And the entries are in! There is absolutely no way I could narrow these down to the 3 most deserving, so instead, you get to view all of these deserving nominees and vote accordingly…
And the ten nominations are as follows…
1. Barbara Toops (nominated by her daughter Jessica)
Jessica says the following : “I wanted to nominate, Barbara Toops, for your giveaway. I was recently visiting her and she expressed her regret that we lived so far away and she wishes that she could do more to help us out. I would love this to be a gift for her to show her that even though she is at a distance, she still does so much through her counsel, gift packages, frequent visits and most of all her daily prayers for me, my husband, and kids. We are so grateful! So if she wins the session, I’ll try to fly out with my kids so that she can have a grandma portrait session :-)”
2. Kathy Grange (nominated by her daughter-in-law Jane)
Jane says : “I would like to nominate my mother in law Kathy Grange! She is a wonderful mother who always puts her family first before herself! She selflessly plans activities for the family and every Sunday provides lunch and an atmosphere of fun and love for the “grown up kids” and the grandkids! It is such a blessing to have such a wonderful mother in law! She is not only a wonderful mother but she is the most incredible Grandmother out there. Each month she plans a “Grandma Day” with each of her Grandkids -ages3 and older (Gray is still too young :). She has 5 grandkids in the rotation which means atleast once a week she is having a Grandma day where she takes one child out at a time to have a special time together. She lets them choose what to do- it usually involves something like going to 7eleven for slurpees or a treat, lunch, or dinner, and something like chucky cheese, build a bear, toys r us, target, baseball card store, or at the house building legos that she purchased, cooking something, playing board games, or watching a movie. The kids absolutely live for their next Grandma day! And she is so faithful to continually plan them each month! She is also always willing to help babysit when needed! My mother in law not only plans special times for the grandkids, but she always makes time to get together with her “big” kids and also their spouses. I get phone calls from her asking me to lunch, shop, or asking me if I need help with my yard work, painting, you name it she is willing to help! I am so grateful to God for her love and kindness to my children and to Steve and me! I know she would be so thrilled to have a family photo done by you! She loved your pictures that you took of my family and I know she would be beyond blessed to have the opportunity to get pictures done by you for the Grange clan! Please consider Kathy Grange to be the winner of this contest! It doesn’t get much better than her!”
3. Meg Murphy (nominated by her mother Jeannie)
Jeannie says : “I would like to nominate Meg Murphy (my daughter) for the Mother’s day photo shoot. She is simply an amazing mom to Finn. She can always manage to put him first, no matter what is falling apart in their 250+ year-old house. She writes her blog, weemegmurphy.blogspot.com and owns her own business. She’s a supermom!”
4. Jennifer Beers (nominated by her sister Heather)
Heather says : “I want to nominate my sister Jenn for the giveaway. Not only is she deserving because she is a committed, wonderful, patient, Godly mother to her 6 babies, but she is also their school teacher, which, to me, is such a huge commitment. I would love to bless her with this.”
5. Mai Makled (nominated by her husband Tarik)
Tarik says : “Mai Makled is the most impressive woman I have ever known. Without family or guidance, she is raising our 6 month old son Adam, while working full time and running our household. What is most astonishing is that I see my wife acting as a role model to our friends and family who also have babies or are pregnant. I constantly catch other new moms thanking her for her advice or example. Adam is all smiles all the time and I attribute that to his mother raising him with love and tender care. Adam has grown so much since his new born shots (the yawn!), and I think it would be the perfect mother’s day surprise to have your professional pictures of him at this age.”
6. Steff Mahr (nominated by her friend Kelly)
Kelly says :
“I would like to nominate Steff Mahr.
Girl is amazing.
She lives out her faith in such a tangible, loving way.
She LOVES her man. Like big time.
She cares tirelessly for her 2 amazing kiddos. Who are seriously super close together and still young. And she does it so joyfully. She truly enjoys them.
She is ALWAYS serving someone. She seeks people out to serve and care for. And doesn’t advertise it. It’s how I met her – she was serving me during a hard pregnancy with a meal when I didn’t even know who she was!
She opens her home like a boss.
She is a faithful, loyal friend. Quick with encouragement and jokes.
She seems to always have someone staying in their basement. Taking care of them. Being a refuge.
She somehow gardens, sews and on and on as well.
Her life is being poured out all.the.time.”
