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happy birthday, mom!

Mom and me

My mom, a.k.a. The Cute Tomato, turns 85 today.

She has always been my biggest cheerleader (she joined Facebook just so she could “like” all my posts) so I thought I would turn the tables today and rave about her for a few minutes.

My mom is so much fun, and she’s up for anything. We volunteered at World Book Night together the past two years, we’ve taken spa weekends with my sister to celebrate our three January birthdays and, when I got tickets to see Katie Couric in LA, she did this to get us to the front of the line.

Mom holding Katie sign

which naturally resulted in this:

1Iota Tweet

You see, everyone thinks my mom is adorable but she calls it like it is and pooh-poohs the idea that she’s sweet. In fact, she does that about our whole family. “What about me?” asked my horrified daughter one day. “You’re s-w,” my mom answered in what is now a classic line. We are all striving to get to “s-w-e …” but will probably never make it all the way to “s-w-e-e-t.”

My mom is all about family — and we’re all about her. She is the cool grandma who not only knits afghans and bakes treats to send her grandchildren, but is up on the latest books, music and movie so she can talk to them about the things they’re interested in. She also kicks ass at Wii Boxing and has knocked out a few of us.

Do not call my mom on Sunday night when Downton Abbey is on because she won’t answer the phone. She and my dad binge watched the first four seasons and are now hooked. My mom’s name may be Edith but her favorite character is Anna. And — SPOILER ALERT! — don’t be surprised to see her as the Dowager’s BFF later in the season.

Mom & Maggie Smith

Thank you to my s-w daughter, Sara, for creating this.

My mom is up on what all of my friends are doing, and she often reads, comments and “likes” their blog posts. Because of this, many of them have sent her friend requests on Facebook which she won’t accept because she’s worried she will spend too much time on the computer, socializing. Don’t take it personally. She only has two Facebook friends — my sister and me — and she makes me laugh so hard when she wonders why my newsfeed is so much more interesting than hers.

She is my most loyal reader, calling me to see why I haven’t posted yet (“Your fans are waiting,” she has said!) or emailing me with an urgent message when she catches a typo in one of my posts. I adore her for doing both.

I hope you’ll leave a happy birthday message here for her because she reads every single comment.  I’m thinking of asking her to be my social media assistant.

Meanwhile, I’m just grateful she’s my mom and that I get to celebrate her 85th birthday with her over lunch today.

I love her more than I sometimes show, and in my heart, am always doing this:

Baby Lois and Mom


  1. Love that smile…keep on smiling and have a wonderful birthday, Lois’s Mom! Enjoy your lunch girls.

  2. Happy Birthday to The Cute Tomato! Hope she spends it with the family who clearly loves and admires her. Lucky you! (I agree with your mom that Anna is the best character and sometimes in the bathroom I try to sound like her.)

  3. Madge woods says:

    I envy the relationship you have with your mom. I never had that. Happy Birthday to Lois’ mom.

  4. Happy birthday, Cute Tomato! You don’t look nearly 85. I hope I age this well!

  5. Happy birthday to Lois’ mom! I loved reading about all the fun things you do with and for Lois. She’s kind of neat, isn’t she?! I’m trying to talk her into visiting me some time…encourage her, won’t you?! 🙂

  6. What a sweet sentiment for your mom! She is adorable by the way

  7. Happy birthday, Miss Edith!! (I LOVE your name, btw!!) Lois is your spitting image, physically and in her determination, spunk, and, yes, even s-w-e…!

    Happy Happy Happy Birthday!

  8. What a sweet post. I love her Dowager look-alike pic, but the one of the two of you together is so special. Happy Birthday, Mom!

  9. Patricia Johnson says:

    Happy Birthday, enjoy!

  10. That’s an amazing tribute to your mom, Lois, thanks for sharing it. What a beautiful, supportive, and fun relationship you share. I can only hope my daughters (currently surly teens) will one day write something even half as positive about me 😉

  11. Happy Birthday Mrs. A, now that we are all adults I can call you Edith?

  12. Aww so sweet and happy birthday to your mom! Great photo.

  13. I wish you the happiest birthday. This is so sweet of you. Moms are the best 🙂

  14. Happy, happy birthday! There’s nothing more precious in life than a loving mom that supports you (oh, maybe a fun, loving mom that supports you)! Sounds like you’re all the way to s-w-e-e 🙂

  15. Aw 🙂 Happy birthday to her! She seems so sweet – I’d love to watch Downton with her LOL

  16. Happy birthday Edith and many more! You obviously are a super mom.

  17. Happy Birthday Edith!

  18. Love, love, love this post. And I love that fabulous red fringe hat. Happy Birthday to and exceptionally cool woman.

  19. This is such a great post. I loved hearing about your Mom. Your Mom sounds amazing!

  20. Happy Birthday and God bless! Have a wonderful day!

  21. Happy to wish your Mom a happy milestone birthday and may you have many more!

  22. Aw what an awesome mom you have. She sounds like a fun person to hang out with. I love when parents are as cool as their kids.

