Tell us about your mom.
A happy, vibrant spirit whom everyone loved. A selfless mother who devoted her time and energy to raise her four children. She was our biggest cheerleader in life and when the time came for her to go back to work, she did it without us even noticing. When we were old enough, she went back to school to get her Master’s and received a 4.0–and she still put dinner on the table every night! She lead by example and this instance is still something I think about every single day. The characteristics that stand out in my mind were her kindness and her ability to listen. So often we talk at each other, while my mother always listened and always gave great advice. Her smile is the thing that I remember the most. The Chic Series Logo is actually a tribute to my mother as she always wore a bold red lip. The image that I still picture in my mind is my mother smiling bright with her lips painted in a cherry red hue.
What was your relationship like with your mom?
My mother kept me grounded growing up, while still teaching me to shoot for the stars. When the time came to apply to college, I chose a school closer to home so I could be near my parents and the loving happy household she created. She cheered me on during my countless lacrosse games in both high school and college. She never cared about the score, but was just happy to be there. As we got older, I loved spending time with her. Whether getting our nails done or sharing some wine, she always provided the best company and the best advice. She taught me to love life and to always be the first out on the dance floor. Her journey also taught me that life is truly a gift and that it should be celebrated each and every day.
Do you see your mom in your children?
Yes, our oldest daughter is an angel. A sweet, gentle, and intelligent soul, just like my mom. She often tells me that she speaks to “Nanny” in her dreams and I believe her. It often feels like my mother lives on through Isabella.
What were your favorite traditions growing up? Will you carry these forward with your children?
She made every holiday special. From St. Patricks Day to Christmas, my mother made sure every special occasion was a joyous one. She decorated, cooked, and celebrated and I try and do the same with my children. Her ability to cook was incredible and I really think it was her way of showing someone she cared. Sunday night dinners were memorable in our house and this is something that I am still working on. I didn’t inherit her ability to cook.
What is your favorite memory of your mom?
I have two. My mother and I took the train into Philadelphia one day, so she could help me register for senior year classes at UPenn. She took me out to lunch at this fancy restaurant on campus and we had wine together and just laughed and enjoyed the day. It was the first time I remember seeing her as my friend. I knew she also paid for this pricey lunch with her hard earned teacher’s salary and I remember thinking how I wanted to set the same example for my girls one day. That hard work will allow you little luxuries in life.
The second is at our wedding. She had just been diagnosed with Basal Cortico Disease (a rare neurological disorder) and we hadn’t told many people as she wanted to keep it private. The fast pace of the weekend was a little overwhelming for her, but I remember her grabbing my arms during the frenzy of getting ready as if to say take it all in and enjoy this and the life that awaits you. She smiled and said I love you and I still remember the way everything stood still as if to allow us to have this moment together. Our photographer managed to capture it.
What does your Tiny Tags mean to you and to see her words to you?
As mentioned above, she made every holiday special and gave me a card on every special day. Her signature from one of my favorite birthday cards is now on my necklace. The words “love, mom” allow me to feel as if she still lives on. She lived her life with love and one of her friends told us at her funeral that her happiest and proudest moments in life were as a mom. So, I couldn’t think of two better words to wear close to my heart. When the box arrived from Tiny Tags I didn’t open it for weeks, my fear was that the thought of seeing her handwriting one last time would be devastating. When I finally gathered the courage to open the beautiful box a smile emerged on my face and the tears flowed. It was as if this tiny gesture captured my mom’s essence perfectly. By wearing this necklace around my neck it was as if I was able to carry her beauty and grace with me every single day.