Today, Mama is 90! What a milestone, right? We thought so, too, so we, along with her church, surprised her with a simple party on Saturday.

My mom and dad put together a pretty fantastic party. The rest of us just kind of followed suit.

Here are a few (late because we kind of forgot to take pictures until the end, forgive me) snapshots of the day:

Mom and Mama

This is my mom and Mama.

Mama and sibs

This is Mama with her two siblings.

Sunday school


sign in table

pics and old window  Mama

This was Papa’s favorite picture of Mama. Now, it’s in my house.

invite food table


bird cage

As you can see, decor was very simple. We scattered this fabric throughout and added touches of pink and green and bird cages to make it meaningful for her as she loves these colors, and knows everything about birds. Her Sunday school class provided the flower and we stole pictures from Mama’s house without her knowing.

You must know that I have looked up to Mama my entire life. I am the only granddaughter.

We used to have sleepovers where we would read and draw and play restaurant. One time, she fell out of bed when I spent the night…apparently, I made her sleep in a sleeping bag. So, as my mother-in-law would say, “I’m not spoiled, just loved.”

Last year,  when Papa died, Cray’s namesake, it was hard on all of us but no doubt, after 65 (I hope she doesn’t read this because she’s convinced it’s 67) years of marriage, it was hardest on Mama. This prayer warrior, who we are convinced has a direct line to God, held on until his very last breath.

As in true Papa fashion, though, he didn’t let go until she told him it was okay to go home. He was her soul mate, her best friend, her everything.

But let me tell you a little bit more about Mama. Make no mistake, she does NOT lack for confidence. And as Russ tells me, I inherited her Roper gene that means we do NO wrong. After all, she did come to the beach without a suitcase but found a way to blame it on Papa. And her skin, well it looks amazing to be 90. If you don’t believe me, just ask her.

People cannot believe she’s 90. All joking aside, she does look pretty darn good.

Truthfully, though, Mama and Papa, both, are so much, to so many people.

But what Mama has experienced in her short ninety years is enough to make one person break.

She is a mother to four children, but lost two tragically late in life.

She is a grandmother to seven grandchildren—six boys, one girl (that’s me!).

She is a great-grandmother to ten, soon to be eleven, great-grandchildren.

She is strength. She is courage. She is what I hope and pray to be when I live to be 90.

Happy birthday, Mama! We love you!