Steph and I don’t really subscribe to a lot of the traditional holidays. (Except for Halloween. We’re bat-shit-crazy about Halloween) (Oh, and Christmas. I can not contain myself at Christmas and it’s going to be worse now that we have little ones.)
For Mother’s Day, we decided we weren’t going to buy each other presents, or any of the other hoopla. But that didn’t stop me from hosting a Mother’s Day dinner for my family.
The day started off with me waking up to this sentiment from my beautiful daughter, Ophelia.
From there, I started working on my mom’s Mother’s Day present – a picture frame with a pic of each of her TEN grandchildren, ranging in age from 21 to 3 months. The frame had 11 openings, so I got all crafty-like and used sticky letters and cool paper that said “We love you GiGi” for the 11th opening. I figured we could trash my message when we have the 11th grandchild, and replace it with a photo. The 12th grandchild is SOL. I forgot to take a picture because I was desperately trying to line the stupid letters up.
Family dinners are a ton of fun, but a TON of work. I start by listing out the menu on the board. This helps when we’re in hour 5 of cooking and I have no clue what to focus on next.
Then, I did the tablescape. That’s right. I said “tablescape”. Because I use Pinterest, and I know what makes a beautimous table.
I tried to dress the boys up and take a picture of our entire family (minus Dakota, who has defected to Vietnam – but that’s another story). The closest I got to a classic, timeless photo of our beautiful family was this:
Sigh. Aside from it being August and Liam’s first Mother’s Day, it was also their little cousin Timothy’s first. He’s three months old. He makes Liam look huge!
One of my favorite parts of the dinner was when I was trying to get Katie to smile, so I could give her mom Ali a beautiful photo of her loving daughter. She wouldn’t smile. So, I said “Katie, give me your best ‘Gosh I love you mom, you’re the best’ smile.” She did. It wasn’t fake at all.
So, on to more serious stuff.
My mom is a beautiful, artistic, extremely intelligent woman. She really embodies the spirit of perseverance to me. My dad was killed in a car accident when I was 14, and my sisters were 10 and 7. My mom had been in medical school in Philadelphia for 4 long years when he died 2 months before she graduated.
Instead of celebrating the long journey we all had taken to get her her doctorate, we had to pick up the pieces and re-invent our lives. My mom was never the same after that, but she is a beautiful woman, who shows her love through her cooking. So, family dinners, like Mother’s Day, are extra special. We cook for about 6 hours and then feast.
You never know where the conversation is going to take you, but it’s our family. And my mother is something special. She taught me how to persevere when things seem desperate. She taught me how to keep most of life’s troubles in perspective. So, if you know me, and I seem very “go with the flow”, it’s because since my dad’s death, I’m keenly attuned to what’s important. Things roll off me and I err on the side of ridiculous positivity. Sometimes it gets me in trouble, but mostly, it just keeps me happy.
I gave my mom a card this year that told her she was my hero. She really is. Though it’s hard for her to show her emotions, I know she loves us all intensely.