Well here we are, approaching the end of another year and gee whiz it’s been wild! I don’t know about you, but 2015 has been packed full of adventure, growth, dreams taking shape, and incredible progress in my personal life, and FUN. Insane, but fun.
Some of the most fun I’ve had this year (and last!), was the Celebrating M.O.M. event we had here on the blog! Seriously, this went far beyond what I ever expected it would or could be, and proved to be one of the funnest events I’ve ever planned or hosted.
Since we began, we have featured 11 Moms including myself, and brought you a bit of their lives and mine, to be celebrated through a series of photos and objects that represent each one of us. It has been 16 months of pure bliss and so much beauty and creativity, and now that it’s over, I thought it would be fun to do a bit of a recap.
First there was me, and a little dream I had. I was six months into the journey with my second born, my son Emerson, and basically he cried a lot and most days I felt like an exhausted mush pot of emotions and jiggly thighs. But I was determined to celebrate every moment of his babyhood, so one day I asked my friend, Thalyta to come take some pictures of my mess.
As soon as I said it, I realized what was in my hand. A breast pump. It was such a source of frustration and yet it was mine and my baby’s lifeline. I realized then that nothing was as precious as this time that I have, right now. And even that would pass way too quickly. So my husband sent me to get pampered for a day, and get my hair done, and it felt so lovely and SO GOOD, that I decided right then that every single mother that I knew needed to have that kind of experience. I posed in front of the camera with various objects that represented the phases of motherhood I had just come through and it was such a life-changing and rich experience, I knew this was a gift I wanted to give to all of my mommy friends. And so began a dream. What if I could give this to all my friends and make them feel as I did-truly appreciated and celebrated, in the middle of the mess and the “Moments of Motherhood” (M.O.M)?
My friend Thalyta immediately came on board with the idea, and a few weeks later I invited a bunch of women to a photo shoot, where me and a team of friends pampered and massaged them, curled their hair and spritzed their faces with homemade “glow” spray and then we took their pictures.
(photos above by Emily of Sweet Justice Photography. Thank you, Emily!)
The MOM’s all came away transformed, and expressing such deep gratitude, that I knew it was the start of something truly rich and amazing, and something I wanted to continue. And so it did.
(photo by Emily of Sweet Justice Photography)
A few months later, we invited more women to another photo shoot event, and I was ecstatic to see once again, my dream coming to life, and to see all the love and care that was poured into these women, my dear friends and fellow mommies.
(photo by Emily of Sweet Justice Photography)
It was truly a team effort and a labor of love from everyone who helped, including my husband, who did so much behind the scenes to make these events happen. Major major gratitude to you Babe, and all who brought this vision to life!
The vision was to celebrate moms in all those fleeting stages of baby birthing and raising, to show us how rich and meaningful our life really is. To stop in the middle of our mundane “moments of motherhood,” and to say “hey, you are beautiful. You are valued. You are appreciated.”
That’s what this was about. And that’s what we did.
Some were still heavy into breastfeeding and baby wearing, and others were headlong into the trenches of toddlerhood, still others were in the throes of preschool and backpacks and dropping kids off at school. But each one brought their smiles and their gifts with them…and I wrote their stories. One by one, I looked at their pictures and prayed over them. One by one I remembered their words and their objects and thanked God that I had such an amazing team of women and mothers in my life. I truly loved each story, and according to you, you all did too!
There was Ashleigh, The Beautiful Balancer. And oh man, what a ball of fire and beauty she is! Such an honest soul and an inspiration to many!
And then there was Charissa, the hope-filled wonder of a woman who never ceases to give her gifts-those of prayer and healing and speaking fulfilled promises-to everyone she meets. What a woman!
And of course, Ani, the Sunny Believer. The one who always believes, and always looks for the good, whether it’s a massive miracle or just those tiny “I love you’s” from God. She lives her life aware of the miracles that happen daily in her life and others, and we love her for it!
Then there was Jennifer, the Preservering Flower, and what a gem she is! She is not afraid of the desert or the difficult places in her life, and she just keeps right on shining, even when life gets hard. I’m definitely not the only one that appreciates this beauty!
And how could we forget Sarah, the radiant caregiver?? Graceful, devoted and with a deep, deep love and concern for the world, she gives of herself effortlessly and without expecting in return. I am so richly blessed to be in her circle!
Things got spicy and fun with Hannah, the gorgeous mother-child who lives with abandon and all out passion in raising her babies, loving her husband, and being a loyal friend to many! I know I can always count on her and I am forever in awe of her determination and grit.
We definitely weren’t going to leave out Valerie, the gentle warrior woman who has transformed my life with her strength and zeal and vulnerability, and with the courage she constantly speaks to me and everyone around her. She brings a serious dose of light and hope to the world!
We couldn’t leave out tough chick, Crystal, who rocks the cowboy boots as well as the flip flops, and isn’t afraid to get a little dirty! You guys loved her adventurous spirit, and so do I!
And oh boy did we ever love Rebecca, that beautiful woman with a heart of gold and creativity to span the seasons and the years that we’ve known each other! What a gem! So glad she’s back in my life!
And last but definitely NOT LEAST, there was my sister Christina, who’s been rocking my world since we were childhood trouble makers, and I’m proud to say she is still one of my very best friends. Beautiful, devoted, and patient like no other, she is a friend to many and one of the most courageous women I know. To say I’m proud of her would be a massive understatement.
And there you have it! There’s a few of the women that make my life so fun and good and amazing!
I told you at the beginning I would bring you 12 women in 12 months. Well, we didn’t quite make that (a few women were not able to make it at the last minute-we love you, Lisa and Brooke!) but we DID however, bring you 11 women in 16 months! And what a joy it’s been! What an incredible journey to bring you ALL of these women, and let you see a little bit of the light I see in them.
I hope to bring you some more in the future, but until then, I wish you all the most amazing “moments of motherhood,” and a happy, happy holiday!
Note: Unless otherwise noted, all photography credits belong to Thalyta of Thalyta Swanson Photography. Please do not copy, alter, or share them without permission or without this article in its entirety. Thank you!