Dear Mom, Grandma, and Cathy...

© Nicole Bradshaw Photography 2017; Dear Mom, Grandma, and Cathy...; Albuquerque Maternity Photographer, Albuquerque Newborn Photographer, Albuquerque Family Photographer, Rio Rancho Maternity Photographer, Rio Rancho Newborn Photographer, Rio Rancho Family Photographer

With Mother's Day coming on Sunday, I thought this week's post would be an opportune moment to share with you all a little about the beautiful moms and grandma that I'm blessed to have. I honestly don't know where- or who- I'd be without them.

My amazing mom, Claudette, is one of the strongest women I know. She is an only child (not by choice), and has had to care for her parents without the help and support of siblings. My grandfather passed away seven years ago, and there wasn't a day that my mom wasn't caring for him in some way when he fell ill before his death. She was at every doctor appointment, every test, and at the end of his life, was at the hospital daily before he passed. Since then, she has cared for my grandma with more respect and love than I've seen of anyone else. My mom often cared for my brother and I by herself when we were little due to my father's often out-of-town job while holding down a full-time job of her own. She was part of every activity that my brother and I participated in- piano lessons, soccer games, Girl Scout meetings, Cub Scout activities, band, swim team, and so many more. She often took on much more than she should have simply because no one else was interested in doing them. I've never heard her complain, whine, or even let out the occasional groan about anything. She is an incredible example of strength, and I often wonder if I can ever be as strong as she is.

My mom comes from hearty stock. My grandmother, Paula, is no weakling. But, when I think of her, the word 'love' comes to mind. This woman has never been afraid to open her heart to anyone. My grandma was a stay-at-home grandma, so she helped take care of my brother and I while our parents worked when we were little. She loved us- and still does- more than I probably even realize as a 30 year old mom of 3 myself. Over the years, she's loved so many kids that have come through her life- nieces, neighbor kids, children of friends, friends of her children and grandchildren, and many more. When I was in high school, she was at every Friday night football game and band competition to cheer my brother and I on, and because of this a lot of my bandmates ended up calling her 'Grandma Paula' because she loved them just as much as she did my brother and I. Nowadays, she's enjoying loving my three boys as well. She is an incredible example of love, and what it means to never close your heart to those around you.

Cathy is my dear mother-in-law. I swear, I won the lottery when it comes to mothers-in-law. This woman is the epitome of the word 'grace'. She always looks for the best in people, always gives them the benefit of doubt, and always forgives them their trespasses. She's always willing to do whatever needs to be done to keep the family moving forward, and does it with a loving heart. She has been an amazing example of how to treat others. Though she hasn't been part of my life nearly as long as my mom and grandma have, I look forward to the rest of my life with her. 

These women have done so many things for me. I don't know where to start thanking them, or if I would ever be able to thank them enough. I just hope they know how much their loved and appreciated in return. And, I hope that someday I may be able to live up to their examples.

I also hope that you are just as blessed in your life! Happy Mother's Day, y'all!