letter to thank mom

It's somewhat tragic that we seldom get to see our parents at their finest moments in the prime of their lives. Actually, we do see them at those moments, we're just often much too young to fully realize the glory we're witnessing. It isn't until we have become parents ourselves and can look back through the lens of experience and perspective to see how amazing our parents were. In these moments, we need to find some way to express directly to our parents just how important they were in helping us become who we are. And so…

Dear Mom,

I've pondered on what to give you for your birthday. I've never been a good gift-giver so this has been a challenge for me. After giving it some thought, I decided probably the best thing I could do would be to give you my thanks and appreciation for helping me find my way in this world. That's something I don't think I've done well enough over the years.

So here goes.

Thank you for always being there in my life and always looking out for me. You always made me feel special and encouraged me all along the way. I know these are things that parents are supposed to do for their children, but I don't think anyone else could have done it any better.

Some folks would say we didn't have very much back in those days. I say they're wrong. Thanks to you and Dad, we always had more than plenty. Plenty of safety, security, food, shelter and love. All those things that growing kids need. Most importantly, I always felt like I had plenty of space to grow and space to rest. It's hard sometimes to grow up on a farm and realize that your mind is always somewhere else. You seemed to appreciate that and overlooked my meandering and wandering, while always welcoming me back whenever I returned from whatever far off worlds I'd discovered or invented.

I've never thanked you for doing so many chores and so much hard work that truly I should have gotten up to do on every school morning from about the fourth grade on. I should have been the one bundling up to go milk or feed the hogs or whatever else needed doing on those cold winter mornings. Looking back, I know now that it never occurred to me that the stuff I did in the evenings also had to be done in the mornings and you were the one doing it. For that, I'm sorrier than I can tell you.

I appreciate how you always worked so hard to show your love for us in the most selfless ways. Now that I have several years of experience in the kitchen, I understand what went into those huge breakfasts you'd make from time to time. Breakfast was always good, but to wake up to a platter of fried chicken along with gravy and biscuits–that was heaven. And a ton of work for you, cooking AND cleaning. I appreciate that now I find that trait has rubbed off on me. I like to cook for those I love. It means a lot to give someone something of yourself. What better way than through feeding them, body and soul.

Feed me, you did. You always made sure I did my schoolwork. You also had no problem helping me get my hands on most anything I wanted to read. Another marvelous inheritance I have from you is that I can't get through a day without reading something, without visiting one of those far off worlds you never tried to keep me from. Thank you for a gift that I could never replace and a gift that I would never be the same without.

Thank you for the laundry, the housekeeping, the care when I was sick, the special treats on special occasions or no occasion at all. Thank you for giving me advice when I needed it and space when I needed that as well.

I don't think I asked for a lot of 'things' when I was growing up. I like to think I was pretty 'low maintenance.' I do remember, however, those times when I would ask for a little money to go to a movie, or bowling, or whatever, you would gladly pull some out. Again, it never occurred to me that in that moment you were probably giving up something you really wanted or needed for yourself just so I could have something I wanted. I see that now.

Really, what it all boils down to is that you were and are, the most magnificent mom I could have asked for. Beautiful, smart, devoted, funny, caring and everything else any son could want, all wrapped up in a flannel housecoat and a smile. You are seldom far from my thoughts and never out of my heart. I wanted to write these words on paper so that you could always have them close at hand, especially when I'm far away and don't call as often as I should. I want you to always know that I love you and cherish you more than life itself. Whenever I cook a meal, read a book, or just feel the sunshine on my face, I am feeling you and the love you always showed me.

I hope and pray you feel the same. Love ever and always.

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Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.


Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.


Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.


Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!


Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.


Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.


'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."


Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.


Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.


Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!


Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.


Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.


Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.


Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


My belly has been through some things.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (yep, severe debilitating pregnancy-related vomiting), the pregnancies of each of my four kids, the 65 pounds of weight gain I have endured with each pregnancy, stretch marks, Occupational Therapy for pregnancy pelvic pain, unmedicated childbirth, and of course, postpartum recovery.

It's my personal opinion that this belly deserves some love. So starting with my second pregnancy, I've relied on Belly Bandit's postpartum belly bands (which I own in three sizes) to help support my core, reduce swelling, and begin to activate my midsection after nine months of being stretched to the max.

Here's why I love Belly Bandit:

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