I am sure that prior to teaching me to remind everyone that my name is spelled with one ‘L’ she also taught me to be kind, to think before I speak, and to eat my vegetables (amongst many other things).  She was and still is my biggest advocate and my most loyal fan.  She was the ear that listened to my dreams and ideas as a child and hers were the arms that comforted me countless times when life got hard.  She became more than a mom as I grew into an adult, the first person I’d call to share the big news or the bitter disappointments.  I insisted she join my Dad in walking me down the aisle at my wedding because I couldn’t imagine her anywhere other than by my side.  She taught me to be a mom myself as I entered motherhood and she never judged me or made me feel inferior for doing things a little differently than she did.  When I told her I wanted to start a business and grow it into something significant, she was the one who told me that I could do and be anything I could dream.  She encourages me to be the woman God made me to be.  She laughs at all my jokes until we’re both crying.  She understands my need for adventure like no one else.  She makes the best coffee and there is no place more comforting to me than sitting next to her on the couch, sipping coffee, talking about life.  She is 55 years young today.  She is beautiful.  I am blessed to call her Mom.

Happy Birthday, Mom!  I love you.  Always and forever.

(Taken at my 30th birthday – the last time we said “cheese” together.)