My mom is awesome every day but it is worth special mention today because it is her birthday. She was born on the very same day as another spicy Italian beauty, Sophia Loren. Unlike Sophia Loren, my mom didn’t star in films, some wearing a garter belt and bustier. I do have to say that she absolutely rocked a Puccini-esque print mini skirt and false eyelashes when we were kids. We have a picture of my mom in this outfit (she also wore a fall well before the hair extensions era). In the wrong hands, this ensemble could have been tacky. But she looked downright glamorous all the more impressive since her six children, aged between 3 and 14 years are also in the picture. And we do not look glamorous. We look like we are a lot of work.

My mom has a lot of energy. She often tells me, “I don’t know how you do it” referring to my career and family life. I am convinced that what she did was much more difficult. She went beyond normal mom stuff. My mom sewed some of our clothes, made us stuffed toys and dolls, did crafts with us, kept a huge garden, volunteered at school, sang at church, and much much more. My mom is also so organized! I remember waking up each morning to our lunches and morning vitamins all laid out on the kitchen counter. And she hasn’t stopped organizing. And every time I visit the yard looks fantastic and the house is clean. She’ll say, “Oh, my house is so dirty.” That’s when I feel like I should never have her to my house again. If you think your house is dirty…

But the best things about my mom are that she is loving, fun, generous, and a fabulous grandmother. She keeps track of all of us kids still as well as all of the important event in our life. And she is the only person in my life who thinks I have a beautiful singing voice. (She hears what it could have been like if I’d taken lessons and practiced, which is loads better than it actually sounds.)

Happy Birthday, Mom!