Learned from my mother

In honor of Mother's Day tomorrow, I thought I'd take a moment to share some things that my mom has taught me over the years that I hope to pass on to my children. These aren't the average sappy things that everyone can list. She taught me that stuff too. These are the helpful life lessons that have turned me into a self-sufficient adult.

Financial stability: My mom is a highly organized person. She has a strong math background and her parents worked in accounting. Its really not too surprising that she is very good at organizing finances. I had a bit of a rough financial path in college - spending money I didn't have with all those great credit cards they offer college students - and she really helped me gain financial stability. I now keep records very similar to the records that she keeps to organize my finances in a way that helps us save for vacations, college for the kids, car needs, house needs and other unexpected items.

Healthy eating: Ok, because we both have high cholesterol (its hereditary - mine was over 300 at the age of 10) this one was kind of forced upon us. She guided me though in learning from a young age how to eat healthy balanced meals to deal with my high cholesterol. Hopefully I don't pass that trait down to our kids - but either way, I want to help teach them healthy eating habits.

The importance of experiences: By the time I was 16, I had traveled to England, Africa and Central America (along with numerous U.S. road trips) with my parents. Looking for birds and wildlife everywhere from far off tropical climates to our own backyard was part of my life growing up. These experiences have given me a love for travel and made me feel comfortable even when I am somewhere that I don't speak the language. My parents saved money (and still do - they just came back from a trip to Venezuela a few months ago) specifically for these type of vacations - making travel and experiences a priority. Now, I want to make it one for our family.

An appreciation for the political process: My mom was a teacher when I was little (and then a high school administrator) and was very interested in the California State budget process. As a kid during the summer my mom would take me to the Capitol to watch the budget debate. Go figure, about 20 years later I worked in the State Assembly. I appreciate her teaching me to be aware of who elected officials were and to watch the process. I'm also thankful to my grandmother and great-aunt for teaching me the fundraising side. I "worked" on many campaigns with them as a young kid.

Those are four things that have really shaped who I am. And if you had any question about the picture at the top, yes that is me (shouting) sitting on my mom's feet - probably for the shade on a day of bird watching near Sacramento.

Love you mom. xoxo.

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