Daring Greatly

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
~ Theodore Roosevelt

Brene Brown references this quote time and time again in her second Ted Talk, her book which I am currently reading which was a #1 New York Times Bestseller and in almost every speaking engagement she makes.   She spoke at my school two years ago and now she’s back again.

Everywhere I look I hear this quote.

And tonight, as simply as I wander downstairs staring at the pile of magazines I haven’t sat down and read, look at my counter cluttered with homework and mail that needs to be packed and addressed I am struck that today, on this day I am daring greatly.  A day that started at 4:40 in the morning for a one hour workout that is as much for my mental health as it is my physical health. A day that included teaching, meetings, drop offs, appointment scheduling, feeding, bath herding and reading, I am struck that this is what is means to be daring greatly.  Trying to do something, everything, and so often coming up short and erring in some way.

I am in the arena.

I am daring to be a change maker in education who refuses to believe anything but that every single day it is my job to change one students experience for the better.   I am daring to be the mom that I had growing up who loved me and gave me her full attention regardless of what else was going on in her life.  I am daring to be a wife that gives her husband the attention he deserves and the support he needs for us to parent together.  I’m covered in sweat, dust and blood and just trying to hang on.

I am the woman in the arena trying to have it all. And you know what, I still don’t.   And it’s not for lack of effort.  It’s not because I don’t try and want to do better or be more.  Some days I come up short as a mom.  Hell, most days I go bed telling myself I will be better as a mother than I was the day before.  Other days, I walk away wondering if my husband deserves better.  A better partner and bigger cheerleader.   And every day, I walk out of school thinking how I could inspire more, lead better and teach with more passion. And I feel like I failed.

But you know what?.  So what if other mom’s judge me because my kids go to daycare.   Or I don’t get a perfect meal on the table every night.  Or that I still have a couple pounds to lose. I am here. In the arena.  And I am daring greatly.  I’m daring to be in the arena “marred by dust and sweat and blood” to be here.  To live in the today.  To love hard. And be me.

{This post has sat in my drafts folder for 1.5 years.  It’s funny how much and how little things change in 1.5 years.}



This Space

I haven’t written in this space since early November.  That actually sounds about right to me.  I’ve written a lot of things in my head since then.  A couple of time I have actually put some things on paper.  I have never hit publish.  I guess in some ways I am a fraud.  I have always hated the people on social media, whether it’s Instagram or Facebook, who only show you perfect.  Their house perfectly in place all neat and tidy, their kids perfectly dressed and smiling at the camera and their perfectly crafted meals that are always organic and balanced.  I’ve always promised myself that I would show every side. The good, the pretty, the bad and the ugly.  And since November, I have not done that.  I’m actually not going to either.  Because while, I haven’t written here I have also realized that there are some things that are so personal, so close to your heart that they aren’t meant for this space.  Maybe that makes me a sell out or phony. Or maybe I won’t be back in this space for some time.  Because honestly, real life right now is really messy and emotional and complicated.  And I’m keeping that close. That’s all I have at the moment.  And I am going to be okay with it.

1.28 Quote


Books of 2015 {February, March and April}

I thought I was going to update you each month on what I was reading. Well, then life happened and I didn’t read a single book in February.  Weird month to not read since winter was in full effect, but I didn’t. However, I have since picked up my pace and been reading quite a bit lately.

Shotgun Love Songs: A Novel

Quick Review: I had a hard time getting in to the book and it lasted longer than I would have liked but the story was interesting not something I had read before.

Thumbs Up

All the Light We Cannot See

Quick Review: Again, a slow start. But a Pulitzer Prize later, I could not stop turning the pages. I

Thumbs Up

The Nightingale 

Quick Review: Hands down my favorite book I have read this year. It is about WW2 and occupied France. I was sobbing at the end on a Sunday morning in our dining room finishing it.

Prodigal Son

Quick Review: Predictable, easy to read.


