Happy International Women's Day!

Did you know today is International Women’s Day? And it’s been celebrated for over 100 years? So what better day to celebrate the amazing women I was lucky enough to have in my life when I was growing up?

Of course, there’s my mother: Feisty, vigorous, loving, sharp as a tack. I owe her everything. She showed me that it’s possible to go back to school with three young kids and a job, and somehow make it all work.

Ellingsen Photography Mom's Portrait Thanksgiving 2010

And my dad’s mother, Marion (I called her Farmor, which is father’s mother in Norwegian): She was a spitfire too (sadly, we lost her last year), who raised an amazing family of four kids and embraced her grandkids and great-grandkids with all the affection, candy and desserts that a perfect grandmother should.

Ellingsen Photography Farmor Grandmother in Norway

My other grandmother, the indomitable Lady with the Green Nails:

Grandparents Do the Twist 1970s

I’ve talked about her several times in the past on my personal blog. She was fearless, a world traveler that managed to successfully navigate moving her family to Norway, Iceland, Egypt and Seattle. Can you even imagine doing so before the internet? And I can’t forget her amazing photography – I’ll have to share some of her work soon!

My mom’s sister, Elissa, aka Auntie Princess:

Ellingsen Photography Auntie Princess Elissa

She inherited the photography bug from my grandma and has had several photos win awards at the county fair near her in Connecticut. She has this amazing personality that can take over a room and she embraces all that life has to offer! She’s been working for the same company her whole life and has fought her way to the top, despite pushback from male co-workers. And she recently celebrated thirty five years with the same woman, my auntie Betty.

And of course, I have to give a shout out to my BFF’s awesome Grandma Glowin:

Growing up with one grandmother in Norway and other passing when I was sixteen, I’ve long considered her my surrogate grandma. :) She’s a spitfire too (are you sensing a trend here?) who still lives in the home she’s owned since the 1950s. She doesn’t drive at night anymore, but she still trims her own bushes and can out-walk you any day of the week. I’m no longer the skinny bitch I was in high school, but she still tries to stuff me full of food every time I go over there!

So tell me, what amazing women are you grateful to have had in your life?