On Monday, I announced a giveaway and photo contest for a copy of Ali Smith's beautiful photo book, Momma Love: How the Mother Half Lives. To enter, I asked people to post pictures of themselves with their kids on Instagram under the hashtag #Momma_Love.

I can't even tell you the immense amount of joy I felt going through the hashtag. Above are only 18 of the almost 500 pictures posted of moms (mostly selfies, mom + selfie = melfies?) with their children. It was beyond awesome to see the faces of my fellow moms on instagram— most of whom are so rarely in their own photos.

A true tribute to Mother's Day.

I also asked everyone to describe a moment that photographer Ali Smith might have captured if she spent the morning at your home. Your responses were incredibly touching. They were not meant to be amusing or sarcastic, just honest accounts of what actually went down.

From dance parties in the kitchen to huddling sick under the covers to waking up next to a child who is near the end of a successful round of chemo, your answers brought both happy and sad tears to my eyes. (Take that, Google!)

I urge everyone to read through the comments of Monday's post. I wish I could give you all a copy of Ali;s book but we can only have two winners.

The first winner, randomly selected on instagram, is @canadiennemama. Here is the picture she submitted:

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The second winner, randomly selected under the written post, is Mnt Mama. Here's how she described her Monday morning:

"This morning at our house, Ali would have captured the Monday Morning Blues. As a working mom, Mondays are so hard for me. I relish every second with my 13 month old on the weekends and I make myself late every Monday not wanting to leave her (my husband takes her to her caregiver's house so I don't have to). I was sitting on the floor with her and said "Mama has to go to work now." She handed me her goat that goes with her barnyard toy and said "Mama" and blew me a kiss. We'd worked on blowing kisses all weekend. I kissed her forehead and left before I began to cry. Sweet Butterbean."

A big thank you to everyone who submitted their words and photos to this giveaway and making me remember just how joyous the moments of motherhood can be, even when they are hard.

You are all beautiful, your kids are beautiful and you made me feel part of something very special.

And this is officially the sappiest Mommy Shorts post ever. 

As it should be.

— Mommy Shorts

PS: Happy Mother's Day all!