I'm a Mother Lover!

How was everyone's Mothers Day?!  I hope it was exactly what you needed it to be, whether that is relaxing, adventurous, or somewhere in between!

I spent the majority of Mothers Day this past Sunday with my husband, daughter, and mom in Peoria, Illinois - which is about 1.5 hours from where we live.  Well, let me back up a bit... the first surprise of the day was Presley waking us up an hour earlier than she normally does - silly girl!  And then Tony made the most delicious breakfast tacos for us before we left for Peoria - Italian sausage, red bell pepper, hash browns, and scrambled eggs!!!  Then we played at home with Presley, my mom came over, and we hit the road.  My husband then surprised me by taking us to McAlister's Deli for lunch, which was one of our all-time favorite places to eat when we lived in Memphis.  Peoria is the closest location for us so in the past we've tripped to Peoria solely for McAlister's - sad but true!  I love my husband for doing that.  My mom was trying to guess all the way what Tony had planned for us and she had guessed we were going to the Peoria Zoo.  It's a beautiful zoo but we had been there a few times before so I didn't think Tony would be taking us there.  And I was right because he pulled up to a place I'd never seen before - Wildlife Prairie State Park!  Everything was BEAUTIFUL from the animals to the enclosures they were in, everything was just wonderful to look at!  One of our favorite things was that the animals are all native to the area and so their enclosures were very natural to the environment and looked incredibly low-maintenance.  We plan to go back sometime this summer or fall with our nice camera (versus the cameras on our phones) and with our jogging stroller (versus our umbrella stroller with crappy tires not made for walking trails).

Before we really started the day Sunday, I put together some pictures of some of the most important Mothers in our lives.  I didn't do a very good job at sending Mothers Days cards out this year to the moms in my life because at times I see cards as being frivolous - don't we all end up throwing them out after a while anyways?  To me, the most important part is the sentiments that are scrawled within the cards, not so much the cards themselves.  Well, unfortunately, we were so busy between visiting Peoria and a cookout back in the Quad Cities with family that I didn't really make the time to let those moms know I was thinking of them!  So here I am a day two days late to make up for it!

Here are our beautiful grandmothers - Sharon Catherine (my maternal grandmother), Evangeline Sue (Tony's maternal grandmother), Alma Lou (Tony's paternal grandmother), and Elinor Rose (my paternal grandmother).  We are so grateful to have 3 out of our 4 grandmothers still here with us and consider ourselves supremely blessed to have gotten to know each of them throughout our lives.  (Though, I really wish Presley had the opportunity to get to know her Great Grandmommy just as much as I wish I had gotten to know her.  That is her on the top right holding my husband, Tony, when he was a little guy!)  Our grandmothers brought some of the most important and influential people in our lives - our parents and our aunts and uncles!  And where on EARTH would we be without them?!  Not only that, but our grandmothers are responsible for turning our parents into the thoughtful, loving, and caring people we have known them to be today.  All 4 are known for being STRONG women who have taught us how important it is to set goals for ourselves and to ever stop achieving.  Not only that, but they've always loved us, given us some of the most fun memories, and they've occasionally spoiled us!  Thank you for the various legacies you've started for our families, we promise to continue and honor them.

Here is my lovely mother-in-law, Selena Jane.  I've gotten to know Selena over the last ten years or so and I don't think anything has bonded me to her quite as closely as giving birth to her granddaughter has.  Don't get me wrong, I've felt close to Selena for many years, but sharing the rights to Presley has really just taken our relationship together to a whole new level and I am lucky to consider my mother-in-law as one of my closest friends!  Not only did she raise my husband to be the man he is (and my hilarious brother-in-law!), but she has loved Tony's father all these years as well as overcome some great adversities - all which has been an example to those around her of what a courageous & dedicated woman she is to herself and to her family.  I look forward to the years in which we live closer, Selena!  For all girl slumber parties and going for pedicures with Presley, for family dinners with ALL of us together again, and making new family traditions and memories.  Thank you so much for making a space for me in your heart and your family - I promise to always do the very same for you!

And here is my mom, Julie Marie!  I'm lucky enough to just live about 4 miles down the road from her and know that if I ever need her help, then I can count on her to help me out.  Everyone has always told me I looked exactly like her and it's pretty cool to carry on the tradition and hearing how much my daughter looks like me!  I am so grateful for my mom being brave enough to face childbirth not once or twice, but three times over - not only giving life to me but to my two sisters as well.  And if anyone knows me, they know how much my sisters mean to me!  How can I ever repay the woman who not only brought me into this world but my two best friends as well?  I will always love my mom and will always support her because if it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be who I am today!  I couldn't imagine a better Mom and wouldn't ask for anyone but her.  I love you mom - Happy Mothers Day!  Thanks for taking care of me for all these years - changing countless poopy diapers, cleaning up the throw up, & giving us a house that was truly a home to us for so many years.  It's our 26th Mothers Day together... here's hoping we have many more together and lots of reasons to celebrate over our time together!!!

And a special Happy Mothers Day to all my blog friends - those who are trying to conceive, those who are expecting, those who celebrated with their kiddos, and everyone in between!  Happy Mothers Day to my sister, Amanda, and my cousin, Breanne, who celebrated their FIRST Mothers Day with their sweet babies this year.  Happy Mothers Day to my sweet friend, Ashley, who is celebrating her first pregnant Mothers Day and will soon have a beautiful boy to keep her busy!  Happy Mothers Day to our beautiful aunts - Jill, Donna, Kelly, Angie, & Carrie and also to Tony's beautiful step-Grandmother, Judy!  I hope you all had wonderful days and know that I was thinking of all of you this past Sunday!!!  Now everybody, take a moment and say a prayer of thanksgiving for your mother (and if you're not the praying type, find a way to show her how much she means to you and if she is no longer with you, find a way to honor all that she was to you in your daily life!) - no matter the relationship you have with your mother, she brought you into this world and for that we all have something to be thankful for!


  1. Beautiful sentiments, you are very blessed! Happy (belated) Mother's Day!


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