Jan+her mom: just had to share this email.

I really believe strongly in NOT sharing the incredible stories I’m getting via email when someone submits a photo for the blog. Because YES, we are all beautiful on the INSIDE. And we all do amazing things. We give of ourselves, we have overcome hardships, we suffer loss and celebrate life. But some days, well, I just want to be pretty.

Just simply pretty.

My goal this year, I’ve decided, is to stop one woman at the grocery store every time I’m there and tell her I think she’s pretty. Because who feels pretty at the grocery store?

So this blog is really just those words we need sometimes. Those vain times that we all have. When we’ve tried on all of our jeans and none fit right, when we leave the house without make-up, when we haven’t had time to shower, when we’re exhausted, when we’re sad, when we’ve gained weight, or lost weight. Those times we just want to look in the mirror and be happy not about WHO WE ARE but about HOW WE LOOK.

And that is again, why I’m NOT posting all the stories I get.

But keep emailing them, because I’ve decided I will post them randomly and without notice. So please share your stories knowing they may or may not end up on the blog. The photos ALWAYS will (in the order I receive them).

Here is an email I got today:


I love the idea of this blog! Reading today’s post reminded me of a scrapbook layout I made for my mom a few years ago. I gave it to her framed, and she can’t seem to bring herself to hang it up–it’s face down on her desk. I know it’s because she’s embarrassed that I called her beautiful! Here’s the layout and journaling. My mom will be 90 in March!

I’ll be checking back in on your new blog.


Here’s what the journaling says:

My mom would laugh if I told her that I think she is beautiful. At 86, she has silver hair and many wrinkles. She wears practical clothes and little or no makeup. If you saw her in the grocery you might think she was ordinary. But if you knew her, you would realize she is extraordinary. She’s got what it takes, inside and out.

My mom has lived through the Depression, attended a one-room schoolhouse, and missed out on high school because there was no bus service, and the school was too far away to get to on foot. She has raised four children, seen a son enlist and serve in Vietnam, and lost her husband to cancer. And here’s the one you really need to know about: when my older sister suffered a stroke at age 21 and became paralyzed, my mom rose to the challenge. Thirty-four years later, my mom and sister still live together, and my mom is still her primary caretaker. She wouldn’t have it any other way. Literally.

So if you do see my mom in the grocery, take a good look. I’ll bet you will agree. She’s beautiful, isn’t she?

15 Responses to “Jan+her mom: just had to share this email.”

  1. bonnierose Says:

    She really is beautiful!!!
    She is.. If only I can look that pretty and beautiful when I’m her age… you are so lucky to have such a beautiful mom.. but hey, my mom is beautiful too.. simply beautiful. I’d have to say ALL WOMEN are beautiful in their own way… both inside and out. xo

  2. Q Says:

    That is so sweet!

  3. jamie {inspired mess} Says:

    Gorgeous!!! She looks so spunky! I bet she’s a blast to hang out with!!! She looks so happy! Definitely beautiful!

  4. Maeve's mom Says:

    She is beautiful, on the inside, obviously, but on the outside also. Her smile is gorgeous. Also, that hair is so thick and luxurious and shiny. My hair doesn’t look that good at 35!

  5. Gina Says:

    Why, oh why, did you have to start this blog when I am newly pregnant?? I started crying when I read you wanted to tell women in the grocery store that they are pretty (stupid Progesterone) and didn’t stop the rest of the way through the post.


    Jan’s mom is so beautiful. Her hair is shiny, her skin looks so soft, and she has a wonderful smile. She just looks huggable! I hope I look that good at her age.

  6. Katie Says:

    That is incredible and just the story to match that gorgeous face! She looks awfully spunky! I also would never have guessed her to be 90!!!!

  7. Kristen Says:

    Speechless. I truly have no words as there is just no way I could possibly describe such beauty. My heart is smiling though. Huge. Thank you!

  8. danielle Says:

    she looks and sounds like someone i would love to be like when im damn near 90! and she looks no where near it! whats her secret?! she looks like an intelligent woman with many tales to tell! i dont see wrinkles, i see life lines that could tell you stories you wouldnt believe! and by her story, i wanna be strong like her when i grow up! i wanna love my children and husband like she has! awesome story of a beautiful women!

  9. Ang Says:

    Beautiful obviously describes her entire life and way of being. Her eyes are full of it (life, that is)! And I love her big smile. What a story this photo tells and what a BIG life she continues to lead. I can only hope to have my daughters say some of these kind and loving words about me later.

  10. jessie Says:

    She certainly is beautiful. Her hair looks so soft and natural. I think the style really flatters the shape of her face.

  11. Karen Says:

    I will never grocery shop again without looking for someone to tell they are beautiful. What a marvelous idea. I work in a public building and daily I give everyone I pass a big smile. It is amazing the glow that can light up a face when they are touched by your smile. Try it.

  12. Elizabeth Says:

    What wonderful words for a mother. And what a fabulous job she did raising you! Your character and giving nature reflect so well on her.

  13. Sarah Says:

    She looks like she’s FUN and would have lots of stories to tell!
    Love the scrapbooking page ❤

  14. amber Says:

    Everything about her is beautiful. She has the sweetest eyes and the most infectious smile!

  15. Rachael Giallongo Says:

    Your story brings a tear to my eye! She IS beautiful…. I can see that in her smile…. her strength shines right through!

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