Happy Mother’s Day everyone! If you are a mom, I hope you are feeling appreciated today! If you have a mom–hug her! 🙂
Before we announce the winner of the contest, we want to wish a very Happy FIRST Mother’s Day to some special people in our lives. Joey, whom you may remember from our last maternity session- or by the fact that she and Lance were our Coolest Couple ever, just become a Mommy this week! Romeo arrived on Tuesday- all 8 lbs 14 oz’s of him- and tiny Joey birthed him completely drug free! Way to go!
And our very good friend Aviva, with little Lilah -my kids’ favorite little live doll- has been a Mommy for only 3 months now! Welcome both of you to the club! You now have a whole new holiday to partake in! Yay!!
And now onto what you have been waiting for: The Inner Beauty Contest! We had such a very hard time narrowing down the winners this year! Wow- there really must be a LOT of wonderful people filled with inner beauty in our area. As a matter of fact, we had such a difficult time that we had to call it a tie between the two top nominees. We had beautifully written letters from husbands about their wives : " I could go on and on about Jane. The amazing thing about her is that her inner beauty is always there, ready to shine at a moment’s notice. I am a lucky man to be with such a woman for most of my life. Thank you for the opportunity to share a little about my wife." and from another husband : "…
I hope that people can see what I’ve always seen, a person who appreciates people for who they are and truly enjoys their company, regardless of their station in life. I’ve always thought that she deserves to be fussed over and treated like the special person she is, and I hope that you will think so, too." What caring husbands! I hope I can find a way to share these heartfelt letters with the women they are written about!
And, if sheer number of nominations were a deciding factor, Susie Beiler would be the clear cut winner! She was nominated by THREE separate people!
And then this letter came, from our youngest entry:
Dear Mr. Mitchell, (editor’s note-our studio name confuses many! Mitchell is actually Aaron’s middle name)
My best friend Katie Nappi, to me and every person who has ever met her, represents inner beauty. She does because she a kind and sweet-hearted young lady who is kind to every person, animal, and thing she meets. She cares about others, and the environment, but I don’t think she loves herself. This is why Katie deserves a photo shoot. She needs to attain a higher self esteem. Not only does she every day, but especially now when she is going through a very difficult time in her life… moving… to CALIFORNIA!!! This is a very hard thing to do, but especially in middle school. She will have to find new friends, and find her way in a whole new world. Katie is a person that you would love to know and that you are happy to be around. She goes to church, is in girl-scouts (where our troop is making a web site to inform people about the air, and air quality), loves making videos, hanging out with friends, playing field hockey, cheer-leading, and is just all around a great person. This is why my best friend Katie Nappi deserves a photo shoot. To strengthen her self esteem, and to build memories of her old home at community.
This got Aaron and I to thinking- we may need an adult AND a child winner! Yikes!
And now for the two winning adult entries; two women with different backgrounds, and different circumstances in life, both affecting the lives of those around them with their inner beauty:
Our first letter was sent in by Debbie Goetz:
I would like to nominate Ellen Lindeman.
Ellen is a close friend of mine. I met Ellen 6 years ago when my twins Rachel and Joshua were in kindergarten with her oldest child Taylor, at Warwick Elementary School in Jamison, PA. In October of that year, Ellen’s 33 year old husband and soul mate Ted was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. The doctors thought he could beat the cancer, but in December he took a turn for the worse and was hospitalized. It was discovered that the cancer had spread through his entire body. He never left the hospital and passed away on January 9th. In the days and weeks that followed, many of us who were parents of kindergarteners wondered what we could do to help Ellen and her children. Her son was 3 when his daddy died and Taylor was 5. We decided to bring the community together and hold a beef and beer at what was then the Bucks County Country Club to raise money to help Ellen and her family as they transitioned into life without Ted. The event raised about $10,000, which helped Ellen immensely as she settled the family’s financial affairs and waited for life insurance money to be released. Having only held a part time job prior to Ted’s passing, Ellen had to then go out and find full time work, all while she was reeling from the death of her husband and trying to help her children through their grief.
One year after the beef and beer, Ellen embraced the cause and formed the Ted Lindeman Outreach Foundation, a 501 C 3 non-profit that provides financial and emotional support to families in Bucks and Montgomery Counties that have lost a parent. More than a dozen families have been assisted by the foundation since its inception.
I am nominating Ellen because she is a loving and caring person who has taken a most tragic and unfortunate set of circumstances in her life and used them to try to better the lives of others.
Our next letter was submitted by Louisa Brandenburger:
I would like to nominate: Debra Lee
I think that Debra Lee is a beautiful woman, inside and out because – She was the 1st hispanic teacher at Roslyn School and when she came (about 10 years ago), unfortunately she was not welcomed with open arms, BUT has since become the MOST popular, loved, respected and requested teacher at Roslyn School. I have had the honor of her teaching 2 of my children. She teaches her students (an all students) how to be confident in themselves no matter their ability. She teaches respect, honesty, tolerance and acceptance of all people, no matter their color and/or race. She is the teacher representative for the Parent Teacher organization and is extremely involved in all aspects of the school! She is from New York and is an avid Yankee’s Fan…the grace in which she showed last year when the Yankee’s beat the Phillies was amazing. She grew up in the Bronx (practically across the street from the Yankee’s stadium), she never gloated that the Yankee’s beat the Phillies because she knew the kids were sad and disappointed. She even found herself wearing a Phillies jersey on Phillies Day at school. (And that never happens with Yankee’s fans!)
She bought her 1st home last year and chose to purchase it in the same neighborhood as the school so she could be part of the community in which she teaches. She looks forward (as do the kids) to Halloween night so she can give out candy to kids she knows. She goes above and beyond her “call of duty”, she is the teacher that you will see at EVERY child in her class’s 1st Holy Communion because it is important to the child so therefore it’s important to her. She makes sure that every child knows they are special in their own way and in her heart.
She’s a beautiful woman, inside and out and has given her all to make her students better people. She has overcome adversity to become a beloved teacher and friend to many.
So I think you can see why we had such a hard time!! I want to congratulate both Debra and Ellen on winning, and also Debbie and Louisa, who also win a session for nominating our winners!
And, of course, we need to reward Emily Adar for being such a devoted and caring friend- so we will be contacting her soon as well!
Thank you to everyone who sent us letters, and I hope that the people you nominated know how you feel about them.
And most importantly–Happy Mother’s Day to the two most important Moms in our lives- my mom and Aaron’s mom!
I am going to go enjoy my breakfast in bed now… 🙂
PS–and we also want to shout out Happy Birthday to my niece Terrina! Happy birthday Bookie! 🙂
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