Your Mama’s A Superhero 2014

Our 2014 “Your Mama’s a Superhero Show’s” participants were determined “Mominations.” We received them from daughters, husbands, friends, sisters and Moms. The show was a joyous occasion with tears of appreciation. Thank you to everyone who made this years show a success by recognizing a Mom through our photography and to those who came to celebrate. Photo Divine

I believe in angels! Yes, angels. Not just any angels, but Nurse Angels. Karen Umbhau is one such angel. I think of Karen as “my” Nurse Angel, but she’s a Nurse Angel to many people.I met Karen at Namaste Health Center when I was going through IV treatments to boost my immune system after receiving a bone marrow transplant. Our paths were meant to be crossed! How blessed I felt. On one treatment day, I felt quite sad and when I explained to Karen why I felt the way I did, (Oh, just a bone marrow transplant has left me feeling like I’ll never have a normal life again!) I couldn’t help but cry. She pulled a footstool in front of me, sat down, and told me, “It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to feel sad, those are real feelings.” Everything about Karen is real. She listened and talked to me that day like I was the only person on the planet Her words were full of wisdom and practical advice. She spoke from her heart. Karen’s heart is filled with life’s messages. She passes them on to her three beautiful children, to her patients, and of course, her friends. Congratulations Karen, on being an awesome Nurse Angel and your most important role, a SuperHero Mama!

Mominated by Judi Jackson

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Jessica Tillery (My Super Mom)
So Kyla, I know you know my wife.  Your kiddos are not much different in age than ours and it still floors me the work that goes into our kids.  I try every day to keep up with the effort that my wife puts out, and I always fall short.

Seeing my wife being a mom on a day to day basis, I realize it isn’t always a glamorous job. In actuality, it must be the most thankless job in existence.  My wife has an amazing amount of patience and perseverance.  She clips my kid’s fingernails, brushes Jojo’s crazy hair, gives them both baths (before they are smelly), says no to ice cream, and changes way more than her fair share of diapers.  She knows things Jojo needs to take to school the next day and puts it in my car (so that I look like I know what I am doing).  I can’t tell you how much easier it is for me to be a great dad because she does so much for our family.  I just took Jojo to the Daddy Daughter dance; Jojo and I had a blast, it went so well because all I had to do was get dressed and go.  Jess ironed Jojo’s dress, gave her a bath, combed her hair, made us both dinner and got us out the door on time (after working all day of course).

I believe that when a woman becomes a mom, a fundamental switch is required in the way they see the world.  Their thoughts, their feelings, their very soul has to branch out.  The joy their children experience, becomes theirs.  The pain their children feel, becomes theirs.  But, the most important element isn’t what they feel coming from their children, it is what they give to them, love.  The love that they pass on to their children will empower them to go forth and become who they were meant to be.

As a man, a husband, and a father, I cannot describe the privilege that I get being married to such a wonderful woman.  She challenges me on a daily basis to be better than who I am, she shares in my triumphs and is always there for me when I fall.  She knows the best and the worst parts of me, yet loves me more for them.  In her I have found true freedom, for it is not in independence in which one finds this elusive state, but in acceptance and that of being accepted.  My wife’s, my children’s mother’s; love, support, and passion does not come at a price, or conditionally, only freely and unconditionally.

My wife is my “superhero mom” and always will be.  I greatly appreciate what you are doing to ensure motherhood isn’t just the unsung job it seems to be, but rather for it to be celebrated and revered as the most important job one could have…

A happy man,

Adrian Tillery

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Like all new things, I had to learn about motherhood by experience. I had to make mistakes to bounce back all the while learning from it. Being a mom is tough, thankfully, I have my mom by my side to gently guide and mentor me. She’s always there to tell me how to do things gracefully, what to do or not to do in messy situations and scold me if necessary. She has always been tough, and sometimes I thought she was just being mean, but as I get older I realized that all her efforts of scolding and reprimanding were just one way of showing me tough love. As my capacity to understand motherhood expands, my mom has become my best friend. We became more open with one another and began to confide in each other as our struggles and joys unfold. Having her share her wisdom and reasoning’s, a new person has been revealed. When I am weak I have her as our source of strength. When I think all is hopeless, she exudes hope and faith. It is now that she is unmasked and all her weaknesses are revealed, I have a new found magnitude of love and respect for her… because I understand her on a whole new level. That is why my mom is my “momination” – tough front, soft heart.

