I am forever amazed at how fucking awesome the people I know are. I mean it. I’m not sure how I was able to cultivate friendships with such a talented, brilliant and gifted group of women but I am glad I did. My life is marked by the fingerprints these women leave, through their writing and word, kind acts and calls for action and I am better for it.
They are talented moms and friends, wives and daughters, runners and photographers, big idea people and get it done people. They are the women who write essays that can leave me aching for more words, design websites that leave me swooning and manifestos that re-wire my brain. They are the women who challenge me to be better, who add sparkle to the internet, to life- not through gimmicks or games but by diving headfirst into their passions and being brave enough to share their lives with us. This is my valentine to the women who sparkle.
Adele- Have you heard of her? No? Okay, talk to me when you’ve come out of the cave. (She may not realize we are friends yet- but after she hears how I sing “Set Fire To The Rain”, we are obviously going to be exchanging BFF bracelets).
Amber- Besides sharing the dream to one day own a cuddling zoo for all the adorable animals and if you forget that she’s one of the rare writers that can leave me thinking on a post for days, just know this: Amber is the person who will see you and give you a hug the second she meets you. For the first time. When a roomful of people just stare at you, she will reach over, introduce herself and give you the kind of hug you haven’t got from anyone in a long time. She’s that person. I wish there were more of her.
Andrea- Um, I adore this woman. She combines the best of wit and heart on her blog (IF YOU ARE NOT READING HER BACHELOR POSTS, TWO WORDS: FRIENDS OFF). When I’m having a tornado hate day or the sads start creeping in or I am having a “WHAT THE HELL IS EVERYTHING IN THIS WORLD SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT?” Lifetime movie-esque breakdown, I re-read the manifesto she wrote on her blog and feel the kind of reassurance you last felt when you were 7 years old and your mom assured you that the Tooth Fairy wasn’t going to steal your shit. Andrea is basically the kind of person you want to be. See also: the prettiest hair.
Bri- Bri is a young new mom and wife who is balancing everything with a level of grace that I admire. Her love for her son, Miles (ONE OF THE CUTEST BABIES EVER), is palpable and I smile anytime she *writes about him. And when she’s nervous? She writes about it. When she’s happy? You know. Her blog is nothing less than an amazing dive into her life that she shares with two adorable dudes. Bri is just that woman you want to be friends with. The. End. (I also realized I “like” every photo that she posts of him, which sort of looks creepy when you look at my “photos you’ve liked” section and it’s all pictures of Andrea’s hair and Miles with the cheeks!)
Dowager Countess of Grantham- You better know who she is.
Erin- Last weekend I napped with my dog and sorted socks. Obviously sorting socks is exhausting, which required another nap. While I was busy trying to squeeze in a yawn between the napping and sock sorting, Erin ran 126.2 miles with a team of girls. Sorry, didn’t catch that? I SAID SHE RAN ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SIX POINT TWO MILES. I don’t even know how to muster that kind of strength from inside and Erin did it. Her positive attitude, her will to achieve great things through dedication and skill inspire me.
Hillary- Hillary is one of my favourites. She’s beyond dedicated to her adorable baby (In my dream world, I imagine than Grady and Bri’s baby are neighbours and grow up to be best friends. That’s weird right? Right. It’s just they both look so cute and happy, I just like the idea of them finding each other, you know? ANYWAY) and she’s back at work doing an amazing job. I have no idea how she handles it all, but she does. She does it every damn day and I’m in awe. I wish we lived closer because I want to hug the crap out of her.
Katelin- Few people reach the level of awesome that this woman has reached. A happily married, hard working lady who routinely kicks my ass in Words With Friends. Katelin is just one of those people I think it would be impossible to stay grumpy around. Last year in Vegas, she was one of those people I always felt I could just start a conversation with and later, she and I created epic moves on the dance floor that I can’t wait to re-enact this year. If you don’t have Katelin in your life, make some changes. I adore the hell out of her.
Laura- My love for this girl is ridiculous. Just click her name to see what kind of change one person can make in the world. Laura takes all the ideas we have after watching old Oprah episodes about Being Kind and CHANGING THE WORLD and actually acts on them. She’s inspired over 1,800 people to join her cause and create kindness. 1,800. Amazing. AMAZING.
Nicole- A tornado of energy, a life force that has immersed herself in living an authentic life. She doesn’t describe herself that way, that would a) be weird and b) maybe a bit douchey to talk in third person?- but when you spend time on her blog, you can feel it. She radiates the DO ALL THE THINGS AND EVERYTHING CAN BE AMAZING IF YOU WORK YOUR ASS OFF feeling. She organizes blogger multi-day meetups and took up running with a fierce determination last shown on the face of Lance Armstrong in old Nike commercials. She’s the person that you want to spend time with at a party because you know that’s where you are going to see something you’ve never saw before, have a conversation that will stick with you or eat some goddamn good food because the girl has an amazing new food site. Any of those are an automatic win.
Renee- Listen. I’m not going to go all “I’m so crazy smart because I read all the time and did I ever tell you I was the youngest person to teach at the college”, because that would a) be annoying and b) a tiny bit misleading since I only taught Intro To Drama which consisted of me instructing 40 year olds to pretend they were ANGER. The point is, I actually consider myself to be smart. Unless I’m around Renee. And then I quiver, shake and turn into a starry-eyed school girl who wants nothing more than to follow Renee around and ask her opinion on EVERYTHING because the girl is wicked smart. And smart with the facts to back it up. Her views on the treatment of women in media prompted me to re-think everything, including Superbowl commercials. I feel smarter after reading her tweets and blog posts. How many people can you say that about?
Shaba- This girl is the one who deals with my emails that all start with “I AM A HORRIBLE PERSON” or “I HAVE A CONFESSION”. Basically, she’s like my parole officer or the Fred to my Barney. She asks me questions no one else does and has the guts to say the things that no one else will say. And I love her for it. Besides that, her emails are also often the best part of my day. The girl can describe an outfit in ways that would put Anna Wintour to shame. Love doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about this woman.
That’s only the beginning of what would be a very long list. I am ridiculously grateful for what each of these ladies has brought to my life and I am even more grateful that there are so many MORE who I could easy add to this post. Damn, I love the world right now.
Celebrate Galentine’s Day by letting me know- who are the women who add sparkle to your life?
* google it.