Mad for…Nancy

Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.

Today, I’d like to ask you all to raise a glass for my friend, Nancy Vanderkleed! Nancy is a long time family friend and a very close gal pal of my mom. She’s a bit of a world traveler, and the rumor is that on this day, her 70th birthday, she’s somewhere in France with her completely terrific husband, Stan!! Bon Anniversaire, Nan!!

Nancy is pictured above in Tramonti, Italy, which is a tiny town at the top of a mountain along the gorgeous Amalfi Coast. I took this photo of her on one of my most favorite days ever! Nancy and her super smart daughter, Erin along with Mom and I traveled together to Italy this past fall. I for one will never forget the adventure, and I feel so fortunate that the moms let us daughters tag along! Nancy isn’t Catholic and yet she patiently handled a few days in Rome with yours truly, which I am sure required a great deal of restraint. I wanted to see it all so I was a tad oblivious to those who had seen enough of the big city! Ha! As always, Nancy, you were a trooper and I am thankful and grateful for that experience– my one and only adventure abroad.

Nancy is a wife to a phenomenal character named Stan and the mother of two terrific daughters– Jill and Erin– and the grandmother of 6! She’s strong, fierce and passionate. Also? Nancy is one of the WORLDS BEST STORY TELLERS!! She’s engaging but also she just cackles when she laughs. It’s absolutely infectious. Nancy doesn’t obey all the rule because she isn’t interested in missing any of the fun. All of this shows when she tells a story. Her stories are loved by anyone who enjoys laughter– which is literally everyone. I spent a fair amount of time during my childhood sledding down the big hill behind her country house and just taking in the smiles of all the Vanderkleed clan. This is an entire family for whom I have terrific affection.

Nancy is supportive, resourceful, thrifty and faithful. She’s so beautiful and with the best hair EVER! She’s active in her church and a complete blessing to her family and wide circle of friends. She lives life to the fullest, she loves with her whole heart, and she sparkles. She may not see this message today, but when you do see it, Nan, I hope you will know how much I love and respect you. I wish you a VERY HAPPY 70TH AND MANY YEARS OF LAUGHTER AHEAD!!

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