Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Curly or straight

My mom and dad eloped.

They got married sort of because my dad's cousin said, "Hey, why don't you guys get married?" when they were all on a trip together. I'm sure there was a lot more behind it too. Like LOVE. That was nearly 4 decades ago, and they are still together. In fact, they are best friends.

ONE wedding photo exists, from the cheesy chapel they laugh about now.

Just look at how beautiful my mom is.

In her twenties, she did some modeling, got a degree in Speech, and worked her way up to become director of a finishing school in Northern California. She shined with her excellent speaking skills, and a welcoming, always positive attitude. My mom was polished and poised every day.

And still is. Seriously. She has an amazing closet filled with beautiful clothes and shoes, all classic and sophisticated. But let's not forget that there are a lot of people who have nice things. It takes someone with beauty on the inside to pull off beauty on the outside. She does it.

(This is my mom and my little one, a couple of years ago. My daughter's coloring is more like my mom's than mine.)

As long as I can remember, my mom has gotten her hair done at a salon once a week. When I was a child, a lot of times I got to go with her. I would sit at the station beside her while someone curled my long, strawberry blond hair. I have many clear memories of those afternoons: the chattering of hairdresser gossip, the funny smells, and all the ladies who made me feel grown up and lovely. My mom included.

And also quite memorable is the curling-iron indoctrination I underwent, which lasted for two decades. Here is the proof.

Decade 1. Curling iron. Curling iron.

Decade 2. Curling iron gone wild times 4. Holy mackerel. (Sorry Jenn, you're implicated too, in this crime.)

That's a lot of curls. I looked like that in every photo I found. I can't imagine spending the time I used to spend on my hair NOW.

So this little trip down memory lane does have a point. The point is today.

My mom is extra special TODAY because it is the anniversary of the date she labored and delivered me into this world!

Yes, it's my birthday. I'm 36 (wow). And I'm thankful for the many, many things my mom has taught me over the years, even how to wield the various hair irons. (If you're interested, a crimping iron was in rotation for a while, so was a spiral curling iron, a super narrow rod curling iron, a big fat curling iron, there were multiple sets of hot rollers, of course,....and I'm sure it's so disappointing now that I use a flat iron, if I use anything at all!)

But on a more sincere note, my mom passed onto me her love for style, fabrics, accessories, decorating, homemaking....she taught me how to use my voice with confidence and passion....she taught me how to throw a party and to celebrate life no matter what (she is so very good at that)....she taught me to believe I could make a difference in this world (because she believes it and then does it)....and perhaps most importantly, she modeled what it means to give. She has and will always give of herself as a mother, wife, and friend to the farthest extent possible. 

This is my mom and dad this past summer, when the extent of their giving got so ridiculous that they took my husband and I to France. I know. Crazy right? 

(And I have this feeling, mom, that you're a little embarrassed I chose this picture because you think your hair is a tad flat-ish. Well, I think it looks beautiful.) 

See what I mean? Classic, polished, and poised. 

I'm grateful for my mom today. Not only for bringing me into the world, but for giving me her presence and love and time and prayer and energy and everything she could since that day, January 5th, 1975. She has been my biggest fan day after day, year after year, curly or straight. 

Thank you, mom. You're awesome.


  1. Love this post! How a wonderful blessing it is to have mother who not only gave you life but taught how to live well and be the best you can be!!!
    Oh,and happy happy birthday!

  2. Cousin Jane1/5/11, 12:22 PM

    Oh! Leslie, you are very blessed with great Godly parents. What great memories your mom and dad gave you from day 1, yes cruley or not. You are a blessing to everyone that comes your way.Happy Birthday to you Leslie.

  3. Happy birthday Leslie! You & your mom are both beautiful! (inside & out)
    And France!!?? wow that is AWESOME! Hope you have an incredible day friend! :)

  4. happy birthday my beautiful friend, i love the curls and i am clearly a fan of hot curlers! your mom is stunning and so are you! have a wonderful day :)

  5. Happy birthday beauty!!! You are blessed with a wonderful family!!! God Bless!!! :)