In the process of debuting her new book, “My Mom…the Best Mom Ever,” BELLA’s cover and feature makeup artist, Lauren Vena, was inspired to launch a “Mommy Makeover” campaign. Her goal: To recognize mothers making a difference and consistently putting others before themselves.
The initiative connected Lauren to a number of small businesses in New Jersey, which stepped up to gladly pamper the lucky mom who won the campaign.
Nominations of deserving mothers came in from health care workers, educators, law enforcement, and beyond. The stories were so moving, emotional, and uplifting, explains Lauren, it was difficult to choose just one winner. After calling in all the local businesses that volunteered their time and services to pamper the winning mom, the unanimous decision was made to showcase four amazing moms, not just one.
The lucky moms received a complementary photo shoot experience at Your Space NJ with Jessica Cirz Photography; videographer Isaac Perez of Ready Steady NYC; wardrobe by Melanie Gibson, owner of Lola’s Boutique; hair styling by salon owner Danielle Carpeneto; and makeup by Lauren—an industry veteran with 20 years experience.
Meet the moms and see how their amazing beauty shines from within…
I am selfishly nominating myself for best mom, even though I am not a biological mother. I am a former teacher who is six years out of the classroom due to progressing multiple sclerosis, and I have so many kids! I have been to graduation parties, showers, weddings, christenings, and just about anywhere I have been needed, including doctor appointments, ER visits, and sonograms. My kids even call me “Mama.”
I may not have physically given birth, but these children are ever-present in my life, and I don’t think anyone could be prouder if they actually gave birth to these now-amazing adults. They know how much I love them—we express it often—and they know they can talk to me about anything at all. They are sensitive to my illnesses, especially when I battled breast cancer just three years after I left the classroom. Their support for me is equally as appreciated as my support of them.
Maybe God knew I was a mom who was just waiting for kids, and that’s why I get to have so many amazing ones who touch my heart on a daily basis.
submitted by her boss, Cherylyn Murphy
Karen Voss is a seasoned RN who I had the pleasure of coming to know through our time together working in hospice. She is one of the professional women who has helped me grow and made me a better administrator; Karen challenged me in ways I had never been challenged before.
In addition to being a well-respected nurse, she is also a mom. If you ask her what her most important job is in life, she will tell you about her boys, her two sons, and her grandchildren. Unfortunately, in just a short amount of time, Karen lost her beloved father to cancer, tragically lost her husband one month later, fought to keep her oldest son alive following an almost fatal skiing accident, and battled addiction with her youngest son, who today is fully recovered and ultimately alive, thanks to Karen’s will and strength.
The same unique traits that make Karen an awesome mom also make her an amazing RN. From sitting bedside with her dying patients, to holding the hands of a loved one losing a family member, Karen does it all with poise and grace. Hospice nursing is a calling, and Karen was called to it.
submitted by her daughter,
My mom has always been there for me, but little did she know that at the age of 12, I would be diagnosed with lupus and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Her world stopped. Luckily, with lots of trials, I was “under control,” but I was often sick due to a suppressed immune system. When it was time for braces, we knew something wasn’t right, and doctors confirmed that my arthritis was eating my jawbone, which would require upper and lower jaw reconstructive surgery. After surgery, my mouth was wired shut for four weeks, and I could barely eat or speak, but my mom refused to let this disease get the best of me. Mom was my support, my caregiver, and my best friend.
In 2013, after battling multiple Phyllodes breast tumors and surgeries to remove them, I made the decision to have a double mastectomy. It was a difficult one, but after 18 surgeries in total, it seemed to be the right decision.
My mom was at my side from the moment I got out of the operating room until I was able to go home. She was also there during the weeks that followed, taking care of my two young children. Shortly after my final surgery, my husband asked for a divorce, and once again my mom was there to support me. My mom was by my side through the darkest days of my life. She was my biggest cheerleader, my shoulder to cry on, my therapist—my everything! I am very lucky to always have the best mom ever. I love you, Mom!
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