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Happy Mother’s Day!

Sweet, sweet words today of love and admiration for your mamas.

Thank you to the beautiful ladies below who each offered to share a little piece of their mama with us on Mother’s Day.  One of the things I cherished most about reading these was all the “me too” moments that came alive in me from your words.  I think you’ll find a lot of “me too” moments here, as well.  All the many ways our mothers bless us.  Our cups runneth over.

Without further ado, Sharing abundant beauty and love.

To:  Jenny Nice
From:  Melissa Nice


Throughout my life you have given so many gifts to me, I don’t know where to begin. You’ve always been at my side, no matter the odds. You’ve always been my cheering section, gardening and cooking genius, and my shoulder to cry on.

These are qualities that make a mom. It’s not all about the driving to sport practices and making sure homework has been done. It’s being there. I’ve always known, I can count on you good or bad, near home or far away. Today I want to say thank you. Thank you for all you do and most importantly, thank you for your unconditional love. You are an inspiration and an amazing person. I love you.

To:  Mom
From:  Niki Anast

I don’t know where to start with my mom, she truly is an amazing person. She cares for everyone and anyone she meets. Our big joke at holidays is to ask her how many strays she’s taking in. She invites people to share holidays with us that have nowhere else to go. She was also there for my grandma since my grandfather passed away 10 years ago. Anytime I need her no matter what, she is there for me. When I’m upset and crying or can’t handle a situation she is always able to calm me down and realize it’s not the end of the world. She always says “you’ll find a way to make things work.” No matter how big or how small she is willing to help.  My husband Jason has also said she is a god send because she truly makes him feel like he is one of her own children. She is also a wonderful grandmother to Jon, I couldn’t ask for a better grandmother. One of the greatest things she ever taught me was to have a strong work ethic. She has been at her job for 35 years and even took over for her boss while she was caring for her ill husband. My mom also told her to take her time coming back after her husband passed away because she wanted her to be ready to come back.

To:  My Precious Mother, Barbara
From:  Jenny Imhoff

A mother’s influence stretches from generation to generation as who we are is nurtured into us by the heart and soul of those who have poured themselves into our lives.  Among a few others, this primary influence in my life was from my mother.

When people say that I have her smile, I hope I also have her kind heart.

When people tell me that I look or act like my mother in any way, I can only hope that I will grow into half the amazing woman that she is.  And I count any resemblance as quite a compliment.

I was prayed for before I was even born.  My grandmother knew that the way she lived her life mattered.  Not only did her decisions affect her own life, but the lives of her children and even future generations would be influenced by the choices she made.  She told me that even while her children were still small, she prayed not only for them, but also for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, all the way to her fourth generation.

Those prayers carried my mother through a severe illness that almost took her life in her 20’s.  And those prayers pushed forward God’s plan when the doctors said my mother could never have children.  (She had three.)

My mother has often told me that not a day of my life has gone by that I wasn’t prayed for.  She and my dad took up the mantel and have continued to pray me through my emotional struggles and career setbacks and daily difficulties.  Of course, it hasn’t been all bad.  They’ve had much to thank God for as well.  Thank you, Mother, for the prayers.

Like my grandmother, my mother also understood that her influence in the lives of her children would have far-reaching effects.  She took seriously the business of nurturing and I truly believe that without her gentle prodding I would never have had even half the experiences that have shaped my life and made me into who I am meant to be.  Thank you, Mother, for the drama classes and tennis lessons and private schools.  I know that these opportunities came to me at a cost to you.  You believed the sacrifice was worth it.  I cannot imagine my life without these wonderful experiences and I am eternally grateful.

My mother watched for and recognized the hand of God in my life and she worked to accentuate the natural talents that she observed.  I remember her telling the story of how I came in the house one Spring day after playing outside, and I was very upset.  Upset for a 4-year old, I guess.  I had found a baby bird, dead on the ground.  I ran inside and asked my mother to write this down:

Little birdie, oh so small

You didn’t get to live at all

You hatched out to close to the edge of your nest

I don’t suppose I would ever have remembered this story if my mother hadn’t continued to re-tell it as I grew up.  She wanted to impress upon me that I had a tender heart, and a desire to express my self through writing (even before I could write!).  Thank you, Mother, for being my scribe as I dictated my first poem to you at age 4.  And thank you for telling me the story of me.

