A Love List: What your mama really wants for Mother’s Day

Laurie listening to Ellen

Laurie listening to Ellen

I went to a birthday party for a dear friend recently. Since Laurie had been going through some major transitions this year, we wanted to gift her something really special and from the heart. Sherry suggested we all make her a “Love list.”

A Love list is pretty simple.

1. Write down 10 things you love about this person.
2. Tell them what you admire about them, what you appreciate, why they inspire you.
3. Read it to them in person, over the phone, or put a stamp on it and send it off with love.

As I wrote my love list for Laurie, I was filled with gratitude. There was so much to love about her! and I felt so lucky to be counted as one of her dear ones.

She didn’t know we wrote these lists. We surprised her by reading them out loud, one by one after dinner, and watched the tears fall from her cheeks. She received each gift so beautifully… and we were all a puddle by the end. It was a gift to all of us.

Lara and Sherry and Laurie

Lara and Sherry and Laurie


Laurie and Lara


Me reading to Laurie


Me and Laurie

Have you ever given a love list? Have you ever received one? What was it like?




  1. Heather
    Posted May 10, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Oh, THANK YOU!
    My grandma is turning 90 on Sunday and we are each to make a page for her that will be assembled in a binder (we did the same for my grandpa’s 90th and they still read it frequently). I’ve been unsure how to approach this one. And now I have an inspired plan! Thank you so much.

  2. Margo
    Posted May 10, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful! I love this love list post :) My kids and I wrote a love list to my husband/their papa on the occassion of his 40th birthday. It was a special process to create, the three of us together, and so special to give.

  3. Posted May 10, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    I’m so glad you did this for Laurie! xo

  4. Posted May 10, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    HI Andrea,

    I love it! YES I do this, most recently at a shower for a friend who is having a baby – affirmations about why she is an amazing Mama. WOW not a dry eye in the room.

    It’s so good to give the love, right? It’s totally free and completely priceless.

    Thank you!

  5. Lara
    Posted May 10, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing this! What an incredible idea! I am having a girls’ weekend at the end of May with a bunch of my BFFs. I am going to plan to do this for each of them!
    Can’t wait!

  6. Posted May 10, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Oh I love this. I’ve be never been one for cards w preprinted messages and have always filled mine w words from the heart. But this. I love this. My mama will be the first to receive this from me on Sunday… Thank you for the inspiration.

  7. Kathleen
    Posted May 10, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Lovely ~ I did this for my Mom’s 80 birthday by inviting her best friends to contribute a letter that we each read and then placed in a gorgeously bedazzled jewel box. The further invitation was to encourage her, whenever she might feel low or a bit lonely for those far and wide, to take her treasure chest out and bathe in the words that those who love her… shared with her on her special day. She does so often and often calls to tell me that this fills her heart with love!

  8. Posted May 10, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Awesome and I LOVE your dress. Wherever did you get it?! Xo

  9. Posted May 10, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    The dress is by Aimee G (Grub is the line this dress comes from) She is SO TALENTED. I wanted every single one!

  10. Molly
    Posted May 10, 2013 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    This is a wonderful post.

    Have you read anything about narrative therapy? It was devised by Michael White, and it uses all kinds of ideas, including those outside of the world of psychology. I think it would really speak to you.
    One of the very cool aspects of NT is having ceremonies, and creating places in our lives where people can stand up and recognize us. Most people only experience something like it at weddings, and maybe a graduation or retirement or something – which is insane! We need to be deeply acknowledged more often!

    Your acknowledgement of Laurie and your love for her is really amazing. What a meaningful ceremony. What an incredible gift!

  11. Posted May 10, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Andrea, I love this post so much that I have to share! What a lovely message to spread! Thank you!!!

  12. Posted May 10, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Andrea – seeing these pictures brings me right back to how incredible it was to let in all that love. It set me straight sweetie – and for the past week I’ve read each note everyone wrote before I go to bed in case I forget. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing this again. Thank you baby.

