A Happy Day!

We flew out to California to surprise GrammaNette for her 60th Birthday two weeks ago. We had a great time visiting with family and doing a few tourist trips. I have too many pictures for one post, so I hope to get them all up over the week. Things are a bit crazy at our house right now with school ending and Hank is really struggling with allergic reactions. But I promise to get them all up eventually. It was a great surprise when Jeanette came up to the Villa after school on Friday. Anna, Sam, our family, John, Cheryl and Grandma Sylvia were all hiding. She opened the door to a huge surprise! That was the first round of tears. The second round of tears of joy came on Saturday where all her closest friends and family sang Happy Birthday!
The third round of tears came as friends and family told funny memories of times with Jeanette. I think Anna's Pretty Pony story took the cake. Everyone enjoyed all the things Jeanette has brought to our lives. Anna had asked everyone to have a memory to share and I had written mine. However, speaking is not my strong suit. 1. I get too emotional and start to cry. Then I start talking talking in this high pitched voice as I am sobbing with snot pouring out of my nose. Second, trying to talk while wrangling kids is never a good idea. So here is what I wanted to say.
The modern feminist. That is how I see Jeanette. She is like my second mother and has taught me so much about being a woman and mom. I was raised in a very woman empowered environment. After my parents divorced, my mom drove home the expectation that you always need to be able to take care of yourself and your kids. I had big career plans and in general thought that life as a homemaker and having kids was second to career and “doing something with my life”. I embraced more of a traditional feminist view and felt the quintessential female qualities as unimportant.

As I have grown-up and become a mother, I find I look to Jeanette more and more in what it means to be a feminist. She has this mother earth thing going on. She embraces all things feminine but rather than seem meek and submissive or less, it exudes a confident power.

She was the one who gave me the confidence to keep nursing Hailey when it was so hard and painful I literally had thoughts of suffocating Hailey. I had so many doubts about if I was doing it right and the doctors continually filled me with fear about giving her enough. Jeanette had this serene quality that told me God had designed me to do this and that I could do it, if I would just trust in myself. Her confidence empowered me to keep nursing. Nursing has been without a doubt one of the most special times of my life, and I owe it to her.

Jeanette has embraced the kitchen like no one else I know. If you know Jeanette, you know this girl can cook! I have never had a meal that she prepared that didn’t taste fabulous. Cooking was another area that I never paid much attention to in my younger days. Why would you want to slave away in the kitchen all day when the meal would be eaten in ten minutes flat and you have a pile of dishes to do? I now understand the joy that comes from creating a delightful and healthy meal for your family. I hope to impart on my kids how special they are because I choose to make special meals for them.

Sewing and knitting. Can you think of anything more stereotypical of a woman? She has taught me everything I know about both of these. The quality of my work is not a reflection of her, I am a slow learner! :) I never imagined I would get so much pleasure out of creating things from strings.

Devoting your life to your kids. This has been one of the biggest feminist movements Jeanette has impressed upon me. In all the little and big things she has done as a mother from home schooling to allowing her son to follow some girl to Colorado, I have been taking notes. Her love for her children is apparent in all she does down to the lovely meals, the knit sweaters, the staunch support, and the many prayers. Jeanette encompasses the word mother in all ways. I am blessed to have her as a feminist guiding light and am honored to call her my mother-in-law.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You know I love you because I drug 4 kids under the age of 7, 4 car seats, and 3 suitcases a 1000 miles. Not to mention the dooly! :)


Courtney said...

What a great surprise! I love your new blog background. Super cute!

Anna said...

what's a dooly?