a mother’s love

Somebody slept through the night last night – and it wasn’t me.   I am trying not to get too excited about it, but holy cow….through.  the.  night!   This is my biggest of wishes and wildest of dreams come true.   Yeah, it’s a pretty exciting life we live over here, where wishes and dreams are in the form of zzzzzz’s.

It’s been a week since I was on the brink of despair, decided something needed to change, and embarked on a sleep-training journey.   And oh.  my.  gawd.  I am tired.   So tired.  But maybe, just maybe last night is a sign that it’s working?  Who knows.  If it is, I’ll be back to share all of my sleep wizardry with you, so that your wishes and dreams may also come true.  

But that’s not what this is about (although sleep training must be the epitome of a mother’s love).   No, instead, I’m sticking my head up above water for a few minutes to deliver a very special treat for you today:  a guest post from my little sister Amy!

Ok, so she’s not so little anymore, but that’s how she’ll always be to me.  You wouldn’t necessarily know that we were sisters by looking at us – she is a big-eyed, dark-haired, olive-skinned beauty.  But we share the same roaring laugh, backwards-bending thumb, and sentimental heart.  It’s the latter trait that brings her here today, to share with all of us a special tradition she’s starting for her daughter. 

It brought a tear to my eye and instantly I began wondering how I could embark on something similar for Abby.  I think you’ll like it too, so without further ado, read on!

Hello TWSST readers. If you are like me you have desperately missed Janna’s blog posts. I understand she is a bit busy these days so I thought I would help her out and write one of my own as a guest. I’m her sister Amy, but if Janna were to introduce me she would introduce me as her little sister Amy (although I am in my thirties I am still considered little).

As you may or may not know, our mother passed away when we were young. It happened a couple weeks after my sixth birthday.  I have very few memories of my mother; so few that I can count them on one hand. Growing up I always thought about her. When my friends would talk about their mothers my own was never far from my thoughts. Some friends would complain that they were beginning to look like them or worry that they were actually becoming them.

What I wouldn’t give to share the same thoughts.

I would sit and quietly listen while they spoke of their mother. I always wished I knew more about mine; it wasn’t just the elaborate stuff I wanted to know, I wanted to know the simple things. What did her laugh sound like? What was her favorite flower? What was she like? Was she shy like me or was she outgoing?

It wasn’t until I became pregnant and a mother myself that I started to look at it differently. What if (god forbid) something happened to me? I am sure my daughter would have the same feelings. Would my daughter remember me, know who I really was? I sure hope so. But in a way to prevent that, I am taking action.

I plan to write in a journal for my daughter filling the pages with information about me, what I like and don’t like, the story of how her father and I fell in love, fill it with my favorite pictures, memories and quotes. My hope is someday that I will find the right time to give it to her and she will see the love that I have poured into it. I won’t stop at just one, I have way too much to share with her. I want her to know how much she is loved and how important she is. I want to encourage and inspire her with my words.

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I saved some of my favorite cards from Ella’s first birthday and included them in the journal.

In addition, I’ve filled it with things I want my daughter to know:

  • Her father and I listened to ‘Death Cab for Cutie’ a lot when we were falling in love
  • Her father gave her the nickname Bean when she was only one day old and it fits her perfectly

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This is one of my favorite pictures. It captures what I loved to do most with her when she was a newborn. I knew those days were short lived so I soaked up every minute I could get with her.

  • She was born to the song “Beautiful Day” by U2
  • My favorite color is pink but my favorite colors to decorate with are blue and white
  • I love Thai and Indian food
  • I don’t like meatloaf. Never have and probably never will
  • I won a perfect attendance award (more than once) and never went to the principal’s office
  • My sisters are my best friends. I laugh and cry with them. I confide in them without the worry of being judged.
  • I love to bake, especially on a rainy day
  • During a difficult part of my life I moved to Portland, Oregon with no job and nowhere to live. Crazy? Yes. However, it was the best thing I could have done for myself and I learned who I was. Never be scared to do something because of the unknown. Believe in yourself and go with confidence. I will always be right behind you being your biggest cheerleader.
  • One of my favorite places to travel is to Canon Beach, Oregon. I love to get up early and walk the beach with a cup of coffee in my hand searching for sand dollars.
  • Her father is terrible at taking directions. So much so that he took a four hour detour on our first date because he “knew where he was going,” yeah right. I should have known from the beginning that he was stubborn.
  • I will always be honest with her
  • It’s simple; treat others they way to you want to be treated
  • Don’t judge people, they may be having a bad day and need a little extra help
  • Always remember how much you are loved
  • At 19 months I already know her personality. Quiet and sweet. Always willing to share her favorite toys and give snuggles and kisses to her friends and family.
  • “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others: for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”
  • Call your Mother. Call me when you are happy, sad, sick or lonely. I will always be there wanting to go through those things with you.

