some of the women i celebrate

Today is International Women's Day. In honor of this day, and in celebration of the strength I have learned to find in my network of women, I wanted to pay tribute to certain individuals whose love, support and grace have recently made a difference in the chaos and transition of my life. (Emphasis on the word recently. I could never, ever make a full list...and even this list feels too short.)

This photo captures so much about my mom. I see her casual elegance, her love for cats, her creative spirit. What doesn't show is her strength. Whether it's managing my grandfather's hospice care or helping me and Wildcat Guy prepare for our move to Michigan, she approaches life's challenges with wisdom and heart.

 (photo by KM Photography)

These three - known here as Vintage Blonde, Baker Blonde, and Faithful Blonde - keep me grounded and remind me to be a better person. They know me well enough to realize when I need emotional or mental space, and care enough not to let me turn space into walls.

They also don't let me take myself too seriously.

Sophie and Sully's mama, A, is one of the kindest, most caring people I know (and I know a lot of them!). She helps me remember that strength and gentleness are not exclusive traits; and I have immensely appreciated her prayers and encouragement in this time of transition.

She and the other friends I made in Kentucky are people I treasure and hope to stay in touch with.

If there was one person who was crucial to the success of my recent job search, I would say it was my colleague and friend, Amy. She was extremely generous with her time and feedback when I updated my resume, and she was the one who told me about the posting for my new job.

It is people like her - and my friend Bonnie - who embody the value of building professional networks.

One of the joys of my profession is the opportunity to build not only the professional networks I mentioned, but also personal networks. This includes the students I've had the privilege to work with and mentor; and occasionally, I am blessed to see those mentoring relationships evolve into friendships. L is such a beautiful person, inside and out, and I am fortunate to have her in my circle. Her warm spirit of inquiry and grace encourage me to strive for my personal best.

Again - in no way is this list inclusive of all the amazing women in my life as family, friends, colleagues, inspiration, motivation, support, encouragement, blessings, and so on. For each of the women here and all the others, I am grateful God has placed them in my life.


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