Growing up in a nuclear home where both parents loved me equally, I have always loved them equally yet differently. It took me a long time to realize this difference and also realize that it's okay.

Since going away to school and being away from my mom, I have realized she is my biggest blessing. She gives me my room to grow and experience college life but also calls me to chat every now and then. I think I could spend my whole day talking to her, even if it wasn't an excuse to procrastinate.

Also, since being away, I have started to understand all the things that my mom (and dad) have done for me throughout the years and I will forever be indebted to her. She constantly supports me, in more way than one and in bigger ways than words could begin to describe.

I know everyone says their mom is the best, I figured that out when I could read the cards I was choosing from in a Walgreens aisle. But, that aside, my mother deserves a trophy for everything she has done, for me and everyone else.

My mother is what I envision when I think about what I want to be like in 20 years. She is a great wife, (step) mother, friend, daughter, sister, coworker and Christian.

Over break, we finally carried out our plan to get matching tattoos. They may be smaller than a quarter and may have taken less than 5 minutes each, but they are us. The small and simple cross will serve to remind me, always, of my mother and our faith that we share as Christians.

To the best mother ever, I may not tell you all the time but you are the greatest mom, for many reasons. You are everything I am trying to shape myself to be.

I love you, mom.