Wednesday, March 22, 2017

{counting the days} 22/31 #sol17

The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
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Counting down the days
Excited about the trip to come
Less than a week to go ...

Squeezing in the usual daily tasks
Life at school and at home
Along with sorting, piling, packing ...

Six days to go ... laundry and more laundry
Five days to go ... pulling out possibilities
Four days to go ... packing, packing, packing
Three days to go ... unpacking and repacking
Two days to go ... double checking the packing
One day to go ... waiting with anticipation

Along with sorting, piling, packing
Life at school and at home
Squeezing in the usual daily tasks ...

Less than a week to go
Excited about the trip to come
Counting down the days ...

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

{happy together} 21/31 #sol17

The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
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I have learned about relationships and marriage from my parents.

First of all, they have some experience ... 47 years today.

That's 564 months; 17,155 days, plus a few extra for Leap Years; and 411,720 hours. Commitment.

That's a lot of time together unified by God enjoying life. Marriage.

Committed to loving each other during the good, the bad, the happy, and the difficult seasons of life. Dedication.

Plenty of hugs and kisses, hand holding, loving touches that show how much they love and care for each other. Affection.

Discussions, conversations, quiet time to think and listen, disagreements and even arguments. Communication.

Time, opportunity, and support for each other to pursue personal interests and passions in life. Encouragement.

Creating balance in the home, working together: cooking, cleaning, outside, inside. Teamwork.

After 47 years, and many more to come, you make a great team!

Thanks for your inspiration and encouragement! 

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad! 
Love always.


My Mom is also writing this month and celebrated her marriage with a slice today too!

Monday, March 20, 2017

{a slice of Monday} 20/31 #sol17

The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
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Author's Note: Tonight I had to dig into my Writing Inspiration Pinterest Board.
I found this journaling format that helped me capture my day.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

{this is us} 19/31 #sol17

The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
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Ok. We are late to the party. Life is busy and we really don't watch much TV. Some HGTV or a Blackhawks hockey game. 

"Oh, did you watch This Is Us last night?" My friend questioned.

"You don't watch This Is Us? Oh, you need to!" My neighbor said.

"I can't believe you don't watch it. You really should." My colleague suggested.

So many conversations about this show. Even Loralee mentioned it in a slice this week.

This prompted me to ask my husband last night, after the girls were in bed, if he wanted to watch it.

He was game. We started with one episode. We were hooked. What an ending! We had to watch another episode. 

We have never binge watched TV before. Jon even stayed awake past his usual nap time at 8 o'clock. 

After two episodes, it was late. I was getting sleepy. But we made it through another episode. Three episodes.

Thank you all for the suggestion to start watching. Here we are again tonight watching episode number four. 

{Update after finishing episode four. My husband quickly says: "Please tell me one more. This show is just too good." We just started episode five ... }

We'll get caught up soon enough to chat more about ... This Is Us.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

{a perfect day} 18/31 #sol17

The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
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It was the perfect day.

After a full night's sleep, I woke up rested, stretched, ready for the new day. Time for just me in the quiet before the girls rise: prayers, exercise, reading, and writing.

The morning routine was in action with quiet, loving reminders. Smooth transitions from making breakfast, lunches-to-go, and catching the bus with only kind and helpful words.

"Love you Mom! Thanks for lunch! Have a great day! Happy reading with your kids!

A calm drive to school, walking in with only one bag, a smile, and a diet Coke. Greeting teachers and students in the hallway, sharing thoughts about the books read last night and swapping high fives and books too.

Meeting with small groups of students, celebrating little goals as we continue to progress as readers, writers, and thinkers. All day long book talking, thinking, laughing, and quiet time as we are surrounded by books.

Closing the day with time to refect, connecting with my teammate, and preparing for another amazing day tomorrow.

With plenty of daylight left, I leave to pick up the girls, meet Daddy at home, and head out for a walk to the neighborhood park. Enjoying the sunshine and fresh air.

We return home to make dinner together while squeezing in moments to dance and be silly together. Enjoy a delicious dinner sharing our highs and lows from the day. Time to relax and just be.

Daily chores of life begin: homework, dishes, little pile of laundry, papers, and cleaning up. Of course, the perfect ending to a perfect day: bedtime stories, snuggles, kisses goodnight.

Final hours of the day spent side-by-side with Jon. Talking, laughing, catching up, planning the future together. Maybe another book and a scribble in my notebook.

Prayers said. Thankful heart. Deep breaths. And eyes closed. 

Until tomorrow's perfect day.


Author's note: Nothing is perfect in this world. I participated on my district's principal interview team. One of the questions I had the pleasure to ask candidates was "Describe your perfect day." Oh, the looks and laughs I received: "That is a great question."

So, I decided to answer that question myself. Pieces of this day happen daily with and without the imperfections.

Friday, March 17, 2017

{too many tabs open} 17/31 #sol17

The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
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It's been one of those weeks.

My brain is full. 
I'm feeling overwhelmed. 
I'm tired. And a little crabby too.

I'm running around. 
In every different direction.
 Feeling rushed to get here and there.

Thinking about this. 
Oh, need to finish that. 
Forgot about this. Oops, got to do that.

It's been one of those weeks 
and I'm ready to order 
a new t-shirt for my woes ...

