Second Time – Not Easier, But Sweeter

March 31, 2018

I woke up this morning feeling a sense of accomplishment, even more so than the first year I sliced.  I think that is because this year it was more challenging.

Maybe it was because I knew what I was getting myself into.
Maybe it was because I took on a new grade level and have felt overwhelmed all year.  Maybe it was because I am still self-conscious about my writing and putting it out there for others (adults) to read.

I am thankful for this kind community of writers who understand what it is like to post a slice every day for 31 days.  A community who gives feedback that pushes you onward.  A community of writers who understands a teacher’s life.  A community who helps me pause and reflect on my day.  I appreciate the opportunity and the reminder of how the power of writing every day can have on you.  Thank you to TWO WRITING TEACHERS.



Inspired By SOL Challenge

March 30, 2018

My colleague, Jenna Hansen, shared what she saw on Fran McCracken’s post about setting a goal for each month.  Since the SOL challenge is coming to an end, I thought:  How could I encourage myself to do different positive habits for each month?  So here is my attempt to continue to challenge myself in different ways that can make me a better and stronger person:

April – Read a poem every day.

May – Write a note to a student every day.

June – Do an outdoor activity every day that does not involve my watch.

July – Listen to a new podcast every day.

August – Watch the sunset every day. (This means I need to leave work at a decent hour.)

September – Begin to make plans each night for my husband’s sabbatical (a three-month vacation next summer).

October – Read for fun every day.

November – Take 10 minutes every day to quiet my mind – be mindful.

December – Listen to different music every night.

January – Give a compliment to someone every day.

February – Stretch every day.

And then there is March

sol  with my students every day.



Where Does the Time Go?

March 29, 2018

Every Tuesday and Thursday, I head out of my classroom door to join 31 third, fourth, and fifth grade girls for Girls on the Run.  Today’s lesson was about what you appreciate in a friend and then thinking about yourself as a friend.  What I love about this program is that it reminds me of what is important in life and the skills we need to be kinder to ourselves and empower ourselves to be better human beings.

On my way home, I was thinking about what I appreciate in a friend.  I started to think of my best friend.  My friend who has known me half my life, and in a week — will know me for over half my life.

A friend who has been carrying more of the load lately at home.  A friend who will read my slices to double-check I haven’t made any glaring mistakes and make sure they make sense.  A friend who makes my breakfast and lunch so I can run out the door to get to work for early morning meetings (even though he has his own early morning meetings).  A friend who loves and forgives me even when he gets frustrated with my work hours.  A friend who holds me accountable, but also holds me up.

Twenty-six years next Thursday, I will have been married to my friend.  My true best friend.  So thankful.

img057-Edit-1      Twenty-five years ago.

Over the years.


Early Morning Runs

March 28, 2018


In honor of having four days left of the SOL Challenge.

My top four reasons why I love to trail run in the morning:

  1. The air is crisp, the quails begin to call, and the stars say good-bye, as the sun’s rays grace the sky to say hello.
  2. Dixie, my German Shorthaired Pointer, wears the Houndlite.  A vest that lights up inLight-Hound-Glow-Harness any color you chose.  Blinking or not.   A vest that allows me not to break the morning silence with, “Dixie, come!”  A vest that postpones any frustration of trying to find her, when I can spot her a mile away. (She has no interest in staying on the trails.)
  3. A time when I can gather my thoughts.  Rehearse my day,  then revise my day for kids.  A time when ideas transpire as I let my mind wander and imagine possibilities.
  4. A time to catch up with other early morning risers, who also like to try to solve the world’s problems within a four-six mile loop.

More importantly for me, if not, when?


What’s Up Dixie?

March 27, 2018

Why is she staring at the iRobot?
Why is she whining?

Grabbing my phone
I touch the flashlight icon.

Dropping to my knees
I bend next to Dixie.

Straining my head to reach the floor
I shine the light underneath the iRobot.

There’s nothing there, D.”

She’s not buying it.
Standing stock still,
ears pricked,

I go about my business.

She is not moving.
She begins whining again.

I walk back over to the wall
where the iRobot is stationed.

I stand,
not moving.
Quiet fills the house.

Then I hear it –
scurrying little feet
inside the wall.


I text my husband:
Dixie hears scratches inside the wall.

Immediate reply:
That’s the exterminator’s job.

Add that to my to-do list for Tuesday.


Outdoor Egos

March 26, 2018

There is something to be said about mountain biking egos and trail running egos.  There is this thing called trail etiquette.  Mountain bikers are supposed to stop and let all foot and horse traffic have the right-away.  Trail runners and hikers are supposed to let horses have the right-away.


Many times when I am running and there are mountain bikers coming my way, I will hop off the trail for the mountain bikers to proceed.  There are times, when I am in a groove, running hard and I see a mountain biker in the distance, I wonder if they are going to stop and let me keep going.  I take imaginary bets in my head.  Many times they don’t stop, and I want to yell, “trail etiquette!”

Yesterday was a different scenario.  It was one of those days when my legs felt light and my feet bounded from rock to rock.  I was approaching an uphill part and there was a fork in the trail, you could go straight or veer to the left to do a little loop that meets back up with the main trail.  There was a mountain biker I was approaching from behind.  He quickly glanced back and said, “Which way are you going?”

I yelled, “Straight!”

He immediately turned his handle bars to the left and yelled back, “I can NOT be passed by a runner today!”

Our laughter erupted in the air and my chuckles continued as my feet carried me up the hill.  It was shortly after when I was running down hill that I heard the sound of tires behind me.  I paused to move out-of-the-way, and noticed it was the same gentleman.  We both smiled.  I saved his ego for a day.

Word of the Day

March 25, 2018

adjective (ar-ee-ohs, ar-ee-ohs)
1. characterized by melody; songlike.

When I picked up my phone this morning, as the sun was rising above the Grand Mesa and painting the sky in streaks of orange and yellow and a tint of pink, a notification was waiting from Dictionary.

As I read the Word of Day, it seemed like it was intentionally chosen after yesterday’s March For Our Lives.

The voices of all the students, young and old, were definitely a melody that rose up to grace the airwaves.  A melody that was melancholy from all the lives we have lost to guns.  A melody that was a voice of strength.  A melody that was from all kinds of voices, all walks of life, all different languages, that created a song that I hope lasts forever.  Their ariose voices fill my heart with hope.