guest post: shannon from the scribble pad

My Mother Taught Me

There are a lot of things that mothers do.  They bake cupcakes for a big day, help out with science fair projects, go on field trips, remember important dates and all of your friends names, sew clothes and costumes and superman capes.

Well, my mom didn't do any of that.  In fact, she wasn't very conventional.  And yet, she managed to focus on the priorities.  She has given me a clear picture of just how big love can be.  Here are a few of the less-than-conventional lessons I have learned.

...that no matter what was for dinner, there was always room for one

Growing up our house was full.  Sure we had four kids running around, but the "full" came from all of the extra folks.  Friends, cousins, grandparents, aunt, uncles, and co-workers were always welcome at our dinner table.  There was always room for one more.  This has probably had the most profound impact on my life today.  When Mark and I were first married, we lived near our college and frequently hosted the lacrosse teams for dinner.  Do you know how much food it takes to feed an entire lacrosse team?  We even hosted them down here in DC in our smaller than tiny apartment.  Today we live in an intern building and serve as RAs, frequently feeding college students once again.  And if you were to come over, you would see stocked cupboards that are equipped to feed an army, just in case I ever had the need.

...when throwing a party, go big but don't sweat the details.

I wish I could invite you all to a family party.  They are always a riot.  Half the town shows up and the "extras" are nothing short of fabulous.  Growing up, we were the kids whose parents rented moon bounces.  At some point during my sibling's high school years, my parents stumbled upon giant inflatable water slides {for a video click here}.  My mom is all about her guests having a good time.  With this influence, it should serve as no surprise that I have already begun researching renting a ball pit for Behr's first birthday {being a germ-a-phobe, I have also considered buying one and then trying to sell it post-party}. Regardless of what we end up doing, it is the fun that creates the memories.

...the job can wait, but kids won't.

Running a household with four kids {not quite fiveis no small task, and yet my mom never sacrificed fun. It didn't take long for her to rearrange her focus, shove the dinning room table out of the way to make room for a giant plastic play house on a rainy day.  My mom truly cherished moments with us as kids.  Even to this day, my mom mops the kitchen floor at 2:00 in the morning.  She isn't worried about
someone walking on the wet floor, she just doesn't want to miss quality time with her kids or grandson to come at the expense of a chore.

...the bottom line: make fun.
My mom may not have been conventional, but she cultivated a fun-seeking childhood.  She put family first and helped us learn true priorities.  I will forever be grateful.

The Hunt house is adding another mouth to feed, but I am pretty certain that they too always have room for one more.  Bridget has shown us a bit of her parenting repertoire and she has got her game on.  From birthday breakfasts to some slip and slide action, have no fear little babe, your mom is a blast!

Let's hear from you.  What priorities did your mother instill in you?  What do you remember most?  What do you hope to pass on to your own children someday?


a note from bridget: shannon is not only a blog friend but someone i know in person!  can you believe it?!  and... she's great.  now go find her yourself at the scribble pad.


  1. Shannon- what a fun childhood! My mom has always shown genuine interest in me, cheering me on toward my passions and goals. I hope I can do the same for little Rigolosos one of these days.

    And you are right, baby Parker has one great mama.

  2. I love Shannon and I love you! It's like two of my favorite things combined into one big pot of awesomesauce.

    I only had one sibling growing up, and since she's 10 years older than me, I feel like I missed out on a lot of these fun times. But oh do they sound fun :)

  3. Wonderful bits of advice for everyone. Thanks for the guest post!

  4. what a momma you had friend! I have a tendency to sweat the small stuff... and therefor NOT go big. But I might just turn that around. :)

  5. A ball pit sounds like so much fun! (And I'm with you on buying a new one and selling it) One of the biggest things she taught me and my three younger brothers was independence. We fed ourselves, because she taught us how. We took care of ourselves when we were sick, because she taught us how. She was still there to do (and she did do) all those things for us, but she also gave us the opportunity and the skills to do them ourselves.

  6. i love the first piece of advice. my mom is like that too- where anyone's welcome, anytime, and it's one of the things i love most about my home. my stepmom, on the other hand, makes me call her 24 hours in advance if i want to come over for dinner, so she "has enough food". that's not in a welcoming home, in case you couldn't tell. i never want my kids to feel like they have to ask to come home when they're grown, or to worry i'll pitch a fit if they bring home someone extra. i love the idea of open doors always.

  7. When my dad disapproved of my fiance my mother wrote me a letter telling me to go for it. "If worse comes to worse, you can always divorce him and take half of his stuff."

    She helped me learn to trust my gut. I was always a goody two shoes and tended to obey whatever direction I was given as a young woman. She really helped me break out of that and become my own person.

  8. What a fun childhood! I love it!


  9. My mother encouraged me to be myself, to talk about my feelings, and to empathize with others. She strongly taught us that everyone is a child of God- and should be treated accordingly.

    These are things I undoubtedly would love to pass on to our children.

  10. Thanks you all for sharing! Sounds like you have a terrific group of mothers, from trusting your gut, to welcoming others, and learning to be independent.

    @Alexandra - I love you too!

    @withchild - I hope that you can eventually feel more welcomed in your step mother's home

    @Anna - thanks for backing me on buying and reselling! I am such a germaphobe when it comes to kids slobbery runny nose germs

  11. @Autumn - you mother sounds like a beautiful and strong woman of God. What a wonderful example!


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