My mother.

My mother is a homemaker. She is an entrepreneur. She is a gardener and a reader and lover of words and puzzles and games. My mother is the friend who would do anything for you and the sister who does. My mother loves to travel and entertain and she is the life of any party. The lists of things my mother has taught me are endless. What I chose to share here today are the thoughts I felt best related to this project. They are the things she taught me about being a woman and a person simultaneously with being a mother.

My mother taught me that being whole only strengthens one's mothering. She taught me that the best mothers are the ones who are fallible. The mothers who teach their children humility and humanness and aren't afraid to fail. My mother is imperfect and unapologetic about it. She taught me that the things you cannot do are not in fact the things which define you, and not to be ashamed to admit your weaknesses. My mother never ever tells me what to do (unless it's to tell me that I need lipstick or some 'color in my cheeks') and waits patiently on the side until I ask for her help. But when I ask, I know she'll be there before I hang up the phone. My mother sought her purpose when her children were young and continues to follow her bliss now that we're grown.

What all this means to me is that I can be a mother and an artist and a woman and a student and a wife. That I can be a mother and anything else I desire. That being a mother can and should define who I am, but that there's more. And though I'm sure she'll be surprised to read this, I credit my mother with my understanding of all this.

Thank you for coming by during this month long experiment. Tomorrow I will share with you some of my thoughts on the project and what I've learned about portrait photography and beyond. You've been amazing and supportive throughout, and I'm grateful for you all.