11 Things I Learned From My Mom – Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

So much of what we do or who we are in life comes from our Mom. I was reading an article earlier this week that was talking about how people say that children are so resilient and can overcome tragic events early in life. The article rejected this notion by pointing out that our childhood is the most formative time in our life and the good or the bad that happens to us during our childhood shapes who we are as adults.  Not only does our childhood shape who we are, but just as importantly it shapes our values.  I thank my mom for all the good she brought to my life as a child.

When we look at our values they  form two things in us: 1)who we are and 2)who we strive to be.

I don’t claim to be a perfect adult. As a matter of fact I often think, gosh, what could I do to be a better person, mom, wife?  However, I do think I do pretty darn well.  I am happy and content and my kids seem happy, too.  We all have our days, but in general I thank my mom (and dad and God) every day for the life I have been given and the values that she instilled in me as a child and even now as an adult and a mom.

So in honor of Mother’s Day I wanted to share 11 things (values) that I have learned in life from my mom.  Some things I think I do pretty well with and others I work on every day.   My mom isn’t perfect either, although she was the perfect mom to my brothers and me.  So here they are in no particular order……

  1. It never helps to yell and definitely don’t swear (the yelling part is hard as a mom sometimes:-))
  2. Plant a garden and take good care of it (both veggies and flowers)
  3. Always have dinner with your family (even when you are incredibly busy – find the time)
  4. Go to church every Sunday and be a good Christian (working on this one, but definitely getting there)
  5. Work hard (both at home and at work)
  6. Always put a square meal on the table (protein, vegetable and a starch)
  7. Almost always cook from scratch (but it’s ok to buy something pre-made every once in a while , too.)
  8. Volunteer (I do better at this at certain times than others)
  9. Keep your kids busy and well-rounded (not just sports, but music, drama and church activities, too)
  10. Family comes first (but take time for yourself, too)
  11. Be thrifty (even if you have money to spend)

I hope my daughters have this same list one day, too……………..


Here is the link to a collection of  my mom’s recipes on BWL.  Her strawberry pie is one of my most popular posts right now.  My all-times favorite is still her Zucchini Bread.

I love you mom and thank you for all that you have given me in life.  You are the best!

My Kitchen Updates – Part 2

Kitchen Window

Last year I did a post about our kitchen updates. We painted the oak cabinets in our kitchen white and that generated a lot of hits. Apparently lots of people are contemplating the same things we were and do not like their ugly orange oak cabinets.

I love the look of our new kitchen and I am very proud of how everything turned out. I love spending time in here and I feel like everything pulled together wonderfully. Since my first post we have had hand scraped hickory hardwood floors installed.  We also added hardware to the cabinets and purchased a new refrigerator.

Kitchen Window

This is a picture of our old kitchen when we first moved into our house. Bleck!!

Old Kitchen

We bought an LG Refrigerator (this one I think) and I love it…its huge and my absolute favorite part is the freezer. There are so many drawers and compartments in that thing I swear I can get as much in there as I can in my freezer in the garage. On top of the two compartments on the bottom there are two drawers that slide so there is no wasted space.

The smart cooling technology also keeps food fresher longer. I have definitely noticed that food is indeed kept fresher. Veggies and fruit don’t spoil as quickly which is a huge deal to me. I always felt like we were throwing produce away and we just don’t have to as often (if at all) with this fridge.

My only complaint is the ice maker doesn’t hold much ice. You can store extra ice in the bucket in the freezer, but I just kind of like to have it come out of the dispenser.

Kitchen Fridge Area

A kind of funny note on the subway tiles….I have always loved the look of a subway tile backsplash, especially with the white cabinets and black granite. Well, subway tile is actually pretty cheap as far as tile goes and my tile guy was trying to talk me out of it because he thought I was just trying to go the cheap route. He wanted me to buy some nicer Italian looking tile and do a fancy backsplash design. While that might also be a nice option I had to convince him that the subway tile was actually part of my overall design and not just a cost savings. I whipped out my Southern Living magazines and Pinterest boards full of white countertops, black granite and subway tiled kitchens just to prove my point. I don’t know if I completely sold him but so what – its my kitchen:-).

Just a quick note on the floor. We bought engineered hardwood and it has held up pretty well. I love the look, but it does show every speck of dirt since it is a dark wood. Just something to consider if you are thinking about dark floors. We have a dog and lots of kids running in and out of the house so it gets dirty quickly.

If you want some info on painting your cabinets I gave some more detail on my first post.

I hope you have enjoyed taking a look at my kitchen. I think the biggest takeaway from this post is that you don’t always have to completely gut your kitchen to get what you want. By painting the cabinets (vs. buying new) we were able to spend a bit more on the floor that I have always wanted. We also got a great deal on our backsplash and granite. We were able to negotiate a great price on both and I think that companies are still very willing to negotiate to get your business. It doesn’t hurt to have a husband in sales, either:-). There are still a few things we need to finish up and if we do anything else significant I will let you all know!