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When bullets flew at the Route 91 Harvest festival on October 1, 2017, the instincts of the concert goers took over as they sought cover. For Sue Ann Cornwell, her instincts called her to do something different in the chaos: use her own body to shield that of expectant mother Miriam Lujan.


“I don’t want my baby to die,” Lujan recalls saying as Cornwell and Cornwell’s sister protected her.

“Your baby’s not dying on my watch,” Cornwell assured her before helping her run to safety. The women then separated without exchanging names as Cornwell used her truck to transport injured people to the hospital.

FEATURED VIDEO

Thanks to the power of social media, the women recently connected—and Lujan was able to introduce Cornwell to Xander, the healthy little boy who was born two months after that horrific night.

“Out of all the ugly, here's this child that survived,” says Cornwell in a video of their meeting that was taken by the Las Vegas Journal-Review. “One day his mom is going to have a story to tell him.”

Lujan agreed, adding she’s determined to pay it forward when raising Xander—and hopes he’ll feel the same way.

“I want him to remember the good moments. I want him to remember those people that did not make it and to remember that people will help strangers to survive,” Lujan says.

And although it was tragedy that brought them together, it’s the good in humanity that will forever bond Cornwell to Lujan and her son.

“Auntie Sue Ann's got you. You can cry all you want; we are just happy you're crying,” Cornwell tells baby Xander in the touching video, adding to Lujan, “I'm so glad you found me.”

That’s because when times seem dark, it’s people like Cornwell who are the reminders we all need of the light in the world. Now, Lujan hopes, her son will be one of those people, too. “And if anything were to happen similar to him like that, I hope he would be able to do the same.”

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Motherhood is a practice in learning, growing and loving more than you ever thought possible. Even as a "veteran" mama of four young sons and one newly adopted teenager, Jalyssa Richardson enthusiastically adapts to whatever any given day has in store—a skill she says she's refined through the years.

Here's what just one day in her life looks like:


Jalyssa says she learned to embrace agility throughout her motherhood journey. Here's more from this incredible mama of five boys.

What is the most challenging part of your day as a mom of five?

Time management! I want to meet each of the boys' individual needs—plus show up for myself—but I often feel like someone gets overlooked.

What's the best part of being a mom of five?

The little moments of love. The hugs, the kisses, the cuddles, the smiles... they all serve as little reminders that I am blessed and I'm doing okay.

Are there misconceptions about raising boys?

There are so many misconceptions about raising boys. I think the biggest one is that boys don't have many emotions and they're just so active all the time. My boys display many emotions and they also love to be sweet and cuddly a lot of the time.

What do you think would surprise people the most about being a mom of five?

How much I enjoy it. I never knew I wanted to be a mom until I was pregnant with my first. My desire only grew and the numbers did! I am surprised with every single baby as my capacity to love and nurture grows. It's incredible.

How do you create balance and make time for yourself?

Balance for me looks like intentional planning and scheduling because I never want my boys to feel like they aren't my first priority, but it is extremely difficult. What I try to do is not fit it all into one day. I have work days because motherhood is my first priority. I fit in segments of self-care after the kids' bedtime so I don't grow weary.

What's the biggest lesson you have learned from motherhood?

I have learned that sacrifice is actually beautiful. I was terrified of the selflessness motherhood would require, but I've grown so much through the sacrifice. There is nothing better than living for something bigger than myself.

When did you first feel like a mom? How has your motherhood evolved?

I first felt like a mom when I was pregnant with my first son and I intentionally chose to change my eating habits so my body could be strong and healthy for him. I didn't have to think twice—I just did what I thought would be best for him. That decision being so effortless made me realize I was made for motherhood.

My perspective has changed with each baby as I've realized motherhood doesn't have to be one-size-fits-all. With my first son, I was a by-the-book mama and it was so stressful. With each baby, I have felt more freedom and it has made motherhood so much more beautiful. I have evolved into the mother that they need, I am perfect for these boys.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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