70 {count 'em} reasons i love, admire, respect or appreciate {and CELEBRATE!} my mom

mom with siblings and aunt georgie

1. she is SEVENTY {!WOW!} years old TODAY!!

2. she is and always has been beautiful to this beholder. and always will be.

3. she loves to write.

4. she loves old people. not only serves, loves, but actually delights in them, loves.
mom and ada

5. she stuck with my dad through the thickest and the thinnest for over forty years until he died {far too young}. 
dad side by side
{really, though... just look at him. can you blame her?}

6. she has always had a pollyanna spirit. and now she is doing life alone, without my father, and has for seven years... with grace and dignity and strength and a pioneer spirit.

7. she loves my son.
grandma_5-2grandmaisaac and grandma_7DSC_0486

8. she made him the prettiest blanket before he was born.

9. she was the only other person with mr. b and me at the hospital when isaac was born, and that was a special gift.

10. she has taught me more than she will ever realize... through her mistakes and triumphs, her failures and success.

11. now that i am older and "wiser", she has let me teach her things, too.

12. she has put up with a lot in her lifetime {including much from me}, yet remained soft-hearted and open-armed.

13. she loves God... really loves him.

14. she dives in and digs in to her bible, hungry to learn it... and has for as long as i can remember. i've never seen her bible not full to the edges with underlines and notes... the kind that speak to what God is teaching her through His word.

15. she taught us all to seek and serve the marginalized and led by example in serving the forgotten elderly.

16. she is a picture of grace... has forgiven and forgotten more than her fair share of what people should have to forgive and forget.

17. she sings.

18. she plays piano and writes music.

19. she has written so many songs that have been loved by many over the years.

20. she did her best to teach me to play piano by ear... the way she learned and plays.

21. she taught me to sing at an early age and, with my father, taught me the importance of appreciating music.

22. she used to sound a little like karen carpenter when she sang in her younger days.

23. she made the best avocado sandwiches for us growing up... still does, if we ask her nicely. {maybe i'll share the recipe someday... if it's not some heavily vaulted family secret.}

24. she sacrifices her time and money, even in retirement when she could keep it all to herself.

25. she asks for forgiveness when she needs it.

26. she gave us a king-size bed, a down comforter to go on it, and a keurig machine. and i appreciate every one of those three things... daily.

27. she never nags me about my house not being perfectly clean and neat.

28. she helped me through college... financially, but also in so many other ways.

29. she is the queen of malapropisms.

30. she never takes herself too seriously and can laugh at her own quirks and goofs.

31. she doesn't hold grudges. seriously. none. i need this trait!

32. she looks forward to eternity in heaven and does not cling to temporal earthly things.

33. she makes the best egg salad! and beef/veggie stew. and broccoli soup. there's more. i'll think of them.

34. she doesn't watch television... doesn't even have one hooked up... and inspired me to not watch mine either.

35. she believes in her kids and grandkids... and the talents and gifts we have. even our dreams.

36. she invests in those talents and gifts.

37. she loves dandelions.

38. she isn't overly girly like some moms can be.

39. she isn't overly nosey involved in her children's' lives and trusts us to God, allowing us to live our own lives without obnoxiously butting in like some moms do.

40. she modeled both stay-at-home-mom motherhood and working-mom motherhood, and always encouraged {or at least supported} me being a stay-at-home mom.

41. she is a very big part of why i am able to be a stay-at-home, work-from-home mom. {see reason #70 below}

42. she isn't attached to things... not to her possessions, nor to the things she doesn't have. she simply doesn't want for much, and it's not because she has a lot already.

43. she is about people... serving them. being with them. helping them. noticing them.

44. she helps widows who, for some reason or another, have not been able to cope with their loss as easily as she did.

45. i never hear her complain. ever.

46. she butchers my dad's jokes... terribly. and when she does, it's sometimes funnier than the joke itself.

47. she's still taking care of her own mother, along with her sister.
aunt nancy gram and mom

48. she is open and eager to learn, even now when she could just accept that she's learned enough and wants to rest.

49. she went back to school to get her degree as an adult many years after she dropped out of college because of her father's death.

50. she does not give in to envy. in fact, i'm pretty sure she doesn't have a bone in her body that stuggles with it. she might correct me about that, but even if so, it doesn't show and she does not act on any envy she may have.

51. she lets me cry to her on the phone... or in person. sometimes she is tough on me in regard to what i'm crying about. but always because she loves me.

52. she loves my husband as her own son.

53. she was willing to take us in when we were struggling financially, without even a moment of hesitation.

