Happy International Women’s Day!

Let’s be honest; I wouldn’t be here to have this dad blog if it wasn’t for women. Mothers, sisters, grandmothers, daughters, in-laws; I can’t turn around without bumping into a woman. So to celebrate this day I thought I would write about some of the women who have inspired me and taught me valuable life lessons and continue to do so to this day.

What kind of person would I be if I didn’t start with my mother first?

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My mom with her 4 children. I’m the cutest one obviously .

My mommy.

Where do I even begin? I could spend days talking about the things I’ve learned from her. The one thing that comes to mind, something that influences every decision she’s made and what I see from her the most, is compassion. In her parenting, her marriage, her friendships, and her career, the one thing that seems to drive her the most is her compassion for others. If there was a time she thought about herself before someone else I never saw it. Anything I’ve learned about how to interact with those around me with compassion and love has come from her example. And she makes the best sausage rolls and chicken enchiladas you’ll ever taste!

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My grandparents at their 60th anniversary party

And none of us would be here without this lovely lady; my grandmother, Kaye Warren! Oh the memories of growing up with this amazing woman. Camping at Gordon’s and Atwood shores, playing with the marble tower (that the great-grandkids still love to play with), the original NES for Christmas, kites for Easter…the list goes on and on. Grandma’s house has always been, and will be, the place for our family to gather. Grandma’s house is always open to whoever needs it; whether that be a last-minute babysitter or just a place to kill time, Grandma Warren is always available. And every Sunday when the weather is nice, we know we’re going to grandma’s house for a hot dog roast.

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A wild Aunt Ninny in her natural habitat; covered in little ones.

Everyone has an Aunt Ninny; even if they’re not your real aunt. She’s the one who was always there; taking you to Mcdonalds to get a Happy Meal and play in the play place, taking you to football and basketball games, getting down on the floor to play. I shouldn’t pick favorites; but if pressed, Aunt Ninny is one of the top. She’s always there and she always has been. No matter what you need or when you need it; just give Aunt Ninny a call and she will be there for you.

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There’s always that one guy that wears a dinosaur shirt to family Christmas; but we’re here to talk about the beautiful woman in the middle.

Alright, I know I just said Aunt Ninny is in the running for favorite woman in my life; but it’s time you met my sister. If you already know her, there’s nothing I can say that you don’t already know. If you haven’t had the pleasure yet; you will never meet a stronger, smarter, funnier, more loving, more amazing woman in your life. Seriously; I see her fairly regularly but I still miss her more than it’s “appropriately manly” to say a guy misses his sister. If you have any questions about how you’re supposed to live your life as a parent/decent human being; just look at my sister and you’ll learn everything you need to know.

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Fierce, smart, funny, and beautiful.

And on to the in-laws. I’ve hit the jackpot! You want an example of a strong, female roll model; well here’s exhibit A: my sister-in-law Misty. entrepreneur? Check. Beautiful? Check. Strong (physically, and emotionally)? Check. Do you wanna feel pretty? She’s an amazing esthetician (Evolve Spa). Need to get your butt kicked into gear to get healthy? She runs circles around everyone at her husband’s gym (Sud’n Impact). She cooks, she cleans, she beautifies, she exercises, she mothers. The lady does it all.

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Lacie bein Lacie. Workin Like a boss.

Sis-in-law number two, Lacie. It’s hard to pin her down because she’s always jet-setting across the country to spread the gospel of Baylage (If you don’t understand don’t feel bad, I don’t either; but she’s pretty much the best at it). But her dedication to her craft always comes in second to her dedication to her family. I’m not sure I’ve met anyone else who balances work/home life with the grace that she does. Always there for her girls and the rest of us when she needs to be. Side note: my favorite memory of meeting my wife’s family comes from Lacie. We were at her house for some family get together; it was raining. I ran out to pull the car up as close to the house as possible for my wife and the kids. Lacie immediately gave me a hug for that and that was when I knew I was in with the family.

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She put this one on Facebook so I’m hoping she’ll allow it here. Don’t let her tell you otherwise; she’s a looker!

Ah yes, the dreaded Mother-In-Law! We all have our horror stories right? We do everything wrong, we’re not good enough for her daughter, she could raise our kids better. Well believe me; if I was doing anything wrong she would let me know! My MIL is a woman who has been through some trying times and she has moved through them with grace and poise that would make any old-school Hollywood starlet blush with inadequacy. She may be stubborn, she may be crass, but she is fiercely loyal to those she considers family and don’t you dare try to question her loyalty! If I had to ask for anyone to be in my corner when it comes to my family it would be her without question!

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My heart, my soul, my laughter, my tears, my everything. Look at that laugh!

Last, and most certainly not least; my better half, the yin to my yang, the mac to my cheese, the peanut butter to my jelly, my partner in crime and my wife: Dusti. When I met her (for the third time, if rumors are true) I was quite possibly at the lowest moment of my life. Living with family, barely a functioning alcoholic. She looked at me and she saw…something. I foolishly argued with her for weeks that I wasn’t worth dating. Thankfully, she saw past my life as it was and saw what it could be. To this day I can’t tell you what she saw in me; but I can tell you what I saw in here. I saw pride, I saw power.

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Cool Runnings aside; I’ve never met anyone like this woman. Tell her she can’t do something, I dare you. Tell her she can’t raise two kids on her own. Tell her she can’t date a thirty year old man-child with no future and no direction and turn him into the father his daughter and her kids need him to be. Tell her she can’t have another child when her doctor told her it might kill her. Tell her she can’t do anything; and I guarantee you she will prove you wrong. This woman. This savior. This Goddess. She will do everything you can, and more. She has taken this poor excuse for a human being and made him into someone even I can be proud of. And that’s someting I will be forever grateful to her for. I could go on and on; about these women and about the rest in my life. Just don’t forget as the day comes to a close. No matter who you are, no matter where you’re from. There are women in your life that have made you who you are today.

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I’m sorry dear sister, I had to add this picture. At least I gave you a heads up!
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