#SOL19 You Can Go Your Own Way

If you were looking at an Identity Web for me right now (Sara K. Ahmed's Being the Change has been on my mind with our recent #twtblog series and a book study/ workshop I facilitated with the Long Island Writing Project), you would see the added role of "Daisy Co-Leader" as another hat (or Girl Scout tunic?) I am wearing. My daughter, Megan, is a kindergarten student and I have signed on to be her Girl Scout troop co-leader. My fabulous friend and colleague (and down the street neighbor!) is the leader of the troop and she is everything you've ever dreamed of in a Daisy troop leader- enthusiastic, creative, organized, kind, thoughtful, and ambitious. Our troop has done A LOT in our short six months together. 
Last night was another Daisy event. We met up with other Girl Scouts from our town and the town right next to us for a "Paint Night." Each girl got a canvas and paints and was instructed, step by step, on how to make a snowman in a winter scene. It was …

#SOL19 Here's to the New Year

Same me.
New year.
New goals.
New lessons.
New revelations.
New outlook.
New calendar.
New attitude.
New priorities.
New focus. 
New me?

Or same me
but closer
to the real me
deep inside. 

A new year feels full of possibilities, lessons, learning. I am determined to make this the year I start achieving the new goals I set for myself. In my 30's, I met all the goals I ever thought I wanted: married, children, a teacher. These were the dreams I dreamed as a child and they came true. As I inch closer to 40 (my birthday is in June), it's time to think about what do I want next? How do I want to show up as a wife, a mom, a teacher, a friend, a human? How can I be the best me possible- what does she do each day? Think? Feel? Practice? 

I am using the Start Today journal by Rachel Hollis to help me focus on my dreams, goals, and the big goal I want to achieve first. My first big goal is to be at my healthy weight so I can look and feel my best. At almost 40, I deserve all the things that come with th…


I've always loved to read. Walking into a library, I feel like I'm home. Visiting a book store, I can't believe all the possibilities waiting for me.  Reading has always been such a big part of my life and it's where my heart is as a teacher first and now a mom. But this past year, I didn't read all that much, unless you count scrolling through my phone. Social media has become a mindless pastime. And the more I scroll, the less I read real books. 
One of my goals for 2019 is to rediscover my love of reading by making time to read actual books. I am deeply appreciative of Carrie Gelson, who is such a reading inspiration and has put together the #MustReadin2019 community. Visit Carrie at her site, There's a Book for That, to learn more about setting your own reading goals in 2019. 
To make my goals, I'm starting first with the books I've bought and haven't read yet. There are many, sitting on my shelf, waiting for me to pick them up. I've also aske…

#OneWord2019 #OLW2019 TIME

As one of the co-authors of the Two Writing Teachers blog, I've been selecting a One Little Word (#olw) since 2016. In years past, each co-author shared his/her word in a post featured on the Two Writing Teachers. This year, we are changing it up and linking all our One Little Word posts for 2019 into one blog post. Betsy Hubbard will be sharing that post on New Years Day. I can't wait to see the words my co-authors selected to guide their year. 
In 2016, my word was HAPPY. In 2017, I chose AUDACIOUS. My word last year, in 2018, was DO
In 2019, about halfway through the year, I will turn 40 years old. I will be married for ten years. My mother will turn 70. These are milestones. 

I sat on the floor the other night, in a quest to organize, photo albums around me. Pictures, cards, and notes from times gone by. The days before I was married and had children, when I was just becoming a teacher and a grown up. Then pictures of my wedding and pictures of my children as babies. How th…

#SOL18 It's in the Doing

"Alexa, play Hallelujah Chorus," I instruct, washing my hands. It's Christmas Eve day. Megan and I are trying to bake sugar cookies for Santa Claus. As I knead the powdery, crumbly dough (something has gone wrong with these cookies, I fear), the first notes start and soon I hear "Hallelujah! Hallelujah!"

I'm back in high school, in a green robe, on risers in the auditorium, singing my Alto part in our holiday concert. 

"For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!" 

It is 22 years later and I still remember my part. I remember the Sopranos part, too and where the Altos came in again and when we harmonized. 

