For those of you who missed my bazillion shares, I recently won an Orchid Award from the Portland Business Journal, which honors “women of influence.” Cleary, I was excited and honored by this award, but it also made me think about the people that influence us on a daily basis. And the people who we influence as well. In honor of Mother’s Day, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on one particular person and the amazing influence she’s had on me since birth — my mom.

I think about how my life has been shaped and nurtured by my mom, and I am beyond grateful. Not only did she allow me to be my own person (although perhaps she could have guided me away from our matching Sally Jesse Raphael glasses in the 1980’s!), but encouraged me to be a free-thinker, to ask questions and to treat every person I meet with kindness and empathy. I definitely learned by the example she set.

Now as a mother myself, I get to use the tools she instilled in me to try to be the best mom I can be to my own daughters. I’ll be honest, there are definitely some days when that is easier to do than others (nobody’s perfect, right?!), but having such a wonderful role-model certainly makes raising those tiny people much easier. I feel so lucky that I get to watch my mom be a grandmother to my girls and witness that special bond that comes with the unconditional love (and probably one too many bowls of ice cream) of a grandma.

Moms are a special breed, so I want to wish all the moms out there a Happy Mother’s Day — with a special call-out to my mom! Go to our Facebook page and tell us what your mom has taught you or share a special memory!

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