Mommy Nominations~May 2010

Introducing our nominees for our 2010 Log Your Memory Mommy …

The winner will be announced on Mother’s Day, May 9, 2010

Connie Schraven, mother of one – nominated by Mara Wegner

Connie is my sister. She wasn’t sure if she’d ever have children as she’s had trouble. She went through two miscarriages before having my little nephew Xander – just over a month early. She was on bed-rest for the month before he arrived. He came out beautifully, but a few hours later they discovered he couldn’t breathe through his nose, so he could not eat.

My sister and the little guy have been through a lot. He spent a month in the Children’s Hospital, so after my sister healed enough to be released from the hospital – she was separated from him for nearly a week – she spent every day at his side. We were lucky enough there was a Ronald McDonald house across the street as the hospital is an hour-and-a-half away from where we live.

He will be three months May 3. He still sleeps best when he’s held. My sister is an amazing mommy making sure he’s fed in a special way and taking him to his follow up doctor visits. And she’s back to work full-time. I should also mention that while Xander is the only child she’s given birth to, she does have four step-children she is helping raise.

Jessica Montgomery, soon-to-be mother of one – nominated by Gail Montgomery

Jessica is my first daughter.  She is due today (April 28th) with her first baby.

Jessica is so excited for baby Aiden to arrive.  She has already cut out pictures from her baby shower on the gift bags to make a scrapbook for Aiden. She knows that I scrapbook and is asking for my help.  I think this basket of fantastic goodies would be just perfect to get her rolling.

Jessica is 19 and has gone through a lot in her young life.  For one, she is dealing with me, who has stage IV metastatic breast cancer.  She comes and visits me on a daily basis to make sure I am doing okay or if there is anything I need.  Here she is pregnant, legs swollen, miserable, excited, waiting – not patiently- for her new life to begin and she constantly is calling me to see how I am.  That young lady has a very big heart.  I know that baby Aiden will have the perfect mom!

Jessica is very well deserving of this prize.  She can’t wait to start her scrapbook.  Camera is at the ready as well as bags packed! Thank you for considering my daughter to win such a wonderful gift. Sincerely, Gail Montgomery (Proud as proud can be grandmom to be!)

Penny Sheppard, mother of four – nominated by Dorothy “Hyphen” Huffman-Parent

Penny is such a sweet person and an amazing mother.  I have been absolutely in awe of her.  She managed to combine working as a news anchor with raising her children.  She has always been willing to step back and re-evaluate her plans to best suit the needs of her and her entire family.

I’ve never met Penny in person, but she’s managed to let her friendship and spirit shine through via the internet and telephone.   We first “met” on a message board when we were planning our weddings.  Then, as we started having children, we made our way to different parenting boards and e-mail loops.  In 2002, my twin  daughters were born two months too soon, Penny was one of a number of friends from our message boards who donated money to buy me a breast pump so I could provide milk for my tiny babies. Now, those tiny preemies are just shy of 8 and are pen-pals with Penny’s two daughters (who are 8 and 5) via the internet – just like their moms.

When my youngest daughter was born last year (the first easy birth after two difficult surgical ones), Penny was one of the first I sent a picture (at 4 a.m.) and she immediately wrote back, “Weeping big fat happy tears!!!!  CONGRATULATIONS MOMMA! YOU DID IT!!!”   When her water broke with her youngest, she  sent me a text message to let me know.   When her daughter was born, I was just as ecstatic for her as she was for me.  She shares the most wonderful stories and pictures of her kids.  Her love for them absolutely shines through at all times.

Penny lost her mother years ago and I know Mother’s Day can be difficult for her.  She said once that she didn’t truly understand what she had lost when her mother passed away until she had her first child.   It was only then that she understood how much her mother must have loved her because she loved her children with such an intense love.  That understanding and that love is what makes Penny such a fabulous mother.

Penny has lamented to me that she doesn’t scrapbook, but her kids do and she wishes she did.   That’s one of the reasons I’m nominating her.  She has recently left the workforce and I believe that, combined with this fantastic prize pack, will be the kick in the pants she needs to start scrapping so she can preserve all those memories and amazing pictures for her children (and herself).

Penny is sweet.  Penny is smart.  Penny is funny.  Penny is gorgeous.  Penny is giving.  Penny is a fantastic friend and a fabulous mother.  For all of those reasons, I’m nominating her.

