Can you hear me now?

For the second time in 3 years, I lost my voice. And when I share that I lost my voice, I mean truly whispers and squeaks were all I had to offer. Resulting from a sinus infection, once I got my trusty ole Zpack on board, I was feeling pretty healthy and continued to work and take part of my normal activities. But geez, without a voice, life got tough – things took longer and frustration set in quickly.

As a preschool teacher – this made my teaching day a bit challenging. Imagine the amount of noise that a room with seventeen three year olds can create, and then add in a teacher that sounds like Minnie Mouse – it was an EXPERIENCE. My sweet little girls showed great compassion and doted on me lovingly. My cutie little boys repeatedly asked me “Why are you talking to me like that?” and “What is wrong with you?”. Teaching three year olds, I work frequently with those that have communication delays. Their expressive language is still developing and they often find themselves unable to speak their minds or make their points effectively. This results in frustration and eventual behavioral issues at times – which I can easily understand after dealing with similar situations recently. Attempting over and over to be understood while not having your needs met is exasperating. It has opened my eyes to the extra patience that I should use as I try to determine the needs of my little ones. It can be exhausting to repeatedly try to communicate a thought without success. I will for sure keep this in mind the next time I find a young one struggling to express his needs.

As I set out to communicate without using my voice, I was forced to try other ways to be “heard”. I found myself using extremely animated facial expressions – wide eyes, raised eyebrows – I’m fairly certain that I looked like a crazy lady, but I also feel that it was truly helpful as I tried to convey emotions without words. I also snapped my fingers, clapped my hands, and knocked on the tables to attract the children’s attention. Turning off the lights was a trick that I already used in order to alert the children to a transition, so that was nice to use since it did not involve my voice. I also found myself seriously considering the necessity to talk or respond at any given moment. Quite often, it was just easier if I just stayed quiet- not making a difference if I had shared my opinion or not. Sometimes we talk simply to fill the silence – but silence isn’t so bad – really, it isn’t.

As my body heals and my voice returns, I’m left with the lessons that I was taught through this experience. Communication is so very important, but in general, we can all afford to be more patient with each other as we try to express ourselves. We all want one thing – to be heard. It’s worth the extra thought regarding word choice and tone of voice as we attempt to share our thoughts and ideas. On the other hand, listening in order to truly hear someone’s concerns is equally important in order to effectively communicate. It’s definitely not as easy as it looks, but it’s worth it when we feel like we are seen, heard and understood. Can you hear me now ?


My first…

It was February 13th, and I couldn’t believe that I was finally sitting in this chair. The chair itself wasn’t that extraordinary, although it did allow me to lean back and put my feet up in a comfortable position. It has taking me 50 years to get into this chair, and I was more than a little bit excited. I was getting my first tattoo!

I never really thought that I was the “type” of person to get a tattoo (is there even a “type”?). It wasn’t that I had anything against the idea, or the people that had covered their bodies in this type of art. Rather, I’ve always been intrigued as to how each individual had select their design, and where on their body they would display it. In all honesty, I simply didn’t think I’d ever find an image that I’d love enough to have on my body forever. The permanence of it made me hesitant, but clearly I had simply not yet found the perfect tattoo for me – until now.

As my 50th birthday approached, one of my daughters suggested that we get matching tattoos as my gift. She knows how much I love our time together and thought this might be a fun gift that we would always remember and be able to show everyone. She knew that I had a Pinterest board of tattoo ideas and we would often send each other pictures and texts as we tried to narrow our options. The moment I saw a particular image, I knew it was what I wanted for my first tattoo. The funny thing is, I don’t even think it was a tattoo – just a graphic that caught my eye, and captured my heart. I had a few requirements: I wanted it to be small and I wanted to have it on the inside of my left wrist just above where my watchband would rest. And I wanted it to have significance. This image fit all of my criteria. When I showed it to Hannah, she also fell in love, and immediately knew how she would make it her own.

The design was simple. The basic outline of a house with a heart inside. It was exactly what I wanted. This little design will represent my happy 27 years of marriage, and four children who make me so proud. My heart’s at home. Hannah decided to only use the house design – no heart- reminding her to surround yourself with people who feel like home. She was going to have hers on the inside of her right ankle. Since it was her gift to me, she researched tattoo artists, chose one, and made us an appointment. We were so darn excited to do this crazy thing together – such rebels 🤪

The day arrived, and we met at the tattoo shop after work. After discussing the image at length via text, other than signing the required papers before the tattoos, there wasn’t a lot of prep to be done. We all laughed when I asked a few questions regarding the paperwork I was signing, and the tattoo artist admitted that “Most people don’t even read that, they just sign it !”. Well, not this girl! After learning about the care of our new tattoos, we both decided that I’d go first. I knew that once we started the process, I would pick out something to focus on and use my Lamaze breathing to get me through it. For me, when I’m in a new, stressful, or painful situation, it’s easier if I don’t talk. I was happy to find that it wasn’t as painful as I had expected. After having four babies and several kidney stones, this was a piece of cake – and yes, I fully realize that my tattoo is teeny tiny! Hannah preferred for me to chat her up as she got her tattoo, my stories and laughter helping to distract her, but she was also surprised how little it hurt. We did it!!!

What a fun experience! This is about as rebellious as I get… until I get my next one – ha ha! But seriously, I have a few more ideas ❤️ I love the placement that I chose and the size (it’s actually smaller than a nickel!). I can catch a glimpse of it easily at any point during the day, and no one knows what I am smiling about. I’m glad I waited until I was 50 and didn’t rush the process. I love that my daughter and I did this together and we’ll always have this memory. My advice – if you have any inclination of getting a tattoo – take your time finding just the right one, and think a lot about the size and placement – and GO FOR IT!

What are your top 3?

How often do we critique ourselves, or is it just me? Questioning our choices, performances, or motivation is a pretty common phenomenon. We are, I’ve heard, our own worst critic. I try my best to be an encourager – to point out the good in others, to praise when things are done well, to give thanks when I am grateful. But I don’t typically do the same for myself – and you might not, either. After choosing intentional as my word of the year for 2023, I am becoming more aware of my own self talk, and to be honest, I’m kind of a meanie. I often dwell on mistakes or recall situations that could’ve been handled differently. I’m now focusing more on what has gone well, what I’m proud of, and what I’d like to see continue. As I grow in this direction, I saw a writing prompt that looked helpful “Name three personality traits that you are proud of”. Making myself look for positive attributes of my personality was just what I needed – and I assume you need it, too! I hope you will join me and at the very least make a list of personality traits that make you proud. We all need reminders of the great job we are doing as we push through this crazy thing called life!


I’d say that being creative has always been a part of my personality and has served me well. As a child, I could play secretary for hours with a pretend phone and a spiral notebook that I had made into my appointment book. I established Kelly’s Deli, complete with an ever changing menu of what the refrigerator held at the time, and took the orders of my family members, serving them their food as they lounged in the living room. I later used these creative juices to write book reports, poems, and eventually three children’s books as an adult. We would enjoy themed dinners when the children were growing up and chocolate parties and heart hunts on Valentine’s Day. As a teacher, I love to create eye catching bulletin boards and art projects that include color, texture, and fun. Life is too short not to celebrate the average Tuesday, or redecorate a room for no other reason than you got a new pillow on sale. Adding joy to the ordinary has helped me to create many memories , and for that I am grateful.


I have always loved all things that have to do with organization. Gel pens, journals, colored paper clips and calendars make me giddy. Being able to plan, schedule, and make the best use of my time gives me a high like no other. Of course, the opposite is true as well. Life has a crazy way of taking your calendar and lighting it on fire – take the PANDEMIC, for instance. Being a mom of four and a preschool teacher has also taught me the importance of staying on task. Knowing that a tidy space and well thought out day would only benefit my students and family encouraged me even more to hone in on my organizational skills. Understandably, it’s impossible to keep a spotless home or classroom, and it’s also not healthy to dictate an extremely rigid schedule. But having a routine is crucial, and we all thrive when we know what to expect. I am proud of all that I have managed to achieve so far in my life using these skills.


If I had to choose one trait that I am most proud of – it would be that I’m compassionate. It doesn’t take skill or intelligence- but it does take time, and the ability to notice the needs of others. I was brought up to be generous with my time and abilities. We were always encouraged to have open eyes to areas in the house, school, or community that would benefit from our help. Many people don’t offer assistance because they think they couldn’t do “enough”. I’m here to confirm that it’s the little things that mean the most, and are remembered the longest. A text to check in on a friend, a meal dropped off to a family with a sick child, flowers given secretly to someone that needs a smile. I love doing these things for others because I know how much I appreciate similar acts of love (and really, it’s not difficult at all!). No matter what is happening in my own life, I know that I always feel better when I offer my time or services to others.

Okay – now it’s YOUR turn! What are your top 3? Please share – I’ll be waiting to hear from you 🙂



Each year, I think long and hard about what my word of the year should be. I was “this close” to repeating my word from 2022 – worthy – something I had never done in my previous eleven years of choosing a word. The word worthy brought me so many lessons, and I was hesitant to move on without it. Nonetheless, I poured over lists of potential words until one made me stop in my tracks – intentional. The dictionary defines intentional as an adjective, meaning “done on purpose; deliberate”. Now, as a TYPE A personality, I feel that most of what I do in life is thought out, planned and on purpose. But was I living an intentional life? It appears I will be finding this out in 2023.

I thrive on a schedule. Having raised four children, I found that our household also did much better when a routine was established and we did our best to stick with it. As a teacher, I’m fully aware that my days are the most productive and successful when they are scheduled and planned in advance, even to the point of over-planning in case an activity took less time than originally planned. Needless to say, most of the areas in my life are already organized, anticipated and planned in advance. So why did the word intentional tug at my heart this year? Since I’m not a fly by the seat of my pants kinda gal, why did I feel the urge to focus on this word in particular? Honestly – it has a bit to do with an upcoming date this winter. That, my friend, will be my 50th birthday (50 😳). I’m not dreading it by any means, but I am becoming more aware of how time has the capacity to pass rather quickly, and if I have things that I’d like to say, or do, or witness – I better start being more intentional.

I spoke earlier about how I feel that I have already tried to be intentional in my parenting and career. There are so many other aspects of my life that deserve a similar amount of intentionality… my hobbies, my eating habits, my relationships, how much sleep I am getting each night – the list could go on and on. Let’s take this little blog for example. Writing brings me joy. It also brings me frustration and guilt when I can’t (don’t) find time for it in my weekly schedule. It gets pushed to the back seat – heck it’s being pulled behind the van on most occasions. I don’t allow this outlet for myself – and I can’t even explain why it’s not justifiable in my own mind. But no more, I will be more intentional this year about writing more – and hopefully adding blogs for you to read about whatever is in my head at the time (God help us all!). I will also allow more time for reading – another true love that gets shoved aside in the chaos of daily living. I know I will find several other areas in my daily life that are begging for more intentionality.

For the most part, I will open my eyes a bit wider, and wait just a moment longer before I respond – making sure that I understand what’s in front of me, before I open my mouth and comment on it. I will plan more lunches and dinners with friends, be more careful with the words that I choose to speak and write, and be more cautious with what I agree to do with the time I have been blessed with on the earth. I will try to acknowledge that everything I do is a choice – and that others are choosing too… and that’s the hard part. I am going to do my absolute best to live on purpose, not just react and respond to what is happening around me. Being intentional sounds right, it sounds necessary. I know that God had a reason to plop that word in my lap. I am hopeful that this year will allow me to grow in whatever areas in my life could afford some improvement. I pray that this year is a great one for all of you ❤️

Let’s practice asking…

I had something happened to me a few weeks ago, and I thought it was worthy of a blog post. For the most part, I am an independent person that loves to offer help when I see a need, most people could probably say the same thing. On the other hand, I am not good at all about asking for help. In my eyes, if something needs to be done, I find a way to make it happen. I take pride in setting goals and reaching them, on my own accord. But, quite often, life gets in the way, and my lack of money, time, skill, or interest slows my progression or even brings a project to a screeching halt. This is where my blog post gets interesting.

I recently joined a local “buy nothing” page on Facebook. This page encourages those with a need to ask the other page members for possible assistance. This page does not allow any product or service to be paid for, or any exchange of money to occur. For example, a community member may find that they have a perfectly good pair of size 4 soccer cleats to gift someone after cleaning out a closet. They post a picture of the cleats and ask if anyone is interested. There are usually several people interested on any given object. One person is chosen to receive the item, and a pick up/drop off is determined. It’s a win-win situation. The cleats are out of the closet, and they will now be used again by someone that needs them. I have been amazed at the generosity on this page, time and time again. From child sized snow pants to Mason Jars, a robot floor vacuum to jewelry that isn’t worn any longer, items are passed around and people are always happy to help. This community of people (mostly strangers) offer what they have to those in need be it big or small. I’m always smiling after I visit this page to see what is being given away each day.

Finally the best part! For over five years, I have been knitting hats and donating them to various organizations. I taught myself how to loom knit, and I find it ridiculously relaxing to sit down and create a hat, start to finish, in under 90 minutes. I also find great joy in providing these hats to those who otherwise would go without. It’s an easy way for me to use what I have (time and ability) to help others. The most difficult aspect is how quickly I run out of yarn. Once I began giving away all my creations, I let my friends know that I was accepting yarn donations. Even with their generosity, I often ran out of yarn quickly. Hesitantly, I decided to ask for yarn donations on my new favorite page. I explained my situation and for what the yarn would be used. Within an hour, I had my first response. I was ecstatic! In a few days I would find myself driving around the township collecting GARBAGE BAGS full of yarn. My heart was ready to explode! I was so completely blown away that so many people were willing to help me and my mission to knit warm hats for those who needed them. I’ve always said that the people who gave me yarn are the true superstars – I couldn’t knit without them. And here’s the thing – none of these kind souls could’ve helped me -how would they have even known I had a need- unless I asked. Please read that again. I had to ask. I was loaded up with yarn and encouragement, simply because I put my need out there. I asked for help. It didn’t come naturally, I felt silly doing it, but I did it! And holy smokes, my community blessed my socks off. Most importantly, I will now be able to make hundreds of hats and provide the basic need of warmth to so many people. In my excitement, I have knitted 27 hats in 2 weeks since receiving the yarn.

Please do me a favor. Practice asking for help. By all means, continue offering help too. But if there’s a need in your life, big or small, do yourself a favor and ask for help. I created a small tray of yarn scraps to use as a centerpiece in the room where I knit. These colorful balls of yarn remind me that help is available, if only we ask for it. Being a helper is amazing and a blessing, be sure to give others a chance to occasionally fill that role. We need each other, and a few garbage bags of yarn reminded me of that truth. 🙂🧶👏🏻

Worthy – 2022

The past few years have changed many things, including expectations that we all had for our every day lives. Talk was rampant about the “new normal” which I refuse to accept in any way, shape, or form. Control was taken away regarding our school hours, work locations, and shopping options. Weeklong to the familiar, unless we chose to let it go, finally excepting that are all the ways may not have been the best for us. As we begin a new calendar year, I will yet again choose a word to reflect on for the next 12 months. This process has served me well, and I am sharing my word with you in hopes of perhaps spreading some hope in a challenging time for all of us.

A few years ago while in a Bible study, I came upon the scripture Ephesians 4:1, “Live a life worthy of the calling you have received”. This particular this line stopped me in my tracks. How often have I failed to do this? More often than not, I make choices that lead to frustration, guilt and anger. I choose to look away, take the easier path, keep quiet when my voice would’ve helped. I know my choices haven’t all been negative, and that quite often I dive in headfirst with guns blazing in order to make a difference. But living worthy of my calling requires more awareness, deliberate responses, and making the decision to seek the good and promote it even when we question our own future. I am hoping that by focusing on the word worthy, I will take a few more moments before I react, adjusting my attitude and responses accordingly.

The definition of worthy (adjective) is “deserving effort, attention, or respect; good enough , or suitable”. I hope I will be able to feel worthy in the most important areas of my life. Am I feeling valued at home, work, in my friendships and family relationships? How am I choosing what activities, events and organizations deserve my effort and energy? How do I express my feelings if I’m feeling hurt, dismissed, or disrespected? Acknowledging our worth is the first step in taking ownership of our actions and addressing the actions of those around us. Understanding that each and every one of us are deserving and worthy will hopefully change how we interact, and result in less negativity and conflict – something that would benefit all of us!

Focusing on the word worthy won’t change my life. It’s not a magic pill that will fix my attitude or perspective. I’m hoping that it will open my eyes to more positive possibilities. I’m motivated to really think about the ideas, people, and activities that I feel deserve my effort and passion. I want to stop and fully realize the worth I bring to the world and those in my life. The amazing fact is …we are ALL worthy. Every last one of us. What a gift. I don’t know what the future holds, but I will do my best to live worthy this year.

Blessings to you in 2022 ❤️

Social fixes…

I have always loved people. Joining clubs, talking to strangers in line at the store, and getting to know my coworkers are just a few examples of how I like to expand my circle. I think it’s cool when I see a friend on Facebook that knows a different friend of mine – connections like that make me smile. In the end I truly love to celebrate friendships, and help other people realize how very special and loved they are. Maybe that’s why I love planning parties and hosting events. Life is short, celebrating milestones both big and small help us all to keep perspective and find the joy in this crazy world.

A dozen or so years ago, I took a quiz of sorts that would help me to identify my talents and passions useful for helping others while living my best life. I discovered what I’ve known all along – hospitality and service were both at the top of my list. Hospitality is defined as “the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm friendly generous way”. I always offer to open doors at Bible study, send cards of encouragement in our moms groups, or start our PTA meetings with a short story or inspirational quote. These types of things come naturally to me, and bring me joy. Hosting gatherings is also something I love ~ holidays, birthdays, backyard cookouts, whatever the occasion- our doors are open! I have even created a few yearly events as an excuse to gather friends. Each year in early December, I hosted a “Wrap & Write” that included my friends that brought gifts they had purchased for the holidays and wrapping paper, scissors, and tape. We sat together and wrapped gifts, listening to Christmas music and eating yummy food. So much better than wrapping gifts alone! We all looked forward to this event during what is an especially hectic month for most people. It was a time to relax and enjoy the company of others who may also be feeling frazzled and crazed. That’s what I love most about hosting, making people feel welcome and comfortable, feeding them, and making them laugh. Is there anything better?

Covid took a lot from us, robbing us of many social events that we had unknowingly been taking for granted. We grieved this loss over and over as days, weeks, and holidays passed, and we had to create new/different ways to get our social fixes. We spent even more time investing in the relationships within the walls of our home. Taco nights, game nights, watching both new series on Netflix, and old family movies is how we spent our new “free time”. We texted, FaceTimed and used the Marco Polo App to stay in touch with loved ones that we couldn’t see in person. We fought to maintain connection – and we did it! Better yet, our friendships and relationships grew stronger through the uncertainty of those long months (years?). We realized that we didn’t need to be face to face to encourage, vent, laugh or cry. We are grateful for the efforts we made and now that we can join together again in person, the time is even sweeter! Never again will we take for granted meeting someone for a drink, or having a lake day with friends.

I’m writing all of us to encourage you. You may not be the type that enjoys loud parties. Whatever form of fellowship feels comfortable for you – I urge you – go do it! Make the call, take the walk, meet for coffee, stop for ice cream, look at the stars. Find a friend or family member and enjoy your time together. Dive deep into those relationships, strengthen those bonds, create new memories. There’s nothing better!

Here we are – already…

Have you ever devoted years (I’m talking more than 20) to a cause, person, or goal, and then wept when success was at hand? We experienced sacrifice, fatigue, and exasperation as we did our best to navigate through years of uncertainty Finally, as we see the culmination of our efforts, we strongly desire to sneak off to our bedroom and cry. Welcome to parenting. Parenting: a job given by God to raise independent humans that will in someway change the world. From the day that babe is first placed in our arms, we are working full-time to ensure that someday this tiny one can fend for himself, going about his daily tasks without a care in the world, without the help of his mom. The nerve.

No matter how underqualified we may feel, we are released from the hospital with an arm full of flowers, receiving blankets, and ice packs for our sore bottoms. Cards of congratulations and a few casseroles welcome us home if we are lucky, and we don’t look back – even if we wanted to look back, we couldn’t – time was not our own anymore. It was now time to focus on nurturing, teaching, guiding, and encouraging. Oh, and cleaning, feeding, managing, and disciplining. We wiped tears, noses, and bottoms. We calmed tantrums, drove carpools, and watched the calendar pages flip faster than the sleepless nights passed. From the very beginning, our goal was teaching independence…Can you soothe yourself to sleep? Drink from this cup? Use the bathroom alone? Go to preschool without me? Write your name? Ride this bike? Make friends and keep them? Each and every new milestone was a significant step forward, closer to the ultimate goal of independence. We were right there for all of it. Encouraging it. Promoting it. And here we are – already. The days are long and the years are short. Our son can tie his own shoes. Heck, he graduated from college and moved 17 hours away from us to excitedly start his first full-time job. It’s all a big basket of bullshit if you ask me.

 The complexity of the situation is darn right silly. I took on the task, the mission, the calling of parenthood. With great anticipation, humor and a bit of naivety – I joined the other Moms of the world in our daily attempts in keeping the tiny humans alive and thriving. I did my very best so that my children would eventually be able to leave home and succeed. So why was this all such a shock to my system? Why was saying goodbye so difficult? Why did parental success come tied with a bow of grief? Once again, life is teaching me that most occasions require a wild mixture of feelings. The joy of being the parent of a graduating senior is accompanied by the grief that declares the end of an era. The anticipation of dropping our child off at college is met with the concern that neither parent nor child is prepared adequately.

 Accepting the notion that my job description is dramatically changing is perhaps the most difficult aspect. I am still needed, just differently. As a 48 year old, I still talk to my own Mom daily. But she doesn’t see me, feed me, or hug me daily any longer (sad face). Our relationship has changed. It has grown. I must change my hat, this is yet another phase of parenting that has left me feeling a bit unprepared. The challenges of caring for a newborn, toddler, school-ager, and teenager were ever-changing and kept me on my toes. Learning to parent an adult child that lives across the country will present a few challenges as well, I presume. The silence in our home is proof of a job well done, a task completed. It’s time to move on to new situations, new solutions to be found, new endeavors to be encouraged. I am up for the task. I am ready to FaceTime, text, and travel to ensure our connections stay strong. I will try to be easy on myself as I learn my new role and draw on my past experiences for confidence and peace. I will move forward with gratitude and energy to make the most of every “first” that is yet to come.

I wish there was a word bigger than proud, because I am fully THAT WORD. Blessings and hugs to all parents who are currently changing roles. Please know that you are not alone in your own emotions! Find a friend and talk about it- all of it- it helps ❤️


Why walking is my favorite…

I have always loved walking. For me, more than anything, walking is a way for me to de-stress and clear my mind. It was a saving grace, that when life in general was cancelled at the start of the pandemic, my walking could continue. In fact, going outside each day and walking in my neighborhood and the surrounding area gave me something to look forward to (and also an excuse to break out of my house!). On average, my walks are between 2 and 5 miles. Each night before bed, knowing that I will be walking the next day, I make sure to charge my phone, my Apple Watch, and my ear buds. I would definitely say that walking has become part of my weekly routine.

I typically walk 3-5 days a week. Setting aside 30-45 minutes to walk is probably the most beneficial thing I do for myself. Writing that sounds silly, but I always feel better after a walk 🙂 When I’m out for a walk, I will either listen to something on my air pods, call someone to chat, or simply walk and let my mind wander. I got bored listening to music during lockdown, as my walks were long, and they were daily. I have several playlists created on Spotify, but I was listening to these songs so much, they I started to dread them. I added new music, asked people for recommendations, and even tried a few new genre selections, but still, the thrill was gone. It was about this time that I discovered podcasts (my new favorite thing!). I downloaded the free app AccessMore, and have found several Podcasts that I am truly enjoying. I also am walking longer, because I don’t want to stop my walk before the podcast ends (hey – whatever motivates me!) I now have several “go tos”, Hey! It’s the Luskos and DARE TO BE never disappoint, and I love that I’m learning and growing while I walk. Such a cool concept, really – basically verbal blogs 🤪 I think it would be fun to have a podcast – perhaps I should attempt one. Actually, a vlog would be more my speed – turn my phone on video and start talking … would you watch?

I love to catch an available friend on the phone and chat during my walk, too. My Mom is the first number I always dial – and yes, she’s my very best friend! We can talk and laugh for an hour, and it seems like just a few minutes. I am always surprised at how long our conversations end up being. How blessed am I?! Walking and talking with another actual person is my all time favorite – my daughters often come along and we catch up on all the work, school, friendship and sports tea as we log in our miles.

There are days, when the world is a bit too loud, and I choose to not add any more clutter to the airwaves. I leave my phone and air pods at home and just walk. My footsteps, birds, the brakes of a nearby vehicle, and a barking dog is all I can hear. It’s enough. My thoughts are given the green light to wander, and sometimes I come up with some pretty good material on these walks. I sort through drama, consider other people’s views, plan upcoming parties, and write grocery lists – all in my head. Considering the daily craziness of this world of ours, these quiet walks are especially helpful for my weary mind. Every walk is beneficial, but I have to be deliberate about what I need before I head out the door. In the end, I’m the only one that truly knows what will fill the void of the day.

Do you like to walk? What about it is your favorite? I’d love to know! And give me a call if you ever need a walking partner 👏🏻❤️🌟

March has brought a lot of progress…

March has been a great month for me to focus on my word of the year – progress. I’ve struggled my entire life with setting my expectations too high for both others and myself. The pandemic has taught me some tough lessons, but I think the most important one has been that something doesn’t have to happen the way I had envisioned it in order for it to have sentimental value or importance. Take it for what it is, and be grateful. Here are three examples of this lesson from this month alone:

1. On March 5th, I received my second vaccination. Was I hesitant? Yes. Did I wish with all my heart that it wasn’t necessary? Also yes. But I was completely grateful to the state of Ohio for acknowledging the importance of vaccinating its’ teachers, and I will now be able to teach my class of unmasked 3 year olds with less apprehension and fear of the virus. PROGRESS

2. On March 16, My Prince and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. Was it as magical and romantic as every movie portrays it? Well, it was a Tuesday in March during a pandemic, sooooooooooooooo… Did we appreciate our milestone and celebrate both the good and bad of our years together that has brought us to our 25th anniversary? You bet your bottom dollar that we did, and it was simple and perfect. PROGRESS

3. March 17th was the 18th birthday of our third child. Her school closed for a week because of positive Covid cases, and for the second time in two years, she would spend her birthday at home in front of a computer. Was it the 18th birthday of her dreams? Nope. Did she have a memorable, super fun day spent with those that love her? You’re darn tootin’! She will never forget some of the wild things that happened on that birthday that never would’ve happened had she been in school. PROGRESS

None of the events described above played out the way I had originally imagined they would, and that’s OK. In fact, the lessons that I was taught regarding flexibility and gratitude more than made up for the stress and frustration we experienced. I am planning on continuing to look for the good – especially in events that are canceled/postponed, or changed due to restrictions or limitations. Acceptance is huge when control is taken away, and looking at life through the lens of gratitude is essential. PROGRESS