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Happy Birthday, Mom + An Interview!!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

This weekend, my Mom was in San Francisco visiting. We didn't have any plans so we thought it would be a fun opportunity for a little Mother Daughter-time, plus my Dad is out of town and it was her birthday weekend!

We had a great couple of days! She came down Saturday around noon and after a quick lunch, we spent the afternoon painting my kitchen! I'll have an update on that soon :) After our day of manual labor, we treated ourselves to dinner out in North Beach. We sat outside and had fun people watching while we ate our pasta and sipped Cabernet.

Sunday we slept in and then had coffee and breakfast before heading to the Mission to explore a little bit. We had an amazing snack of cheese, salami and pickled veggies at my new favorite place, Mission Cheese. Our next stop was at Dandelion Chocolate, my Mom loves chocolate so we couldn't resist going inside. After we satisfied our sweet tooth, we headed over to Four Barrel coffee to complete our little tour of the Mission. It was a beautiful day, so we sat outside in the sun to enjoy our coffee. I love their latte's (probably because they don't have low fat milk, so it's extra decadent)! My mom and Andrew both got a cup of slow drip coffee, and learned all about their roasting methods. It was a perfect outing, and fun to spend some time in a neighborhood we don't visit all that often. Once we were back home, we all relaxed for a little while. Then my Mom and I went for a walk through the Presidio before getting started on dinner. It was such a nice weekend, and I loved spending so much quality time with my Mom!

To celebrate my Mom's birthday, I thought it would be fun to conduct a little interview with her during her visit. Hearing her responses was definitely the highlight of the weekend for me. I already knew she has had quite an amazing life so far, but after our conversation it's even more evident. She and my Dad have done some pretty amazing things!

Here is a little glimpse into our conversation yesterday, I hope you enjoy getting to learn a little bit about my Mom. She is one amazing lady! I'm so thankful she is my Mom. - Her responses are in italics and my comments are in pink.

1. What is your favorite memory?
Christine's wedding was really memorable. So much joy and family time. The anticipation of starting a new life together. That part of your life, young love, which I personally really valued. 

2. What/where was one of your  most favorite vacations?
Our trip to Greece in 2005. We went on a small boat cruise (about 40 people) with a group of friends. We went to countries I never would have dreamed of visiting; Croatia, Slovenia, Greece and Albania. 

3. What is the most beautiful place you've ever visited?

4. What was your favorite thing to do as a child?
Go down to the river with my brothers.

5. Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner?
Dinner, definitely not breakfast. 

6. What is something you wish you knew how to do?
Play the piano. And I wish I could sing. Not professionally or anything, but just be comfortable singing around people. 

7. Do you have any regrets?
Not going to college. When Dad was in college and we were first married, I should have been going too. Not that my life has suffered from not having an education, but just to have that experience and get an education. And maybe I would have had a career or in Sociology or something. 

8. What were the best years, 20's, 30's, 40's?
30's - having kids. (She would say 30's and 40's if she could pick two). Because you realize once it's over, it's over. There is so much going on when the kids are young.

9. What is the "coolest" thing you've ever done?
Climbing Mt. Blanc and other big "scary" Mountains. - She told Andrew and I all about their experience. It sounded amazing and terrifying at the same time. She got threw up on from someone who was suffering from altitude sickness, they had to sleep outside because they couldn't confirm their reservation at the first base camp, then on the day they climbed to the summit, the wind was so fierce they had to take shelter for a while in a small metal structure hanging off the side of the mountain. Not to mention they started climbing in the dark with headlamps and had to use ice axes and crampons. Told you she is amazing!

10. What are you mot proud of?
My family. It's funny that can be an accomplishment, but it is. Two great kids, a wonderful husband and a grand baby.

11. What is your favorite color?
It was always pink, but I don't think it is now. I guess it would be either pink, blue or aqua. 

12. What do you think is the best meal you make?
Scones, all types... But I guess salads are my signature dish, aren't they?

13. Salty or Sweet?
Sweet. Specifically dark chocolate...

14. Who has been the most influential person in your life?
Gram and Dad (Gram is my Dad's Mom). Gram because she was so refined (compared to my family). And Dad saved me. My expectations weren't that I could go out and see the world, I was sheltered enough growing up. Dad had a bigger world and encouraged me that we could do those things. I wouldn't have done any of that without him.

15. Did you have a mentor when you were younger?
I don't remember thinking of anyone that way, like "I want to be like them." Although I could say, Grandma Anita's daughter Carol. When I was 17 living in San Francisco, she and her husband kind of took me under their wing. Also our friend Claudia Bender was a really great influence and always believed in me and encouraged me. 

16. City or Country? ...Or should I say Foothills or Fog?
Country. I like to visit the city, but it's not relaxing or somewhere I want to live. (She lived in San Francisco from 69-72).

17. Favorite alcoholic drink?
Red Wine. If I was going to have a big girl cocktail, it would be a vodka gimlet. But I prefer a nice glass (or two) of red wine every night. 

18. What is your best piece of advice for women my age?
"Go to Mammoth" (She had just told Andrew and I about how they moved to the Foothills without jobs, and my Dad said if they didn't get jobs by the end of summer they would just move to Mammoth and be ski bums...they both got jobs, but don't be afraid to go out and follow your dreams)...Her real answer was: Appreciate yourself for who you are and that you are beautiful, and have the energy and ability to conquer the world. Because pretty soon you'll be 63 and you can't. Stop thinking you're never good enough. 

19. What was your first job?
I worked at the Pink Elephant restaurant in Colfax, a small hamburger place. I also started babysitting when I was about 12.

20. Favorite High School Memory?
Christmas Dance in the Colfax High School cafeteria. I wore a pink dress with silver threads, that I made. (The was the first dance my parents went to together. They danced to The House of The Rising Sun).

21. What is your favorite movie?
Clueless or Steel Magnolias because we (my sister and I) loved it so much. (I always thought her favorite was The Way We Were).

22. What/Where was the best meal you've ever had?
Gosh, that will take some thought. Probably, the Brace Bridge Dinner in Yosemite National Park. Amazing food, many courses, and entertainment.

23. What is something you're looking forward to?
More of the same. Health, travel, I want to be able to keep doing things until I'm 85. 

24. You're a very talented seamstress, what is your favorite thing you've ever made?
My wedding dress. - I was most proud of that, it was challenging. I was scared to cut the satin my Mom had paid $12 a yard for, what if I ruined it?! (My parents were married in 1972).

25. If you could re-live any day, which would it be and why?
That's hard...I would want to re-live when you guys (my sister and I) were little and hear your voices again. And re-live a day with my Mom. I can't think of a particular day, but just another day with her. To know it was special and pay attention.


  1. Great interview, Theresa! But then I already knew your mom was pretty special :)

  2. What a fun weekend! Your mom is so cute! #18...she is a wise woman :)

  3. Happy Birthday to your mama! She sounds so amazing! I definitely enjoyed reading her answers. What an inspiring woman. :)

  4. This is so awesome! It almost brought tears to my eyes...I love how close you are to your mom! Such a brilliant idea for a post! I just might have to "borrow" it the next time I get together with my mom!

  5. cheers to you rmama. this is too cute

  6. Such a sweet tribute to your mom... and the relationship you share.

  7. Aww, I loved reading this. I'm really close to my mom too so it really touched me! :)

  8. Aww your mom is so cute! I hope I get to meet her one day!
    And...when I come to visit, can we replicate everything that you did with her? Cheese, chocolate, sight-seeing...I can't wait!


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