Monday, October 20, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mom!

My mom. The woman who introduced me to big hair, Days of Our Lives, and beauty pageants. She taught me to say please and thank you, always say my prayers, and never chew gum in public. The woman has watched more of my ballet recitals, pep rally routines, tap dances, baton twirls, and talent show capers than anyone should be subjected to witnessing. I call her roughly every other day--many times there are emergency calls that are on unscheduled days so that I can get wardrobe/etiquette/cooking advice that I feel quite certain I would die without. Or at least develop a very painful ulcer from the sheer stress of not being able to get Mom's input.

And so, I couldn't let the day go by without a special post for my mother, who is celebrating her birthday today. This is a lady who is a Neiman Marcus in a world full of Walmarts. We were at her house over the weekend, and it is decorated for fall in a manner that would make Martha Stewart either very proud, or very jealous, depending on her mood. My mom is a master of all things decorating-related; she arranges flowers, she sews, and even though she doesn't like to cook, you can tell by looking at our family that darn good things come out of her kitchen on a very regular basis.

Susan (also known as my mom) is a woman whose wardrobe is to die for, is always well-manicured, and full of style. She is a rare breed who still sends cards, uses beautiful stationery, and if she is asked to bring a dish of food, hers will undoubtedly be homemade. My mom is incredibly generous, and if you are lucky enough to know her, you have probably been the recipient of this generosity for no apparent reason or occasion. There were several years when a good size portion of her grocery money was siphoned away for prom and pageant dresses, while she got out the sewing machine and made her own gowns for her cotillion club ball. Whenever we get back to Charlotte after a visit to my parents' house, it takes us an extra hour to unload all the goodies my mother has sent back for us to enjoy.

One of the best gifts she ever gave me was an introduction to my alma mater. As difficult as it may be to believe, I did not always bleed orange. In fact, it was the spring of my senior year in high school when I came to the realization that the only college I had ever had any intention of attending was, despite my acceptance and the plans we had already been making, so not the place for me. I panicked. My carefully laid plan had totally unraveled and time was running out. Since she knows me like the back of her hand, my mom calmly suggested that perhaps I might like this school in South Carolina, this placed called Clemson, that we had passed for years on our way to the Anderson mall. I had been naive and totally oblivious, but once I stepped foot on campus, it was perfect. Like pretty much every other time in my life, mom was right. Were it not for her, none of you would have to listen to me extol the virtues of being a Clemson Tiger week after week (you can thank her later).

I could go on and on, because my mom is a force of nature. She does so much for Clint and I that I would need days to tell about it all, and she and I have so many memories and stories and inside jokes that I can't even begin to fill you in on the things we have shared over the years. She has a wicked sense of humor and a love for fun that is completely contagious. When I was in high school, my friends always wanted to spend time at our house--to hang out with my mother. She is funny, feisty, and fabulous, and I wanted to wish her a birthday that is the same. Quite literally, she is the one who put the "belle" in For Whom the Belle Tolls.

Happy, Happy Birthday to my one-of-a-kind mom! 
No matter what age the calendar says, you will always be a perfect "10!" 

You've come a long way, baby!


  1. You are so right about your Mom. She is one awesome lady that I love so dearly. Please tell her Happy Birthday for me and tell her I love her and miss her so much.

  2. You're mother is a beautiful person both inside and out. Please wish her a very happy birthday for me!

  3. Love that woman more than the world! Happy Birthday Susan!!!!!

  4. Margy Tabor BartleOctober 21, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    Happy Birthday Mrs. Susan, one of my most favorite people from Toccoa. I always have fond memories of her genuine sweetness, grace, and cheery, outgoing personality.

  5. Happy Birthday Susan!!!

  6. You were a beautiful baby and look at you now pretty lady! Happy Day for your birthday!

  7. Your mom is a very special lady!


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