Story by Matt Kennedy
Even at the most difficult points on her journey to motherhood, Denise Diegel never flinched. She projected positivity and was unwavering in pursuit of the dream that she and her husband, Alex, shared. Denise did anything necessary to make that dream a reality, and it ultimately did when they had Aiden (4) and Emmaline (3).
Through their shared faith, Denise and Alex have come to find incredible joy in their children. And where the process that led them there was met with challenges at every step, Alex also came away with the utmost respect for his wife’s fortitude and her persistence. She knew what she wanted and moved forward undaunted.
“She was stronger than I had ever seen someone be during that time,” Alex said. “It’s really special to see how well she’s done with everything and in the love that she shows the kids on a day in and day out basis. Two toddlers in the house can be pretty crazy, and she does an incredibly good job of showing patience and love to them.”
Denise was destined to be a good mother because of her patience, love and willingness to sacrifice herself on behalf of her children. The challenges she faced along the way only served to reinforce how precious the opportunity was to bring Aiden and Emmaline into the world.
Denise is a true powerhouse now as a radiology technician, a small business owner with Triple D Bakery, and a mother who continues to treat her children like the gifts they are.
“She’s got a really good connection with our kids,” Alex said. “She does such a remarkable job of being a calming voice and being able to roll with the punches and the change that’s constantly happening. She balances all that with a 40-plus hour work week and taking the kids to daycare every day since I have to go into work early.”
Denise embraces the day-to-day grind of working full-time and raising kids, and she really shines on any occasion or milestone that calls for a party. But even life’s more routine moments — baths, bedtime and meals — can feel like a big deal when Denise is in charge of them.
Those are just a few of the things that are leaving a clear mark on both Aiden and Emmaline. They might feel like ordinary tasks, but those moments are starting to define their childhood. Denise makes the best of each situation and even knows how to satisfy two picky eaters.
“Our two toddlers say they ‘love her for her hugs, how she sings to them at night and how she makes them cinnamon toast for breakfast,” Alex said.
The ability to make the ordinary feel extraordinary is a true parenting gift.
Denise also has a silly streak that helps in keeping a light tone in their home. The same effect can be felt through her extraordinary patience and calm in the face of the inevitable chaos of raising toddlers.
In doing so, Denise has also helped Alex grow and be better in the same areas. He admits to being “pretty tense and fairly tight,” but also says being in Denise’s presence has uplifted him going back to when they first met at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
“She’s always been a calming voice and a calming factor in my life,” Alex said. “She’s been able to help me with that quite a bit.”
To keep the home together, to pay such special attention to both her kids, and to set a calming tone in the house, they’re just a few ways Denise makes her family and home a better place.
For those things and so much more, Alex and the kids feel immense gratitude this Mother’s Day. Their happiness as a family starts and ends with everything Denise does along the way.
“I would like her to know how much I think of her and how amazing of a mother she is,” Alex said. “She is able to make every moment with our children special, while working 40-plus hours per week. She seems like a superhero at times with how much she can get accomplished.”