First off, a huge thank you to everyone who nominated one (or more) of the amazing mamas in their life for the Moms Win Big giveaway! We were truly touched and inspired by your nominations and wish that we could award each of you this awesome self-care bundle. You are all truly worthy, and we hope you know just how much you are loved and appreciated by those around you.
We will draw our lucky winner tomorrow afternoon, so be sure to check back! Also, if someone you know is on this list, be sure to let them know! Our winner will receive all of the amazing items listed at the bottom of the post.
Here are our top 10 finalists (if you know them, be sure to share with them that they are in our top 10!):
1. Jane Graves—nominated by Linda Jalenak
:: I would like to nominate Jane Roesner Graves for this prize. She has given so much of herself to her family, her job and her community over the years, that I fear she has forgotten to keep some love for herself. She is a beautiful woman, inside and out, and needs to know how many people love and respect her. And hopefully, find some self love to make that beauty shine from within.
2. Nancy Wright—nominated by her daughters and several of their friends
:: Nancy Wright is my mother, aka the most inspiring person I know. She is so sweet, compassionate, beautiful inside and out, and always thinking of others. She's such a strong woman and does so much for me and my all of my friends —or even anyone she meets. I could go on and on about her, everyone loves her, even my friends sent in submissions for her! She's so selfless and I see her helping everyone at all times and always smiling while doing it. We have our own salon that she owns and works at all on her own and keeps running for even 13 hours a day with clients sometimes and then still has to clean and get ready for the next day. Everyday she does all she can for her clients and our whole family, including taking care of our new puppy who tries to get into everything. She always tries to include everyone in everything and make everyone else as happy as can be. The love for her mother is even more powerful. She calls her and talks for at least an hour or so everyday and she tries to have us all drive a few hours to visit every other weekend or so. My sister and I (and even my dad) are such a handful too but she always puts up with us anyways and we're so grateful for that. She works so so hard for me and I like to help her when I can but I know it's far more scarce than it should be so I hope she wins this so she can have some time to relax and focus on her. Not to mention I'd say she raised a pretty great daughter (me) and another one (lol Brooke) who was a bit more of a mess. She does so much and I have no idea how she juggles it all but I hope to grow up and be like her. I'm so thankful that she always will help me be the best I can be in everything and always be my support from sports to school to bowling to even now modeling! She's always so supportive and goes 24/7 even with pretty bad scoliosis, so I know she is usually in a lot of pain. Not only does she go to most every event for me, my sister, and my father, she also goes to my friends events and her clients to support everyone! I love her so much but I know she loves me way more than I will ever know, and I know that makes me very special and even though she might feel under appreciated at times, I do really care for her and hope her the best everyday. She deserves to take time for herself but goes almost non-stop for everyone else, which we all are so blessed to have. Her friendly face gets recognized in our parish, around town, really anywhere because so many people love her and her bright, happy, energetic vibes. I like to buy her flowers a lot because they make her really happy and I love to see her happy, it's one of the best feelings in the world. Even as a kid I would make (kinda bad) drawings and she'd always be so thankful. I know I can always go to her with anything and she'll be there for me and I'm so lucky to have that and have such a great relationship with her. Having such a strong independent woman role model like her is truly one of the best things to happen to me. It means a lot to me that she is able to teach me new things everyday solely throughout her actions and words even if she doesn't mean to, like giving a homeless person downtown our leftovers. I can't tell you how many times we've driven around looking for homeless people to give our food to. She honestly is just the best, I don't know how much more I can say, I could go on forever but there are not enough words to describe how amazing she is. If she ends up winning this, that would be so fantastic because she's been through so much lately and definitely, hands down deserves this considering she will always drop anything for me, it'd be really nice for her. Shout out to my rockin' momma!! Love that gal :)
:: She's really nice and caring and gave birth to me.
:: She's my friend's mom and is really nice to me when I come over and seems to care a lot about everyone she meets.
:: She's a phenomenal hair dresser!!!
3. Becki Polen—nominated by Greer Lawson
:: Honestly, Becki is a badass. She has three little girls, ages 5 (twins) and a one-year-old. She is also the step-mom to a 10-year-old daughter and has navigated the waters of co-parenting with the mom of the 10-year-old with an open heart, mind and the ability to become another positive person in the little girl's life.
