Two women and a baby in front of a rustic log cabin in the woods

25 Things I Love About My Mom

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I’ve been undergoing some tests and treatments lately to try to get to the bottom of my struggle with infertility, so Motherhood has really been on my mind—especially with Mother’s Day coming up. (Yeah, don’t forget: Mother’s Day is this Sunday. There’s still time to get your mom something nice to thank her for all the things she does, so there’s no need to run to the store late on Saturday night to buy the last wilted bouquet available for 50 miles. You can thank me later.)

Last year, Mother’s Day was surprisingly difficult for me. We were fairly early yet in our efforts to start a family, but I was starting to get the idea that it wasn’t going to happen easily for me. I’m feeling much more positive and hopeful about the whole thing this year—at least today. I might be a weepy, soggy mess tomorrow. Who knows…

But one of the things that has kept me feeling positive and hopeful is the idea of what kind of mom I want to be when it finally happens. My vision of Future Mama Jess is colored in large part by the influence of my own mom, who is the best mother this gal could ask for. So in honor of Mother’s Day this year, I’d love to share 25 things I love about my mom.

  1. I literally wouldn’t be here without her. Nine months of pregnancy and 26+ hours of labor are nothing to sneeze at. (Like, for real. Don’t sneeze when you’re preggo…) I am truly grateful she chose me over Chinese food on that fateful Tuesday in 1985.
  2. She taught me how to read by reading to me. Even after I could read for myself, she would sit with me and my sisters and read us books like The Indian in the Cupboard and Incident at Hawk’s Hill. Those moments are among some of my most treasured memories, and they gave me a deep love of reading.
  3. She taught me to love all the many types of life we share this life with. She knows pretty much everything about plants and animals and helped me learn to be kind and compassionate to all creatures.
  4. She passed on her love of horses, taught me how to ride, and used the barn as a backdrop for all sorts of life lessons. She’s still my favorite riding buddy, and the thing I look forward to the most when I go home for a visit is saddling up to ride together. There’s truly nothing better than a conversation shared under horse bellies while you’re both bent over, picking out horse hooves.
    Woman with two horses
    Mom with Shiloh and Lady
  5. She is smart. Like, super smart. I learned to love learning by following her example. She is always learning something new, and she loves to share the things that fascinate her. I’m always excited to get an email with her with the subject line, “Thought you might find this interesting.” I always do.
  6. She never gave me the easy answers. Whenever I’d ask what a word meant, she’d tell me to look it up. She taught me the value of putting in the effort to learn things for myself.
  7. She’s the best problem solver I know, and she let me work with her as she figured things out. Sometimes, things didn’t work, but we’d try again and again until it did. Those failures and successes have helped me develop skills that help me every day of my life.
  8. She put her dreams on hold to be a mom, but still encourages me to follow my own. Now that her kids are grown and gone, I love seeing her taking time for her passions.
  9. She is one of my biggest cheerleaders. She often asks about my book progress (slow… always so slow…) or how my business is doing. She came to my band and orchestra concerts. She cares about my life and the things that are important to me, and that means so much to me.
    Jess Friedman and her mom at Jess' university graduation
    Me and my mama at my graduation from BYU
  10. She is good at asking questions. It drove me nuts as a kid, but as an adult, I can definitely see how knowing all the details makes life so much easier.
  11. She can talk to anyone. I didn’t inherit this skill from her, unfortunately, but I loved seeing how she made everyone feel valued and loved simply by striking up a conversation.
  12. She’s frugal. She taught me the importance of budgeting and being careful with your money.
  13. She’s isn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves and get her hands dirty. Whether it’s cleaning up manure, doing yard work, or remodeling her kitchen, that woman is always tackling some sort of messy project. She taught by example that there’s no job that a lady can’t do.
  14. And a lady she is. When she’s not hard at work, she takes the time to make herself look nice. She taught me that it’s possible to be both hardworking and feminine.
  15. She is patient.
  16. She is faithful and righteous. She taught me to love God and His word.
  17. She does the best chicken impression I’ve ever seen.
  18. She is a loyal friend—my best friend, actually. Whenever something exciting happens, Brett asks if I’ve called my mom yet because he knows I’m going to.
    Woman smiling as she holds a grey and white kitten
    Gosh, I love this lady.
  19. She let me and my sisters play outside when we were kids—required it, actually—and I know that time spent outside was super good for my developing brain. She let us explore the neighborhood on our bikes by ourselves and called us home with a cowbell.
  20. She’s a great cook.
  21. She’s really organized. This was another thing that drove me crazy as a kid, but as an adult, I love it. I learned all my organizational skills from her.
  22. She’s more prepared than a Boy Scout. If you’re ever stuck in the middle of nowhere and find yourself in sudden need of duct tape, a plastic bag, and a pair of pliers, I can guarantee that she’ll have what you need. I don’t know how she knows, but she always does.
  23. She’s doesn’t have a competitive bone in her body, which makes her really fun to play games with. There’s no pressure. It’s just a game, and it’s just fun to play.
  24. She has an adventurous spirit. I love going on walks and trail rides with her because she’s always eager to explore and try new things.
  25. She has a great sense of humor and makes me laugh.

Thanks, Mom, for everything you do for me. I love you!

What do you love about your mom? I’d love to hear about her in the comments!

And if you want to really get in the spirit of Mother’s Day, check out my friend Jenny’s post Mom Songs. Just make sure you have a box of tissues handy. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.