So about two and a half months ago my dad and I got a call from my mom's company, Close To My Heart, letting us know that my mom was going to be winning their most prestigious award at their annual convention in July. They wanted to fly us out to surprise her on stage when they gave her the award. I was SO excited for her! My mom is such an amazing person and totally deserves this award. It is called the Spirit of Close to My Heart and is voted on by the consultants. Here is how they described the award during the ceremony:
"How do you measure 'spirit'? You measure it in the conversations she has with others. The supportive e-mail she sends to a discouraged team member. The winning smile she freely shares with anyone in her presence. The integrity with which she lives her life, each and every day—putting her family first, her friends above herself, and never compromising on kindness or generosity. Tonight’s honoree is no exception. She follows in the footsteps of those Spirit winners who have gone before her, and yet she blazes her own path quite distinctly. Gracefully. Beautifully. I know she has inspired each of us onstage, and tonight I invite you to be inspired by her as well."
They then played a video tribute that was full of pictures of her, starting with her baby picture. They didn't announce who it was until about a minute into the video but my mom said she realized it was her after the second picture. She was completely overwhelmed. At this point, my dad, Daci and I were backstage waiting to be called out to surprise her. We were able to see her on a monitor and see her reaction to winning. She was bawling! It was SO cool! After the video, they called one of her friends up on the stage to say some kind words about her and then they said, "Karen, we’ve also asked a few people who know you best to share their love for you. Everyone, let’s show a little love for Karen’s husband Dan Pedersen, and her daughter Kori Roberts! Come on out Dan and Kori!" I sent Daci up on the stage first and then we walked out, I looked at my mom and she was shocked. She was crying so hard! I loved it :) My dad and I said a few words and then I handed the microphone to Daci. I was prepping her for how she needed to act on the stage earlier that day. I told her that grandpa and I were going to be talking in a microphone on stage and that she needed to be really quiet and stand really still. She goes, "Mom, I want to talk in the microphone too! I want to say, 'Grandma, you are the BEST and I love you!!" It was so sweet! I didn't know if she would really be able to do it once we were in front of 1100 people but she did and she did great! And then, when my mom came up on stage Daci tore off running toward her and jumped in her arms. It was the sweetest, most perfect thing, and no.... I didn't tell her to do that. The rest of the night Daci was glued to my mom. She was so excited and proud to be with her. She had to be in every picture that my mom took.
This was such an amazing experience. My mom has had a very rough last few years and I am so proud of her and so grateful that she works for such an amazing company, who realizes when their consultants do great things. I'm so glad my mom got to be the one that was pampered for a change!
They asked my dad, my brother and I to submit a few words about my mom and then they would try to incorporate it into the video. It didn't all make it but here are some things we said:
Growing up my brothers and I were always pulling my mom in a million different directions with all the things we were involved in. She never once complained about driving us to all of our practices, or about all of the performances and games she had to attend. Quite the opposite, in fact, she always told us how much she loved seeing us do the things we loved, and that going to our games and performances were the highlights of her week. She had such an amazing way of making us feel special. We knew that we were important to her and that our interests were hers as well.
I remember when I was in high school I made the hard decision of quitting ballet, which I had been doing since the age of 5, and joined the high school drill team. I know this was very hard on my mom. She loved ballet and loved watching me do it so much. She was still supportive of my decision, even though it wasn’t the one she would have made, and jumped full on into the drill team world. She was there cheering me on at every competition, half time show, and performance. She would always write me notes or make me fun little gifts on the day of a big performance to let me know she was thinking of me and hoping I would do my very best. I am so grateful to have a mom who stands by me and makes me feel special and important, no matter what. Now that I am a mom, I see even more what a wonderful quality that is. I hope to always make my children feel special and loved. I hope that I can always be supportive in what they choose to do, even if it isn’t my first choice.
There are many other qualities that my mom has that I admire. She is kind, caring, organized, determined, dedicated, passionate and loving. I am so grateful to call her my mom and hope to be just like her one day. She is very deserving of this award and I am so proud of her!
A mothers intuition has always been something I have heard about my whole life. I always thought it was a made up science to make moms sound smart, but with my mom it is an art. My mom has truly mastered this art. I cannot begin to number the amount of times where I have been going through difficult times in my life and my mom has somehow always known about it. There were many times where I was struggling and didn't want anyone to know, and made it an effort to keep it to myself, but for some reason my mom always had those impressions that something was troubling me. It was the times when I would come home to a heartfelt note on my pillow, She has always known what to do for her children in their lives. Because of my mom a mothers intuition is no longer something I think is made up. I really do believe that it takes a special person and mom to know that her children are going through something difficult and is always the first person there to offer a shoulder to lean on. I am the person I am today because of the help I received from my mom and her mothers intuition. I love you mom and I am so proud of you!
Most people believe that our story began September 1984 in Rexburg, Idaho at Ricks College. When I was a handsome, well built athlete, and she a beautiful Princess. Not so, our story actually began much earlier than that. For me to be married for 27 years to this incredibly beautiful and talented lady the journey had to have begun in Heaven.
I know that being married to Karen has been the greatest thing in my life. She is a loyal wife and devoted mother. Her willingness and desire to bring our children into this world has been the greatest blessing we have known. Believe me when I tell you Karen has a passion for her family, and she is guided in that passion from above. The examples of this have been countless.
Most of you know of her creative talents, but her talents involving the service of people and mankind are more impressive. After all, she has stayed married to me all these years, where a reverse fairytale phenomenon took place. She kissed the handsome Prince and I turned into SHREK!!!
I’ll love you forever Karen!
|Daci and I all dressed up and ready to go down to the ceremony!|
|Daci was SO happy to be with my Dad!|
|Proud of grandma after she received the award|
|Some friends congratulating her|
|My dad with my moms bouquet :)|
|Daci just had to hold the bouquet too|
|With her friend that spoke about her on stage|
|At the party for the award winners, Daci was having way too much fun with the fun drinks and treats :)|
|Photos with some of the executives at CTMH|
|She couldn't have been happier to be with her grandparents|
|They were pretty happy to be with her too :)|
The next day was Extravaganza. My mom got to be a teacher this year and has been preparing for months. I got to go watch her teach her class.
|She taught an inking technique so her hands were covered in ink :)|
Some of her beautiful artwork:
|She taught with the new kit "Avonlea"|
|She also showed you could make the blue and green kit a Christmas layout by adding red|
|A Studio J layout with the Avonlea kit|
Like I said before, I couldn't be more proud of her. I just love her to death and am so grateful I got to be a part of this experience. I have many more pictures of the trip to post. It was also a fun little getaway with my little Daci. We needed some alone time....and boy did we get some! :)