As 2018 draws to a close, I want to celebrate the amazing women God brought into my life this past year.
In recent times, I have become more and more dependent on my female friends. Afterall, our husbands and boyfriends tend to come and go, but our girlfriends stick around through thick and thin. Sometimes we just need someone who knows what makes us tick.
Below are stories of the women I know who all have real life amazing narratives to tell. Stories most do not know, but everyone should. They all have families, and pain, and sorrow, and joy, and hope, strength and courage. They exude love, respect and honor. Most are not motivated by outward beauty, but by that inward grace and charm that makes us beautiful from the inside out. The glimmer and twinkle in the eye that no facelift can create. These stories are painful, sometimes gross, terrifying, loving, amazing and above all beautiful. As women, we have our own narratives to write, and discovering yours is your ticket to living your authentic self.
The gathering of real women in my life, deserve to have their chronicles shared. Their lives are the ones who lead by example and inspire others along the way!
In the photo below, my daughter and I were shopping for new bedding for her soon to be college dorm. We found a mattress sale in the back corner of the store. We could not resist having a mini sleepover, right there in the store. It was one of the sweetest and intimate moments of my life. No filter, no photoshop, no makeup, just us enjoying one another’s company in an extraordinary way, in an ordinary place. This is where I want to live. In this space, with this kind of unabashed joy!
I owe the entire idea for my Bringing in the Sheaves blog to my friend, Jennifer. She is the one who encouraged me to begin writing down my thoughts and starting to combine regrets with memories I treasure. She is the one person I trust more than my vet when it comes to my dog, and more than my doctor when it comes to my health.
She has struggled with Lyme disease for several years and I have watched her health decline, all the while, she has been working a full time job and organizing a state wide dog rescue. I pray everyday for her full recovery. Seen here on a cruise we took several years before the disease began to set in. I want to see her like this again.
My friend, Kris knows everyone and everything that goes on in my neighborhood. Being a realtor, she keeps me abreast of who may want to buy and sell long before they actually do. She has been by my side went I went in for surgeries. She checks my mail when I am out of town. She is such a warm, and loving and extremely generous of her time. She leads by example, and I can only hope to be there for others the way she is for me.
If you do not know this woman, you should. Amy recently married the love of her life and I am in awe that one can find love after a bad divorce in later years. What an inspiration. She brings so much joy to everything she does. Hers is the story of true love, her twin flame, the kind of man we all want to marry. You are one lucky girl, Amy!
My friends Rachel and Shawn, with her Golden Doodle, Hunter. Rachel has a way of introducing women to other women that is absolutely a gift. There is an entire group of professional woman who have all come together because of Rachel. Rachel is a finacial advisor and Shawn is a CFO.
My British Nanny friend, Karen. My life would be completely void without this woman in my life. I met her through Rachel and she has carried my heart ever since! She has lived throughout Europe and Africa and has amazing stories to tell. I could sit and listen to her talk for hours and she knows all my secrets. Even her dog, Bee, is Addison’s bestie!
Roberta and I met when our grown children started kindergarten! We have been friends now for 27 years. Roberta has been a flight attendant for a major airline the entire time I have known her. For her to say, she will be in Hawaii on Tuesday, is just something she does every week. Today, I love her more and I’m not afraid of letting her know. She’s my RoRo and my Rock!
Hadley, my first Silky Terrier, pictured here. passed away from renal failure at two and a half years old. I still miss her, and her passing broke my heart. This is my friend Melinda, fellow real estate agent, whose Great Dane, Timber is my favorite dog. Melinda and her husband were there the day I had to put Hadley down. It is a great blessing to have a friend who can share your grief in a way that refreshes your spirt. Melinda will be the one to “bless” my new puppy Addison, after Hadley’s passing. A blessing I believe God heard and has honored.