"And he shall reign forever and ever....And he shall reign forever and ever.....King of Kings and Lord of Lords. King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And he shall reign forever and ever...."

I attempt to make balls of dough. Megan squishes a Hershey Kiss in the middle. I'm singing and rolling and sq…

#SOL18 Same You, New Mood

"Same you, new mood." -Rachel Hollis 
While our thoughts and feelings are real, did you ever stop to wonder if they are true? When you tell yourself you can never x, y, or z, is that really the case? I've been thinking more about my thoughts and how shifting them can really change so much in my day to day happiness.
Situation: Our elf on the shelf, Smiling Max, has returned.
Old Thought: Oh no. I already don't have time for all I have to do and now I have to remember to move this freaking elf every night and think of creative things for him to do! And since Thanksgiving came early this year, there are so many extra days of this torture.
New Thought: My kids are so excited and happy to see our elf again. While it's some extra work, it makes their mornings joyful and captures their imaginations. It's making this holiday season memorable. They won't always be 8 years old and 5 years old and soon enough they won't believe in/care about an elf on the shelf. Thi…

#SOL18 It's a Noisy World After All

The click of the light switch.
The tap tap tapping of my fingers on the keyboard.
The tick, tick, tick of the car indicator. 
The rip of a paper towel. 

These are sounds I've just begun to hear again since donning hearing aids as of last week. Under 40 years old, I have made the decision to wear hearing aids as I have a fairly significant loss in my left ear and some hearing loss also in my right ear. Coming to the decision to get hearing aids wasn't easy.

I first realized I had a hearing loss over 6 years ago. I would be on the phone and could barely understand at all when the receiver was held to my left ear. I started switching to the right but was troubled by this. My father's family all had hearing loss and most of his siblings started wearing hearing aids in midlife too. While I was pregnant with my daughter Megan, I went to an ear, nose and throat doctor and had my hearing evaluated. The doctor was stunned that I had as much loss as I did, especially on the left. He sent…

#SOL18 No Mud, No Lotus

I've been listening to the most interesting, inspiring stories of redemption and success after adversity. I follow Rachel Hollis, the author of Girl, Wash Your Face and the founder of a multi-media company (which she created, as she likes to say, "with a high school diploma and a Google search bar.) Rachel's "Rise" podcast is perfectly named, as every episode I've listened to has a person who has had the worst Good Fridays become a life of Easter Sundays. In other words, people who have had trying or difficult circumstances have taken their pain and made something beautiful, or helpful, or inspiring. 

The most recent episode I listened to featured Scott Harrison, the founder of Charity: Water and the author of a new book called Thirst: A Story of Redemption, Compassion, and a Mission to Bring Clean Water to the World. His story was completely captivating. It began with a move to a new home when he was 4 and a carbon monoxide leak that left his mother forever …

#SOL18 This Is Just To Say (Sleeping in)

(Apologies to William Carlos Williams)

I stayed in bed
when the alarm 
beeped loudly
in the darkness

and pressed "snooze"
and cuddled close
to the little blonde haired girl
who ran into my room
somewhere at 3 am.

Forgive me
for not writing 
a better post
this morning

Before I was Your Mom

For Alex

Before I was your mom, it was all I wanted to be.
Every month when the pregnancy test was negative, my heart broke. 
Blood tests and doctors and specialists and odds against my dream.
Early morning drives to the fertility doctor
Blood levels measured and waiting for the perfect timing. 
Before I was your mom, I wanted you with all my heart. 

Before I was your mom, I was a young-ish kindergarten teacher. 
I found out I was going to be your mom in my classroom closet.
A voicemail from the doctor saying, "Congratulations, you are pregnant!"
while I stood among the crayons and construction paper. 
It was the best phone call I ever, ever received.
Before I was your mom, I wanted you with all my heart.

Before I was your mom, I never imagined how I would know you from the start,
How seeing your round little face after you were born was like seeing someone I've known my whole life.
How you would turn at the sound of my voice.
How calling myself your mom would be my favorite title ever.