Or at least, my excuse for this week.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

{tale of TWO teeth} 16/31 #sol17

The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
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Once in awhile we just can't make it to the bus on time. Instead of stressing myself and yelling at the girls, I take a deep breath. (I learned this after one or two not-so-good attempts at rushing to catch the bus.)

"Finish breakfast and let's get ready for school. I'll take you this morning."

On the drive to school, I shared that I wrote about M. losing her tooth. I retold my slice, mentioned the wiggle, wiggle, push, push and the tarantulas.

"Mommy! No! You have to delete that part!"

"Oh no, it's important I share all the details," I responded, smiling at her in the rear view mirror. She embarrassingly returned the smile.

"Mommy? When I lose my tooth, will you write about it too?" P. inquired.

"Of course! I wonder when that wiggly tooth of yours will fall out."

P. shrugged, not sure when either. "Maybe after spring break."

Almost nine hours later ...

I picked up the girls at the after school CARE program. The moment P. saw me ...

"Mommy! Guess what? I lost my tooth today! But it cracked in half. I don't think the Tooth Fairy will want it." She tells me with eyes full of tears.

"Whoa. Slow down. First of all, congratulations!" I hug her.

P. smiled so I could see the big hole in her smile. "Thanks. But, Mom, it broke in half!"

"That's okay. No worries."  Miss Ann, the site coordinator for the CARE program came over to me.

"Oh, I need to talk to you. I don't know what happened, but her tooth she lost cracked in half. She was going to show it to me and then she was in tears. I told her the Tooth Fairy would still come and probably give her an extra toy or something. Don't you think?"

I politely smiled.

You see, last night M. put her tooth in her tooth pillow with a little note requesting not money, but a little toy. The Tooth Fairy responded ...

Tonight she will respond again. The life of a Tooth Fairy is tough. Especially when you encourage note writing ... 

This morning ...

P. woke up delighted to find a $2 bill and a note. Also, Miss Ann gave me some cute erasers and scratch off picture boards to leave as a little extra surprise for the girls ... from Miss Ann, not the Tooth Fairy.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

{tale of a tooth} 15/31 #sol17

The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
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M. has a loose tooth. Wiggle, wiggle. Push, push.

"Mommy, look!" She says as she shows me how she can push her tooth all the way forward with her tongue. 

It is just barely hanging on. Of course, right at bedtime she decides it's bothering her. Wiggle, wiggle. Push, push.

"Just pull it," I insist.

I can't.
I want to ...
Okay ...

"Then let it rest tonight. It will fall out when it is ready." I kiss her on her forehead and wish her sweet dreams.

Minutes later ...

"Mommy? I'm afraid there is a tarantula under my bed," M. quietly calls from the top of the stairs.

I walk over, look up at her and provide her with several reassuring reasons why I know for a fact that there are no tarantulas under her bed.

All the while ... Wiggle, wiggle. Push, push. She is wiggling that loose tooth staring down at me with those big scared eyes. I'm not sure if this is a delay tactic or not.

"Okay..." she reluctantly responds. And she's tucked back into bed, hopefully ready for some sweet dreams. I head back to the couch to read some slices.

Minutes later ...

"Mommy! I did it! I just decided to pull my tooth! It came out!" M. screams from the top of the stairs.

Startled, I jump off the couch, grab my phone because losing a tooth is a celebration. I always take a new picture. 

I stopped at the bottom of the stairs and look up to see M. beaming ... with a BIGGER gap in her smile.

This was Tooth #5.  Still as scary and exciting as ever! And we had sweet dreams ... without any tarantulas.

M. lost tooth #5 on 3.13.17!


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

{happy dreamer #loveforAmyKrouseRosenthal} 14/31 #sol17

The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
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I love story time before bed. It's quiet time together, snuggling in the big bed. The girls each pick a book to read and share. Sometimes I read. Sometimes the girls read. Sometimes they take turns ... Elephant and Piggie are perfect books for taking turns.

And this special time together gathered around books is never missed. Trust me. There have been busy evenings or late nights, and my husband may suggest we skip reading. Nope. We can't. It's part of their homework to read every night. (I'm happy to use this as an excuse!) And besides ... We want to read. We need to read.

Their book selections are far and wide.  Sometimes it's a library book from school they selected. Sometimes it's an old favorite from our bookshelf. Sometimes we read another chapter in a book. Sometimes I happen to leave a small stack of books on the table for them to find.

I did that yesterday. P. found them right away after she walked in the door from school. She didn't even take off her coat before she sat down and started browsing the stack.

"Oh, look at this one. I want to read this tonight," M. said as she picked up a book from the middle of the stack. I smiled because that's the one I wanted to share. Sometimes, just as I plan a read aloud at school, I plan for read alouds at home too.

The night before we shared The Friend Ship and That's Me Loving You by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. I shared with my girls the sadness in my heart for Amy and her family. Then yesterday I heard the news. It wasn't a shock because I knew it was coming. 

But it still hurts.

So, last night, I wanted to read Happy Dreamer by Peter H. Reynolds in memory of Amy and her continued happy dreams that will live on through her words and books. She inspires the dreamers in all of us ... 

"Dreamers have a way of bouncing back and moving forward." 

A gift in a tweet from Peter H. Reynolds. #loveforAmyKrouseRosenthal