My mother appreciates the power of words.  She often told me that everything and anything that comes out of our mouths can serve as a blessing or a curse.  She has always chosen her words wisely and my life is blessed for it.  Perhaps one of the most profound examples of this came when, as a teenager, I overheard my mother talking on the phone to a friend about her strong-willed child.  The young mother on the other end of the call was asking advice and my mother spoke gently and lovingly about her experiences with her own “strong-willed” child.  I honestly thought she must have been talking about my sister!  Surely it couldn’t be me!  My mother never used words that made me think I was difficult or trying in any way.  What she told me was, “You have a strong mind, and you will be able to accomplish whatever it is that you put your mind to.”  She used that opportunity to bless me with those words and I have never forgotten it.  Thank you, Mother, for your words of blessing.

There were no taboo topics in our home.  She would welcome any question, and listen to anything I needed to or wanted to talk about.  I learned a lot through those conversations.  She equally understood the importance of silence.  I’m sure it was difficult for her, but there were times that she didn’t offer advice but instead encouraged me to figure it out for myself.  She knew when it was time to nudge me out of the nest.  Thank you, Mother, for all he nudges to take ownership of my life and live with purpose.

My mother has been my life coach.  She helped shape my perspectives on God and family and love and life.  Along with my Dad, she accepted me and adored me, even (and especially) when my behavior wasn’t exactly acceptable and I really wasn’t that adorable.  My life is richer for having that foundation of love and faith.  Thank you, Mother, for your gift of life and family.

My mother is an encourager who has helped to positively shape my thoughts about myself by reminding me of the truth of who I am.  In my teen years, whenever I would leave the house on a date or with some friends, my mother’s final words to me as I was heading out the door would always be “remember whose child you are.”  I used to think that she said that so that I would make my family proud, that I would make smart decisions and live with wisdom.  But later I realized that she wasn’t so concerned with me embarrassing the family at all.  Yes, I am her child.  But more importantly, I am God’s.

Thank you, Mother, for teaching me to know God and to love Jesus.  Of all you have given me, this foundation of faith is the most important.

To:  Sherry Reesman
From:  Renee Reesman

It’s hard to sit down and think of all the reasons one is grateful for their mother. Life is made up of many years linked in phases and in each one a mother’s role changes. I’ve always been grateful for my mom, but I don’t know exactly when I truly learned to appreciate her.  In the younger years it’s very much a give and take relationship. They give and we just take. It probably wasn’t until college when I was separated for the first time from the ones who had provided my whole world that I finally started to give back. Not in big ways but small gestures or cards filled with an enlightened sense of gratitude.  With every life experience it opens another window into what my mother must have experienced at similar points in her own life and those windows continue to brighten and shine light on my appreciation and love for her.

I would have to say one of the things I’ve always loved about my mom and believe she taught me was quiet humbleness.   I’ve always thought of her as having a gentle soul.  Growing up and even now my mom doesn’t get too worked up about things. She just quietly goes about her business. I don’t remember her raising her voice too often or showing how frustrating it must have been raising 5 children. If she thought it was hard, I never heard it and if she was ever overwhelmed I never saw it.   She grew up an only child.  They weren’t rich.  They weren’t poor.  They just had ‘enough’.  They had what they needed. They were humble and my mom raised us the same way. She didn’t give us everything we wanted, she wasn’t our “friend” growing up (which is admirable), she was a disciplinary, a provider, and a protector. She wasn’t a person of gossip, brand names or have and have not’s. It was from her that I learned to appreciate the simple things, the difference in wanting and needing and being grateful for what I have.

Being the youngest of 5 I’ll admit that I was afforded more time and attention from my mom. She would let me climb into bed with her after my dad had left for work and everyone else was off to school.  It was our quiet time (and of course the first time in years she was able to sleep). She would let me sit on her lap and rub my back on the late night car rides home.  She would take me shopping and we would have lunch dates at my favorite restaurant Olga’s. She nurtured my interest and hobbies of antiquing and refinishing furniture. It’s still one of our favorite things to do together. I’ve been blessed to take several amazing trips with her and share in her love of travel.  Much like my best friend we were able to spend weeks together and still love each other at the end. 🙂 We enjoy each other’s company and the conversation comes easy.

Often when I tell people I have two girls they have some negative comment or remark of things to come. Maybe I’m naïve but I don’t want to accept that it has to be that way. I don’t know exactly how my mom did it, but I never raised my voice or disrespected her. Not to say that I didn’t have my own frustrations growing up, but I knew my place. My mom has always been the mother first. It wasn’t until later when the time was appropriate that a friendship grew. Now, I still have a mom when I need a mom, but I also have a friend when I just need a friend. I can only hope to raise my girls in the same manner to develop the kind of love, respect and admiration that I feel for my own mother.

