Being your daughter has been incredible.
I'm not sure you'll ever really know what you look like through my eyes, but I'll try, TRY to put it into words.
You're beautiful. Oh so beautiful. The kind of beauty that doesn't realize just how much it glows. The kind of beauty that lights up a room, and leaves a lingering air of grace.
You're ridiculously strong. No matter what life has thrown at you - and let's be honest, there have been some crappy times - you've never missed a beat. Or, if you have, your kids never knew it.
You're selfless... the kind of person who really and truly puts everyone before herself.
You don't sweat the small stuff - and you're often reminding me that it's not worth it to do so. You realize what life is all about, and you make a point to stay positive and have fun with each of your days here on this earth.
You see, Mama, you're the kind of woman I want to be when I grow up.
You've given me a life full of so much joy, and there are so many memories I have of you, of us.
The way we'd swim for hours on end at Murraywood, sometimes while you were on the tennis courts, sometimes while you cheered for us while we jumped off of the high dive. I remember you'd always pack our lunches, even wrapping up green olives in tin foil, letting us get one frozen candy bar or Charleston Chew.
The way you lean your head to the side and play with your hair while driving.
The way you do the fingertip-steering-wheel-dance, also while driving!
The way you used to leave chore lists for us on the kitchen table during the summer. We'd alway rush to see who had to dust, vaccuum, and do the dishwasher.
The way I'd get so excited when we went on a road trip, because it was one of the only times we got to eat fast food.
The way you always have to fall asleep on the couch before you go to bed.
The way we always had Custom Pizza on Friday nights.
The way you always made homemade popcorn and put a sweet treat in the bottom.
The way you spent countless hours (and dollars!) on dance classes, costumes, conventions, and competitions.
The way you'd set out the cereal and bowls for breakfast on school-day mornings.
The way you'd French braid my hair, and even do it over when I said it was too bumpy.
The way we snuck ziplock bags to share popcorn and dollar store candy into the movie theater.
The way you never eat the popcorn until the movie starts.
The way you smell the inside of a new book.
The way you trusted me and allowed me to be honest with you - giving me boundaries, but also not trying to smother me as I navigated the world of high school.
The way you let me get a job at 16 and drive a beat up, 1983 Honda Civic so I could learn the value of money and responsibility.
The way you supported my move to NC to be with the man I love.
The way you rode in the limo with me on the way to Trunk Bay to marry that man - holding my hand and never letting go.
The way you hopped into a car at 3:00am the minute you heard I was in labor. The way I felt when you walked into my hospital room. The look on your face when I told you my daughter was named after you.
The way you came to stay with me, T, and Cameron Kate for a week, helping us navigate the waters of new parenthood. The way we cried when it was time for you to go. The way you told me, "You can do this."
It's because of you that I finally believe I can do this - be a mother, to a daughter. Like you said, now I finally know the love you have for me. I can only hope that my daughter will love me and look up to me as much as I do you.
I'm so proud to be your daughter.
Happy Mother's Day, Mama.
To the moon...
A long, long time ago
Watching your girl marry the man of her dreams
One of the best days of my life!
It was time!
Our girl, Cameron Kate
Named after you!
Your week with the Peeles
The best Mom and Bammy in the world!