This post written by my daughter as a surprise for me on Mother's Day in 2013 (she was 15).
1. You're really genuinely beautiful, Mom, in ways you can't see. Your hair is really quite red, and I don't want you to change it. It's you. It's quirky and pretty and confident. Your eyes are a blue color that Levi inherited, and your emotions kind of radiate out of them. Especially when you're happy. Everyone tells me that I look like you, and though I don't acknowledge it, it's a compliment (I never said that!).
2. You can cook. Really, really well.Though Grecco's serves delicious food that I've never tried before, I will never stop loving your gumbo or your butternut squash soup. You are, to date, the best cook I've ever known.
3. You're effervescent. You are one of the most cheerful people I know. Even when you're upset or in pain, you still give off this bubbly, happy air. That's probably why everyone seems to love you.
4. You're patient. This is really important to me, because I know what a handful I can be. Thank you for letting me vent to you about drama, and about things I'm annoyed with in the world. Thank you for being patient when my babies were peeing on everything, and thank you for being patient when I don't clean up after baking.
5. You accept me. You put up with my weird obsessions with fictional characters, boybands, and attractive middle-aged actors. You didn't mind when I had a Jonas Brothers craze, or when I decide to wear tutus. You're okay with me wearing rainboots and carrying an umbrella when it's snowing, and when I decide I want to buy a top hat. Though you probably mentally cringe, thank you for not bashing down the times when I wanted to try something new.
6. You introduce me to things, and help me try them. I never want to listen and I usually fight you on them, but they always end up being what's best for me. Without your suggestions I wouldn't have discovered my love for working at libraries, or that octopus isn't really that bad. Now I'm (mostly) alright with trying new foods and new things, and I'm working on doing new things with other people, but I wouldn't be doing any of that if it weren't for you.
7. You're strong. When everything is going wrong around you, you still look at it and laugh. I want to some day be able to do that as well, to be able to laugh at problems instead of breaking down in frustration. Though I know that some days you ask me to make cookies so that you can take a break from everything, you still push through everything and help Levi and I, and ignore the bad things.
8. You put others first. You ask Daddy for a coffee now and again, and sometimes you may need a bubble bath, but when any of your brothers or sisters ask for a favor you put it first. Not in a push over type of way, but in a loving way. It's selfless, because you have a big heart and you care.
One day, I hope that I can do and be these same things.
P.S. For those of you that aren't my mother: she didn't know what I was going to do when I asked her for her username and password to her blog.