family, celebrations

Happy Birthday, Mom

[She] was enjoying the sunshine and the brilliant sky and all the faintly marked features of the dazzling, monotonous landscape. She had a rather unusual capacity for getting the flavor of places and of people. Although she was so enmeshed in family cares most of the time, she could emerge serene when she was away from them. She had a singularly unprejudiced point of view, and as she did not attempt to direct things beyond her control, she found a good deal of time to enjoy the ways of man and nature.
— Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark

This is my mom, Kim.  Isn't she pretty?  Today is her sixtieth birthday, if you can believe it.  I know a lot of women wouldn't want someone to speak of their age, but my mom isn't like that.  She's proud of her years and all the wisdom she's earned.  That's one of the things I love about her.

Here are some vintage photos of her that I love.

That last one of my parents was taken on their wedding day when they were babies in 1975.

As beautiful as she was then, I think she's only grown more beautiful, inside and out, over the years.

Mom is the most selfless person I know.  She always puts the needs of her family and friends before her own.  She's the one who will take the egg with the broken yolk or the overcooked steak so everyone else can have a good one.  She will drop whatever she's doing to help someone else with a task.  She will drive as far as she has to in order to see her loved ones.  She puts up with everyone else's bad moods, rarely indulging in her own, and never complains.

She is the life of every party she attends.

photo credit Bryan Aulick

Whenever she goes shopping or out to a restaurant, she makes friends with the clerks and servers, brightening their days.

She won't hesitate to jump in the lake with all of her clothes on if it's hot or even if the party just needs a little livening up.

She raised three children, supported my dad in his career, and worked as a fitness instructor and health professional for decades (and she's still going!)

Mom is an amazing cook who instilled in me the loves of fresh food and the healing ritual of dining together.  Some of my favorite evenings are spent making and eating dinner with my mom, usually accompanied by a great bottle of wine.

I love that my mom is always looking for creative ways to have a good time.  She's never lost her sense of wonder.

photo credit Bryan Aulick

Though she never pressured me to have children before I was ready, she is thrilled to be a grandma and she is absolutely my daughter's best friend.

Genius, thoughtful, hilarious, loving, compassionate, and simply one of my favorite people to be around, my mom is the best.  Happy birthday, Mom.  You are loved beyond your brilliant imagination.