Local Moms Celebrate Life, Love and Family

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Mama Bear: Vinita Singhania

A mother for 15 years. 

Juggling a successful accounting career, a busy social life, and raising two teenage daughters with the help of “overly supportive” husband Navin, comes naturally to CPA Vinita Singhania. A fierce mama bear who values family and friendship above all else, she will do anything in her power to help out a friend.

What’s your favorite Mother’s Day memory?
My favorite memories are when the kids were in elementary school. They would make special handmade gifts and sing songs for all the moms, followed by a cake ceremony at home. 

When you were young, how did your family celebrate Mother’s Day?
Growing up in New Delhi, India, we did not celebrate Mother’s Day, but after having kids here in Toledo, we started celebrating. One year my mom was visiting from India on Mother’s Day; she was very surprised and happy with the day, and she still reminds me of that special moment.

What are your plans for this Mother’s Day?
My kids usually surprise me with a small gift, but it is more about the thought that goes into preparing for the day. We will be at the temple for our morning prayers, followed by an elaborate lunch cooked by the dads of the community.

What’s your favorite part of being a mom?
My daughters have added purpose and a sense of responsibility to my life. It is a pure joy taking care of them and watching them grow. It has taught me to be patient and positive all the time. I hope that I am able to transfer the legacy I learned from my own mother to my children through the moments and memories we have created together.

An experienced mom: Hannah Davis

A mother for 64 years. 

Parents everywhere could learn a thing or two from Hannah Davis, who has been a mom for longer than most of us have been alive. Her holidays are different now, having lost her husband Gene in 2014 at age 99, after 66 years of marriage.

What is your favorite Mother’s Day memory? 
My first Mother’s Days as a mother were beautiful. We went to church as a family. I remember dressing our very young daughter in a beautiful hat, dress and gloves. Our two sons were handsome, and we went to a restaurant for dinner. I can remember being so proud and thankful. I’ve been so blessed, it’s difficult to separate Mother’s Day from any other day.

When you were young, how did your family celebrate Mother’s Day?
My first Mother’s Day experience was with my dear mother who was 98 when she died. She loved to wear an orchid corsage to church.

What are your plans for this Mother’s Day?
Our plans this year will be different. We will be attending Mass, celebrated by our youngest child, Mark. Dad will be missing, but we know he is in heaven and smiling down on us.

What’s your favorite part of being a mom? 
This may sound like bragging, but I have wonderful children. And, my husband was the best. I’ve just been blessed. It’s hard to say it any other way.

A perfect “10”: Liz Livecchi

A mother for: 30 years.

If the Duggar family was worthy of a reality show, then the Livecchi family is certainly worth half of one. Liz and her husband Gary are the proud parents of ten kids, which perhaps makes Mother’s Day at least ten times as fun.

What is your favorite Mother's Day memory?
Last year, my daughter Stacey woke me up on Saturday morning and said she had a surprise for me – it was outside on the back deck. It was a huge box and I thought it was a dog that I had been wanting. When I went to open the box, out popped my son Joshua. It was a total surprise. He lives in California and he had flown in for Mother’s Day. They hadn’t told anyone else either, so as each person woke up and came down the stairs, I got to watch them be surprised, too!

When you were young, what did you do to celebrate your mom's Mother’s Day?
We celebrated by going to my grandma’s house, and planting her flowers and weeding her garden outside her apartment. We all waited on them – my mom and grandma – hand and foot, and we would get a bucket of fried chicken for dinner.

What are your plans for this Mother’s Day?
My plans for this year will be to combine Vince’s confirmation party with our Mother’s Day celebration. On Saturday, all of my kids, their spouses, grandchildren and my husband will go to dinner at a restaurant.

What’s your favorite part of being a mom?
My favorite part is to have everyone together and to listen to the conversations, laughter and love that float through the house. It is a wonderful gift to not only love these people, but to like them as well. I am blessed.

Lucky 13: Diane Larson

A mother for: 21 years.

She’s been delivering news to your living room for more than 30 years, and 13abc’s Diane Larson is as good as it gets. As much as she’s done for charitable causes, she’s also been a dedicated mom to her daughter, Drew.

What is your favorite Mother’s Day memory?
We tend not to make a super big deal about it. My daughter will often get me flowers, but mostly I just like spending the day with her, walking in a Metropark and eating fun stuff like Five Guys, which is our go-to splurge lunch for special occasions.

When you were young, what did you do to celebrate your mom’s Mother’s Day?
I think my two sisters and I just got my mom flowers or made her breakfast, but mostly tried not to fight (ha!).

What are your plans for this Mother’s Day?
For this Mother's Day, I'll be driving a U-Haul to help move my daughter out of college after she graduates. Not glamorous, but I'm sure I'll have burned enough calories to warrant a Five Guys stop.

What’s your favorite part of being a mom?
The best part of being a mom has been getting to know my daughter through all the stages of her life and watching her grow to be such a beautiful, smart, funny and fine young woman. Like I've told her all her life: she's my “most favoritest” person in the whole world.

South African, now Northwest Ohioan: Kirsty Sayer

A mother for: 17 years.

It may not be easy to accept Northwest Ohio weather after being born and raised in South Africa, but Kirsty Sayer loves her life working part-time at the local library and writing her humorous blog, momedysketch.com.

