By Bailey Hovland
Moms do not get enough credit. Whether they’re working moms who extend their 40-hour work week to help with late night math homework or stay-at-home mothers who dedicate a vast majority of their time to their kids (hello PTA meetings, baseball games, and field trip chaperoning), mothers work hard to give their kids everything they can. I’m surrounded by wonderful women who embody what is means to be a mother: my mom, grandmas, aunts, and friends. Because I’m not a mother, I decided to reach out to some of these incredible women to see how they like to celebrate Mother’s Day in the Willmar Lakes Area.
Mary Hovland takes Mother’s Day as a time to reflect on the ones you love, cherishing time spent with family.
Jill Hovland — Mom/Physical Therapist
Of course, the most important person that I celebrate on Mother’s Day is my very own mother, Jill Hovland. Her ideal day starts with a church service in the morning, followed by a trip to one of the local nurseries (see Developing Your Green Thumb in the Willmar Lakes Area for ideas) to pick out flowers that we plant in her outside planters. We usually visit Grandma Karen, her mom, and invite her out to dinner with us to celebrate another great mother. In the afternoon, Jill likes to go walking on the bike paths around Willmar Lake and Foot Lake to take in the lake views and beautiful Minnesota scenery. To complete her ideal Mother’s Day, my mom would love a family dinner at one of her favorite places to eat in the area, Jake’s Pizza in Willmar.
Emily Carlson — Mom/Elementary School Teacher/Coach
Emily Carlson is a dedicated elementary school teacher, high school basketball coach, and mom. With one child of her own at home and dozens of kids that she fosters connections with at the elementary and high school, Emily’s life revolves around looking after kids and helping them grow. She likes to celebrate Mother’s Day with a trip to Lulu Beans Coffee Shop in Willmar, to grab a cup of coffee before an afternoon of shopping (go to Shopping on our website for some great places to shop around the Willmar Lakes Area). After her shopping escapade she likes to get dinner with her husband and son at either Grizzly’s, Green Mill, or Ruff’s in Willmar.
Maybe if the weather is nice this Mother’s Day, Tara Bernhagen and her daughter Lydia can enjoy a bike ride.
Mary Hovland — Grandma/Pastor
Mary Hovland, one of my lovely grandmothers, cherishes time spent together on Mother’s Day. She says, “Nothing beats love shared around the family dinner table, sharing stories of fun family events, and eating good food on Mother’s Day.” Because she loves spending time out in her gardens, we like to gift my grandma with flowers and succulents and other things she can use in her garden. After her morning services as a local pastor, where she celebrates all the mothers in her congregation, Mary likes to trek on over to Stacy’s Nursery to pick up a few flowers before heading to dinner with our family.
Tara Bernhagen — Mom/Middle School Teacher/Coach
Tara Bernhagen is a pretty new mother, with a little one who will be turning two in June. As a middle school teacher and long-distance coach, Tara also contributes most of her time to helping kids reach their full potential. Her favorite gift on Mother’s Day is a little handmade gift from her daughter Lydia, which was a hand-print ornament last year. After a morning church service, Tara likes to get both sides of her family together to have brunch. She loves going to The Oaks at Eagle Creek for their Mother’s Day brunch buffet and enjoying the great views of the golf course and the lake. And to end the day, Tara and her husband always get a flower pot for both of their mothers to show them their appreciation.
Jen Hovland and her family head to Stacy’s nursery to celebrate many holidays, including Christmas (cue the hanging pine trees) and Mother’s Day!
Jen Hovland — Mom/Social Worker
Jen Hovland is a mother of two, a social worker, and my wonderful aunt. She likes celebrating Mother’s Day in a few different ways, but her ideal day usually revolves around having a meal with her family. Sometimes she’ll head to La Michoacana, a local meat market, to pick up supplies for carne asada. She loves spending time with her family in the kitchen, preparing delicious food and visiting with the people she loves. One of Jen’s favorite things about the Willmar Lakes Area is living in a community where she can find lots of authentic food options from around the world. And when she isn’t up for cooking at home, she likes taking the whole family to the Green Mill’s Mother’s Day brunch. And if the weather is good, Jen likes taking walks on local trails to take in the gorgeous prairie land. Sibley State Park and Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center are two places in the Willmar Lakes Area that have great nature trails and incredible views.
There are a number of great ways to spend Mother’s Day in the Willmar Lakes Area, and these are just a few ideas from women around the community. From Sunday brunch to local nurseries to hiking trails, the Willmar Lakes Area is the perfect place to celebrate the incredible women you know on Mother’s Day.