I honestly need a bumper sticker that says "My Mother in law is nicer than yours"...because it's true.
I have friends who have told me horror stories of how their mothers in law judge them on everything. Their cooking, their housekeeping, their parenting, none of it is good enough. But not my mother in law!
From the first day I've known Pam, she has been nothing but kind and generous to me. She even takes my side AGAINST Brian when I joke (complain) about his bad habits! I admit I was a little worried at first because Brian is an only child, and I felt like she might be possessive of him since Walt passed away. But I quickly learned that she is NOT your average mother in law. The birthday card she e-sent to me this year had a (mostly) naked man on it!!! And she sends us flowers every year for our anniversary.
When Brian and I got engaged, she paid for our honeymoon by giving us BOTH of her timeshare credits and her website ID for the timeshare exchange and basically told us we could go anywhere we wanted. And we had a FABULOUS honeymoon cruising the Eastern Carribean!
Pam's husband, Karl, and her travel for much of the year in a really nice motorhome coach. This thing is fancy! I mean, it's probably nicer than my house! And when it was clear that we were going to settle down here in Phoenix, so did they. They bought a piece of property to park their motorhome on and we get to spend from January through April with them every year! And often we also get to see them in November! We don't get to see them as much as we'd like, but when we do get together for dinner or baseball games, we always make sure we play dice!
The summer I got pregnant, Brian was traveling a lot, so Pam invited me to spend a few days with her in New Mexico (they have a "permanent" residence there near Albuquerque), so I went. We took a road trip and stayed in a hotel together and visited the Pueblo in Taos and we shopped in all the little weird touristy shops and it was a really fun time. She didn't even mind when I was up in the middle of the night throwing up or puking in the car or eating cereal at 5:00 in the morning or just not in the mood to eat anything! She took it all in stride and made me feel as comfortable as possible.
At my baby shower Pam didn't bring a gift. Instead, she waited until she was one of the last people there and she said, "when are you and Brian available tomorrow? I want to meet you at Babies R Us and buy you whatever else you need." I was shocked. And she was so patient with us the next day when we couldn't decide on a car seat and couldn't agree on the color of the stroller. She was just happy to help.
I asked Pam to take pictures of Sadie's birth (even though I never had any plans of sharing them with ANYONE!!). Since we had a homebirth, it was really special to be able to have her there right in the action. And I probably never told her this, but I always appreciated that she never gave me a lecture on having a homebirth, even though I kind of knew that's not the way she would have done things!
Pam and Karl came to the hospital everyday when Sadie was in the NICU, even though it was about a 45 minute drive. And Pam cuddled Sadie the day we thought we'd lose her, and she cried with us. And when we brought Sadie home, she came over and cuddled her more. I have always loved that she knows how special Sadie is because she was right there when everything happened. And I can't wait for them to see Sadie when they come to Arizona this year, because she's such a big girl now! We have so much showing off to do!
Last year for Christmas, Pam presented to me a poster-size cross-stitch she made for me. It has a border of little teddy bears doing different things like being a doctor or a teacher or a ballerina and it says "I can only imagine." Then there is a place for a picture of Sadie right in the middle. She told me that each time Sadie reaches a new milestone, or does something that doctors told us she'd never be able to do, we should change the picture so the piece of art can grow with Sadie and remind us that God has bigger plans for Sadie and that we can only imagine what those plans are. (Which reminds me, I need to change the picture to one of Sadie doing her big-girl sitting!)
I am so thankful for my mother in law and all that she contributes to our family. I have told other people this before, but since I'm giving thanks for something specific every day this month, I thought I'd take this opportunity to thank her publicly.
So, does anybody know where I can get that bumper sticker?