The Sprucettes’ Mother’s Day Shout-Out

Mother’s Day is just around the corner! We owe so much to our mothers for raising us, and we wouldn’t be the strong, savvy and creative people we are without them. This year, we all decided to pay tribute to the amazing ladies in our lives by giving them a shout-out on our blog. Sprucette moms, here’s to you!


Amanda and mom

Amanda with her Mom (Evelyn Gainer) and twin sister (Jennifer Meuse)

Evelyn Gainer, or Sparkles, if you really know her, is my mom. She’s the lady in the grocery store line you wind up telling your life story to. Most of her stories begin with, “Do you remember that time…?”, which sometimes refers to events that happened before I was born!

It’s no surprise she became an RN in her 20s. Her hobby is caring for others, and she’s so good at it. By way of a good talk, a prayer, or a sweet treat, my mom can bring anyone back from the edge. She amazes me with her tireless support through every tantrum and success, yet she knows how to lay down the law and give you a good talking to when you deserve it.

Widowed when my sister and I were nine, she grabbed life by the horns and showed us what a strong woman is. She threw a 1,000-paper newspaper route, cared for horses, and even roofed a house with twin girls in tow. And when she was forty, she found love, had my lil’ brother, and started all over again.

Mom, you are an amazing woman. Thank you for teaching me to be caring and tough and making a family that overflows with love!


clar and mom sandy

Clar and her mother Sandy.

My “Moms” Sandy is my favorite person! She is the cutest and most bubbly of nine awesome Minnesotan brothers and sisters. Having grown up with so many kiddos, she’s a real sucker for small kids and babies. All small children seem to gravitate toward her! She got started on her own family (me!) at a pretty young age, and was easily the best buddy/Mom to all my friends. When I was younger, we lived in Tampa Bay, Florida. She was always up for a trip to the beach or a stroll at the mall to do some people watching, and she’d scoop up a little treat for me and my buddies. She didn’t have much, so that’s saying a lot! She once won a cooking competition in Tampa Bay for her “Cookie Surprise,” which is so hilariously Minnesotan (You may not know that Minnesotans are famous for “hot dishes,” casseroles and other one-pot dishes. This is just a sweet, dessert version, which she still makes to this day. It makes me giggle every time!).
Though my Mom revels in goofing around and being a big kid, she is also a go-getting hard worker. This most certainly comes from her farming beginnings. She has worked her way up in her profession steadily and pragmatically, and about ten years ago completed her Masters in Contract Management. This year, she is finally taking some time to travel and will do so just after Mother’s Day! She’s also finding time on the weekends to get back to her roots: she’s building a home on a ranch north of Dallas, where she is Mom to a pace of donkeys.
Happy Mom’s Day to you, Mom! You’re the tops! You’re Sandy, as sweet as candy! Love you always!!! Love, Clar


mom and us

Clarisa (right) with her mother Yolanda and sister Crystal (left).

My mother, Yolanda, is one of the most confident women I know, and I’m grateful to have inherited her assertiveness and her creativity. She takes everything head-on, and lives fearlessly. She once told me that her dream was to be a race car driver. Another time she said she wished God had given her the pipes to be Tina Turner.

When my mom was growing up in the ’50s and early ’60s, my mother’s parents took the family back and forth from Texas to California, where they worked as seasonal fruit pickers. Growing up, mom served as my Mexican American grandparents’ translator and was a second mom to her six siblings when her folks were working. She was the one who cooked for the family and delegated all of her siblings’ chores. That experience transformed her into the  woman she is today, one who will throw a great party with delicious food and nice décor – effortlessly – all while wearing a great silk dress and jewelry.

My mom dropped out of college to become a stewardess for a year when she was only 19. I think that’s where she got the itch to travel because nearly a decade later she and my father found themselves overseas. My mom encouraged my dad to follow his dreams and take a job in another country. That decision in 1978 took them to Indonesia, where they spent the next 16 years of their lives. Now my parents are in their early ’60s and they’re getting ready for the next chapter of their lives, moving to Mozambique. I only hope I’m as half as adventurous as my mother when I’m her age.


Katherine and mom

Katherine and her mom in the Spruce bus!

I am frequently asked why I chose upholstery as my profession. The simplest answer is because of my mother. Though she may not be an upholsterer, she is a maker of things. Since I’ve been alive, there hasn’t been a single moment when this woman has not been juggling at least a couple of projects.  She is a Renaissance woman in every sense of the word. My mother has taught herself everything she knows. Woodworking, sewing, and painting are just the tip of the iceberg of her many talents. Growing up by her side and watching her create so many things has been the driving force behind my journey into upholstery. I’m thankful for more than just my mother’s creative abilities.

From the time my oldest sister started kindergarten to the day that my younger brother graduated high school (22 years), my mother managed to make homemade biscuits or pancakes whilst ironing all of our school uniforms every single morning before school. And as soon as we were out the door, she would be cooking a big pot of rice and gravy or jambalaya for the fellas on the farm. She really sets the bar high. A big thank you to my mom for working so hard to give us a great life.