Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Day at the Spa for the SHYM Moms!

It was almost a year ago that I first learned about SHYM, Supportive Housing for Young Mothers.  Through our holiday give back program at our children's school, I caught my first glimpse of this unbelievable organization....a much needed resource for young mothers...and a place I knew I would want to get more involved with.

After working with Wendy Fraser, Executive Director, on the Mom's Day Cabaret {read about it here} back in May, I knew there was more I wanted to do.  It was really the generous spirit of Jen Partridge, my faithful photographer, that brought the idea of a spa and photo day to light.  She suggested I organize a special day for these moms, complete with some of the little luxuries in life, and she would capture the moments in black and white.  

Planning proved to be a bit of a challenge...and after a few reschedules we settled on a date, only to find out the wonderful estheticians and hair stylists I had recruited had a conflict.  I kept telling myself that it would all work always does!

It was on a field trip to pick apples with my son's class that our special plan took the shape I had envisioned.  Sitting on the bus, talking about charitable opportunities to work together, Linda Brigley {a fellow parent} and I came up with a beautiful solution.  Linda is the owner of Spirit Spa, a fabulous place to experience those little luxuries.  When I mentioned the trouble I was having securing the right people to make the day happen she sprung into action.  I cannot thank her enough for everything the staff at Spirit Spa did to make this day incredibly special.

The moms arrived on a Sunday morning, in the pouring rain, with babies and gear in tow.  Linda had secured us a large suite at the Courtyard Marriott {another special thank you} for the moms and babies to hang out, have lunch, and keep entertained while they waited their turn to be pampered with hair styling and makeup.  I brought some reinforcements to help with the babies while the moms enjoyed their special treatments.  My oldest daughter, Blythe, and our own babysitter, Claire, helped with feeding and holding the precious little ones.  

One by one the moms got the royal treatment....I loved just standing in the salon and watching all the curling irons work their magic.  I could tell that for some of these young ladies, this was an uncomfortable experience, but one they appreciated at the same time.  

Once Jen Partridge arrived the photo sessions got under way....and the chaos ensued!  Imagine 10 moms, 10 babies, 1 photographer, 4 one suite!  Need I say more?  Walking into that room....even with the flurry of still put a quiet smile on my face.  

What struck me on that day was the intense love I could feel between these moms and their children.  I was specifically moved by one of the young moms, Hayley.  Watching her eyes light up when her daughter, Kamiah, smiled at her....seeing her laugh and play on the floor with her....showing a genuine concern for warmed my heart.

Jen Partridge captured the true essence of these little people....

...and their sweet smiles had me fighting back tears for most of the day!

A picture is worth 1000 words.....

Thank you to all the moms and children of SHYM for letting us be a little part of your world.  We hope you will treasure the memories of this day as much as we will.

A very special THANK YOU to Jen Partridge, for capturing the beauty in these sweet families.

Thank you Blythe....I feel fortunate to have had you by my side for this special act.

Watch for the final acts to be posted this month.  Officially I am finished....but stay tuned in for the remaining updates of Forty 4 Change!


  1. WOW Jenn, I was teary looking at the pics and hearing all about your special day. How great that you and your friends managed to pull this off so successfully. Glad Blythe could help out and know how special her Mom is. I am so proud of her and you. xoxo, Mom/Noni

  2. what a wonderful event and fantastic photos! can't wait to hear about the last few acts :)