Celebrating Moms


Mother's Day GiftsMoms are incredibly special. Whether a biological connection, or one of the spirit, those who have mothered us deserve celebration for their unwavering love and support. There is one coined day, May 8th this year, on which we all take a moment to recognize and acknowledge amazing women who love unconditionally, protect, encourage, inspire, share wisdom, and cheer us on. We should probably do this everyday, but on behalf of all the elves at Annalee, we wish all a Happy Mother’s Day!

We love hearing stories about amazing moms! The nominations we received in our 2022 Mother’s Day Contest amazed and humbled us. We heard about moms who helped their kids overcome great obstacles. We heard stories about moms who through consistent love and encouragement inspired our dreams and helped us grow. We learned of moms who go above and beyond for their communities and families. Moms who are strong role models, which in turn made us strong individuals. They have cleaned up, tucked us in, dried our tears, cared and supported us, at our best and worst. The mothers nominated were beyond worthy, and we thank you for sharing your personal and heartfelt stories. We wish we could celebrate each and every one of these incredible women. It was really challenging to select a few. Please join us in celebrating these contest winners and celebrating all moms who go above and beyond everyday.

Here is what Tiffany wrote about her Mom Elaine: “My mom (Elaine) raised me alone. My biological father and his family didn’t want anything to do with me. She never complained or bad-talked them. She only ever answered my questions and put people in my life who would help me learn my worth.

Elaine served her country faithfully as a medevac nurse in the US Air Force for 36 years. She retired as a lieutenant colonel in 2018 after many deployments. Tiffany remembers how challenging it was for them: “She had to leave me at only 6 years old for almost two years to go to Saudi Arabia.”

Elaine now works as a nurse for her local hospital and also cares for her mother, who has dementia. Tiffany says: “She also cared for her father in his last days when he was very ill, coordinating all his and his wife’s appointments and such, and she cared for my Dad before he passed.”  Elaine sounds like an incredible caretaker.

As Tiffany continues, “She has always sacrificed for us all. God never made a more selfless person, and she never does anything for herself. Anytime we have had a family member or friend or church family sick or dying, she always would check on them, and care for them. She took time off to care for her father-in-law and mother-in-law, and two sister-in-laws to be there and act as their nurse in their final days. She helped counsel her daughter-in-law when her son was dying and helped her understand what the doctors were telling her. Everyone raves about how kind it was for her to be there, but they didn’t seem to understand that was her grandson, too. It wasn’t just clinical for her. It was a devastating blow.”

“She takes on everything without complaint, even though her life has been full of tragedy and immeasurably hard. She does what she does because she knows people need her, and her strength is a kindness to us all. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this title.”


Here is what Victoria wrote about her Mom Karen (pictured left): “All moms are special but I would say I’m partial in thinking I was lucky to get one of the best. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized just how much she does behind the scenes without ever asking or needing acknowledgment. My mom would go above and beyond not only for her own kids but she would step in and help anyone. She is a lover of all things Annalee and loves collecting them. I may give her a hard time for the number of Annalee designs she has. But, I’d be the first one to buy her one she had been looking at but not wanting to spend the money on herself —  just to see how happy it makes her. Thank you to my mom for being my best friend, and wishing all moms a very Happy Mother’s Day!”

Here is what Victoria wrote about her boyfriend’s Mom Patty (pictured right): “Mother’s Day this year will be the hardest obstacle I have ever had to personally overcome. Unfortunately, my mother and best friend passed away suddenly in October 2021. To say it was unexpected would simply be an understatement. She experienced a massive heart attack. In lieu of nominating my own mother, I would like to take the opportunity to nominate my boyfriend’s mom, Patty, who completely embodies my mother’s spirit and smiling personality. She has stepped in to be a second mom for not only me but for so many during this difficult time. She has gone above and beyond to make us and our family members feel welcome and important in her home. Every birthday, holiday, or life celebration, we have a seat at her table, a gift in our hands, and leftovers to go home with. Since she also lost her mom at a young age, she can truly empathize with us on this holiday. She truly embodies everything a mom should be and deserves to be celebrated not only for her heroic efforts with us, but for raising three incredible sons.”

RUNNER-UP: Jo W. of Newark, OH
Nominated by: Daughter, Susan R.

