A Kentucky Mother's Journey: Favorite Photos and Quotes

Motherhood is by far the greatest gift I've ever received. As expected, becoming a first-time "mama" 23 months ago changed everything, but all for the better.  I have discovered that there is indeed something better than being a Kentucky girl, raising a Kentucky girl.

What I least expected about motherhood is how much my daughter would teach me. I am reminded that it is the little things that matter the most to a child, like needing a hug when she gets a boo-boo or the instinctive desire to dance when she hears music.  There are so many little things that enrich our lives that often get overlooked when we get older and get busier. And, I cannot think of a more beautiful place to discover (or rediscover, as in my case) the simple joys of life than against the backdrop of our beautiful state and rich traditions.

To illustrate my own personal journey into motherhood with my daughter, Katherine, here are some of my favorite photos and quotes:

"When you're pregnant, you can think of nothing but having your own body to yourself again, yet after having given birth you realize that the biggest part of you is now somehow external, subject to all sorts of dangers and disappearance, so you spend the rest of your life trying to figure out how to keep it close enough for comfort. That's the strange thing about being a mother: until you have a baby, you don't even realize how much you were missing one." 
–  Jodi Picoult, Vanishing Act

"No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you. After all, you're the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside."
 – Unknown

"Once your baby arrives, the world is no more the same than you are. Because from our very bodies we add to the collective human destiny. Our deepest urge is always toward life, to wholeness and well being."– Claire Fontaine 

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child."
– Sophia Loren

 "Motherhood is a choice you make everyday, to put someone else's happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you're not sure what the right thing is...and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong."
– Donna BallAt Home on Ladybug Farm Farm

"I looked on child rearing not only as a work of love and duty but as a profession that was fully as interesting and challenging as any honorable profession in the world and one that demanded the best that I could bring to it."  
 – Rose Kennedy

"The phrase 'working mother' is redundant." 
 Jane Sellman

"Though motherhood is the most important of all the professions -- requiring more knowledge than any other department in human affairs -- there was no attention given to preparation for this office." 
Elizabeth Cady Stanton

"I think that the best thing we can do for our children is to allow them to do things for themselves, allow them to be strong, allow them to experience life on their own terms, allow them to take the subway...let them be better people, let them believe more in themselves." 

 C. JoyBell C.

 “Becoming a mother makes you the mother of all children. From now on each wounded, abandoned, frightened child is yours. You live in the suffering mothers of every race and creed and weep with them. You long to comfort all who are desolate.” – Charlotte Gray

 “The great motherhood friendships are the ones in which two women can admit [how difficult mothering is] quietly to each other, over cups of tea at a table sticky with spilled apple juice and littered with markers without tops.” – Anna Quindlen

"Some of your best moments as a mother will happen around the toilet at six a.m. while you're holding a pile of fingernail clippings like a Santeria princess." – Tina Fey, Bossypants

Happy Mother's Day, y'all!  What are your plans for Sunday?