"You're Not Being Serious, Are You...?!" - A Special Message from Jen Gulbrandsen, Cherilyn Eagar's Daughter

“You’re not being serious, are you…?!”

We were at my great-aunt Priscilla’s funeral when my mother dropped the bombshell in my cousin’s ear. Mom mentioned that friends and political associates had been buzzing in her own ear about running for Bob Bennett’s Senate seat, and she said, “I just might do it!”

My mom and I are a lot alike. In my post-adolescent desire to define myself independently from her, I must admit that I have inherited from her some traits for which I am extraordinarily grateful.

We like to talk. A lot. About anything. About everything. Give either of us a topic and chances are we’ll be gabbing for hours. It’s a reason to be thankful for unlimited cell phone minutes. Why am I grateful for this gift of gab? Awkward dates, teaching lessons to glassy, sleep-deprived college students, oral presentations. I’ve always got something to say. All thanks to my Mother.

I should throw in there that we both talk REALLY fast. Also inherited.

She learned to do it hosting talk radio.

We also perform a lot. If you direct your browser here (http://broadcast.lds.org/churchmusic/MP3/1/2/words/177.mp3) you’ll hear some cute stuff on the a church-produced children’s music CD, including my five-year- old voice, in addition to my talented parents. Rumor has it the producers actually instructed my parents to sing slightly “off.” These days my mom and I prefer to sing on key. Mom and I love to blend our voices in duets, Broadway fashion.

Throughout my childhood I was always proud of my “Broadway mom,” performing in shows in New York City, introducing me to some sweet, famous Broadway stars. (I still have a crush on Marc Kudisch.) I knew without a doubt that I won the “my-mom-is-better-than-your-mom!” contest because, not only was she driving me to piano, ballet, and ice skating lessons every day, but she also got me backstage at Cats or Thoroughly Modern Millie or Beauty and the Beast to visit one of her friends. That resulted in a truly embarrassing photo of myself in Bustopher Jones’ massive 60-pound costume. Top that one.

Although singing is the one thing she and I can do together on a pretty even playing field, we have similar interests in other areas, with one besting the other. I kick her trash at playing Rachmaninoff and Chopin, but she’s tops in sight-reading music. She’s not exactly the best at dancing in pointe shoes or in Latin Ballroom heels, but she’ll beat my diction any day of the week. Her diction is impeccable, something that I strive to emulate.

Have you ever read any of my mother’s writing? She’s pretty darn awesome.

While my style is a bit more conversational and full of pop culture references, I’d like to think that I inherited not only the skill, but the love and desire to write a well-written, moving, passionate, and ultimately entertaining paragraph from my ever-so-talented mom.

And although I was an intern for Sean Hannity, responsible for searching his topics of the day on the Internet, I prefer my mom’s political research and analysis.

Yes. I do have a Supermom. She sings! She dances! She plays piano! She writes! She does Cub Scouts! She makes cool birthday cakes! She gets me internships with Sean Hannity! She takes notes at every single piano lesson, scribing Yoshie’s truisms into countless notebooks, for five years straight! She teaches her kids to read at age four! She looks good as a brunette, platinum blonde, red-head, AND strawberry blonde!

You might have seen her invisible plane flying back and forth between DC and Salt Lake City, and I’m fairly certain there’s a magical, golden lasso floating around in her handbag.

Humor aside, and as fun as our shared interests are, I know that her desire to do great things and to make a difference in this world is easily the most important attribute she could have passed on to me as my mother.

So, even though my response was incredulous at her initial musings of running for office, I am excited to see her make a difference in the world by running for U.S. Senate.

In addition to all the sweet things my mom has done for me, she has always been politically active, fighting for a better future for her children and grandchildren. She has been there at critical junctures throughout her adult life. She has effectively influenced key legislation important to the family and the ideals of limited government.

Why do I believe she is running for this office? It’s what she has always told us: To protect all the good things she was able to do as a parent, in the hopes that I can one day do the same things with my own future children and have the freedom to do it. I’ve never known my mom to hesitate to make necessary bold statements, to stand for what she believes is right, to fight for the values and freedoms that are most precious to us as Americans.

While my mom and I might have a few differences here and there, I am grateful to have inherited her desire to do something that will have a lasting impact, affect change, and make the world a better place. She is a talented, willing, and impassioned conservative, one you will find unwaveringly committed to protecting the values Utah cherishes most: freedom and family.

Oh. And one more thing. As amazing and talented as my mother is, I do have one gripe about her and my upbringing. The “kitchen candy drawer” didn’t come into existence until after her grandchildren came along. What’s up with that…?!

Will you help my mom out?