  23. Ah I love your beautiful relationship with your mom! Cherish that.. My mom and I did not have that so that is probably why I think y’all’s is so wonderful and special.

  24. What a wonderful and sweet post! Happy 85th to her! She looks so happy and like she is enjoying! She sounds fab!

  25. This is such a cute tribute to your mom. I love the picture of her dressed for Downton Abbey. She sounds like a hoot!

  26. Happy birthday! You have a wonderful daughter.

  27. You two are so cute! Happy Birthday to your mom. Enjoy!

  28. Put on the party hats and have a ball! Happy birthday to your mom!

  29. Happy Birthday to your mom!

  30. Happy Birthday! She has a new fan. Your mom does not look 85, and well, she is, in fact. . .ADORABLE!

  31. Aw, what a sweet post! Happy Birthday to your mom! 🙂

  32. so nice. You are so very lucky to still have your mom.

  33. Happy Birthday to your Mom. I hope she had a fantastic day.

  34. Your mom is so cute! Happy Birthday to her! I love the connection between you two.

  35. That is one Classy young lady! Happy Birthday!!

  36. It was so heartwarming to receive birthday greetings from my old and new friends. It was a very happy day and you all added to it. Thank you so much.

  37. You’re mom looks so cute! I Happy birthday to her!

  38. Happy Birthday Cute Tomato. Many happy years to come to your mom.

  39. Amazing Mom. That is so cool. I enjoy my mom also. They are special.

  40. What a wonderful, sweet (not s-w-e…) post. 🙂 Happy Birthday to your mom. I saw the picture on Facebook and left a note because you and she share the same beautiful smile!

  41. Happy Birthday to her. What a fun time you had ,she does resemble that D A character.

  42. This is such a wonderful post and story – love your photos and especially the one with your mom and you (as a little girl) – My husband’s mother was like this, just so nice – Big hugs 🙂

  43. Happy Happy Birthday Miss Edith! You are absolutely the s-w-eeeee-t-est!!

  44. Happy Happy Birthday, Edith Alter a/k/a Lois’ incredible mom! You are so amazing, but I’m not surprised. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. (Especially with that Katie sign!)

    Happy Happy Days.

  45. Thank you for revealing a wonderful soul to us, someone who draws people in at any age. Happy Birthday to YOU Edith.

    Also, thank you for making me realize how blessed I am to have my wonderful mom with me. When others treasure, you treasure.

  46. The Cute Tomato is so cool! happy birthday to her, here is to many more.
    Everyone nees a cute tomato in their lives! you are blessed

  47. Happy birthday to The Cute Tomato (love that!) It is wonderful to hear that you are your mom are so close and still have a good relationship. I totally understand the addiction to Dowton Abbey.

  48. Happy birthday to your mom. She looks great! My mom has a few of her shows too, don’t dare interrupt her!

  49. your mom is so sweet! happy birthday to your mom! 🙂 my mom does the same thing and likes all my posts haha.

  50. Seriously, your mama rocks! And 85? She looks so much younger. Must be because she is out there living life instead of sitting around like a bump on a log.

  51. Wow!! She does not look 85!! Seriously!! happy birthday!!

  52. Happy birthday to your mom Lois. I have to say that you look just like her! I hope you all had a great day on her birthday.

  53. Ashley Roberts says:

    Hi Edith & Happy Birthday to You!!!

    Just celebrated my BDay on 20th so it is a rockin’ great month for us January gals … You look fantastic & not a second older than in elegant 50’s photo of You & Lois!!! You are one HOT blessed tomato!!

    Love x0x0x Ashley Roberts

  54. What a fun mom you have. Happy birthday to her!!!!

  55. LOL! I can’t believe your mom loves Downton Abbey. Took me a while to watch it but I binge watched it too and really love it. England had a Christmas program that I don’t think we get in the states. So you may want to look it up for her.

  56. Aahhhhh, such a great way to shower your mother with love and admiration and to make her famous!

  57. Happy birthday to your mom!

  58. Your mom sounds awesome! Hope she had a great birthday!

  59. Happiest of birthtdays to your Mom. There’s nothing quite like the amazing mother-daughter relationship, is there?

  60. Melissa Smith says:

    Your mom sounds like the best! Happy birthday to her!!!! 🙂

  61. That top photo of you and your mom is precious! How wonderful of you to share her with us.

  62. haha I gotta remember that “s-w”.. I need to use that with my kids. Your mom sounds awesome.

  63. What a beautifully sweet post. I lost my mom when I was 20 years old and it always gives me goosebumps when I read something like this. So glad to read how much you appreciate and adore your mom.

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      I’m so sorry, Fariha. I can’t imagine how hard that must be. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment.

  64. Aww what a sweet post about your mama! I hope she had a wonderful day.

  65. Aww Happy Belated! Such an adorable posting and tribute.

  66. I just felt like commenting on this one to say how lucky you both are to have each other!

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