Today is Mother's Day. The day we celebrate our Mothers. However, this is the day that as an adult I celebrate all the women who have affected my life. Of course the woman who has had the greatest impact on my life is my mother. She is such a treasured gift in my life. She has always encouraged me to be the best and reach for the stars. I am sure over the past several weeks I have spoken to her on the phone at least 3-10 times a day. I'm grateful she is my best friends, someone I can confide in and the one who loves me no matter what. But there are so many other women who have had such an impact on my life.
I have this memory of a primary teacher Sister Haber. I remember she had very black hair and the story she told us about lambs and the Savior. I remember she was always there to teach us the gospel. Sister Hillman was my Merry Miss teacher. She taught me how to make wedding mints, tie a quilt and other things that prepared me for Young Womens. 2 Sister Labrum's and Sister Beaus taught me as a Beehive and one of them wasn't even a member yet. My love for young women's came with Sister Jones and Sister Jensen as they taught me as a Miamaid. I believe it was in their classes that I realized who I really was, a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father and I'm sure this is when I really developed the strong testimony that I have today. I am a quote person. I love quotes. I don't know if I developed this love from Sister Jones and her handouts every week that went along with her lessons, but I at least know it added to that love. She had a book called, P.S I Love You. She would always sign our weekly handouts that went along with her lessons with, "P.S I love you, Mom, Sister Jones, and Sister Jensen." I still have those quotes. I also learned how to organize my quotes in a library like fashion; remember back then we didn't have pinterest. I remember a few days that we spent time at Sister Jones' making plastic canvas napkin holders. Sister Jones became the YW President and Sister Pool joined her when I became a Laurel. It was in their class that they stressed the importance of a temple marriage, even though I was dating a non-member at the time, I always knew that was my goal and still is.
As I entered college it was Sister Ferguson and Sister Mulcock who were my sorority leaders and Sister Fergusons husband was my first college bishop. They along with other amazing women welcomed me into Relief Society and taught me the value of the relationships developed in those organizations. My dear friend Kaycee came from my membership in sorority. Throughout my college years there were so many dear sisters who became just that, sisters and such examples to me. In my first years of college Kristen Kotter taught Sunday School. She aged out of the Singles Ward, I always looked up to her, her fashion and her testimony of the gospel. I had a VT in my University of Utah ward who would come over and volunteer her precious time to help me study for my tests in grad school. She was just as busy as I was, but was willing to help. Sister Carlson, Kougioulis, Ferguson, Jenkins and Webb were Bishops wives who showed me the love of a ward mother, by taking me in during my college and after college years. Sister Freeman and her husband served a mission and taught us institute when I was in Kentucky. She always cooked us yummy cinnamon rolls and bread. Lucky me I got her pans when she left Kentucky. I will never forget her, her testimony and the love she had for us in our little singles branch. My friend Pam is such an example of endurance to me and has in my mind that when I find a man, run off and elope, who needs a big extravagant wedding? Sister Middlebrook took me in as her daughter when I moved to CLT. She taught me about Southern women, how they eat well and spend Summer days in the sun around the pool. There are so many women I look up to in CLT who are not only my friends, but such great examples of being women, serving those around them and becoming the women our Heavenly Father wants us to become; Karen, Emma, Taya, Lauren, Pam, The Vickie's, Wendy, Angela and so many more . Alisha and Emilie are not only my cousin's but my best friends the one's I have fun with, tell everything to, even still and the one's who would be at my side through thick and thin. How grateful I am for them and all the memories I have with them. My childhood friend Jenny has taught me to to love Nancy Drew and a good mystery, be adventurous, get a passport and to USE IT! The last 7 weeks I have renewed my love of reading as my Aunt Leslie has given me book after book to enjoy while I'm here. It has been such fun to get to know my AZ aunt. I have amazing aunts who are such examples to me, especially my Aunt Thalia. She is the epitome of endurance, she keeps going and never gives up, even though I'm sure she would love to from time to time. I'm grateful for her and the sisterly relationship she has with my mother. My Grandma Swensen, even though she passed away when I was 1 has definitely had an effect on my life, how that is possible I'm not quite sure, given I never knew her, but I know my love for Family History and journaling, my giggling at improper things and my dark hair comes from her. My entire life my mom has often said, "I don't know how someone can be so like someone they have never known." While I've been here in AZ, Aunt Leslie often comments on how I look like Grandma Swensen.
I wouldn't be the women I am today without Grandma Betty. Oh, I love that women. She has been not only my grandma, but my confidant, my friend, and one who encourages me to do everything outside the box. I know that if there is anyone else in my life that loves me as close to my mother that it is her. My sisters and sister-in-laws are such great examples of fun, love and making the most of life! How grateful I am to be the aunt to their children and love them as my own. My most memorable and favorite times have been when we have all been together, sitting around talking and of course traveling and giggling at silly things that no one else would think was funny.
To all of you amazing women, Thank You for being in my life, for your examples and the relationships I have with each of you. A Happy Mother's/Women's Day to each of you! One of my favorite quotes, "Great Women; may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them!"