Wednesdays with Wanda

It felt so good writing the title for this post!

It’s been 7 weeks since my last Wednesdays with Wanda post, and I’ve missed it.

It feels so good to go back to that “place” where my mom still feels so close to me.

It’s Tuesday night as I write this, and it’s my second birthday without my mom.  The big 4-0.  Yes, I said it.  I am forty. Wow.  That hurts.

Mom would be so excited about me turning forty.  And believe you me, she would have called me early in the morning to be the first one to tell me Happy Birthday.

Mom loved celebrating birthdays.

Who am I kidding, she loved celebrating people (especially her children).

Mom loved celebrating.

She loved making others feel special.  It was her gift.

My sister gave me something the other night at my birthday dinner that I hadn’t seen in years.  It brought an instant smile to my face followed by tears and that familiar ache of missing mom.

It’s another one of those handwritten keepsakes from my mom that make her so dear to me.

In 1991, Mom decided to make a list of all the “favorites” of every member of our family.  I was 21 at the time, and the days of having big birthday parties with lots of friends and presents were drawing to a close.  I was at the age where a birthday meant a small get together with just family.  The way I liked it best.  :)

Mom decided that she wanted a list of all of our favorite things to make our special day as special as she could.

So she made us all fill one out, me, my sister, my brother, and dad.  And she saved the information in a file to save for our special day (or any day that she wanted to make us feel special).

Here is mine:

Not too much has changed over the last 20 years as far as my favorite foods go!

We did get a few laughs about some of the things I wrote, though.

I do not remember ever liking chinese noodles on my salad.

Or ever even eating califlower casserole.

#8 cracks me up!  Favorite Fish…Long John Silvers!

Yep.  That was the truth.

Until I married my husband, the only fish I had ever eaten was Long John Silvers!

Luckily, his family loves fish and now I can say that my favorite fish is Salmon.  Yum!

Fruity Pebbles is still my favorite cereal.  I can eat the whole box in one sitting.

And of course, my favorite candy is still buckeyes. :)

As I read over this list, I felt so loved.  Mom cared about the details of my life.

And as I grew older, and she would have me and my family over for Sunday dinner near my birthday, you can bet she had made me something off of my list.

My sweet sister made me parsley potatoes and green beans for my birthday supper the other night.  Thank you, Cyndi.

I was so glad Cyndi found this list!

I am going to have my children and my husband fill one out too.  Of course, my sons’ “favorite” foods will probably change over the years.  I expect I will have to update it!  :)

My prayer is that they will feel the same love that I felt from my mom whenever she made things for me off of my “favorite” list.

If I had the chance to go back a few years, I would make a list for my mom and have her fill out her favorite foods.  I am sad I  never thought to do that.  And if I could, I would make everything on her list for her everyday, just to show her how much I loved her.  And I would make everything on her list everyday for the rest of her life, and I would still not be able to repay her for all that she did for me.

Do me a favor.

If you are still blessed to have a mom on this earth, find out her “favorites”.  You might think you already know them, but make her feel special by asking her and writing them down.

And then make her something off that list and tell her you love her.

And give her a kiss from me.


  1. So sweet :) Love that idea too! And…of course…HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You’re so vibrant and full of life…this birthday should just be another exciting thing that has happened this year :)

  2. Well 1st… HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!
    And then I’ve said this before, I wish that I could have met Wanda. What a delightful, thoughtful woman.
    Thanks for sharing her with us. Such a great idea… I am going to use that one.
    AND…here’s hoping that someone did the whole “over the hill” deal…just for fun, for you.
    Trusting that you had a great day full of all HIS Blessings. Happy 40th!

  3. So sweet Wanda. See how your Mother buzzed around you with such Love? Thats how Jesus and His Father think about you too…always so loving you! She only went ahead and waits! Lovely post Wanda…and Happy 40th. Awww its not so bad 40! xoxoxoxoxox

  4. I love your post. I will definately have my mom fill out one of these lists ~ it is a wonderful idea.

    I am blessed to also have a mother like yours. My father passed 10 years ago very suddently so I understand your pain.


  5. I hope you’ve had a wonderful birthday, Traci! You’ve been on my mind all day. I’m glad to see another Wednesday with Wanda post. I love the idea of a list of favorites. Your mom was one smart cookie, wasn’t she?

    God bless you, friend!

  6. Wow! I hadn’t realized that I missed your Wednesdays with Wanda until I saw the title — my heart just leaped for joy. How strange it that?!?!?

    Happy birthday. And yes, you’re right. I must find things out from my Mother while I can.

  7. I just found your blog through a search on tile coasters…yours btw are the best ones out there! I l.o.v.e your decorating style, your thrift, and your zeal for life. I hope when I finally get into a house of my own…that will probably be a while…that I can be like you! Absolutely beautiful and your husband’s handy work is amazing. Thanks for sharing ideas, design, and talent! Happy birthday, I hope you have the best one yet! I’m sure your mother would be proud of you!

  8. Thank you for sharing that, what a beautiful idea!!! If my mom wasn’t asleep , I’d call her and get that list started…after I quit crying! My mom is going through a very hard time right now and I would love to make her feel as special as I think she is. I wish your momma could have celebrated with you today, Im sure she was smiling down on you. Thank you and Happy Birthday

  9. Happy Birthday, Traci!

    Once again, I feel so connected to you after reading your Wednesdays with Wanda post. It’s like I could be reading about my own mom.

    I appreciate your courage to write about your mom as often as you do. It helps me think about all the things I miss about my mom and remember all the ways she was so awesome. Thank you so much for sharing :)

  10. Having just lost my Mom 6 months ago, your final comments made me cry. It is so true IF anyone is soooo lucky to still have their Mom with them cherish these times. The ones you think will live forever are the ones that go first and are missed the most! Thank you for this post, I too am going to have my girls fill out a list of their favorites as well!