Osha Justice nominating Patricia Justice (Osha was photographed in honor of Patricia because Patricia was unable to attend the photo shoot.)

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Below is our nomination for Mimi Fountain as our Superhero Mom. There are four siblings who are nominating:

Sarah(34): My Mama is a superhero. She and my Dad were married when she was 20 and he was 21. When I think of that age now, I feel like she and Dad were so young – just kids themselves! I came along 10 months and 2 days later. Mom quit college to be our supermom. I think that was a pretty big sacrifice for her. She loves school and loves to learn (something she instilled in all of us kids). But, she always said that she would go back to school with her kids and she did! (More about this in Rebekah’s narrative.) She has since gotten two sets of initials behind her name and is well on her way to receiving her Naturopath degree. When I was little, my Mom made all our food from scratch: everything from bread to mayonnaise to ice cream. We ate every meal as a family at the table – always with lively conversation. She was a stay-at-home Mom, but contributed to our little family financially by sewing, teaching sewing lessons and babysitting. I learned to sew by sitting on her lap and observing while she was teaching sewing lessons – Mom always used to joke that I could teach the sewing lessons myself when I was only 4! My Mom read to me all the time. So much in fact that as a two-year-old, I had all my Dr. Seuss books memorized! (Some are still memorized!) We never had a television in our house growing up and it encouraged us to play together, use our imagination and read. I wouldn’t trade that for the world. When I was in grade school, I had a really hard time fitting in with my peers. After third grade, my Mom decided to home school me. She was an amazing teacher. Not only would we complete all the books cover-to-cover, but she would take me and my siblings on field trips all the time to interesting places from touring local businesses to Mesa Verde, and she would frequently take us hiking or rollerblading on the river trail together. My siblings and I got to make the choice of if we wanted to be home schooled and when we would go back to public school. Being surrounded by my Mom’s love every day drastically improved my self-esteem and made me who I am today. When I was 13, I became horse crazy. My Mom encouraged me to get riding lessons and would take me to the Fairgrounds to go up and down the stalls to pet the horses. We were lucky enough to meet some people who kept horses there and they invited us to go riding with them. With their guidance and support, we bought a horse! Very soon thereafter, each one of us kids had our own horse to ride and Mom would drive us to the Fairgrounds at least twice a day and help us to care for them while we would go riding. We became very involved in 4-H and our Mom even became a 4-H leader. She was an amazing leader and public speaking and presenting was something that she thought every kid should be good at. Each kid in the club was required to do a “demonstration” to the entire club at least once a year to teach us about public speaking. What an important skill this is for every adult to have! I have done a lot of public speaking in my adult life and whenever I am complimented on it, I attribute my ease in public speaking to my experience in 4-H. We also would do some sort of volunteer work each month as a club and it taught us so much about the community, but more importantly, needs that exist right here in our home town. My Mom is very connected to us. When we would be sad or get hurt, she would hold us tight to her chest and ask if we could feel the love coming from her heart – and we could! One time when I was sick at school, I tried to call my Mom to come take me home, but couldn’t get in touch with her (before we all had a cell phone!). I was trying to just get through the day, when one of my friends told me that my Mom was looking for me! She felt that I needed her, so she stopped by the school to find me. My Mom always said that her kids were her best friends and it’s still true today. My Mom and I talk almost every day and we are lucky enough to get together two to three mornings a week for coffee and a visit. She is amazingly loving, kind, caring, sweet, giving, smart and fun. Growing up with my Mom was a joyful experience. Her enthusiasm and happiness are contagious. Because of her, we have a very special and happy family that is able to consistently see the bright side of life. My parents and my siblings are all best friends. People often remark about how special our family is and how lucky we are to have each other and I attribute so much of that to my Mother – my superhero.

