Ellen close-up

Meet my mom, Ellen.

My mom is like a bottle of wine – she only gets better with age.  There is lightness to her laugh, authenticity in her smile and a youthful glow across her face.  She’s figured out the impossible, how to have it all – an amazing marriage, fulfilling career, wonderful hobbies and meaningful relationships with the people she loves.

While she has many talents and accomplishments, my mom’s real beauty lies within.  Her sincerity, compassion, and unconditional love are what make her so special.  No, she’s not perfect, but I know she has always done everything in her power to be the best mom possible. Despite our ups and downs, I have never once doubted her unwavering love and support.  I appreciate her more and more each day!

Her Family

Since my mom remarried over 15 years ago, she has been determined to blend our families and create a warm household to grow up in. During my teen years, I won’t lie – I made this dream difficult for her to achieve.  Still, she has always been supportive and sensitive to everyone in our family’s needs.

My mom has a fantastic relationship with her husband Gary: you can often find them out on walks, engaging in long conversations on our deck, or telling corny jokes that no one thinks are funny except them.  She always makes time for me and her two step-children, Alex and Sara.  Even though we now live far away, she sends us emails with inspirational quotes and funny pictures to let us know she’s thinking of us.

While my grandmother died nearly 10 years ago, my mother carried on her legacy and instilled her values in our family. My mom often wears my grandmother’s jewelry at important milestones in our lives so we can feel like she is still with us. In recent years, my mother developed a closer bond with her dad, and they meet for lunch every week, with my grandfather ordering the same thing each time – a cheeseburger with lots of onions!



Her Work

After building a successful, high-powered career in consumer health marketing, my mom left the corporate world in 2000.  She will often say this was the best decision she ever made because it gave her the opportunity to spend more time with Alex and me during our teen years, and to explore other facets of her life. Today she is an independent consultant helping organizations engage and communicate with employees. I often tease my mom by telling people she’s retired because she has such a flexible work life; she’s worked hard to get to this phase of her career and it has paid dividends in all aspects of her life.

Her Passions

I’m always fascinated by my mom’s numerous talents…writing, painting, cooking, pottery, mosaics, gardening, and knitting – the list goes on and on! Most recently, she has become committed to a healthy lifestyle, experimenting with vegan cooking and incorporating yoga into her daily routine. She also has a newfound curiosity in spirituality and spends a lot of her time investigating different religions and practices to further develop her own belief systems.


Her Quirks

While my mom is an extremely smart and capable woman, she can be a bit spacey at times, especially when she’s multi-tasking.  When she’s driving and we are in deep conversation, she inevitably makes the wrong turn and we get lost.  When she bakes, sometimes she’ll leave out that one crucial ingredient, and needs to start from scratch (no pun intended).  Another of my mom’s quirks is her laugh, which can be heard from a mile away.  While it’s heartfelt and exuberant, I sometimes get embarrassed when we’re in a crowd.  In fact, I’ve become a bit self-conscious about my own laugh, recognizing it sounds much like hers!  I guess, “like mother, like daughter.”