My daughter’s best friend since preschool, Hannah. I’ve known this precious girl all her life. They were born just a month apart and became friends in preschool. Hannah grew up 1/2 block from our house and the girls were constantly going back and forth. Until these girls graduated high school, they had been togethr as neighbors, friends and high school buddies their entire lives. She was my daughter’s first friend. Hannah coaches volleyball at a local high school. She’s as solid as a rock and as long as I’ve known her I’ve never once seen her angry. She is always smiling. Besides, she loves cheesecake. What could ever be wrong with a girl like that?
My precious friend Trisha who did our makeup at my daughter’s wedding. Trish and I were pregnant with our babies at the same time, and my daughter and her son are born two weeks apart. She and I raised our now grown kids, and reunited when Abee was getting married. She literally had not seen Abee since she was a baby until this day! Trisha made both of us gorgeous on my daughter’s big day! She is the one who taught me to organize my closet by the colors in the rainbow. It makes so much darn sense, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it first! She’s also loves dogs, and runs a Bulldog rescue.
These are both my daughters. One born and one “adopted”. Abee and Julia. Julia “Tinker Belled” her way into my life during a real estate transaction. I feel like I’ve know her all her life. It’s amazing how deep a friendship can be from the moment you meet each other! She is also a fellow Kappa sister. Julia is a private banker and going to go very very far in this world. Abee has a master degree in Bio Technology and just landed a job with a Pediatric Ophthalmologist. I am so stinking proud of these girls! I get to watch the world unfold in their eyes!
My friends, Karen and Janet. We went our separate ways a few years ago when Karen took a job in Austin. I was delighted to help her find her new home when she moved back to Fort Worth. We don’t see each other often, but when we do, we might as well set aside an entire day! Karen is in fundraising and Janet works in finance.
My new friend Gail, who used to own a resale shop near our condo in Colorado. She literally closed the shop at the end of that first season we bought our house there. If we had not bought our condo when we did, she and I would have never met. We are sisters from a different mother! She lives in the country, cooks on a wood stove. Her husband is a forester, and he can identify just about anything you come across out in the woods. And this woman loves her margaritas! Watch out!
My dog show mentor, Linda and her boy, Blu. My heart weeps for joy and sadness when I see this picture. We almost lost Linda 2 years ago. She had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic and coded twice while in the hospital. Blu is one of the Top 20 Silky Terriers in the country and Linda trusted me to foster him while she was recovering. She also allowed me to take him to Nationals in her place while she was in the hospital on a respirator. It was a very long and winding road to find this woman, but I owe her my lifelong loyalty. She taught me everything I know about showing my dog in the show ring. It took me a lifetime to find her, but I am so very grateful our paths crossed when they did. Very, very grateful God spared her and is doing a “new work” in her life. Linda is an accountant/bookeper, but her super power is a dog show mom, breeder and child of God! She accepted Christ as a result of almost dying and she is on fire!
My crazy Australian Dog Show Judge, Jan. And yes, she has always had pink hair. She took me under her wing as a rookie owner/handler in the show ring when everyone else thought I was just a hot mess. She recognized Addison as a strong competitor in the silky terrier world. I’m the one who needed to be trained! Crikey, she even makes a mean Pavlova! Jan works for a Judge in Melbourne, Australia. She travels to the states once a year to the Silky Terrier Club of America National Speciality. Here we are at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. I made the mistake of introducing her to my friend Karen, the Brit and the Aussie. I just sat back and watched. I had no idea what they were even talking about!
My friend Vickie and I hiking in the mountains. She and I met on a break during a women’s conference in 2000. She’s a tough one to pin down, but she’s a keeper and any time I can spend with her is time well spent. She has given me some of the best advice I’ve ever received in my business and personal life. She and I have grieved collectively in the past over loses too great for us to mention. Vickie is a licensed counselor and CPA.
New friends are soooooooooooo fun!! Tim, Dawn, me and Kim. We all bought homes in Colorado around the same time and we all live in Fort Worth! Kim works remotely doing a job she says no one even knows exists. Dawn runs a dog rescue for senior dogs with nuerological problems. The first night we all got together for dinner we stayed up talking and drinking until midnight! When one door closes, God builds a new house! Literally! New house, in Colorado, get it? That’s the only reason we all met!
