I grew up surrounded by examples of strong women. My sister and I were blessed with a mother, grandmothers, and aunts who were smart, resourceful, and determined.

One of the very best things my mother passed along to my sister and me was the confidence to try. I don’t ever recall a moment where she was faced with a challenge that she wasn’t able to resolve or at least make a full-hearted attempt to. She has always been creative and artistic. She’s a problem solver, a “never say never” kind of woman. She knows how to make things with her hands and has always worked far past the point when her body told her to stop. Over my life I’ve watched her serve and take care of others to the point of exhaustion time and time again. Idleness does not suit her.

Her mother and grandmother were the same. I grew up thinking that was just how all women were.

I had no idea how hard it was.

As a grown woman, I now know what it takes to make things happen, to create a home, to take care of a family, to keep it all running. I think of all the times they must have sacrificed so much for others—for me.

Thank you mom, for all of that—for showing and teaching us what a strong, determined, and loyal woman looks like. I love you.

Happy Mother’s Day!