How I Learned.... Teach your children well, and they will learn.

Real Estate Agent with Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) DRE# 00809499

I have always encouraged my girls to be specific in their thank you notes. To tell Grandma WHY they love their gift.  To tell their teacher specifically what they liked about them.  ...and that the best gift is a letter from your heart, with thought put into it about the truth.

That lesson came back to me in spades recently.  It was out of the blue.  But it's the best recurring Mother's Day gift I've ever received.  I  carry this in my wallet... and will forever.


The DunbarsMomma....

Thank you for being the mom all my friends are jealous of.  No matter where I go geographically, my friends are always jealous of the relationship I have with you and the person you are.

I love that I can relate any life lesson to some story from your past, because you always teach through storytelling.

I love that I literally beg you to go to the store with me every time I go late at night because I want your company.

I love that you  have taught me that although cleaning is important, there are better things in life.

I love that you have always encouraged me to open myself to all experiences.  It is something I take a lot of pride in about myself and I undoubtedly get it from your spirit.

I love that I look forward to car trips with you.

I love that you have taught me how wonderful it is to get a genuine compliment.  One that is specific and spontaneous, not forced because of a holiday.

Roxy & Christy on boat in GermanyI love that you think I'm funny and a good dancer.

I love that you care about my friends for who they are, not just because they're your daughter's friend and you have to like them.

I love that our family can entertain ourselves with each other infinitely.  If we were on a deserted island with a radio and a deck of cards, we would be just fine.  More like Swiss Family Dunbar.

I love that I think of you when I smell lavender.

I love that I'm freakin tall because of your genes.

I love that you married my Dad.

I love that you tell us when someone tells you how great your two daughters are.

I love that you don't sweat the small stuff.  One of my friends has a quote on Facebook by Maya Angelou that says, "I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas lights."  I've dealt with all of these things and far worse with you and I know that you can keep a cool head up there with the best of them.

I love that you always control your anger.  You have never taken a bad day out on my sister or me, and even when it's us you are mad at, you never act strictly out of that anger.  That is something I thank God for more that I think you will ever know.  With my generation being so attached to our cellphones we commonly get to hear our friend's conversations with their parents.  Few people have the ability you do to calm down even when they're late for work and their kid has given them the wrong directions to where to pick them up from.

Happy Mother's DayI love that you used to give me a massage every night if I woke up on time and that you and I would go out to Chinese food on Tuesdays when I was in elementary school.

I love that you have helped me build a strong enough foundation for myself that despite all of these things I can still live 300 miles away and only see you and Dad every 2 months.

I love that you made me a woman of substance.

I love you, that is all.


So who in your life deserves an "I Love That..." letter?  How about your Mom... your Dad.... your kid... your aunt... your friend.... your partner?  Write it today.  Be specific.  Be truthful.

It's honestly the best gift you can give.  And the best gift you can receive.



Check out my other posts that might be of interest.....

HOME BUYERS AND SELLERS..........Buying a Home, Selling a Home, Loans, What Happens if....

LOCAL INFO................................. Fair Oaks, Carmichael, Sacramento, Folsom, Citrus Heights

ABOUT SALLY DUNBAR.................. How I learned to...., Personal stuff, My Wordless Photos

OTHER STUFF............................... Inspiration, Attitude, Humorous Stuff, Charity, the Economy

TECHNOLOGY, BLOGGING ............. Active Rain, Technology

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Your Fair Oaks Realtor for homes for sale in Fair Oaks and the Sacramento Area of California.... I'm your gal (Sally Dunbar). I'm occasionally knowledgable, periodically humorous, and always willing to tell you everything I know.  What more could you ask for?

Here are the newest listings for Fair Oaks, Orangevale, Citrus Heights, Folsom, Carmichael, Gold River, and Roseville - all CA, of course.

More Blog posts by Sally Dunbar at www.FairOaksHomesAndMore.comSally's Website at to search for all homes in the MLS, and for tons of information for buyers and sellers.  You'll find schools information, market statistics... you name it, I got it!  Come visit me.




Sally Dunbar, 35 year Broker Associate, Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks, CA (916) 524-1548, "Your Fair Oaks Realtor"


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Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Great love letter Sally with so many points of love. This had to make you cry I would think. Such love. Hope you had a Happy Mother's Day.

May 10, 2009 04:15 PM #17
Chad Boyers
The Danberry Co.- Toledo, Perrysburg, Sylvania, & NW OH - Toledo, OH

Leaving a legacy is so much more important than the other "stuff" that takes up our time.  I don't think that any of us will be sitting around someday wishing we'd spent more time in the office.  I can only pray that my boys will have kind words like that when they are grown!

May 10, 2009 04:16 PM #18
Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

Liz - thanks you.. it knocied me over too.

Ilyce - I think they're pretty cool, too.

BB - I am proud... and I did cry.

Tammy - and Happy Mother's Day to you too.

Sharon - thanks for stopping by.

Suzanne - that really was a great reward.

Kelsey - Happy Mother's Day to you.  Teach your daughter well and she'll write you aletter like that someday!

Lori - what a great Mom you had to keep those mementos.  Both my girls did synchro, and got to intermediate, but I don't think I saved their score cards. 

Gary - thanks, and I did have a happy day.  My oldest and I went to me neice's home up in Grass Valley for a BBQ.  It was great.

Chad - You are so right about not ever wishing we had spent more time working.  Our family is so important.  I, too,  hope you get a letter like that someday, but until then, go ahead and write one.

May 10, 2009 04:36 PM #19
Regina P. Brown
California Coast & Country Homes, Inc. - San Luis Obispo, CA
e-Pro Realtor

Sally, you are an awesome Mom and I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day.  This letter is much better than a generic Hallmark card.