  11. Hi Traci :-)

    A big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you and many many more ahead!!! I love that “favorite thing list” idea, your mom had so much blessed ideas and now you are passing it along..that’s so wonderful!!!

    Lots of smiles,
    Kathy in TEXAS :-)

  12. Happy birthday, Traci! 40 isn’t so bad–said by someone who has passed the big 5-0! What a sweet caring woman your mother was. She (and you) have inspired me to do this when our gang is together this Christmas. We have a new daughter-in-law and this will help us get to know her better.

    And I am definitely going to send my mom a list. I was raised by her older sister and it’s only been in the past few years that we’ve developed any kind of relationship at all. Each time I talk to her, I find more and more similarities. This will help us grow even closer. Thanks again for sharing.

  13. I just stumbled across your site and how wonderful it is!
    I wasn’t at all close to my mother until just the last few years. In all honesty, I don’t think we could stand each other at all. But I’ve learned a lot of reasons why my mom is the way she is, and I’ve also learned to appreciate her many strengths and talents. We have recently moved about 3.5 hours away from my parents and I miss her. I will make a point of making her one of HER favorites the next time we visit.
    Thank you for your post. It has made me appreciate my mom all the more. Happy Birthday and God Bless.

  14. What a perfectly sweet idea. I love it! Happy late Birthday Traci!!! I just had my birthday on the 6th, I turned 29 and am actually looking forward to my 30’s. How ironic that you too have a cold. I caught my daughters cold the day before my birthday =( we have been at home resting. We have been at home resting a lot anyhow, as I had hip surgery about a month ago to repair a torn labrum. I really enjoy reading your blog and seeing all your projects. You have given me a lot of inspiration to do all the projects that I have been procrastinating. I kept thinking we just don’t have the money. Money is really tight and like you I am a stay home Mom and my husband is working 2 jobs trying to keep me home with our almost 2 year old daughter Selah. Sometimes I break down and cry thinking about how I would like to do or have things, but I have to stop myself and remember how Blessed I am. I have so many “Blessings” in my life. Hearing your story gives me hope too! If you can do it with 4 boys, stay at home, and have a beautiful home and heart I know that it is possible. #1 I know that all things are possible with my Lord who gives my strength. Thanks again for sharing your life and heart with all of us. It means so much. I pray that you are well soon.
    Love and Blessings,
    Sarah Hardy =)

  15. Seven weeks since we enjoyed a bit of Wanda?
    Seven weeks since I shed a tear, at work, no less!
    Too long to wait, but I’ll take what I can get.

    Happy, happy, birthday —- I know your special angel is watching you with love


    It has been a long time since you did WWW post and I gotta tell you I got a little giddy yesterday when you I saw your post. I was excited to have you share another one of your sweet remembrances of your mom with us.
    Love her idea of the faves list. I think I will do this with my family. LOL, as I get older I forget. This would be a great help.
    Hugs to you! Hope your bday was a sweet one.

  17. Oh I’m totally going to do this! And I think I will send it to my mom so she can fill it out in her own hand writing, which will also be a keepsake as I don’t have a lot of handwritten things from her.

    Happiest of Birthdays to you, my friend!

  18. Happy Birthday! I love this idea. I’m sure it made you all feel so special. It sounds like your Mom was the best!

    What a dear sister you have too. I’m sure your mom would be thrilled to know you celebrated your 40th birthday with her list.

  19. Happy 4-0 Traci!! What a sweet thing for your mom to have done. This is definitely something that I would like to adopt for my family and my mom as well. I will give my mom a hug and kiss and think of you and your Mom when I do. :)

    Saying a prayer for you,

  20. Happy Birthday!! And welcome to the club! It is a pretty great club!

    It is awesome that Cindi found this list, what a special gift. When I read your posts I can feel the love your mom had for her family and your love for her.

  21. I’ve missed Wednesday’s with Wanda too. As I have said before, I strive to be more like Wanda. I think I will ask my children to complete a favorite list for me. Happy Birthday! Your going to make 40 look like a breeze!

  22. So sorry that I missed wishing you “happy birthday” on your birthday. I hope that your celebrations are still continuing. From someone who has been following your blog for a while, what I have glimpsed in you is such a delight. How proud your mom would be of you Traci. You touch so many hearts with your blog and you inspire us too. “Wednesday with Wanda” has always been a favourite read for me on Wednesdays. You and your sis represent your mom well.
    Much love to you.

  23. I LOVED this post. Every single time I read about your mother, I love her more and more!! And I’ve never met her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a dear, dear lady the Lord made for Himself!! And you must be just like her because I “see” glimpses of her description in your posts. Thank you so much for sharing about her. What a wonderful family the Lord gave her to serve and love!!!!

    Shari (And, I must admit, we share the same birthday year!! OH MY!!!!!)

  24. Such a poignant post, I lovey our story and pictures of the letter. When I was 11 my mother was in the hospital over my birthday. I remember the early celebration but what I remember most is the letter my mom wrote me and the “crackers from my tray” she sent.

  25. First, happy birthday Traci. 40’s are wonderful, you will enjoy them very much! This was a lovely post. After the recent illness my mom had where we thought we were going to lose her, I have been much more aware of how fleeting life is. I love your mom’s list and your idea to create a favorite’s list for the ones we love. Thank you. blessings, m.

  26. This is going to sound crazy, but I remember doing that as a kid too! I don’t think my mom saved mine, but I think I am going to surprise everyone this Thanksgiving with a ‘questionare’ so I can save them and break them out in 20 years:)

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