(Nate and his mom)
(Rita, Phil and Nate at the Logan Temple.)The first time I met Rita I felt like she was meant to be my other mother. And she made me feel like I was the daughter she never had. I kept waiting... and waiting.... and am still waiting for that moment when I would understand the whole awful mother-in-law stereotype. And I can say right now that that day will never come. She's one of the kindest, most patient and rock solid people I know. Being a whiner, myself, I can't help but notice and marvel at her ability to suffer through her trials without so much as a complaint. Sometimes we don't even know what trials she's facing until they are long underway because she doesn't even mention it. She's so tough. I hope to one day be more like her. She's an amazing cook and seamstress (I mean ridiculously perfectly straight lines... it's unreal) and an amazing mother to 4 stand up boys. Nate is the "proof in the pudding" that she was an excellent mother who taught her boys love, respect, and compassion... and I will thank her forever for it. Love you, Rita!
The first time I met my mom... well, that was probably the day I was born. Mom, I love you. Thank you for putting up with 4 boys. I am sure I caused plenty of tears, restless nights, and received more than my fair share of prayers, but I never saw it from you. You always supported me. I remember crawling under our end table one night and listening to my parents discuss my lack of talking, and my mom saying how frustrated she was because I would get so frustrated. That always meant a lot to me because I didn't think anyone understood that frustration. I remember lots of sporting events, trips to the doctors, and family events. We ate well, played hard, and always knew where my Mom stood related to the gospel. I love you Mom and appreciate all you have and continue to do for us.
(Jaycie, me, and my mom (looking a little exhausted from taking care of so many kids))
(The Willis family pre-Kammie)
I remember coming home to freshly-baked cookies. I remember hearing my mom cheering me on at every basketball game. I remember snuggling in my parent's bed in the mornings and arguing with my brother over who Mom loved most. I remember the occasional trip to McDs with just her and I and how she'd whisper to me before walking through the front door to not tell my siblings where we had just been. I remember the "room fairy" cleaning our room, but more importantly the grin on my mother's face when she let us know that the "room fairy" had come to visit that day. Now I realize how much she loved us that she was so happy that we would be relieved not to have to be cleaning it ourselves. I remember swimming in our pool until Mom shouted out the kitchen door, "Dinner's ready!" I remember the wonderful smell of dinner when she opened that door. I remember her being there at every school function. I remember her teaching me little life lessons when we drove in the car. I remember loving to swing by the office in high school to vent about the stupid things I had dealt with that day. I remember when Nate and I were newly married I was having a rough day and I said to him, "I just want a hug from my mom," through my sobbing (and seriously wishing I could make the 12 hour drive home just to get one.)
My mom is amazing. I'm grateful that she's mine. She and my dad gave me the kind of childhood that I hope Nate and I can give for Ryan. She's been a great example to me my whole life and gives some of the best advice. Love ya, Mom!
Ah, the mother-in-law. The villain in fairy tales, the women you scorn... but in my life this is a falsehood. I can honestly say I am lucky. I have a mother-in-law that loves my family, including me. I always feel comfortable around her, she raised wonderful kids, and supported the local Northwest boy wanting to date her daughter (we're way better than those East Coast boys at BYU (no offense Jeff)). The best part is I am always fed well, there are times that I say... oh, I feel like eating "such-and-such" and Brittney will say "I don't like that"... and I will always say, "I bet your Mom would make it for me..." and you almost always do... I love that. Thank you for letting me be part of your family and calling you Mom.
There is one more Mom to write about, but while the little man (Ryan) is the puzzle genius, his typing is only so-so. So, I will try and do it for him. Brittney, you are the best mom Ryan could have. You play with him, make him laugh, smile, feel safe, and take care of both of our needs. We appreciate you and love you...
To all of our Moms (and Grandmas) Happy Mother's Day.
-Nathan and Ryan