I know I'm a day late, but I've been pondering on some things this last week:
I love this photo. It is a sweet reminder of two of the biggest blessings in my life.
The first, on the right, is my angel mother. Words can't describe or express the love I have for her and the depth of my gratitude for all she has done for me. She gave me roots in the soil of the gospel and taught me to stand firm and steadfast in what I know is right. She then set me free with wings to fly and experience life, always there when I needed support and help - because who doesn't always need their mother??? There are few conversations I've had with her in my lifetime when she has not in some way likened the scriptures, teachings of the prophets and values & virtues that we hold dear to our lives. How thankful I am for her example of striving to apply those sacred truths to our daily experiences. She is loving and kind, but not afraid to stand up for what is right and good. My children recognize that in her and there are few days that Caroline doesn't mention in some way how much she loves and misses her "Mona". She finds such joy in motherhood, and I remember her once talking about a woman from church who referred to her kids as "little monsters". My sweet mom replied that hers were always jewels. That has always stuck with me. Recently I read this quote by Gordon B. Hinckley, former president of our church:
"How much more beautiful would the world and the society in which we live if... every mother regarded her children as the jewels of her life, as gifts from the God of heaven, who is their Eternal Father, and brought them up with true affection in the widsdom and admonition of the Lord."
It brought tears to my eyes as I read it, because it described my mother so completely and perfectly. Mom, I love you so much!
The second, on the left, is my dear Mother-in-Law. What an amazing lady! Without her, I wouldn't have the incredible husband I do. Not only did she bring him into this world (2 days before Mother's Day, no less! What a gift for her!!!) I believe much is owed to her for Jake's thoughtfulness, consideration, love and respect for me and our children. I count myself incredibly blessed to live near her and get to see her on almost a daily basis. She is such an example to me of selfless service and love. Sundays, she sits with me and the children and is a support to us as Jake sits on the stand to fulfill his calling as a leader in our church. On so many occasions, she has come to my house for dinner and gone out of her way to help me wash dishes and tidy up. She offers to watch the kids so Jake and I can have much needed date nights. They love her and Caroline often gets upset when she doesn't get to spend as much time with Grandma as she'd like (usually when it's been a nice, lengthy visit already and one of them needs to go home!) She reminded me this year that the word "Mom" when turned upside down, spells "Wow". You've been a wonderful mother to me as well and I am proud to call you "Mom", too! I love you so much!
Without Jake and these two (almost 3!) sweet angels, I wouldn't be a mother. Jake served me breakfast in bed the first Mother's Day after we were married, before any of our children were even twinkles in our eyes, and has honored me in some sweet way each year since. But honestly, with all he does to help and support me, each day is like Mother's Day! And despite daily messes, tantrums and challenges that come with small children, I wouldn't trade being a mom and staying at home with our precious Caroline & Clayton for anything in the world. The little things bring me so much happiness - watching them master a new skill or learn a new word (Caroline picked up a small object today and without being prompted, correctly said "Mom, look at this cube!) feeling chubby hands around the back of my neck in a sweet, sticky hug, being the recipient of countless dandelion bouquets and feeling the gentle (okay, sometimes not so much) nudges of new life in my belly. How grateful I am for a loving Heavenly Father who has entrusted us as women with the divine role of mothers. I pray I can be the kind of mother he would have me be and the kind of mother both my mother & mother-in-law have been inspiring examples of.