Rebekah (30) I am so lucky that I have Mimi Fountain for my mother! She is the very best mother anyone could ask for. As we were growing up, my Mommy would wake up and sing us our very own songs! I always knew with certainty that my Mommy absolutely adored her children. My Mommy was a stay-at-home Mom and she homeschooled me and my siblings. We always got to do fun and exciting things. My Mommy would take us on many different field trips during the school year and she made learning so much fun. My Mom and I also went to nursing school together. When I was 16, I found out that I was expecting and realized that I needed to quickly figure out what I was going to do with my life to be successful while being a teen mom. I decided to go to nursing school and my Mom chose to go to school with me to help me to succeed. It was so much fun having such a great study buddy! Not to mention the added benefit that we became so much closer. Whenever I’ve needed anything my Mother is always there for me. All four of us have been raised with so much love and a great since of self-worth. She has shown me that anything I want is attainable with hard work and to never give up on my dreams. My Mother is such a sweet, loving, kind and extraordinary woman. She has such a big heart and love just pours out of her! I love you so much and so grateful you are my Mommy!!!

Angela (27) There are so many wonderful things about my Mother; she is caring, loving, honest, and has a beautiful soul. When we were little, she would sing to us all of the time. She had a song for when it was time to get up, go to bed, brush our teeth or just whenever she felt like boosting our confidence with: “You are so wonderful, lovable, adorable, precious, sweet and good and kind!” My mom did everything she could to give us (my 2 sisters, 1 brother and I) the best childhood possible. I believe she succeeded. When I look back, all I have are happy memories of my beautiful family and all of our wonderful times together. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful, close family and I believe that my Mom is the reason why we are so close. Mom has an amazing gift to get along with anyone and relate to them on a personal level. My whole life she has been great friends with each one of my friends. They always tell me “Your mom is so sweet!” or “I wish I was a Fountain! You are so lucky to have such a great family!”

David (23) I have an announcement to make! My Mom is the sweetest, smartest and best mommy in the whole wide world! When we were in public school, Mom used to tease us by saying that she was going to show up in our classroom and say, “I have an announcement to make! David is the cutest, sweetest and smartest boy in the whole class!” We used to laugh and tell her, “No, no!” There is simply no way to explain how much love I have for her. Her smile is enough to light up my world and her beautiful eyes can pierce the surface of the sun. She has a connection with all four of us kids that can only be explained spiritually, and her caring nature surpasses even the most divine human being. I am at a loss of words to explain my Mother; I simply feel her love and see her smile gleaming down upon me.

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For as long as I have known her, Brenda has brought English charm to Durango. She is so fun and easy to be around. I adore her. I also learn from her. She approaches Motherhood with the same charm and good energy that attracts people to her. She is kind, relaxed, patient and all-giving. She raises the bar when it comes to how to raise children. Watching who her boys become as they grow older is a testament to her multiple talents as a mother. They are gentle with other kids, inclusive, funny and playful. We all know it is not, but she makes Motherhood look easy. She really is a Superhero!

Krista Harris

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Lauren, Lincoln and I have compiled a list of things that make Alison a special mom:
1. She makes us good food and is the best of cooks
2. She helps with the garden and grows flowers
3. She makes sure that we are dressed each day
4. She keeps the house warm by starting a fire sometimes
5. She is awesome at crafts and makes jewelry
6. She teaches us manners and how to be respectful
7. She makes the holidays special
8. She is compassionate and kind
9. She is thoughtful beyond measure
10. She loves us
For these reasons and many more, we acknowledge that Alison deKay is our most special mom. We love her with all our hearts.

Dad, Lauren, Lincoln

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Crystal is a superhero mama because of the amazing job she does raising our son, while also carrying our new daughter, and keeping our house running! I am thankful that she’s there to instill our values and beliefs in our children. She sets a great example for Abel and I am so thankful for everything she does.

Drew Redman

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You know my Mama…probably enough said 🙂

She is fabulous in so many wonderful, “standard” Mom ways but it is the un-spoken way she has about her that she shares with everyone around her.  She is someone that brightens people’s lives no matter where they come from or how rejected they might be by others.  She is a quiet helper with no need for validation and truly listens to the spirit in her heart.

Love,
Ali dK

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Rachel is a loving and compassionate young woman who will make a great mommy. It has been pleasure to watch my daughter mature into a mother over these last few months. No words can describe that feeling.

