Home Features Features Dearest Mothers

For most moms, May 9 won’t be about decadent spa treatments or gift bags filled with designer goods. It’ll be about taking a break from work, opening from-the-heart homemade gifts and spending time with their most favorite people—their children. Here, some of our favorite local moms and their kids share their most cherished memories, the joys (and challenges) of motherhood and their Mother’s Day plans.

Donna Gabrilson

Donna Gabrilson
Mother of Stacey and Shannon

Donna Gabrilson and Stacey Barnes get to experience a part of the mother-daughter dynamic that not many families get to: The two call each other co-workers and business partners as the owners of GoodyTwos Toffee Company. (Gabrilson’s other daughter, Shannon, also lives in the Valley.) For Barnes, the opening of their Scottsdale storefront in 2008 is one of her fondest memories. “It was something that I always wanted for us,” she says. “For me, [I get to work with] the person that I’ve looked up to my whole life.”

Everyday, the blonde-haired, blue-eyed twosome work side-by-side to create some of the Valley’s tastiest treats—and side-by-side is how it’s always been. When asked about her most significant mother- daughter memory, Gabrilson recalls when she and Barnes ventured to California in 1994. (Barnes was a model for many years, and Gabrilson would travel with her to jobs and castings.) On their last day in the state, they experienced a frightening 6.2-magnitude earthquake—side-by-side—from the 25th floor of a hotel. “We were together, and we made it through it,” Gabrilson says. “It was one of those moments that was somewhat life-changing.”

This Mother’s Day, Gabrilson says she doesn’t need fancy brunches or spa treatments to enjoy her special day. For her, it’s more about whipping up eggs Benedict and watching movies with her daughters at home. “Christmas is so crazy and Thanksgiving is a fun holiday for family, but I adore Mother’s Day,” she says. “It is a day of being surrounded by love.” —M.L.