• Shelly Elliott

HBD Mom! 60 Things and Memories I Love About My Mom

As you have read in lots of the guest blogger posts, "My mom" is a common answer to the question, "Who is the woman you most admire and why?" If I were answering that question, my answer would be no different. Today, on Mom's birthday, I am especially thankful that God blessed me with Mom. Mom hates her birthday, so today, I want to share a list of 60 (number chosen at random... maybe) things or memories I love about Mom. Happy Birthday Mom. We love you!

We are family- L to R: My brother Pug, his girlfriend Maggie, Mom, Dad, Me, and Scott

  1. Her selflessness- Mom is the most selfless person I know. She never puts herself before anyone.

  2. Her compassion for others

  3. Love for her family

  4. Taking care of my grandparents- Mom took care of both of her parents for just over 20 years after they moved to my hometown in Bradford. Mimi and Pap hadn’t even been in Bradford a year when Pap had an aneurysm rupture in his aorta. It left him paralyzed from the waist down and wheel-chair bound, and though he spent the last 9 years of his life in a nursing home, Mom went up multiple times a day to visit and doted on him hand and foot. It was hard when Mimi had to start her stay in that same nursing home a few years ago, and Mom was once again at the nursing pavilion multiple times per day. During the last year of my other Pap’s life (Dad’s dad), Mom would drive to Pittsburgh with Dad on the weekends to help take care of him.

  5. Her sense of humor- Read on to hear more.

  6. Giving me my brother (I guess I can credit Dad 50%, too, but Mom did all the hard work from labor until…. Well, Pug and I have both kept her working hard and worrying hard).

  7. Not caring much what other people think- Mom does her thing and says, “Screw everyone else.” And I admire that.

  8. Mom raised two kids while owning her own business and being married to a teacher and basketball coach that had no off-season

  9. Support of dad’s teams- We never missed a game. Mom would even get us out of school early sometimes to get on the road for the long away trips.

  10. Booster Bitch days. My mom was the glue that held the Booster Club for my dad’s basketball team together. She would fundraise, put the program together, work the concession stand, and did whatever she needed to do to help out. Mom loved dad’s players like her own sons and she never wanted them to go without. She used to refer to herself as the “Booster Bitch” and when my dad would ask her for something else, she would say, “Shove a broom up my ass Dave and I’ll sweep the floor while I’m at it!”

  11. Support of and service to the community- Mom dedicates so much of her time, energy, and money to support multiple causes in the community. She’s been an active Kiwanis Club member for nearly 20 years and supports the local schools and athletic programs.

  12. Scholarship she gives in memory of my grandma, Shirley L. Fuhrman- Every year, Mom and Dad give out a nursing scholarship and an accounting scholarship to graduating seniors that intend to study those respective fields in college.

  13. First generation college graduate- Mom is a first generation college grad and….

  14. She busted her butt to get there- Mom worked two jobs while going through chiropractic school at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. And….

  15. She still had time to be one of the ultimate beer chugging champions back in her glory days.

  16. Owns her own business- Mom has had Fuhrman Chiropractic Center for over 27 years now, and she always has your back (and whatever other body parts hurt)!

  17. Loves my husband like a son and welcomed him into our family- When I met Scott, I knew pretty quickly that he was the one. While it took Scott (who my brother affectionately nicknamed “Sweets”) a little while to win over Mom, she loves him like a son.

  18. Loves our pup Biscuit- Scott and I adopted a dog two years ago and Mom absolutely loves him. One of the things that attracted me to Biscuit initially was he reminded me so much of our family dog Cooper growing up. Mom and Dad will watch their granddog for us when we go out of town and completely spoil him rotten.

  19. Chuck Wagon- Speaking of dogs, my parents got a miniature Golden-Doodle puppy they named Charlie about a year and a half ago. Mom really missed Cooper (my childhood dog) and being around Biscuit gave her the puppy itch. Cooper was calm, low energy, and low maintenance. Charlie, or “Chuck Wagon” as we sometimes call him, is exactly the opposite. He has given her a run for her money, and it’s absolutely hilarious watching Mom chase Charlie through the house when he has done something bad or won’t listen.

  20. Can COOK- Mom can give Guy Fieri a run for his money. This woman hasn’t met a meal she can’t tackle, and unfortunately, I haven’t picked up the skill yet.)

  21. Can’t bake worth a darn-

  22. Her Spanish rice with shrimp- Mimi used to make this for Pug and I growing up and Mom has since taken over the tradition. It’s not quite as good as Mimi’s was, but we still love it!

