Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy 65th Birthday Mom!!

My mom as a wee girl

So there's a lot to be said about having a mom that gives you all that you've ever wanted and needed and more. I grew up not realizing how very special my parents were. I guess I just always assumed that people had the same kind of love from their parents that I always had.

When I went away to college, it was the first time that I realized how incredibly lucky I was to be raised by the people I call mom and dad. As I've gotten older, my relationship with them has evolved and deepened and I'm so very lucky to have them in my life.

If I think about the one person that molded me and had the greatest impact on who I am today, hands down, it'd be my mom. She is more than I can describe and my love and feelings for her are immense. Seriously, there are no words to really convey how much my mom means to me- but I'll try with this dedication to her, on the 65th anniversary of her birth.

She grew up in Tuscon, Arizona and literally had nothing. She was poor and for the most part very neglected. She endured things that no child should EVER have to face, and went so many years without getting her basic needs met. The greatest thing that she ever wanted was to have the love of her family. It's been her mission in life, to make sure that her family is taken care of, and that they always know how much she loves them.

I think she has this desire because she went so many years without having stability and love in her home. I truly believe that God made her just the way she is, and she is his angel here on Earth. She loves and cares for others unlike anyone I know. She gives selflessly and is so kind, helpful, and an advocate for those without. She lives her life as Christ would like, and she IS the most Christ-like person that I know.

She has many siblings and I'll spare you the story of their upbringing... mainly because I'm confused about parts and don't want to mess it up. Let's just say that she went her whole life searching for siblings that she knew were out there, and then finally found them.

With my Uncle Bill
Mom with her siblings & Grandma Burney

Siblings and Grandma Burney

Her sisters (minus Aunt Karen)


Mom and Aunt Margie

My mom was married before meeting my dad... had my brother David, and then got divorced. Then she met my dad... and they've been together since (I think they got married in March of 1975).

Newlyweds...  (Christmas of 1975)

Jamin' out together...

Dave's graduation from Loyola

My mom has three children. My older brother Dave, and then my twin brother Scott and myself. I feel like she has been the GREATEST mother a person could want. Now, I'm the only girl, and probably have a different take on my upbringing than my brothers do, but she really is an incredible mother.
Scott, me, and Dave (Dave's wedding)

My family (at my starter wedding)

Mom's baby shower for us (August of 1976- we arrived October 2nd)

Her kiddos

Mom with her babies (I'm the cute one)

Family picture

Grand Prix

Our 6th birthday

Thanksgiving (1984)

My undergraduate graduation (December 2000)

Mom and Heather (pregnant with Eamon)

Me and mom at her IHM Induction Ceremony

Me with mom and dad at my EMU Honors Program Awards Ceremony (December 2000)

Family Picture (1986)


Family Picture in Washington D.C.

Disney World with Jess and Mary  :-)

Me and mom

When I think about great things about my mom, there's a lot that goes through my head, so I'll try to list some of my favorite things.
  • My mom always put our needs first. She would buy us things that we wanted/needed. She did this all the way into my adult life. When I wanted to go on spring break with friends, she gave me the money. When we went to World Youth Day in Denver, she arranged for me to get sponsored by a friend of hers to pay for the trip. She also helped pay for my trip to Paris and Rome to see the Pope.
  • Speaking of those trips, I was able to share the joy of exploring a foreign country with my mom. Our trip to London and Paris was especially awesome because we got to share the trip with my Aunt Karen, and my mom's very dear friend Sister Mary. It's a trip that remains so very special to me.
  • My mom always supported me. Whether it was soccer, karate, and ballet, or cheerleading, softball, track, and clubs. She came to my games, drove me to practice, drove my friends to practices/games and home. She made sure I was fed before these events, and always carted me around like it was the greatest thing that she could be doing at the time.
  • I don't remember her ever getting stressed, or being overwhelmed, or too tired to help me. She always had a smile on her face, and did whatever she could and was happy to be apart of my life.

I think that's the most spectacular thing about her. When I think back to middle school and high school, she was ALWAYS there for me. I didn't have to rebel against her, or sneak out of the house. I LOVED her company and wanted to be around her. I never went through a "I hate my parents" phase, or even the "I'm so embarrassed of them" phase. When they chaperones my 9th grade farewell dance, or any of the other many dances in Jr. High, I wasn't embarrassed of them, I was happy that they were there with me. I loved having them there to see me with my friends.

