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Ways to Make Mother’s Day Meaningful featuring REAL MOMS!

Hello everyone!  I wanted to share some ways to make Mother’s Day very special and meaningful for the loved ones in your life.  I’ve seen a lot of blogs that encourage what we should purchase for our mom’s for this Holiday, but I wanted to take a different spin on things.  So I asked some of my friends and my very own mom and nana what Mother’s Day means to them and what non-materialistic gift would mean the most to them.  It was really cool to see the perspectives from moms of children of all different ages and phases of life.  The above photo is of my own mom and me!

Read below to hear all of the responses from some pretty incredible mothers that I’m lucky to know!  If you’re still stumped on what to do for your mom or the mother figure in your life, don’t be afraid to just ask them!

When I asked my nana what Mother’s Day means to her, she said it’s a day off for all Mothers.  It’s a day to be honored when children and other family members to step up and take on the every day duties that their mom usually does.  My nana is the youngest of 7 children and her mother died when she was only 9 months old, so my nana has always preached for me to be grateful for my mom even when we were disagreeing.  I think it would always hurt my nana more than anyone when my mom and I would fight growing up, because she never even had the luxury of getting to know her mom or disagree with her mom. Her ideal Mother’s Day gift is to have a meal prepared for her that way she doesn’t have to cook or clean.  Just enjoying family time and being waited on without having to do the work means the world to her.

My sweet Nana at my wedding rehearsal!

My mom said that Mother’s Days reminds her to deeper appreciate her family, especially her children.  As she gets older, just spending time with her family is one of the greatest gifts of all.  She said that things can change in the blink of an eye for any of us, so enjoy each other and the special moments while you can.  You can read more about my mom, the way she raised my brothers and I, and why I’m thankful she was my mom rather than my friend growing up HERE.  I wrote this previous blog post for her last Mother’s Day!

Me, my mom and my Sister in Law at my Wedding Rehearsal Dinner!
My Sister in Law Joanna Yezak says, “Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be a mom.  My mother was a wonderful role model and I remember thinking “I want to be like my mom some day”!  She and my dad hosted (what seemed like) weekly dinner parties with friends, were both at the dinner table every night, and supported me through all my sports and dance activities.  I never knew the hard work she put in to being my mom and what that truly meant…until I became a mom myself.  My husband and I had (finally) made the decision we wanted to add to our family.  After a year of trying, we were just about to begin fertility treatment when we found out we were expecting our baby boy! My dream of becoming a mom was going to come true and I understood my son was a miracle and a gift from God.  Our prayers were answered and our lives would never be the same! I was going to be a mom! Mother’s Day is about family and being able to celebrate the dream and journey of becoming a mom that so many women struggle with, hope for, long for and pray for.  It’s about recognizing the sacrifice we make to bring our baby into this world, keep them healthy, and raise them right.  The sleepless nights we endure when our little ones are sick, teething, or just need their moms.  The worry and excitement we feel when new adventures are explored and they need us less and less.  Feeling helpless when they are hurt, but feeling whole when a kiss from mommy on their boo-boo will make everything better.  The true meaning of Mother’s Day to me, is one of celebration, thanks and love.  It is a day to honor the women in your life that sacrificed so much.  She says the best non-materialistic Mother’s Day gift would be to be able to sleep…and have breakfast in bed.  Mother’s Day isn’t about material things to brighten our day…we have the best gift in the world in our children.  But I am not going to lie, it would be pretty awesome if I even got to sleep in until 7 am and wake up to the smell and sight of waffles coming into view while I lay restfully in bed.  Waffles and a mimosa for this momma please! 🙂
This is my sister in law Jo and my nephew Alex just a few weeks ago!
Another mom who waited after being married for many years is my precious friend Bridget Marriott.  When asked what Mother’s Day means to her she responded, “I still can’t believe I’m a mom!  I am just giddy with thankfulness and praise that God chose me to raise one of his earthly angels.  (He might have zoned out the day he made that decision because we genuinely have no clue what we are doing as parents sometimes!). Mother’s Day is the perfect day to reflect on God’s love.  Ironic that on Mother’s Day I’m telling you to think of our Father’s love, but it will hit as close to home as anything can get.  He sacrificed his 1 son because he LOVED me so much!  A mother’s love is deep and fierce as anything I’ve ever felt and to know there is a man that loved and loves me more than that is eye opening.  A dad that was willing to sacrifice his little baby for me, that’s big love!  Mother’s Day also leads to reflecting.  When I fast forward Penelope’s life, I find myself hoping she calls me, I hope she visits often, let’s us visit her as much as we want and be a part of her day to day life.  It makes you think, “What am I doing for my mom?  Am I encouraging my husband to call his mom and make time for her?”  They are feeling what I feel.  Our hearts are walking around outside of us.  We want to be a part of their lives, from beginning (when it’s so much in our control) to the end (when they are college aged, married, having babies, and having grand babies where more is out of our control).  Motherhood is the most rewarding yet frightening journey I’ve ever signed up for.  I love Penelope so deeply it pains me to think someone might hurt her feelings very deeply or that she could get a serious illness. So hug your mommas ladies, they hurt for us, yearn for us and thank and pray for us with every ounce of their being.”  When asked about a gift, she responded, “This is easy: Pictures!  Get your wife, momma, daughter a professional photoshoot for her and her little ones.  It’s priceless (but can get pricy).  Timeless memories nonetheless.  Treasures you can hold dear as your tiny tots grow by the minute.  A truly priceless gift that I just can’t get enough of is Penelope’s little feet & hand prints.  You paint those suckers & stick em on paper, canvas, ceramic wear, etc.  Put a fork in me cause then I’m done.  Be sure to date the artwork, too.  Such special memorabilia!”

