In honor of my mom’s 76th birthday, I’ve decided to share with you all 76 amazing things about my mom at varying degrees of levity, humor, and feelies.
#1: She was born Carol Ann on July 23rd, 1938 in Peru Illinois to the infamous Lottie Lipinski and Robert Lipinski
#2: She adds a lot of sugar to chili and sloppy joe type meals
#3: She has always loved gardening and shares her love as a Master Gardener
#4: I have only heard her swear about five times in my life. One of the times was when I forgot to give her my gym clothes on a Friday and Monday morning I complained about having dirty gym clothes in middle school. Another time was properly labeling of a female family member now estranged.
#5: When I got my period for the first time the summer after 5th grade on the 4th of July, she told me that it was fitting that I would get it on the 4th of July because it was the day I was staking my independence as a woman (GROAN, MOM! THE CRAMPS HURT!)
#6: She used to date a guy named Skip and this gent has become infamous in our family for his name and the stories she tells about him. Apparently he was Fred Astaire.
#7: When I couldn’t sleep as a kid, she would sleep with me in the quietest room-the living room and rub my head until I fell asleep
#8: She’s one proud Polish American
#9: When she recently went to Mayo Clinic the doctor asked my brother who was with her, “has she always been like this?” Yes, Doctor. Yes, she has
#10: She likes to have her toenails painted in all different colors
#11: She loves to sing in her church choir despite the dramatic Sopranos in the mix
#12: She won’t admit this to you, but I am her favorite child
#13: She married my dad at like 10 am in the morning
#14: She let me reconstruct and wear her wedding dress for my own wedding 50 years after she wore it.
#15: She’s short but has big feet for a short person
#16: She said she would “dye her hair until she died.”
#17: “Go do something constructive.” Is something she often yelled at us growing up
#18: Another one: “You are not cute, and you are not funny.”
#19. She makes up words like “funulating” and “celubulance” when others fail her.
#20: She used to walk to school both ways in the snow barefoot and pregnant. I don’t know how she was pregnant in kindergarten but apparently she was
#21: She has given birth nine times and lived to tell about it
#22: She chose to have me after the loss of a child after many told her she was selfish for doing so.
#23: She likes to pour salt on her watermelon slices
#24: She sweats glitter
#25: She watched her dog get hit by a car when she was a kid after calling it over to her and it has haunted her forever
#26: She has brown eyes
#27: Her most famous quote, “I have been up since 25!” She yelled this at all of us when we were up at 11 pm laughing our heads off. We had woken her up and she came downstairs, told us to shut up and yelled, “I have been up since 25!” And when we looked around at eachother blankly trying not to laugh she seethed, “YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!” The thing is mom, we didn’t. And we still don’t. What time did you get up? 25 is not even proper military time.
#28: “If it doesn’t move, decorate it.”
#29: She makes friends wherever she goes.
#30: Even on airplanes
#31: She used to have a bad temper when we were all little but nothing seems to phase her now unless you move something in her garden
#32: She loves TJ Maxx
#32: She knows how to text now
#33: She’s been a widow for 12 years
#34: She used to breed St. Bernards with my dad
#35: She plays the accordion
#36: She plays the piano
#37: She composes music
#38: She used to sing in a big band when she was a teenager and was famous in her area
#39: She almost named me Cassie
#40: She was in the production of Brigadoon with my dad and that’s how they began dating (when they were in college.)
#41: She loves music
#42: She loves her grandbabies
#43: She loves her grandogs
#44: She loves
#45: She insisted on opening the windows on the day my brother died so the angels could have easier access
#46: She loves touring people’s houses.
#47: We were out for a walk in our neighborhood one morning this summer and she got chatting with a woman who was working in her garden. Next thing you know, we are getting a tour of this stranger woman’s house at 7 am on a Saturday
#48: She has a great laugh
#49: She has really loud sneezes
#50: She gets the giggles my gramma used to get that we call “The Lotties.”
#51: My dad’s mom hated her (RIP, Kate.)
#52: She thinks we are all mostly drunks, and she’s basically right
#53: She really hates smoking
#54: She needs to be needed
#55: She wants to be needed
#56: She wants you to want me (just making sure you are paying attention)
#57: She loves making large batches of food even if there are only 3 people. It’s the only way she knows how to cook
#58: She loves fresh tomatoes in the summer
#59: She likes to make “nice nice”
#60: She’s been through hell and back
#61: She always gives people the benefit of the doubt
#62: She hates “dorm humor.”
#63: She loves Notre Dame Football
#64: She made me wear a slip a lot as a pre teen
#65: She wishes one of her kids would have kept up with the piano.
#66: She loves being Catholic
#67: Her grandkids call her Nay-Nay
#68: She can’t come to anyone’s house without bringing food over
#69: She takes care of her brother despite everyone else she takes care of
#70: She loves guilt tripping
#71: One day I will regret how I treated her. One day…
#72: She loves hazelnut creamer and will “criticize you heavily” if you don’t have it for her when she comes to visit.
#73: She was a teacher and taught the kids who would be considered special needs today because no one else knew what to do with them
#74: She finally got a professional haircut and color this year and is keeping it up!
#75: She is surviving cancer
#76: She is love.