My mom is having a milestone birthday today!  Happy Birthday, Mum!

My Beautiful Mum.

My Beautiful Mum.

Mum, who was a single parent most of our childhood,  is one of those people who can do just about anything.  So to stay true to my birthday blogging, I will begin The List.  This list will be of things my mom has done, can do, and/or is doing.

  • She taught aerobics…I don’t really remember this one, but I’ve seen some pretty awesome 80’s pics to prove it.  Just picture purple leotards and pink headbands 🙂
  • Pre-Kari and Justin, both of my parents were marksmen and participated in competitive archery.  She’s no gun-shy sissy like me, no siree!
  • She used to be this really amazing hair stylist with her own salon and everything.  That was in the 80’s, too….I can still smell the Aussie Scrunch Spray. Deana?  Justin?  Do you know where the red, round brush is?
  • During cosmetology school she dyed her hair pink.  I remember kind of being scared, but then I remembered Cyndi Lauper’s hair was pink and all was well.
  • Once she worked for home health and made fast friends with a beautiful, elderly woman named Mrs. Bennie.  She tenderly cared for Mrs. Bennie until she passed away.
  • Mom was also a manager of a grocery store.  This was the single most demanding job I remember her having.  She worked like 100+ hrs a week to make ends meet.  All 3 of us kiddos were in Little Dribblers and some of the more coordinated kiddos were in Little League (ahem), so I imagine we were a drain on the checkbook.
  • One time, she was really in to stenciling, cross-stitching, and fabric painting.  Even though it’s still hard to believe there was a time when country blue and wooden cut-outs were all the rage, my Mom rocked some mad, country craftin’ skilz.
  • She was a “stay at home mom” in our early years.  Our house was full of fun!  We had picnics outside, watched Santa Barbara at lunch, and listened to the radio all day(SL100 FM)!  This is why I know every word to songs that were out when I was 3 and 4….there just stuck in my brain.
  • She helped start a grease trap business from scratch and she managed it with perfection.  If you’re not aware, the grease trap business is sort of considered a “man” job.  But I’ve definitely heard her give a truck driver a verbal spankin’ and saw said truck driver sink in shame….yeah, she’s pretty awesome.
  • She sold her part of the grease trap business and bought a house.  This was our first time to live in a house that was truly ours…it was special.
  • Oh…she was also a contractor.  She built all these houses (including the one that she bought ) while running the grease trap business.
  • It probably shouldn’t be right that she can do all these things and still be a wonderful cook….but she is.  Her Thanksgiving dressing will set you free.
  • She’s still a girly girl.  Don’t let all the gun-slingin, house building, grease trap stuff fool you.  My mom is all glitz and glam.  She is beautiful!
  • She sewed some of my dance solo costumes and one of my prom dresses.  I was REALLY picky!  I can’t believe she even attempted.  But I loved them all.
  • She mainly worked in sales after grease trapping and contracting.  By now, you shouldn’t be surprised she is excellent at this, too.
  • In the last 4 or 5 years she’s been playing the guitar and writing songs… fulfilling a dream that’s been in her heart since she was a little girl.

This list (which is not exhaustive) of things-my-mum-can-do in no way defines who she is to me.  It just helps me explain how she has influenced me (and I suspect Deana and Justin, as well).  You see, when you are around someone who is as driven and successful as my mom it’s hard to justify reasons you can’t do something….even if you initially don’t know how.  Most of the bravery I have comes from her.  I may fail (although I can’t think of a time she failed), but not without trying first.

A lot of the ambition my mom had to be great was directly related to providing for my sister, my brother, and me.   Looking at this (almost-comical-because-it’s- so-long) list reminds me of her devoted love for us.

Thanks, Mum!

I hope you have a beautiful birthday.  I love you.

A song for Mum:

This song is one my mom and sister used to rock out to!  I think I was too young to join in, but the 2 of them belting this song out in the car is one of my earliest music memories.