  13. Posted May 10, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    So simple and such a beautiful idea. I’m making a list of people I need to send love lists too.

  14. Susan
    Posted May 10, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Just this year, on the occasion of my father’s 74th birthday, I wrote a letter thanking him for all the things he taught me, from the concrete…changing the oil in my car…to the not-so-concrete…do your best at your job no matter the job…and sent it to him. He called me and thanked me and was surprised that he was deserving of a letter like that. My mother later told me that he said it was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for him. I am so glad I did it.

  15. Trish
    Posted May 10, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    so beautiful, so gracious, so Andrea….so very SuperHero


  16. Posted May 10, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    So Beautiful.

  17. Posted May 10, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    I wanted to add that for a long time I’ve been wishing to create more real intimacy with people – show up more naked, more real. When I saw the photos this morning for the first time I realized that that night I had done that. Seeing myself crying with my friends is my personal gift to myself.

  18. Nancy Guillery
    Posted May 10, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Brought tears to my eyes. So beautiful. Sharing in this way is something I wish I could do more, but too often I hold back too afraid to be vulnerable and exposing m emotions. Thank you for sharing.

  19. Darcie
    Posted May 10, 2013 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    The photo of Laurie with her hand on her chest says it all! This is such a great idea. I’m going to do it for my mother.

  20. Jasmin
    Posted May 10, 2013 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful gift any bday girl can receive. How lucky the recipient was to know how loved she is by all her dear friends. It beats any gift because these words will stay with her forever! Thank you for sharing this special occasion and the idea. :)

  21. christina schneck
    Posted May 11, 2013 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    Wonderful idea, inspiring and straight from the heart. I am grateful to have read about this, thank you

  22. Posted May 11, 2013 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    For my mother’s 80th birthday we gave her a voice quilt. Several people left their best wishes and stories for her to hear over and over when ever she wants. They are wonderful people to work with. Voicequilt.com

  23. Martha
    Posted May 11, 2013 at 3:28 am | Permalink

    Last year for my 50th birthday, I hosted a Celebration of 50 Amazing Women. I invited 50 women that had blessed me during my lifetime. I created a video with a few pictures of each of them, and while the video was playing, I shared how each woman had come into my life, how I had been blessed by them, and what I admired and respected about them. It was one of the coolest things I have ever done. Not a dry eye in the house. :-)

  24. Posted May 11, 2013 at 3:55 am | Permalink

    The love leaps off the photos. Thank you for sharing!

    For my mom’s 60th birthday I wrote a list of 60 of my favorite childhood memories. For a woman who felt she failed her children and was the worst mom ever, it took her breath away. It was an opportunity to allow her to see herself through my eyes. It was an amazing gift on many levels

  25. Posted May 11, 2013 at 4:51 am | Permalink

    OH. These photos are breathtaking.What a gorgeous gift you all are to each other. Thank you for letting us witness this. I’ll be writing my mom a list for Sunday (and some mama friends too!)

  26. Posted May 11, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    OMW how very special!!

  27. MEC
    Posted May 13, 2013 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    Loved reading this! My sister-in-law gave me a terrific gift on my 50th… She collected comments from my siblings, nieces and cousins and put them on beautiful slips of paper in a glass box labeled “Fifty things we love about MEC” They are precious and dear to me and that my sister-in-law would do that for me meant so much that two years later, it still brings happy tears to my eyes.

  28. andrea
    Posted May 13, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink


  29. Posted May 14, 2013 at 4:33 am | Permalink

    What lovely photos and what a lovely sentiment to celebrate a wonderful woman. Thank you for sharing this.

  30. Posted May 16, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    I recently did this for a girlfriend for her 40th birthday. We threw her a surprise party and I contacted everyone on the guest list and asked them to email me one (or more!) things they “love about Julie” – I compiled all the answers in a little book and titled it “40 things we love about Julie”.

    I have never received one, but sure would like to!!! :)

4 Trackbacks

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