it's mother's day tomorrow and i have SOOOO much to thank my mom for this year.  she has been the hugest support for our family and we cannot say enough how grateful we are to have her love, support and willingness to drive 5 1/2 hours over the mountains to spend time with us.  i have always been extremely fortunate to have a mom who truly supported my ideas, my dreams and my interests.  we have always been great friends and i never went through that stage in middle or high school where i didn't want to spend time with her.  she is caring, patient, creative and so loving and supportive...everyone who knows her loves her immensely.  i am dedicating this post to my mom and some of the wonderful memories i have growing up with her. i grew up in the middle of the country on a ranch.  we had no neighbors with children and i was an only child.  i spent a lot of time outdoors with my mom, my cat (ms. kitty) and my dog (shorty...why was he named shorty? i don't know the answer to that question...maybe mom can tell me).  i had a swing set and a huge tractor tire turned sand box that i spent lots of time playing in.  i remember my mom hanging the laundry on the clothes line while i would swing or play in the sand.  i did lots of digging in the dirt and mud and as i got older, i spent a lot of time at a particular tree (just down the road from our house but always in site of my mom) that i called my "pooh" tree.  as in pooh bear's honey tree.  i loved playing at that tree and exploring around and i love now that my mom encouraged me to get outside and play so much.  i felt like my own indiana jones, exploring the great outdoors that surrounded us.  we would walk the ranch and gather asparagus, as it grew wild there.  she made every holiday special with crafts and yummy food.

i remember sitting at the kitchen counter in the mornings while my mom made breakfast for my dad and i and i remember every fun birthday cake that she made for me - from scratch.  we used to sit at that same kitchen counter and play with her makeup fun.  for a bit of time, my dad worked in denver and my mom and i would take road trips to see him.  i would sit in the front seat (because at that time, i could...before all of the restrictions on booster seats and what not) and we would listen to cassette tapes and sing out loud - ABBA, fleetwood mac, juice newton, neil diamond - to name a few.  i still remember most of the words to all of those songs!

my mom was a hair dresser and i used to love going to work with her.  talking to the ladies, reading magazines, playing in the jewelry and items that some of her customers brought to sell at the shop.  i felt special being her "helper" and getting to spend my days there with her when i could.  i remember the smell of the cucumber, strawberry or banana shampoos she used when she would wash my hair there.

during my middle school years, we moved from the ranch to palisade, which is where my parents still call home.  i remember thinking it was so special because that is where my mom grew up and went to high school too.  i even got to attend school in the same building that my mom went to high school in and i thought that was so cool.  she supported me through the sports i tried (which I wasn't great at) and the piano lessons i took.  she also let me tag along with her to the gym, when i was in high school, which started my love for fitness classes and eventually a career as a fitness instructor.

i still remember my first time on my own in and dad had moved me into my little studio apartment and i cried forever after watching them drive away to head back home and leave me to this great big new adventure on my own.  we talked all of the time.  i missed her like crazy.

through challenges and triumphs, over those next few years, i always knew i could count on her for love and support and never once doubted that she was there for me.  i went through some not so good relationships, difficulty with my career, and all of those other things in life that are made much better when you get to talk through them with your mom.  when i was lucky enough to meet my wonderful husband, my mom was the first one on board when we said we wanted to get married in maui.  we had the most beautiful wedding.  my mom and i got hawaiian henna together and we had such a fun time planning for the big day.

we speak either by phone, skype or email almost every single day.  the bird loves her so much and they are the best of friends.  i love watching the two of them together and the smile that comes to channing's face when she hears nanna's voice on the phone or gets to see her when she visits.  she has taught me so much about being a mother and i truly hope that i can live up to being as good as a mom as she has been.

i love you mom and am thankful every day that i have you in my life.  happy mother's day!!