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Like many husbands, I often scramble when I ponder, “What should I get my wife for Mother’s Day this year?” That question then leads into a seemingly endless string of other enigmas: What do I say? How do I say it? Is it special enough? Am I awful for not having a sixth sense for this sort of thing in the first place? I then think of one sub-par idea which suddenly gets eclipsed by another. Hours later, I’m now ping-ponging mediocre plans until I just give up and start Googling, “Romantic Mother’s Day gifts desperate husbands can give their wives.” It garners results that lead to the not-so-creative idea of “Hey, spend a lot of money at that one fancy restaurant with small portions and non-edible decor that monopolizes your plates.” Yeah. Original. I roll my eyes, scoff…but oddly enough…I start giving in. Ehhhh.

BUT THEN, I read the ONLY one negative Yelp review (out of 34,283 positive ones) from some old man chiding the filet mignon and it feels like the apocalypse and I can’t possibly make reservations now because what if the old man is right? And what if my wife orders the filet mignon and hates it?!

Now, I’m more frustrated than a customer at Costco the day before 4th of July and start Googling, “Who in the world created Mother’s Day in the first place?!”

(No. Seriously. I did this. Anna Jarvis is her name. Thanks Anna.)

I turn off my computer. Shut down my smart phone. “Why am I making such a deal of this?”

Well, it’s because I love my wife. I want to articulate my appreciation to her for nurturing our daughter in the Herculean way she does. I want to acknowledge her dedication so profoundly because I’m afraid that I fail to do so on the other 364 days of the year. I want her to see what I see between her and our little girl: The bond. The beauty. The chaos. The deprivation of sleep. But the smile she does it with. The loss of “me time.” But then the way she is still fully present in every now with our child. The 25th hour she is always searching for because in the profession of motherhood, she clocked in once and never, ever clocked out. Yet still, my wife doesn’t long for a yesteryear because…well, life is just so exponentially better with our sweet Ava.

There’s no gift I can purchase to show my gratitude. No 5-star eatery can do it justice. But my addiction to resiliency continues to lead me to rest on that old adage of, “Never give up. Ever.” So I won’t. And I didn’t this year. While up north and in the spur of the moment, we headed to Woodward Park in Fresno, California for a family outing. And I brought my camera. And simply clicked away at my girls. Those captures are what I decided to hand my wife. A figurative mirror, so to speak. And through it, it is my prayer that she sees the vibrant reflections of herself with Ava. Their love for one another. Their one-ness. Their ever-blessed magic.

Our little love bug.

Perfect, perfect weather in Fresno, California.

Peas in a pod.

 This is Ava wanting to hug her mommy. But also trying to leave that hug from mommy to further explore.

Speaking of exploring…

Oh, how emotions of children change so quickly 🙂

Adoration.

Partly thrilled to see the duck. Partly afraid of it.

Beauties.

A mother’s gaze.

In-love with this intentionally out-of-focus shot 😉

Shoulders: you can lean on em’, cry on em’, or stand/sit on em’.

Aftermath of being spun round’ n’ round.

Could these two get any beautiful-er? (Yeah, I know. Not a word. But you know exactly what I meant, though).

Ava will frame this one when she’s older. I guarantee it.

Discovering.

You can’t quite tell but mama’ is trying to keep up with this little speed-racer.

Besos.

Some say a picture is worth a thousand words. Others argue that they speak a thousand of them. I personally hope these ones leave you speechless. Happy Mother’s Day, my love.