International Women’s Day

I’m late to the party today but I couldn’t let a day designed to celebrate women pass without notice from me. From childhood one, I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by some of the most amazing women anyone could ever know. And, once I grew up and discovered the wild and wonderful world of the internet, well my circle of amazing women just exploded. I’d like to share a little about some of the wonderful women in my life.

My mom
My mom, Karin O’Donnell, is a truly amazing woman. She’s smart, funny, and generous to a fault. She’s a brilliant teacher and, not only has she shared her talents in the classroom, but she has spent years volunteering and teaching for the American Red Cross. My mom spent years leading our Girl Scout troops and making sure my sisters and I had every opportunity to become strong, powerful women. My mom has provided just as much support to us as adults. I honestly can’t put into words how incredible she is and just how much I love her.

My sisters
I’m lucky enough to have two of the most beautiful, wonderful, fabulous sisters in the world. They are so different from each other but both of them are so very special to me. My sister Keri has faced things in her life that no one should ever have to face. She’s not only managed to overcome but has truly grown into a phenomenal woman, wife, and mother. She has done an amazing job with her two gorgeous daughters. They both have such a strong sense of self. And, Keri has one of the strongest faiths I have ever seen. She is unwavering in her belief and, as a result, has been witness to some truly miraculous events. Keri truly wears her heart and her faith on her sleeve and I admire her for it.

Becky is my baby sister and I have to say that I’m so glad my mom didn’t listen to my 2 yr old self when I told her that one sister was enough. I often think that Becky doesn’t realize just how amazing she is. Becky is smart and has so much love in her heart. Becky has also overcome a lot…things that might make someone pause and find it difficult to trust and believe in love. She hasn’t let it stop her. Not only does Becky show her love to her family but she has truly fallen in love with the girls she coaches in basketball. I can’t even explain how impressed I am with my baby sister.

My sisters-by-choice
I have a group of the most amazing friends in the world. Jennifer and Kristi and Rys and Pam are so special and dear to me. These are women who know my heart and soul. They carried me through the hell of repeat pregnancy loss and celebrated the joy when we finally beat that bitch and welcomed Gabe into this world. They know my flaws and foibles and deep dark secrets that are better left untold and love me despite or maybe because of all them. They are strong, powerful, intelligent, successful women and my life would seem empty without them.

Jennifer and I have known each other for almost 30 years. We spent high school French class playing with play-doh, singing Christmas carols, and doing work for imaginary classmates. I think we drove our French teacher more than a little crazy.  Jennifer is such an amazing, compassionate, smart woman that the retirement community her bank serves has more loyalty to her than they do to the institution that safeguards their money. She goes above and beyond her job as a banker…she does things for her clients that sometimes they are no longer capable of doing (balancing check books, keeping the one’s whose minds are slipping from making disastrous financial mistakes, making sure her clients’ families and social workers are aware of their needs). I want to be like her when I grow up.

Kristi is phenomenal. In fact, without her, my husband and I might not have ever gone on our first date (she set us up). Kristi and I have been friends for nearly 20 years (holy shit, has it really been that long?). We’ve been friends through wild crazy times, through ecstatic highs, and desperate lows in both our lives. I am so very lucky to have met her back in our rescue squad days and I’m even luckier to still have her in my life now.

Rys and Pam came into my life almost 12 years ago. We’ve been through pregnancies, losses, family disasters, and arguments. These women dropped their lives, packed up their children, and came to take care of me and my family when I needed support the most. That kind of generosity of spirit, that kind of love can’t be bought and I am blessed to have them in my life. Hey Pam, I finally got Rys living around the corner from me. When are you, Angie, and the kids going to move to North Carolina?

I have so many other women I want to tell you about, so many other women I love and admire, but this post is getting ridiculously long. I think I’m going to have to make this a weekly feature. That way I can introduce you to all the fabulous women I know and, in many cases, introduce you to their blogs too.

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