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      Love and sacrifice got me here

      My Mom and Grandpa are visiting this weekend and I am so excited to show them everything that has made me fall in love with beautiful Traverse City.

      I know they are going to love it!

      I am planning to show them around downtown, go to Torch Lake, and visit Sleeping Bear Dunes. It is going to be a jammed pack weekend, but it will be a lot of fun!

      My family is from Cincinnati, Ohio, so I don't get to see them much now. Part of me wishes they could come up here and not go back home!

      My Mom and I have always been very close. As a single parent, she raised me and sacrificed a lot for me while growing up.

      Some people say they hope they never turn out like their parents, but I am happy to say that I wouldn't mind turning out like my Mom.

      She is the most hardworking, loving, thoughtful, fun and creative woman I know.

      I owe any and all of my artistic talent to her.

      She has taught me what hard work looks like. She worked a full-time and part-time job to support us from junior high school through college.

      She didn't start dating until my last year of college. She was at all of my events, award ceremonies, and softball and volleyball games in high school.

      She was the one who walked me down the aisle at my wedding, instead of my Father who hasn't been a part of my life since my parents divorced when I was 9 years old.

      Now she is a grandma and she spoils my son like crazy!

      Being a mom, myself, I now cherish everything my Mom did for us more than ever. I give a lot of credit to single parents because I know many days are exhausting, strenuous, and often discouraging.

      I would just like to tell you that all of your love, sweat, hard work, and support will pay off.

      It pays off because you will have a child that will one day realize all that you did for them and be forever grateful for it. If it weren't for my Mom's perseverance I know I would not be where I am right now.

      My Mom is proud of how far I have come and she was my prime motivation throughout college.

      If she didn't inspire me with her work ethic, sacrifice, and love I wouldn't have the joy of showing her around this city that I have fallen in love with.

      I admire my Mom's strength, courage, selflessness, and most of all her heart toward others.

      We don't take the time to do this very often, but I would encourage you to let someone who has had a great impact on your life know how much they mean to you this weekend.

      Recognizing and letting others know that they are valued is something we should all, including myself, take more time to do.

      That may just be the fuel they need to keep going when times get tough.

      If you feel comfortable, I'd love for you to share in the comment section who has had a great impact on your life!