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{run happy}

Run happy

I'm not a runner.

Well, that's what I tell myself anyway.

My girls were signed up to participate in Girls on the Run (GOTR) through their school. It is a wonderful program that promotes girl empowerment by teaching life skills through lessons and running. The goal is to run a 5K and celebrate their accomplishments. Both the girls' dad and I agreed to be their running buddies. So we all had some work to do to be ready.

Then the world stopped.

We decided to train at home during this stay-at-home order. We had the time. We had places to run. The fresh air was good. No excuses. Maybe a few grumbles.

As a family, we ran. Sometimes a mile. Sometimes a mile and a half. Sometimes two. It wasn't ever easy. Or fun. What mattered was that we did it together and the running made a difference (more for us than them).

We ran in the morning, sometimes lunchtime, or after all our school work was done. We ran in the cold, the rain, and the sun all through the end of March and…
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{quiet time}

Quiet time

These days quiet times are few and far between.
Quarantined. Together. Always. 24/7.

Don't get me wrong. I love this gift of family.
Being together. All. The. Time.

But ... I'm also that type of person
Who loves some alone time.

In the past, my schedule allowed me
Time alone in the car driving or walking the dog.

Time to think. To wonder.
To reflect. To pray. To just be.

Without someone calling my name.
Over and over. And over and over.

Today I was gifted twenty minutes.
Alone walking the dog.

Harley doesn't repeatedly call my name.
She just gives me the puppy dog eyes.

What a gift. To celebrate my one little word.
Peace. And quiet time.


May first.

They turn ten years old.

Ten years ago, my twin baby girls came into this world.

God blessed us with so much when He gifted them to us.

When I found out we were having twins, it was a big surprise. One is never really ready for a newborn, let alone two!!

They have changed my life. Made me who I am today. Created me into the mother I didn't know I could be -- it is a scary, unknown role.

But, every day, they make me a better person. Not perfect. But always reflecting and progressing. Lots of hugs ... and plenty of apologies.

These two, though, bring us so much joy. They are similar, but yet so different.

Sweet, stubborn, silly, kind, sassy, loving, funny, creative, special, determined, thoughtful, smart, beautiful inside and out.

These girls are growing up before my eyes. In a blink. Ten years. A decade. Double digits. 10.

I'm extra thankful for this time together now -- to savor every moment of every day. Before another ten years flies by ...



I've always enjoyed my extra daily walks ever since adopting our Harley dog two years ago. Quiet, alone time to think and pray walks. Or listen to a podcast, a book, or music kind-of-walks.

But THEN it was always a chore to check off the to-do list. Quick. Let's go. C'mon. I've got to get back and ... {fill in the blank with any number of chores.}

But TODAY the three-times-a-day walks happen as a family. Our walks together provide us with opportunities to talk, notice, wonder, surprise, question, wait-and-watch in awe, share memories, make memories, and take more pictures. Each walk brings something new --

A group of little yellow birds
A family of ducks with five newly hatched ducklings
All the trees sprouting buds and flowers and little green leaves
A big white bird diving into the pond for a fishy snack
A bunch of spring flowers blossoming
The sun and clouds or bright clear blue sky, depending on the day

Walks get us outside, away from the screens, out of our …



It seems with this pause in life, I should have all the time in the world.

Time to relax. And lay on the couch.
Time to pick up a hobby. Or just start writing again.
Time to get bored. And be okay with it.
Time to just be. In the moment and notice.

Yet, my time has been filled in many other ways.

Space to slow-down our hurried life.
More quiet time with God.
Daily simple moments captured in photos.
Home-cooked meals shared around the table.

Blessed for this time to all be home, safe together.

Dog walks throughout our neighborhood.
Running together as a family mile after mile.
Reading books, watching TV, playing games, creating and crafting.
Times when we need to {not} be together ...

It seems with this pause in life, I do have all the time in the world.

{Sigh.} It just depends on how I want to see it.



Nine years ago.

She nudged me.

She invited me to share my stories...
that I didn't even know were waiting.

Nine years ago.

I started a little blog for me.

I crafted and created and wrote stories ...
that mattered to me and a small community.

Four days ago.

She nudged me. Again.

She invited me to share my stories ...
that I didn't even know were waiting. Again.


She nudged me. Gently with a text.

I have been thinking about her invitation ...
wondering if I have more stories to share.


I opened up my notebook.

I stared at the blank page ...
the pen easily moved across the lines.


I'm ready to write. Again.

Thank you, Ruth, for the nudge ...
to write in a new space during this pause.

To share in the power of story.


{An invitation goes out to my Mom to join me. Again. 
Are you ready to jump back in and share your stories?}

Picture Books I Love Right Now! #pb10for10

Check out other favorite Picture Book Lists #pb10for10
As we finish up our summer #cyberPD conversations, I'm quickly reminded that August is right around the corner and I need to start thinking about my picture book list to share. Ten books I love. Ten books I want to share. Ten books that I can't live without in my classroom. Ten books. I love coming up with lists of picture books I adore for various reasons. However, this year I came up with the most brilliant idea! (Well, at least I thought it was brilliant!) 

Here are the picture books I can't live without  ... because these are the LAST 10(+3)  picture books I most recently purchased! 

1.  If I Built a School by Chris Van Dusen

My daughters read If I Built a House and If I Built a Car over and over and over.
They couldn't wait to read this next book just published!

2.  How to Read a Book by Kwam…