The other night, I was running out the door to do something or other and I was calling good-bye to my little family at the table. Tymen grinned at me and then puckered up and started making kissy noises. Without a second thought, I strode over and had him cover my cheek with kisses, and with chewed up bits of carrots and boogers from his runny nose, and I went soft inside at what a sweet boy I have. Right afterwards I laughed and told Ben that there was no WAY I would welcome boogery carrot kisses from ANYONE but my kids...

This crazy love that moms have for their children is one that is fascinating for me. It is a powerful, powerful thing that I can't even think to describe in words. However, I sure strive to capture it on film.

Yesterday I had my camera at my "Mops" meeting, where "Mothers of Pre-Schoolers" get together. We eat great snacks, listen to speakers, work on projects, but largely everyone comes to be understood. And everyone there understands...the challenges of potty training, baby weight gain, as well as the overwhelming love we have for our little ones. I had my camera to take pictures of the kids' Christmas songs. Frankly, those turned out pretty badly...but then I stopped a few of my friends and took some pictures of them with their precious ones. Those are the ones I am sharing today.

This is my beautiful friend, Tawnya, and her youngest daughter, Nova. Tawnya and I have been in the same little group at mops for the last year and a half. I have never heard her say an unkind thing about anyone but have heard plenty of encouraging things come from her. She is always sliding a gift or a card to someone...I know because I have been a recipient many times. She coaches soccer, does fun projects with her girls, and looks for ways to step in and take care of others. What a model her girls have in their mommy.

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Nova has obviously experienced many, many kisses from her mommy before....and it very happy to get a few more.

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This is my friend, Michelle, whom I have just gotten to know this year. I had an opportunity a few months ago, to watch her with her son after class, speaking to him that night with such wisdom, grace, and compassion. It was so beautiful that I thought about it for a few days afterward. She has a generous spirit, honest and open, and embraces her family and those around her. Nurturing. That's the word for her. It's visible here with her youngest daughter.

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Sarah...another new friend. She told me that her husband and children are her best buddies, her treasures. The Bible says, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." How beautiful it is to see people who are loved so brings light to everything. What child wouldn't shine in the understanding that their mom considers them her "little slice of heaven."

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And Courtney...a warm and experienced mom who has three other children but has had to face some challenges with her newest, Paul (who possibly has the biggest eyes I have ever seen on a baby). Even though there have been some hard times, I have heard her recount blessing after blessing that she has found in the middle of it all. And this picture is of her kissing up her biggest one....

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And a couple more of her precious son...

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I think I might need to dig around in my files and post a few more of my favorites of moms from the past year.

I feel grateful, humbled, challenged and supported by all the beautiful moms that are in my life. Here's to you, ladies! If I could I would show up at all of your doorsteps today with your favorite Starbucks drink. Much love!