Mothers dominated some of the most memorable moments in the news, movies, sports and books this past year. Here are the ones who left the most lasting impressions.
· MOTHERS OF REVOLUTION: Nobel Peace Prize winners Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, African social worker Leymah Gbowee and Yemen journalist Tawakkul Karman -- all moms -- were jointly recognized for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights. Surrounded by images of war and actively rehabbing ex-child soldiers, Gbowee, 39, of Liberia says she realized that "if any changes were to be made in society, it had to be by the mothers."
· MOM WE CHEERED: Molly Weasley (Julie Walters) of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II delivered the best mom's line in a movie since Alien in her final confrontation with Bellatrix Lestrange. The sweet, Christmas pudding-baking Mrs. Weasley defended her only girl Ginny and dispatched the sadistic Bellatrix while bellowing, "Not my daughter, you bitch!"
· MOMS WHO MADE US WINCE: Huma Abedin, 36, a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, suffered through her first pregnancy while her husband, disgraced congressman Anthony Weiner, became the subject of penis jokes in a sexting scandal, while Maria Shriver learned with the rest of the nation that her husband, former California governator Arnold Schwarzenegger, fathered a son with the family maid and kept it secret for 14 years.
· FUNNY MOM: Comedian and actress Tina Fey struck the funny bone in moms with her book Bossypants, an anti-memoir that included the hilarious and touching prayer for her 5-year-old daughter Alice. "First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches."
· PRE-OCCUPIED MOM: Stacey Hessler, 38, became the poster child of selfishness, immaturity and irresponsibility – or an urban heroine, depending upon who you talk to – after a New York Post article reported the "hippie homemaker" ditched her banker husband and four kids in Florida to join Occupy Wall Street protestors in New York.
· MOM WE CAN THANK LATER: In her bloody, hard-core birth scene from the movie Breaking Dawn: Part One, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) bears a half-human, half-vampire spawn amid excessive blood and sudden bursts of light, reportedly triggering epileptic seizures in some audience members and presenting the best argument for birth control to horrified tween girls packing movie theaters across the country.
· GRAND SLAM MOM: Belgian tennis star Kim Clijsters, who retired from tennis four years ago to start a family, came back swinging and became the second woman in history to win four Grand Slams as a mother. Earlier this year, she became No. 1 in Women's Tennis Association rankings, the first mother to do so.
· FOCUS-DRIVEN MOMS: Judy Teater of Michigan and Shelley Forney of Colorado both lost young children in car accidents caused by drivers distracted on their cell phones. They've channeled their grief into FocusDriven, a national awareness campaign for cell-free driving modeled after Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
· MOMS WHO TOOK A STAND: In a short series of videos created by Somos Familia, three Latina mothers – Mirna, Dolores and Susana – spoke openly about their gay children and the hardships they've faced. Throughout the videos, called Tres Gotas de Agua (Three Drops of Water), the women displayed unconditional love at its purest. The women said they participated in the short films to spark discussion in Latino communities about the normally taboo subject of homesexuality and to break down some of the established beliefs that stand in the way of full acceptance of LGBT youth. As Susana says in her segment, "I am a firm believer that a drop of water wears away a stone."
· MOM OF STRENGTH: Captain of the U.S. Women's Soccer Team and a three-time Olympian, Christie Rampone, 36, lost her shot at her last World Cup title in July but played some of the best soccer in her career as the only mom on the American team (to Rylie, 5, and Reece, 1). Despite being the team's oldest member, she had the No. 1-rated fitness level on the 21-player squad. "After a bad day I can't afford to dwell on it because I have the kids," she said. "They don't care if I have won or lost, they still want Mom."
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