Despite her hard work and dedication to her family, she is now a single mom trying to not lose herself in the pressures of life. She is also trying to figure out how to work full-time after being a stay-at-home parent for five years. If you were her friend on social media, you would know she just needs to write a blog because she is funny as hell!
Becki honestly deserves to be pampered. She deserves to feel loved and to reconnect with loving herself. Her beauty radiates from the inside out. She is smart, HILARIOUS, and dedicated as a mother and friend. She is awesome because of her lack of filter. I can't say enough how awesome she is.
4. Ruthann Reigle—nominated by Shari Anderson
:: I know so many AMAZING women, but I have to nominate Ruthann Reigle as Mom Phenomenal! She cares not only about her own two awesome children, including FSHS senior Erin and little brother Liam (and including Mulligan her cat), but about our community—raising awareness about campus carry in our local schools and hospitals; our country—joining the Women's March in DC; our world and environment—going to Earth Day today with a local Girl Scout troop! No one deserves some mom love and pampering more than this gal.
5. Elizabeth Gaona—nominated by her sister, Rebekah Tate
:: There are many things that make my sister a wonderful mom. We were put into foster care at a very young age. We didn't have parents, even though she is only three years older, she did everything she could to fill the space. She did everything from potty training to being there for my high school graduation and move in day for college.
She supports me no matter what I chose and helps me along the way. I don't really know where I would have ended up without her. She is my rock and the best mom a sister could ever be.
6. Jackie Bird—nominated by her husband, Kevin Bird
:: Hello my name is Kevin Bird and I am nominating my wife Jackie Bird! She deserves this because she is the most wonderful, kind, creative, loving, gentle, hard working mom and that’s just few things! Being a great mom is not an easy task … I wonder how I got so lucky to have this woman in my life! I know there are a lot of moms out there that deserve a package like this but to put some shine on her, she really is a great person/mom! She has a huge heart & goes out of her way to help others. She is busy, BUSY taking care of the house, our sweet daughter, me, her family & all the while still working to build her own business. She so needs this break to take time for herself! I tell her all the time to take a sec , she deserves it! But it’s like it’s not in her DNA (to take a little R&R). I could go on an on about how wonderful she is and I’m sure you’ll hear a lot of wonderful stories about all kinds of moms but if you select Jackie you will get to see & meet first hand the wonderful woman she is! She brightens our lives and the people around her! I love everything about her & she really deserves a day like this! Thank you & I hope this Mothers Day is special for all!
7. Lara Komosa—nominated by her husband, Mike Komosa
:: Disclosure: I have the reading and grammar level of a 4th grader. My wife usually does my edits, but since this is about her, I’m left with the blue and red squiggly lines in MS Word.
In the spirit of Mother’s Day, I wanted to share with the #momswinbiglawrence giveaway. While I don’t typically make my posts available to the general public, this is something I’m very willing to share. Thank you to the sponsors (Tallgrass Bodywork Studio, SkinCare Jay Pryor Coaching @tcistudio @courtneyqrthair @jandscoffee @merchantsonmass @citywinemarket @shopkbandco) for this platform to celebrate the women who act and/or hold the job title of “mother.” It’s hard to put into words about how I truly feel about my wife, the mother of my children, but here goes nothing.
You have been a mother for 5+ years’ now to our two beautiful boys. The unexpected moment that the pregnancy test read positive, you took a step back as it wasn’t about you anymore. It was about being a mother.
A mother that protects and provides.
A mother that provides warmth and patience.
A mother that is gentle but fair.
A mother that instantly forgives and always forgets.
A mother that delivers a moment of compassion when all else seems to be gone.
A mother that puts her children first (and husband) and herself last.
A mother that is concerned about the happiness of others more than her own.
A mother that provides empathy in apathetic times.
A mother that doesn’t give up.
You are the one who drops off and picks up, the one who cooks, the one who cleans, the one who schedules and organizes events, the one who “out-moms” anyone who tries to bring treats to school.
I understand why you are an amazing mom, it’s because you have the ability to love whole heartedly without expecting anything in return. What I don’t understand, is the “how.” How do you do it? How are you able to do it? That I will never truly understand. What separates you not only from other moms, but other people, is your purpose. Your purpose is clear and deliberate. You are able to focus on your purpose and not let the details of life get in the way. You accomplish your purpose hundreds of times a day. Your purpose is love.
