This One’s Dedicated to “Momz”

The first time I met my mother-in-law, Judy, was grad-school graduation weekend a little over six years ago. At a petite five-foot-two, she greeted me with a shy hug and sincere smile. Almost immediately, she started asking a bunch of questions to get to know me. My husband, then boyfriend, had warned me ahead of time that I wouldn’t have to worry about the conversation because his mom would keep it flowing.

Judy is not a big talker herself, although she’s quite inquisitive. It caught me off guard because most mothers that I had met up to that point were over-protective of their sons. They looked at me like I was somehow a threat to their bond. She, on the other hand, made me feel comfortable off the bat.

The first holiday we spent together was Thanksgiving, and as cliche as this sounds, she genuinely treated me like I was already part of the family. My husband joked, “I think she likes you more than she likes me.” When Christmas came around, I was stunned to see so many presents with my name on it under their tree. At this point, Jeff and I had been dating less than a year and yet she knew, like I did, that this was “it.” I hadn’t been loved and welcomed like that into any other family before.

She was there when I tried on wedding dresses and has lovingly celebrated our anniversaries ever since. I am so grateful for the bond that we now have.

Not having my own mother around anymore makes her all the more important to me. I’m so grateful to have a mother-in-law that I get along so well with. We play Words With Friends together and often chat via text message. In fact, I talk with her more frequently than my husband does. When we moved back to Southern California, she and my father-in-law let us live in their guest room for six months while we figured out what city we wanted to move to.

So when my husband suggested we host a party for her 73rd birthday, I immediately agreed. This is the first time we’ve hosted any birthdays on my husband’s side, and for him, the first birthday party he’s hosted for his mom. I’m excited to show her just how much we love her.


She’s an Ohio State Buckeyes fan, and it just so happens to be game day. This was a perfect opportunity to theme her birthday party out and use the game as entertainment. I even found an Ohio State wine glass on Amazon for her to drink from as the guest of honor.

Cheers to you, Momz. Happy birthday!

My mother-in-law, Judy. Go Buckeyes!

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