If you have followed me on Instagram (my happy place), then you know of all the shenanigans that I enjoyed recently with my mom. Mr. Roy, my step dad, was gone for almost two weeks on a mission trip to the Philippines and momma was "home alone" and we figured it was the perfect opportunity for a little quality time together. I can't remember the last time it was just me and her hanging out. I mean, we LOVE having my girls all up in the mix.. but I have to say, this time was super special. She took off three days of work so we could be free as the breeze.
I kinda got behind on responding to all the comments on instagram while I was there....I mean, she kept me pretty busy. But one of the most reoccurring comments was about our relationship....Many of you shared that you yearned for that with your own moms or desired to have the closeness we share with your own daughters. Several asked what was our "secret" so you could start now with your little girls.
Mom and I talked about that....what is our "secret". And well....we really didn't think we had one.
I have grown up always enjoying my momma and wanting to be around her every chance I could get. She is a one of the funnest people I know. But ours, like most relationships, have had our moments. The only time I ever felt distant was when we were both newlyweds at the same time....this is going on 25 years ago. She and my dad had a beautiful love story. When he died at the age of 44, she was widowed and heartbroken. That story is incredible but for another time...
Then the Lord brought another man into her life while she was attending seminary and they decided to get married. Meanwhile, I'm 17 and pregnant (you can read about that here) and we decide to get married too. So six weeks after I wed, my mom gets married and moves away. This was before cell phones. Heck, this was before unlimited calling plans for land lines if any of you remember those days when you paid for every minute on the phone long distance. Well, she may as well have moved to Africa because our communication was few and far between back then. Not on purpose...out of necessity. So for a few years, it felt very distant. The lady who I had done EVERYTHING with was gone right at a crucial time in my life when I needed her the most. But it was just life you know? I wasn't bitter or angry with her. I mean, I had kind of "replaced" her with Nick too. It's just how life evolves. We've been handed some unfair junk in life in our family...and the one thing I've learned from my mom is to make the best of what you have left. She's a fighter...not a quitter.
And the more we talked about it while we were together last week, we decided if there is anything we could say is our secret, it would be this... Acceptance.
We have learned to accept each other just the way we are. We don't pick each other apart. We don't point out and bring up each other's bad qualities (and we both have our share). We don't dwell on what we don't like about our life situations. And honestly...I can say that that is what makes most of my relationships work. Now please know, I'm not talking about accepting evident sin that must be addressed in the lives of those we love. And I'm thankful for the times when my mom and family loved me enough to lovingly confront my seasons of sinful behavior. When I say acceptance I mean accepting the little things that get on each others nerves...the difference in opinions on matters....the personality "flaws" that we don't care for..... the difference in tastes.....I've learned that a little acceptance goes a long way. We all need to feel loved in spite of our hang ups and differences.
That pretty much sums it up for us and what you see in our pictures and in our smiles. We have just learned to accept each other...just the way we are. We have accepted the things in our past that if given a chance, we might have done differently. But we can't change it, so we accept it. And we have learned from it... I'm a better daughter. I'm a better mom to my girls because of it. I'm a better person period.
And of course the secret to being able to accept others is Jesus.
He makes the difference. He is the difference. It's only through Him that we have the power to do this. To walk in this.
"Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another." Romans 12:9-10
"And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins." Be hospitable to one another without grumbling." 1 Peter 8-9
I'm so thankful for a momma who has taught me this because learning to accept each others fault's frees us up to have fun! Which is what we love to do when we're together.
Now....onto our shenanigans.
We closed down the stores our first night...that last car in the parking lot belongs to us.
Took in a little culture and visited the Titanic exhibit.
Mom was in 2nd class and survived.
I was in 3rd class and didn't make it. :(
One of my favorite discoveries was the menus they posted from the night of the sinking.
It had the 1st class, 2nd class and 3rd class menu. I totally liked the stuff on the 3rd class menu. Give me good old vegetable soup any day over something so fancy I can't even pronounce it! They also had place settings from each of the three dining classes. Again, I loved 3rd class. I learned they stamped the trademark of the cruise liner on the dishes to discourage the passengers from stealing them. Well, I'm a sucker for special coffee mugs with memories, so I brought home this replica of what my mug would have looked like if I had been aboard the Titanic. One plus of being 3rd class is your souvenirs are cheaper....mom was gonna do the same thing. But her 2nd class stuff was double the price. lol.
We ate out every day. Seriously, the only dishes we dirtied at her house were two coffee cups and spoons for our morning coffee that we rinsed out and re-used each day. Mom said I was cheap because I only ate once a day....unlike my brother when he comes to visit. (just another reason I'm her favorite. lol)
We had lazy mornings drinking coffee in our pajamas until 10am as I got brushed up on all my family history by one of the best storytellers I know. (the only thing that would have made this picture any more perfect is if the fire would have been roaring in the fireplace....but both of us were too scared to mess with the gas to turn it on)
We made daily stops at Sonic for her Diet Coke with vanilla light on ice and my Diet Dr. Pepper.
For old times sake we went to what USED to be our favorite store...the Unique Shoppe...which was a "high end" Goodwill store. We spent many a spring breaks here with the girls shopping through the years. We tagged the girls in this pic and they knew immediately where we were...Lauren asked if we went across the street and got an Icee when we were done. lol. That was ALWAYS tradition.
The Unique Shoppe moved to this fancy schmancy place but it's not the same.
(that is an actual Goodwill store)
But as all things must end....there is always the start of something new....
Goodbye Unique Shoppe and
HELLLOOO big Goodwill in your happy swirly building.
Our new favorite.
I told mom this was her vacation and that I would go anywhere she wanted to go and asked her if she had a place or two that she wanted to explore where she had never been.
We ended up here...
At this fancy gift shop.
We decided we would stick to our Goodwills...
And momma's beloved SteinMart of course.
Which is where I got this new sweater I kinda love alot.
We shopped around in momma's shed too which was my fave! She has the best treasures.
I brought home a lamp that my daddy bought her when I was a little girl.
I made her pause for a quick pic in her personal park she calls a back yard.
We finished out the trip at the Boardwalk..
Where we road the trolley...
... all by ourselves.
And wrapped things up at Copeland's where we shared a piece of Dulce De Leche Cheesecake.
The very first night I got there, I discovered this box of chocolates on my pillow with the sweetest card....I saved the chocolates the entire week.
Until the night before I left...when I devoured it.
Such a sad sight. It kinda meant to me the party was officially over.
The morning I left, we loaded my car down with all my goodies and then took our traditional photo booth picture together....said our goodbyes...hugged each others neck..
And just like that.....it was over.
Until next time that is.