The Liar

Quick Review: Easy to read. I was turning pages like crazy trying to finish this monster book. Good chick read.

Thumbs Up

Okay, so there is what I have been reading. How about you? What do you have for me? Summer is almost here which means I will have some time to dive in to some books.



Currently Vol. 2

enjoying: the feeling of getting a great workout in and following such inspiring people on Instagram. Fitness was/is such a big part of my life and I am glad it is slowly creeping back in.  So much so that I am researching the Whole30 and trying to make some major food changes when our kitchen renovation is done.

dreaming: about the toes in my sand in just over a week and that feeling that sets in a couple days after I get to Florida that allows me to unplug

loving: the sun setting later and the feeling in the air that spring is coming. I am a sucker for sunshine of my face and the warmth it brings

watching: The Amazing Race All Stars, Grey’s Anatomy and of course the NCAA tournament

reading: I just finished Night Road by Kristin Hannah and literally cried through most of it.  Maybe because I see myself in the mother or because the plot centers on my biggest fear which is something happening to my kids.

quoting: nothing. My brain is on overdrive right now so I just keep telling myself to get to next Friday. Nothing else matters.

thinking: about our upcoming kitchen renovation and everything that isn’t done, decisions that aren’t made and things that need to be purchased.  I am terrified of the dust, the lack of working kitchen with small kids for so long and all the hiccups we may encounter. I am excited to see the final project put that doesn’t calm any of my fears.

eating: nothing fabulous since we are leaving on vacation and trying to eat thru what is in our fridge and pantry with our reno also starting

drinking: coffee with vanilla creamer and some sugar, diet coke and lots of water with fresh fruit

craving: a glass of reisling, lemonheads and buffalo chicken dip (random right?)

listening to: Pompeii by Bastille and just singing, no shouting it in my head on repeat

Happy Friday! What are you up to?


The Word about Weight

As I previously stated in my 14 things for 2014, getting healthy is a big resolution for me.  It’s not that I am unhealthy or ridiculously overweight; it’s just that I need a little motivation to really change my eating habits for good and lose those last few pounds that I have carried since having two kids.  Some weight.  Not a lot. I am not fat and that’s not even a word I want to talk about ever with my kids.  It’s about being healthy, feeling good when I wake up and taking care of myself.  When I was thinking about my starting weight and how much I wanted to lose, I knew I needed an incentive because the number on the scale isn’t going to move a whole lot.  So, it kept hitting me that if I hit certain goals I needed to reward myself.  And I like to spend money.  So, I decided to set realistic goals,  put some thought in to some of the rewards, and get to it.  I came up with a list of things I wanted- didn’t necessarily need but would like to have even though I failed to ask for most of them for Christmas.

My first goal is 5 lbs.  Totally doable just means I have to lose what I probably gained this holiday season.  I am close, like less than a pound away which is close and  I am rewarding myself with a Fitbit Force.

I want to be able to track everything since details mean a lot to me.  There’s an app for my iPhone, it syncs with My Fitness Pal and rumor is that pretty soon caller id from your iPhone will work on it. While it might make me obsessive if I see I haven’t walked enough or been active enough, I also think it will motivate me to move. {Update: As of Sunday, no store on the entire planet has a Fit Bit Force. Is this a sign to eat crappy food again? What the heck? Of course there is no more of these.}

My second goal is to get to my pre-pregnancy weight with Cate.  I think to get here would be huge for me.  So, if I get to this point, I have a big reward for myself.  First, I want this new gym bag.

I love the look of the bag and I think my outdated Nike bag could use a replacement.  The practical perk of this bag is that my yoga mat could attach to it when that is what I am doing and it’s big enough to take my shower stuff with me.  But that’s not all, I also allowing myself to get these shorts from Lululemon.

and I am buying this top.

Yep, you read it right. I believe in extrinsic rewards and these are two big ones for me.  If you can’t tell, this is the biggest one for me.

My third and final goal is to get to my pre-pregnancy weight with Brady. When, I get there it is time I buy myself a new swimsuit.  A nice one. Not one from Target that covers more than it shows.  A one-piece that makes me feel good and is updated. Maybe one like this? Or this?

After I reach these three goals, yes I am confident I can do it, I will re-evaluate.  Like I said, I don’t want to be pencil thin- I never have been.  And no, I don’t want to keep losing to lose. I just want to feel good in my clothes, be toned and proud in my body. I want my kids to have a great role model and be the active, healthy mom they deserve.

So, what would you reward yourself with? Am I forgetting something?



5 Things I Am Loving Right Now

Five Things I Am Loving- October

Where did September go? Seriously, in a blink of an eye October is here which equals cooler temperatures, the days getting darker earlier and the need for blankets. Since October is here I thought I would tell you five things I am loving right now.

Warm Drinks
Nothing says fall like a warm drink from my favorite place Starbucks. I am hoping someone (mom, dad, Todd, anyone) gets their new home drink maker so I can try it out. But for now, I am sticking with my warm chai teas lattes straight from the source.   I also find myself drinking their calm tea at night once fall is here and nothing is better than a salted caramel hot chocolate when the cooler temps prevail. 

I usually gravitate to bright pops of color when it comes to life- my toes and my landscaping most notably.  But nothing gets me more excited for fall than beautiful mums and fall foliage. The leaves are such gorgeous colors of reds, oranges, and yellows. It makes for beautiful pictures and is really refreshing after a summer of pink flowers and hot pink toes.

Riding Boots and Fall Flats

I have a loyal to my two pair of riding boots and I have my favorite flats in a couple of colors but lately I have been perusing Piperlime for more favorite shoes to buy. Jeans, riding boots and the sweater below just sounds lovely to me right now. 

PS- I bought this yesterday for 40% off! Winning! 


It’s back and better than ever. Since having kids, I watch less and less TV but there are still a couple of shows that I am loyal too.  I look forward to Sunday nights where the Amazing Race and Boardwalk Empire signal the ending to a weekend and the beginning of a new week. And as each week comes to a close, Grey’s Anatomy is my old faithful. I am thinking this winter when we hibernate we need to try to watch something new- Homeland, Breaking Bad, or maybe Friday Night Lights? Got a recommendation for us?

Down Comforters

I love the feeling of the heat radiating from under the covers. I love the feeling of our down comforter. How soft it is and how light yet warm it is.  How when you fluff it it gets big but stays so soft! By spring, I am ready to get a fresh, light quilt out but every fall, I beg for temperatures to drop so that I can bust it out and get it on our bed. 

What about you? What are you loving right now?


Instagram Love

What? Two posts in one week already? You don’t say… that is what happens when both children nap simultaneously on a rainy Sunday and when they do so for 2+ hours. #naptimeftw  
If you have read prior posts, you know that I was stoked to find out that Instagram was now available for those of us that have Android phones. I don’t love my android and will probably be going to an iphone sooner than later but I do love that I have instagram now.   I love instagram so much that actually I am little bit sad to say that  my DSLR is collecting dust right now.  With Instagram at my fingertips on my phone, which is always in my hands or in my diaper bag, I never shoot with my Nikon anymore. That needs to change.  I digress.  But what is even better about instagram?  I got my mama on it so she can follow me and see my pictures.

I knew a little bit about the Instagram craze and I watched as others participated in  #photoaday challenges through Instagram. I wanted an invite to the club. And lucky for me I have one now.  Follow me and see as I try to capture these picture the month of May. May, really? It is May?

And what is better? Mandy, over at Harper’s Happenings, wrote this post  linking to another great blog with ideas for all my new fabulous instagram photos.

And on pinterest, I found this. How cool is this idea?

via pinterest 
Like I said, Instagram is my new best friend. Am I following you? Are you following me? I am hoping that some of you not on it yet, ahem Ang and Jen, that this might be the push you need so I can stalk watch your days as they unfold in pictures. Happy instagraming!