Birthday Shenanigans and random adventures

So I promised to update this site more often and here goes.  My 34th birthday was a week ago.  It was my first day off since I was back at work after Mom passed, so I spent a decent portion of it sleeping.

After that Ana and I went to Creve Coeur  Lake for a quick walk…and ended up on the 6K trail.  4.3 miles later I had my highest ranked day all week according to FitBit and I no longer felt bad about the frozen custard she brought as a birthday treat!

Andrew and I went to dinner that night at Magianno’s down by the Galoria.  It was DELICIOUS.  I actually am looking forward to the left over lobster carbonara (that’s right…lobster AND bacon in the same pasta dish – how isn’t that exactly what you want to eat?) tomorrow.  🙂

Wednesday I went out to see Dad and pull a few of Mom’s old recipes for a project that I have growing in my brain.  We went to dinner at Dewey’s Pizza in Edwardsville.  I didn’t realize how close Edwardsville was to the house or how delicious the Rocky Balboa would be.  (it’s incredibly delicious, but also it’s their special so go check it out soon!)

As it turns out, I may have an eating addiction.  I keep thinking that I want to update this website but all I have to talk about recently is food.

There are worse issues.  🙂 

Good night!


What Andrew S. wrote

Mary was my mother but could just as easily been regarded as my friend. I had the fortune of being her son and with that was given the chance to see her care, kindness, and love each and every day. Still had I not been her son it would have been no challenge to see the greatness inside her. The expression of her kindness and love knew no bounds. It did not matter if you were a first time acquaintance or a life long friend; even a co-worker, sibling, or her parents. It was simple for her. For as long as you were there she wanted to and would be there for you.

She was a wonderful person.
She was the best of friends.
She was a great daughter and sister.
She was my mother.
She was Mary Alice Severs.

What I wrote

There are a lot of my quirks that I can blame on Mom. I’m sure my brothers can say the same.

She’s the reason I moved plastic tubs of fabric and yarn from dorm room to apartment to other apartment for 10 years. More specifically, she’s the reason I know what to do with that fabric and yarn and thread. She was the one I ran to when I needed help with a tricky pattern, even when that just meant I had someone to read it out loud to. I was able to make Halloween and RenFest costumes for everyone I knew because she taught me to use that machine before I can remember. It’s a skill I don’t remember acquiring, it’s just something I’m sure she taught me.

She’s the reason I’m kind of a hoarder –though we always called it ‘pack rat’ when teasing her. She only ever kept the stuff that was reasonably important. She kept our stuffed animals, major projects, pictures, books. I have seen a serious lack in report cards at her house in later year – but maybe that was just because mine weren’t terribly good. It’s entirely possible that she kept John’s.

She spoiled me for coffee for my entire life so far. If it’s not mocha mix I want no part of it. I even remember seeing the General Foods International Coffees French Vanilla tin when I was little. I wanted to try it because Mom liked it. I did not like it. Instead she made me some mocha mix. That was much better. Especially since I was probably 6 – I liked the chocolate much better. She started me early on my road to having a severe coffee drink addiction.

She started me off early in music as well. It’s apparently hard to teach a kid piano when the alphabet has no meaning yet, but try she did. It wasn’t a long term project, and I was obviously no prodigy. Those lessons would resume later in life, but not for lack of trying on mom’s part. She played the piano when I volunteered her to accompany the grade school choir. She got me back by encouraging me to accompany the high school choir when we first moved to Highland. She showed me that music can be a way to make friends and feel comfortable in new space – a lesson I took with me to college and beyond.

There are so many things about myself that I can blame on mom. When I say that I mean, without Mom I wouldn’t be the person I am today. She’s the reason I’ve never yelled back at a Guest. She’s the reason I find joy in a dumb joke or appreciate a good cookie recipe. She was so many things to me and so many others and the world is a better place since she was in it.

On behalf of her kids, I want to thank everyone here. She truly loved all of us and considered friends the same as family. I know that she would say that your traveling out here was entirely unnecessary, but we sincerely thank you for coming.

What Ben wrote

My mom always showed her love to her kids, whether it was texting us every single time it snowed to drive safely in the bad weather, or like when we were younger and she protected us from the dangers of fireworks and trampolines. Which as an emergency room nurse she saw many injuries from those things.

I know my family sometimes deals with their emotions with jokes and humor, its kinda how we were raised. For a long time I had never really gotten over the awkwardness of telling my parents that I love them. though I do remember sending my mom a drunken text saying I love her and that she’s the best mom ever, it was probably horribly misspelled. And I know I told her that hundreds of times last week… but I just wish it didn’t take all this to really make me say it. and I wish I had said it to her more when she could really react.

Just take this as a reminder to tell those closest to you that you love them, because cancer is terrible. And really, in this cold weather, drive safely and watch out for patches of ice.


As many of you know, Mom passed away on Sunday (March 1st).  I know I’ve talked to a lot of people and I even managed to say some words at the cemetery, but I’ve largely been silent on the situation.

Making plans for a funeral certainly can keep the family busy in the days directly after someone passes.  I made a lot of phone calls and we made trips to the funeral home/monument seller/Kohls for suits/etc.  There were flowers to buy, hotel rooms to book, laundry to wash.  I’ve had texts to answer, friends to hug, and thank you notes to write.

The notes are still being written, but I’m finally home in my own house with my husband and cats instead of at Dad’s with the family.  Things have slowed down and I find myself looking for things to clean or bake or organize.  As much as I have already done, including writing a bit of an eulogy, has been a distraction from allowing myself to deal with it.  Mom’s gone.

I want to thank everyone who was there for me and my family this week.  Everyone who was able to make the drive out to Greenville or send a card/flowers/box of cookies should know that we truly appreciated it.  The world isn’t quite as nice a place as when Mom was in it, but you’ve all shown us that there is still love and warmth out there no matter how much we miss her.  And we do.

I’m going to post what I wrote in case anyone wasn’t able to make it and they would like to read it.  The reading in your head won’t have all the crying pauses from my reading, so hopefully it makes more sense.  I’m going to include what Ben and Andrew S wrote also, with their permission.  They did a better job getting through the words than I did.  I was very proud of all three of the boys for talking about Mom like that.  I know it was hard.

I’m going to try to post more on here.  Even if it’s just a record of any future stress baking I may do.  Our lives shouldn’t just be a record of hours worked and slept.  We check out new restaurants and even take in the occasional show.  Mom gave me a book for our anniversary.  I had been using it to chronical our adventures.  These ‘adventures’ were really anything that we did outside of our normal routine.  Mostly it was like ‘drove to Virginia and attended Angela’s wedding’ or ‘spent a week in NYC for Carolyn’s wedding!’ or ‘flew to Virginia and attended Mike’s wedding because that drive is for chumps’.  I’d like to use this site for that instead.  Let’s see if I actually do it.  🙂