Holy buckets, you guys! We asked for stories about fabulous moms and, ohhh boy, did you ever deliver! We were overjoyed by the response we got for our fourth annual Nom the Mom contest (want to see the pics of some of our nominees? Go here!).
You know how Oscar nominees always say “It’s an honor just to be nominated!” Well, I think that that is particularly true in this contest. What mom wouldn’t want to hear how amazing she is??? So thank you to everyone who shared their lovely moms with us! I wish that we could have selected ALL of those that were nominated! But *sigh* it just isn’t possible.
So once again, I asked for a volunteer committee of five Linn Area employees to each separately review each entry and then submit their top 5 moms to me. I complied their votes and the top 3 moms emerged to become your finalists in the Nom the Mom contest!
Now YOU have the toughest job of them all – CHOOSING the deserving mom who will win the Elevate Salon & Spa Pampering Prize Package worth $250 (info on HOW to vote is right after the three stories).
The Mom: Laura
Nominated by: Jill & Christine (her daughters)
The Mom: Jennifer
Nominated by: Amanda (her stepdaughter)
Jennifer, often called J.J by those of us closest to her does everything at 150%. Whether it’s baking cookies, cleaning house, having dance parties in her garage, or fighting the tumor in her brain…she simply doesn’t hold anything back. J.J. came into my life about 17 years ago when I was about 13. My younger sister Ashley and I were unsure at first about Dad’s new girlfriend and eventually fiancé as we are fortunate enough to have an amazing Mother ourselves.
The whole “Step Mom” persona was showing its ugly face and we just weren’t so sure we needed another Mom. But as it turns out, we hit the jackpot in gaining another Mother figure, and better yet friend in Jennifer. I still am not fond of the term “Step Mom”. Maybe I watched Cinderella too many times as a child, but that label makes me cringe. There’s nothing “step” about her. J.J. to me, was that very important woman in my life who I could turn to…a friend.
But one that, on top of my Mom and Dad, played a hand in shaping who I am. After our Dad and J.J. were married they welcomed our youngest sister Olivia into the world. Jen and Olivia had an immediate and special kind of bond. I’ve watched her publicly make a fool out of herself to make her laugh, encouraged her to love the skin she’s in, and created some of the best Halloween costumes and decorations for their favorite Holiday. I could list a million things that are alike about them, or that they’ve done together, or stories about how Jen has gone above and beyond for her mini me. But that wouldn’t be enough.
It’s impossible almost to put into 500 words what makes someone a magnificent Mother. It’s something you’re born with. Something that is just in you. For me, especially in my adult life, she has been a friend, a shoulder to cry on, someone to celebrate with, and someone to turn to. J.J. listens and empathizes and immediately starts to problem solve.
This past August when Jennifer was diagnosed with Glioblastoma we were devastated. But oddly enough, it was HER spirit and HER strength that lifted us all up. Jennifer is superwoman. No REALLY…I think she has a superwoman costume under her clothes and at night when we all go to sleep she is out saving people and fixing things. Between radiation and chemo, she still manages to take care of the people around her. But cancer is just a detail in a very amazing life. Jennifer….J.J…..is just good. Her spirit and her heart are gifts that aren’t often seen. Olivia, Ashley and I are lucky. Everyone who knows her is lucky. #FaasStrong (Click here to vote for Jennifer now!)
The Mom: Rachel
Nominated by: Matthew (her husband)
My wife Rachel is the most amazing mother I know. When it comes to our two sons Joey and Charlie, she is the most selfless and caring parent a kid could ask for. She is always there for them, whether it is to praise and cheer their achievements, or to console and give advice when things don’t go as planned. She has an undying love and patience with our kids that is both amazing and inspiring all at the same time. In any instance, she has that perfect “mom hug” that makes things feel even better – or lets them know everything is going to be okay.
Always a teacher at heart, she is always showing them how to do things around the house. She does this obviously so they learn responsibility and self-dependence, but in turn it is also helping make them more confident about themselves and their abilities. She also encourages their creative sides, and lets them know it is okay to express who they are and how they feel. She also helps stir their imagination by doing arts and crafts, or by sharing her love for reading and encouraging them to get lost in a good book.
One of the most important lessons she is trying to teach them is that you have to work hard to get what you want in life, and you should never give up. They have not only heard how important it is to get a good education and to make the best of what you have, they have also seen it with their own eyes. Rachel has showed them this first hand herself by going back to college to earn her B.A. degree in teaching. When she graduates in May of this year, Joey and Charlie will have witnessed four years of her hard work, sacrifice, the sleepless nights, the up’s and down’s, and even some of the tears that go with being a full-time student. In the end, they will see the reward when she accepts the diploma she earned and (hopefully) gets a position she wants in her career field. To top off this entire achievement, she has done this while continuing to be a full-time Mom and wife as well. Given the craziness of our household, this has certainly not been a small task.
Our sons are incredibly proud of their Mom, and feel very lucky to have her in their lives. The guidance and inspiration Joey and Charlie receive from her is something I wish all kids could experience in their lives. I know when she becomes a teacher, her students will feel the same as Joey and Charlie – and be that much better for having her in their lives. So because of this, on behalf of Joey and Charlie: I would like to nominate their awesome Mom (and my wife) Rachel for this award. She is very deserving and it would be a wonderful way to thank her for all that she does. (Click here now to vote for Rachel!)
How to vote!
To vote, click here! Anyone at all can vote – whether you have Facebook or not (we made sure of it!). Only one vote per person! We will be watching IP addresses and reserve the right to remove any votes we believe are not in compliance with our rules, so please play fair!
The knock-your-socks-off mom that gets the most votes by midnight on May 9th will win a Pampering Prize Package worth $250! So please go vote and help one deserving mom have the best Mother’s Day ever!