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Celebrating Mom

Mother’s Day stories and traditions from our employees
  • Jaime Annis

May 11, 2017


Mother’s Day is a yearly reminder that we should pause and honor the women who made us who we are today and take the time to reflect on our special memories, as well as make our yearly traditions a priority. Because when it comes down to it, we often don’t remember the gifts we gave or received or the parties that were thrown; we remember those special moments of togetherness that truly honor the bonds of motherhood.

Mother’s Day is one of my favorite days because I get to celebrate my beautiful children. Here are some stories from other employees about their Mother’s Day traditions.

Marty Wolesky

Marty Wolesky

As a marketer, we know there is a question in nearly every household on a daily basis, “What’s for dinner?” Well, there is a day in May where the answer is clear and Dad better have a plan – it is a day the foodservice community knows very well as it is the busiest day of the year, Mother’s Day! Mother’s Day in our house starts right away in the morning with breakfast. Serving my wife a special breakfast is a tradition and my children’s involvement continues to increase each year. My daughter Madeline has become the pancake expert and she loves to throw in a special ingredient, like apples or chocolate chips. My boys, Patrick and Andrew, are all about the bacon. It is not just served on the side; it is sometimes added to our scrambled eggs. Watching my boys crack eggs is priceless. Fresh fruit with powdered sugar, sweets and delicious condiments and garnishes like salsa and avocado round out the plate. And, we cannot forget the coffee. As I hear my youngest son say, “Grande latte non-fat milk one Splenda and extra foam please,” I know my kids are ready. Now, where are we going for dinner?!

Marty is a senior brand manager for MegaMex Foods.

Lynn Spainhower

Lynn Spainhower

Mother’s Day can be tricky for single moms of little children. Somehow, my wonderful father knew this. About a month before Mother’s Day each year, he would give the boys a little extra money to put with their allowance. He asked them to put it away for a Mother’s Day gift and explained why it was important to show love on this special day. The Saturday before each big day, he would take them shopping. The boys would pick out a gift and a card then Grandpa would sign the card from all of them and help the boys wrap the gift. The boys were always so proud when I would wake up and come into the kitchen and see their kindness on display on the kitchen table.

Eventually, a time came when Grandpa decided to let the boys take care of the card and gift on their own. I woke up that Mother’s Day morning to find a box of chocolates, and a card (without an envelope!) Simply signed with each of their full names – Christopher Joseph Spainhower and Mitchell Evan Spainhower. I joked with them and said that I would keep the card forever, just in case I ever forgot their full names!

Lynn is an administrative assistant for Hormel Foods.

Betty Gubrud

Looking back at my childhood, I loved going to church on Mother’s Day. This was the day my mother and grandmother received flower corsages from my dad, grandfather and us kids. A lot of the mothers and grandmothers wore corsages on this day to our rural country church. I am sure the mothers coordinated their Sunday best with the flower they were proudly wearing. I remember some of the outfits and flowers the women wore, even though the last time I attended my childhood church on Mother’s Day was 30 years ago. My grandmother and mother usually wore lily corsages that were beautifully made and smelled wonderful.

You could say faith and flowers go hand in hand in my family. While years have gone by and my grandmother passed away 16 years ago, we still share our faith and flowers on Mother’s Day. My family attends church together, including my children and grandchildren. The corsages have been replaced with flower baskets that have been picked out with care. We are excited to give flowers and to receive. I miss my grandmother very much and I cherish my time with my mother, daughter and granddaughters.

It is because of my memories of faith and flowers that I like lilies so much and looked forward to them each Mother’s Day.

Betty is a sales accounting manager at Jennie-O Turkey Store.

Mark Petrik

Mark Petrik

This is what our Mother’s Day tradition looks like: Waking up on a Sunday morning to attend morning Mass, directly followed by attending a community fundraiser with Dad’s Belgian waffles catering brunch. Brunch includes large homemade waffles smothered in syrup of many flavors, fresh fruit and a large dollop of whipped cream, and of course Hormel® Little Sizzler® sausages. All of this bundled up with the heartwarming thought of celebrating my wonderful wife and mother of my children.

Mark is a senior general accountant for Hormel Foods.

Trish Griffin

Trish Griffin

My three wonderful kids always have amazed me on Mother’s Day. From breakfast in bed to homemade cards and pottery, I have been one lucky lady. One memorable Mother’s Day was when my kids were 10, 12 and 14, and they announced that they were going to do dinner for me. This meant riding their bikes to the grocery store (one block away), buying all the food and then preparing it. I was instructed to relax on the couch while all of this occurred.

