On Mother's Day, rest, flowers, plants, girls' day out

Natalie Mammes and Jason Shapiro, have a picnic

Natalie Mammes and Jason Shapiro, have a picnic with their son Jaden Shapiro, as families spend mothers day at Old Westbury Gardens in Old Westbury, Sunday, May 11, 2014. (Credit: Steve Pfost)

Moms across Long Island celebrated their special day in a host of ways Sunday, from picnicking with their families to all-girls brunches.

One common theme ran throughout: Mother's Day, for many, meant a day off from regular tasks such as cooking, cleaning and doing laundry. Many husbands offered to prepare the family meals while others opted for takeout.

Kate Walz, 40, of Port Washington, a stay-home mom, walked around Old Westbury Gardens with her family before her husband was to cook dinner. "It's a nice day to relax. Mostly everybody's so busy, the kids have school, my husband is busy," Walz said. "So to just have the day and be together and wandering around, and literally taking the time to smell the flowers, is wonderful."

Samantha McKevitt, 38, a middle school social studies teacher, was dressed in matching white floral dresses with her 4-year-old daughter, Meagan, as they looked at flowers for sale and basked in the sunlight and mid-70-degree weather. "It's nice to have a break, even if for one day," McKevitt said. "As a working mom, I give all working moms a lot of credit. It's hard work but it's so worth it."

Dozens of moms had picked up free lavender plants at the gardens by midmorning. Workers had prepared hundreds of the plants, said Lucy Contreras, the plant shop manager, as they readied for their busiest day of the year, according to Haig Dick of visitor services.

Natalie Mammes, 37, a homemaker, and Jason Shapiro, 41, a lawyer, laid out a blanket and noshed on grapes and watermelon in front of the Westbury House with their 3-year-old son Jaden. They planned to have 11 relatives over for dinner, but Mammes wouldn't be cooking.

"It's mommy's day off today so we'll be getting takeout," Mammes said. "It's a beautiful day and there's nothing more fun than seeing my son smile."

At Carlyle on the Green, a catering hall on the edge of Bethpage State Park overlooking the Bethpage Black golf course, about 1,200 guests were expected to dine at the buffet-style brunch between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., said the restaurant's chief executive, Steven Carl.

Patricia Bormann, 48, and Christine Marsiello, 45, both of Farmingdale, enjoyed the breakfast and lunch buffets filled with made-to-order omelets, deep-fried turkey and chocolate cake with their mother, Theresa Ungania, 71, of Bethpage.

They left the kids and husbands at home. "Everyone kept calling us while we were eating but none of us answered," Bormann, a court reporter, said with a laugh. "I have to go to a soccer game after this because I'm a soccer mom, too, so it was nice for us to spend some time together, just the girls."

Marcie Kahl, of Merrick, was looking forward to some exercise after the brunch with her family. "The best part is just being together," Kahl said. "It could have been Denny's and it would have been just as nice."

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