To my favorite mother-in-law on the day of her birth

2/22/2016 01:50:00 PM

As it turns out, I happen to have an amazing mother-in-law. (Yep. I know some of you are rolling your eyes right now, but I do.)

It's the truth.  (You'd agree if you knew her.)


Dear Jenna,

I had to get my calculator out to to figure out how long I've known you. (Sadly, I should have known that since I've known you as long as I've known your son, but alas –  I'm not amazing at mathematics.) As it turns out, you've been an important person in my life for 19 years. While I'll never be able to include all of the memories and experiences that we have together, you have to know - you're so loved.

From the very beginning, you welcomed me in to your home. Literally. I was always at your house. Craig would go to work... and I' :) We vacuumed together. Folded towels together. I put away the dishes. You cooked for me. I was always there. (Sorry about that.)

You always made me feel part of your life. You never made me feel like, "Um... shouldn't you go back to college / your house now?"


And you included all of us, too. As time went on, you welcomed Taryn to family dinners – even my Mom and Taryn to stay with you when they'd visit Ohio from Missouri. You didn't have to do that, but you did. And you'd go out of your way to make them feel welcome. You did that with all of my brothers, my nieces and nephews, even all of my friends – everyone.

You've been there for every.single.milestone in my adult life: from buying our first house, my 21st-birthday (thank you for the poem) being with me when I chose my wedding dress, to holding your first granddaughter.

You've let us grow up... even when it wasn't easy. Even when your then-29-year-old-son and 27-year-old daughter-in-law decided to move to a different country, you supported us.

We've gone on trips and vacations. (Our drives to Columbus for meetings are some of my favorite memories. Especially when Patt was with us.) I've woken up and had your waffles on Christmas morning. You taught me how to make potato salad and how to fry an egg well. You also introduced me to the idea of not washing your hair everyday. (I apolgize for ever thinking that was weird.) You also told me how to make my Jack Daniels... just...right... (Love you for that one.)

And then there's your granddaughters. You're everything to them. They know that their Mimi (and Papa) love them with their whole hearts. (And that's all we could ever ask for.) When you're with them, you're really with them. You make everything just so cool. I'll never forget how when my Mom passed, you were here in an instant making every day for them so special. Lila still has the paper butterflies you brought from that trip.

The pink sugar sprinkles in our cabinet are only for Mimi to use on their pancakes when you're here.
And every night when they say their prayers, You, Papa (and Libby) are highlights.

Apparently some people don't like their mother-in-laws, or they stress out when they're with them. When you come visit, I could have you stay longer. Easily. It always ends too soon. When you're here, it's like a little piece of home is with us. And that's because no matter how much older we get, you're always and forever in our hearts.

I am so glad your Mom had you. And I'm so glad you had Craig. I couldn't be more thankful that you were born. I really got a good one wiith you. :)

Happy, happy birthday. You're a beautiful soul, inside and out.

I'll be certain to have a Jack and Soda tonight in celebration of you.

Love you,

Best [Most Tireless] Mimi Ever.



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