Momma Love

 

In honor of mothers day, Tootie & Dotes have left the field to talk motherhood and celebrate a couple of amazing ladies who also happen to have birthed a babe or two.

These ladies are makers, growers, professionals, photographers, adventures, etc. but first and foremost they are women! hear them roar!  

 

 

Kate N.G. Sommers
Many of us have been admiring Kate Sommers from afar as a super talented photographer, foodie and broad of the delightfully witty flock of broads. She is also a mother of two twin boys, and in our book that makes her a goddess. 


 

 

 

 

 

 

What are you growing, raising, producing? 
Indoors, I’m trying my hand at propagating succulents (which I have been obsessed with for over a decade), outside, I always aspire for a lush and prosperous vegetable garden, raspberries, kiwi berries, choke cherries, an unidentifiable apple tree, rhubarb and strawberries. One year I found a ramp in my backyard near the compost, and I really have an affinity for moss, but know nothing about how to grow it. I also tend to a small flock of children, Arthur and Charlie, my three year old twin boys. 

Who do you admire?
Well damn, that’s hard to pinpoint. I love it when people are doing things that are different, authentic and real. I’ve always been cripplingly self conscious and worry that I let others influence who I am too much, but recently realized that as long as I am learning from them, and not stealing their ideas, I’m probably in the clear. A few people in no particular order: My husband, for putting up with me for 11 years together (married 7.5) and for growing so much as a person. My parents for allowing me to develop into the well rounded liberal that I am. My closest girl friends, who let me open up to them about my troubles and still somehow like me most of the time. My fellow ladies in Flock of Broads, for opening up and exposing their feelings to a sea of internet strangers

How do you get your hands dirty?
I was raised by a single mother and learned that as long as I have the tools and where-with-all (google) I’m positive I can do pretty much anything. I muck out our chicken coop, dig out weed trees by their roots (is there any other way?) organize the garage, sew seeds and love any opportunity to try a new powertool. 

What keeps you sane?
Watching my kids play in the water, long walks alone while listening to spotify, spontaneous art projects, fixing things that are broken, updating our 120 year old farmhouse and watching old New Girl episodes on repeat.

What are you most proud of today?
I worked my ass off when I was younger. I had a 50 hour a week job and somehow managed to have a successful photography business on the side. Neither the job nor the business stuck around, but the work I did paid off to get me the job and knowledge I have today, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I don’t have an MBA like a lot of my colleagues, but I’m scrappy as hell and love to learn and hope that I pass those traits along to my children. 

What has surprised you the most out becoming a Mother?
There seems to be this underlying expectation that now that I’m a mom I suddenly have to change my entire identity: have mom friends, wear boring different clothing, throw away my personality. Sure, I have friends that are moms, but most of those people were my friends before either of us had kids. I still shop at all of my old haunts (hey, H&M makes trendy basics that fit and that I CAN AFFORD) and I’m not going to stop dropping f-bombs just because I have three-year-old sponges… I’ll just try to use them when my kids aren’t around. 

What do you hope to leave behind?
Compassionate children who do their part to make the world better. 

Digging up beets with her granddad in Mansfield, Texas. 

Digging up beets with her granddad in Mansfield, Texas. 


Jenny Dickinson 
One of the most grounded and generous women we know, Jenny is an amazing mother of two boys, a loving wife and incredible friend with a killer eye for unique vintage finds that you can pick up at Hill Valley Boutique. She is a true northern women, maker, cook, mama, etc. and we admire the crap out of her!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are you growing, raising, producing, making?
Growing a garden.  Raising 2 children.  Producing home made beauty and health products.  Making all sorts of things for home and family.  These days, I am mainly making toys and entertainment for my 2 children, and building furniture and a tree house with my husband.

