My mom’s 60th birthday was last week and we had a birthday party for her yesterday. So after my race yesterday, we came home and started making food for 30 people. My mom is gluten-intolerant so the food takes some careful planning. Mexican is the easiest but we always do that for her parties and we wanted the 60th to be a little more special. We went with an Italian theme. I gave my dad a recipe for meatballs and he made those a couple of days ahead of time. I put my brothers to work chopping and grating cheese and we made some gluten free flatbread, some crostini out of normal bread for everyone else (gluten free stuff is expensive and there were only two people eating it at the party). I made lasagne rollups with gluten free noodles, my sister made an awesome pesto with pecans, I made two different bruschettas; a regular tomato one that I topped with feta and a warm artichoke one with fresh mint. I also made some asparagus crostini with fontina cheese. We got an Italian meats and cheeses platter and a fruit platter and we ordered a gluten free cake. Everyone had a lovely time.

When my dad invited everyone, he asked everyone to write down or share memory about my mom. I completely forgot with all of the business of driving from Cincinnati and then the race and making a lot of food and everything. Daughter fail. So here are my favorite memories of my mom:

1. My older brother mentioned this yesterday, but my mom always sung to us. Whether it be songs from ads like the Frito Bandito song and the Beefaroni song (her two favorites), or the entire Barry Manilow catalogue, or singing a Capella versions of Billy Joel songs around the campfire, our house was always filled with songs. It was awesome.
2. When we were driving around in the car as kids, if we saw a dead animal on the side of the road, she always said something like, Oh, look at the raccoon! He’s taking a nap on the side of the road! I still find this hilarious and say it now myself.
3. She made Christmas the best thing ever. She was always so excited for it and even though she was most likely completely exhausted and sleep deprived, she kept her enthusiasm level high (or at least it seemed like that to me as a child). Christmas is still my favorite.

The list could go on forever but these ones stand out for me. I had one of the best childhoods ever and my mom was a big part of that. So happy birthday and happy Mother’s Day to the best mom and best friend a girl could ask for. I love you mom!

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