you've had a birthday

carol 1943 panama
happy birthday to my most favorite mother in the world! isn't she the best?  a lot of my friends agree and laugh because my mom gives the best and most memorable advice, that we use and say over and over. it's true. my all time favorites:

"pick your battles", this is pretty universal, but i use it especially in our marriage and with my kids. as the knight says in Indiana Jones, "choose wisely." haha
"bananas"- "mom, where are you going?"
"fruit loops"- "Mom, what's for dinner?"
"they probably have problems at home", we would hear this whenever we would come home and lament about friend or peer problems.  and guess what? it's always true!
"they're probably on drugs"- anytime would see someone doing something especially outlandish, and guess what? true again mom
"when you potty train, you only train yourself"- i totally refused to listen to this one the first time around. lesson learned!
"oh my stars and garters!"- an exclamation of surprise, i love it
"are you reading your scriptures?" or "did you pray about it?", this was an easy way to cut off any moaning and gnashing of teeth over our silly personal problems. i can't imagine everything she has listen to us all complain about!

my favorite memories of my mom from growing up was hot breakfast waiting for us every weekday. her smiley face she drew on our notes. reading to us. all those stops at historical markers that i loathed as a kid, i totally do that now!! camping trips, and long road trips to see family, and her remarkable patience. my mom was almost 40 when she had me and i never remember her freaking out about anything i did...ever. bad grades, late curfew, wrecking their car(s), even my freshman year of college i forgot to take a final (I KNOW) and she didn't even complain, we just hopped into the car, drove up there, took my test, ate a yummy lunch and drove home.  luckily all my other siblings had wore her down by the time i came around, nothing surprised her and i think she essentially knew by then what was important to wig out about and what wasn't.  in college i would probably call home once a month complaining about how hard it was and how i wanted to move closer to home, to which she would reply, "just keep trying and working hard, or you could just come and live at home for forever." ha! that one always nipped my grievances in the bud.

my mom was 24 and in the middle of getting her master's degree from BYU when she married my dad and moved to Chicago. she helped put my dad through Northwestern for 4 years while teaching elementary school (a few years in the inner-inner city too). she then raised 7 children from 1968 till forever (does it ever stop?). she finally finished her master's degree at UNR in the early 90's and never stops working and moving from project to project at church, home or with my dad. their next big project (together!) is a mission for our church. we are all eagerly awaiting their call!

happy birthday mi madre, muwah!

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