An Unconventional Mother’s Day Card, by Emma (and Lida helped too)

This is Daughter Number One, and this is a risk.

In order to bring you this blog, I have had to do what I do best: be sneaky. And I still run the risk of getting in a teeny bit of trouble for hacking on to her blog and Facebook. (For the record, Mom, I SWEAR I didn’t do ANYTHING but post this. You can even check.) But it still may be a tiny risk. So, back me up with wonderful comments so she realizes how wonderful this blog is? Also, I don’t have the Bachlor from Boston University in Communtication/Journalism/Whatever her degree is, so please excuse my less-polished-than-my-moms writing style. (And Mr. Reyes, if you somehow find and read this, please please please don’t print it out and edit it. I get enough of your red ink on my Shakespeare essays)

As I am sure you all know, if you have ever read even one of her blogs or had a conversation with her, my mom is a little unconventional. And that’s an understatement. I mean, all us Johansens aren’t exactly run-of-the-mill. As a family friend once texted me: “There is never a dull moment with you Johansen gals :)”. But she brings it to an extreame, if you ask me.

Some of you may already know the extent of her whackyness, but incase you don’t, or even if you do, here is a short list of all the things that make her insane.

  1. If you have ever been at a birthday event that she was also in attendance to, you can already attest to her, erm, outgoing and loud way of going about things, like singing “Happy Birthday”. For those of you who haven’t been so fortunate as to hear my mothers rendition of the classic Birthday song, I thought of asking my grandfather for a copy of a video of her singing at my uncle’s birthday. But I like my life, so here’s this for you instead.
  2. She named her bikes Maverick and Skerritt (who also assumes the name Viper on race day), she recently named the car, or, uh, rather, the car “named itself” Barnaby, and our dalmatian who’s name is supposed to be named Sam frequently also takes on many other names, some but not all of which include: Wook-a-lar, Wonk-a-chunk, Pooch-ca-dooch, Wonky-chunky, Wonky bear, Wonka-chunka-roo, Sam-a-lam-a-ding-dong, Poochy-moochy, Pumpkin puppy, Velocapuppy, and most recently Monster Boy.
  3. She also frequently sings along loudly to the radio, especially to hits from the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
  4. She meticulously packs her race bag the night before, double checking it at least 3 times. But still gets up at 3 am to repack it about 5 more times the day of said race
  5. She wants to do an IronMan. Unless she doesn’t want to this week. I don’t know. She changes her mind about it constantly.

Perhaps I am not as prepared as I thought I was, or perhaps mom is a little less insane than I think, But I can’t really think of any other insane things she does/is right now. I do not, however, believe the latter to be true.
Regardless of her insanity levels though, she raised my sister and I basically by herself, and she did a pretty good job if I do say so.

There is this book. Perhaps you have heard of it. It is called “Love is a Family” by Roma Downey.


My mom got it for me when we moved out to California after she and my dad got divorced. The book is about families, particularly “unique” families, not the typical mom-dad-children families. The book follows a young girl with a single mother, who just wants a “normal” family, only to discover that her mother is right, and as the title suggests, it is love that makes a family, not members.

I read this book and had it read to me so many times growing up that I could recite it, probably word for word. But I didn’t really get it until just a few years ago. And then it clicked. LOVE is a family. Love is what’s kept us together. And made us into our three person family.

Our family has been through a lot. Ups and downs, additions and subtractions. Our three girl and one lovely puppy family has been the only constant through it all. Somehow my mother has manages to feed, clothe, and support our tiny clan all by herself. That’s pretty freaking amazing.

Well, Mom, I guess this is where I put some mushy-gushy stuff. That’s what I’ve done every year since I knew how to write. Threw together the most cliché and cutesy things I could think of, made a list of all the reasons why I love you, compare it to the previous years to make sure I didn’t copy it word for word, and threw a flower on the front. But not this year. This is an Unconventional Mother’s Day Card, remember?

So instead, here’s all the things that drive me crazy.

It drives me crazy that you go to bed so early.
It drives me crazy that you hate shopping do much.
It drives me crazy that you CAN NOT pick out a new couch (the one she currently likes is about $2000 over our budget, but shes made me come with her to visit it twice).
It drives me crazy that you can’t understand that Nutella isn’t bad for you.
It drives me crazy that when my friends are in the car, you sing extra loud to the radio.
It drives me crazy that you talk to your plants/bikes/car.
It drives me crazy that you wear your big clunky clogs everywhere.
It drives me crazy that you show anyone who comes into the house all my baby pictures, which are all over the kitchen walls.

But you need your sleep. We need the perfect couch. Nutella… No, that one’s inexcusable. Nutella is the dip of the gods.

But you’re my mom. And its part of your job to embarrass and drive me crazy. I think it might even be in the job description.

And you do a pretty damn good job at being our mom.

Lida (Daughter # 2) agrees, and would like to contribute (And this is in her spelling/writing, she told be to type it exactly how she wrote it so I am. Grammar and spelling Nazis, proceed with caution.) :

I really appreciate all you do for me. Even though m we may have out little fights. at the end of the day, it still always eds ends with your tucking me in, and extangeing “I love you”s. one of the many things I love most about you is, when I’ve got issues with friends, I can always talk to you about it, and your always chill no matter what the case. Some-how, you always disolve my drama of the real world, and give me tons of ways to solve the problems. I love you for I’ve always thought of our relationship as being one thing. open, and that takes so much of the weight of the world, all of its pressue off my sholders, because I’ll know you can be there to do anything for me, now matter waht the problem. Its because of our openness, and being able to be talk about anything, that this is true. Mom, you take up a large part of my <3, your the straw to my berry. To sum in all up in 2 5 words, Thank you. I love you!”

Momma, you do a wonderful job at being our mom.

Happy Mothers Day.

You guys are always commenting about how CJ is inspiring and what not because of her amazingness in Triathlons and stuff. Well, let this inspire you. She may be a great athleate, but she’s an even better mom.

We got the best one.
I love you, Momma.
(and sorry for hacking onto your blog.)

Now, all you other wonderful people, get off Facebook and Twitter and this page and go tell your moms how much you love them.

Signing off,

Daughter Number One

About garmin_girl

I'm a 40-something single mother of three--two great human girls and one four-legged Dalmatian banshee--who is hellbent on swimming, biking and running straight through my midlife crisis. Care to tag along? Crazy loves company! ;)
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3 Responses to An Unconventional Mother’s Day Card, by Emma (and Lida helped too)

  1. Andy McPhee says:

    Chris’s Daughters #1 and #2, this is an AWESOME blog, and you two are COOOL! And you mom? Well, she is definitely special and will love you even more for pulling this crazy stunt! Excellent!

  2. Pingback: Troll, Interrupted | CJ Runs Like a Girl

  3. Chris Devenney says:

    That was hilarious, awesome, poignant, and finally, just beautiful. Nicely done. And Nutella is the dip of the Gods. C’mon, Christine.

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