Cami Rimmasch, mother of four – nominated by Sam LeBaron

This mommy happens to be my only sister-in-law on my parents’ side and is one fantastic, crafty lady.  She’s only 26 and already has a  5-year-old brainiac son, almost 2-year-old twin ULTRA boys, and just gave birth to a beautiful, sweet baby girl, who’s going to have to be very tough to survive her brothers!

Cami LOVES scrapbooking and crafting and has been doing it since she was a teenager.  She shares her talents with those around her, including:  making my graduation announcements, bridal/baby shower invitations, my guest sign-in book for my wedding, and countless gifts for my mom so that she can showcase her grandchildren.  My brother is an RN at the local hospital and works up to 12-hour shifts, leaving Super Mama Cami at home to hold the fort (not to belittle my brother at all…he is a SUPER hard worker too).

She has recently taken up digital scrapbooking because her twins get into EVERYTHING (I mean everything, including the toilets!) and it’s less messy to keep it on the computer.  She deserves this gift because she is an excellent document-er, but is finding less and less time to do things that she loves because, let’s face it, being a mommy is a tough job!  If she were to win this prize, it would enable her to keep track of all the sweet things her baby girl does in her first year (because we all know it gets harder the more kids you have) and to preserve memories of her entire family for years to come!

Emilee Beck, mother of four – nominated by Kristin Call

Emilee’s been through the ringer this past year. On Halloween 2009, she had a 3-year-old, 2-year-old in a body cast because of a dislocated hip, and a fresh new set of twin boys. Emilee wasn’t able to pick up her 2-year-old for months, because of her pregnancy and then because of the c-section. Regardless, her home is always clean. She finds time to teach her oldest the alphabet, potty-train the 2-year-old, and spend time loving each of her boys. It shocks me every time I go over there how absolutely happy she is. She loves being a mommy and has their schedule down to an art [but still fully embraces the idea of letting them be kids. It’s inspiring.] She’s told numerous stories about how one kid is screaming from the bathroom to have someone come help her, the body-cast clad daughter needs to be moved somewhere because she lost her toy, both boys are screaming, both cell phones are in use and the home phone goes off, and they just laugh and laugh. This home is one I hope to pattern my own after one day: sweet chaos and loving parents. These lucky, lucky kids need to know the love and energy that went into their upbringing and what better way than to scrapbook it!

Heather Abernathy, mother of one nominated by Cathy Abernathy

I think that Heather should be a good winner for this due to the fact she is raising her son on her own with only little help. The dad says he wants nothing to do with him or her either. I think she should win this to make her feel good about herself, to boost her up. She is a great new mother in my eyes.

Steph Ulrich, mother of two & soon to be three – nominated by Amanda Krueger

Let me tell you about one very special mommy that I met online, in a digi-scrap forum and who quickly became one of my best friends. Over the past year or so we have grown very close and behave more like real friends than online ones.

Steph is a special mommy to a beautiful son, Brock (who will turn 3 this summer) and Baby #2 who is due in July. The last 9 months or so have been a true struggle for Steph and her husband, Tim. Steph had a devastating miscarriage in October. This hit her hard, and she was a different person for many months. Then, in early 2010 she found out she was pregnant, again. She was thrilled and terrified at the same time. As the days turned to weeks turned to months, the fear slowly vanished and was replaced with sheer joy.

Steph and Tim are happily married, but Tim’s career path puts a lot of extra stress and pressure on Steph. Tim is going to school to become a doctor and spends a lot of time working, studying and being on call. The unpredictability of Tim’s schedule, the active 3-year-old and the whole pregnancy thing have caused Steph’s life to become a lot crazier than normal.

Steph is truly a wonderful mother. She enjoys spending quality time with her son, and I know that she will do the same with Baby. With the stress of the past months and ongoing pressure of her husband’s crazy schedule, I think Steph would be a great selection for the Log Your Memory Special Mommy! I heart you Steph!

