17 in 2017 and a Year in Review

2017.  You kicked ass.  No seriously, you were awesome.  This year is at the top of the charts for me.  2018 has some serious impressing to do.  My most recent post (in February 2017 insert eye roll here) I made a list of 17 things I wanted to do this year and I nailed 11 of them.  I’m going to take that as a victory on the list and move on because 2017 was just so plain good.  So, I didn’t accomplish the entire list.  I’m choosing to give myself some grace because the past year has been great in some many ways.  Let’s recap so I don’t forget.

We spent President’s Weekend in Lake Geneva with friends- it was an unseasonably warm weekend and we had the best time with friends we see way too infrequently.  We got our kids up on skis and it’s safe to say they loved it.  We went to Florida over spring break with my family and had a literally picture perfect week at the beach.  We spent Easter Sunday at Wrigley, just the 4 of us and it was one of my favorite days of the year.  We watched Brady find a home on the baseball field in the spring as we happily found out he made a travel soccer team in May.  We took a truly magical trip to Disney World in June and watched Tom Petty at Wrigley Field in one of his last shows.   In July, we celebrated 10 years of marriage with an incredible trip to Wine Country a place that now has a piece of our hearts forever.  We witnessed the eclipse with our street.  In August, we made a trip to St. Louis and got to spend some sweet time with my grandma who is 96 and I missed daily.   We spent a week on the shores of Lake Michigan right after that with family and settled in this fall with two kids in same school which included Cate starting kindergarten.  We saw Zac Brown Band at Wrigley with great friends. As Brady started travel soccer, we learned he made a highly selective travel baseball team which was a shock but exciting to all of us. We have started to find our groove socially and in our community and at church.  We have dear friends that are like family to us. We have family that we love to spend our time with.  So, 2017, thanks.  For giving me a year where the worries were less and the love and laughter was more.

On to 2018.


17 in 2017

I’m a lover of lists and an even bigger lover of crossing things off the list. I make some type of list every day.  I love to use this pad to make my lists and it’s worth every penny to be pretty on my desk.  I have multiple lists and merge my lists and those lists get rewritten but the art of having a list is a way for me to hold myself accountable. Writing the list is theraputic.

I’m not about writing resolutions. I actually think they are silly. They set you up to fail. Like all those people at the gym in January who you never see again. Failed resolution.  Resolutions tend to be too big and too lofty and unattainable setting almost everyone up to fail me included so I stopped making them.

The one word thing doesn’t work either for me. How do you focus your year to a single word? I tried it. I tried it a couple of times actually and it just doesn’t work for me. I think every time I tried it, I forgot the word by February.

So, even though I am a month late, I am going to stick with what I know. I am going to make a list for 2017 with their status or reason.  The little things and the big things. I’m going to cross things off my list as I do them. I may not ­draw attention to them when I cross them off but I’m going to tackle them as my life list for 2017.


  1. Get Brady and Cate up on skis this winter.
  2. Get away with Glenn for our 10 year wedding anniversary.
  3. Take Brady on a mother son date.
  4. Take Cate on a mother daughter date.
  5. Try a new workout to me.
  6. Call my grandma, send her a package and send her a letter.
  7. Finish our living room instead of 75% complete.
  8. Make plans for drinks with an old friend.
  9. Organize, print and store pictures from 2009-2017.
  10. Pick up my camera again and just start shooting.
  11. Teach myself the basics of code.
  12. Do a huge purge of our basement.
  13. Simplify my closet and purge.
  14. Find a way for my family to volunteer.
  15. Come back to this blog.
  16. Be intentional with my time.
  17. Grow something.

So, the first step is creating the list right? Now it’s time to work on something. Anything.


Friday Rambling {March 2016}

There is no real post today. This is just a random number of thoughts I was thinking about today as we try to finish the week off before spring break.

I was texting one of my besties two nights ago and it went something like this….

“Why is it that at the end of every day, I feel beat up? Like I am seriously beat up? I literally keep asking myself each night if I am getting the flu. ” (Which is my biggest fear right now after watching G get it.)

Her response was perfect.

“Because you work out, run two kids around, work full time and manage a house, etc… I feel that way every day too.”

