Have a wonderful Mother's Day Carrie. ♥
Carrie Leigh: carrie stitched flowerscarrie_leigh on May 9th, 2010 05:57 pm (UTC)
That's awfully good advice. Thank you.

Have a wonderful mother's day, yourself!

tracyj23: Assorted - girl with umbrellatracyj23 on May 9th, 2010 07:07 pm (UTC)
You're welcome.

So far ... so-so. But I'm not at my inlaws today so that might cancel out the nasty 3 year old tantrum that's currently going on. Some wine and tylenol will definitely round out the day. :)

(Anonymous) on May 9th, 2010 01:38 pm (UTC)
Happy Mothers Day!
I Love You more than you will ever know. And you are a great writer!! This is the greatest Mother's Day gift, I need no more. XOXOX
(Anonymous) on May 9th, 2010 03:21 pm (UTC)
I couldn't agree with you more, except maybe to say that she is also a world-class sister-in-law and aunt! We all love her up here in Corinth! Love and blessings, Sherry
Carrie Leigh: Beautiful Womencarrie_leigh on May 9th, 2010 05:58 pm (UTC)
I'm glad other people love my mother as much as I do!

Happy mother's day to you, as well!

O Demanding One: Spring/Summer: Pinky Dinksheyurs on May 9th, 2010 06:45 pm (UTC)

I love when I learn that other people had a fantastic childhood and cherish it the way that I did and do. It's truly a blessing, huh? :)


Thanks for sharing.

Love you! ♥

(Anonymous) on May 9th, 2010 07:03 pm (UTC)
That was beautiful, girl!
... Not that I would expect anything less than you. You were always so eloquent. While I didn't have all those things... I strive to provide them for my children NOW. I enter the grocery store to let the boys pick out cards to purchase for their grandmothers, but I do not feel any of those are suited to the kind of relationship my mother and I have.

It's sad but it is what it is. I can't make someone be a mother to me. She is who she is. It's a matter of whether or not I can accept that and just have a "relationship" with her for the sake of the children. My boys really like her. She's a good grandmother, for the most part.

However, reading entries like this really gives me a reason to be the kind of mom like that. I want to be THAT kind of mom. It gives me strength to do it.

Thanks for that, and I want to wish you a Happy Mother's Day.

It's so hard to believe we've been friends... since... ??? 2nd or 3rd grade... that's nearly 30 years. Can you believe that I still have (or did at one time in the last 10 years) a card that you gave me that had a cat drawn on it. You gave it to me at some point in elementary school when we were "best friends." It was in a group of papers my mom gave me that were with all my Eureka! documents. Just thought that was too cute that I'd saved it all this time.

So, cheers to you and I wish you the best!

--april (wesson) driggers
Carrie Leigh: my idea of houseworkcarrie_leigh on May 10th, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
Re: That was beautiful, girl!
That's sweet, April! I don't save anything; my motto is that if it doesn't love me back, it goes in the garbage. It's harsh, but I don't have a lot of clutter. :)

Happy mother's day to you, as well, you have two boys, too, I think? Isn't it such a wonderful experience?


deedsk_tx on May 10th, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC)
Love, Love, LOVE your writing! I get such a giggle out of your posts!!

What a great tribute to your Mamma!! We would not be the wonderful women and awesome mothers that we are without the strong examples we had growing up.

Hope you and Nolan had a fabulous time in CA- you know I'm extremely jealous you got to go to an A's game (even though their stadium is a big hole- Matt said that 5 yrs ago when he went).

For the record....a Churro is a spanish donut. I hear they aren't too bad, but I'll take a Shipley's donut over a churro anyday!

Many Hugs and belated Mother's Day wishes!!
Carrie Leigh: One drink awaycarrie_leigh on May 11th, 2010 12:40 am (UTC)
Nolan and I agree with Matt. We won't need to go back to Oakland. Wow.

Happy belated Mother's Day to you, too, D!