September 23rd – Happy Birthday Mom!!!

Sep 23, 2007 | Full Time Family, On Motherhood | 22 comments

Me 30 years, Aidan 6 months
Mom 23 years, Me 6 months.

My Mom is a wonderful mom.
My earliest memory of her is from my room on Forest St.
I can remember my beautiful white sheets painted in watercolor flowers and I can see her from my room standing in the kitchen.
It was in that room that I would sing “You can Fly” from Disney’s Peter Pan and in that house where I obsessively drew her “lemons” on 3×5 cards. I don’t know for sure if these memories (2.5-3 years old) are accurate but that is how I see them in my minds eye.

From there we moved to Monroe Street and to memories of her planning weekly menus, drying my bleached Keds on the window sill, growing tall snapdragons, cutting up a brown bag to lay hot, freshly baked cookies on and visiting with girlfriends at the kitchen table. Always with a cup of black coffee in a white mug. (I also remember the time she detoxed off coffee – it seemed like she slept on that little brown velor couch for a week!)

I don’t remember our home ever being a mess. A teeny cape cod with a grungy basement that we played in – my Mom always made the house a home. Money was tighter than tight but the home was always presentable – I can not even conjure up a memory of dishes in the sink. But our clean home was never a place where people felt unwelcomed. It was always described as “homey” or “cozy.” Sometimes I wonder what she thinks when she comes over and ends up unloading my dishwasher for me or worse (like the other day) taking care of a musty load that I have forgot was in the washing machine.

My mother instilled in me the love of reading and with great intention. I have had the privilege of inheriting her parenting books and her gentle handwriting in the margins shows me that she wanted to leave nothing to chance. Especially the desire the turn off that T.V. and just be still and be quiet with a good book.

Caretaker extraordinaire. Crisp clean sheets and closets that she would dive into when she just could not take it anymore were part of her routine as was Sunday afternoon pot roast and to our chagrin a “The Kitchen is Closed!” mentality on Sunday evening.
“Cereal!”was often the answer to our chorus of voices asking, “Mom, what’s for dinner?”
-Can you blame here?

I learned among other things to set boundaries from my Mom. Especially as a mother.
You didn’t mess with mom when she was on the phone, she always took time to do her makeup and hair. In this day where mothers with 1.1 children complain they don’t have time to go to the bathroom she worked out 90 minutes a day right there in the living room – with a new baby! I do not remember her stopping to accommodate us, sweaty in her pink and purple leotard. (Maybe it was that she couldn’t tear herself from Gilad the greek god! Again, can you blame her?) And in the summer – we either had to say IN or OUT. No trapsing through the house with the neighborhood latch-key children (who all dreamed of having a mom like her!).

Mom brought me to the Lord at the age of seven one Valentines Day evening after I asked her to explain the story of Nicodemus (sp?) to me. She ingrained in my head to write God’s word in my heart. She is the reason that I can recall so many Bible verses from memory today. They pop up in my mind from out of nowhere whenever I need them (100 times a day!) and I am so thankful for her pouring into me that way.

My mother passed on numerous things to me that she got from her Mom and I hope to pass those things onto my children. I have chosen to do a few things differently – in everything from diet to domestics we have similarities and dissimilarities but she NEVER meddles and has NEVER given me unsolicited advice. I have never felt coddled from her (from either parent for that matter). I feel like, to the best of her ability she did the best she could do, which was mighty fine and then gave me a swift kick out of the nest. I have been flying every since.

So Mom, on this birthday I simply want to thank you for everything you so intentionally taught me (from how to properly fold a towel to the art of sending thank you notes) and for the things you didn’t know you were teaching me – that there is no more noble a profession for me as woman than “Wifedom” and Motherhood. It was three years ago on your birthday that I told you Aidan was coming and now with the upcoming arrival of “P.R. le Deuxieme” I can not wait to become more and more like you.
Happy Birthday.
I love you.

Moms Blog (as if she needs more readers!)


  1. Arlene

    How touching, your mom is obviously a great woman, and so thoughtful too, as I have learned firsthand from her little notes to me…I so hope to meet her in person one day…and we will!

