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{a gift} #sos

  I read this new book: Grit for Girls and Young Women: Why the Most Difficult Challenges are So Important -- a gift from a dear friend to my daughters. She had no idea what those words did to me. Tears filled my eyes, succumbed to all the emotions of this spring and summer and the year of 2020. Especially, a summer of the not-so-relaxing, let-it-all-go, think-about-nothing kind of summer. But a summer of hearing data, growing concerns, and waiting. waiting. waiting. to hear plans for returning to school this fall. I guess I didn't realize how much I was holding in.  My ten year old daughter, Madison, walked into the room. "This book from Karen is awesome. I can't wait to read it with you. They are full of words that you need to hear, but I guess I did too --"    I caught my breath and asked, "Can I get a hug?" "Why? What's wrong, Mommy?" She pleaded as I walked over to her and we sat together embraced on the couch. I kissed the top of her hea
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{olw: peace} #sos

PEACE More than two-thirds through this year (thank God!) ... And as I was walking the other day, I started reflecting on my one little word for the year:  PEACE. We were vacationing in the beautiful state of New Hampshire as the new year began. I was enjoying some precious alone time riding up to the top of the green run at Crotched Mountain. (All the others were aiming for higher elevations.) Through the repeated quiet rides up, enjoying the crisp winter beauty, PEACE called to me. I wanted PEACE this year. I needed, required, desperately craved PEACE -- to slow my pace of life and enjoy some quiet, down time. And then take time to treasure these moments. Image Credit: @PositivelyPresent Well. Did God ever provide me with the biggest opportunity of PEACE , or what?!? Yes, there were many moments of chaos and stress, but I still held tightly to PEACE in my heart and in my home. The gift that we were given to be together for over two months as a family of four. To focus on PEACE o

{time away} #sos

This summer, as with anything in 2020, has been anything but usual. Days at the pool non-existent. Playdates with friends on hold. Camps delayed. One vacation delayed a year. Another vacation postponed until deemed safer.  But, thankfully, we did get away as a family for a week.  We are so blessed to have a family cabin in the woods in the middle of Wisconsin. We packed the mini-van FULL with AnythingAndEverything we may need (or want). Here there seems like there is nothing to do. Here we just get to be in the slow moment of time... We stayed up late and slept in until we stretched out of bed.  I stole moments to sit in the quiet and read.  We noticed the beautiful Monarch butterflies fluttering in the breeze.  I was in awe of the bright blue sky and puffy white clouds.  We hung out in bright pink flamingo tubes cooling off in the lake.  I enjoyed lots of walks with the dog on a new dirt road.  We bounced around in a UTV on the trails splashing in mud puddles when they presented thems

{tangled} #sos

Tangled i stare and wonder a tangled mess of cords and light bulbs where do i begin unraveling the twisted confusion i stare and ponder how this messy web resembles the heap of resources articles, blog posts, webinars, books suggestions overloading my brain from clarity i stare  and flounder not knowing where  to start unraveling this confinement knowing i just need to start doing the work i stare and consider starting at one end slowing weaving in and out taking my time carefully making knowledgeable decisions i stare  and admire the organization of streamlining of ideas as the lightbulbs are shedding light on new understanding

{the pile waited}

Image from Unsplash: Photo Credit Kimberly Farmer March 13th Before the world closed the doors indefinitely I made a quick stop at our library grabbed stacks (and stacks) of books and a few movies to entertain the family during the unknown months ahead. The pile waited -- I imagined enjoying my time at home, spending hours upon hours just reading with my feet up, living in a new book a day. But, for me, I couldn't focus. Fall into a book. Feel lost in another world. All my attention online had my brain dinging like a pinball machine. The pile waited -- The extended lease is up on all the library materials in 5 days. Now I am frantically trying to read and read and read in an attempt to move my to-be-read books to the finished, completed,  happily read and ready to return to the library pile. The pile patiently waited.  Some books will be pleasantly devoured. Some books will be a quick read.  Others will be returned with  a desperate plea to be checked out again. June 30th

Maybe Year 10 Needs to be Different: #cyberPD in 2020

#cyberPD Book Selections For a decade, #cyberPD has been an anticipated summer event to connect educators near and far in collaborative professional conversation. Through blogs, Twitter, and various digital media, participants share thinking around a common professional title featured for discussion. Though the main event is in July of each year, the conversations and connections carry across the year. Since #cyberPD's first event, we've grown from a group of less than 15 to a community of over 150 educators.   We have found this community to be powerful and the conversations have helped us grow in our journey as educators. These conversations have pushed us, made us uncomfortable, and allowed us the chance to see things from different perspectives. It’s amazing to think that #cyberPD was a pioneer for online book clubs and this community made it possible!   Yet, here we are today. When we got ready to “share our bookstacks,” COVID was in full swing and teachers were juggling

{should have}

Image from Unsplash: Photo Credit Jordan McQueen Right now, we {should have} been ... Enjoying the Hawaiian Islands A trip of a lifetime with family Celebrating 50 years of marriage and family Soaking up the sun on the beautiful beaches Sight seeing and observing island life Relaxing, laughing, sipping something good Flipping through the tourist books Balancing the busy hustle and the resting calm Making memories and taking lots of photos All this will happen. Just not this year. Not right now.  But Summer 2021. Watch out. We are coming for you. For right now, we are home. Dreaming about what {should have} been.