My bookends

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What lies behind me is the daughter of a school teacher and a dry cleaner. A middle child who grew up in a small “Main Street” town in East Texas with two brothers and two sisters (three of them born within five years of her).

She was a high school majorette, a pageant queen and loved science class. She was a peacemaker, a Daddy’s girl, a sister and friend. And at the age of 18, she ventured off to the University of Texas, a university larger than the entire town she grew up in.

Mom is in the middle front in the white dress.

Within four years, she met and married my handsome Dad — and six years later, they had me, their first born.

I have my mother’s jaw line, her smile and her sweet tooth. But most importantly, I have her example of how to be a great woman. She has always encouraged, but never over-indulged. She has always comforted, but never enabled. And because I was so well-nurtured, I, in turn, feel well-equipped to nurture. Because I was so well-loved, I find it easy to love.

What lies behind me is a woman who helped mold what lies within me — and who gave me what I needed to prepare for what lies ahead.

What lies before me is the daughter of a writer and a web developer. A second child born into a young family just starting on their life adventure.

She was born with a little something “extra” — a chromosome that comes with a special set of superpowers, most notably: a highly contagious smile. And somewhere between my Mom’s strength and my daughter’s smile sits me, a woman who is learning from both of them, loving both of them, and growing within because of both of them.

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote is true on many levels. But today — on my Mom’s birthday, and two days after my daughter’s birthday, I know that what lies within me is strengthened by what lies behind and before me. My womanhood is shaped, inspired and influenced by the two women who bookend my life — and for them, I am truly grateful.


  1. Janet Hargarther

    I’m an old jazzercise pal of your mom’s and I just wanted to drop you this message.
    This tribute to your mom is one of the best tributes I have ever readand brought tears to my eyes . You have an
    amazing talent and your children are beautiful. Cindy has always been special in my eyes, and she is so very lucky to have a daughter who has so much insight.
    Keep writing gal, your talent shines and shines. Good Luck.

    • Lauren

      Hi Janet! I remember you :) Thanks for your sweet comment. Mom is so special and I’m so glad you think so, too! I appreciate you reading and your kind words!

  2. Christine Guiang

    You outdid yourself this time my sweet friend. What a beautiful story, it brought tears to my eyes. I’m so fortunate to know both you and your mom. The two of you inspire me to be a better person and a better mom. Hugs to both of you!!!!

    • Lauren

      Aw, thanks Christine. I was just thinking about you today. Are you still in NO? Need to Skype! I want to kiss my baby Mila again.

  3. Lauren, I shared your post on my Facebook page. I found it so incredibly touching. You need to write a book about your life, and be sure and let me know when it comes out. I’ll be one of the first in line to buy it! You are one talented young lady and I love reading your blog. Keep ’em coming!

    • Lauren

      Susan, what a wonderful comment! Thank you for your kind words, I will let you know when that book comes out. But maybe I should have a couple more adventures first :)

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