This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BestMomsDayEver #CollectiveBias
I want to tell you all a little bit about my mom. She is a fighter. She is a force. She is a woman.
From a very early age, I knew my mother was a strong woman. The challenges she has had to overcome in her life far surpass anything I have ever had to face as a young woman myself; it is because of her perseverance and dedication to make my life a good one that I am thankful and lucky to be in such a great place that I am in now as a twenty-something.
Being that I am only 26 years old, it's honestly difficult for me to truly fathom the amount of time that my mom spent her life raising me. For just over 20 years, my mom made countless sacrifices to ensure that I lived a happy and healthy life. Twenty-freaking-years. That is insane! For 2 decades, my mom put me and my needs first, and did all she could to care for me until I got married.
I have memories from a young age that remind me of how incredible my mom is, and just exactly what she did to raise me so well. I recall for many, many years when we were struggling to pay for school and my extracurricular activities how my mom never bought herself new clothes. At the time, admittedly, I did not really notice or care; looking back on my younger years, I remember the same Girls Scouts sweater my mom would wear over her clothes as a jacket every year. I even remember a pair of boots that mom had for a good 5 years, that she wore every winter when she went outside to shovel snow in the frigid cold. Having known what it's like to not be able to buy myself clothes from struggling with money, I am so incredibly thankful for that sacrifice my mom made for me.
Another incredible sacrifice my mother made was the day she quit smoking. I'll never forget it! We were headed out of town for a marching band field trip, and before we left my mom stood outside of the coach bus and smoked her last cigarette. She looked at me and said, "Ahhh that was nice. That's it! I'm done." With a gaping mouth I watched her chuck the remainder of her cigarette pack into the garbage can and get on the bus. That whole week my mom was a bear of a person, but let's be honest: wouldn't YOU be a bear if you quit smoking (successfully) cold turkey? Makes total sense!
And she's never smoked ever since! It brings tears to my eyes when I think about that. What incredible human perseverance it takes to overcome a physical addiction like smoking. At the end of this month, it will be exactly 10 years since my mom smoked her last cigarette.
Having seen the strength my mom had growing up is what makes me who I am today. We have even had to make sacrifices together.
I'm just going to put this out there, and I don't want anyone to treat me differently after I say this--it's really not a big part of my life now, but I've never written about it on my blog. Anyway, I am a victim of domestic violence. I could get into that whole story and talk about how that changed me, my family, etc. But that's not what this is about. What this post is about is celebrating my incredible mom. When I was a teenager, my mom and I removed ourselves from that horrible situation and got an apartment together. Mom was working double overtime, and I had made school/extracurricular sacrifices. I stopped getting new school clothes for the most part. Mom and I did not go out to eat or go shopping as often. But what we did do was spend more time together, and if it had not been because of that horrible situation we both faced together I honestly do not know where we would both be at this point. Through making sacrifices together, my mom and I bonded on many levels.
After just over 20 years of making life-changing sacrifices for her daughter, my mom has finally been able to do something for herself and it brings me so much joy when I think about it! As a matter of fact, my eyes just started watering as I started to type this part haha (mom, if you are reading I know now that you are crying at this point too).
But it is with so much joy and excitement that I can tell you all that my mom has fulfilled her life-long dream of picking up her life and moving it across country: to Alaska!
I know, I know! It's crazy--but my mom has always been completely fascinated with the way of life up in Alaska, and she has always wanted to move her life there. Just last year, my mom had the opportunity to relocate with her job and move there. Ever since her move, I can say without a doubt that this is the happiest I have ever seen her. She can finally do things for herself, and not for me. And I am so SO happy that she is happy--I only want the best for my amazing mom.
So that brings me to my blog post--giving my mom the best this Mother's Day.
To be honest, I just want to give her my gratitude and all of my love. My mom is not a materialistic person, and I know that what she wants is just something that is from the heart. I am happy that there are options out there for me at stores like Walmart where I can pop in and grab something for my mom at the American Greetings One-Stop Shop, and then sit down and write my mom a letter. What I like to do is write my mom a letter, sign my American Greetings Mother's Day card, and throw the letter inside of the card and seal it. This year, my letter is a copy of this blog post. I want her to know that I am so proud of her that I want to share it with my friends on my blog! And this adorable teddy bear I saw on display at the One-Stop Shop stole my heart, and I had to grab her a picture frame (since I like to give her empty ones and tell her we'll need to create more memories so we can fill the frame with them)!
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