Coulter and Bridget Marriott with their daughter Penelope Gray.

Megan Huskinson has 3 daughters under the age of 4.  She says, “I see it more clearly now that I’m grown with children of my own, but moms are truly amazing.  Moms come in all shapes and sizes, working moms, stay at home moms, moms of multiple children, moms of one child, moms who have experienced the loss of a child, moms who care for sick or disabled children, moms who are sick or disabled themselves.  The logistics of the day to day will look different for everyone.  I know a lot of moms and the thing that always rings true for everyone is that moms rise to the occasion.  They are tough, selfless, and do what needs to be done for the good of their babies and families.”  Something Megan’s mom always told her was, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”  Megan says there have been many times that she’s had to tell herself to suck it up and count her blessings, as all moms do at different points in time.  When asked about a gift, she said, “Honestly, the perfect Mother’s Day for me at this point in my life (with a 1, 2 and 4 year old) would be exactly what we already have planned for Sunday.  I get to spend a long kid-free brunch with my amazing mama and my best friend who recently lost her own mama, so spending this day with her is extra special.  Then, we will spend the evening with family.  The best gift would be to not have to do any cooking or cleaning or housework all day, and to be able to truly enjoy my children and family without worrying about what needs to be done.”
Megan with her 3 girls!  Maison (4) Makensie (2) and Myer (1).
Amy Dieta said, “Mother’s Day is a time for me to reflect on the important things that make me a mom. Not the day to day questions of “are they clothed and fed?”

Are they loved? Did I tell them how much they mean to me? I am reminded I’m infinitely blessed. My body made another human!  I also think about our daughter, Joy Catherine. I wonder what she would be like and I picture her playing in Heaven with the other angel babies.  I thank God that He chose me to be their mom. I celebrate my mom, grandma, and mother-in-law as well. Without any of them, the life we have wouldn’t be possible.  I don’t need extravagant gifts to celebrate Mother’s Day. It’s not about that for me. My kids handmade pictures and gifts they made at school are perfect. I want to wake up to my hubby and my babies on Sunday morning and enjoy the day surrounded by people I love.”

