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My mom’s special day

Last weekend we spent in Utah celebrating my mom’s career in Education.  She is retiring after 35 years of teaching Elementary school and being an administrator over Title One.  Her friends and co-workers threw her an amazing Retirement Party (I had to share some pics!).  She wanted all of her kids and grandkids there and we wouldn’t have missed it!  Such a special day for our entire family.

The party was held in one of our town’s oldest buildings that has now been restored.  I went to 6th grade there and it was a bit surreal being back. :)  My mom’s friends decorated every corner so darling and filled a huge cabinet with pictures of my mom’s career in education.  I started crying after being there 5 minutes!  My mom is is so loved and has had such an impact on so many lives throughout the years.  We were all so excited to honor her!
This is my mom’s cute co-worker Brittney who is the main party planner and a close family friend walking her up the stairs.  This picture is a little blurry but I love it because my mom is holding her Diet Coke.  She doesn’t go far without one. :)
It was an Open House so for 2 hours people poured in to give my mom a hug.  I snapped this pic before a lot of the people came.  Her friends decorated it all so darling.
There was a huge chip and dip bar because chips with dip is my mom’s favorite.  Give her chips and Diet Coke and she’s set for life.
Her cake was also beautiful made by a close friend.
These three didn’t wander far from the cake.  :)
My cute parents.  Love these two so much!  My dad has been retired for a couple of years (I shared his party here) so now they will both be home together.  Aside from when they are visiting me.  Which I hope now that they are both retired is going to be often.  :)
My mom has so many beautiful friends/co-workers who love her dearly and don’t want her to retire.  There were a lot of tears at this party!
I loved seeing some of my besties too.  Nothing like visiting home.
One of my mom’s best friends made her a quilt.  I need to take a better picture of it because it’s so beautiful!  It almost made me want to learn how to sew.  Almost.
All of our sweet in-laws came.  My sister, brother and I lucked out in the in-law department.
The three of us had our fair share of laughs as always.  Love my sisters!  The tall model on the left is actually our sister-in-law but we claim her as one of us.  I just can’t stand next to these two very often or I suddenly wish I was wearing 10 inch high heels.
I turned around one minute and all of the grandkids were in one place standing together by the table.  What!  That never happens!  I jumped on it.  “Get close kids!” I said and they huddled in.  I snapped this one picture and 2 seconds later the moment was over and they were off in 10 different directions.  Had to pat myself on the back for that one. ;)
At my dad’s retirement party my sister wrote a poem all about his career.  Those who know my sister well know that her true calling was to be a stand up comedian.  She can make people laugh like no one else.  I know that better than anyone and have more hilarious stories in my past than I care to remember.  Ha!  Her poem was the hit of my dad’s party so everyone insisted that she write a poem to read for my mom.
She didn’t disappoint and had us all cracking up one minute and crying the next.
Then my sweet mom spoke and more tears followed.
Along with a few laughs.  My mom can also hold her own in the humor department. :)
The six of us.  Love my family so much.  It’s hard for me to be around them too long because we all have so much fun together that it makes me want to move back!
Group shot of the friends who were still there by the end of the party.
I know this is more of a personal family post, but this was such a special day for us that I had to document it all.  My mom went back to school to get her degree in Education when me and my sister were little.  My dad also worked in Education and money was tight so she got a job as a waitress at night so that they could afford school.  I remember her driving back and forth to college (an hour each way at the time), time at my grandma’s house and lots of late nights that my dad was in charge of us while she worked or did homework.  My sister and I have fond memories of nights with my dad doing his hair in bows and headbands.  :)  She got her degree and worked so that we could afford the extras.. braces and dance lessons and family vacations and a splurge on an occasional pair of “Guess jeans” that we had to have because all of our friends were wearing them.  She was (and still is) loved by everyone in our community.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told in my lifetime “your mom was my all time favorite teacher!”  We couldn’t walk into a grocery store or anywhere else in town without hearing “Mrs. Van!  Mrs. Van!”  The kids loved her.  The teachers loved her.  The parents loved her.  Even though she was extremely dedicated to her school kids, we never felt like we didn’t have our mom fully present at home.  I don’t know how she did it.  Devoted so much of herself to kids all day long and was always still smiling at the end of the day and there for us.  She sacrificed so much for us and now that I’m a mom I appreciate all she did that much more.  She is my greatest example and my decision to become a teacher was because I wanted to make a difference like she did.  My mom is kind and giving and radiates happiness wherever she goes.  She loves life and the color yellow and Diet Coke and a good trip to Target.  We have that in common. :)  Whenever my mom and I are together at the end of the day we always smile at each other and say “another fun day!”  She is my best friend and I couldn’t be more proud today to say that I belong to her.

Mom.. I love you so much.  I’m looking forward to “another fun day” with you soon!

And then another one after that.


xoxo, Erin
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34 thoughts on “My mom’s special day

  1. Oh, Erin! What a beautiful tribute to your mom! I’m so happy to see that so many people were there to celebrate her! Your mom reminds me of my own! My mom taught middle school and retired 15 years ago. She still keeps in touch with her students! She has gone to their weddings, baby showers and their children’s baptisms! It’s amazing how much impact she had on those kids! I’m sure you mom is the same way! I’m so glad you were there to celebrate with her! Thank you for sharing it all with us!

