Listen to your mother. No really, listen to her...

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I've inherited some particular ways of going about life. Handed down from my mom. Sometimes they were overtly taught... As in "You are not going anywhere until your bed is made." And other things I picked up by observing her in the kitchen, on the phone, and from sitting in the backseat on roadtrips. This list is not exhaustive... and is, I'm sure, incomplete... as always, when I make lists, I'm sure I have forgotten THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. I always do. (Also, apparently we need some new photos together. This pic is circa 2005.)

"Do your hair & wear makeup, even on stay-at-home-all-day-long days." 

I mean, I would do it for the people in the grocery store and I don't even know their names. So really, I should try to look my best for the people who love me most. Matt & Oliver, today I showered and am wearing blush for my boys. You can thank my mom for that.

"Medicine works better when your mom gives it to you."

Also, this same rule applies to spouses. I don't understand it, I have not done a random, controlled trial on it, but I respect it. And in this house, no one gets their own medicine. As a side note- cough syrup goes down better with milk and cookies. When cough syrup is purchased, so are Chips Ahoy Cookies.

"Not every meal needs a dessert…"

but I am still wishing it did.

"Think happy thoughts"

Mom, you were doing cognitive therapy on us and didn't even know it. What you think affects how you feel, which affects how you act. Think happy = be happy = act happy. I have done this with my kids in therapy, and I do this with myself in long check out lines.

"When you are sick- wash your face, brush your teeth, take a shower. You'll still be sick, but you will feel better."

Clean and sick always trump dirty and sick, hands down.

"Go to bed with your husband. None of this going to bed at separate times business…"

We end the day together. Sometimes that means one of us takes the iPad to bed too, because 9pm really is quite early, let's be honest.

"You are in charge of your own attitude. And sometimes you have a split second to decide before grumpiness takes over..."

But I am always the one who decides what my attitude or response will be. So no, Mom, your voice in my head refuses to let me cop out and accuse the weather, or traffic, or any of the people I live with for my bad mood.

"Make your bed. Every morning."

Sorry mom, this one is just not going to happen. But, I do close the bedroom door when we have company.

"If you are a guest, help in the kitchen. I mean really."

Those times when I've been places and the host absolutely and adamantly refuses to let me help... I leave with this horrible guilty feeling. That is just not what Sanders-formerly-Williams do. We clean the kitchen.

"How to tie my shoes"

Nope, Grandma taught me that.

"Have Grandma teach your children how to tie their shoes."

Gma and Nana, you've got a few years, but Oliver is counting on you! He can't wear velcro forever. And Matt is adamantly against Crocs and flip flops on boys, so he really will need some help.

"Dream with your husband- even those probably-will-never-happen dreams."

We can dream about it and talk about it. Even those  probably-more-than-likely-never-gonna-happen kinds of dreams. I let him dream and to join him in it. Although, there have also been times, when I've been a sharp shooter and burst a balloon without reason. And I've heard your voice then, too, mom. "Really, there was no need for that. Let him dream."

"Go to your room until you can be happy."  

Even now, I sometimes send myself to my room. But someone inevitably follows me or needs me.

"You don't have to be hurt for me to hold you."

I craved nurturance as a child. And if we're really honest, and seeing as Matt reads my blog, I'll be honest and say that I still love to be nurtured. Note to self- just ask for a hug, don't fake an injury. The people who love me will do that for me.

"Open the Word. Every day."

I'm working to make it a priority during O's naps right now. It doesn't happen every day... but it happens. I'm thankful that I saw you so many mornings with the Bible in your hands, a cup of tea beside you and a warm blanket on your lap. I was watching.