54. she spent many hours changing diapers for five kids, cleaning our messes, feeding us, cooking for us, teaching us, bathing us, nursing us back to health when all five of us were sick, sometimes along with a sick husband and her own maladies... the list could go on. FIVE kids. two of which were infant twins while all five were under the age of six. then, five teenagers all at once. i am quieted in any complaints i have about child-raising and resulting tiredness when i think of all that she had to do without a lot of external help. some would say, "well, if it's that hard, then just don't have a lot of kids." i say, "i'm not going to go there and dwell on that. she did. and that's that. and she sacrificed a lot. and that's that, too."

55. she is about to have a fiction book she wrote published.

56. she is more computer-savvy than most people her age, and always was. well, i guess not in 1942. but as long as computers have been commonly used.

57. she prays for her children every day.

58. she loves color.

59. she can dress up and look pretty, but looks equally adorable in a work suit. she used to hammer up on the roof in her grubbies {as well as many other things men typically do} with the best of them!
mom roofing

60. she still decorates her christmas tree with all the same decorations she's collected over the years and doesn't feel the need to replace them with more trendy ornaments. they remind me of home, and for that, i love them.

61. she does not wallow in the past.

62. she taught me to "steal a pumpkin".

63. she taught me not to wallow in the past. i'm still learning that one.

64. i'll never forget her voice in all the times she said to me "you only have one chance to live {insert date of whichever day she said it on}. you can't ever live this day again."

66. her faith is strong, made stronger by hardship. she learned a long time ago that struggles and pain and gut-wrenching things in life can drive you closer to God or further from him. and she made the life choice to let them draw her closer.

67. her grey hair is her crown of splendor.
mom birthday tribute 9

68. she taught me to draw and influenced me to become a graphic designer.

69. though she is not a self-proclaimed photographer, she can take some lovely photos...
pics my mama took{you're kinda makin' me look bad, mama... with your point-n-shoot camera photos that are every bit as lovely, if not lovelier, than my fancy-pants camera photos taken using a fancy-pants lens.}

70. she gave me money for my 40th birthday that pretty much paid for the awesome lens i just referred to, thereby helping me take my photography to the next level and giving me confidence to start doing photo shoots. {see reasons no. 35 and no. 36 above}

and one bonus reason...

71. she faithfully reads this lil ol' journal and photo blog i keep called it's just how i see things. {so even if she were my only reader, it's worth it!}

* * * * *

after all this, i may have painted her a perfect saint. but she'll be the first to admit she's not. and if she weren't the first in line to admit it, then i would be. *wink*

the way i see it, though, she's seventy. so she's sort of earned a "saint"-like status. she has seen a lot and learned much in this life. young folks may outsmart her or ignore her... maybe even scoff at her. but she is a wealth of wisdom, and anyone would be better off to have sat with her for a while and listened to her about all that she has learned in life... through mistakes, failures, triumphs, successes and simply living.

in fact, just today, someone put this quote on their facebook page, and it reminded me of my mom...
“how far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. because some day in life you will have been all of these.” 
~george washington carver
at seventy, i'd say my mom has been all of these... young, aged, striving, weak and strong. {just barely the second, though. and only on paper... not in spirit, heart, mind or physicality.} and she has been each thing mentioned... tender, compassionate, sympathetic and tolerant.

so i celebrate her today... and all that she is and has been. all that she does and has done.

in my opinion, she deserves to have a collection of photos of her through the years {like the albums full of photos of us through the years that she made for my dad and each of us kids at christmas one year}. they should be all together in one place, to celebrate her many years. so here are a bunch more photos of my lovely mum...
mama birthday tribute_1

mom and her uncle


mom on piano bench

mom and grandma

grandpa and kids

mom and her sibs

mom and dad rich walk

mom and aunt nancy

mom and dad in living room



mama birthday tribute 2

dad_9 copy copy



mom and dad 70s and with goofy glasses
mom college and at aunt nancys

mom christmas 1 and 2

mom matching sweaters and engaged


gram and mom 2


mama birthday tribute 3

last but not least, an all-time favorite of mine...
first date copy
she's beautiful, no?

happy birthday, mama. i love you!
mom and me at shower


Mr. & Mrs. P said...

What a sweet post!!! Heres to wishing you Mom a great birthday filled with joy, health and happiness!!

Mr. & Mrs. P

georgia b. said...


sharonheldman said...

Wow! Who is this person? I'd love to meet her!

Thank you, Georgia, for putting this together. I can't believe how different I look from photo to photo! (Some I wish you would have left out! jk) I see that they are all out on fb too. Hmmm.

Through it all, in between the lines of my life and in the lines themselves is one truth...God is everything He said He would be!

georgia b. said...

what??? there's not a single bad photo of you in there!

glad you like it. took me all day yesterday! =)

S. Etole said...

So much love in your words and photos. What a beautiful Mama and daughter.

georgia b. said...

thank you, sweet susan.

Candace said...

Happy birthday to your mama, she's very remarkable.

Amanda said...

Your mom sounds awesome. I love looking at all the old pictures!

georgia b. said...

thanks, amanda! =)