What kind of women do you admire? 
All kinds of women. All of them. 
I admire women who do not complain, but rather, find solutions to the problem at hand.  I admire women who do not gossip, but rather, discuss new ideas.  I admire women who aren't afraid to speak their mind.  I admire women who are mentally strong.  I admire women who are unique.  I admire women who are artistic.  I admire women who create.  I admire women who own their flaws, and try to improve upon them.   I admire women who embrace their imperfections.  I admire women who are confident and comfortable in their own skin.  I admire women who love others more than they love themselves.

How do you get your hands dirty?
Over the last 2 weeks...planting herbs in the garden with my 6 year old, changing my 4 month old's diapers, cooking from scratch in many kitchens, brewing up all sorts of coffee concoctions at the cafe/vintage boutique (Hill Valley) where I work, picking up trash around the neighborhood with my kids, second attempt at making home made dry shampoo, first attempt at making home made bug repellent, making home made diaper cream, stripping/refinishing a vintage desk for resale, churning up the compost, painting a chalkboard wall with a shark tooth border in my 6 year old's bedroom, canning sour kraut with my mom, volunteering in my son's kindergarten class, playing fetch with the dog, playing at the park with my kids, stamping price tags for my job as a vintage vendor...

What inspires you?
Everything. Especially people doing inspiring things.
People pursuing their passion rather than a paycheck.
Children.  Nature.  Art.  

What are you most proud of today? 
My children. They are, at present (and probably forever), my greatest accomplishment.
My husband. Always. My family and friends. Who they are as people, all that they have accomplished, and continue to accomplish. Never choosing a career for financial gain. But always having a career that has fulfilled me. The slow and steady process of becoming as self sufficient as possible.I am proud of my city.  I grew up, and continue to live in the great city of Northeast Minneapolis. We are experiencing a major boom right now, and it is being noticed all around the country. 

What trait have you grown since becoming a Mother? Any hopes for your children?
Since becoming a mother. Hmmm.  Pride. I have never been more proud of anything. Not even close.  And, Fear. Fear of anything bad ever happening to my children.  It is, no doubt, inevitable. Still, never have I had a greater fear, or known fear in such an intense way. Hopes for my children...endless.  I hope they are happy. I hope they grow up to be good people.  I hope they grow up to be people who make up their own minds about things.  I hope they grow up to be great friends.

What advice has most stuck with you?
When dealing with children, pick and choose your battles.  All too much of it is just not worth the fight. Also, I recently read an anonymous quote online, "The way that you speak to your children becomes their inner voice."  This quote is going to stick with me.  I think that all adults need to keep this in mind when dealing with children...and that one time that my mom told me "...everyone has at least one good quality about them.  Find the good, and focus on the good."

What advice will you leave behind?
Make your own mistakes. Everyone will tell you to "learn from other's mistakes."  You will do a fare share of that in this life as well. But, learn from your own mistakes.  And make a lot of mistakes.  Tons and tons of them!  You will learn a lot that way. 

Oh yeah, and live within your means. And, my 6 year old would like me to add: don't liter.


 

Charlotte Cooper, owner of Sunnybrook Bonnets & Hoo Hats
You are one lucky lady if you are able to call this woman sister but owning one of her adorable hats or bonnets is certainly a pretty ok consolation prize. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are you growing, raising, producing? 
Two beautiful children, a fetus, a half dozen fruit trees, several half-finished craft projects & way too many hats.

Who do you admire?
Amanda Soule from Soulemama blog. That women manages to get so much stuff done. She denies it, but I swear she must have staff.

How do you get your hands dirty?
I’m done with diapers for the time being, so it’s mostly via planting vegetables & herbs. But I find more often than not I’m usually just moving stuff around in the garden -I feel like I’m always rearranging & organizing, either indoors or out. 

What keeps you sane?
Who said I was sane? I have a 3 & a 6 year old & a small business I try to manage from home. I’m not sure sanity & small children are compatible in any case.

