Funny how the world sees "real women. . ."

Evidenced by all the Real Housewives of. . . shows which seem to be overtaking our televisions, it appears that the world believes we should all be wealthy, pampered, enviable, catty, curvaceous, gorgeous, and more. While we may be gorgeous, most of us are not rich or spoiled or even catty. We are ~ simply put ~ real.

The idea for this blog came after watching a few of those real housewives shows and realizing just how skewed the views of everyday life can be through the eyes of these women. Particularly to those of us in the trenches, working day-in-day-out to take care of ourselves, our children, our parents, our spouses/partners. Those of us who are out there earning a living, who may be dealing with catastrophic events or troubled children or medical issues or partner concerns.

This is a call to all women everywhere who live everyday lives and who want to simply do their best as they love all, laugh often, and live fully. Let us unite with our whole heart and soul, with humanity and grace, with vigor and hope. We are women and we are thankful to be so!

Monday, July 25, 2011

My Monday Hero ~ Terrific, Tremendous Tracy!

Tracy, an absolute every day hero, is my cousin and I am thrilled to be related to her! Throughout her life she has had the ability to make me laugh to the point of tears, cry so hard I start laughing, and always. . .always helps me better understand the humanity around me.

This woman has lived more lifetimes in her one than most of us can imagine. She carries with her the tenderest of hearts, and at the same time she is tenacious, determined, and persevering when tackling a problem which needs solving. A natural performer with an incredible voice, she has overcome so much ~ most recently a serious cancer scare ~ doing so truly with the effervescence and love of life you see in her photos! 

There was one particularly difficult time in my life while living in the Rocky Mountains when I was traveling south and north on Interstate 15 several times a month for professional reasons. While on the freeway, I would pass the exit which would take me directly to Tracy's home; I would sometimes stop to visit her and her sister, Cristi. 

While I did not see her as often as I would have liked, and despite Tracy not being aware of the seeming insurmountable trials I was facing, I felt an unbelievable sense of acceptance and well-being just knowing she was there. As I think about that now, tears filter to the surface, as this was one of the great blessings during a bleak episode in my life. 

No matter the problem, no matter the anxiety, no matter the battle, Tracy has always, consistently, regularly been there with pure love, unconditional acceptance, and needed reassurance. She never required details, she only had to know that I needed her. No questions, no demands, no expectations.

Tracy, dearest friend and cousin, you are and have been my lifetime hero. You are a beacon of light and hope and dreams. You instill within me a desire to be more like our Savior, Jesus Christ. Your example is one which women throughout the world would do well to emulate. I love you, I treasure our friendship, I cherish the person you are, and I am ever so grateful to be related to you ~ you are a true hero!

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Monday Hero - Charismatic, Incredible Kiki!

It's already been several years since I had the privilege of meeting this always-happy, constantly helpful, totally accepting woman named Kiki. She was a vendor at a local arts & crafts show, selling her totally unique and creative one-of-a-kind jewelry. While this small Alaska town is very artsy, Kiki brought a new flair and twist to the typically-seen fare.

I quickly learned that "Kiki" was not her given name. Rather, this was a screen name that had become so commonplace that keeping it just seemed to fit. I liked that, and I immediately liked her. She is not a woman with whom I go out to lunch or to the movies. She is a friend who I run into now and again at yard sales, in the store, at arts & crafts shows. With Kiki, I can share the goings-on in my life and know she will appreciate whatever it is, as well as feel the empathy and compassion needed at that time. 

She is also the person who cares for and about individuals of all types. When I meet her in a random place in town, she regularly introduces me to a new friend of hers ~ many times this new friend is someone she has befriended who needs that special type of care only Kiki can give. She is the quintessential "no respecter of persons" who completely loves and accepts anyone who crosses her path. What a rare but precious gift she has!

She is a self-made woman who bought a live-aboard boat and proceeded to learn how to live aboard it! Who does that?? Incredible! And her jewelry just continues to inspire and beautify the necks, wrists, ears, and fingers of many, many women. 

I love you dearly and admire you greatly, Kiki my friend. I appreciate all you do and have done for me over the years. You are a one-of-a-kind hero, and hold the highest honor in my book!