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Ahhh May, what is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of May?

School is almost out!!

April showers bring May flowers.

Beautiful pastel colors in EVERYTHING!!

Oh, and Mother’s Day!!

Picture I took several years ago in WA @ Skagit Valley Tulip Festival


Let’s start with a little honesty, ok? I’ve started getting to a point where I truly don’t like Mother’s Day. Maybe I’m still bitter about past stuff that now I’m jaded, who knows. But I also think it has to do with the fact that you should appreciate your mother (or the mother in your life) everyday and not just from afar. Tell her or better yet show her what she means to you as often as possible. I’m not always the best at this even though I usually think I’m doing ok. Here’s the thing, I think holidays like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can put undue pressure on people to prove something to their parents. Or maybe beat out that sibling for favorite, who knows. I personally don’t feel like I have anything to prove, nor have I ever wanted to battle my siblings for my parents love, that’s crazy. My prayer is that they know without me even having to say it, how much I appreciate them, though thats not always the case. Some people just need the words because thats how they’re wired, some people need the gifts, nothing wrong with either. I’ve recently realized that I’m actually not great at speaking my family’s love languages. So my goal starting now is to strive to do better at showing people love how they receive it.

Guys, if you don’t know what love languages are, check out this book.

The difficult part for me is I’m not a natural gift giver, I really never have been. My first thought when I’m some place cool, is not, “hey this would be a great gift for so and so”. My mom used to think that it was a selfish thing when I now realize, I just am not wired that way. BUT I can change that so that the gift lovers in my family can feel loved by me. More often than not, I am that person who’s at the store a day or 2 before special days picking through the leftover cards because it doesn’t occur to me to get them before. Sometimes I’m there the day of, whoops.  

Anyway, enough about that and me. Today I want to shine a light on the women who influenced my life in varying ways.

So y’all, its the week of Mother’s Day. The day we honor the women who helped to mold the children of this world. This could be your aunt, sister, cousin, best friend, best friends mother, grandmother, actual mom or if you have one, your step mom. Fun fact, my best friends birthday falls within a few days of Mother’s Day every year, sometimes even falling on Mother’s Day. HOW COOL!! I’m not sure it actually is cool but I’ll ask her and let ya know.

{{UPDATE:: She told me its not actually cool… She said its kind of like having your birthday and Christmas very close to each other. Ya know where you usually get one gift for both. My birthday is 1 week before Christmas but I honestly don’t know much about this whole 1 gift business. I know this makes me sound super spoiled.}}

In any case I wanted to take this moment to honor 3 of the amazing women who made me the woman I am. My mother, my Oma, and my stepmother. Each amazing woman contributed something different to my life, neither one better than the other but each equally as important.

First and foremost, to the woman who gave birth to me, my mommy Heidi. (Yes I’m a 35 year old woman who still calls her mommy, and what?)

36 years ago right now you were pregnant with me, how wild is that? Ever since I was little, I have looked up to you. I am your little girl through and through. I look like you, I now talk a lot like you, and I have some of the same mannerisms you did when you were my age. I don’t like huge crowds, I enjoy keeping things simple even though it might look a little different than your simple. You’ve always been a strong woman, even when I’m sure you thought you were so weak. You did everything you could to provide for me in all ways. In doing so you showed me what hard work looks like, that sometimes it means sacrificing time with your family. This helped me so much during times when I had to be ok with my husband being gone for extended periods.

You’ve taught me what not to do in certain situations; some funny, some serious. “Never date a guy with longer/better hair than you, don’t date him if his boobs are bigger than yours..” Haha  I’ve seen you rise and seen you fall and in each peak and valley I’ve learned something. You always pick yourself back up. You don’t NEED anyone, but yet you want to share your life with someone. You’re independent but also strangely dependent. Not necessarily on anyONE but more so dependent on making sure you live your best life. Dependent on security. Sometimes that means job security, sometimes that means security within your family, most of the time it means just self-preservation. No matter what your struggles have looked like, you’ve ALWAYS been able to pull yourself out. From my perspective, you’ve always come out the other side stronger, and so much more beautiful, inside and out.

While you’re strong, you’re also incredibly sensitive. You like to try hiding it but you’re quite definitely a sensitive person. I’m pretty sure I get it from you, even though I likely take it to another level. But it’s not a bad thing to be sensitive, you don’t need to hide it. It’s ok to let people into how you’re feeling. I keep learning that bottling up doesn’t do anyone any good. We just have to learn the best delivery system. Both of us. Maybe I don’t show my appreciation for you in the ways you might prefer but please PLEASE know that my appreciation, love and admiration for you runs so deep. 

I honestly could never have asked for a better mother, no matter what you might think. It is my honor to call you mommy!