After that response I found myself oddly at peace with the way that I feel right now and her explanation and just sat with it.  Instead of being cranky about it or feeling sorry for myself or even trying to rationalize it, I just sat with that response and accepted that’s life right now and it’s okay.


I heard a line in an interview yesterday from a candidate that I keep repeating in my head.  It’s a woman I have an indescribable amount of respect for as an educator.  She was talking about balance. She said…

“We need to do a little less, do it better and enjoy it more.”

I feel like I need to adopt this mantra going forward.  Such a simple statement and simple goal to have in mind.


My little family is so ready for a week in the warm weather and the desert.  I think it’s fair to say all of four of us are ready for a break.  I keep reminding myself that we get to move a little slower, be a little sillier, stay up a little later and take a breath from life as we know it.  I can almost feel the sunshine on my face, smell the sunscreen on my kids and my shoulders start to release from the load it’s carrying just thinking about it.





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.}



Project 52 Week 12


Nothing says Brady like pants that are too short because he grows like a weed, a basketball in hand because sports is his life and hair that needs to be cut because it just doesn’t stop growing.


Travel Wear

I am trying to be really practical when it comes to packing for vacation. Two small kids, an airport, a week worth of stuff is just a lot to manage so I want to be comfy when I travel and be able to wear some of the things when I am out there. I don’t want to wear shorts but the thought of wearing jeans sounds terrible too since it will be in the 90’s when we get there.


It might be the perfect time to try the pants ( I have been wanting them all winter) and all of a sudden I am a big fan of Lucy Activewear.  I am thinking my Mia slip-ons are the just the right things to wear in the airport and slip on and off. I can wear this stuff again when I am out hiking, walking or getting a run in since I am confident our kids will be up early!

What do you like to wear when you travel?


Books of 2015 {January}

WILD by Cheryl Strayed

Me: Thumbs Up

Quick Review: I knew nothing of the Pacific Coast Trail until reading this book and I was impressed with her and her story.  I think the piece of this book that I will never forget is the kindness she experienced along the way from strangers.

GRAY MOUNTAIN by John Grisham

Me: Thumbs Up

Quick Review: I have a been a loyalist to Grisham since high school. This book was quick and easy to read and somewhat predictable but I found myself wanting to finish it. The coal company story line was really interesting and made me wonder how much of this “dumping” occurs.


Best Reads of 2014 (in no order)

The Invention of Wings

We Were Liars

The Husband’s Secret

One Plus One

Nantucket Sisters

Reconstructing Amelia

Me Before You

Night Road

The Fault in Our Stars

Lone Survivor

That’s what I’m reading! What are you reading?


Project 52 Week 4



Project 52 Week 2



Friday Randoms v.1

Happy Friday Everyone! Off of school for two weeks and we come back to a weird week where the freaking cold kept us out of school for a day.  We should have gone to school but oh well.  As a teacher, I actually dread having days off. What kids just don’t get is that we have to make the days up which means we lose our grading day after finals and the schedule gets all mixed up. It really is more of a pain than a cool event. Promise. Not to say I didn’t accomplish a lot on Wednesday (wink wink for those in my inner circle

~We were supposed to be celebrating my FIL’s 60th birthday this weekend but illness caused it to be cancelled. So, we are going to use the babysitter and try Guild Hall just north of us. I hear it’s good and I’m excited to try it.

~Did you see that the Walkman is making a comeback? I guess I don’t get what is so great about it. But, Sony unveiled it at the CES in Vegas this week and it is making big rumblings on the internet

~We got back in to menu planning this week and I think it is safe to say, it is has saved some fights and confusion in the transition back to work. I planned for four meals this week and it looked like this. Not bad right?

Sunday- Salmon with Onion Potatoes

Monday- Beef Tacos

Tuesday- Chicken with Brussel Sprouts and Bacon

Wednesday- Beef Elegante in the Slow Cooker

The rest of the week was a mess of me working one night, us going out one night and probably going to the basketball game tonight so who knows. 4-5 nights at home is pretty average for us but January is brutal from a scheduling perspective so I am giving myself some grace in this department.  I am also strangely surprised (totally jinxing myself) the things my kids are starting to eat. Thank god because the food wars were wearing on me.

~I am usually not a fan of ecards but this one I saw one Hanging with the Hewitt’s made me chuckle.



Happy Friday All! Stay warm!