What is your favorite Mother's Day memory?
I have two. The first one was when Benjamin was close to a year old. I woke up on Mother’s Day – my first one – and he was sick. He had been sick all over his crib, and I felt like a mom for the first time. I was thinking, this is supposed to be my big moment, my special day, and it’s not like that at all. It felt real for the fact that I had to put aside my big, grandiose plans for the day and take care of this kid. It just made me feel like a mom, which felt cool. The second one was when I had two kids, and my husband gave me some CD I wanted. I remember my little two- and four-year olds were just jamming to it and I was watching them and I thought, ‘This is it. This is perfect.’ It was a sublime moment.

When you were young, what did you do to celebrate your mom’s Mother’s Day?
My siblings and I would just go shopping and buy the most random gift. One year it was a brass goat. I don’t remember much else, but going shopping for a gift was a big deal. My sister still has the brass goat.

What are your plans for this Mother’s Day?
If I could have my perfect day, it would be to go for a run in the woods, come home to a clean house, have a dance party with my kids, and then have a bath.

What’s your favorite part of being a mom?
I really just enjoy connecting with discovering who they are as humans. I find it so fascinating that their insides are different, and they’re individuals. I love finding out how they tick and discovering how they see the world in completely different ways.

Do you have any stories about South Africa and motherhood?
I love taking them to South Africa, and we went there last year. In fact, we tried to move there. They were very, very unhappy – desperately unhappy, which made me unhappy. But, it was a very pivotal moment for them. They discovered what they can handle; their worldview was completely broadened. I think it was throwing them out of their comfort zone. It was painful for us, but it was the best thing I’ve done as a mom.

Health guru: Monica Arellano

A mother for: 13 years.

Health and wellness devotee, massage therapist, and single mom Monica Arellano recently added business owner to her list of achievements by opening her own massage practice. Raised in a large family that remains close, she knows the bounty of hard work and sacrifice, and relies on the support of her loved ones.

What is your favorite Mother’s Day memory?
Last year, I was heading out of town to travel on Mother’s Day. I tried to coordinate to get together a day early with my mom, but she said she was busy with friends. When I got home that night, I went in to find roses and Mother’s Day gifts on the table, and my daughter walked in to surprise me. She had it planned with my mother and my boyfriend, Don, all along.

When you were young, what did you do to celebrate your mom’s Mother’s Day?
When my grandmother was still living, we would all go to church and then give my mom and grandmother (who both love to garden) their gifts, usually a rose bush or flower arrangement. Then we would celebrate with a family dinner.

What are your plans for this Mother’s Day?
My day will be pretty simple. I will have a newborn and my mother will be watching my sister run a marathon in Wisconsin. I will be going to church and brunch with Don, Lina, and my new son. Then the four of us will relax at home.

What’s your favorite part of being a mom?
Aside from all the hugs, cuddle time, and the sound of my daughter’s laughter, watching her accomplish something she has worked hard for (like auditioning for a big part of a play or musical) is my favorite thing.

Toddler pro: Brenda Lochbihler

​A mother for: 33 years.

Preschool teacher, self-proclaimed lover of children, golf enthusiast, and grandmother are just a few of the hats worn by Brenda Lochbihler. The native Sylvanian has been married to her husband, Brent, for 36 years, and has taught preschool for 16.

What is your favorite Mother’s Day memory?
In most recent years, my favorite Mother’s Day was spent enjoying a beautiful backyard brunch that was prepared by my son and his fiancé. They so thoughtfully strung photos of me and my children over the years throughout the yard.

When you were young, what did you do to celebrate your mom’s Mother’s Day?
|Growing up, I remember going to church and then taking flowers to the cemetery; we would feed the ducks while we were there. My dad would cook a delicious Mother’s Day meal for my mom, my sisters, and me.

What are your plans for this Mother’s Day?
I hope to play a round of golf and then enjoy some time with all of my children.

What’s your favorite part of being a mom?
Having two grown sons, who would never walk in the house without greeting me with a hug and a small kiss, and who freely, say “I love you mom,” no matter where they are, is the best part. When my youngest son was 9 he told me, “Being a mom is like a track meet. It has all kinds of events. And if being a mom was a sport, you’d be a pro.”

Mom in Medicine: Beth Sander

A mother for: 22 years.

A strong maternal instinct and work ethic, not to mention a quick wit, are the defining characteristics of Mercy Westfield OB/GYN Nurse Practitioner Beth Sander. Though the humble mother of four refuses any of the credit for her children’s success, she deserves recognition for the incredible job she has done raising them.

What is your favorite Mother’s Day memory?
I always looked forward to the classroom projects in elementary school: the hand-decorated clay pots, Styrofoam cups with the “your guess is as good as mine” little sprouts, and carefully painted sculptures that I still have on display all over the house.

When you were young, what did you do to celebrate your mom’s Mother’s Day?
We usually got my mom flowers and spent the day with one of my grandmothers. Looking back, I’m sure my mom would have appreciated me doing the dishes or cleaning my room!

What are your plans for this Mother’s Day?
I am spending the day in Columbus watching Jacob graduate from Ohio State University.

What’s your favorite part of being a mom?
I have loved watching my children transform into smart, funny and thoughtful adults. They have all achieved so much, but remain humble (Logan earned a full scholarship to Princeton, and both Sam and Jacob received the Chick Evan’s caddy scholarships, which are also full rides). I really enjoy being around them. Two of them even did their own taxes this year!