Backpackers and Snake Hackers: A Tribute to Real Moms

My girlfriends and I have some fabulous mothers.

They nurtured us, but kept us in line. They protected us when we needed them,  and released us when the time was right.

They are unique and quirky, their own special breed of crazy love– and we adore them for it.

Enjoy these glimpses of our very own mommas!

My mom made sure my French braids were tight, but the crotch of my pants wasn’t.

She consented to my dad’s idea of adventure, from backpacking across Isle Royale to logging 700-mile days on the road with three kids.

She protected me from bad guys during my gas station closing shift by sleeping in her car in the parking lot.

She is deeply satisfied that I received the child she wished on me…the one who is exactly like me!


~Stacy, on her mom, Beth

She was always so beautiful, even while ironing her hot pink, eighties dresses and curling her huge hair for work.

She made Mondays so much fun– carting us to Girl Scouts, then ice skating, then Awana.  Dinner was PB & Jelly from point A to B, while memorizing the week’s Bible verse.

She’d bring the family to Disney World from open to close, seven days in a row, surviving on peanuts and Little Debbies!

She has a toaster that sings It’s a Small World, and a dance to go with it. She loves showing off her Zumba moves while belting out the latest Lady Gaga song!

She has always been my “BFF.” When we kids say “I love you,” she always replies, “I love you more.”


~Roxanne, on her mom, Sally

She sent me to school with the BEST lunches. I was often asked to trade my ham, cream cheese, and pickle on rye!

She made sure my sisters and I were dressed in matching, handmade dresses for every special occasion.

She has a prayerful heart and spirit.  Even when I call with the littlest thing, she will drop whatever she is doing, stop our conversation, and pray — an example that I would like to live up to with my own children (I’ve got some work to do!).

She is the best mom.

~Courtney, on her mom, Lynn

She made sure my hair was braided and out of my face during labor. She even had her comb, hairspray and bobby pins to make me look good. I guess that’s what you get when your mom is a hairstylist!

After my little guy was delivered, she rubbed my head and said, “Amanda, it’s all over. Can I give you a piece of gum now? Your breath is awful!”

Easton with his girls: Aunt Makenzie, Grandma Kathy, Aunt Amara, and Mom, Amanda

~Amanda, on her mom, Kathy

She always let us dress ourselves. I look back at our family photos and laugh at the outrageous outfits we were allowed to wear! Self-confidence was important to her…she told us we looked beautiful, no matter what we wore.

She encouraged us to be brave, whether that meant being the only girl on the baseball team or becoming acrobats, gymnasts and divers. 

She invited the homeless, the lonely, the misfits, and more to all our family events. Everyone was welcome at our house.

My mom is wacky, crazy, free-spirited, opinionated, and super protective. She gets into my beeswax and drives me crazy, but she loves fiercely — and I love her!

~Hilarie, on her mom, Jane

She dedicated an entire flower garden to me.


~Jamie, on her mom, Kathy

She never led us to believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny, but reminded us constantly that she had eyes in the back of her head. Years later, when the chemotherapy took its toll and we shaved her head, there on the back of her head, were two perfectly placed moles!

She represents the truth in all she says and does!

~Sarah, on her mom, Sandy

She styled my bangs just like Kelly Kapowski’s so I could be the coolest kindergartner in town.

She folded mountains of clothes she knew were destined to end up in a heaping mess on the floor. (Sorry, Mom!)

She told me, “No,” when it would have been easier for her to say, “Yes”.

She teamed up with my mother-in-law (How am I so lucky to have two amazing moms?!) to plan my out-of-town wedding with a mere six weeks notice!


~Cali, on her mom, Shea

She handed me a red and white Starlite mint each morning as she dropped me off at elementary school to ward off the belly ache she knew I was sure to complain about.

She knew I liked orange juice, my brother liked apple juice, and my sister liked milk. There was never a day that all three beverages weren’t in the fridge!

She never once yelled at us, and in that, a deep respect formed.

~Jenny, on her mom, Karen

She pretends she doesn’t find humor in our inappropriate comments, but every once in a while, we catch her stifling a laugh!

She has an incredible love for animals, especially cats. She has four (and would have more if our dad would let her!) One day, she may be the Crazy Cat Lady.

She has a few famous one-liners…

Everything happens for a reason.

Pray about it.

It’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt.