Now it’s time for my mother’s mom, Oma. (This means grandmother in German)  She was a hoot. I say was because my sweet, albeit kinda crazy, Oma passed away in 2006 when I was pregnant with my first son. That was one of the hardest days of my life, though I’m not quite sure I truly felt it until my son was about 2 or 3 months old. (This would have been about 7 months later) She took care of me when my mother had to work late or when she was going to school for her real estate license. Or heck, when my mom just needed a night to not be a mom, we all need a night or 2 like that. I wish I took more of that kind of time for myself honestly. Anyway… Oma was always there for me. She taught me the importance of not doing stupid stuff because of her personal experiences. She was always very vulnerable with me about her past, mostly because she wanted to make sure I never took her path. All of my friends ADORED her and called her Oma as well. She was also very strong but she was definitely not without her short comings. Her past was evidence of that. But she loved me, she took care of me when I needed it.

She would even drive completely across town if I was home alone to bring me food. I know I took advantage of that but I honestly didn’t know better when I was younger. Young kids only think about themselves, thats just a truth. Our only hope as parents or adults in kids lives is to hope that our positive examples transfer into their adult lives. Oma did this just by being honest about her life, even though some of her examples were of what not to do. In her later life, she ran a home for the elderly and disabled out of her own home. This taught me about putting others before yourself, so what if it took me being an adult to fully figure it out. Oma taught me that being honest with your kids teaches them more than keeping the bad stuff in the dark. Maybe she wasn’t the most amazing mother, but in my eyes, she was the best grandmother.

I miss you Oma, I hope you know that.

Stepmoms get a bad rap. I mean come on, as kids we see Cinderella’s stepmother lock her in an attic, she was off her meds. Maybe Cinderella isn’t who you think of, but insert evil stepmother image here. Well, mine is nothing like those, I am really stinking blessed. For me stepmom is only a word that essentially makes it easier to describe April’s “relation” to me but doesn’t even come close to describing our relationship. Not only did she accept the fact that my father had a daughter, she married him because of it. She actually welcomed me with open arms, loved me in fact. Included me in everything during the times I would stay with them. To this day she still introduces me as her daughter, not because she wants to take my moms place, because thats impossible. This is not something that has ever even crossed her mind. No, she does this because she truly loves me as if I was one of her children, she just didn’t have to give birth to me. So I don’t get blamed for her stretch marks…. woohoo!

Her birth children, who are technically my half siblings, are just my sister and brothers. I’ve never known any different, because she’s never made me feel like less than her own. She’s disciplined me when I needed it, taught me what it meant to be a stay at home mom. I definitely don’t parent the way she did, not because its wrong but just because I have my own way that works for me. Her example helped me to see what being a stay at home mother is. She showed me her own brand of hard work and determination when she decided to go to college. She started when her last child started school and graduated with a masters degree. Now, you likely won’t find me enrolling in college, so not my thing, but the fact that hard work surrounds me from both amazing mother figures, this bodes well for me. 

Each of these women, different as they may be, molded me into the woman I am today. April, I’m thankful everyday to have you in my life, I love you.

They each did things a little differently, but that is the sheer beauty of them. The differences are what shaped me. There are times I ask myself how my mother might handle something because only she has had this experience. Or in the past I had stupid moments, and my Oma’s words would bounce around in my head to make me never do it again. Maybe its questions about raising boys, well I can only ask April because she also raised 2 boys. God knew exactly what I needed and when. He gave me perfect examples for things I would need to know as I grew up. These perfect examples didn’t come from perfect people, because let’s face it none of us is perfect. Rather all of these imperfect women who influenced my life, showed me perfect examples to model how I wanted to live my life. I’m so grateful I get to have them, so grateful my boys get to call each of them their grandmother name. (My mom is Nana and April is grandma) I’m blessed by their different views on life, their different experiences and who they are shaping me to be. Thank you for being you!!! I love you!

Speaking of the differences of each mother in my life, I have an announcement!!!

About a month or so ago, I was inspired to create an amazing series here on the blog called *~*Mom Interviews*~*. Y’all I’m shaking as I type this because of how excited I am about it!! These were inspired by my own misunderstanding of how and why certain moms do things the way they do. Unfortunately we live in a culture (and have for some time now) where mothers tear down or criticize other mothers just because they’re doing it differently. We also know this as mom-shaming. Sadly I have to say, I’m guilty of doing this but so are you, you know its true.

You’ve looked at that mom in the store with her kids throwing things and having a fit and thought “Dear God spank that child”. Or, like me, you’ve turned to your children and threatened, “If you ever act like that, you’re in big trouble”. We are all sadly at fault but suddenly I realized, it all has to do with a lack of understanding the other moms situation. Since coming up with this idea, I have caught myself in those potential mom-shaming moments.

Amber, you have no clue what is going on, so you have no place to interject your opinion whether out loud or in your head”. That phrase, “put yourself in my shoes” comes to mind.

Well I’m excited to announce that next Monday, now affectionately known as Mom Monday, I’ll be posting our FIRST interview. I figured what better time to start these than the month of moms. I’m so grateful to all the mom’s who volunteered and have allowed me to share their mom journey with you. Mom Mondays will mostly consist of these interviews but sometimes they’ll be my perspective on certain mommy issues.

That’s it for today y’all. Remember, come back next week and check out the first of our twice monthly Mom Monday’s!

As always don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram.

Have an amazing day y’all, see ya next time!!

Ruth 1:16 ~ But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.
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