Home is Where Mom Is

I know my last post was about an important birthday, but I present to you another birthday post on this fine Monday morning. I can’t help it that two amazing women in my life were born so close together. Today is my Mom’s birthday!


The mother/daughter relationship is always an intense one but I feel like ours is extra special because I’m her oldest daughter and her first baby. The two of us have certainly had our ups and downs- but I can honestly say that as the years have passed, we have only grown closer and have come to better understandings of each other. The traits that we share have become more apparent and I have come to realize in how many unexpected ways that we are alike. I don’t hate it 😉

Screenshot 2013-02-23 at 3.37.17 PM

My sister recently shared this old picture of me (brown hair), her, and my Mom on Halloween at my Grandparents’ house. Three little divas.

When I’m happy- when I’m sad- when I’m angry- she’s the one I think to call. When I really need someone the most, nothing beats the comfort and love that she can bring into my life. If she knows one of her kids is upset, she cannot turn them away- in fact- all she wants to do when I’m upset is make all my problems go away and rescue me. Her hugs, her soothing rubs on my back, and the calming “shhhhh” noises she makes when I can’t stop crying- make me feel more protected and loved than anything else. When I am absolutely devastated and everything feels hopeless, more often than not, I can be found saying, I just want to go home- I just want to be curled up with my Mom. 

She has always been a cheerleader in my life- offering her support and backing for all of my hearts strongest desires. I know me being so far away in D.C. isn’t easy for her, but the level of understanding she brings to the situation is critical to me being here. She knows why I came here, why I love it, why I stayed, and she supports my decision to be in the mid-atlantic so long as its what I still want out of life.

Whether I like it or not, she asks me the questions I didn’t think to ask myself about particular situations and offers her advice. More often than I will admit, she’s right in her judgement or assessments (Mom’s always right- someday we’ll all learn).

Truth be told, my Mom has lived a lot of life. That sounds dumb- but when I think of her and everything she’s been through and all the things she’s experienced, I can’t help but think that she has really lived and been through SO much. That’s why she is full of so much useful wisdom and knowledge- she’s really lived. She is a very strong person and she always finds a way up when life knocks her down. When she knows that she needs to make a change in her life, she stays committed to that change and tries her hardest to do her best every single day. I admire her strength in the face of sometimes bleak odds and hope she knows that we all take notice of the hard work she puts into her life to make changes and get to where she wants to be.

My Mom is definitely wicked smart (in terms of books and education), but I think what I have gained the most from her is practical knowledge that I use in my every day life. Whether it’s cooking on the fly without a recipe, how to put on tights/nylons without tearing them, how to fold laundry correctly, or the proper etiquette for addressing a letter- I learned it from her. She seems to know what to do in each and every everyday life situation.Whenever I didn’t know how to do something like write a check or what to talk about with the doctor when I went into my first appointment without her- she knew. I knew that my Mom would always have the answer for whatever question I had about life- even if I didn’t ask- she would always prep me and prepare me to handle all the stressful things that would come my way. She would think of things to tell me that I never would have been able to even anticipate having to ask about. Sometimes she might not reaallllly know or have the “best” answer for things- but she without fail had an answer based on her infinite life wisdom that was WAY better than anything I could have come up with.

The amount of street smarts I have picked up from her is insane. I take for granted how much I know about little things only because of her. She might not have specifically sat me down and taught me how to do all of these- but I learned so much just by watching her and emulating her. To this day whenever I attempt to put lipstick on (and usually fail and end up wiping it off), I think of her in our little blue bathroom and how she would do it. When I went off to school at American, it blew my mind how much stuff people didn’t know and not to be rude, but how dumb some kids were when it came to having a basic knowledge of cooking, cleaning, etiquette, and all around street smarts. I feel so lucky to have been able to take advantage of all of my Mom’s skills and wisdom.

I was blessed with her gorgeous dark hair and deep, dark brown eyes. Whenever I get compliments or people say things like where do you get your good looks from? I am always quick to say- MY MOM. She has always been so beautiful. Her complexion is to die for and her smile when’s she’s truly happy- it could brighten any room I swear. Don’t even get me started on how infectious her laugh is.

I could go on and on and on listing memory after memory with my Mom and telling you all the fabulous things about her- but this post doesn’t need to be a novella. My Mom is truly great and I love her more than words can say. She’s always managed to juggle taking care of me and my three sisters, my stepdad, worrying about the rest of my gigantic family, and managing our entire household on a day to day basis. I feel so lucky to have such a loving, smart, beautiful, and caring Mom.

She’s cozy, she’s warm, she’s home.

When I talked to her over the weekend, she told me that she was going to start her week by getting back to the gym and making time for herself. She wants to kick her habit of over indulging on sweets that she has slipped into and make the effort to be healthier. She is quite the admirable lady 🙂 I hope that she has a wonderful day to herself and does all that she wants to do. She has been doing a lot for others and truly deserves to take the time to relax and enjoy her birthday. As I said earlier, she is always worrying about everyone else and forgets to take care of herself and her needs- so I really really hope she reserves time for herself more often and gives herself the love she deserves. Plus, when she is happy- I’m a happier person. Hearing her cheerful voice on the phone just puts me in a better mood. Good people doing good things deserve to be happy- so I love when she is smiling and seeing the wonderful things in the world.

