Saturday, December 20, 2008

I Hear It's Your Birthday...

Ok, first things first: the final winner of the Canvas for Christmas is:

Jess to the Lo!!! chose your entry:

While in Jr. High we always put on the Best Christmas Play play. It was so much fun to be on stage for that show and to also work behind the scenes. It was also the only play that my Dad saw me in...that makes it pretty special

Congratulations!!! Email me at with your mailing address and I'll get your canvas sent to you!

***** ***** *****

See that cute little girl?

mom little

She turns 65 years young today. :)

My mom is a woman who has taken so many courageous steps in her life. When she was in high school my Grandma Flo had gone to confession as she did every week, and the priest one afternoon refused to give her absolution for her sins unless she started sending her children to the Catholic school. My mom had good friends at her old school, played on a basketball team that won the state championship and had no desire to transfer anywhere... but her junior year she took the plunge and enrolled in the new school so Grandma could get absolution and save her soul.

Thank God.

Because that's where she met my dad. The cool guy who had a van and a boat and loved to dance... he fell in love with my mom and that's where the story gets started. I can't even imagine, with the pace my life exists, the pace my mom was living at my age. She married my dad in 1964 and had her first baby 9 months later... and had her sixth baby 8 years later at the age of 29.

She learned how to help out on a hog farm (clipping pigs tails and teeth... a job I could never bring myself to do) not to mention taking care of six little kids, doing laundry, making meals and everything else that a household entails. And often, in the middle of it, a couple of dad's younger brothers would be living with them while they worked on the farm.

Does your head hurt yet?

And when I say something like "making meals" I mean full-out meals with meat, potatoes, side salads and dessert... and in the summer time that was how we had lunch and supper. The table was always set properly and while we had fun, we learned manners and how to be respectful.

When we were little and would come in off the bus, mom would sometimes have snacks ready for us... doing the little things that make a difference like putting our pudding in separate little fancy dishes so we would feel special... because sometimes love is in the smallest of details.

Now, truth be told, as we got older and my siblings started leaving the house, mealtime changed and the snacks became different, but that's because mom was taking courageous new steps in her life. She had gone to work for the first time in her married life and she eventually found herself employed at Merle Norman Cosmetics (where her favorite phrase was that natural beauty takes time). :) She started working there, and eventually bought the business and through trial and error made it a success.

I definitely get my creative side from mom and loved going to her store during my junior high and high school years... helping out, doing makeovers, even piercing ears. She taught me about not being afraid to try, assuming you can do anything with enough effort and believing that new challenges are a good thing. She eventually sold that business, but couldn't stay idle for long.

She has had a recurring dream for years about being in an old house and redecorating it, and she woke up one night and told dad she wanted to start an interior design business. Courageous steps. So they took our attached garage and converted it into a show room... and she was in business! At a time when most people would be slowing down my mom was just getting started. Her business (Interior Designs) eventually moved to a space in town and she gets to be creative every day, helping people make their houses into the homes they want for their families.

There are a million things I could tell you about my mom... about how I was attached to her hip through most of my childhood, how she would show off being able to turn a cartwheel with the best of them, or how she would take the Izod lizard off an old shirt and sew it onto a new one so we felt a little cooler at school...

But today, on her birthday, I want to say that most importantly she helped teach me by her example to not be afraid to try when you have no idea what you're getting yourself into. Because that's the kind of lesson that brought me here to all of you.

Happy Birthday, Mom... I'm very proud of you and love you around the world and back.


  1. Ya gotta love a 'child' who loves her parents and sings their praises with such eloquence and obvious admiration!

    Here's to your Mom's birthday, Sara! May God bless her with many more happy, healthy birthdays to come!


  2. That was an amazing story, Gitzen Girl. A very fitting tribute to your mother and everything she has accomplished.

    I'm glad she taught you those lessons.

    Because I'm glad they brought you here, to all of us. Your writing is quite an encouragment, and it has helped to keep me in focus several times.

  3. Gitz, this is just my favorite story in a hundred years.
    (Happy Birthday Gitz's Mom!!!!
    I pray the coming year would be full of blessings straight from The Father and that you would see, every day how very much you are loved.)
    Okay, I've often wondered if you live on a farm and work really hard,if you had big dinners and lunches...that so fasinates me. I love it. And that she often took time with the details...pudding in cups for everyone as opposed to "there's a big vat of pudding in the fridge, every kid for himself!"
    And going to work for the 1st time. Wow! I so admire a woman who does that and does it well. And her own business! Your mom is one of a kind and I'd love to meet her...
    Love to you and Mom today Gitz~

  4. Awe, what a sweet sweet story. She sounds amazing. Happy be-lated birthday to your mom.

    Those big country suppers reminded me of my Great Aunt Margie. She did the same. Always had food to share and plenty of mouths ready at the table. She also opened up her home to her brothers when they didn't have a home and took care of their laundry and all that too.

    I'm so glad you shared this story. It made me smile.

  5. Sara, this is a terrific post and I loved every word of it. I'm only a couple of years younger than your mom (63 in March) and can relate to so much you wrote about her and the times in which she grew up. I'll bet she is just as proud of you!

  6. Hey everyone out there....I know Gitz's Mom AND everything is so true. She has picked up many pieces in my life and glued them back together. Gitz's parents make a great team and I'm so blessed to reap their friendship.

    Happy Birthday, my friend.
    Love ya and God's Blessings to you
    Dave & Ruth

  7. It is wonderful to have a GREAT Mom! We share that.

  8. What a wonderful tribute to your mom. Any woman who can learn to clip pig tails and teeth, is a ehroin my book!
    Thanks for a wonderful week of Christmas Treasures.

  9. Happy birthday to your mom. She sounds like a really neat lady!

    Today is also my dad's birthday. He'd be 93 today if he were still with us. I'm happy you've still got you mom and can let her know how much she means to you.

  10. Awww that was beautiful! You are so gifted at presenting others to your readers. I'm pretty sure you have that gift that John and Elizabeth Sherrill, who work with people to write their stories, have. Any time I see a book with their names on it I know it is going to be good.

    Your mom sounds amazing. Any woman who cooks more than one full meal a day deserves some respect. I am glad she changed schools too. What would we do without you, Gitz?

  11. Sara, what a beautiful post for your mom.

    Happy Birthday to Sara's mom. I hope your day is all you want it to be.

  12. "... because sometimes love is in the smallest details." And your mom took the time to attend to all the details, even the smallest ones. For you to notice and care and now document that you experience her love in that way is a really loving gesture. I think all moms hope that someday their children understand this very idea. This is a great gift. Thank you for sharing.

    Thanks for a fun and memorable week : )

  13. What a sweet post. You can just feel the love jump off the page : )
    Happy Birthday, Mama Gitz!

    And thank you, Sarah, for a fun week of stories, contests, and memory sharing. Let's do it again sometime, okay?

  14. I love this, Gitz!

    What a great role model for you. My mom has always been a go-getter and capable of any task she finds in front of her. It's good to have those models to help us know, we can do this thing called life.

    Happy Birthday to Mama Gitz!!