February 12th, 2017 was one of the most special days of my life because my Mommie turned 60 years old. My Mom has not only been my best friend my entire life, but she is quite the Renaissance woman. She is the reason I am open minded, flexible, creative, loving, compassionate, understanding, patient, and well, FUN! I always remember her going above and beyond in every way possible. Even when we didn’t have the financial freedom we may have liked, she made every experience feel like we were the richest people in the world.

From ants on a log in my lunch, to heart shaped sandwiches, to REAL “green eggs and ham” for breakfast, my Mom has always made every day activities seem like a Disney sitcom. She made a tiny breakfast for my favorite teddy bear, Ginger, and when there was a Carbon Monoxide leak in our town home, she got all of my pets out of the house safe. This does not exclude my guinea pig, Dusty…and she hates rodents. She named my pet lizards “Liz and Ed…get it? LIZED!!! *laughs maniacally*” and always had a funny story or an amazing idea to share.

My friends have always been utterly obsessed with her unexpected, amazingly warped sense of humor, and everyone always asks me “How’s Donna? Any new stories?” She’s always been quite the storyteller, starting with the actual written series she would add to my lunches in fourth grade. My friends would gather around me at lunch asking, “Did your Mom include part three yet?!”

Every time I had a dream or career goal, she sat patiently and listened. She would splurge on me and buy suits and pumps for important interviews and meetings for me, she would write me letters with cartoons on them, and she would always support my health and wellness aspirations. She made me feel like I was ENOUGH, just as I was, and that all I had to be was Dayna in order to be great. When I cried, she would sit patiently until I was no longer upset, and usually interjected with something totally unrelated that would make me laugh and forget why I was sad in the first place.

When I was sick, she made “magic soup” that she shared the ingredients for, but I could never seem to get it just like hers. When she gets into her fancy kitchen with all her Williams Sonoma, Martha Stewart, and Sur La Table utensils, she cooks with LOVE, and there’s no meal like a meal from “Mom E.” She baked a rum cake for the sisters at my university, and had them buzzing (literally and figuratively) about it for days.

Her hugs are healing, her laugh is contagious, and she’s beautiful inside and out. She’s never afraid to be herself, and I love it. It’s a trait I’m glad to have inherited, because it’s incredibly liberating. She’s my favorite person in the entire world, and I can’t imagine I would be as successful and optimistic if I had anyone else as my Mom.

For her birthday, I wanted to make her feel as special as she makes me feel. She not only shares this healing energy with me, but with everyone she meets. I had to make sure that I made her feel as gorgeous, as regal, as legendary as she has always made me feel. For my Mom’s 60th birthday, I turned her into the goddess that she’s always been. “Soixante” was my favorite photo shoot I’ve ever done, and my Mom is now my favorite model. Turning the camera around so she could see her photos and hearing her say…

“Oh shit, that’s not me!!!”

…and then laughing so hard that she smudged her eyeliner, was probably one of my favorite moments EVER. My Queen was radiant and every single photo came out FLAWLESS!

At the end of the shoot, when all the makeup came off, and her hair got swept back into her “Mom bun” I could still see that same radiance. I hope she knows how much we ALL love her, and that the world needs Donna Lucille.


Peace and Blessings,

Dayna Marie



4 thoughts on “Soixante.

  1. Susan Rodriguez says:

    Hi Dayna!
    Reading the tribute to your mom moved me to tears! So beautifully written.
    When I think of your mom, she brings a smile to my face. We worked together and became friends before you were born! She always had a funny story to tell. I appreciate her honesty and candid ability to describe a situation with colorful words and humor. I would laugh until tears poured out. We would get in trouble at work for having a bit too much fun! Ha! I look back at that time with fond memories. She asked me to sponsor you for your First Communion and I was so honored. You looked absolutely beautiful in your little white dress…like an Angel! So sweet!
    You have inherited your mom’s creativity for words and “writing” a picture. She always looked forward to buy you books. She waited for you patiently and I knew she would be the best mom ever! Love you all!
    Susan (mom’s friend) 🙂


    • themakeupartivist says:

      My Mom always talks about you and your chihuahua! Thank you for your kind words, I was actually walking into work and it made me tear up! I am currently in school for Journalism, because when I came to Trinity, I realized how much I loved writing. Now I can combine everything I love (makeup, photography, and journalism) all into one! We love you too, and thanks for the sweet message! You’ve made my entire week! xoxo


  2. Jan Walton says:

    My Donna,

    Her very presence in my childhood allowed me the privilege of saying “My Big Sister” which was something not every little girl had. I snuck pictures of Donna to elementary school as proof of her existence and beamed with pride as my friends gushed about how pretty she was. Sometimes I would get the mean spirited “She’s YOUR sister??” exclamation. Look, I realize I’m plain as a square of asphalt, but yes dammit she’s mine. She’s the only one I have and I’m the only one she has. We share a room. She teaches me things. She’s mine.

    I credit my sister for my diverse love of music. Through her I was introduced to Earth Wind & Fire and howled along to Queen. I memorized the music catalogs of Elton John and Stevie Wonder. I adored the Barry’s, both White and Manilow, and was likely the only child in my class who slept under the glaring gaze of Alice Cooper posted on the wall.

    Thanks to Donna, I was the only kid in our family who went to high school in designer clothes. According to our parents, clothing was for covering the body not adorning it. But I was an 80’s teen and high-end jeans were all the rage. Were it not for Donna’s (gently used) hand-me-downs, I would never have pranced the halls of my school in Sassoon, Jordache, and Sergio Valente. With Mom & Dad providing the ruffle tops and penny loafers, I was just red hot shyt for the three most important years of a girl’s life. Bye bye corduroy!

    Donna was responsible for helping Mom and I make the transition from mother/daughter adversaries to mother/daughter friends. Our relationship was always loving, but we were having trouble crossing the bridge from lectures and lessons to laughter and camaraderie. Donna was the one who gave Mom the nudge that freed her from the remaining stresses of “raising kids”. I don’t know specifically what was said, but what it came down to was ‘She’s grown now, and she’s really ok so try to enjoy her’ There is no amount of thanks I can give for this because I had no way of knowing how short my time with Mom was to be. I’ll forever be grateful for that last joyous decade with my Mother.

    I always suffered intense separation anxiety whenever Donna went away.
    I wept when she went to San Francisco for a week.
    I wept when she moved out of the house to an apartment down the street.
    I wept when she moved to San Diego.
    I wept when she moved to Virginia, but eventually I learned that distance doesn’t part loved ones. She’s still on the planet, so my tears have ceased and been replaced with gratitude. Deep gratitude. My sister is only a phone call, email, text, or (God help me) plane ride away so I’m happy.

    And then there’s the fact that she gave us Dayna…

    Joy of my heart. Artist and photographer of the lovely Soixante. Dear one who I love as my own. Donna, thank you for sharing her with us. She made my life complete. Dayna, thank you for showing my sister what the rest of us have always seen… that she is beautiful.

    She’s not a doll on an island of toys. She’s one of the greatest people I’ve ever known and she deserves a sweet happy life.


    • themakeupartivist says:

      Jannnnnnn!!!! *cries*

      Thank you so much for this! Your reply made me so happy, and now I’m reminiscing about the times we all sat together watching movies and adding our own commentary. Nonna, Mommie, you, and I always laughed until we cried. I am grateful for her more than anyone could imagine, because she introduced me to all of these amazing things that made me the kick ass woman I am today! I can’t wait to see you again, and I love you so much. WE love you so much! 🙂 Thank you.


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