I made a little sweet treat last night with Will while we watched the Oscars and I want to share the recipe with you all- but especially with her because

  1. I think she’d love it and
  2. It’s the perfect dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth while also keeping it healthy! You can totally enjoy these, Mom, while also staying true to the renewed commitment your making to yourself today. OH and
  3. It’s from the Food Network’s website and I thought that was appropriate seeing as we’ve spent A LOT of time watching that channel together.

So what is this recipe I’m talking up? Chocolate-Dipped Clementines.

I used oranges because it’s what I had in my kitchen- really I think any orangey citrus fruit would be delicious with this- but the original recipe uses clementines. All you need is some chocolate (I used some dark chocolate chips I had), clementines or oranges, a little bit of salt, and some parchment paper.

Making these bad boys might convince you that you could start your own version of “Edible Arrangements” from your kitchen and perhaps turn a profit. You probably couldn’t so don’t get TOO ahead of yourself- sorry to burst your bubble- but that company sort of is the king of the niche market of chocolate covered fruit baskets.

BUT you can save yourself some money and make your own chocolate dipped fruit. That’s what this recipe is great for.


Peel and segment your citrus and lay out on some parchment paper.


Melt your chocolate in either the microwave or a double boiler and then dip half of each segment into the melted chocolate. They don’t need to perfect or need (use my photo above as evidence)


The salt is optional, but if you’re a fan of the salt and chocolate combo- sprinkle a little salt over the chocolate while it’s still melty.


Let harden on the counter for a little bit or throw in the fridge for about ten minutes for the chocolate to harden.

This little recipe got me excited for Easter because it made me think of those chocolate oranges- you know the chocolate sphere shaped and flavored with orange that breaks into segments? These tasted JUST like those! Go figure, right?

I remember when these chocolate oranges first came out or got weirdly popular when I was younger and writing a letter to the Easter bunny BEGGING for him to give me one. I think I actually offered him a deal- he could forgo giving me ALL my other Easter candy if he would just give me ONE chocolate orange. Typical, Allison. Hilarious. My Mom might still have that letter… I wouldn’t be surprised- she saves all of those cute and important things (one of the many things I love about her). Hopefully she remembers me doing this and laughs.

Irregardless, it made me even more excited than I already am to go home for Easter a month from now! I can’t wait to give my Mom world’s biggest hug.

Again, Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you so much and hope you have a truly fabulous day. You deserve to smile and laugh and feel loved today and every day. Saying “thank you for everything” doesn’t even begin to cover how grateful I am to have you in my life.

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo


11 thoughts on “Home is Where Mom Is

  1. Aww this is so sweet! I love that you made a recipe that reminded you of her and that you’re so inspired by your mom. I’m insanely close with mine too and it’s hard being an 8 hour drive from home. Texting her is great, but it isn’t the same. I’m really excited for you that you get to go home for Easter! That will be the perfect time to make up for lost time and spend time together just being happy. I miss mine terribly so I can completely relate to everything you just said.
    p.s. love the “keep it wicked healthy” 😉

  2. So. So. Sweet! Obviously you know how much I love my mom and how excited I was to read this tribute to your mom on her birthday. I love that she passed on so many nuggets of wisdom to you and I totallllly feel you when it comes to moms being able to comfort like none other. Nothing beats a mom cuddle when you feel like you’re having the worst day in the world. Happy birthday, Mama Washingtonian!

    P.S. Those chocolate oranges are my favorite part about Easter candy. Except for maybe Cadbury Cream Eggs. MMM.

    • Nothing out does a mom hug, man. I knew you’d appreciate this post haha. Thanks for the well wishes on her big day 🙂

      And YES I’m so glad you love those chocolate oranges too! They’re so delicious! Now I’m just getting overly excited about Easter candy. No shame.

  3. Thank you Allison, you’ve succeeded in making me cry (again) with your kind words. I can’t wait for Easter weekend too! I’ll have to check with E.Bunny to see if he’ll be bringing those oranges for you! In the meantime I’m definately gonna try the clementine and chocolate idea, I just bought a whole box o’ clementines the other day soooo perfect! I love you more than I could ever tell you, can’t wait to hug you!

  4. You’re right about your Mom. She’s always been a pretty amazing gal. In good times and bumpy ones, she’s always impressed me, too, with her heart, mind and wit.

    That picture of you, your Mom and Jessie reminds me of how much you looked like her at a similar age, especially the very alive, sparkling eyes. It’s good to hear she’s gonna make like a flower and will bloom yet again for maybe the umpteenth time. (Happy birthday, Maureen!)

    It’s also great to see your own re-blooming, Alli. Keep up that fine family tradition!


    -Uncle Kevin

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