What are you most proud of today?
My partner & I have successfully managed to shelter our children from most aspects of pop culture. My 6 year old has no idea who either Dora or Big Bird are & my 3 year old has never gyrated to Taylor Swift. This fact just pleases me so damned much. I know it can’t last forever, but we’re holding out as long as we can.

What has surprised you the most out becoming a Mother?
How hard it can be to actually, physically become one. I admit I felt quite entitled to my first two, but this last one (currently en route) was hard won after several long & painful detours through miscarriage-land. 

What’s the one word you would use to describe childbirth? 
Exhilarating! Incomparable! Pivotal! Just one?

What’s the one word you would use to describe motherhood?
All-encompassing.

What hopes do you have for your children?
May they be kind & wise, with open minds & hearts. And God forbid they become fundamentalists or Republicans!


What inspires you?
Creativity -the makers, the sewers, the woodworkers, the jewelers, the knitters, the gardeners, the welders, the painters, the sculptors. So much these hands are capable of if we put them to the task! I fear my life will be too short to try all the new things.

What advice has most stuck with you?
“Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” It’s a verse from the Sermon on the Mount (KJV) & the language is simply splendid & spooky & wonderful. It basically means “today has enough worries, so leave tomorrow alone.” I can’t say I always abide by it, but it’s advice that certainly sticks with me.

What do you hope to leave behind?
A few good people, a handful of truly happy memories & far too many photographs.

 


 

Rebecca Lunna
This spunky, sincere, smart woman is not only one of our favorite former co-workers but also an amazing mother, wife and friend. We're inspired by her desire for adventure, which you can follow along with over at Oh Darling Adventures

What are you growing, raising, producing?
I have a robust vegetable garden that creeps into a little more of our third acre lot every year. This year I’m adding fruit to our yard and got a dwarf cherry bush at the Friends Plant Sale where I always pick up a few fun, new things in addition to the basics. And a funny, willful, strong and often leopard clad nearly seven-year old.


Who do you admire?
In the interest of picking someone who most reflects the kind of life I’m crafting, I’m going to say Tina Roth Eisenberg (aka the Swiss Miss). She turned creative outlets in to businesses and melds her life and work in a way that seems like it’s working.


 

How do you get your hands dirty?
At home, I weed. Constantly. It’s a meditative experience for me and I find that after a weekend spent in the garden, I feel calm, optimistic and accomplished. 

What keeps you sane?
See above. 

What are you most proud of today?
I have two things. Is that allowed? But they’re related to two key themes: going outside of my comfort zone in order to grow and putting up or shutting up. 
The first is my business, Oh Darling Adventures. I have a lot of ideas, like bees, buzzing around in my head every damn day. This is one that I promised myself I’d take to fruition and I am. And it’s given me more than just a business. It’s made me feel much more confident in a different element of myself. 
The second is a more physical one. My sister in law and I have wanted to through hike the Superior Hiking Trail for more than a decade. And we both realized that a decade is too long to talk about something so we’re doing it. It’s tough to really capture how meaningful it is as an experience but I’ll be trying to on Oh Darling. 

What has surprised you the most out becoming a Mother?
The amount of personal growth I’ve gotten out of raising a child. And, of course, how often I sound like my own mother.

What’s the one word you would use to describe childbirth?
Unexpected. I prepared for a natural birth with a midwife and ended up in an operating room with a C-section. It taught me an important rule of parenting: Be flexible. 

What hopes do you have for your children?
Tina Fey’s “A Mother’s Prayer for Her Daughter” pretty much sums up everything I want for my own daughter. I’m flexible on tattoos though.

What inspires you?
People who go for it. 

What advice has most stuck with you?
When my husband and I first bought our house, we were sitting in our backyard and I was having some kind of epic freakout. (Something not isolated to that day and also salient that I can’t remember the specifics.) After a fairly lengthy pep talk, he looked at me and said, “All you really need is a loving partner and a good garden.” In times of both up and down, it’s a mantra that’s got many layers of meaning in our house.