I have the best mom in the world. Please don't argue with me. I already know I'm right. And I will tell you why.
She has loved me unconditionally since the day I was born. And I am sure of that.
She has always supported me. No matter what I wanted to do with my life. In fact, I remember once when I was a teenager, she had said to me "You know, Ashley... if you decided you are a lesbian, I would be ok with that. I would still love you." I thought she was completely insane when she had said that to me (since I was totally boy-crazy), but I understand now why she said it.
She is absolutely beautiful. In every way. I mean, just look how hot she looks in this swimsuit.
She dressed our family so cute. She always put me in cute clothes, made sure I matched, curled my hair... and as soon as I could do it all myself, I sucked at it.
And even though her children decided to be completely nerdy and lack all sense of style, she was still so proud of us. Even when I went through my totally awkward stage where I wore pop-can tops for all of my jewelry, and pants that were 3 sizes too big for me because they were "cool," and dyed my hair with kool-aid, she still loved me. I can't even begin to fathom how tough that would have been for a mother.
She and her siblings are extremely odd. And I love them dearly. It makes family gatherings SO much fun. They have the weird gene. She totally passed it on to my brother. It must have skipped me because, seriously... I mean... anyone you talk to will tell you I am SO not weird. Really. No, honestly. . . What, you don't believe me? Psh. Whatever.
Anyway, she is very silly. And it makes it so much fun to be around her. She also encourages my silly side. One particular day when Ashlee and I were about 14, we were at my house and my mom convinced us that each piece of furniture had a distinct "pitch." So my mother had a great laugh at our expense as Ashlee and I went around to each bed/chair/wall and said "oh.... oh..." raising our voices up and down until it would resonate back to us so we'd know we found the right pitch. I can't believe we fell for that. She was so full of crap.
A few years ago, she moved up to Seattle. And although I miss her, it is so much fun to go visit her and have good quality mommy/daughter time.
She is super duper intelligent. If I ever have a question about pretty much any topic, I just ask her. She's like a walking Wikipedia. And dictionary. She is a word nerd.... and that quality has definitely begun to rub off on me.
She is a strong woman. She raised me on her own for a big part of my life. I am only now able to imagine how difficult that would have been.
She is more talented than anybody I know. Honestly. I have never known anyone who is SO gifted in so many areas: music, art, crafts, photography, computers, sewing, writing, business, web design... the list goes on.
She is always there when I need to talk. Especially if it's late at night, like 3 in the morning, since that's about how late she stays up.
I can always go to her for advice and I know she'll never judge me.
She has always called me "Baby." And still does. Every time we talk. And I love it.
She has shown me how to be a good mother.
If I ever get down on myself, she always knows how to boost me up. She believes in me and in what she knows I can do.
She is a fantastic grandmother. She always sends cute little packages for EVERY holiday, which contain anything from candy, decorations, photographs, to creatively-shaped pasta, magazines, etc. She is always thinking of me. And of others. She is extremely selfless and is always willing to help.
My mother taught me so many things:
Life is not black and white.
People aren't just "good" or "bad."
Love people for what they do and who they are. Not what they may believe.
Eat lunch with the kid who sits alone every day.
Be proud of who you are and what you can do.
You can do anything.
It's ok to be different.
It's ok to question.
Explore every avenue.
Follow your dreams.
You are worth it.
Boys are stupid.
Stand up for what you believe in.
Every girl needs a good cry once in a while.
You are strong.
You are loved.
I love you, mom.