“It’s a Celebration” is a series of posts to celebrate women. Some of these women I know, some I wish I knew, but all have inspired me in some way. They have conquered obstacles, mastered tasks, and succeeded in their personal/professional arenas. Too often I see women judging other women for choices they make, how they look, or success they have earned. Instead of judging, we could be learning, supporting, and lifting each other up. These posts will highlight incredible women and how they have helped me, and many others, grow. Now let’s get this party started. For my first celebration post, I want to celebrate my mom.
My mom is one of those people who excels at everything and makes it look easy. She isn’t a florist but can whip up centerpieces for a gala in a pinch. As a host, she makes every day meals feel like a party and you are the guest of honor. She is the energizer bunny in human form and just hearing about her day can make you feel tired. One time my mom told me that she used to peel our grapes to make sure we didn’t choke as kids. I mean, that’s next level commitment and is the epitome of how she rolls.
My mom is caring, giving, creative, engaging, organized and beautiful from the inside out. She dreamed of being a mom and I’m thankful that dream came true when she welcomed me and my 2 older brothers. I appreciate her wisdom more and more each day and below are just a few of my favorite things she has taught me along the way.
EVERYTHING SHOULD HAVE A HOME
I get my organizational skills from my mom. Her house is always clean with everything put away just right. She has always said “everything should have a home” meaning that all the items in your house should have a regular place that you put them. This has been one of the most helpful organizational tips that I’ve learned.
When we had our twins, I was so busy that I started to put things in piles on the kitchen counter and then threw those piles in Brian’s office just to get them out of the way. I found myself constantly looking for lost items, frazzled when I couldn’t find a specific paper I needed, and running late because I couldn’t find my keys. Things had lost their home and I was losing my mind. When we recently moved to TN, I made sure everything found a new home in our new house.
I’ve learned that an organized house can clear your mind, reduce stress, and allow you to be more efficient with you day to day activities. I am grateful for those lessons and think of my mom often when I’m putting items away in their place.
IF YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT SOMEONE LET THEM KNOW
My mom is always thinking of others. She knows everyone’s birthdays, cheers on people’s accomplishments, is there for support even when you didn’t know you needed it, and if nothing is going on, a simple “thinking of you” will be shared. She has a perfect card for every occasion and regularly mails quick notes to loved ones near and far.
Our days would be happier and relationships stronger if more people took the time to tell each other how much they care. This is something that I’ve always admired about my mom. As part of my watered daily practice, I will be taking a page form her book and spreading the love like she has done for so long, to so many.
BE YOU OWN ADVOCATE
My mom has always championed for what’s best for our family. She always instinctively knew when to question things and when to take action. She taught us that we have control over our health and it’s up to us to be our own advocates. A few years ago, my dad went to the dermatologist and the doctor found an atypical mole. Even though the doctor didn’t like how it looked, he recommended that they simply look at it again in a year.
A year was too long for my mom, so she pushed for them to biopsy the mole that day. The doctor pushed back and said there would be an additional charge and she told them to go ahead and biopsy it. The biopsy showed that my dad had melanoma; a serious type of skin cancer. Given its location, waiting a year could have been deadly. My dad is alive because my mom listened to her gut. I think about this often as I navigate Matt’s medical care. Always asking for second opinions, additional tests, and available state services. I will never stop fighting for what is best for Matt (more on Matt, here) and our entire family.
If you take one thing from this story, it’s to be your own advocate. Though if you know my mom, she would say the other thing to take from this story is to get a mole check once a year, but I digress. The more informed you are the more confident you will be taking action. If you are ever unsure of what do to, think of my mom and trust your gut. In my experience, it will always steer you in the right direction.
STAY ACTIVE TO STAY YOUNG
Whether it be crafting, cleaning, socializing, or gardening, whatever the activity, my mom is always on the move. While for some, it can seem exhausting, she’ll say it keeps her young. As I’ve watched over the years, she’s definitely on to something. She continues to find new ways to stay inspired, is strong as an ox, and looks 10 years years younger than her true age.
I’ve definitely been gifted with her energy and have recently been finding more ways to stay active and inspired. I have found the busier I am the more energy I gain. I can only hope that by staying active, I too can continue to feel (and look!) young.
Being a mom can feel like a thankless job so I am saying it right here. Thank you, mom. I am lucky to have been raised by one of the best. I hope that by sharing some of what she has taught me, we can all be kinder, well organized, more confident, and young at heart. Keep on celebrating the women in your life. Supportive is a good look for us all.
Christine Lewis says
Karen, thank you for the praise. I truly, just live life to the best of my ability. Everyone has a different style and different knowledge to share and admire. I love to share ideas and learn from other people. Children often show us how to love with an unexpected hug or kiss. As adults, we learn from them to share our love, praise each other and enjoy life. I remember 16 little faces cheering me on as I took my first head first dive into a pool. The kids did not criticize me for never learning this skill they just chanted “you can do it”. And I did and when I emerged, I saw 16 little kids clapping and saying good job. These kids were my inspiration to show love and appreciation when I can! LOVE you Karen and all the TGIF kids.
Kids shape us is so many ways. Love you! ♥️
Grace J. Almeida says
Dear Karen, I know that you probably don’t remember me, you were just a little girl , with the bouncy long pony tail and shorts, when I met you. I am your mom’s friend, we met when you were in Foothill Elementary (Saratoga, CA). First of all, thank you for celebrating your beautiful mother, reading these heartfelt words brought tears to my eyes. More children should celebrate their parents, because we are not immortal and it is so important to share feelings with each other while we are all still here on earth.
I met your mommy over 20 years ago, my children were little and I can tell you that looking back, Christine was the person, the woman, the mom and wife who I looked up to. From the way she carried herself ( a true lady), to her contagious laugh but most of all her love and devotion to her family. She was so involved in her children’s’ education and activities, she is now reaping the rewards, because I know her three children are great human beings. I too celebrate you Christine, thank you for your friendship, for your marvelous example and yes, your wisdom. I remember when my family and I moved to Oregon, the beautiful picture you gifted me which read ” Home is Where the Heart is”. You are and were always that person with a heart of gold and welcoming smile. I miss you and wish you the very best because you deserve it!
What kind words, Grace! I was happy to share and glad it reached you! Great to hear from you and your memories of my mom and my bouncy ponytail (I remember that too! Haha). I’ll make sure she sees this comment. Hope all is well with you and the family! ♥️
What a wonderful tribute, Karen. Hope to see you soon.
Thank you! ☺️ Would love to see you. Been way too long!