Educators. Students. Community members. Much more unites us than divides us, particularly knowing we all wear multiple hats. Building relationships. Thinking BIG.
Challenging and supporting one another. Developing engaged, empathetic citizens. Please join me in pondering how best to nurture these common ground connections.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

I Mowed The Lawn Today...

...and it was a BLAST! :)

Yes, I'm one of those crazy individuals; I actually enjoy yardwork, not just the gardening part. I love it all!

I'm certain it stems from the endless, fun-filled hours I spent with my dad as a kid. Perhaps this post should wait 'til father's day, but I'm on a yardwork high, so here goes.

It's been a while since I've mowed the lawn because we've had yard service for the past four years. In trying to save money, I gave it up this year. But I really don't know why I ever got it in the first place. Seriously. It's such a feeling of satisfaction when you get the yard cleaned up. And with every pass, I could hear my dad's voice:

  • "What pattern are you gonna leave in the yard this time, Tad?"
  • "Check the oil. Check the gas. Fill it up if you need to. Just don't flood it when you prime it. We don't have time for that. Rain's movin' in quickly!"
  • "Don't bump the tree trunks."
  • "Careful not to nick the blade on the water pipe."
  • "Don't run over the flowers!"
  • "You'd better bag it this time; it's too long to leave."
  • (When the whole gang was out working...) "Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty." Then looks at me, chuckles, "That's not a problem for you now is it, Tad?"
  • "Lift the bag with your legs, not your back."
  • "Sweep up the clippings. And remember to pull the broom as often as you push it. And trade hands so you're sweeping with your weak arm as often as your strong arm. Good training for basketball." :)
  • "I hate the self-propelled mode on the mower. It's a safety hazard. Don't be a wuss; use your muscles and just push the damn thing." (So that's where I get these guns, eh Dad?! Hahaha!)
  • "Clean the mower when you're done. If it doesn't last 20 years, you haven't taken care of it."
  • "Nice job, Tad. Good on ya."
Perhaps a silly post, but feeling nostalgic. LOVE reliving these moments. Think it's time for a visit to Morris! :)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

What My Mom Taught Me...

...and continues to teach me.

My mom has taught me more about love and life than I will ever be able to comprehend. As the years progress, I find myself reflecting more and more on my mom's inner strength, humility and integrity. I am older now and have some life experiences to realize just how remarkable this woman is. Just how much she has taught me in terms of every day living—being a strong, intelligent, loving, compassionate woman. She does it every single day. Just by being her.

Some lessons were practical, some were necessary, some were life changing, some happened when I was little, and some happened today. But all of them were a gift from my mother.

My mom taught me:
  1. how to make a bed. Perfectly.
  2. how to change a diaper. I had so much practice with my younger siblings, it was old hat by the time I had kids!
  3. how to wrap and hold and bathe and dress and rock and feed a baby.
  4. how to fold t-shirts. And towels. And men's underwear. (Why? Seriously...)
  5. how to vacuum, dust, shake rugs, clean bathrooms, wash windows, sweep, polish silver, and do dishes. K.P. every night!
  6. that "By the inch, life's a cinch. By the yard, life is hard."
  7. that it's hard not to lose your identity when you're a mother of young kids. But it comes back. 
  8. that asking for help can be difficult, particularly for someone like me who likes to do it all on my own. "Do it anyway, Sweetheart. Everyone needs help from time to time. It's not a sign of weakness. It's a sign of intelligence. Besides, that's what I'm here for."
  9. that being a really competitive athlete AND a "sexy woman" were not mutually exclusive. ;)
  10. how to laugh at yourself. To really belt out a chuckle when you do something "silly." It's healthy. And contagious.
  11. to find time for yourself, however brief, every day.
  12. how to hug. How to really give someone a hug that says, "You are all that matters in this moment. Can you feel it?"
  13. right from wrong. And that sometimes it's not that simple.
  14. how to protect the underdog.
  15. that when you lose someone close to you, your Mom is there to hold you together.
  16. that when you are worried about your newborn, or your toddler, or your grade schooler, or your teenager, your Mom is there to talk you through it.
  17. when someone makes you feel like a million bucks, your mom is there to listen to the story. And to be sincerely happy for you.
  18. that family is everything.
  19. that there's nothing more challenging and simultaneously rewarding than being a Mommy, a Mom, a Ma, a Momma, a Mother.
  20. how to love. Unconditionally. I think she wrote the book.
  21. that it's important to pass it all on. 
  22. ...and so much more.
I love you, Mom!
I look forward to spending time with you this summer!