Motherhood through 3 generations.

May 15, 2017

It is true that to raise strong women of our own, we must have witnessed what strength looks like.  This post is a little bit about the impact of the women before me. How my grandmothers and my own mother paved the path with grace for many of us trying to walk behind them…


(Lucia with her two oldest boys. Rocco looks so much like my Uncle Pete on the left!)

(My grandmother Margaret holding my mother as a baby.)



(Some of the photos my grandpa John took of my grandmother Margaret as a mother. They lived in small square mile German town in Ohio.)

(My grandma Lucia holding my dad.)

 Margaret was (and still is!) a talented oil painter, married to a photographer, with 10 children. Lucia, a strong willed and witty stay at home mother, married to a carpenter/ leather worker who had 13 children. Both women whose family tree included immigrants from different countries.  Both raising big families in neighboring states. Both women knew how to dress to the nines for the right occasion with the right hat or shade of lipstick. When days are tough I pull strength knowing that these two women went through similar days. They may have fed their babies differently, raised their children in different ways, and experienced different hardships. However, there is something very similar between them I have come to know and value. They both were determined and devoted, and loved to the best of their capabilities. Despite difficulties such as financial strain, health obstacles, and even losing children, their strength was rooted deep in their love of family and faith in God. They ended up becoming good friends after three of Lucia’s children married three of Margaret’s children! (Yes, two my mom’s brothers married two of my dad’s sisters! They met through my parents.)


(My mom put together these costumes one year: Dorothy, Glinda the good witch, Sr. Mary Margaret, and a clown. Guess who won the costume contest?)

(My beautiful mother and Rocco at Easter.)

My own mother has always been my personal heroine. She was an English teacher, and when she put that on hold to raise us, she poured her creative talents into her motherhood (as you can see by the costumes above!) I now understand how difficult many of those days were raising us, but somehow, she managed to leave us all with a lasting impression of childhood happiness. She fought hard to give us a sense of belonging and of purpose without ever having to doubt the safe haven of love she built for us. She continues to be a source of wisdom, understanding, and unconditional love as she was throughout my whole life. I have grown in my confidence as a woman and a mother thanks to her unwavering encouragement.



Now that I am in the thick of raising my own children, it helps me to think about the lives these women lead and still lead. I have come to see that their faithful love of their families built a rich well for the next generations to pull from for years to come. It is a well of security, strength, and faith that has offered a place for me to rest my feet when everything else seems to blur. I feel indebted to them for this, and I hope my own children can experience the life giving love that comes from the well they built.


Who is this kind of warrior of a woman in your life? Who are the women who were your well?I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day with those you love most!


Leave a Comment

  • Happy mother’s day! Loved the old photos. You will sure be as great of a mother to your kids as the mothers before you!

  • Loved this sweet and sentimental post, Anna! My husband’s older two brothers married a pair of sisters as well 😉 We call their kids “super cousins” because they look so much alike! Too funny!

  • Anita Grajo

    Love this post and all the pictures are beautiful! Hope you had a happy mother’s day!
    P.S. where is your dress from 😉

  • What an incredible story! You should write a book – not that you don’t have enough on your plate…

    I appreciate my mom more everyday. She was a single parent with two kids and I have no idea how she did it. I struggle with being a working mom and have a super supportive husband and the ability to afford daycare for most the week. She didn’t have those luxuries. This post (and the summer weather) reminded me that my sister and I used to sit in a booth at Taco Bell with toys while she worked and we’d go to 7/11 for Slurpees on her breaks. It’s a fun memory for me but I’m sure it was super stressful for her.

    • Carrie I admire single parents more and more each year! The sacrifices they and how they burn the candle on both ends is astounding. Your mother sounds like an incredible person!

  • How truly blessed you are to have such a rich background of strong stunning women! And what a large unique family story, I thought I had a large family but whew yours beats mine hands down! And those pictures (I could look at those for days and days❤️?)
    I am lucky to have many women who have impacted my life, from my family, as I grew, and others as I got married from my Husband’s side. It’s such an honor to hear their stores and learn from them.
    You have such a warm bright spirit and a contagious smile! You can tell from those pictures and stories where some of it has been inherited from! Thank you as always for opening up this special window in to your life! I hope your Mother’s Day was overflowing with Love and laughter!

  • One of my favorite posts you’ve shared to date. History is so sacred! It looks so sweet and rosy from a future perspective but as you and so many moms know, it’s life in the trenches blessed by bright, sweet moments that make it all worth it. Thanks for sharing Anna! Happy (late) Mother’s Day to you!

  • What a beautiful post! I don’t know you but I am sure that your children are blessed to have you as their mother.

    • Thank you so much Noelle! x

      • Anna, I re-read this tonight before I hit the sack. Made me appreciate the love that my bride has poured out for our children over many years. Oh how grateful and blessed I am. Thank you for your love story as my bedtime reading.

  • Mimi Hernandez

    Beautiful, and inspiring! I love big families

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