... to my own sweet mother, amazing and lovely, godly and hard-working, a great example to me especially now as I raise my own kids. Moms with little ones need THEIR moms very much, I think, and mine is there for me-- no one could ever take her place. We live thousands of miles apart now (I think it's thousands... it feels like it, anyway), but moms are still moms and daughters are still daughters no matter how far apart they are, and she knows that I would give her the biggest mother's day hug in the world if I could.
...to my mother-in-law, who in fact has never treated me like an in-law, but embraced me as another daughter. You know all those horror stories about mother-in-laws? I have never ever, not even once, been able to relate. This woman is loving and gracious, always considerate and thoughtful, and has been there for me in many different ways since I married her son. And I know she is a wonderful mother not only because of how she treats me, but because of the man I married. Sons and daughters are a wonderful testament to the hard work of mothers. I really feel blessed to call this woman "Mom".
...to my "other mother", Andrea, who is caring and loving even when she doesn't have to be, even when life's circumstances take a hard turn and it would be the easiest thing in the world to just forget about us and move on. She will always and forever be a part of our little family.
... to my amazing girlfriends, who are my companions, encouragers, and teachers, always right there with me as we raise our children together. I don't know what I would do without their empathy, love, example, and our girly nights out together! These women have shown me so much about motherhood. They keep me sane.
...to my sister (in-law, technically, but whatever, we're sisters :)) Jessica. It was her very first mother's day, and being able to celebrate it with her after all these years made the day even more special and sweet. Being mommies together is a dream come true, and watching her grow into this role of motherhood that was more or less thrust upon her as she was given two children is nothing short of amazing and inspiring.
... to all of you mommies out there! Reading the blogs of my mommy friends, even if I know you only through this online world, really is a source of inspiration. Empathy, encouragement, and a good example is a precious blessing, even if it comes in the form of typed words and pictures.
And to all those who are cherishing the dream of someday becoming a mom, even if it is years down the road, I hope and pray you do become a mother. I hope you can know this thing called motherhood. I can't express it, truly. It is impossible to sum up all the struggles and challenges and frustrations, how overwhelming it is sometimes, how emotional and exhausting the journey can be. But it is even harder to tell you of the innumerable blessings, of the incomparable joy and happiness that children bring. There is no way to describe how your mother-heart will wrap itself around your little ones and love them fiercely as no other can. I can't tell you how it feels to watch your children grow and learn, to see more of their personality every day and realize they are a part of YOU. Nothing else in this world is like motherhood... and I could not be more thankful for the two little girls God gave to me, these daughters who call me "Mommy" everyday.
Why I didn't write this yesterday: church, a 3-hour long nap, lovely time spent with mother-in-law and Jessica, and these two darlings!