Sarah Lefotu, mother of two & soon-to-be three – nominated by Nicole Melson

My sister Sarah is a very special person. She is a current mommy of 2 boys and she is pregnant with baby #3. She also takes care of our 94-year-old Grandpa, who she gave the master bedroom to for his comfort, while she and her hubby share a much smaller bedroom. She is very selfless in many ways and her one true passion in life is scrapbooking. She takes little time for herself but she will schedule time to scrapbook so she can document and preserve family memories for her children and other family members.  Sarah really deserves to win – it would be nice to see her totally happy.  Our 70-year-old Dad just passed away in March 2010 and as the baby of our family, Sarah has taken it hard, very hard.  That is why I decided to nominate my little sister, to give her a beautiful gift that I know she will enjoy and cherish.  Please pick my sister Sarah, she is a wonderful Mommy, sister and friend.

Patricia Harden, mother of three – nominated by Dina Mustafaj

Trish has a wonderful sense of humor and a great imagination. She’s creative, caring and loving. Her older boys are such characters and her little girl looks like she’s going to give her older brothers a run for their money! She always makes time for others and she always puts a smile on my face – I just LOVE hearing about the antics her boys come up with. Most importantly, she’s an AMAZING mommy!

Stacy Molter, mother of two & soon to be three – nominated by Beth Harrington

Stacy is a digital scrapbook designer, Kalo Designs.  I have gotten to know her (through Twitter) over the past few months, and she is just the sweetest person.  She has helped me (a complete stranger she met on Twitter) to build my digi-scrap supply (by allowing me to join her creative team), and is helping me to get on my feet with designing.  Anytime I need to talk, she is there.  Anytime anyone needs anything, Stacy is there.  She has 2 children, her youngest is 4, and she is pregnant with her third.  I wish I lived near her so I could help her with simple things, like housecleaning and watching the kids so she could do something for herself.

Emmy Boesch, mother of six – nominated by LeeAndra Fouts

Emmy is my parenting Yoda. I’ve known her for several years and always admired her parenting skills and style, so when I found out I was pregnant with my first child this past year, I knew exactly who I was going to go to when my feet hurt, my head ached, and my hormones raged. I knew who I was going to turn to when my baby wouldn’t sleep, couldn’t sleep, or slept too much. I knew who was going to have the answer to breastfeeding vs. bottle, cloth diaper vs. disposable, family bed vs. crib. I knew she’ d know all the answers, and so far, she has.

How could someone with six kids, including 4-month-old twin girls, not have the answer to every parenting question imaginable?! If having to go through five labor and deliveries wasn’t enough to win her Mother of the Year, she also homeschools them, cooks them healthy and often organic meals that also work with one of her son’s many food allergies, keeps up with mountains of laundry and dirty dishes, and still finds time to scrapbook and preserve her family’s memories.

Those twin girls, actually, are what have made Emmy the most amazing mom I know. Emmy and her husband Scott thought they were done a couple years ago when they had their fourth son, and during every conversation we had on the subject, Emmy said she was perfectly okay being a mom of just boys. I knew that she was, but still, I couldn’t help but think she would be a great mom of a girl, too. When I found out I was having a daughter last April, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad when I told Emmy the news, thinking it was something she was never going to be able to experience for herself.

Oh, but God has such a great sense of humor. Just a couple months later, Emmy got a hold of me to tell me (a) she was pregnant (surprise!) and that (b) it was twins (surprise surprise!). As soon as she told me, I just knew that one of those babies had to be a girl. She laughed and said she was fully expecting two more boys. I wondered how she and Scott were coping with the news. As she always is, she was cool, calm, and collected as she explained they were going to have to get another vehicle, possibly move, etc., etc. to handle two more little ones, but it would all work out in the end and they were both excited to add to their family. I knew that if I were in her shoes, I would be terrified at the prospect of handling the logistics of six kids and twins, but not Emmy. It was only fitting, then, that she would find out during the big ultrasound that they were not just having one girl, but two!

As her pregnancy progressed and there were some medical issues to contend with, she continued all of her normal tasks with as little intervention as possible. Finally, when she was put on bed-rest the last few weeks of the pregnancy, she was still upbeat and excited to meet her new little ones as she continued to keep things organized and running from her bed. My only child was a few months old at this time, and I could barely keep the two of us dressed and fed some days; I could not fathom having another newborn plus four other kids to contend with on top of the one I already had!

If any mother deserves something special this year, it is my dear friend Emmy. She has been there for me through so much; I’d love to return the favor with recognition of her love of and dedication to her family as well as some great prizes that celebrate her love of scrapbooking and will give her a little extra boost to getting both baby books done by the end of the year.