Here is what Susan wrote about her Mom Jo (pictured above): “I’m proud to be the daughter of Jo W., a mom extraordinaire. Always a loving, compassionate lady, she has absolutely been there for her family and friends. She was blessed to have an opportunity to mentor kids who needed a boost to keep from falling prey to life’s pitfalls. With no college education, she gained community recognition as a prize-winning journalist. Living a life of accomplishment, it wasn’t until in her later years, 85, that I have realized what a real trooper she is. She bravely recovered from a severe pulmonary embolism only to be diagnosed with sarcoma cancer. She was undaunted with the news and endured 25 radiation treatments and two surgeries with complications. She took as her theme, ‘I’m in a WIN-WIN situation, I can only get well or I get to go to heaven.’  Then came a critical time when the disease metastasized to her lungs. It was at this crisis that she was approved to receive a state-of-the-art immunotherapy treatment. She underwent two years of treatment and is now declared to be in complete remission. Need I say more? My mom is awesome and I reward her milestones with Annalee dolls and watch her smile.”


Here is what Christina wrote about her Mom Jaqueline (pictured left):“My mom was the cool mom and she always smiled and laughed. Everything was about us kids! I didn’t realize the extent until I was 12 years old. I was shocked that mom and dad stopped eating with us. Family dinners were taught to be an important time for the family. I didn’t realize why it stopped, but mom was still smiling so I figured it was nothing. Weeks later it dawned on me why our routine had changed. Mom and dad didn’t have enough food for the family. Rather than make us sacrifice, they politely waited until us three girls were done and they ate if there was anything left over. I still cry to this day when I think about those times. Many times a mother’s love goes way beyond what the eye sees.”

Here is what Marcos wrote about her Mom (pictured right):“My mother is my backbone. She is always there when I need a hug or encouragement. She taught me that you are capable of anything and if you keep your roots strong in faith nothing will be sent that you cannot handle — even when you don’t believe you can. Being strong does not always mean not crying or needing help and I hope one day I can be the same person to my child.”

Here is what DazzleGrl wrote about her Mom (pictured left):“There is nothing better than a mother’s love. As I celebrated my 50th birthday cherishing every moment. There is nothing that my mother would not do for me. My childish expression says it all. She has been there through it all with me from having my first child at age 18 to later giving birth to triplets. Not to mention having my mom, my nurse, always by my side when I had to had to be hospitalized on four occasions. There is truly nothing I would not give to have her always by my side. She is what makes me truly see the blessings and know what a real mother truly represents. She is and always will be my queen bee.”

Here is what Mark wrote about his Mom Kelly (pictured right):“My mom’s smile brightens any room and her acts are a blessing. She raised six kids and she worked so hard for every single one of us. She makes the best foods known to mankind. Stuffed grape leaves, breads, cookies are just a few. She has made so much food, she gives to neighbors, cousins, and family members. She takes her time in everything. Her patience is one of a kind. She has the sweetest heart. Always there for everyone. She never gives up on us. I am truly thankful and grateful to be able to call her my mom! I love you mom!”

Here is what Lucy wrote about her Mom Kelly (pictured left):“My mom is amazing. She makes me smile all the time. I cannot even begin telling you how much she cares for me. She listens to me even when it is the dumbest thing ever, or just a fun fact. She is one of the kindest people that I know. She loves me even though I am not perfect. She takes time out of her day to drive me to and from school, after school activities, and many more. She will go out of her way just to get me something from the store. She is amazing. She allows me to get lots of animals, and supports it. She will soon teach us to drive. I owe her so much for all the things she has done for me. She also goes out of her way for others. She will bring them meals, or just a thoughtful card. I really admire that in her, and that is the biggest thing about her that makes me smile. Her willingness to do things for others is astounding. Her love for everyone is just wonderful. She has the ability to have something nice to say about everyone. She means so much to me. I love her.”

Here is what Kristi wrote about her Mom Phyllis (pictured right):“I’d like to nominate my mom, Phyllis. She will be 91 this August and she has been a pillar of encouragement and a rock of strength for me and many others. Even at 90 she is always up for an adventure! She still lives by herself and enjoys family gatherings, travel, gardening, animals, baking, reading, card playing, and, of course, Annalee dolls! My mom has collected for over 50 years and has hundred’s of Annalee’s, some obtained as far away as Aruba! My mom is the strongest, most loving, and charitable person I know. I am blessed daily to still have her. I’m fortunate to be with her nearly everyday and we enjoy craft shows, shopping, movies, and just being together. We are each other’s support person since we lost :( both my dad and my husband in 2017 . She is no nonsense, but has a heart as big as the sun and will always lend a helping hand to those in need. She taught me and my sister to be independent thinkers and doers. She rarely lets any situation get her down. Her encouragement and shoulder to cry on (sometimes) helped sculpt me into who I am today. I am forever grateful to have such a wonderful role model. She is like an Energizer bunny! A sure ‘winner’ in my book.”