  2. HomemakerAng

    you are both beautiful women! Your mom leaves quite a Godly legacy to fill! I have a mom like her also!~

    if we are alike, maybe our mothers are alike??? I feel a feisty side of you at times 🙂 i have one too! I mean this in a good way? are you a first born?

  3. Faith

    Happy Birthday Joy!!! I love you!!!
    Such a lovely post about an amazing woman. No wonder you turned out so incredible.

  4. Jean

    What a beautiful tribute to your Mother!

  5. Farmgirl Cyn

    Geez-Louize…Between yours and your mom’s blog this last week, I didn’t stand a chance of staying dry-eyed!! She is quite the mom/wife/daughter/bestest friend…that is for sure. And she is blessed to have a daughter such as you, dearie!

  6. Nunnie's Attic

    You’re a good daughter! Thoughtful and sweet. And as you so eloquently put in your post, you must have learned that from her.


  7. cityfarmer

    Juls…that was an incredible flashback…unfortuantely I have windows explorer and was not able to leave my sentiments. I think I traveled down every lane of memories that ever were in the
    Frey household…thank yu for that glimpse…


  8. Julee Ann

    Hallmark hall of famer–er–farmer? Heck, hallmark has nothin’ on you.
    You’re aspiring to be just like her…although I’m positive you might never catch her in the amount of comments category.
    I could be proven wrong, though.

  9. cityfarmer

    A….thank you for such lovely and heartfelt sentiments….I’ve read this over and over and over again and it doubles in meaning each time. You captured the memories just as they happened.Still fantasizing about Gilad…hehe
    Looking forward to our day tomorrow and again thanks for loving me… I love you,mom

  10. PAT

    This is a beautiful birthday tribute for your mother! Just lovely.

    One of your Mom’s readers.

  11. Lovella

    First of all . ..she’s your mom? It always amuses me when I can put together people in blog land. Sometimes I feel like there should be a family tree on the side bar.

    This is just a beautiful tribute to your mom. What a wonderful blessing it is to have such an easy time thinking of kind and beautiful things to say and then you double bless her by saying these things publicly.
    I love the mom and baby photos
    Have a wonderful day.

  12. Counting Your Blessings

    Oh how beautiful! Your mom is wonderful and I know because we read each other’s blogs. My mom is also the one who showed me to hide God’s Word in my heart. I was just thinking yestereday how much I cherish her old Bible with all her notes in it. She’s still alive and is my best friend (outside of my hubby) but someday I won’t have her on the other end of the phone and those scratched notes will be so needed! Praise God for mama’s who lead their children to the Lord!! Blessings… Polly

  13. The Blissful Home

    What an absolutely beautiful tribute to your mom, who is clearly a wonderful woman. How lucky you are to have one another.

    I check your blog frequently and don’t think I’ve ever posted before. Please keep the wonderful posts coming!

    I own a French-inspired shop in Ohio. Please stop by some time and say hello at

    –Abby from The Blissful

  14. Anita

    Beautiful! You are so lucky to have such a great mom… Not all of us have such wonderful memories…

  15. Rachel

    Wonderful words about your dear Mother!!! You are both blessed!!

  16. Lallee

    You have done your mother proud. I really enjoyed reading this special tribute!

  17. Lallee

    Belated but heartfelt birthday wishes to you! I don’t think I’ve ever read a mother tribute any grander than your daughter has written. What wonderful memories. You instilled all the important things in her I can tell.


  18. hellomelissa

    wonderful memories! i love the look-alike photos.

  19. Julee Ann

    So who do you like? I LOVE Helio. Marie O. is growing on me. Poor Jenni G took a spill, but her attitude makes for good TV. The Pretty Boys can go, even before Wayne Newton, as far as I’m concerned. Mark Cuban needs to donate $$$$$$ for every vote he gets!

  20. carra

    Well I am envious, I am happy you had such a wonderful relationship with your mother it’s a gift. This is the most beautiful thing I read about someone’s mother…


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