Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom!

My mom's birthday was this last Saturday, so Jason and I
drove down to Ephraim to celebrate with the family!

For anyone who doesn't know, this is my mom.
My best friend and hero. This is the woman who taught me
through example "If you are going to do something make it big!"
among many other, more important things.
Things like; endurance, optimism, faith, being a good listener, the importance of making memories and using humor and fun to get through tough times.
Through her amazing example and teachings,
she prepared me for the end of the world.


My mom passed away 5 years ago (in June).
Remember that "end of the world" story I promised? This is it.
But today is a happy day so I will save the rest of the story for another time.

Mom always had a way of turning bad things into something good.
A trait I have tried to develop. And so each year on March 10, I have a party
so I can remember and celebrate the life and memory
of this amazing woman.
Each year has been different, but there has always been
cake and ice cream... mom loved ice cream!

The first few years started out pretty quiet.
Just cake and ice cream with the family.

(This picture was actually taken a few days after...see the sad deflated balloons?)

And then I moved up to Orem to go to school. I couldn't always drive home on her birthday, so I just did a little party with my roommates...I had good roommates. They didn't always understand me, but they played along. Thanks ladies! 
I started out small. Just a little bit of decorations and cake and ice cream.
But after a few years living with the same girls, we really got to know each other so I went a bit bigger...okay I really got out of control! There were games and prizes and yes, I invited the neighbors, invitations and everything.
Neighbors (an apartment full of the coolest guys): "You're having a birthday party for your mom? Is she going to be here? That's pretty cool"
(but really they thought I was crazy)
Me: "Yeah, it'll be really fun, games and cake and ice cream.
Well, I'm sure she will be here in spirit...she's dead"
slightly awkward silence
Neighbors: "We're in!"
*They were such good sports and they had lots of fun!*

And Holy Cow was that a party! Seriously so fun! Major decorations. Games that you would find probably at a 5 year old's birthday party...there were balloon relays and a donut-on-a-string eating contest, a Get To Know LeAnne memory game, and the coolest, most fun dance party ever in existence! And lots and lots of silly prizes for the game winners.
We ended with cake and ice cream with candles that had colored flames...way cool!

HAHA she doesn't like donuts...but she played anyway!

Last year was lots smaller but still fun.
Same group of friends, so it was fail proof.

This was my only picture, taken on my phone

We fished for compliments from LeAnne (I wrote down nice things mom would say to people on little foamy fishes and each person got a turn to hold the fishing rod and get a compliment.)
There was also a clothes pin hunt. I just hid about 50 clothes pins around the apartment and everyone tried to find the most. Clothes pins were popping up for months after that. So fun!
We also played "What If, Then" Everyone wrote a question starting with "What if", then they got mixed up and passed around so you answered a different question starting with "Then".
Really hilarious, if you haven't played it you should...right now. All you need is a good fun group, some paper and pens.
Oh and don't forget the cake and ice cream!

This year we started with some bright, happy decorations...for the grave


The grand kids. So Cute!

We didn't fit as good, but we tried!

Ahhhh...That's better!

We couldn't help but enjoy the scene while we were there.
Mom was pretty picky about that. She wanted a good view.

From the cemetery we moved over to the park to enjoy a nice warm day!

And at the end of the day we finished up with cake and ice cream.
I volunteered and decided to experiment. Oh my! It was delicious!


I just used a Golden Vanilla cake mix. After pouring the batter into the pan I chopped up Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I used the entire family sized bag and just sprinkled them on top of the cake batter. It completely covered the batter. I was a bit worried that there was too much, but it was perfect! After adding the Reese's I put it in the oven and baked it according to the instructions. While baking, the peanut butter cups sunk to the bottom so you couldn't even tell they were there, perfect for a little surprise! I didn't wait for it to completely cool before I frosted it, so it was still a bit warm but I think that made it taste even better! I just used a can of chocolate frosting. It was a bit on the rich side, but so yummy.
Imagine the possibilities!
Snickers, Rolos, KitKat...its never ending!

It was a really good day spent with my family. As we celebrated the life of the most amazing person ever I was reminded of how truly blessed I am. I always wondered why Heavenly Father thought it was a good idea for my mom to die so soon. I still wonder that sometimes, I'll be honest. But, even though she is gone, she did a really good job making sure that she would still be in our lives and I am so grateful for that! She prepared us for these times when we would miss her so much.
And I am so blessed to know that one day I will be with her again!
Families are Forever!
There is nothing in this world I would trade for that knowledge!


  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! I thank God for letting me have you as my 2nd mother. I have so many fond memories of you. You were truly an amazing person and I am so truly blessed to have known you in my life! Thank you for saying goodbye to me. It is a memory I will always treasure!

  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAMMA BEAL!! I am so sad I missed the party, I've been so used to doing it every year! I miss everyone. we should get together and have a late birthday party for you mom. Love you ness!!