Hello Lovelies,

I need to tell you something and I think you'll understand. I am a crier, and I cry a lot. I've always been emotional but since becoming a mom, the emotions don't care whether the time is appropriate or not to pour out of me and I've found it harder and harder to keep them in check.

But, there's another side of me that I keep hidden from most of the world. My husband refers to it as my "shut-down-brave-face" side. It's when I reach a point in a situation where I am either completely over it or deeply hurt by it. At that moment, I shut down and shut people out so I can process things on my own. I come across as cold. This side of me is not my friend. It leads me into a dark place or fills me with uncontrollable anger. There is no middle ground, just extreme emotions at both ends of the spectrum. It's a terrible state to be in.

Lately, I've been grappling with something that has caused intense inner turmoil. I didn't reach a complete shutdown, but I was starting to slip into a place where I had no business being.

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Only a few people knew what I was going through because I put on a brave face for the rest of the world. However, my closest girlfriends saw through my act. And do you know what they did? They came to my side like a flock of mama birds, wings outstretched, ready to protect their young from any harm. These incredible women shielded me, showered me with love, and handled me with delicate care until they knew it was time to jolt me forward and encourage me to stand tall, let go, and soar.

On a particularly low day, one of my friends pulled out a crown from her bag and told me to put it on my head. I thought she was joking, but the seriousness in her eyes made me realize she wasn't. As absurd as it seemed for a grown woman to carry a crown in her bag, I followed her instructions. She looked into my eyes and reminded me that I am a child of the King. She told me to stop carrying the weight of all my hurts alone and to share some of it with my friends, let them carry some of the load for me. Within moments of placing that ridiculous crown on my head, I found myself laughing, a weight lifted from my shoulders.

Everyone is talking about International Women's Day which is a day to celebrate the incredible achievements of women in all areas of life. I want you to know that whether you're a rocket scientist or the very best laundry folder in the world, you are deserving of celebration and recognition not just once a year, but every day. Why? Because you have breath in your body and that in and of itself is worthy of celebration.

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I celebrate you, my girls, who are bravely parenting alone. You're the ones who step up and pick up the slack. You're the ones juggling multiple jobs to provide for your families. You're the ones caring for sick loved ones. You're the ones finding the courage to leave abusive situations. You're the ones fighting against diseases and inner demons trying to overpower you. You're the ones who have found the strength to let your voices be heard and speak your truth.

Today, I celebrate the girls, young and old, who haven't found their footing yet. The ones whose crowns may be a little askew. And you, my precious ones, need to know that we all experience times when our crowns aren't perfectly centered - even if the rest of the world isn't aware. It's perfectly okay to have a brief pity party, but we can't linger there. We need to go home. And our home should be filled with women who aren't afraid to share their crown when ours is broken. Find those women, and when you do, hold onto them with every ounce of strength you have.

To the crown straighteners who bring out the best in others with grace, compassion, and a joyful heart, I salute you!

With love,

Tour Seneca Falls - Birthplace of Women's Rights

In July of 1848, the Seneca Falls Convention, the first women’s rights convention ever to be held in the United States was held in Seneca Falls, New York. That convention would change the course of history for women's rights, including being the foundation of the fight for women to be given the right to vote.

Gallery Credit: Traci Taylor

A Look Inside the National Women's Hall of Fame

The National Women's Hall of Fame is located in Upstate New York's Seneca Falls and celebrates the outstanding accomplishments of American women. 

Gallery Credit: Traci Taylor

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