Many of you may be wondering how LivFashionably came to be, and while it’s true that me and my friend Carrie dreamed up this blog our senior year of boarding school, it’s also true that LivFashionably was in training long before this blog came to be.
I love fashion. This is a given, right? But what everyone doesn’t know, is I was blessed to learn from the best–my mom.
Mom passed away two weeks ago, and this was a tough post to write, but after 21 years of love, friendship, and style advice, I figured it was time to give credit where credit was due.
Before I was born, mom and dad had two sons. My poor mom, surrounded by three men, ALL THE TIME…[and now it’s just me, and the same three men…must be payback for me rescuing her so late]. 10 years after my middle brother, I came along, and my parents were so happy! Mom especially–she finally had a partner in crime! And we sure did commit more than a few. Most of which involved shopping, because she made it quite clear early on that there would be no soccer playing, hunting, or paintball shooting for me. I was to be the girl of all girls. However, growing up with two older brothers, I wanted to be a tomboy with every fiber of my being. I refused to wear the dresses she bought me, instead I favored t-shirts. At one point, my mom had to steal away all of my hairties to keep me from putting my hair in a ponytail. I’m not sure at what point that I gave in, but the point is, I did.
Starting when I was 10 years old, mom took me to NYC at least once a year, to shop. She may have used sightseeing as an excuse to get us there, but saying “I saw Lady Liberty” is a very loose phrase. You better believe I saw everything up close and personal on Fifth Ave. and Diamond District though.
She was always dressed immaculately. Chanel and Louboutin’s were her favorites, and she was extremely detail-oriented. You’d never catch her with chipped nail polish, a single rogue hair [meaning grey], and if you had a tag hanging out of your shirt, she’d come to your rescue, whether she knew you or not!
When we’d go shopping, she’d tell me “hurry up, run the bags upstairs and hide them in the closet before your dad comes home!” The next day when dad went to work, she’d ask me to bring them down, so we could start popping tags, and hang up our new treasures. When I wore one of these new outfits, dad would ask if it was new, I’d always say “oh no, I’ve had it for a while now.” Dad knew better, but mom would give me a wink of approval anyways.
Dad will be the first to tell you that he learned early on how important shoes were. He said the first few years they were together, mom would pull out a new dress for Easter, or dinner, and if she didn’t have shoes to match, all hell would break loose. It didn’t take long for dad to implement a new rule: “DO NOT buy a dress, without buying shoes to match. DO NOT come home with one and not the other.” Mom knew she’d married a smart man, she just didn’t realize how smart…
While fashion among other girly things may have been the basis for the bond I shared with my mom–she was so much more than what you saw on the outside. She once told me that ever since she was a little girl, she knew she wanted to be a mom, and she was a great one. She was so proud of me and my brothers, and she loved us so incredibly much.
She told me often that she “loved me more than mostest.” That was our thing.
She also taught me and my brothers three important rules that I hope to teach my children one day.
1. Be Honest, even if what you have to say isn’t what’s popular.
2. Respect, you cannot expect others to respect you if you don’t respect yourself.
3. Self-sufficiency is important. She never wanted me to have to rely on a husband to make it in this world. I am strong and I am independent, and I owe that to her.
She also valued family above anything else. She never ate dinner without my dad. I could have been whining in the kitchen about how starving I was, and more than likely she was hungry too, but it didn’t matter. She would wait to eat until dad got home from work. She loved my dad with all of her heart, and she honored him the way all wives should honor their husbands.
Even though she’s no longer with us, I am still learning more about who she was every day. The number of people that have reached out to me and told me how my mom touched their lives is unbelievable.
She loved to give, and I admire this about her.
I could go on and on about my mom, the amazing woman she was, and the kind of woman she wanted me to be. I’m still working on the woman I’m slowing growing into, but I think I have the style part down pat, and since I learned from her, I’d say mom would be pretty proud thus far.
Thank you for getting through this with me, and thanks for all of the love and support from my friends and family over the last few weeks–you are all gems!
ps: Thankful for her hair-teasing and makeup tutorials, and reminding me to have fun, always.