5 Lessons Learned From My Mom!

I always feel like everytime I try to tell my mom how much she means to me and how grateful I am for her amazing influence in my life, it seems to fall short from what my true feelings are.  This year, I am determined that the day won’t go by without conveying how important my mom is to me.

What better way, than to list the 5 things that she taught (whether through example or verbally) that have had the biggest impact on who I am today!
First, let me introduce you to my mom!
My mom was born in Downey, California where she LOVED everything about the ocean.  She would spend as much time as absolutely possible at the beach.  She met my dad, who was a cool kid with a motobike, and they fell in love.  There is even a story told of a time my dad took mom on a motorcycle ride and “accidentally” ran out of gas!  
He proposed to my beautiful mother and moved her from her beloved ocean and brought her to a trailer in the mountains of Eastern Utah.  She now loves those mountains as much as she loves her ocean!
They built a home on that same lot where they raised their 5 FANTASTIC children, 2 boys and 3 girls.  As kids, I think we loved roaming our 27 acres of mountain as much as my mom loved surfing her ocean!  I have so many incredible memories of time spent hiking the backyard!
I’ve graduated from high school and moved to Northern Utah almost 20 years ago, and even though I’m not around my mom on a daily basis, her influence impacts my life daily, and as I’ve taken a walk through memory lane, I’ve thought of many, many specific thing she has taught me, these 5 are the dearest to me!
First, my mom fiercely loves her family, and does EVERYTHING in her power to be with us when we need her!
17 years ago, I gave birth to my mom’s first grandchild, not only was she there during our 24 hours of labor, but when my little Ben was born with some health problems, she stayed by my side and translated the medical terminology into terms I could understand (my mom is an RN and works in the Labor & Delivery department at her local hospital).  Then when Ben needed to remain at the hospital for longer than we had anticipated, she re-arranged her schedule so she could stay with us and give Benjamin the medical care he needed allowing us to bring him home earlier than if she wasn’t with us.  I promised her that I would never tell Benjamin that she used to give him 3 shots a day!  I still haven’t!
My baby sister, Megan has rhuematoid arthritis, and when her husband can’t travel with her to her frequent dr appointments out of town, my mom does everythng she can to re-arrange her schedule to accompany my sister to these injection appointments which sometimes leave her feeling sick.  She’s even gone with her to Mexico twice to be with her during some more intensive medical procedures.
She has been in the delivery room with 14 of her 16 grandchildren, and the other two she missed only because I’m a fast pusher ;-). She has come to our home for at least a week to help when we’ve brought home each of our 5 children from the hospital, she even came and to be with me when I lost two babies.  As I look back I think I needed her for emotional support more than anything else.  I knew that if I cried, she’d cry with me.  I know she has helped out the same way with each of her granchildren.
Like my mother, I love my family more than anything in the whole world.  They are the reason I wake up early each morning, and stay awake late each night.  My Husband is my rock and my best friend.  My sisters inspire me and make me laugh.  My brothers are hard working fathers and husbands.  I love my nieces, nephews and sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.  My dad has the funniest sense of humor, and will help anybody out at anytime.  My mom…she is amazing and I love her for the time and love she gives us!
Second life lesson:  My mom is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and accepts all callings presented to her.  
She currently teaches Sunday School each Sunday to 12-13 year old youth.  She gives 110% to the repsonibilites she has in her calling.  I teach the same age group in our Ward in Brigham City, and I love asking her how she is going to teach a specific lesson, or what tips she has to get her kids excited to participate in class.
When we were young, we went to church. PERIOD.  Making such a commitment to her religion, quietly taught me how important her testimony was to her.  It was the beginning of my testimony.   She has served in many, many different callings, Primary, Young Womens, Scouts, Activites, and she gave each one the same devotion.  She also supported my dad in his callings, and encouraged and supported us in our youth callings when we were teenagers.  She strongly encouraged my brothers to serve missions, and helped each of them to earn the Eagle Scout awards as well as supporting and helping my sisters and I to earn our Young Womanhood Medallions.
I have watched my mom with her commitment to the church, and have tried to echo her dedication.  I want to set the same example to my children.  I want them to know how much I love my Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ, and how much I love the gospel.
Third life lesson:  My mom is a very hard worker.
My mom graduated with her LPN the same year I graduated from High School.  She then continued on and got her RN degree.  When she went back to school, she gave her education the same dedication as she does everything in her life.  She graduated with very high grades… I seem to recall that she was within the top 5 in her class (she can correct me if I’m wrong).
I remember sitting on the end of my mom’s bed watching her study.  Surrounded by books, papers, pencils, highlighters.  I know there were many late nights of studying, and I know that some classes were harder for her than others, but she worked so hard and never, ever quit. I knew how important education was to her.
There are days when I’m up late sitting at the computer editing that I that I think back and remember coming home from a date and seeing my mom on the couch with a blanket on her lap, surrounded by text books and papers.  If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right and giving your all to it!  Although I didn’t graduate from college, I try and give the same dedication to my business as she did to her education, and to her career now!
Fourth life lesson:  My mom loves holidays and traditions!