A few of my new Colorado friends, Danette, Stephanie, Art and me. We only met a year ago and we all have Yorkies and a Silky! Dog friends are the best! Immediate connections! I guess we all have the same “spirit” animals! Danette used to own a software company, and Stephanie and Art are retired. There’s one more not shown here and that’s Lenora, she has a Yorkie too! Maybe it’s a genetic defect? How does this happen?
High School and college girlfriends of my daughter meet for the first time at her wedding! Molly, Jamie, Hannah and Taylor. The two on the left are college Kappa sisters and the two on the right are high school buddies. The lives of these girls would have never intersected had it not been for my daughter’s life. Molly is a CPA, Jamie is traveling New Zealand and Australia before she decides what do do with her life. Hannah coaches high school volleyball, and Taylor works in sales for a large boot manufacturer.
Pictured here, with my Silky Terrier, Addison. This photo was taken by my new friend, Pamela. She and I met online simply because we liked each other’s photos on Facebook. One night I got a text from her that said, “Let us know when you are on your way, and we will put the casserole in the oven.” Well, Pamela and I had never met so it was obvious she sent me that text by mistake. I quickly took the opportunity to set up a time to meet and the rest is history. She and her partner, Jeanne are my best friends at our summer home in Colorado. Jeanne is retired and Pamela is a professional wildlife photographer. Because of her I serve on the Cuchara Hermosa Board of Directors in Cuchara, CO. Our only mission is to beautify the valley and to raise money through our fundraising efforts to support our locals schools and other non profits. We plant flowers and have parties. How does life get any better than that?
Pamela and Jeanne at a outdoor concert in Colorado last summer. It is September in this photo, look at them wearing down jackets!! Love, love the weather, but love them more! Jeanne is going to break me from drinking cheap wine if it kills her!
Seen here is a friendship that began in 1983. Gretchen is my favorite person to do business with, and also to go on a beach vacation with. Seen here on our recent trip to Jamaica. And yes, we were babies in 1983, but 35 years later I think we are looking pretty spectacular! She has worked in the title business since before I met her in 1983, and she has the most wicked sense of humor of anyone I have ever met!
My amazing artistic friend, Diane. She and I have reconnected after our grown kids graduated college. We met in 1991 and have realized over the years, once we were done raising our children, how much we had in common. She is a fellow dog enthusiast and horsewoman. We drinks, get mani/pedi’s, talk about dogs and horses. Oh and we are both artists, but she is way, way better than me! Her horses paintings are absolutely stunningly unbelievable! She has an amazing sense of humor and when we get together, someone better take an Uber!
My fellow artist friend Christina has more talent in her little figure that most of us have hanging on our walls in our homes. She and I met in a real estate transaction and went our separate ways when it was complete. However, as someone I felt drawn to, we reconnected years later on a personal and profound level. She is a self taught artist and uses her “doodles” to create masterpieces. She has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I have ever known and she is so multi talented. If only I could imbue upon her the certainty of how beautiful, talented and worthy she truly is.
This pretty lady named Lezah, is my newest friend who walked right into my life and blew me away immediately. She came to yoga one day, we stood in the parking lot talking for 45 minutes and went to lunch. Five hours late I went home. She is studying to get her real estate license which gave us an immediate connection. She has 3 horses. She lives on a farm. She is a retired police officer and a cancer survivor. When I met Lezah, I literally told God he broke the mold, he could stop now. Cannot wait to see where our friendship takes us in years to come! She and I have shared so many similar life stories, I thought she may have been reading my mail!
I could not live without these yoga buddies. Char, Me, Angela, Lois and Nancy. To me yoga is life, and these ladies are the cherry on top who I get to practice with every week! The only one missing here in Angel, she’s the whole reason we get to practice together. These ladies have wrapped me in their arms when I was hurting and laughed with me when I was silly. When all of us get together we can summon up a still, quiet, powerful, and strong life force that could light the world. We are collectively connected in a way that is truly otherworldly.