Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

It's been one of those weeks.

The kind where you don't find a minute to yourself and when everything is overwhelming.

Those weeks when you take your sweet little daughter to have her cavities filled at the hospital, because she wouldn't handle the dentist doing it in his office. And when after surgery has begun and you are waiting for what should be a simple procedure, they call you in for a conference. There you are told that your daughter has two extra front teeth, one of which is growing upside down into her nasal cavity, and both of which have pushed the regular permanent teeth so that they are laying sideways in her gums. A week when they have to pull her two front teeth so they can make an incision to extract her extra teeth, turning it into a two-plus hour surgery and making her extra uncomfortable, swollen, and without two front teeth for a long, long time. A week when you cry and feel it's unfair that your sweet girl, who already endures blindness and autism, for crying out loud, would be the one out of a thousand who has extra teeth. All on a day when you already have scheduled two baseball games, Young Women, scouts, and so forth. When at the conclusion of this long day, you finally get the kids to bed and decide to relax with a bowl of cereal, and when trying to open the new gallon of milk you somehow drop it, and it cracks in half, gushing milk all over the kitchen floor.

When you decide that you need a pick-me-up so you go and get your hair cut and colored for the first time in years (the color, not the cut) and you tell them "mostly red with a bit of highlights" and they do "mostly highlights with a bit of red." And then they offer to dye your eyebrows for free, which you have never done and which seems like a fabulous idea. And then the eyebrows turn out way too dark and you try to tell yourself that your husband won't notice, but with your newly blonde hair to contrast the dark eyebrows, he not only notices but hugs you in a "I'm so very sorry" kind of way.

You know, one of those weeks.

But I'm not here to talk about this week. I'm here to talk about my mother. This because I pretty much stink at holidays and birthdays and forget to buy/send something in time, and so am hoping she will accept this post as my meek Mother's Day gift. Note to Mom: this is what I'm choosing to do with the precious time I have alone (thanks to Jeremy taking the kids shopping) even though I have a million other things to do--- so that should up the patheticness of the gift.

I have never yelled at my kids.

And that, I believe, is the perfect beginning of a tribute to my mother. Why??? Because it's infinitely easier to say, "I've never yelled at my kids," when you have never heard your own mother yell. Yes, I have gotten frustrated beyond belief, tired beyond thinking, and depressed beyond words. But I committed long ago that in this one area, I would follow in my mom's footsteps, and this I have done. I hope that my kids will someday understand the impact of even just that one gift that my mom has given them.

My mom is the one person that I know I can be grumpy with, knowing that she won't take it personally nor be grumpy back. I think that all of us kids (ok, maybe not Becky, because she's pretty much perfect) have taken advantage of that with my mom! I love that we can be ourselves around her and know she will accept us completely.

My mom is always looking out for the needs of those around her. She managed to raise five children without any of us remembering her being unkind. When we were all in school, she was unselfish enough to become a teacher to bring in extra income. She continues to teach, and has touched the lives of thousands of children throughout the years. My mom is the head of the resource department, meaning she works with children who are struggling or who have behavior problems, learning disabilities, special needs, etc. These children can often be super challenging, but I've only heard her speak of them with love.

Speaking of children, my mom has a special gift for loving children. From her, I have learned that children are just little adults, who need not just love, but respect. From her, I have learned that children are in many ways, our spiritual seniors. I am certain that were it not for her, my five beautiful adopted children would still be orphans, because it is from her that I learned unconditional love, strength, patience, and the desire to listen to the Lord.

My Mom is

Beautifully wrapped Christmas presents * Puffed wheat balls * Sweet * The world’s greatest Grandma * Trips to Grand Canyon * “Hi Honey” * Humble * Lighthouses * Laid-back * A big smile * Sunday roasts * Non-judgmental * Generous * A beautiful Alto * Good books * Gracious * Christmas Cocoa * Style * Peaceful Sundays * Understanding * Chocolate marshmallow cookies with pink icing * Fun new hairstyles * Sunshine and Buckaroo * Pink Lipstick * Chore charts with stickers * A Leader * Gentle * “Call me when you get there” * Selfless hours at the sewing machine * A photographer * Cell phones * A perfect wife * Cheerful * Homemade pizza * Magazines * Memory Books * Devoted daughter-in-law * Trips to Richfield * A fighter * Love * Deseret Book * Considerate * Fun packages * Beautiful * Clam chowder * Late nights * Happiness * Needed * Corn on the cob * My friend * Self-disciplined * Easy to talk to * Early-morning walks around the loop * My cheerleader * A full purse * FM 100 * A great decorator * A proud grandma * “Give the kids a hug for me” * Valentines on the front porch * A perfect mother-in-law * Kind * Daily trips downtown * A people-pleaser * Sparkly eyes * Prayerful * Hugs * Naps on the loveseat * Supportive * Babies

An Angel

(I love this photo of my parents)

I love you, Mom.