May 10, 2009 05:17 PM #20
Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

Regina... thanks so much... it was a prety awesome letter to receive.  Maybe my daughter should go to work for Hallmark?

May 11, 2009 12:57 AM #21
Patricia Kennedy
Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc. - Washington, DC
For Your Home in the Capital

Sally, you are a terrific mom!  And clearly, the apples did not fall far from the tree.

May 11, 2009 01:21 AM #22
Kathy Passarette
Creative Home Expressions - Mount Sinai, NY
L.I. Staging/Decorating

Sally ~ That's great! They certainly know how to tug at our heartstrings, don't they?  I got a letter from my daughter too, and my son got me a card, but added his own words to it.  These items in their own words mean so much more to me than any gift or store-bought card.  Hope you had a great Mother's Day!

May 11, 2009 01:55 AM #23
Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

THis is Amazing Sal ! And a huge testament to you as a terrific mother !

... this letter gave me the glassy eyes, and a huge smile ! ... congrats on having such amazing kids :o)

Cheers !

Your British pal -

Sheldon o)

May 11, 2009 01:59 AM #24
Geri Sonkin
Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103 - Merrick, NY
Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert


What a wonderful letter and one that I would happily carry with me all the days of my life as well.  You have definitely motivated me to write one to my son.  We spent the most delightful time yesterday morning enjoying the food and conversation without the intrusion of cell phones and other commitments.  His birthday is coming up at the end of the month and my letter to him will be the real gift.  Thanks!

May 11, 2009 02:03 AM #25
Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

Patricia - If my apple is anything like either of my daughters, I a lucky girl.

Kathy - Hope you day with your two kids was great.  sounds like it was.

Sheldon - You go guy... I bet what you write will win a Pulitzer.

Geri -happy birthday to your son.  Your letter will be the best present he ever received, I bet.  We all like aknowledgement that we have impacted another.  and the more specific, the better.  I'm working on one for my husband right now for Father's Day.  I have a lot to say.

May 11, 2009 02:16 AM #26
Dan Magstadt
Paramount Residential Mortgage Group, Inc - Lake City, FL

Nice post Sally...It sounds like you've raised your children well!!

Best, Dan

May 11, 2009 02:24 AM #27
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

That letter idea sounds like a great idea as evidenced by the one your daughter wrote.  So many times people just don't tell others the way they really feel, and many opportunities are lost.  I liked this a lot :)

May 11, 2009 10:17 AM #28
Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

Kathy - glad you liked it.  It's really  such a simple, heartfelt and extremely moving gift to give someone.  There's nothing you can buy that would be as appreciated. Although a diamond tennis bracelet would come in a close second!

May 11, 2009 10:25 AM #29
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Sally- I absolutely agree....simple and heartfelt, and hmmmmm you can keep the diamond bracelet, a good camera would be my next best thing :)  I'm lucky, I've gotten both at  different times :)

May 11, 2009 10:35 AM #30
Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

OK so getting serious... I don't want a tennis bracelet either.  I have a 2 carat diamond ring (because I found it... an amazing story), and if I ever lost that, I would never spend a dime on a new diamond. It would be easy come, easy go.  I prefer the fun junk jewelry I find at bizarre places.

A new computer would have been my top choice, but I just bought a new macbook pro a few weeks ago.  A camera?... I have a great one.  Maybe a new video camera (although my 9 year old one still does a great job - hey, I won C's video contest with it).  Actually there's not much I want, truly.

The letter was the best.  (They also gave me Bananagram... a really fun scrabble-type game, but more like a cross between it and Rummikub.)

So I'm good.

May 11, 2009 10:45 AM #31
Kathleen Ann Pacheco-Corbett
(FIRST Exclusive Buyer's Office Providence-RI) - Providence, RI
Realtor, RI-MA, CEBA, Master, e-Pro, ABR, ABRM, GR

Sally you are an amazing Mom who has raised some awesome caring daughters. That Mother's Day letter is definitely one that is filled with heartfelt emotions.

May 11, 2009 03:05 PM #32
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL


One of the few regrets I have in life is not having daughters. Your post makes me wish I'd decided to have more babies. Your Daughters are beautiful!


May 12, 2009 06:42 AM #33
Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

TLW - One of my regrets is not having had sons, too. So we'er even!  Actually, we get what we get, and it's usually perfect.  I grew up with two older brothers, and am somewhat of a tomboy.  I KNOW boys... girls were a mystery to me, even though I was one.

When we got pregnant, I just KNEW it would be a boy, because no one would play that great a trick on me. I couldn't believe I had a gril... and then another one.  WHAT!!!  But it's been awesome, and I did figure it out.  Poor things, tho, never had dolls, but they had dump trucks. I never learned how to play with dolls, either. I played with plastic horses.

We we get dealt the hand we get.... and it's perfect. I bet your sons could write a letter like that to you.  Get BB on it.

May 12, 2009 07:00 AM #34
Elayna Fernandez
The Positive Mom - Irving, TX
BE Positive and You'll BE Powerful!

wow...this is amazing. I would love to request if I could possible (or you could even) post this on my network  for other moms to see. Our focus and mission is to "Raise Positive Children" and you have done such a great job that I would like to use this as an example. I hope you can grant my request. I would love for you to sign up and post it yourself. I would be honored.  I hope my two girls (Elisha 6 and Elyssa 5) will someday write a letter to me that expresses their gratitude. I strive for it every day. Thank you


Founder of the Positive Mommies Network

May 28, 2009 02:33 AM #35
Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

Elayna - I posted it.  that's quite a websiteyou have there.  I'll try to check back and maybe post more.  I have others that might fit. Thanks for letting me know.

May 28, 2009 03:19 AM #36
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