I am very blessed to have been raised and continue to be mentored by a large group of strong willed, intelligent and funny women.
Growing up I lived on our family farm with my parents, grandparents and great grandparents living on the same road. We gathered at meal times, harvested crops and sustained each other through good times and bad.
I thought everyone had this luxury. I couldn't have been more wrong. As I ventured out into the world I quickly realized that what I had been given as a child was a rare and precious gift.
From the moment I can remember the women in our family were the backbone. They all had a wicked sense of humor and enough gusto to fill a football stadium. They raised me to believe that I was beautiful, smart and capable. I was taught to help anyone you could any way you could and to do so humbly and without fanfare. Working hard was an expectation but that didn't mean we couldn't have fun while we shelled peas or gathered eggs.
Being a farm wife didn't mean a life without glamour. My grandmother is one of the sharpest dressed women I know. She could go from the cotton field to town with just a few minutes in the bathroom. She taught me the importance of looking your best when you are out and about.
These woman have molded me into the woman I am today. I carry the lessons they taught me with me everyday and have tried my very best to pass them on to my children.
Never underestimate the importance of growing up knowing you are loved, believed in and cherished. The gifts they gave me were priceless, and they are ones that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.