S: Happy 60th Birthday, Mom!
FC: 60 Memories of Mom By Ryce, Leigh & Drew
1: We can't thank you enough, Mom, for all of the love, advice, support, home-cooked meals, life lessons, hugs, encouragment... | And for all of the wonderful memories we have of you
2: You getting me ready for my first day of school. Then watching me walk down to the bus stop for the first time.
3: You lunging towards the backseat of your minivan to catch my vomit, somewhere in the middle of Alabama!
4: Hugging you goodbye and crying together in the Easy St. driveway right before Dad and I drove my silver Honda out to L.A. for my freshman year.
5: Even when You were working or going back to school, you somehow found time to make dinner for those ungrateful kids. Super Mom! | Incredible Cook!
6: Taking me to St. Mary's in the mornings before school started. I became close friends with Senora Henderson's parrot during this time. | Leading me back to shore after I was frightened by a large fish while snorkeling in the Bahamas.
7: Watching you pick a tomato from your Easy St. garden and eat it like an apple | You working in your garden at 200 Easy St.
8: You always made sure we ate healthy. You would help Leigh and I make "Juice Popsicles" or "Peanut Butter Balls" for a healthy snack. Instead of having a candy bar, you would take us to the health food store to get a Tigers Milk bar. Making Crystal Light (out of those huge canisters) instead of having soda in the house. All three of us eat healthier to this day... and it all started with Mom.
9: Asking you to help me pick out a necklace for my first girlfriend. | I always remember thinking that it was so cool that I had a Mom who knew how to play the guitar.
10: You always letting me curl your hair, put makeup on you and "fix you up" before you went out to dinner club parties or big events (that was very kind and brave of you). I remember hoping that I will be as beautiful as you when I grow up!
11: Always brushing your hair for a long time while watching TV with you on your bed at Easy St. | You always braiding my hair for me and putting up with my perfectionism of "no lumps, please, Mom!"
12: Making me lunch almost every day. Those bagel sandwiches were the talk of the cafeteria. | Writing a letter to my teachers to convince them that due to my varying blood sugar levels, I should be allowed to eat whenever I want in their class.
13: Sopa running into the playroom to get off of the carpet every time you came home. Sopa knew who the boss was!
14: You sending me to math tutors, reading comprehension tutors and ACT prep classes to ensure I received the best education possible. | You taking the time out of your evenings to read over and check my math homework. Thanks to your early corrections and tutelage, I somehow managed to eventually pass Calculus II at the College level.
15: Seeing you cry as we left Grandma Rice's house in Florida. You knew that was the last time you would see her. It was the first time I saw you cry.
16: Singing with you in the Melody House recording booth. Belting out your butterfly song | Singing "I Am A Monkey" on one of your albums
17: Saving all of my emails and pictures from Sweden to surprise me with a scrapbook of my adventures, upon my return home | Being a great travel companion to Marco Island... and then when the weather didn't cooperate, Lexington Kentucky.
18: When I held the position of "ritualist" at Kappa Alpha Theta, you saved me last minute and memorized all of the rituals to be the leader of the initiation ceremony. | You also saved me last minute, teaching a dance class for me when my senior high school musical interfered with the dance class I taught to five year olds (wish I could have watched you teach that class for me last minute)
19: Riding along with you and Ryce to M&Ms so Ryce could buy a new cassette tape. Ryce came out of the store with a Guns & Roses tape. You made a fuss and forced Ryce to turn back around and exchange the tape for something more tasteful. | You and I going to the 1990 Final Four in Denver to watch Georgia Tech.
20: You driving me to football practice...You driving me to soccer practice...You driving me to baseball practice...You driving me to tennis lessons...You driving me everywhere!
21: Taking me back to the hotel to take a nap during the afternoons at Disney World. | Playing "Heart and Soul" piano duets with you as a kid.
22: Watching you hold Kaya for the first time on her third day of life. You were the first person to hold her besides her Daddy and me.
23: Going to a restaurant in Jekyll Island where you and I ordered "Shrimp Wazoo". It was basically shrimp and tabasco sauce and was the hottest thing I've ever eaten! | Our morning breakfast together every day at the kitchen counter, watching the Today Show before school
24: Watching you nurse Drew while you were sitting on one of the kitchen stools at Easy St. I remember thinking, "Mom is amazing" | You sticking your finger down Drew's diaper to see if he needed to be changed. I rememeber being horrified and thinking, "there's got to be a better way to do that"
25: All those times you took care of me when I was sick. To this day, soup and jello just don't taste the same as when you made them for me during those sick days.
26: How beautiful you looked in your stunning blue dress at my LaVenta wedding. You putting the butterfly anklet on me to wear underneath my wedding dress
27: You typing up a hand written letter I wrote to John Popper in the 8th grade about me playing guitar and wanting to learn how to play the harmonica. I couldn't type the letter myself because I had a soft cast on from breaking my wrist at OU football camp | Running to you and lifting you off the ground after my freshman football team finally won a game!
28: You lip sinking "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" for our annual lip sink contest while cracking up the whole time (I'm pretty sure you didn't win that year). Or worse, you dressing like a hippy and lip sinking to Edie Brickell and The New Bohemian's song, "What I Am" and not knowing any of the lyrics! | You using the sticks from the centerpieces at Daniel Doublin's wedding as props for your impromptu dancing
29: You going with me to the doctor after I cut my foot open in Jekyll Island. You grabbing Drew and running him back up to the house after he stepped on a hill of fire ants, also in Jekyll Island.
30: You telling me I look so beautiful as I was sitting on my Madison Ave. bed, nursing Kaya after she was born. It was the best compliment you ever gave me and made me feel so proud... like I was officially a member of the "Mom's Club"
31: Watching you make Christmas cookies with Kaya for the first time before our 2010 Christmas at Hawks Ridge Lane | You always decorating the house for every holiday season
32: You introducing Fondue to us on Christmas Eve. It's now become a family tradition | Making ginger bread houses with you every Christmas (I wonder how much of the decorations ended up in our stomachs rather than on the ginger bread houses). Also making Christmas cookies with our huge assortment of cookie cutters, sprinkles and decorations.
33: You "heavily suggesting" that I become an acolyte at St. Mary's. Due to everyone else's incompetence and unreliability, I quickly climbed the ladder to head acolyte in Middle School and continued through my senior year. A lot of life lessons were learned during this time...it was well worth it. | You,Dad and I all participating together in our respective roles once a month during St. Mary's Sunday services.
34: You always passing on Popo's wisdom of "ADJUST" to me
35: Telling you that "I'm Bored" or "There's Nothing To Do" and you always replying, "Well, you could always clean the garage, or mow the lawn, or organize your closet... I would quickly find something to do.
36: You with your robe, glasses and hot coffee, walking into the living room to see what surprises Dad came up with that year for Christmas morning. | You making me a scrapbook of my senior year of high school. | You always made sure we had great birthday parties!
37: Lisa and I picking up you and Dad from the airport for you to meet my girlfriend, Lisa, for the first time. As we drove up, you were so excited that you grabbed Dad's arm while smiling...almost jumping up and down with excitement to finally meet who would eventually become my fiance and future wife.
38: Playing cards with you and all of the Rice girls at Jekyll Island. Learning fast that you have to watch those Rice girls when it comes to playing cards!
39: Making me a home made doll house when I was a little girl (apparently you worked really hard on it and on Christmas morning, I hardly paid attention to it). I remember playing with that doll house for years
40: You and I going shopping for my extra long sheets and various necessities for my move into the dorms at OU.
41: All of the encouraging, supportive, inspiring cards you send me when I am going through challenging times in my life. Your cards are so full of wisdom, strength, and perfect advice (I have kept them all, from the ballerina turned the "wrong way" to the most recent): "You are a survivor- you are determined and you will make it". "Life is a process, don't get stuck, always keep on living". "Be true to yourself- you're the one you have to face each & every day". "I believe in you". "Where you previously saw obstacles, now see opportunities". "Experience life with a positive and hopeful attitude". "I love you unconditionally, regardless". "Live your life with enthusiasm, positivity, and hope!" "For my beautiful, unique daughter who has always done things her own way". (Let's hope you don't have to send me too many more of these cards in my life)... thank you for all of the years of wisdom and wonderful advice.
43: Happy 60th Birthday, Mom! We love you! All our love, Ryce, Leigh & Drew