Amy and Jeff with their littles Deuce and Chloe!

When I asked Chelsea Lester, a mom of a little boy and little girl (Sadie who you have seen on my blog before), she responded, “So, being a mom to me is everything I ever imagined it being and everything opposite of what I thought it was.  Momming is hard.  You give up your body and sleep is almost non-existent.  You give up your moments of freedom and your (clean) house and even sometimes your sanity.  But, I would give up anything for one breath of theirs.  Because when I became a mom it gave me a purpose.  If I do two things right in my life, it was bringing my princess and dinosaur into the world.  They give me a new perspective on life, they bring me pride, and they have made me a new person for the better.  There is no better feeling in the world than having those arms wrapped around my neck, or watching them with wonder and excitement with each new memory being made.  Being a mom is the hardest but most rewarding job in the world and I am thankful for my 2 little people I get to raise.  My favorite Mother’s Day gifts are the handmade ones.  But, it’s not the gift itself that I love, it’s the look of excitement and pride that I see when I am presented with something they put thought and effort into. Those are the moments that make it all worth it.”
Here’s Chelsea with her daughter.  She is teaching her a very
important lesson to help others during Christmas time!
Nikki Dawson is the owner of the Beauty Market and she has 2 beautiful young girls – Olivia and Maddie.  When I asked her about a gift for Mother’s Day, she said her daughters always make her cards and draw her pictures for Mother’s Day.  She stated, “Their words on a piece of paper with their adorable hand writing means the world to me.  I keep them in a box and look back at them all the time.”
Nikki and her two daughters!
My dear friend Katie Ruffino who has a soon-to-be teenage daughter, so she is asking for Bella to help out with house chores this weekend.  She says she wants Bella to give their now 3 dogs a bath and brush them.  She also would love for Bella to clean her room and clean her closet from the clothes that no longer fit her.
Katie, her stepdaughter Maddie, Bella and her husband Luke.
Jennifer Lester is the mom of one of my former models who happens to also be competing for Miss USA next weekend (Team Logan Lester all the way)!  She says Mother’s Day to her means to spend quality time together.  She states, “To see my kids grow into the young people they are today is so very special.  My husband and I have sacrificed and worked so hard to give our kids the best life we could give them.  The best gift would be to just watch my children blossom and spend as much quality time with them as possible.”
My friend Stephanie Jones is a mother of now 3, and works full time alongside her husband at his law firm.  When asked about Mother’s Day, she said, “For me, I’d rather have quality time than a gift.  Planning a lunch together, an afternoon at the pool, making all the arrangements and then all spending the precious time together to have fun.  Quality time together making memories is better than any gift you could buy!”  She says they will be spending Mother’s Day morning at Church watching their children sing in the choir, which is a gift in itself!
Stephanie and her husband Chad with their 3 children Caroline, Henry and Juliet.
My friend and pastor’s wife Sarah Chilton is a mother of 4!  When I questioned her about the holiday, she responded, “Being really close to my own mother and now the incredible mother she came from, I know it’s a day to honor the. matriarchs that we all came from.  It is a day that we honor the sacrifice that women make as soon as God creates new life in their wombs.  The hardship of pregnancy, the hours of labor, the years of being the only source of nutrient to sustain their life, the years of sleepless nights, and the year of never-ending emotional support and encouragement.  A mother’s job is never ending and always consists of putting someone else before your own self.  We honor that specific role of motherhood and the strength that God has given women to handle that role in its fullness and on top of that be bosses, career women, students, community volunteers, a friend, an advocate, and in general…..bad asses. The strength women have is truly one to be celebrated.”  As far as gifts, Sarah stated, “When my children make me something or draw me pictures and write me letters to acknowledge what it takes to be a mom as well as manage everything else in life, that means the most to me!  It especially means a lot when my husband will write the ways he specifically sees the sacrifices I make and acknowledges his life truly wouldn’t be what it is without the valuable women in it.  Acknowledging the truth means the most. (Because we all know….women truly run the world!)”
