What’s in a necklace?

Today is Thanksgiving, and as such, I had this pretty incredible thought hit me right between the eyes: I am really not grateful enough.

Don’t get me wrong: I know full well that I have a lot to be thankful for. I have:

-a rag-tag team of superstar friends that I see on the regular (AKA, the greatest people you will ever meet)
-a body that works, and does absolutely everything I need it to do
-a wonderful job at an amazing company that lets my creativity run wild every single day
-a myriad of stellar freelance gigs that let me write and write and write, and eat all the food, and sip the wine, and listen to songs, and act like I know what I’m talking about, and never get tired of it
-a really fabulous little apartment
-a city I love with plenty of delivery pizza options just down the street

and perhaps the greatest gift of all: a wonderful family.

But I’m going to let you in on a little secret: it took some time for me to fully grasp that last one.


There we are–buncha stone cold weirdos at our favorite place in the world (Shogun Hibachi Grill).


For those that don’t know, I’m the youngest of two (see the other spawn above)–the products of a wildly inappropriate joke-making dentist, and an ultra-loving spitfire mother who loves helping people, and only wants to drink Diet Coke out of giant, styrofoam cups. Preferably from Sonic. (Read: she’s crazy. We both are).

Here she is:


This isn’t the first time I’ve written about my mom, or our complex relationship. Which is actually one of my favorite topics, and the subject of much pondering, joy, and work over the past twenty years (I’m leaving out everything that happened up to age five, because you can’t really be haughty and mad about someone not letting you go to your birthday party wearing only your Big Girl Barbie Underwear. That’s absurd. Few people could pull that off, like maybe Madonna or Amy Poehler).

My mom is one of the biggest feelers I know, and she’s probably also my favorite person in the world.

Here’s what you should know–for now, at least–about my mom. Back when she was my age, she was a fox. All platinum blonde hair and collar bones and smug, sultry gazes. Seriously, I have photographic proof.


That hair! That halter top! That ‘love me’ look! All I gotta say is dayum, momma. Now there’s a gal with style.

The truth is, when it comes to my mom, I know I have more to be thankful for than I could ever put into words. Thanksgiving or not, I am aware of her generosity every single day. So in an attempt to skip the sap and not fall apart completely with sheer emotion, I’m going to tell you a little story about one of my most prized possessions, and how it made its way from my mother’s hands to mine.

See that necklace right there? It’s perfection.


It’s also a family heirloom.

That’s right–I got it from my mama. (The face, too…).


I feel like this is probably the point in the blog where you’re like, GREAT. ANOTHER OVERLY-STYLED, WANNABE FASHION BLOG. PERFECT.

Listen lady: it’s not a fashion blog. But sometimes you get these photos made that look awesome and you love your mom and it’s Thanksgiving so you make a blog that proves both.

…Just so we’re clear.

Anyway, back to the necklace.

This necklace is circa 1970something, and has been in our family since the dawn of time (or 1970something). It is not expensive (at least, I wouldn’t guess so. I suppose I don’t really know if it is or isn’t), and looks like something you might pick up at a jewelry swap or second hand store. It’s made of tiny, multi-colored wooden beads that make pinning its origin or intended style a little challenging. It’s really kind of perplexing, but looks totally awesome with any outfit. Again, proof:


Here it is up close:


And accessorized for some flash:


Let me be clear: I. Love. This. Necklace. I wear it 2-3 times per week, sometimes keeping casual, sometimes dressing it up. I love that it’s neutral, but still super unique. I also love knowing how special it is, and that–as far as I’m concerned–it’s a one of a kind piece, from a one of a kind lady.

But more than that, I love how every time I put it on, I’m reminded of my mom. I love thinking about where she found it, how she might’ve worn it back in the day, and if she had any idea that her own daughter would be wearing it thirty or forty years later. It’s funny, because I feel more like myself in this necklace than I do in any new piece of jewelry. Probably, that’s because it was made for me, chosen for me before I even knew it. I guess that’s the funny thing about moms: they’ve got us on their mind and in their plans well before we ever even come along.


(This is what I normally look like, when Valerie Grant isn’t taking professional photos of me for my blog headshot).

We should be thankful. Always. Thanksgiving, and thanksgiving this year especially, when people across the world are literally killing themselves trying to travel to a safe place. And because I live in Oklahoma, and am protected by the security of my nation and job and family and friends and delivery pizza, I have the time to stop, put on a necklace, and be filled with gratitude. If you’re not sure what to be thankful for today, get lost in your mind for a bit. Chances are, there’s something in there that wants to be let out, celebrated, and shared–just like this post.

Now, that fabulous lady up there is pulling a piping hot turkey out of the oven as we speak, and I bet she could use a hand…

Until next time, happy Thanksgiving from my batshit crazy family to yours.






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