Mother’s Day Edition: Love Letters to Mom

By: Juliana Pires Johnson

Holidays can be both joyful and tough for many and this Mother’s Day we asked two of the women we admire the most to pay tribute to their mothers, who though are no longer physically here with us, are most definitely around not only spiritually but living through their incredible daughters. We can only imagine that as a mother, your highest aspiration is to raise children just like Katie Durko Karvinen and Caroline DeJean; beautiful, talented, creative, empathetic, generous, kind and inspiring.

We want to help honor the stand-up women who nurtured and set an example to these role models of ours. This Mother’s Day, lets honor those who have built, shaped and bettered us. Whether they are still with us, on this physical plane, or just next door, watching and looking after us.

Katie, Caroline, thank you for sharing these letters with us and Marsha + Liz – thank you for raising and inspiring women who make the world a better place.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Love Letter to Marsha

By: Katie Durko Karvinen (@katie)


I woke up today to Ryland yelling “mama” at the top of his lungs from his crib, waiting (not so patiently) for his morning bottle. Yes, his first word was “mama” and yes, it melts my heart every time he says it. I cannot believe he is 9 months old. He takes after you. Love You Forever is his favorite bedtime book. Before he goes to sleep at night we sing: “I love you forever, I like you for always, as long as I’m living my sweet boy you’ll be.”

It’s true what you said – “don’t blink.” They really do grow up too fast.

Motherhood is the most rewarding, yet most demanding job I have ever had. The first few months feel like a distant blur of hormones, feedings, and sleepless nights, but now I’ve come up for air and I’ve become that mom who spends her evenings looking at photos of her baby while he sleeps in the next room. How is it possible to miss him this much when we are literally sharing a roof?

I wish you were here so I could tell you just how much I appreciate you and all that you did for me. You were my SuperMom.

Thank you for giving me the freedom and space to dream. You said, “follow your heart and do whatever makes you happy.”

Thank you for making a beautiful life for us; and for always making the time, regardless of your demanding work schedule.

Thank you for putting up with me during my teenage years. I know I wasn’t the easiest. You’ve always been my biggest fan.

Thank you for giving me a sense of style and taste and an immense appreciation for cats, Disneyland and Kauai.

Thank you for welcoming Adrian into our family with open arms. You loved him like he was your own son.

Thank you for helping plan the wedding of my dreams. And thank you for fighting like hell through two lung surgeries and countless cancer treatments so you could make it there and walk down the aisle in your beautiful gold dress we spent so long searching for.

Thank you for introducing me to people with such pride, as your “baby” even after I turned 30. Thank you for showing me how to be a real friend. Thank you for telling me you loved me every time we saw each other and every time before we hung up the phone — which was every day. But most importantly, thank you for teaching me how to be the BEST mom.

I miss you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day.


Love Letter to Liz

By: Caroline DeJean (@carolinedejean)

Hi Mom,

I never said “thank you” enough when you were still around and there are times when the thought of that cripples me. There are other times where I just look up and think “thank you” when I look to the sky. I’ll never be able to list everything but I wanted you to have this for today.

Thank you for showing me to have the courage of my convictions.

Thank you for being an example that you are never too old, and it’s never too late. Ever.

Thank you for believing in me every single step of the way. No dream was too big. Your confidence in me made me feel as though I had nothing to lose when I could have easily second guessed myself every step of the way.

Thanks for being the “fun” mom when I was in high school. We used to fight about it constantly but looking back now, you really were fun. And cool. There, I finally admitted it. The freedom you allowed me back then has lead me to make some wiser choices as an adult. 

Lastly, thank you for giving me my sister.

You constantly told us growing up that we needed to learn to like one another because one day, we would be all the other has and you wouldn’t be around forever. We still bicker (I almost hung up on her last week), but she is my soul mate, my cheerleader, my protector, and my favorite human being. Thank you for giving her to me. 

I really miss you. I really love you. And thank you.



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