And to the other mothers in my life...

To Rosemary, who makes me feel treasured and admired, who loves her children fiercely and has given so much of herself for their happiness, who has influenced my mothering in so many good ways...

To my grandmothers, who raised my parents so beautifully, who make me smile just sitting here thinking of them, who are among my most cherished friends...

To my sisters, who are among the greatest moms I know, who give me great ideas and great strength, who I would feel comfortable leaving my kids with for any amount of time (and that says a lot!), who I wish more than anything lived closer to me...

To five very special birthmothers, whose names are unknown but who will receive my praises for eternity for giving me the privilege of mothering their little ones...

To my aunts and cousins, who have always been big parts of my life, who have been shining examples and just a lot of fun!

To all of my dear Tennessee friends, who are incredible mothers and examples and who I miss more than I can say...

To my sweet Herriman friends, who I just couldn't do without right now...

To Heather, the most perfect friend and the writer of my favorite blog, who inspires me to be a better mother every single time I talk to her...

To my friend Melissa, who has become a single mother after losing her sweetheart to cancer, whom I pray for and love and admire...

To Vanessa and Kim and Jen and Gretchen and Mckenzie and Heather M. who I just LOVE more than I can say...

To Wendy, who was my "other mother" throughout my teenage years, who shaped my life in many ways, who is pretty much perfect, and who I think about all of the time...

To my blog friends, especially my friend Teri, who give perfect motherly advice, wisdom, and laughs...

To my sister-in-laws, who will someday make the world's greatest mothers...

I wish all of you the happiest of Mother's Days! Thank you for your part in making me love motherhood. I love you all!

And last but not least, to my kids... Thank you for making me the happiest mom in the world. I know that I don't always show it, maybe even don't often show it, but I really, truly am.

So, I had this great idea to put photos of me each time I became a mother, but after working from the littlest one up (Sophi first) I realized that I don't have digital photos of me with Taylor, Parker, or Jessica when they were born. We didn't go digital until Jes was little. So we'll just have to pretend... (:

Becoming a mom for the first and second times:

Becoming a mom for the third time:

And the fourth:






And tenth:


  1. I love you sweet Christianne!

  2. Ah I loved your post!!! I love your mom too! She is so sweet, and that picture of your parents is the best thing! HA! You have some pretty amazing kids!

  3. Christianne - beautiful - touching - and just "classic Christi" - we hope that your Mother's Day is all that you wanted and more - and somehow we know it will be!

    love you guys - aus and co.

  4. Frowny Face for making me cry on Mother's Day!!!
    Diddo to everything you said about everyone I know!!!
    Love ya!

  5. You are one of the most amazing mothers I know! Thank you for your great example. I love you!!!

  6. When I need to remember how to be a better mom, all I have to do is think of you! This is one of my all time favorite posts. Your blog is MY favorite:) Love you...dark eyebrows and all! "You're beautiful the way you are."

  7. Thank you, sweet Christianne. I am so humbled by your tribute. I love you and love being your mother. For anyone else who reads these comments, somehow we were blessed with perfect kids. In spite of all the mistakes we made as parents (and there were many!!!) our kids turned out amazingly well. WOW! I loved, loved, loved being their mother. What choice blessings they all are to me. And besides all that, they all married perfect mates, and now I have 18 perfect grandchildren. That's how I see it!

  8. Christianne - I'm so glad that you made a Mother's Day post because I thought of you many times yesterday. You are the poster child of Motherhood. I admire you so much and you, my friend, are a great inspiration to me. I sure do miss you and wish I could meet your sweet children in person. I hope your Mother's Day went better than the week leading up to it.

  9. What a great post! I owe LaRita a huge hug and thank you for raising the perfect wife for my brother and most amazing mom for my sweet nephews and nieces!

  10. Very sweet post Christi. Loved all the pictures, and especially the memories of your mom. She is about the sweetest lady ever. I was laughing about Becky being the perfect child, although you were all pretty good kids, she was perfect!