So much love within the beautiful Chilton Family!
Nancy Gilmore owns the Mule Barn Boutique that has a location in my old Harvey Road storefront.  She says, “Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate family.  Start the day with church with the family, followed by a yummy lunch, and then an afternoon of relaxing and enjoying everyone.”  She says she particularly enjoys time spent with her three grandsons: Lane 7, Lex 5 and Leo 6 months.  She also added, “This is also a time to celebrate my mom, Grammy, and my daughter, Lindsey, the mother of 3 boys.”  She encourages everyone to truly count their blessings and enjoy the present of time spent together.  There have been days I have walked into Nancy’s store to see her mom, herself, Lindsay and the boys all helping the customers.  Truly a wonderful and family ran business!
Nancy has 2 more grandsons since this precious family photo!
My intern this past semester was Chloe Turner.  Since she is graduating from college tomorrow, I thought her mom would have a different spin and perspective than the mom’s with babies like Jo and Bridgette.  Mrs. Turner said, “When Randa asked me what Mother’s Day means to me, I felt very honored to tell her.  As a single lady, I struggled with ovarian cysts.  Before I married at 32, I had 2 large ovarian cysts and the results of those surgeries were I was left with 1 ovary on left side and just a tiny piece of one of the right side.  It was devastating to me to think it might hurt my chances of having children after marriage.   I carried the weight of it with me like a ton of bricks on my shoulders. After kissing many toads… at 31 I met my PRINCE.  The man I had prayed to meet!  The way I met him was I prayed for God to send me a man who was raised in a similar setting as me… and who would offer his WHOLE heart to me like I was willing to do, too.  God heard my many prayers and blessed me with my soul mate.  What I always knew was I wanted to be married and be a Mom. What Mother’s Day means to me is simply my many blessings in life.  Being able to have a healthy boy and girl at 34 and 37 without all my female parts was more than I could have ever dreamed of.  What I tell other ladies about having babies is this:  If God wants you to be a Mom… you will be (one way or another).  After being blessed to become a Mom… Mother’s day is the icing on the cake and a wonderful reminder of the commitment I made to Franklin and Chloe. The best gift my kiddos could give me on Mother’s day is seeing them be happy.  Raising emotionally fulfilled adults is more than I could ever ask for!  Seeing them succeeding in life now at 26 and 22 is my dream come true. I would literally give my own life for either of them if needed. One last thing… I’ve been meaning to comment on Randa’s blog.  To know Randa is to LOVE her!!!  She is the essence of a hard working, bright female and wife.  I know in my heart when she and Grant become Mom and Dad… they will be fabulous parents.  I see her doing so many wonderful things in her life helping others daily.  It’s such an honor to know her.”
Here is Jody and her daughter Chloe!  Fabulous in Red!
One of my spirit animals over the past 6 years is Wild Wendy!  She says, “Mother’s Day is a day that we get to celebrate all the amazing women in this world that give their self to their children 24/7.  Mom’s are so special.  We love doing for our kids no matter how old they get.  It’s nice to be appreciated and feel loved.  I don’t need cards or gifts, I just love knowing my kids are happy, safe and love my time I get with them.”
Wendy is a mom of 2 and a grandmother of 1!  This is her son Hagen who now serves our country!
Here’s to strong women!  May we be them, may we know them, and may we raise them!  I hope everyone has a fabulous Mother’s Day weekend.  Grant and I are taking our families to Traditions Country Club for a yummy buffet spread and we will be going back to my nana’s garden to help her in a few weeks when she has more actions happening there!  Cherish the time you get with your sweet loved ones, because you never know when you may not have the opportunity.  My heart goes out to those who don’t have a mom to celebrate with this weekend, especially those who will be experiencing this for the first year.
Love hard on your family and friends y’all!!!