7. Linda Cheng (nominated by her friend Claire)
Claire says : “When I moved to our current neighborhood I was quickly adopted by my wonderful friend Linda Cheng. She’s the wife of Sasha and mom of Soffian who was born at 23 weeks. Yes, Twenty Three weeks! When we met he was an active 3 year old and I had no idea of how bumpy his ride had been. In Linda’s natural parenting I’ve learned so much to apply to my own family. She’s patient and kind but has a steely determination to do everything she can for Soffian. She’s been fighting for him from the moment she went into labor frighteningly early. Right when I feel like I’m just getting by in my Mothering her actions remind me how much more I could be doing and that so much of it is only challenging in theory, once in application the rewards make it all easier. She even fights for other tiny babies through her volunteer chair with March of Dimes. I learned when we met he was only in the early wave of his “coming out party”, with so much of his life spent in and out of the hospital they had been understandably cautious of what they let him take on. Soffian just turned 5 last month, his therapy appointments around the DC area are wrapping up and he is solidly on his way to a pretty awesome life. My nomination hope for Linda is this- That she’ll have a amazing portrait that can catch the release of breath she’s finally letting out knowing he’s on his way and she’s done an amazing job. Because she really really has. :)”
8. Hannah Kim (nominated by her husband David)
David says : “I strongly believe my wife is deserving because she’s such a great mother to our son Joshua despite the numerous setbacks and complications she has already had to deal with. We first desired to have children in December of 2009. After several months of failed attempts to conceive naturally, we turned to IUI. With each passing month of disappointment in not getting pregnant, Hannah never lost hope of conceiving. Through the tears, Hannah looked with hesitant excitement at the next month’s possibility of getting pregnant. Finally after 18 agonizing months of trying, Hannah finally got a positive test result early Mother’s Day morning in May of 2011!
In the following 40 weeks, the complications continued. Hannah hurt her knee from a fall at work, was diagnose with gestational diabetes, and was GBS positive. Again, despite this, she made every adjustment necessary with joy and happiness.
At 39 weeks and 3 days, due to low amniotic fluid, Hannah was admitted to the hospital. She went through 43 hours of labor with 4 hours of pushing. After 4 hours of pushing, Hannah underwent emergency cesarian and Joshua Luke Sungkeun Kim was finally born!
In the 3 months that Joshua has been alive, Hannah has shown dedication and love that is second to none. So, even though Hannah is a new mother, I strongly think she’s incredibly deserving of being nominated for your Mother’s Day contest because of her joy and dedication as a mother-to-be and a mother in the face of great trials.”
9. Marilen White (nominated by her husband Matt)
Matt says : “I would like to propose my wife, Marilen, for the giveaway. She has made so many sacrifices to serve our family well and works so hard every day without expecting anything in return. I know that a nomination and gifting of a photography session with you would be a great way to express that her love and dedication is not taken for granted. We have a 33 month old girl that loves posing for the camera, and Marilen is carrying our second girl who is due to arrive in July. I really like your photography style and I am sure that my wife will love it too.”
10. Jill Prater (nominated by her daughters, Meg, Traci & Kelli)
Meg says : “my sisters and i wanted to nominate our mom, jill. mom to three and ‘gramma’ to 5 (soon to be 6), she amazes us every day. she has been a constant source of encouragement through the seasons of weddings, new marriages, buying houses, having babies (and more babies), and now raising those babies.
she is very loved, as one could obviously see when her grandkids catch sight of her. they scream with excitement and fight over her. she would hold them all at once if she could.
we’ve been even more so grateful for her lately. this past year has been tiring for her, my dad and our family as we’ve encountered different trials. she cared sacrificially for her dad through his sickness and passing, all the while continuing to care for her own family and grandchildren. she is a true helper to our dad as he has walked through a challenging season. but rarely ever did these hardships affect her joy.
mom walks through life with a good sense of humor, never taking herself too seriously. she walks through each day with faith and grace.
we are blessed that we call her ‘mom’ and are grateful for her love and friendship. and we are so happy our kids have her as gramma. i’m sure they would say there is not a better one.”
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I’m sure you can see by now, what a difficult time I was having trying to pick the 3 best from these wonderful nominations!
And so I leave it up to you! Leave a comment here on the blog or on my facebook page with your vote.
Voting will be open until midnight on SUNDAY, APRIL 15.
I’ll add the totals up from both sites and announce the winner at noon on Monday, April 16.
Can’t wait to see who I will be photographing next month!!!