My Momma passed away when I was eleven years old. That was nearly 30 years ago and it was a really difficult time in my life. It seemed to change the course of my life from the moment she was gone from this Earth. You can read a bit about that story here.
I have wondered many things about my Mom over the years. You can only imagine a thousand gazillion questions, right?
Like was she happy? What were her favorite things? What was she passionate about? Did she have dreams that she never achieved? What were her dreams for me? How did she and Dad meet? How did she feel when she gave birth to me?
I have many amazing older Sisters and one Brother that have tried to fill in those gaps and answer those questions. But I truly never realized how much I wanted to hear them from her until I had my own children.
The kiddos, Ken and I were sitting around eating dinner at the dinner table and Lou Lou asked us to tell the story of how we met and married. It reminded me of those unanswered questions long ago.
So I’ve decided to write down my own story about life, but wanted my kids to know many other things about me, about what I dream for them. I wanted to share my advice with them about life and love, about choosing God above anything else, about staying happy and connected to family. And since I seem to over-share with this blog, I’ve decided to share my list of things with you. I would encourage you to do the same with your family/children too.
I will also be writing letters to my children too and including this list in it for them. Rifling through my Mom’s mementos and things, I always dreamed I would find a letter from her to me. It never happened of course, but is something I want to give to my own children for those Just In Case moments. I intend to save these letters & lists in our fire proof strong box.
1. Find out for yourself who God is and Lovingly pray to him daily.
2. Remember who you are, as a Spirit Son or Daughter of God.
3. Go to church every week. Partake of the Sacrament and renew your precious covenants.
4. Surround yourself with good friends. Don’t let anyone bring you down to their level, instead help them rise up to yours.
5. Listen to uplifting music that will not bring you down.
6. Look people in the eye when you talk with them.
7. Share the gospel whenever you can, bring others to the knowledge of the Savior.
8. Pray anywhere, anytime, for anything.
9. Read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if its true.
10. Bear testimony of the truths you have received in your life.
11. Count your Blessings.
12. Don’t waste your time on buying brand name items when generic will do.
13. Learn to save your money.
14. Choose to follow Christ throughout your life.
15. Repent when you need to, and forgive yourself when you’ve slipped up.
16. Eat sandwiches with fresh cucumbers in the middle.
17. Smile more.
18. Make someone happy every day.
19. Go to College or trade school and graduate.
20. Get a good job and learn to work hard. Work never hurt anyone.
21. Respect yourself. Remember sex is not love, it is the ultimate expression of love.
22. Marry in the temple to the Love of your life, like I did.
23. Call your Mom and Dad more often.
24. Wear a red shirt or sweater to a job interview. The color red says, “I’m in charge and confidant”.
25. Learn to have hobbies. Writing, creating, repairing things like Daddy, singing, playing an instrument, anything to help you feel fulfilled.
26. Advocate for someone who can’t speak up for themselves.
27. Service is a huge key to happiness. Help those around you.
28. Stay positive.
29. Go caroling at Christmas to Senior centers or even your neighborhood.
30. Teach your children the Gospel.
31. Don’t be afraid to say “No” when you can’t tackle something.
32. Everyone makes mistakes, don’t be afraid to fail.
33. Take your family to the Grand Canyon.
34. Go camping, hiking, fishing, hunting. Get outside!
35. Play “PIG” with your kids with the front yard basketball hoop.
36. Watch the super bowl together and eat Chili and cornbread.
37. Stay away from drugs! Even one time using you could be hooked, especially considering your birth parents usage and history.
38. Listen when people talk to you.
39. Don’t ever text and drive, drink and drive, or check your email while driving!
40. Get your car tires siped for better traction.
41. Kiss your loved ones often. Life is too short to be angry.
42. Use petroleum jelly and baby powder for the best diaper rash medicine.
43. Delegate responsibilities more when in leadership positions.
44. Celebrate the little things. Every moment is sacred when we are together.
45. Cherish your family. Hold them close.
46. Have fun in college, but be safe and respect yourself.
47. Play in the snow with your children. Make snowmen and snow angels. Have snow ball fights.
48. Take a drive each Christmas to see the Christmas lights around town.
49. Make out with your spouse during a movie and watch your kids gross out.
50. Decorate Christmas sugar cookies each year.
51. Call anytime of night and we will pick you up. No matter your age or where you are. We will be there. That’s what parents do.
52. Visit your grandparents and parents graves and put flowers on their headstones.
53. Do temple work and genealogy for those in our family who haven’t had the opportunity.
54. Visit the temple as often as you can.
55. Stay away from Pornography!
56. Own and listen to Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” album
57. Be responsible for your actions, apologize when you’ve done something wrong.
58. Eat a banana when you have PMS, and pack Ibuprofen.
59. Laugh often. Don’t take yourself too seriously all the time. Happiness is infectious.
60. Learn to cook, bake, or grill.
61. Always be Kind!
62. Don’t get a tattoo, they’re permanent and not worth it!
63. Light scented candles.
64. Stay away from mean people. They’re not worth your time or talents.
65. Surprise someone with a car filled full of balloons on their birthday.
66. Be grateful. Recognize your blessings.
67. Don’t worry so much.
68. Bake your holiday turkey at 500 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn it down to 325 for the rest of the baking process. This seals in the juices and is the juiciest turkey you will ever eat.
69. Have “Waffle Sundays”.
70. Wear swimming flippers to a date at a tennis court.
71. Never wear too much makeup or too much cologne or perfume.
72. Have a sense of humor!
73. Give and take. Remember marriage isn’t 50/50 its 100/100.
74. Eat chocolate. Dance more.
75. Always, Always, Always remember you are loved! Even when you make mistakes, we love you.
76. Watch “Footloose” and “Beaches” with your best girlfriend before you graduate High school or College.
77. Never cut someone out of your life if they really matter to you.
78. Acknowledge your weaknesses and work on them.
79. Eat Taco’s on Tuesdays or Thursdays every week.
80. Own animals.
81. Move your furniture around in your living room to make sure you get the gunk underneath under control.
82. Wash your whites in Hot water with a bit of vinegar water to remove any odors and germs.
83. Don’t gossip.
84. Learn how to make pancakes, top-ramen, and mac-n-cheese. You’ll rely on those meals a lot in college.
85. Have goals and learn to achieve them.
86. Clean your cats litter box daily. No one likes the “cat box” smell.
87. Wash your sheets on your bed at least every other week.
88. Never give up on someone you love. There is always a way back.
89. Ride a roller coaster.
90. Take a child to a cartoon movie and listen to the laughter in the theater.
91. Record your baby’s belly laughs.
92. Keep a journal.
93. Respect the flag, the military, and those who have given their lives for our country. Freedom is not free.
94. Grow a garden and teach your children to be self sufficient.
95. Have faith that God knows what’s best for you.
96. Be better than you were yesterday.
97. I will always be with you, even after I’m gone. Eternity is forever and you’re stuck with me!
98. Dream big, work hard.
99. Fame isn’t important. Being a kind, loving person is.
100. Never, ever give up on yourself! You are a child of God!