Here's to You, MomMoms are our roots; we owe them not only our manners and morals, but also our foundations and lives. This Mother’s Day, in particular, I am keenly aware of how blessed I am by my own mom – a sassy, selfless, chatty, and charming Southern lady. She’s not only one of the sweetest people I’ll ever know, but also one of my best friends.

Mom showed me the fun in catching lightning bugs on summer nights and the funny in laughing at our own mistakes. She passed on her passion for reading, a gift that I would be lost without today. We played dolls together, crafted together, crammed vocabulary words together, and watched The Sound of Music far too many times to count. When I started writing for a local newspaper as a teenager, she was my most loyal reader. When I was a poor college student, she surprised me with an occasional car payment in the mail. And since I was a child, my mother has had a near-perfect read on me. Better than anyone, she knows that when I get moody, I probably need to eat.

Now she’s 57 and I’m 33, and she still knows me better than anyone. Mom knows I’d rather text than talk on the phone. She knows to put a couple of low-cal things on the stove if I’m coming over. She knows to let me be if I’m quiet. She never judges me for my mistakes, a trait that I can only hope to emulate in my own parenting. While I didn’t inherit Mom’s degree of diplomacy and tact or knack for decorating and hosting others, I like to think I share Mom’s talent for listening and saving up for rainy days. Most importantly, my mother taught me patience. “The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace” (Exodus 14:14).

I have a lot of work ahead of me, but a few things are for sure. While I will definitely share all the original Nancy Drew mysteries with my own daughter, I’ll probably let my sweet, Southern mom continue to own the big hair. She wears it well.

What is the best Mother’s Day tribute or gift you’ve ever received?