There is barely a day that goes by that I don't learn something new. Sometimes it may just be something in general. about the world, sometimes it can be something about someone else, and yet other times it is something about myself. Every once in a while, though, the lesson is years in the making. Several years ago when I heard the saying, "Live Out Loud"- I knew immediately that I liked it, though I couldn't quite articulate why. As the years have gone by, the words have remained in my mind. Over the past three months it has become more of a motto for me. During these months I have experienced so many things - some good, some bad, some happy, and some sad. Throughout all of these experiences I found myself using the saying more and more. To me, "Live Out Loud" meant to live life with purpose, face your fears, and try new things. As I prepared to write this entry I decided to look into this saying further and found that it not only means what I envisioned, but it also has so many additional meanings. "Live Out Loud" is about being your most authentic self. (Clicking on the "pink" words will take you to the resources I looked at.) This new found knowledge inspires me and makes me want to work harder each day to ensure that I am living life to the fullest and with the utmost purpose. I hope that you are inspired to live out loud.
Just a quick entry here to talk about crutch tips! The regular crutch tips that come with a pair of crutches last me about three weeks, if I am lucky. Additionally, their target like design on the bottom is not made for rain or snow. The water gets built up in the ridges and makes falling or slipping when walking a most likely occurrence. As someone who will be on crutches for life, I felt that there had to be a better option available.
A quick internet search found a company that makes fantastic crutch tips and accessories. The owner of the company is also on crutches. I have been ordering crutch tips from this company for many years (around ten) and have never been disappointed. These crutch tips are a bit pricy but they last me about a year. They have a special design that includes a shock absorber and the special "sole" that is adhered to the bottom of the crutch tip does not allow the water and snow to build up.
just ordered and received my newest pair of crutch tips, and not a moment to soon, as we are expecting 3-5 inches of snow tonight. Walking with these crutch tips is amazing and which is why I needed to share. It is almost as exciting as getting a new pair of shoes, almost! Here is the link to the website where I order my crutch tips. (I have also ordered hand grips and the pads for the top of the crutches.) If you are going to be on crutches for an extended period of time and do a lot of walking like I do, I highly recommend this company.
There is nothing more wonderful, for me, than spending time with the people I love. 2015 was such a blessing to me, I had new adventures, started a job that I love, met new amazing people, reconnected with people I have missed, and spent time with family and friends (those two blend together.) I was blessed with kindness that can never be repaid. I am one lucky human! I am starting with Thanksgiving because, it is the holiday I host. It is one of my favorite holidays, it is just about good food, family and gratitude. Next, comes December and all the fun opportunities that the holiday season brings. There are so many opportunities that I believe you could do two a day for the entire month and still not be able to fit everything in. Then comes New Year's Eve. Celebrating a year that is ending and looking forward to all that a new year has to offer. Whatever 2015 held for you, I hope that you can look back and find the good that happened and reflect on the challenges with a certain sense of accomplishment. I hope that 2016 brings you much love, happiness, success, peace, and utter fulfillment. Remember to celebrate all the small stuff and live out loud! Happy New Year!
I love pictures!!! Here are a sampling from Thanksgiving to New Years! #liveoutloud
One never knows when the next crazy thing will happen nor does one know how they will deal with that crazy thing! My friend teaches at a high school and she records for the football team. This team is good (really good) and I love high school sports so, on occasion I join her in the end zone for a game. One Saturday in November, the opportunity arose for me to join her in the end zone for a play-off game. The only problem was that it was blizzard conditions. Having never attended a play-off game in the snow I decided that I must go. (I know right now you are thinking ut-oh she fell and got hurt. Just wait!) So, I got bundled up and made my way to the school.
Once I got to the school and parked I got out my chair and my blanket and made it all the way to the garage with no problems. (Which was no small feat because there is a slight decline that I needed to walk down and it was very slippery and covered in snow.) I met my friend in the garage while she got the camera ready. It was snowing so hard you could barely see the field. Her husband had been out since 7:30am clearing the field (astro-turf) and you couldn't even tell it had been cleared. We weren't sure how much she was going to be able to record and the camera seemed to be having second thoughts about going out in the snow because it wasn't cooperating. As we stood in the garage, working on the camera, the trainer drove in on his golf cart. Apparently, he failed to turn it off or put in in park because once he got off the trainer table slipped and fell on the gas pedal and the golf cart hit me straight on! Luckily there was an opening behind me that allowed me to escape the golf cart until the humans around me could catch up with it. In my attempt to escape it I was hit at least two times in my leg. I cannot express clearly enough the pain and fear I felt. I was afraid to touch, move, or look at my leg as I was sure it was broken. The trainer came to me and asked me if it hit my bad leg...no, it hit my ONLY leg!! Luckily it was not broken. I didn't go to the emergency room, but I did have the paramedics (who attend every game) look at it. I waited until the end of the first quarter and then I drove myself home and kept it up for the rest of the weekend with ice on it. It took at least three weeks to heal. Never in a million years would I have ever expected to be hit by a golf cart in a snow storm! I am strong, I am woman, I am a survivor!!!
Oh and PS - They won and went on the the State Finals and took the championship there! Way to go Broncos!!
So, I am a little behind in my posts. I am going to try my best in the new year to post more frequently. It is no excuse but the second class in my grad program was the most challenging class I have endured so far. For the first time in my adult life I was going to be satisfied with a grade lower than an "A". This class consumed all my time and energy. A sign, perhaps, that I was giving it my all. In the end I received a grade of "A-" for the class. So, my current GPA is 3.83 out of a 4.0, not too shabby.