Dixie Melton

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I could nominate my momma, Lisa Skyhorse, for several reasons but lately I learned a lesson from her that will stay with me for my lifetime … it was a lesson of pure mother selflessness and it taught me how to be a better mom because of it as well! Six years ago we moved here with our daughter Violet who was almost 2. We moved here to be closer to my parents and give them the gift of their first grand baby … we have all flourished because of the closeness in distance and the blessing of my parents and my kids being incredibly close!!!. Now, my husband’s dream job is taking us to Portland, to relocate. As a mom, my first concern was my 7 year old daughter, Violet, and making sure she would be able to handle this transition. I would say to myself “just put on a strong face and show V how to embrace this as an adventure – if I am happy and excited she will be too” …. in a short time V was boasting with more excitement for the adventure than for the sadness of family we were leaving behind. As a daughter myself, my second concern was my mom and making sure she would be able to handle this transition as well. Naturally, my mom was devastated … After a few weeks I had a very touching moment with my mom. I found I was having a hard time sharing with her and being guarded to tell her stuff about the move out of my desire to protect her, and she said to me, “Baby, I love you and I support you … just as you have done for your daughter, I will always do for you … You are my “Violet” and I will do whatever it takes to put on a strong face and embrace this as an adventure – if I am happy and excited you can be too”. Her saying this to me allowed me to feel this adventure and change for myself and no longer just as a daughter making her mother sad. It helped me to realize that even though we grow up and embrace our own journeys into motherhood, we are still our mother’s babies and we still need to let them be our mommies when we need them to be. I will never forget how selfless my mom was by sharing this with me and I cannot but help share this with other mothers and daughters! Thank you for allowing me to share this and for always embracing the beautiful Momma SuperHeros amongst us!

Ocea Mazenko

Here is what I think of Ocea and why she is a super-hero: My criteria for the most cosmic mother/daughter and best friend is pretty easy…..competent, conscious, compassionate, fair, fun, funny, wise, beautiful and radiant inside and out. Ocea is my girl in all of these and she makes me so proud and full of love.

Lisa Skyhorse

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I would like to mominate my mother-in-law, Beth Wilderman. I truly believe that the best moms make the best grandmothers. She enables me to strive to be the best mom that I can be to Mighty Titus. She offers her time, love and experience at the drop of a hat. Oh, how I would love to recognize her through your amazing photography!

Linda Wilderman

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I guess I would “mominate” myself by saying that I feel SO proud to be a mother to my kids because they teach me so much everyday! They inspire me to “Love what Is”, to love myself, be the best person I can be and to ALWAYS do my best-because I expect that of them. As a MOM to WRC I try to lead by example, be patient and available to my colleagues and the women who come in.

Liz Mora

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We are mominating our mom, Lois Black, for the Superhero Momma photo show because we love her and here are the reasons why: • Left her family and friends back East, drove out to Colorado in her new Chevy Van, while pregnant to marry our dad and build a life here. • Teacher for almost 25 years, awesomely molding young minds • Encouraged us to dream big while keeping us firmly rooted in reality • Taught us that especially in really hard times laughter really is the best medicine • Showed us how to be strong, independent, and caring individuals • Celebrated our victories and helped pick us up and dust us off after a fall • Shared valuable driving skills i.e. how to drive like you are from Jersey • Is a kick ass grandmother (Nana)! She is fully enjoying doting on her grandkids and coming to our rescue when we need help. We know that y’all do an amazing job capturing the inner light that makes someone shine and we would love nothing more than for our mom to see herself lit up – the way we see her. Thank you for your consideration and for continuing to do the work that helps reveal awesome moms and women!

Cheers, Erin, Beau & Paul

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I would like to nominate my mom, Mary Stengel, to be in your show! She is really the best mom anyone could ask for and does so much for me everyday. She is my best friend and inspiration. She is in her 60’s and recently walked 500 miles across Spain along the Camino de Santiago, something I find incredibly inspirational. I only hope I can be like her when I’m her age! I hope you pick her to be in your show!

Megan Deaver

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Writing these words we want to say,
We like how she makes the most of every day.
It’s no walk in the park raising two boys.
Some days aren’t so easy,
Some days are all noise.
And although some days can feel kind of like a test,
She always comes through smiling. We think she’s the best!