Rebecca Murdock, soon-to-be mother of one – nominated by Michelle Jackson

This is my sister Becca’s first baby.  She has wanted to be a mommy ever since she was a little girl.  She didn’t meet her husband until she was older and so her desire for children couldn’t be fulfilled until much later in her life than she wanted.  Instead of letting this get her down, she filled her life with being a great aunt to all her nieces and nephews.  She truly loves each and every one of them (all 26) and they all adore her.  She has been a wonderful babysitter and great friend to each of them.

Not only is she a wonderful aunt, she’s also a great sister.  She has helped me so much with my three girls and around my house.  She thinks of others and gives help whenever it’s needed.  Right after my youngest was born, my husband had to leave town for work.  She came and stayed with me while he was gone to help me with whatever I needed.  She helped make that stressful time so much easier.

Now that she’s expecting her first baby, I am so excited for her to finally fulfill her wish of being a mom.  She will be a wonderful mom!  I hope that I can help her as much as she has helped me.  And I hope her first Mother’s Day will be a very special one.

Jennifer Shock, mother of one – nominated by Atom Shock

Jennifer is an extremely creative person. In addition to being a mom, she’s also studying art education. Her creativity shows in her art projects, her cooking, her taste in music and crafts. She’s makes all of our son Fletch’s food. She’s made many of his toys, including an authentic sock monkey. She’s sewn her own baby bag. Her daily project is “Fletch 365” in which she takes at least one picture of him each day of the first year of his life. She’s planning on making it into a collage. She’s also working on his baby book. She creates the pages herself using digital and store-bought scrapbooking supplies. She’s got more creativity in her thumb than I do in my entire body. She’s a wonderful, loving wife and mother. She goes out of her way to take care of “her boys”. I love her more than anything.

Leslie Graff, mother of three & soon-to-be four – nominated by Kohlee Barbeau

My friend Leslie is the greatest mom.  She is pregnant with her fourth child and hasn’t slowed down a bit.  She is so fun to be around and so great with her kids.  She always makes sure the kids have fun and does so much for them, from dance or sport classes to mommy/son camp-outs (at 6 months pregnant).  She is so creative and has such a great style.  She does the coolest scrapbook pages and makes her girls the most outrageous hair bows.  Leslie’s kids are great kids and so respectful and funny.  When Leslie lost her mom to a drunk driver in 2006, her whole life was changed forever.  Leslie is such a positive person and was able to take a horrible situation and turn it around as she became an advocate for Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and has raised money for the group by doing their annual walk in Sacramento with her husband and kids.  You could never ask for a better friend than Leslie.  She would do anything for you and has such a big heart.  She helped start the first animal rescue group in Kings County, saving so many dogs’ lives from the local animal shelter.  Her kind soul shines to all those who meet her.  Please consider Leslie for your contest.  She deserves to be recognized for what a wonderful strong beautiful woman she is.

Vanessa Gary, mother of four – nominated by Patty Anne Henderson

Vanessa is from Brazil, meeting her husband Josh through an exchange student program. He came home early and the rest is, as they say, history. Vanessa made the permanent move to the US and they now make their home in Florida. Vanessa & Gary now have four daughters – Alissa 6, Maya 4, and Bianca & Sophia, 3 weeks.

Vanessa has two successful design businesses – Unica Designs, a graphic design business, and she is half of the team of “ViVa Artistry,” a digital scrapbooking design team. It is through her ViVa Artistry that I have been so blessed to get to know Vanessa.

Vanessa is a woman of natural grace. She makes you so very comfortable with her easy manner and gentle ways. Vanessa & Gary and their two oldest daughters were your usual busy household. They both work, Vanessa from home. Their two girls kept them running with all the energy that comes from those early years.

This past year, they found out that they were going to have another… and later found out that it is going to be twins. Vanessa’s pregnancy was difficult from the start. She was extremely sick and continually had to fight losing weight rather than gaining it. She even spent several days in the hospital from dehydration which was causing her to have contractions – way too early in the pregnancy. Vanessa was sent home and put on strict bed rest – for the next seven weeks. Vanessa took it all in stride and with her usual grace, somehow trying to make everyone else feel better for the difficulties that she herself was going through. Gary had to take up the slack away from the house. Vanessa figured out how to keep an eye on her two daughters from her bed and she even managed to keep on designing.

