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Mother’s Day is here! This is a holiday I just didn’t fully appreciate until I became a mom myself. There  were many years I even forgot it all together- my poor mom!! 🙁  Now I look forward to a day of being rewarded for all the things I never knew motherhood entailed: I was prepared for pregnancy, child birth, nursing, cuddling, playing and teaching and birthday party planning. I looked forward to snowman building and lightning bug chasing (and eager to have a small person to join me so I didn’t look totally crazy doing this in our yard alone!) I was not prepared to never be able to go to the bathroom alone again, to worry irrationally over everything from crib bumpers to preschool academia, or to count the hours until  the tiny screaming person clinging to my legs while I cook dinner would go to bed.


For all of these things, and much more, we really need to hug the Moms in our life! I know I would not be who I am today without my mom- she is the one instilled in me self-confidence, optimism, and my sense that all can and  will be right in the world- and these are amazing gifts to be given. And if I ever begin to waver in any of these- she gives them to me again!

My mom working on my wedding dress

My mom working on my wedding dress

My Mom (and Dad!) at my wedding

My Mom (and Dad!) at my wedding

I was going to write of some favorite memories of my mom from when I was little- of which there are so many- reading to me each night until I fell asleep, planning and making by hand all of my Halloween costumes, prom dresses and wedding dress, always being at every school event ever, helping out my friends and understanding them when other adults wouldn’t- I could go on and on! But right now my favorite memory of my mom is one that just happened yesterday. She had come for a visit and we were all sitting at the table playing Dr Suess’s ABC game. Aidan picked a card with a turtle tree on it, and he, Aaron & I all began chanting “turtle Tree! turtle TREE!” from a a favorite video of ours. My mom, who had no idea where this chant was coming from or why, nonetheless threw her arms in the air and enthusiastically joined in chanting with us! And this is what she did for me my whole childhood- she may not have known what I was doing or why,  but she’d  enthusiastically join in, supporting me and cheering me on.

My mom, Grandmere to Aleia

My mom, Grandmere to Aleia

Which brings us to our Inner Beauty Contest winner! And although being a mom was not a requirement for winning, she too is a mom who is also an enthusiastic cheerleader for her children – and I am sure there are days when, like all moms,  she could use a cheerleader herself.  Our winning nomination was sent in by Ruthann of Telford, Pa, and here is her letter:

I nominate Teresa Godshall.  When I thought about a deserving person who shines even through the difficult times, I thought of Teresa.  She is bright and cheerful with a positive attitude.  She’s very generous and very excited about life.  She is a person who is a pleasure to be around and is an inspiration to me.
Teresa is married to my nephew, Michael.  They are the parents of 4 children.
Mike & Teresa’s first child, Skyler Chase, was born with hydrocephalus and cerebral palsy.  Skyler is confined to a wheel chair and celebrated his 13th birthday just a few days ago.   He rides the bus to public elementary school where the kids enjoy pushing him around in his wheelchair.  Mike & Teresa were blessed to be able to purchase a ranch home that was already handicapped accessible.  The wider doorways, shower and sidewalks through the back lawn easily accommodate Skyler’s wheelchair.  He loves to go to Costco, Wal Mart & the mall, likes pizza and usually asks to go to McDonald’s after church on Sundays.
Their second child, a daughter, Emma Kate is 8 years old and doing very well in second grade.  She helps around the house where she can.
Their son, Aidan Michael is 6 years old.  Aidan was born with microcephaly, which is the opposite of his older brother.  He is a very active boy who attends pre-school.  He has a neurological developmental disorder and receives early intervention services.  He is in need of a special school that will best fit him.
Most people would say that it would be enough to deal with having 2 children with special needs, but nothing seems to stop this couple from doing what they really want to do.
Mike & Teresa’s circle was not yet complete.  They wanted to adopt a little girl from China.  Not just any little girl, but one that had a special need of her own.  Miah Sheng Ling was almost 2 years old when Mike & Teresa spent 3 weeks in China to finalize her adoption.  Miah was born with a cleft lip and palate and will need several surgeries to correct.
Mike & Teresa are not complainers, but rather just the opposite.  Michael is the strong, silent type of father who has really stepped up to the plate. He is known to have taken the 2 boys on trips to the mountains just to have
time with his sons and to give Teresa a break.   He is a take charge kind of guy who works hard to do his part to take care of and provide for his family.
Michael & Teresa could really benefit from professional portraits because it is a cost they probably could not afford right now.  With constant medical expenses for the children and the recent purchase of a handicapped accessible van there are always necessities crying for first place.
Teresa is one special mother who loves her special family and it shows.

Congratulations to Teresa Godshall of Harleysville PA!! She is the winner of a free in home portrait session, including prints and products, worth $500.  We will be meeting with her and her family soon to plan their session,  and I will be sure to update you all on how it goes! Happy Mother’s Day Teresa- we are so happy to be able to award this to you, and to let you know that you are a beautiful person inside, an inspiration to those around you, and that you really are appreciated for all you do!

And congratulations to Ruthann, who wins a free portrait session herself for sending in the winning nomination!

How about if we all show the moms in our lives that we appreciate them? Not just our own moms, but all the moms who have helped shape us or added to our lives.  I know that without his mom, I would not have the most amazing and wonderful husband, for whom I am so grateful.

Aaron's mom, Bubbie to Aidan

Aaron's mom, Bubbie to Aidan

Bubbie with Aleia

Bubbie with Aleia

I hope you all have a wonderful day- and may you all feel appreciated,loved and blessed by the families you have!


I myself am hoping for a day of breakfast in bed, carefully traced tiny hand prints in homemade cards, and flowers picked lovingly from my garden…


  • Ann-Marie Jordan

    May 10, 2009., 9:12 AM /

    Auhhhh...Arron and Cheryl...What a beautiful picture of the winning Mothers Day contest!This is great that you and Cheryl had done this!The winner is much deserved!Thank you so much for sharing this with me!Sincerely, Ann-Marie Jordan

  • Pam Corson

    May 10, 2009., 4:39 PM /

    Hi Cheryl and Aaron, What a special day indeed. As we walked out the door or passed a neighbor today, each of them stopped and said "Happy Mother's Day" wonderful. Your story and contest remind each of us that we have so much to be grateful for everyday! We are so truly blessed. Thanks, and hope your Mother's Day was simply splendid! Pam

  • veronica lee

    May 14, 2009., 4:59 PM /

    Hi, I'm visiting from MBC. Great blog.

  • Vhiel

    May 20, 2009., 1:20 AM /

    Visiting you from MBC's 100 followers... can't find your follower widget though.And also, I would like to invite you to join the newest community online called "Living in Style". To find out more about us, you can go to Living in Style.Hope to see you there!

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