For those of you who think that Mother’s Day is just another consumer-driven, Hallmark holiday, you’re right. Not because mom’s don’t deserve to be honored, but because there is no gift large enough to properly say thank you. And I know that most moms out there would say, "Oh, I don’t want anything except your appreciation”.We owe you so much more.

When I first saw Holly, it was love at first sight. Fireworks. A no-doubter. And for some strange wonderful reason, she felt the same for me. We met in a photography class dark room so that might explain some of it. At some point during our courtship, we knew that we were going to end up with each other. We also knew that we both wanted to have children someday. When I looked at her I just knew that someday, she would be a great Mom.

You learn a lot about your spouse when you go through major life events. We got married, bought a house, and in 2004 we were expecting our first child. We were typical first-time parents. Excited, scared, and despite our best efforts, utterly unprepared. But through it all, Holly was brave and determined to bring this little soul into the world. Becoming a parent for the first time is a surreal experience. The pregnancy, the doctor's appointments, and check-ups all fly by in a blur and suddenly you are in the hospital and the moment is near. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my wife is the strongest person I know. Watching her go through labor and then delivering Chase without any pain medication is something I’ll never forget. How can I repay her for that? What card says ‘thanks for going through 9 months of carrying our son, and then 12 hours of unbearable pain! Hope you like your perennial!” And she wasn’t done! We had two more beautiful babies, all with their own set of difficulties and setbacks. There simply isn’t a card or gift that can repay bringing life into this world.

Becoming a mom is difficult. BEING a mom is another challenge altogether. There is no such thing as a perfect parent, as anyone will tell you. Each age and stage you make it through you exhale and say ‘We made it’. Only to learn the next stage is even harder than the last. Holly parents the only way you can. With love. She loves our kids more than anything else in this world. A fact that they probably won’t realize for years to come. Every decision as a parent is made with your kids in mind. Easy choices, hard choices are all made with your kids in the forefront. That’s why I knew that Holly would be a great mom all those years ago. I knew no one would love them as much as she does.

So on this Mother’s Day, I say thank you to my wife Holly. Thank you for taking a chance on a band nerd. Thank you for saying ‘I Do’. And thank you for having the strength and courage to go through all that you did to bring our three children into this world. You ARE the strongest person I know. You parent with love, and you expect great things from our children. Someday they will realize what I already know. How damn lucky they are to have you as their Mom.