A St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

Today, every one is wearing something green.  People are celebrating any hint of Irish they have in them with green beer, parades and Shake-Your-Shamrock parties.  And that is fun and great and all.  But today, it is my honor to celebrate something more.

Today I am celebrating selflessness, compassion, creativity, un-ending love, grace, beauty, laughter and dedication.

I am celebrating memories of waking up on this famous holiday to little green leprechaun feet taped to the floor, right outside my door.  Feet that would lead me to the breakfast table, where I would find green eggs and ham, green milk and gold-wrapped chocolate coins. It was always a day full of wonder, excitement and lots of green.  Even when the focus should have been focused on her she made the day, really every day, about fun and laughter.

I am celebrating someone who isn’t afraid to get down and silly.  This woman has an uncanny knack at making babies giggle.  Children of all ages love her silly jokes and warm hugs.  The way she reads a children’s book is nothing short of captivating.

I am celebrating the dedication it took to raise three children, all with different needs, passions and challenges.  Yet each of us knew exactly how much we were loved and valued.  In our different paths through life, she has stood by each of us, cheering us on, encouraging us and picking us up when we stumbled.  In my own journey, one that has led me far from her nest, she has never once tried to steer me anywhere other than where my dreams have led me.

I am celebrating being raised in a home a faith and love – where every day we were told we were loved.  Every day we were provided for.  Every day we were challenged to be the best we could be.  A home where love wasn’t just taught, it was modeled.  Where faith wasn’t just a Sunday dress, it was a way of life.

I am celebrating a woman who called our Saturday errands, “Adventure time” – turning mundane tasks into scavenger hunts.   Someone who helped foster our creativity by expressing her own.   When a story was written or a song sung or a masterpiece was drawn,  it drew instant and sincere praise.  When I was first learning to play guitar, I thought my dad would be the obvious choice to learn from.  One day, sitting in my room, on the floor, frustrated with my lack of skill, she walked in, sat down, and strummed a few easy chords.  I had never known she could play, but she was willing to share with me, teach me, coach me, encourage me not to to be too hard on myself.

I am celebrating someone whose selfless acts of love have carried our family through hard times.  When my dad’s father passed away, my mother was there for the family, opening her home, her kitchen and her arms – even though she had just had major surgery.  When her own parents passed, mere weeks apart, she was there, coordinating details, making sure everyone could be home to celebrate their lives.  She has spent countless hours caring for the people and things that we were left behind.

I am celebrating someone who taught me that tears are healing, and strength is found in our vulnerability.  Whatever trials I have faced or put myself through, I have always known who I can depend on to listen, to give advice, to pray for me.

Yes, today I am celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.  I am wearing my green.  I am eating anything remotely connected to Irish cuisine.  And I am always on the hunt for that pot ‘o gold.  But I am also celebrating my most favorite of the Irish:

Today, I am celebrating my mother.

Happy Birthday Mom!   I love you!

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Tagged!

I was tagged by the oh so fabulous Heather and since I haven’t done one in awhile, I thought, “Hey, why not!?”  🙂  I’m not tagging anyone else, but if you want to play, leave me a comment and I’ll send you 7 questions.

1. What’s the best advice you have ever been given?

“Prioritize.” ~My Dad.  He taught me the importance of prioritizing things in my life: money, time, tasks.  I specifically remember one day in my room, complaining to him about how I just didn’t have enough time to get it all done.  (ha!  Oh to be 14 again!)  I was having to choose between two different trips that were happening at the same time and I desperately wanted to be a part of both of them.  My dad talked about how learning to prioritize at that point in my life would help me so much in the future.  Learning to really look at what I valued and choosing wisely where to place my time, money, efforts, would make a difference.  So, thanks dad! 🙂

2. What did you think you would be doing when you reached the age you are now?

Oh Lord!  I guess it depends on at what point you would have asked me?  When I was a pre-teen I thought I’d be married with a gaggle of children.  Late teens/college – I thought I would be living overseas, working with children.  Guess I’m nottoo far off that mark.  🙂

3. What would you do tomorrow if you could do anything?

Sleep in!  Ha!  Just kidding (well, not really)  If I had the power to do something tomorrow that I can’t do now?  I would work myself out of a job.  I would rather not have to have the job I do.  I would make more housing and sustainable employment available to families.

4. If your favorite author asked you to name their next main character, what would you name them?

If Barbara Kingsolver asked me to name her next main character I might fall out!  That is a hard one.  I don’t know about a name, but I’d love to read a story written by her set in Pacific Northwest.  I love how connected her characters are to their location – how it weaves its way into her stories.  And I just love the culture of the PacNW.  A match made in heaven!

5. What is your bedtime routine?

As soon as the 11 o’clock news comes on I know its time to start my bedtime routine.  Brush my teeth, wash my face, decide what I am going to wear tomorrow (though I rarely set it out) – this includes deciding which earrings I am going to wear – that is not a gametime decision!  Then I usually check email/Facebook one last time.  Closing my laptop and turning off the TV are the sounds of bedtime that send the dogs bounding up the stairs to their beds.  I get in bed, give my back a good pop, kiss my sweet husband good night and curl up on my side.  Detailed enough? 🙂

6. What counts as comfort food at your house?

Mac n’ Cheese and ice cream.  Lately, I’ve been exploring family recipes as well – so my Papa’s bread, which is taking some time to craft.  And my great Aunt Doll’s Cheese Crispies – a Christmas Eve tradition!

7. If you inherited a billion dollars, would you still want a career?

Yes.  My passion is working with people, and I don’t think that would go away with money.  I would just probably have a career as a full-time volunteer somewhere. 🙂

8. What is the last kind thing you did for another person?

I helped a friend pick up and move some furniture yesterday.  She just got her own place after living in a community home for 3 years.  She is so proud to have a home of her own, and getting to help her move in was an honor for me.  It was neat to be part of something she has waited for for so long.

9. What is the last rude thing you have done?

Oh goodness.  Probably cut someone off in traffic.  There is a commercial here that makes fun of passive-aggressive Pacific Northwest drivers.  I’m the gal that blows past those people, too annoyed to wait for them to figure out what is going on.

10. What is the first book you recall owning?

I don’t know, but I do remember the first collection of books I remember actively seeking out and then treasuring: the Anne of Green Gables series.  Oh how I was in love with those books!  I coveted the kind of relationship Anne and Diana had.

11. How many books do you read at one time?

Usually two.  There is almost always a book that takes me like a year to read.  I just read it in between other books.  I have a problem not finishing a book, so even if I start something and don’t like it, I can’t not finish it!