With much gratitude and love, Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

To:  Mama Judy
From:  Amy Warren

Why I am eternally grateful for my mom…

Currently…I credit Mom (and Dad) as a definite contributor to any bit of sanity I possess in this “season” of busy, busy with my 3-ring circus.  Mom (a.k.a. “Grandma Judy”) is one of the biggest fans of my circus, with its main acts: Molly (6 ½ ), Sophia (4 ½ ) and Nathan (19 months)  Thankfully, she and Dad have season tickets to performances at least two days each week (and usually more often!)

Here are some of the gifts that Mom has given me that I am so grateful for…

Life.  Pretty basic…I wouldn’t be here without her.  She gave up the 4th of July fireworks years ago to birth me.  And thru the years, she has continued to put up with me.   I remember summer when I was in high school.  I agreed to walk with her in the morning before she had to go to work, but I wasn’t a morning person yet.  (Yes, I definitely am now and remember making a conscious decision to be one!)  So, I made a rule that we couldn’t talk until I was awake enough.  We walked together in silence until I had worked out the grumpiness.  She didn’t have to put up with that, but she did.  Now, as a parent myself, I laugh at how we develop theories on different things our kids do and why they behave the way that they do.  Each day is something different.  And each day the theories change.  Not long ago I was looking forward to the time when we won’t have to analyze behavior and develop new theories.  It’s exhausting!  And then I realized, my Mom is probably still analyzing my behavior and changing her theories too.  She’s still putting up with me!  Thank you, Mom.

Love and friendship.  It’s sad to think that not everyone knows that their mother loves them.  I’ll admit that I take this for granted because there is no doubt that my momma loves me.  She tells me and shows me each week.  We hug.  She supports me with her presence, assistance and ever-ready ear.  Mom is always ready for my “babble” or news of the day, big or small.  While I know she’s a fan of my circus, I’m pretty sure she’s one of MY biggest fans too!  I apologized for venting about something recently and she said, “If you can’t vent to your Mom, who can you vent to?”  We share the joys and frustrations of life (when the circus is quiet enough that we can get some conversation in) over the phone or a meal together.  Being with Mom brings a sense of relaxation that feels like home.  Just because she’s there.  Thank you, Mom.

Faith.  Mom is an amazing example of faith in God and service to the community.  She goes to church, attends bible study, reads & journals on devotions on a daily basis.  She tells my kids about what she prays about.  She gives her time to serve people at the food pantry, at Side-by-Side (a program that provides assistance to people in need in Walworth County), and people needing medical care at the Open Arms free medical clinic where she volunteers as  a nurse.  She has church friends and family and more church friends.  She’s what I like to call a “church-crier”…one that will shed a few tears during a song or service that is touching.  I am one too.  I like to blame it on the Holy Spirit…and a little on Mom too.  When I think about Mom’s faith, I hear the words that Pastor Dan used fairly often when he preached in their church back in Illinois.  He talked about that moment when we get to heaven and God judges us.  He said that when we get there, we want God to say (picture his deep voice saying this) “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  I don’t have to wonder what God will say when he meets her someday.  While she continues daily to work on this, she’s got the faithful servant thing covered.  I pray that one day I will be such a role model for my kids and grandkids.  Thank you, Mom.

While I could go on, this isn’t MY blog, so I’ll wrap it up.  Happy Mother’s Day!  I love you and am so blessed to call you my Mom.

To:  Jenny Nice
From:  Rachel Nice

I want to take a moment to thank a very special person in my life, my mom. Mom, sometimes I just don’t know how you do it all. It really puts me in awe how dedicated you are to your family, faith, friends, and community. Your countless contributions to all those are truly miraculous! There’s never been something you can’t do. You truly are an inspiration to everyone around you and you touch so many lives. You do so much for me and for everyone that you deserve a day of thanks on this special day. Thank you so much for everything that you do! I love you so much!

To: Mom
From:  Jenny

There will never be enough words or ways for me to ever say thank you enough to you mom, my earthly angel.  You continuously give more love, more time, more heart, more empathy, more support and more guidance than I could ever repay in a lifetime.  Lucky for me, you take payment in the form of kisses from grandbabies, time spent together and just enjoying the fruits of all your hard labor over the years.  Many years ago, I won the little girl lottery for most loving and devoted mother.  Now I consider myself the winner of the second round lottery, the one where I win the most loving and devoted grandmother for my sweet baby boys.  You are an inspiration and true joy.  I don’t know what I would do without your guidance in so many areas of my life.  The most influential people in my life are the doers, not just the sayers.  Thank you for being such an amazing role model in my life all these years.

I love you to the moon and back.  Happy Mother’s Day!

Have a blessed day with family everyone!  Or doing whatever it is that brings you joy on Mother’s Day!


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