Not only did this class show me that I can do anything I put my mind to, it reminded me that challenges are placed in our lives to make us stronger.
Please don't ever give up. If you are faced with a challenge don't give up. Instead focus on the outcome, make a few changes, and continue on. In the end you will discover that it is worth it.
The theme this school year seems to be push the limits! Not only did I start grad school, I started a new position in the district. With these new ventures have come some pretty great success, many learning experiences, and some funny stories. One of my new passions is presenting at conferences. I can't explain the joy it brings. When I look out into a room full of educators and share something I am passionate about; knowing that they are there to learn from me pushes me to be the best that I can be. This past December (2015) I had the absolute pleasure of presenting at a conference with someone I truly respect. It was a fantastic learning experience and so much fun. When we were brainstorming on a topic for our proposal I was feeling a little intimidated and when a topic was suggested I knew I wanted to do it even though I did not really know much about it. So, a proposal was written and it was accepted. Then the pressure was on. I needed to make sure that I did the research and was up to date on all the latest information. The pressure to do my best so that I did not embarrass myself in front of my director was real. In the past, the presentations that I have given have been developed by my co-presenter and then I was assigned a portion. This time it was different. I was putting the bones of the presentation together and then together we tweaked it and shared ideas. It was so refreshing and fun. It really was a fantastic learning experience. I am so grateful for all of the growth opportunities that I have had this school year and am open and ready for more. Don't be afraid to learn and try something new, don't be afraid to let someone tweak your ideas, don't be afraid to look at something from a different perspective, it may lead to something you never thought could happen.
Never ever give up on your dreams! I know many people who have accomplished many things in their life and I am super proud to know one particular person.
I would love to tell you the backside to this story but, it is not really my story to tell. However, I feel very comfortable in sharing the message from the story. Never let others make you feel bad about yourself. Pursue your dreams and never give up.
I have had the pleasure of meeting, via PTA 15 years ago, a fantastic family. The kindness they paid me while I was sick will never ever be able to be repaid. I am so grateful that they are a part of my life. I have had the pleasure of watching their two sons grow-up and now I have had the pleasure of watching one of them play professional football for the Tennessee Titans.
My daughter and I made the decision to drive to Tennessee for a game and as luck would have it they were playing at home for her birthday weekend. So, my daughter, one of my best friends, and I decided to make a weekend of it.
We went out on Saturday to celebrate my daughter's 22nd birthday and then went to the game on Sunday. It was an amazing experience and such a joy to see this fine young man play.
Often times we put our professional athletes on a pedestal and make them our role models and often times they are not the best role models for our youth. I am so proud to know this young man and can say without a shadow of a doubt that he is an incredible role model for our youth. I wish him the best and hope that he has a very successful career. He is a man who is going to make a difference in this world.
PS This is a public safety announcement, never stay out until the wee hours of the morning, go to a football game, and then attempt to drive more than three or four hours home.
This is just a short entry to state that there is nothing better than fall camping. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to join my friends every Columbus Day weekend as they camp. We are tent campers (not really my first choice.) They make tent camping so much fun. Fall tent camping can get pretty cold but there is nothing better than looking at a starry sky in the crisp fall night.
Camping has taught me that you can find comfort in a canvas dwelling, that spending time with people that make you laugh is refreshing, that song writing comes easier in the great outdoors, and that a crockpot can be a camper's very good friend.
If you ever have the opportunity to camp, I highly recommend it. Don't be afraid, it is just one weekend!
One of the many things I have learned in life is to celebrate everything. While this is not always practical it is important. Life has a way of throwing so many obstacles in our way that it is very important to celebrate the good things that come our way. I have had the pleasure of celebrating many birthdays in the past three months.
In addition to the birthdays, there have been celebrations of life (through death), celebrations of accomplishments, celebrations of new babies, celebrations of friendship, and celebrations of graduation.
While I am a person who celebrates all the good things in life, I recently heard a piece on a local radio station about someone who celebrates failure. This stopped my thoughts in their tracks. Celebrate failure? What - what? I have given this a great deal of thought and it makes sense to me. We need to celebrate the fact that we were brave enough to try something new even if we fail. It is through our failures that some of our greatest accomplishments can occur. As I looked back at my life, I can see that I have learned from my failures and most of those lessons have led to greater things.
While I am still a firm believer in celebrating all the small things in life I am now trying to celebrate my failures (and learn from them) because it shows that I was brave enough to try something new.
I have not hidden the fact that I am a Cubs fan. This year was a fantastic year for me as I was not only able to attend many Cubs games, they made it super far in the playoffs! Farther than anyone anticipated.
My baseball year started in April when my good friends took me to a Cubs game. I had truly never gone to a game where we spent time before and after the game in Wrigleyville. Let me tell you if you ever get the chance to go to a Cubs game I highly recommend taking in the fine establishments of Wrigleyville. I attended two games in the bleachers, two in seats in the stadium, and two rooftop games. All were fantastic!
The best thing about being able to go to all of these games was not only seeing the Cubs play and spending time with family and friends but it was meeting new people. I met so many new people this summer and I am very grateful for the opportunity.
Someone recently asked me, "How can you text someone you just met?" That question took me off guard a bit but then I realized, all friendships start somewhere. I am so grateful that I have taken the chance and reached out to new people because I have met some truly amazing people this summer.
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A bit about me:
I am who I am thanks to God, my parents, my family, and my friends. My life is driven by faith. Oh, and I am a cancer survivor.