From Halloween costumes

to 25 homemade elves hiding each day of December

To abelskievers every General Conference Sunday

Woman hair washing in the cold creek each year during our family campouts
Thanksgiving Dinners where the family picture tends to have olives or carrots stuck in Megan’s teeth-why oh why couldn’t I find THOSE pictures-

To our annual family campouts at Flaming Gorge

I am absoltely in love with every single memory that each of these traditions has given me.  Now that I’m a mom, I am in awe of how hard it is to make each birthday SO important.  How time consuming it is to decorate FIVE gingerbread houses, or dozens of gingerbread men.  How pointless it may have been to put Christmas lights on a house that NO ONE can even see because it is hid up in the mountain.  I can’t even begin to express how much each of these traditions means to me now, and how much they meant to me as a child!  I’ve tried so hard to keep these traditions alive for my family.  I hope it means the same to them as it does to me!

Fifth Life Lesson – The importance of scrapbooking!  I mean… Family History!

When Ben was born, my mother introduced me to scrapbooking!  She would take me and my sisters (and even my little brother Michael until he realized it’s kind of a girl hobby) to the scrapbook stores and just let us wander the aisles of paper and stickers and ribbon.  Then when we were done wandering, she insisted that she pay for our acquisitions!  
The best part about our love of scrapbooking, is when we get together for a scrapbook retreat and stay up laughing until our sides ached and tears streamed down our cheeks.  Sneaking into the room of the first person to fall asleep and take blackmail pics (that was usually mom) Lack of sleep, no lack of food, caffeine and treats! 
We are all now in positions that we can afford our own supplies, but we still get together to shop and to scrapbook and to document our family’s history.
In all seriousness, this form of family history is so dear to my heart, my children LOVE going through their books, and I love going home and looking through my mom’s books.  I’m not good at keeping a journal, but if you know me, you know that I feel a picture is worth far more than a thousand words!
I am so grateful that my mom introduced me to this amazing way for us to bond and a great way for me to document the lives of our families!
As I sit here and type, so many other life lessons my mom has passed on to me that have come to my mind…..

**My mom accepts everyone and welcomes them into not only her    friendship, but our family

**My mom is still very active, playing volleyball, softball, and even goes to the gym and crossfits

**My mom fostered my love of piano and music

**My mom loves traveling and vacations

**My mom loves to cross stitch

**Mom mom loves her yard and flower beds
I am absolutely terrible at words and expressing my emotions, but I am so grateful for my mother and for the lessons she has taught me through my life.  I am honored that she is my mother, and I still look to her example. 
Thank you mom for being AMAZING!  I love you and the life you have given me!  You are truly the best!
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