Here’s to the STRONG Women

I woke up this morning and realized something … The sun wasn’t up yet.

I wake up early naturally as I have trained my body to do this. If I want to get anything accomplished or any work done it has to be first thing in the AM. When my house is still quiet and my mind is sharp.

This summer the light has been pouring in early. BUT today … Although we are still in the dog days of summer I noticed the sun wasn’t up at its usual hour. It made me jump out of bed faster actually because there is solace in spending the first hour of my day in the dim light of the moon. And now as I write this I am sitting in my favorite place in the whole wide world, looking out my window, sipping my coffee and the sky is filling with the most magnificent shades of orange and pink. I heard my Cardinal bird singing this morning which I hadn’t in a while. A favorite quote of mine is “When Cardinals appear, Angels are near”. I like to think that it was a reminder during my meditation that my grandparents are close by me still. It was such a peaceful moment. I smiled.


I read a quote last night … more of a poetic “quote”:

it was sunsets that 

taught me that beauty

sometimes only lasts

for a couple of moments,

and it was sunrises that

showed me that all it 

takes is patience to

experience it all over


a.j. lawless


I loved that one. I watched the sunset last night as well. The colors were spectacular. I would love to watch the sunrise and the sunset every single day for the rest of my life. They last only moments but it is shown to those with wide eyes and longing hearts every single day. They are consistent. And they are the small yet magnificent events EACH day that make the world a better place.

I wanted to tell a quick story today.

About 18 months ago I was in Kenya. I was getting ready to run the Rift Valley Half Marathon. As I started I saw a woman and ran up to her. We started talking and long story short, there was an instant connection. We ran the entire race together finishing hand in hand. It was a brutal race. The heat and altitude were fierce and unforgiving. It was a slow walk/run.


We had a lot of time to chat and had REAL talk really fast which if you know me by now … You know I appreciate realness. We had similar stories. Single moms. There is an immediate bond between single moms. There are some things you just don’t get unless you are one.

For example … Someone asked me this last week about single motherhood and I said the lack of emotional support is crippling at times. They said, ya but you have your close friends and stuff. I concur. I have amazing friends. Close ones. Mom friends. ect. BUT … Having said that, I think a single mom would just KNOW what I meant by that statement. The moments you feel like you are failing and someone sees it in your eyes and says how wonderful of a mom you are. Single moms hide those moments and appear strong because being strong is our only option. The hand on your back that says thank you for all the little things you do each day for the kids. I have got used to high-fiving myself for making sure everyone is fed, clothed and loved most days! It is the little things. And to be fair … A lot of moms don’t get that even if they have a partner or spouse which makes me sad and also has taught me to keep my standards high and not settle for anything but that. Every single mom deserves to have someone tell them they are doing a good job at the end of the day. And that even though they are covered in sweat, dirt, possibly puke and snot, with crazy messy hair and no makeup …. they are the most beautiful creature in the world. Such simple acts that make a difference. I have SEEN the men who do this and they are the strongest of the strong. Real strength to me from a man comes in the tenderness of how he treats his woman. Women … You deserve this. You are worthy of this. Don’t settle.

Wow … nice tangent.

Anyways … Back to my Kenya partner in crime. I found out her name was Ruth. Which is my mom’s name. Which immediately made me feel connected to her. We got each other through the hard moments of that race. I have little tidbits of knowledge that she shared with me that I have tucked away and will never forget. People aren’t random who cross your path. Especially the unexpected ones. There is a SOLID reason and if we are open, we find that reason. Maybe not immediately, but we can always find it. I was strengthened that day. As a woman. As a single mom. By her. Her life was inspiring to me. Her knowledge and travels. Her dedication to her children. Her strong female presence. I am a better person because I started talking to a woman at a race on the other side of the world. A woman from Canada and a woman from Chicago. Worlds collided. In a remote village in Africa.

We kept in touch. I have watched her endure with all the grace in the world a difficult year. I learned more.

This last weekend I was able to see her again. Her smile brought me happiness. I was a sweaty mess from a long run but the hug goodbye I still remember the connection. I love hearing about her adventures and her talk. Her love for her children and grandbabies. I was inspired. I had a new resolve after seeing her. To keep showing up. Quite simply just that. Life is beautiful and to keep showing up. You never know who you will meet today that will change the rest of your life or the course of your life. Miracles are real.


This month my focus is on Overcoming Fear. It is the meditation we are doing for our online group.

I cried this morning listening to the song we have chosen to accompany it. I felt so much peace. I realized that I do have some fears I want to have a conversation with this month. We ALL have fears. I feel this month is going to be a good one. My little fears and I are going to have some good chats.

I am feeling a strong empowerment after this last week. I was surrounded by some strong and beautiful spirited women the entire week.

IMG_6579 2 IMG_6589 IMG_6699

I just watched the entire sky turn from black to pink to orange to bright blue. Nothing is more miraculous than that. I think I am ready to get my Monday started now!

Make today GREAT my loves!

Share the LOVE:


  1. Nina Reed says:

    Hi Stephanie!

    I just read this blog entry because I know Ruth, and I ran into her in a cafe here in Whitehorse Yukon a couple days ago. I mentioned to her I am heading to Chicago for the first time in December for a week-long study at Second City. She told me she loved the city, and she told me about you!

    I was very moved by this blog post. I am not a single mother, but I was moved by your words. I am a filmmaker myself, and I love nothing more than seeing the depth of people.

    Thank you for you words.

    I would love to connect when I am in Chicago this winter.



    • Thank you for reaching out! Ruth is an angel of mine and always will be AND shares my mother’s name! Reach out to me when you are here and we will grab some Chicago Pizza! Second City is absolutely wonderful and in a great area of Chicago! Email me or find me on Facebook through Ruth!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *