I Am One

Slice of Life 22-Day 11

Last night, Sophia picked out a book from the book fair, I Am One written by Susan Verde and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. She then snuggled up on the couch and read the book to me and Izzie. As she was reading, I thought how perfect this book would be to share with students for International SEL Day.

Fast forward to today. I had the opportunity to read to two classes, a fourth grade class and a second grade class. Reading to students is my happy place. I love the feeling of sharing my excitement for books and reading. After reading the book, I read the author’s note and walked students through a guided meditation. The conversations around how each one of us could make a difference made me smile. I can’t wait to hear how these students are choosing to make a difference.

Munchkins with Mom

Slice of Life 2022-Day 10

All week, the girls and I have been looking forward to today…Munchkins with Mom and the Book Fair. I mean who doesn’t love donuts and books?!?

I picked the girls up this afternoon and we headed back to school. We pulled into the line of cars all waiting for their donuts to go. We pulled up and when we reached the front of the line, we were handed three bags of munchkins. “Thank you so much for being out here in the snow!” I said before pulling away to find a parking spot.

Leaving our munchkins behind, I grabbed the hands of both Izzie and Sophia to make our way across the parking lot to the school. As we walked up the sidewalk, we heard a shout, “Izzie!!!” and saw Izzie’s best friend sprinting up the sidewalk. Hugs all around!

As we entered the school, the girls quickly made their way down the hall and up the stairs to the library. I rushed to keep up with them! As I reached the library, Sophia said, “It’s packed!” And she was indeed correct! There were many families searching for just the right books to take home.

We walked around, picking up several books. The girls flitted around talking to their friends while looking for books. We eventually made it into line and then headed on our way downstairs. Armed with two bags full of books, we went back out into the snow and our car.

Once home, the girls told me to grab some plates and to start a fire. They anxiously waited for their donuts. Together we sat on the carpet, munching on our donuts and watching the Tangled the series.

After dinner and done cleaning, we snuggled up in the couch, ready to read some of our new books. There is nothing better than hearing my girls read to me!

Happy birthday

Slice of Life 2022-Day 9

Today is my dad’s 75th birthday. Week day visits are extremely challenging, so my family and I went to visit this past Saturday.

My girls love a visit with Papa. To them, he is forever the one who is silly and funny, who will play games when asked, and always has yummy snacks.

For me, he will always be my dad. But he is not the same as he once was, growing older. His memory is not quite what it used to be, being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s last year. Now, when we visit, I wonder if it will be a good day or a bad day. Will he remember our names? How many times will he ask the same question, still not recalling the answer?

But in this day, it was a good day. Hugs and smiles for the girls. Lunch and silliness as we ate. He even agreed to go for a walk so we could see the pond. He told stories, over and over, some true and some not. He played games with girls, at their request of course! He was dad and Papa.

Signs of Spring

Slice of Life 2022-Day 8

Birds chirping, sunshine on my face, flowers sprouting, trees budding, warmer temperatures, time outside, longer days of light, green grass… all things I would think I would see as we are in March.

But not if you live in the Midwest!

Instead, you see snow falling through the sky as you gaze out of your window in the shower, trees bathed in ice crystals, wind blowing, cold temperatures, gray gloom, winter boots back on my feet.

Mother Nature, please send spring soon!

No more winter!

Tiny Dancer

Slice of Life 2022-Day 7

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend each of Sophia’s dance classes as it was parent viewing week. I saw contemporary on Monday, ballet on Wednesday, and on Friday, tap.

Sophia has always had a passion for music and movement. There is nothing better than watching her dance. However, on a Friday night, I would prefer to be at home on the couch, relaxing after a long week. Sitting in a dance studio was not the first place I would have chosen to spend my Friday night. The first thing I learned about tap…it’s loud when you are sitting up close to the tap dancers.

But then, as I continued to watch Sophia, my tune changed. Being in that studio meant the world to Sophia and therefore, to me as well. I watched her having fun, going through the warm up drills and the dance moves as she traveled across the floor. Towards the end of class, her teacher had them run through the beginning of the choreography for their recital dance. And that is where Sophia truly is a shining star. Her personality comes through in her sassy facial expressions and confident movements of the dance.

I love watching my tiny dancer. I hope Sophia will always continue to show her love of music and dance.

Ball of Nerves

Slice of Life 2022-Day 6

My alarm was set for 6:27am this morning. Yet, I lie awake long before the alarm, turning it off before it would start to buzz.

It was meet day, Izzie’s last of the season. I wasn’t even the one competing, yet I was a nervous wreck! As a mom, I want nothing more than for my girls to be happy and succeed at what they put their minds to accomplishing. Today, was no exception.

I lay in bed for awhile, knowing I should get up and moving, yet not ready to do so. Eventually, it was time to get moving. The morning flew by in a blur of activity. The drive was made more enjoyable by reading aloud a chapter from Harry Potter.

Finally, we arrived at the meet and headed inside. Waiting for the meet to begin, talking with other parents and friends made it go by just a bit faster. And then it was time. Warmups complete, the time came for the first event, floor.

After watching several of Izzie’s teammates, I anxiously awaited the beginning of her performance. She started off well, hitting all the moves in just the right spots. But then, disaster…she missed a move that she has been doing for years. Inwardly, I groaned. Her face turned red, flushed with embarrassment. This was not like her at all! She powered through and finished the routine.

My heart ached for her, as I knew she was going to be disappointed with herself. My hope for her at this point was for her to be able to move forward, as she still had three events to go. I know how hard she can be on herself.

The meet continued. Vault…okay. Bars…spectacular, her highest score of the season! Beam…great work! Izzie did not get in her own head and turned the meet around. Now we would wait for awards.

Awards…loud and noisy, straining to hear the announcement of the girls’ names. I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat. Finally, they began announcing Izzie’s division. Her name was called for the first event, vault, eighth. I made my way closer in order to capture the moment. Awards continued…second on bars, fourth on beam, and ninth on floor, even with her mistake. All around places were announced…fourth for Izzie! My heart leapt for joy, I was so excited for Izzie!

After the conclusion of the awards, Izzie made her way to us. I couldn’t wait to give her a big hug and tell her how proud I was! I gave her a hug, she began to cry, and my heart broke. She was so disappointed in herself, she hadn’t done what she knew she was capable of doing. No matter how many times I told her how proud I was, she still had tears running down her face. She had placed in every event, many medals around her neck. I wish she could see what I saw…a girl who had worked so hard all season, put herself out there, and did her best on this day.

Ready, Set, Shop!

Slice of Life 2022-Day 5

Have you ever watched the game show Super Market Sweep? Tonight, that was sort of how our family outing to the grocery store went, all because none of us really wanted to go out to the store.

As my husband, Jim, announced we were going to the grocery store, a collective groan arose from me and the girls. “Do we have to go?” Izzie asked. I was right there with her. After a busy day of running around, I wanted to curl up on the couch with my book. But Jim was not relenting, so I quickly thought about how could we make the trip to the store a bit more fun.

Our list appeared to be on the small side, so I asked, “What if we split up the shopping list? Grab some sticky notes and each pair will have to get the items on their list!”

Izzie grabbed the sticky notes and I divided up the list, seven items a piece. Into the car we went and we were off!

Once we arrived at the store, it was game on! Jim and Sophia grabbed a basket and were off to find the items on their sticky note. Izzie and I decided a small cart would work best for us. Once we had the cart, we too, were off into the store. Several minutes later, we had all the items in our cart. Izzie said, “Let’s go! We have to beat them!” I asked her, “Are we supposed to meet up with daddy and Sophia or are we supposed to check out?”

“Check out!” exclaimed Izzie. Not feeling so sure, I quickly texted Jim and then saw them in an aisle not too far away. They had most of their items, still needing to head across the store for one more item. We decided they would get their last item and Izzie and I would grab a few more things for dinner tonight. We once again met up and were ready to check out.

As we headed out of the doors, the girls jumped onto the car, sharing that they had never tried riding on the small cart. They were successful!

A regular trip to the grocery store turned into something extraordinary, and some might even say fun! As we shared our best parts of our days, grocery shopping made the list!

Shopping success!

Be Kind

Slice of Life 2022-Day 4

As I was bustling around the kitchen getting ready to leave for work, Sophia kept staring at me. When I walked past her, she had me stop and she asked, “What does your shirt say?”

I looked down at my shirt and responded, “Be kind”.

Sophia was quiet so I continued…

“In a world where you can be anything, choose to be kind. Being kind doesn’t cost anything, it’s free.”

This morning exchange between me and Sophia got me thinking… what if this simple saying of “Be kind” was something that we all chose to live by?

What if we smiled and gave a kind greeting to people we encountered throughout our days?

What if we did one small random act of kindness each day?

What if that kindness spread throughout your family, neighborhood, community, and beyond?

Go and be kind! I would love to hear how you are spreading kindness!

In a world where you can be anything, be kind.

News Watching

Slice of Life 2022-Day 3

I rarely watch the news. I often have little to no idea what is happening in the world. My mom will start talking to me about something that is happening, and I will have to try and follow along. But she can quickly tell I am not up to speed on world events.

Today, I watched the news, but only because my mom was at my house and had the news on the television. I quickly realized why I don’t watch the news. It is so sad to me to see the world in such disarray. There are so many things that are happening that are so unbelievable to me. And they make me sad. Tonight, watching picture after picture, video after video, I wanted to cry. Seeing the people of Ukraine fleeing their homes, bombs destroying homes and cities, it is all too much. My heart goes out to all of those who are being impacted by the current world situation.

I said to my husband that I wanted to start my own newscast. I would only focus on the good that is happening in the world. Why can we share the positive stories that are happening, the feel good stories, the stories that make us smile? We all need a little hope right now.

Just Run

Slice of Life 2022-Day 2

Warmer weather…just run

Feet pounding the pavement…just run

Legs feeling like lead…just run

Slowing to cross the street…just run

Huffing and puffing up the hill…just run

Checking to make sure Sophia is still behind me…just run

Carrying on a conversation…just run

Sunshine on my face…just run

Laughter carried by the wind…just run

Racing towards home…just run

Post run/bike ride..we made it!