I am honored and privileged to have you as my wife and as the mother of my children. I wish I could explain the feeling of looking at you every night and knowing that I did one thing right in my life. That one thing was to choose to spend the rest of my life with you and trying to replicate your purpose to our children. Love, Mike
8. Melissa Volk—nominated by Sara Volweider
:: I have known Melissa since college and I got to know her well as we lived in the same on campus apartment. She's always been a positive spirit and has a way of bring energy and brightness into any room! I still remember when she called to tell me she was pregnant with her daughter Lauren. Melissa was just beginning her Chiropractic doctorate program and I remember thinking "how will she ever juggle being a full time student and a single mother??" But wow, did she find a way. Melissa did exceedingly well in school and even started her own practice her first year out of school. Fulfilling her education and career goals have been very important to her. However, it has always been clear to see that there is one role in which Melissa values beyond all the other roles and that is her role as a mother. I have had the delight to live in Lawrence at the same time as Melissa and it has been amazing to see her grow and develop in motherhood. I love watching her and her 3 and half year old daughter, Lauren, interact because you can see such connection and love. I've been so impressed with their relationship and Melissa's attention, care and support she provides Lauren. You can tell they both light up the life of each other! Lauren is such a delightful kid and no wonder with a mother as incredible as Melissa. So why does Melissa deserve this award? Because she is one of the most caring people I have ever met and one can observe by the way she lives her life that she wants to help and support people. When thinking about Melissa a quote from Nancy Spain comes into my mind: "There are people whom one loves and appreciates immediately and forever. Even to know they are alive in the world is quite enough." What a lucky person I am to have Melissa as a friend and what a lucky girl Lauren is to have Melissa as a mother!
9. Debbie Haley—nominated by her daughter, Rachel Haley
:: Being a mother of identical twins at age 40 was nothing short of a miracle for our mother, especially when told of the obstacles that she may face in light of having children late in life. Nonetheless, her self-assurance carried her forward without fear of the future – she still holds true that having twins was the greatest blessing she has ever received. She has embraced the many challenges that life as thrown her in between and found joy in the little things. She has sacrificed much in her own life to ensure that my sister and I have every opportunity to enhance and better our own lives – demonstrating to us both the true definition of selflessness. No one will ever admire our mother more than my sister and I, and we both believe that she is well deserving of much appreciation. I hope our nomination of Debbie Haley will be worthy enough of her great acts as our fiercest supporter, loudest advocate, and above all, our fearless mother!
10. Teri Davenport—nominated by her daughter, Keri Rodriguez
:: I'd love to nominate my mom, Teri Davenport for the #momswinbiglawrence contest. She's always been a constant in my life and I never have to doubt whether or not she'll have my back. Over the past few months, I've watched her tirelessly take care of my dad, who had COPD, never hesitating to put his needs before her own. In March, when he lost his battle, she embarked on a journey to re-establish herself as a singular unit. I must say, she's making the transition beautifully! She's taking care of business as well as allowing herself time to grieve and even being open to new possibilities for the future. I'm incredibly proud of her and even if she's not selected for the prize, I want everyone to know how much I love and admire her.
One winner will receive:
—A custom Epiphany photo session from The Crystal Image, along with hair and makeup styling provided by Courtney Quirarte at Salon Pearl, and three luxury art prints (a $655 value)
—A one-hour massage courtesy of Stephanie Stuhlsatz at Tallgrass Bodywork Studio (a $65 value)
—A facial courtesy of Emily Hamilton with Skincare by Jennie (a $70 value)
—A $20 gift card and coffee mug from J&S Coffee
—A $30 gift card from Merchant’s Pub & Plate
—A bottle of rose courtesy of City Wine Market
—$100 gift certificate from KB&Co
—A seat at a Lean Inside women’s life-changing seminar from Jay Pryor Coaching —plus a copy of Jay's book “Lean Inside: Seven Steps to Personal Power” (a $278 value)
In all, more than $1200 in prizes! We can't wait to announce our lucky winner on Monday, May 15th! Be sure to check the blog tomorrow!