Tomorrow is my great-grandmother, Leila Hazlett’s 100th birthday. Wow. There aren’t enough words for me to express how much this woman means to me (and to my entire family) and how very blessed and lucky I am to still have her in my life. In fact, it’s a good thing that I’m typing this, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to finish my sentences at all….I can hardly talk about Baba without tearing up. I know there’s no way you can know how special Baba is or what she means to us. But believe me when I tell you, this is one amazing woman.

Most people look up to their grandmothers and try to be like them, etc. I don’t just look up to Baba, I channel her. I strive, on a daily basis to be the kind of woman she was and is. She raised 4 kids and took care of a husband during wars, the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl; she didn’t have ready made pie crusts, boxed brownie mixes or bags of frozen vegetables, yet there were always warm, delicious meals on the table every single day.  She fed, clothed and nursed an entire household and did it with a smile on her face. She and Pop had the kind of marriage every couple dreams of- trusting, passionate, caring. As kids, she’d let us play with her old paper dolls, rummage through her jewelry boxes and play with her old bottle collection. She put together little cricket boxes for my sister and me filled with small little trinkets and tidbits that would probably be worthless to most people, but to us they’re treasures. She had the entire family over for Sunday dinner week after week. When I spent the night, she’d let me take a bath in her big claw-foot tub with her good bath beads and let me use her cold cream (to this day, I still love the smell of Ponds cold cream); then I’d go to sleep wearing one of her long nightgowns. She told us stories. SO many stories! The same stories that I’ll tell my children and grandchildren someday.This is no ordinary woman. She is a proud, strong, graceful Southern lady and she’s everything I want to be.

And she was one heck of a cook. Every time I step in my kitchen, I try to channel Baba. I now take pride in cooking meals and taking care of my home and husband. I have family over every chance I get. This is what Baba taught us- take pride in your family and cherish them. And serve them hot, steaming plates of fried chicken, homemade buttermilk biscuits and a gorgeous, flaky, golden peach cobbler. Food is important. Food brings a family together around a table. Baba’s peach cobbler is sublime. It’s what I’ll eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day in Heaven. I’ve never made one on my own before. I’ve always been afraid of falling short. Maybe this is the year to honor Baba and my heritage with the dish that holds my family together like glue. We’ll see. This blog and all my cooking successes and disasters is dedicated to Baba. This is why I’m so proud to cook – because every time I create a new recipe for my family, it brings me one step closer to being more like Baba. I thank God for her. I’m so lucky that she’s gotten to be a part of so many important events in my life and my sister’s life. She got to see us both get married and begin our own families. She’s gotten to hear all about my operas and my travels overseas. She’s seen my marriage blossom and grow and she’s gotten to see what a wonderful, godly man I married. Baba has impacted every life she’s encountered and our family is SO blessed to be celebrating the 100th birthday of the most special woman in the world.

Happy Birthday, sweet Baba. I love you.

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20 Comments »

  1. Happy birthday Baba!!! You’ve left a sweet heritage.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Donna — October 22, 2010 @ 10:04 AM

  2. Amy! Amy! What a beautiful tribute you have written for our Baba. You wrote everything that we all feel and just can’t seem to find the right words to express our thoughts and love for her. Thank you.

    Love, Aunt Granny

    [Reply]

    Comment by Aunt Granny — October 22, 2010 @ 11:06 AM

  3. Thank you Aunt Granny! Can’t wait to see you tomorrow!

    [Reply]

    Comment by amy — October 22, 2010 @ 11:18 AM

  4. Such a lovely post! Have a great celebration!!!! -mary

    [Reply]

    Comment by food librarian — October 22, 2010 @ 11:38 AM

  5. Beautifully written! You sound like you are very much like her in many many ways :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by delishliving — October 22, 2010 @ 11:47 AM

  6. What a beautiful post, Amy! I miss my Mammo every single day and I am so happy to see someone who appreciates, loves, and cherished the grandmother they still have in their life. Happy birthday, Amy’s Baba!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Kelsey — October 22, 2010 @ 11:56 AM

  7. Beautiful post and a loving tribute. Obviously it’s very true that “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”. Happy birthday to your Baba and congratulations to you too. She must be tremendously proud of you!

    [Reply]

    Comment by June — October 22, 2010 @ 12:01 PM

  8. This is so sweet, Amy! I love it! Tell Baba ‘Happy Birthday’ for me – hope the family has a great day tomorrow!! :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jessica of My Baking Heart — October 22, 2010 @ 12:04 PM

  9. What a great post! Thanks for sharing Baba with all of us. Happy birthday Baba!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Stephanie @ Confessions of a Trophy Wife — October 22, 2010 @ 12:08 PM

  10. You are so right –she is an amazing godly woman.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Karen Strayer — October 22, 2010 @ 12:19 PM

  11. Amy, this is so beautiful. I literally have tears in my eyes. What a wonderful, amazing role model and mentor to have in your life and such a joyous occasion to celebrate with her! Happy 100th, Baba! :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by themilkmanswife — October 22, 2010 @ 6:26 PM

  12. What a sweet post Amy. It sounds like your great-grandmother has lived quite a life – happy 100th to her :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by Tracey — October 22, 2010 @ 8:25 PM

  13. What a lovely and inspiring post.

    You’ve inspired me to want to be just like Baba as well:) How special that your great grandmother is still living. Mine passed away when I was young, but I still have wonderful memories of her.

    Happy Birthday Baba!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Candice @ ChiaSeedMe — October 22, 2010 @ 11:37 PM

  14. What a wonderful post! Happy Birthday to your great-grandmother!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Melissa @ Made in Melissa's Kitchen — October 23, 2010 @ 7:21 PM

  15. Oh! What a wonderful lady and what a sweet, sweet tribute to her! You made me cry over my breakfast!

    I lost my Nana this year and have such fond memories of playing in her stash of jewelry…she even gave us a big box to take HOME one year…and her scarves, and her famous macaroni & meat! :)

    Happy Birthday to your Baba! ♥

    [Reply]

    Comment by bridget {bake at 350} — October 24, 2010 @ 6:58 AM

  16. Seems like a wonderful great grandmother to look up to. :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by Danielle — October 24, 2010 @ 8:23 AM

  17. that is one of the sweetest things that I have read in long time. I miss my Mema.

    [Reply]

    Comment by thunja — October 30, 2010 @ 1:50 AM

  18. My gosh – what a wonderful tribute. It brought tears to my eyes. It helped me to remember why my own mother and grandmother were so special in my life. Thank you for the sweet post, and happy birthday to your Grandmother!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Brenda M. — October 30, 2010 @ 4:23 AM

  19. Now that my computer is cured from it’s unmentionable condition, I wanted you to know how touched I was about your tribute to our beloved Baba. Of course you brought tears to my eyes! It is beautifully written, and you found her soul and revealed it all of us. I will treasure this always, and I thank you and love you for it. Nana

    [Reply]

    Comment by nana — November 3, 2010 @ 9:32 PM

  20. [...] just so I can open it up and smell it from time to time. It reminds me of spending the night at my great-grandmother’s house when I was [...]

    Pingback by Well, hi!!! | A Little Something Lovely — November 12, 2012 @ 10:39 PM

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