Every one of them has proven true.

She has taught us to be strong, godly, independent women.

~Sadie and Hallie, on their mom, Terri

She is the woman who made sure every cheerleader had a high, slicked-back pony tail.

She is also the woman who would slap me across the face if I back-talked. (I really did deserve it!)

Adria, Liza, and Mona

~Adria, on her mom, Mona

She takes care of me. She lays with me at night. She reads me stories. And when I am sick, she always makes sure I don’t puke.


~Myla, on her mom, Kelsey

Her love language is FOOD — and it’s always delicious!

She bends over backwards for my family, especially when we have health scares with Cory. When I have to work, she watches the kids for free.

She thinks she’s hysterically awesome when we laugh at her at for quoting people or movies, but really we’re laughing hysterically because she’s quoting them inaccurately!


~Hannah, on her mom, Yvonne

She taught me how to love big. To feel stronger. She taught my soul unbridled emotion.

She taught me how to look at a rock and see amazing, awing beauty. I feel things in my soul that I know other people don’t feel. My mother taught me that – somehow, and I connect with my own daughter more strongly because of it. I hope I can find a way to teach her the same.

~Anna, on her mom, Johanna

She always had a cooler of Faygo pop and a box of Old Dutch potato chips for trips to the beach.

She taught me that wearing cotton underwear is a MUST, so things can BREATHE.

She informed and reinformed us that nail polish remover could take the varnish off tables, and a wet towel could warp the wood of a chair.

She made sure I was never “grubby.” She wiped the “snuvas” from my nose, and held the bucket when I was “urpy.”

Above all else, she made sure I knew I was loved!


~Kristin, on her mom, Beth

She stirred us from sleep at four a.m., clanking pans and bustling in the kitchen. After the scent of coffee and cigarettes cleared the air, the aroma of sweet treats filled the house…

Cakes. Chocolate cakes. Yellow cakes. Cupcakes. Chocolate chip cookies. Sugar cookies. Peanut butter cookies. Cakes and cookies. Cookies and cakes. You get the idea. The best part was eating the imperfect ones for breakfast (and I have a mouthful of fillings to show for it!).

~Kristen, on her mom, Pam

She makes sure (even as an adult) that I have treats to bring to school/work on my birthday!

She loves giving gifts. In fact, she just gave me a Christmas gift last week, (complete with snowman pillow and cookie tray!).

Pam, Libby, and Kristen

~Libby, on her mom, Pam

She went on a shopping weekend with her girlfriends once or twice a year, and drank vats of Bloody Marys without feeling guilty!

~Jodi, on her mom, Julie

She always did my up-dos because the hair stylist could never get it just right.

~JoAnne, on her mom, Fran

She called me in sick during late elementary school so I could stay home with her and enjoy toast dipped in hot chocolate, while watching As The World Turns.

She also thought it would be an excellent idea for the two of us to have a glamour shot made for my dad…


~Lori, on her mom, Char

She had a love for late-night snacking. I often found her blurry-eyed in the kitchen at one a.m., dunking Oreos into milk.

She was a steadfast Yooper outdoorswoman! She fished and she hunted. She operated a bow, a gun, and a fillet knife with zero problem. Once, she wielded an axe and chopped a giant pine snake in half, right in front of my brother and me.

She was tender. She’d go to bed early to watch TV after working her twelve-hour shift at the mill. I was always allowed to go in, lay my head on her lap, and receive the most amazing head scratches and neck rubs.

She was an awesome mom!


~Toni, on her mom, Katie

To our moms, past and present — we are blessed to be your daughters.

Happy Mother’s Day!

With love,

The Girls ❤

3 thoughts on “Backpackers and Snake Hackers: A Tribute to Real Moms

  1. Oh my Stacy . how I enjoyed reading about all the MOM’s. your doing just great, give yourself a pat on the back and continune on with your blog, This old lady loves to read all this. Thanks!!!


  2. Oh boy, Stace, wait til these comments come in. I also hope one of your sons becomes a writer! Remember your first day opening at the gas station at 5:30 A.M. It was a miserable morning in winter and we were out there scraping about an inch of thick ice off your windshield. I hated that job of yours. I’m so thankful that a”bad guy” didn’t rob the station and kidnap you. Maybe there was a potential bad guy who was diverted when he saw me sitting in the parking lot ready to use my car as a weapon! I love you.


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