  23. Encouraged me to pursue my dream of going to ND- This had been my dream since I was 6 years old. Mom always believed in me, and encouraged me to pursue my dreams and goals. When I got into ND, Mom put some of her financial goals on hold and paid any remaining tuition I had post-financial aid money to make my dream a reality.

  24. The “Is this thing on? Oh. Um, can we get someone to bikes please? Thanks!” episode- My freshman orientation move-in weekend, my parents, brother, and I were at Wal-Mart getting things for my dorm. Mom and I were looking at bikes, as I wanted to get one to be able to get to classes easily. The one I liked was on the top row and we couldn’t find any employees around. My mom got on the intercom and paged someone.

  25. Loved my brother and I unconditionally and equally- Mom always wanted to be fair, and she never played favorites.

  26. Her love for children Mom has many “adopted” daughters, sons, granddaughters, and grandsons that she loves to spoil and care for. Some of these adopted family members are friends, neighbors, and even strangers. When a former co-worker and his wife had twins that were born pre-maturely at 27 weeks, Mom put together a beautiful gift package for them with clothes and supplies and shipped it to Texas. “Nana,” as she is affectionately known, will no doubt make a wonderful grandma someday…. In 3-5 years if she is getting a grandchild from me and Scott!

  27. Loving all- Similarly, Mom has a special place in her heart for those with special needs. I think some of this goes back 41 years ago when her best friend (and my godmother) gave birth to a daughter with Down Syndrome and Mom’s heart melted. She always recognizes people for their special talents and abilities, and growing up, she taught Pug and I to appreciate people with all abilities and that being different was something to be celebrated.

  28. Love Lesson #1: Never go to bed angry.

  29. Love Lesson #2: Be glad that your Mom and Dad sleep in the same bed.

  30. Our annual family vacations. Mom always wanted to go somewhere as a family in the summer to get some R&R, but also to spend quality time together.

  31. Easter Baskets- Mom put the usual sweet treats in, but she would also slip in some random DVD that she found in the $5 box at Wal-Mart, often times a DVD we already had.

  32. Easter Sun Glasses- When my best friend Becca visited one Easter, Mom threw in the added bonus of sunglasses into both of our Easter baskets. This was back when the big square sunglasses were popular, and these covered nearly half of our faces.

  33. She’s the best euchre partner- We used to play with my grandparents a lot, and Mom purposefully would never sit to the left of my Mimi because Mimi rarely passed at a chance to name trump. Mimi didn’t care if she got euchred or not, she would rather take a chance. She’d name trump with only a 9 and a queen, and when she got euchred, my mom would say, “What did you go on, your good looks?”

  34. Poker games- Mom also has a knack for poker, and she taught me how to play when I was 12. When I turned 21, we went to Vegas together.

  35. “The dogs may bark, but the caravan moves on” That’s one of Mom’s favorite sayings. She says this to me and my brother whenever we get discouraged to remind us that even though there may be obstacles, you must push forward and the sun will always come up tomorrow.

  36. Keeping the neighborhood tradition alive- Growing up, we had an older neighbor lady that would prepare special Halloween treat bags for all of the kids that lived in our ‘hood. When Mrs. Bell passed away, Mom took over the tradition.

  37. Costume partners- Speaking of Halloween, Mom always made Pug and I dress in matching costumes, and she went all out, too: cowboy and cowgirl, bride and groom, angel and devil, old man and old lady, king and queen, Pebbles and Bam Bam and her all-time favorite, a nun and a priest.

  38. I love, that at 55 years old, my mom was still playing slow pitch softball.

  39. And I love, that her group of friends that she played slow pitch with called themselves the Golden Girls. They’ve since taken their talents to the pickle ball court, and call themselves the Pickle Pals. When she isn’t strutting her athletic stuff, you might find mom with her other group of friends, the Coffee Clatchers.

  40. The Friendship Table- That’s what we used to call our house growing up because Mom always invited anyone that didn’t have a place to go for the holidays to our house.

  41. Her vocalism- Mom always speaks up when she doesn’t think something is right. I think over half of the officials in the PIAA District IX still have nightmares about her screaming at them from the sidelines. But again, Mom always encouraged Pug and I to speak up to. “If you don’t stand up for yourself, who else will?” she’ll say.

