Dear Mom,

Three letters. Intended to sum up, in a title, everything you are to an entire family. Well, Lynda Smith Swann…three letters are hardly enough. Because you are so much more than “Mom” to us.

For 37 years, you have given us your unconditional love wrapped up in an unwavering commitment to our joy. You managed to balance your commitment to family alongside your passion for your career. Growing up, it was never one or the other – you managed both. Perfectly. Seamlessly. Elegantly.

It’s impossible to summarize every lesson you instilled in the two of us. So, your eldest daughter and I have compiled a top twenty list…a nod to just a few of the many things you’ve given us in your life as a mother. Here we go….


Thank you for:

1. Encouraging the importance of prayer – over every part of life.

learned to pray


2. Teaching us to dream bigger than our coloring book and hang on to the playfulness of childhood…forever.



3. Blessing us with your radically awesome dance moves.

she taught us to dance


4. Fiercely loving your husband, prioritizing your marriage above us, and encouraging a father-daughter trio of adventure at all times. (Exemplified in your continued enjoyment of Halloween).



5. Embracing failure and teaching us how to smile through it…and move on.



6. Steadfastly promoting the value and endless joy…of matching velvet outfits.



7. Leaving a city you loved to move us to a beautiful small town with the greatest neighbors on the planet.



8. Instilling in us a deep and abiding love for Carolina Basketball, and the one who taught us to cheer.



9. Random but wonderfuls, belgian waffle buffets, and matching pajamas.



10. Instilling in our hearts the joy that comes from a life lived in real community with the ones we love most.



11. Giving us a dog when we know you didn’t really want one.
12. Accepting that, as adults, we would still love dogs, and we would openly and in public refer to you as their grandmother.
13. Praying every other boyfriend out of our lives (even when we so greatly wished you wouldn’t), and then welcoming the men God had for us with wide open arms.
14. Always wanting the best for us, even if it was not the most popular.
15. Filling road trips with your lilting laughter, making every turn of the ignition key a guaranteed good time.
Christmas in BR
16. Being our greatest example of courage at all times, with no exceptions.
 cool mom
17. Choosing to give above and beyond the definition of “generous,” and to do so with anonymity.
18. Living a life that values character over popularity.
19. Letting us call you nicknames that are genuinely embarrassing and yet you secretly love them all, Panda.
20. Proving that while raising your children under God’s standards and not the world’s standards may not be easy, it is always, always right.
the girls
From our hearts to yours, we thank you…for all of this and so much more. Happy Mother’s Day, Momma, today and everyday.
We love you always,
Parker & Lanier

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