On April 12, 2010, Vanessa gave birth to their two newest daughters who were both right at five pounds and healthy and oh so beautiful. If Vanessa were to tell this story to you, she wouldn’t use words like difficult or hard. It is simply what needed to be done for the well-being of her precious girls – all of them.

Vanessa likes to scrapbook and record the important things – not just the pretty things. She writes about equality, about where the members of the family come from, about her feelings for her family. Vanessa writes touching letters to each of her daughters through her journaling on her pages – words of love and wisdom that her children will be able to look to as they themselves grow into women.

Here is the journaling from a page that Vanessa created just a week before she gave birth to her twins:
The growth, the stretch marks, the “outie” instead of an “innie”, the aches, the constant change in moods, the pressure, the frequent visits to the restroom, the lack of visibility when I want to look at my own feet, the fears, the wait, the almost palpable change that happens every day, all of it is part of the new me. The me that I’ve become in order to carry these two lives. It’s also a part that will eventually change back, giving place to the old me, a little heavier and a little more tired perhaps, but the same old me. The movements, the feeling that I’m never alone, the joy of someone growing inside of me, the sense of protection, the inevitable bond that is created between us. That is also part of the new me. A part that will never go away, that will always be engraved in my new heart. A heart that has made space for the two of you. That is eagerly waiting to connect, to bond with and to love you unconditionally for the rest of my life no matter what changes might come. April 2010

Vanessa never panics or overreacts. Vanessa is steady and loving and cares for all around her, those in her immediate family… but also for those that she has made her family. Vanessa is that kind of a lady, everyone who knows her feels that they share a special bond with her. I know I do.

I nominate Vanessa for the mother that she is – constant, stable, loving and supportive. Vanessa faces what the rest of us would call hardships with a smile and always rising to the challenge empowered and strong. But I also nominate her for the way she encourages the rest of us moms, listening to us when we feel harried and overwhelmed giving us a gentle lift with her words.

Vanessa would say that she’s already won because of her beautiful healthy family. I think she’s right. Thank you for letting me tell you about my friend Vanessa – the wonderful daughter, wife, mother and friend.

Melissa Pritchett, mother of one – nominated by Tammy Chang

My sister, Melissa Pritchett, deserves to be your Log Your Memory Mommy winner.  She is one of those people who just loves children. For years she dedicated her time to teaching and taking care of children, first as a Sunday School teacher, then a nanny and then a pre-school teacher.  For the past couple of years she and her husband Ken were told by the doctor that they would not be able to have their own biological children.  Instead of letting this get her down, she began considering adoption.  When I told her I would be expecting my own baby in May 2009, she responded with excitement and love as if it were her own child.  She eagerly worked on a quilt in great expectation for her new niece.  Into my second trimester she discovered that she would also be expecting a baby!  She gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Tyler in February 2010.

Since Tyler was born it has not been the easiest adjusting to caring for a newborn.  However, we thank God for this little one and want Melissa to be able to document these memories for years to come.  She could use all the help she could get in getting started recording her memories of this little miracle from God.  I cannot think of any mommy more deserving than her.

Melissa Rhodes, mother of five – nominated by Kip Rhodes

My wife is the best mom and wife. Despite suffering from postpartum depression, she still manages to do an excellent job of taking care of us! I would like to nominate her because this last time she got pregnant with an IUD in. She did everything she could to make sure that the pregnancy would be okay. She had been taking ballet classes and was getting ready for her big solo in the recital when she started bleeding and trying to miscarry. She did the most unselfish thing and stopped dancing  to go on bed-rest to give the baby the best chance for survival. I am so proud of her unselfishness. The baby survived and was born close to his due date in spite of preterm labor the entire pregnancy. She willingly went on bed-rest and did everything the doctors said to have a healthy baby. This is all amazing to me especially because she did not want to get pregnant again, but I was not ready yet to go get it taken care of. This was our fifth child and she could have been selfish and let the baby slip away but she is a better woman than that! How I love her for her desire to always do what is right and not take the easy way out! Needless to say our baby is now the light of our lives. He brings such joy and happiness to us all! She especially is grateful for such a wonderful surprise despite the hardship of carrying another pregnancy to term. She is my wonder woman!

Permission has been received from each nominee listed above to have her nomination story published here. This is now the final list of nominees.

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