  42. That being said, Mom was not the type of parent that would put up with any BS form Pug and I. I remember one time, I believe in first grade, I had a note sent home on my daily “work report” that my behavior was unsatisfactory because I threw a temper tantum at school. I don’t even remember what it was for, but what I do remember, is Mom never asking what the reason was for. It was unacceptable and I spent a week grounded. There was no sense of entitlement or “What did the teacher do to make you angry?”….. ever.

  43. Entertaining- Mom loves to entertain and host people. Our house has always had an open-door policy, but be forewarned, once you enter, you’re not leaving without eating something! My friends learned this and now know not to eat before they come over because they aren’t leaving until Mom has put something in their belly!

  44. Christmas Morning Breakfast- Each year, after opening presents, Mom whips up a full hearty breakfast that would rival any restaurant.

  45. Scattegories- This past Christmas, while playing Scattegories as a family, my uncle Karl picked the card “tools” and rolled the letter “o.” We all struggled to think of actual tool names that start with the letter “o.” Mom, however, was so confident she had come up with one, and we spent the next ten minutes on the floor laughing as Mom argued for ox harness.

  46. The 365 Days a Year Christmas tree- Mom has a 4’ tree that she keeps up year-round and decorates for the next holiday. We tease her about it, but it keeps things festive.

  47. Placemats- Mom has a habit of taking the placemats off the table before we eat. It always seemed weird to me, as protecting the table was the whole purpose for a placemat, but it drives my husband absolutely nuts.

  48. Bad Boys II- This movie came out in 2003, when Pug was in 6th grade and I was in 8th. The movie was rated R and Pug was dying to see it. Mom had no idea what it was about, and Pug made up some story about it being about a bad kid who turned out to be a good kid and tried to help other bad kids be good kids or something like that. Well, innocent Pug pulled one over on Mom, who bought tickets to the movie. Five minutes in, her eyes were as silver dollars, and when she wasn’t covering her own eyes during a “bang-bang, shoot ‘em up scene” (as mom calls it), she was trying to cover Pug’s ears and eyes.

  49. Her selfies- Watching Mom trying to take a photo or selfie is the modern-day tech equivalent to watching someone play the pin the tail on the donkey game. Her photos are always blurry, but we get a good laugh.

  50. Her phone calls- Mom probably calls me at least 3 times a day on average. But there is no other sweet harmony than that of her voice.

  51. Her sneezes- Once Mom starts, we’re lucky if she stops sneezing at 5 times.

  52. Airport travel- If Mom could sleep at the airport the night before a flight, she would. Growing up, she was one of those people who wanted to be at the airport 4-5 hours before the flight left. Pug and I used to whine about it all of the time. We now have her trained to be there about 2 hours before. Progress.

  53. Goals- About a year ago, Mom set a goal for herself to get healthier and lose weight. She has completely transformed herself, and I am proud of her for doing it for her, and no one else.

  54. Nana’s Way or No Way- Mom has a very particular way of doing things. Her first time visiting me in my first “big girl” house in Houston, I spent the whole night before cleaning the house so it was spotless. The first thing she does when she shows up, is start cleaning. The same thing happened during our first visit in Pittsburgh. Mom just can’t sit still, and she is always looking for ways to help-out. So now, we don’t clean the whole week before and let Mom do her thing.

  55. Her love for her patients- Mom goes to the end of the world for her patients. I’ve lost track of the number of times she has gone to the office on nights or weekends to see an emergency, taken phone calls and given orders while on vacation, and called other doctors to help when she is out of town.

  56. Her faith- Mom has an unshakeable faith in God. She never misses mass, and often goes during the week to light candles for our family and friends.

  57. Her dependability- Mom is always there, especially in times of tragedy. She is often the first one on someone’s doorstep with a crockpot of food in hand during a time of need.

  58. Her chicken tortellini soup- Soups are one of Mom’s specialties, but she is famous for her chicken tortellini soup with little pastine noodles added in.

  59. Mom (and Dad) set an example for marriage- Mom and Dad set an incredible example for us about what marriage is all about: unconditional love, communication, compromise, and sacrifice. I remember my parents arguing in front of Pug and I one time, and it’s when Dad bought Mom the same pair of earrings for Christmas as the year before (nice job Dad!). They never fought in front of us. Before getting married myself, I always thought it was ridiculous that Mom would make such a big deal about being away from Dad for a night. With a love like they have, though, I now see why every second together matters.

  60. She’s my inspiration- No words can describe all she is as a mom, daughter, friend, cousin, chiropractor, volunteer, community member, and advocate, but the best I can do is to say she is an inspiration.

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