    1. Oh love that Susan! It’s so true. Good teachers make all the difference in kids’ lives. Your mom sounds amazing! We are both so lucky to have such amazing role models. Thank you sweet friend! xo

  2. What a beautiful post Erin! I think it’s always nice to read some stories about a bloggers personal life, it makes you human :) This one brought tears to my eyes, your lucky to have such a loving relationship with your family…..Congratulations to your mama, she sounds like an inspiration to all!

  3. What a special lady your mom is. I don’t even know her (other than through your posts) and I was tearing up at all the love. So heartwarming. She sounds like an awesome woman who would be so fun to know. Congratulations to her for a wonderful career! The world has been blessed to have her as the fabulous teacher and wonderful mother that she has been. Wow, such dedication she has had. I hope she enjoys every single second of her retirement. She has definitely earned it. :) Thank you so much for sharing this more personal family post.

    1. Thank you so much Jeanne! I agree.. she has blessed the world for sure. I’m so happy for her to be retired and just do whatever she wants! Your comments are always so heartfelt and mean so much to me. Thank you sweet friend. xo

    1. Thank you so much Kristen! I’m happy to hear that. I know most people come here for organizing, home decor or fashion so I’m always a little nervous to post more personal things. Your comment made my day. :)

  4. This post made me cry so much. My mom was a teacher and went back to work when I was 10 because my dad had left our family. I remember her being on the phone with the school superintendent and she was struggling because she was crying. I said a prayer for her and miraculously a peace came over her and she was able to finish the interview. She worked so hard for us and I’m so grateful for her sacrifices that were so so many. She just turned 70 and should be retiring at the beginning of this next school year. She wasn’t perfect but she was amazing. Thanks for the reminder and ideas for a retirement party for her:)

    1. Oh my word Andrea! Your sweet mom. It’s incredible all that moms sacrifice for their kids. Loved hearing your story and yes! Throw her a party for sure. She sounds amazing. :) xo

  5. Erin, your sweet Mom is amazing!!! I enjoyed reading about her retirement party and seeing all the photos of your wonderful family. I feel like I know you all so well!! Best wishes to your parents as they finally get to enjoy their retirements together!!! ❤️🎂🎉🎁🎶🍀😊🎈⛳️🏌🌷💕

    1. Thank you so much sweet Jane! Love that you have been with me so long you know my family. :) That means a lot to me! I know.. such a neat time for my parents. I’m excited for them both! And a little jealous. ;) Enjoy your evening! xo

  6. Such a great post, Erin! Your mom sounds like a fantastic person, and I hope she totally enjoys her retirement. And spends lots of time in San Diego!


  7. I loved this post so much Erin. Your mom looks like she is the nicest teacher and what a testimony of how she became a teacher, it just touched me so much, I don’t even have the words to describe it. Looks like fun was had by all!

    1. Aria you are such a sweetheart! Thank you. You comment was so kind.. it made my day. I’m so happy you liked this post. It was a special weekend for sure. :) xo

  8. Erin,
    Loved, loved this post! I had no idea we had so much in common in the “mom” department! My mom is also a Mrs. Van, is a elementary school media specialist, is always drinking a Diet Coke, and her fave color has always been yellow. My mom is 72 and keeps saying she’ll retire … next year. She didn’t go back to work until my younger brothers were both in high school and she just keeps on going! Thanks for sharing this special family event with all of us.

    Enjoy your 3 day weekend,


    1. Oh my word Clare! Our moms have so much in common it’s almost scary! Love that! And I love that she keeps saying “next year”.. she truly loves her job. :) Enjoy your weekend too sweet friend! xo

  9. What an amazing lady and family !!
    I love that she loves a good diet coke.. me too. IT Gets ME Through Some days ☺

  10. I love your personal posts the best, followed by organising of course :)

    Congrats to your mom on an excellent career – i love that she made a difference in the lives of so many people. What a legacy!

    And how amazing that you were all there to celebrate with her.

    Do you ever think of going back to be a teacher? ;)

    1. Thank you so much Marcia! I love the legacy she left behind too.. such an amazing lifetime of service. I used to think I’d go back and teach again once my kids were in school, but now I have the blog and I couldn’t do both. For now this is making me happy, but who knows what the future will bring. :) xo

  11. Oh Erin this brought tears to my eyes. I have always said that teachers are amazing. No matter how much we teach our kids at home, they learn so much from a teacher and her love. Your family reminds me so much of ours. We are such a close family. I just love your mom and hope her retirement is filled with fun, relaxation and lots of time with you sweet Erin. xo

    1. Thank you Cathy! You are the sweetest. :) I agree.. teachers give back so much. I love that our families are so similar too. And so are we. :) xo

  12. I was just looking through your blog for fun and came upon this post–turns out the quilt your mom got for her retirement? I designed that fabric! Small world. :) Love your blog BTW. xoxo

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