When I became a mom, I had no idea how motherhood would change my life and stretch me to be the best mom I could be. Determined and motivated by the love I have for my children, I’ve always strived to give my children the very best life I know how to give them. Of course this journey has not always been easy nor will it ever be. But each day I realize how the challenges of motherhood are really opportunities for me to grow as a person.
Filtered through a broad range of life experiences, part of the journey of motherhood is facing unforeseeable circumstances and enduring hardships with grace and perseverance. Surrounding ourselves with a loving and supportive community is what makes this journey much richer and deeper.
Motivated by the deep love for their children, I am so proud of two very good friends of mine who have handled their transition into single motherhood with amazing courage and strength. Even when certain seasons of their lives have felt like one tsunami -like hardship after another, these amazing women have handled the challenges of single motherhood with a super-natural type of humility and grace that comes from having overcome great adversity.
Wanting to honor the both of them, last week just before Mother’s Day I invited them over for a special dinner along with their daughters. I wanted them to feel loved, encouraged, and supported in their journey of motherhood. Imagine how thrilled I was when it turned out both of them were able to come with their children without any schedule conflicts. The vision I planned for our time together was to make both of them feel special. I wanted them to walk into my home feeling uplifted and leave refreshed knowing they are not alone in their own journey of mothering. Keeping this in mind, the night was all about what my girls and I could do to make the evening memorable. Adding thoughtful touches here and there is what would make the evening a Mother’s Day celebration to be remembered.
When each of them called to ask what they could bring I insisted on them bringing absolutely nothing. I wanted the evening to be as stress free for them as possible. With my husband out of town, I wanted to have a fun girls-night-in. My girls were also excited to contribute their talents. Each of them made a hand-drawn note attached to a strawberry planter we purchased for both Michelle and Susie to take home after our dinner.
When my friends arrived the first thing I handed them was a freshly made mojito made with mint from my garden. As we made our way to the dining room, waiting for them on a table was a cheese platter for us to nibble on as we chatted about our day. Already the mood was light and festive as we joked around about the latest events happening in each of our lives.
For dinner I baked wild Sockeye salmon, one half plain and the other half covered with a lemon dill sauce. When the salmon was ready, I plated individual portions on top of a bed of salad greens with a generous helping of mango cucumber salsa and a side of roasted asparagus. It was amazing, if I do say so myself.
When we finished dinner I presented my other gift to them. I photographed portraits of each family as my Mother’s Day gift to them, which they both planned on having framed to gift to their own moms for Mother’s Day. I promised to have the prints for them the next day which they were both thrilled about.
Our evening concluded with a simple dessert of vanilla ice cream topped with homemade strawberry balsamic sauce. Three hours on a school night flew by surprisingly quickly.
As everyone said their goodbyes at the doors, hugs were exchanged, the bond of friendship was strengthened, and both Michelle and Susie left encouraged as they walked to their cars smiling with their daughters and carrying their strawberries planters.
From the lovingly prepared meal to our special gifts, I was reminded that what my girls and I added to the evening was exactly what made it so special.
Next time you plan to have friends over, I hope what you add, makes it special to those you love, too.
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