day one: my mom

Welcome!  If you’re wondering what all the 31 hubbub is about.  Read this.


31 days wide


Let me introduce you to my mom, Toni Lynn VanGordon.  Here she is with Alex on their birthday.  They were born on the same day just a few years apart 🙂

mom day 1

If you need someone to comfort you and tell you everything is going to be alright, you’d better look elsewhere because she’s not the type to sugar coat things.  But, if you need someone to say something that everyone else is thinking but are too afraid to say, then my mom is your gal.  Growing up it was, at times, embarrassing but now as an adult, I find it refreshing–most of the time.  Do I ever wonder what my mom is thinking?  Nope.  Just ask.  She’ll tell you 🙂

My mom has the best laugh.  It is contagious and loud and full.  People are always saying how much fun she is.  I asked her if she had ever taken a Myers-Briggs personality test and she said she had but doesn’t remember the results.  The only test she remembers is a color one that she took at work.  She was an even mix of Red and Yellow.  Red people are ‘get it done’ types and Yellow people are ‘let’s have fun’ types.  I guess mom is Orange.  She is definitely the “Let’s get the job done and have fun doing it” type of person.  If I had to guess, I’d say she was an ESTJ.

mom is orange

My grandpa was an engineer and his job moved his family around a lot.  My mom says she feels like she grew up in Macungie, PA but she has also lived in Alabama and was born in Indiana.  She went to school in Pennsylvania from kindergarten through 8th grade, leaving one year (I think 2nd grade) for Alabama.  Then they moved to Indiana for her last years of junior high and high school and she said it was really hard.  She loved Pennsylvania and the activities offered there.  I’m pretty sure the house she lives in with my dad is by far the longest she’s ever lived in one place.

After high school, mom attended and graduated from Purdue University.  This causes much strife between her and my husband and children.  But they all still love each other….I think 😉  (If you haven’t heard of the oaken bucket then you wouldn’t understand.)

She loves quilting and enjoys going to her quilting club and to different shows with her friends.  She is also an excellent seamstress.  I pale in comparison to her skill.  If I ever need help, I know she’ll have the answer.  I just have to be prepared to do it the correct way or else we get into a slight argument disagreement 🙂

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I asked her:

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

“A Hairdresser.  I would charge the neighbor girls five cents to wash and style their hair.  I used up all of your grandma’s shampoo and hair products and when she found out she said, “Toni, I think you owe me some money.””  I can totally see my daughter doing this in a few years…or now.

What were you doing 10 years ago?

“Planning my kitchen remodel.  But I had been planning that for about the past 30 years.”  She finally got her dream fulfilled in 2009.  It is a beautiful kitchen that she loves.

Tell me something interesting about the last movie you saw.

“I don’t remember.  I know it was with your dad but I watch those purely for entertainment and never remember anything afterwards.”  It’s true.  She doesn’t.  She’s doing good to stay awake for a whole movie.  The older I get, the more like my mom I am in this way.

What book are you reading right now?

“Oh, I’m not a reader.  Someone gave me Fried Green Tomatoes so I guess that one if I ever start it.”  My mom is not a book-worm.  If she wants to figure something out, she will read and figure it out.  She always told me (and I think grandma told her), “If you can read, you can do anything.”  But unlike dad and me, she doesn’t just read for fun.  She’d rather be doing.

What is your favorite song right now?

“I’m not a song person.  But I was singing a song in the car the other day.  Oh I can’t remember what it was.  It was a church worship song.”  She remembered a little later.

What was your favorite vacation?

“going to Virginia and Washington D.C. this year.  As a kid, I loved camping in Michigan.”

What vacation has exceeded your expectations?

“I have no expectations.  What’s the point of getting stressed out?”  This made me laugh.  So to the point 🙂

What has been your most life changing moment?

“Getting married.”

getting married

Finish this sentence:

Before I die, I want to “be ready for when He comes.”


So that’s a little bit about my mom.  I hope you enjoyed getting to know her.  I had no idea that she liked doing hair when she was little:)  If you know her, did you learn anything new?  Let me know or leave a comment about mom and I’ll read them to her.  I’m sure it will make her smile.

And come back tomorrow to meet another lovely lady!–my best friend, Bekah.


20 thoughts on “day one: my mom

  1. Pingback: Day 1: Reading, England | Glimpse Thru My Lens

  2. Rachel, I really enjoyed reading this about your mom! She is a great lady and raised one heck of a daughter! I’m glad I had the pleasure to grow up with such great people!

  3. Let’s have fun getting the job done! That sounds so much like Donna Reish to me – and I just love that line 🙂
    But my favorite is: “I have no expectations. What’s the point of getting stressed out?” If only I could live that way…
    I’m already loving this month!

  4. I loved the response to your question about “What vacation exceeded your expectations?” And she said: “I have no expectations. What’s the point of getting stressed out.” 🙂 Hahaha! Made me laugh. I would love to hear your mom’s laugh. I love hearing others laugh. AND – I LOVE the picture of your dad and mom!

  5. Love your momma! She always would make me smile as a tough substitute at school, a great basketball and cross country mom, and a great co-worker =)

  6. Oh Rachel !!! This is such a wonderful tribute to your awesome Mom, who is, by the way, one of my very favorite people in the world…She has so many qualities …too numerous to list, and a person that once having met, will never be forgotten…Give her my love and by the way, she was one of the most beautiful brides I have ever seen, and believe me, I have seen quite a few !!! :o) What an awesome idea, Rachel…I am sure she is more than your Mother…best friend, true confidante, terrific grandmother of your children, and Godly Sister…God bless that friend of mine…Sis.Toni !!

  7. Pingback: 31 days: Interviewing Women | The Blue Tulip

  8. Your mom has always been one of my favorite ladies. =0) Loved learning new things about her, and I agree, she has the best laugh ever!

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