Maybe I'm weird. I wasn't the "nerd" that couldn't make friends so I clung to mom and dad... I just really loved being in their company.

  • When I experienced heart-break from boys in school, she was right there to pick me up. She shared stories from her childhood and always told me to make sure that I upheld my self-worth and to NEVER let someone make me feel less than I am.
  • My friends all loved her (still do). "Mrs. G" was like a second mom to so many of my friends, and my house was the place where most of them came if there was a problem in their own homes. 
  • She always went out of her way to make sure that we had what we needed. Whether it was a dress for the Valentine's Day dance that I was nominated to be the queen, and HAD to have the perfect dress and shoes... or it was school supplies. She always made sure we had whatever we needed.

I love going out to eat. I HATE left-overs. This all stems from my childhood. My mom made going out to eat a special thing. Going to McDonald's, Olga's, Applebee's, Taco Bell, Big Boy... these places have special memories attached to them. We talked and shared when we went out to eat. Sitting down and having a meal together is where we bonded and really shared our feelings and love for each other. When I think of things to do with my mom, going to eat somewhere ALWAYS comes into my mind. It's because that's where we would go to catch up and make our relationship so special.

Hating left-overs comes from eating them too much for dinner as a kid. My mom will swear up and down that we never had left-overs, but ask my brothers and my dad and you'll get the truth. ;-)

  •  My mom pushed me to be all that I could be and more. She (and my dad) always said, "You can be anything you want to be, if you want it bad enough." This was something I heard daily growing up. There wasn't anything in the world that I couldn't become. I just had to focus and put my mind to it, and I could achieve anything.
  • I was raised to KNOW that I was going to college. It wasn't "if" it was "when." My mom had Dave and was divorced and had NOTHING. She didn't go to college when she was younger, and as a result, was at the mercy of others for things. She wanted to make sure that I NEVER had to worry about not being able to take care of myself. She would say, "When you have that college degree, no one can take it away from you."
  • She worked her butt off to get all kinds of certifications for being a DRE (Director of Religious Education). She has a TON of awards and certifications for being a Youth Minister. Her greatest achievement was going back to school, and getting her Masters Degree.
At her graduate school graduation

The Master with her Masters Degree

My mom has been there for me in the darkest of days. When my starter marriage failed, she was there for me. She came to my new apartment, and let me cry and cry and she just held me. She got me through the rough parts and helped me reclaim myself.

When Steve and I started trying to start a family... each time there was a false pregnancy test and I collapsed into a fit of depression, she was there to talk me through my feelings. She knew that God had a plan for me and if having a biological child wasn't in the cards, she was there to support whatever was in the cards. She loves Gus more than I could have imagined and calls him her "loveit." She and my dad have a very special relationship with Gus (mainly because we lived with them while we waited for the okay to come back to NC).

My mom loves her children with all of her heart, but loves her grandchildren more than anything.
Benton, Mom, Gus, Aine, Alex, Lily, and Eamon (July 2010)

She has three grandchildren from Dave. She's got Eamon (the first grandchild), Aine (the first grand daughter), and Benton. Then Scott has Alex, Lily, and Charlie. And then there's Gus.
Mom and Eamon

Mom and Lily
Alex and Lily

Lily and Charlie

Christie and the kids
Scott with Charlie and Lily

Lily, Alex, and Charlie

Mom and Lily (after mom's surgery)

Gus (1 day old)

My favorite picture of Gus and my mom

My mom LOVES the beach!!

Lily and Gus

Alex and Gus

Mom and Gus
This post can't describe the love I have for my mom. I pray that I'm 1/2 the mother to my children that she was/is to me. She has always been a role-model, always someone I look up to, and someone I've always considered to be my hero. She loves unconditionally, and has a pure heart. I strive to be like her, and to live my life to make her proud. 

I love you more than words can express mom. Thank you for all that you've done for me, for all that you've sacrificed, and all that you gave without hesitation. You've shown me what love is between a mother and a child, and I pray for many many more years together with you.

Love you!!


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