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I hope my Bean and I will someday discuss the journals and create our own memories. I am sure she will laugh at my expense (perfect attendance mom, really?) and learn a thing or two about life. All I know is that I love my little girl more and more each day. I find comfort in knowing that my mom must have felt the same way about me and my sisters…right?

Now don’t feel sad for me or my sisters. We have been very lucky in life. We have been blessed with a wonderful ‘earth’ mother. I can’t imagine my life without her, but it also doesn’t stop my mind from thinking of my mother.

I just love what Amy is doing for Ella Bean.  It’s so thoughtful, loving and sweet.  Something that she will surely cherish for the rest of her life. 

Thank you Amy for sharing this wonderful, heartfelt idea!  As much as we want to hope and pray that we will be around to watch our children grow up…you never know where life will take you. 

We were certainly handed a bittersweet deck of cards, but it’s what has made us who we are today.  And in some ways we are very lucky to have two wonderful mothers in our lives.

It is indeed, a beautiful day.

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7 comments

  1. I am in public, started to read this, started to cry, and have to stop. I will continue reading in private. Clicking off blog now.

    1. Oh Katie! I’m sorry…that wasn’t the intent. But I’d be lying if I didn’t cry the first time I read it….it just tugs at your heartstrings. Especially being a mom!

  2. Amy,
    What a special gift you are creating for Ella! Right now she has no idea just how lucky she is to have you as her mom, but some day she will, and some day those journals will hold a very special place in her heart. Thanks for sharing a piece of yourself and your journey as a mom.

    In some ways, I am at a loss for words. What would it mean to have something like that for ourselves? The thought is almost overwhelming. Like a missing link in our lives. However, I am thankful everyday for the gift of you and Janna, as there are tiny pieces of our mom in all of us that we can lean on and learn from. What would I do without you both?!

    Green Pigs! xoxo E

  3. Amy/Janna – Thank you so much for writing this post. I have to share that I’ve found myself journaling to my Baby Cookie (who’s baking right now). And, it has been such a joy to release my thoughts, in the hope to hand over the journal someday. I’ve also documented my in-the-moment-feelings, my personality-trait-wishes (aka: what I hope baby will get from me and what baby will get from daddy), and pretty much whatever pops into mind. It’s incredible how your mind starts to think toward what you can write in the journal.

    Oh, but, I actually started a separate one (way before baby) that shares about my marriage and what goes on with my husband. I’m doing this one alongside a study called “Created To Be His Help Meet” (by Debi Pearl), which focuses on your marriage. With this one, I keep it more focused about my husband and what we go through and how we met and our fav things together and what we may fight about (even though we haven’t really had a fight yet), what vacations we take, what I love about him, how I want to be a better wife, how I can better him or better myself to better him, etc. For me, I think that’s one of my personal gifts (of cherishing their daddy and forever learning what it means to create that family unit) I can pass down to my children.

    Sorry I shared so much, but you surely are creating something that will be cherished throughout your family.

    1. Hey Jess!! Thanks for sharing all of this! I love that you’re already journaling to baby cookie…it will surely be something he/she cherishes forever. And how cool that you journal about your marriage too. I’m sure it’s a good way for you to clear your head and keep your eye on the future. I love where you said, “cherishing their daddy is one of the best gifts I can give my children.” If more people thought that way the world would be a better place.

  4. O…kay! I LOVE this post, Amy! Good for you for doing this for your daughter. I think we all assume we will have our whole lives to do something like this and either never take the opportunity or the opportunity is taken away from us. I am inspired! And I am crying. And I’m at work. Ha ha ha. Thanks for posting this, Janna! Squeeze those babies for me! :)

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