I heard the kids come in and place the carefully selected rotisserie chicken on the counter, and then go back to the bikes to get the rest of the goodies. Milliseconds after the chicken landed on the counter, I heard a loud crunch in the kitchen. Noticing my dog was missing, I ran into the kitchen to find an empty chicken container and a half-eaten plastic bag. Not knowing where to place my emotions (somewhere between fear of our dog dying and extreme anger), I remembered what was the most important. I praised the kids for their efforts, and we went back for the last rotisserie chicken at the store and proceeded to have the best Mother’s Day dinner ever. And Tanner, the dog, lived a long happy life, after a well-deserved shame photo.

Trish is a senior marketing manager at CytoSport.

Jonathan Caporale

Jonathan Caporale

In 2013, we found out the scary news that my mother had breast cancer and would be undergoing surgery, followed by rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. It can be a time when you feel very helpless, but we decided to find a way to support her as best as we could. My wife and I heard that on Mother’s Day, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure breast cancer 5K walk/run was being held at the Mall of America. This was our opportunity to feel like we were doing something to help. We were able to get friends and family to come together to walk or run, and it was a great way of honoring my mother on Mother’s Day. The following year, she was able to fly in from her home in Cleveland, Ohio, to join us for the walk as a survivor! Her hair was growing back, and her feet continued to suffer from neuropathy, but she showed her strength as she had throughout the year. We were very emotional as we crossed the finish line together with thousands of other survivors and supporters. It has been a great event that we hope to continue to take part in for many more Mother’s Days.

Jonathan is a buyer in corporate purchasing.

Darci Buchan

Darci Buchan

My life began with a foster mother until I was adopted nine months later. Growing up with two brothers made my bond with my mom very strong. It wasn’t until years later when I was told I was adopted that the bond became even stronger. My heart hurts every day knowing that my biological mother was never given the opportunity to experience the joys of motherhood. I, however, felt even more special knowing I was chosen to become a part of such a wonderful family. My mom always tells me I was “tied to her apron strings” and never left her side.

The meaning of being a mother is virtually endless. My mother, with the help of my father, always put the needs of her children before her own, making sure we felt loved and protected, and raised us to be who we are today. I know I tested her patience on a regular basis, but I knew she would guide me with her unconditional love and values. I remember one day she said to me, “I hope someday you have a daughter just like you.” To this day, I am not sure if that was a compliment or a warning that I would have my hands full!

Fast forward to December 1987, when I was blessed with a beautiful baby girl. I remember what my mom said to me, so I set out to raise my daughter just as I was. I watched her grow, I hugged her when she was sad and celebrated every milestone. I gave her everything she needed to become successful, but I also taught her that nothing in life is free. If you want something, you need to work hard for it. I shared with her what I thought was important in life – education, family, friends and religion. I gave her the opportunity to make her own choices, but was always there to help guide her when her choices were not the best. I know I have a daughter just like I was!

But the best part of being a mother is having the opportunity to become a grandmother! Now it is my time to sit back and watch her grow and hope that some of my values will be passed on to her.

Darci is an executive administration assistant for Hormel Foods.

Bibi Kaminski

Bibi Kaminski

Growing up in China, Mother’s Day wasn’t one special day to celebrate. The country honors motherhood as one of the most respected and praised roles in society and the country. Nature and even the most powerful ancient mythical gods were described as Mother. Since I was very little, my mother told me that every birthday celebrated is an honor to mothers, a reminder of what a mother had to endure on that special day. While I made a point to call my parents on my birthdays, I didn’t fully understand what it meant until I had children of my own. Motherhood is truly the most challenging and rewarding experience. I have been (and hope to continue) celebrating motherhood with my mother and my children for many more years to come, and celebrating the beauty of motherhood on every birthday. If I am lucky, I shall be able to pass down my mother’s wisdom and traditions to my children.

Bibi is a customer business manager in consumer products sales.

Heidi Akkerman

Heidi Akkerman

For most of the years I have been a mother, Mother’s Day and the Minnesota fishing opener have fallen on the same weekend. This means our traditions around Mother’s Day are slightly different than the stereotypical celebrations. There is no breakfast in bed or lazy days for me, but the weekend is still wonderful in our own way.

My kiddos and I usually attend church and then go to the Austin Country Club for brunch with my mother-in-law, my children’s great-grandma and possibly some aunties. It is fun to share the day with my kiddos and the other beautiful mothers in my life.

Heidi is an associate manager for corporate innovation.


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