To My Mom, My Hero

To My Mom, My Hero

I don't tell her this enough, but I am so lucky to have my mom.
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This is the first Mother's Day I have missed in twenty years - this summer, I'm living in Columbus, working hard and taking classes (switching your major three times WILL set you back to graduating on time). The first Mother's Day I've missed - and so, here is the best gift I can give from 800 miles from home.

I have been blessed with a mother who is strong, funny, relentlessly defensive of her family, especially her children. My mom is the definition of "forever young" - she acts like she's still in college sometimes, and being around her is always, always, ALWAYS an adventure.

But more than that - my mother has taught me more about life than anyone I have ever known. My mom has lived through some tough times, and rather than coming out the other side bitter or resentful, she has come out the other side full of light, love, and a sense of optimism that is, frankly, sometimes quite annoying. I've never met anyone who, upon hearing I'm Debne's daughter, doesn't say, "Oh my gosh, I just love your mom." And damn right.

My mom has taught me the importance of optimism, of choosing to laugh about your embarrassments and sorrows rather than wallow in them, and that there is absolutely no reason to do anything less than your best. Most important in that lesson is that as long as you did your best, there's no reason to get down on yourself.


My mom also taught me the importance of sticking up for yourself and asking for help. This lesson was primarily taught in the fierce and unrelenting way she defended my brother and me - hell hath no fury like a Debne scorned. There is no reason to let people walk all over you or the people you love.

She taught us the importance of hard work, and how hard work, more than right place right time and knowing people, will get you farther. With that lesson, of course, is knowing the services available to you, and taking advantage of those always.

My mom also taught me the importance of being a good friend, and what that means. She was always there for advice, for problem-solving, and occasionally to say "screw them" (especially when I needed it), and to say "you're being an asshole" (ALWAYS when I needed it).

My mom is fun loving, strong, confident, and the most amazing mother a girl with self-esteem (among other) issues could ask for. I could sit here and keep telling you how lucky I am to have my mom, how incredible she is (which I could never do justice in writing), but the important thing to remember this Mother's Day is this: you probably don't tell your mom how lucky you are to have her enough. You probably don't let her know how incredible, smart, beautiful, inspirational, or any adjective you feel best describes her, enough. So in addition to breakfast in bed, and flowers, tell your mom how much she means to you.

If I grow up to be half the woman my mom is, I'd be pretty damn lucky.

Cover Image Credit: Kate Marlette

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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!

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What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

Price: $12.00

6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

Price: $9.99

7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

Price: $16.99

8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

Price: $6.50

9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

Price: $38.76-$41.11

10. Natty light fanny pack 

This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

Price: $21.85

11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

Price: $79.99

12. Beer Opener

Although most frat boys' go to beers come in cans, this bottle opener will be useful for those special occasions when they buy nicer bottled beers.

Price: $7.99

13. Frat House Dr. Sign

Price: $13.99

Forget stealing random street signs, with this gift frat boys no longer have to do so.

14. Beer Lights 

Lights are an essential for any party and these will surely light up even the lamest parties.

Price: $17.19

Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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Cherish The Moments You Get To Spend With Your Parents And Never Take Them For Granted

I am so grateful for both of you and don't know what I'd do without you.

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Everything I am, everything I have I owe to my parents. They are the most amazing people I know. And yes, I know, everyone says that about their own parents, but my parents are truly unlike any others. They really are the best.

You see, my parents are not just the coolest and goofiest people around, but they are also the kindest and selfless. Every second I get to spend with them is one that I cherish.

I am eternally grateful for each and everything they've done for me. Even when things were a struggle, they never failed to provide for my sister and I. Through every hardship, through every tragedy we encountered, they were our leaders, our rocks. Their strength and perseverance are what motivates me. From watching them go through life, seeing how they treat others, how they value hard work and kindness, they've taught me more than they could possibly know.

Some of my absolute favorite memories I have are my parents, sister and I just hanging out, laughing about how goofy and weird we all are, not having a care in the world, us just living in the moment and genuinely enjoying each other's company. It's those small moments I will cherish forever.

As I'm getting older, it's becoming more and more clear that they are too. And that scares me. It's impossible to image a day when I can't call them when they won't be there to lift me up when I'm feeling down, or make me laugh until I cry. Which is why I take advantage of each and every moment I have with them.

It's sometimes sad when I see friends who don't want to spend that time with their family, because at the end of the day, that time, those opportunities to make those special memories with them is fleeting. They won't be there forever. And that is not something you'll want to look back and wish you had done.

I am perfectly content with spending time at home when I visit from college, for going on a family trip whenever I get the chance because my family is everything to me.

I love sitting on the couch having a movie night with my parents. I love going to Disney and just laughing about how much fun we have. I love those road trips where we all sing completely off-tune because none of us can actually sing. Those are the moments that matter.

And I know I might not always be the greatest to be around. I get grumpy and sometimes am not a complete ray of sunshine. But just know that even when I suck sometimes, I always appreciate you.

Thank you both for everything you've done for me, for all the sacrifices, for the laughs, the endless memories, for truly making my life wonderful. I am so grateful for both of you and don't know what I'd do without you.

Love you to the moon and back mom and dad.

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