Odin, Asher and Steve Jenkinson

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I first met Jen many years ago. She was one of those gorgeous woman, career oriented, smart, energetic, motivated and independent. I remember the first time I saw her being simply blown away! She always had her reservations about having children (I never doubted for a second) and would say things like – “I’ll lose my independence”, what about my career” etc… etc… Well… she needn’t have worried. Since the arrival of our beautiful wee Claire Elizabeth she has transformed (as I knew she would) in this amazing mother. She loves and cares for Claire in such a beautiful way that you can feel it when you see them together, its like an energy being emitted. Over the past 15 months she has been there for Claire every second. She has nurtured her, helped her blossom and above all loved her through tears, screams, smiles and giggles. The energy and motivation she used to have all for herself has been given entirely to Claire in the most selfless display. She has also embraced and shared this love with Claire’s Grandparents and extended family, including them in Claire’s life unreservedly, which from my point of view is so important. As for me… well she is now even more gorgeous in every way, I am so proud of her! Claire always lights up when I get home from work and Jen says that to Claire I am the rockstar. Well I might be the ‘rockstar’, but Jen is the rock.

Jeremy Elrick

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I spent 9 days with 28 family members in the Cook Islands this April. Since Wesley photographed the majority of the Moms we are honoring at this year’s show, while I was away I decided I wanted to contribute by photographing in the islands. I want to honor my sister-in-law, Sarah Jenkinson, in this year’s show. I often think of her when I feel like I am barely keeping my head above water as a Mother. She has three beautiful teenagers. I can only hope that my boys turn out as cool as my niece and nephews. They are funny, respectful and really honest with their parents. Courtney is the oldest at 18. Her twin brothers Adam and Ben are 17. That’s right! I can’t even imagine what it was like to have three babies under two. I know there was not a lot of sleep and probably even less sanity, and yet they thrived. Their family is so tight and loving. Sarah stayed at home with her kids during their childhood. She then went back to school and got her nursing degree and is now a full time emergency room nurse. This woman is constantly giving to the people around her and it often goes unrecognized. She has two of the most important jobs in the world and I know that the “thank yous” do not come as often as they are deserved. So, thank you, Sarah Jenkinson. I am so grateful for all the love and attention you give to our family. You are a superhero and I treasure you!!!

Kyla Jenkinson

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My Mum is the best because…

My Mum is the best because she buys me food and drinks. My Mum is the best because she buys me clothes. My Mum is the best because she loves to take me out for lunch dates and shopping days. My Mum is the best because she takes not only me but my Dad too, on mystery drives. My Mum is the best at this one… she spoils me rotten! Most of all my Mum and my family are the best because they all love me and I love them.

Milly Autridge

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I don’t  think that my mom realizes the extent to which she has inspired my sister and I. She has given purpose to our photography. To have purpose is to have happiness and so she has given us happiness in a direct and round about way. Because of my Moms struggles we aim to educate and change the way women and girls treat their bodies. My mom is a silent champion, survivor and hero. She shows the world a beautiful smiling face and a kind, giving soul but she struggles. I do not know the extent of her pain but I believe it to be deep and beyond the physical traumas left behind a cancer survival and years of malnutrition. I do know that every time I stumble she is their to cushion the fall. She does not leach out unwanted advice but when I need it her words are invaluable and compassionate. There are so many stories I could share of her unconditional love and support. Recently just after Asher (my second son) was born my mom came over to “baby hold.” I was frustrated and short with her when she arrived to help out because she was an hour later than she said she would be. I burst into tears defending my temper with the fact that I was sleep deprived. She told me to go have a nap and sat down in a rocking chair with Asher. I woke up three hours later. It was dark. My mom was still sitting in the rocking chair, in the dark, not wanting to move because she didn’t want to wake up Asher. For three hours she sat and rocked my baby so I could sleep. I am sure she had to pee or that her arms had a lack of blood supply or that she may have wanted to turn on  a light, but she sat in the same spot letting us both sleep. I was so touched to find her there in the dark taking care of everyone again, silently. My Superhero mom is Judi Jackson. She is my inspiration always.
Kyla Jenkinson