Today the news was pelted with another story about a shooting at a high school.  As I listened to the news I was driving between the grocery store and home.  I noticed that I drove past 4 schools, 1 high school, 1 middle school and 2 elementary schools.  I imagined all of the children nestled in their classrooms.  Earlier in the day parents rushed through their Monday routine to get their week off to a great start.

As the parents said good-bye to their children I am sure they all envisioned the safety of classrooms, classmates and faculty.  How could a world like this be shattered with senseless violence?  I cannot imagine the agony of everyone involved in such a senseless act. 

Our future is swaying in the balance right now.  Our children deserve a childhood filled with love and laughter.  Safety should not be a preoccupation for their active minds.  We have to be a better society.  Have electronics separated us from our children?  Do you know what your kids are thinking?  feeling?  Who are their friends?  If they are hurting inside, would you know?  Would you know what to do?

I want to strongly encourage all of us to reach out to ALL of the young people around us.  They need us.  Children need role models.  Children need love.  Children need the safety to blossom and grow.  Please take a moment and think about the young minds you encounter.  We can all make a difference…reach out.

Children are a blessing from God.  They are our future.  We can do this.


Spring Cleaning

When was the last time you really cleaned house? 

I am referring to the ritual of going through drawers and closets and getting rid of anything you haven’t used in the last year.  Have you done this within the last year?  By the looks of my drawers and closets – I am overdue to clean….by a long shot. 

I am preparing for graduation and the visit of many loved ones.  I look forward to hosting this event.  It is times like these that help us all to reflect, celebrate and yes….clean!  I have been sorting, painting and organizing for a couple of weeks.  Perhaps you are also going through this exercise this spring?  It is a lot of work however it has hidden rewards.

There is something therapeutic about sorting through items and taking the trip down memory lane.  I have many items that I look at and I can remember the event or circumstance associated with it.  Some of these memories bring smiles, others bring tears and the ultimate response tends to be – “wow, I didn’t know I still had this.”  Then the rush of relief and familiarity washes through my mind as I celebrate the “stuff.”

Spring cleaning and clearing is a great time to reflect and prepare for a new season!  I am grateful for all of the memories and look forward to many more.  Congratulations to the class of 2010.

Tears of Joy

My gratitude has evolved in to tears lately.  I wonder how many other people may be taking the same journey with me this year?

You see, my youngest graduates high school next month and I officially join the club affectionately called the “empty nesters.”  I have found myself reflecting quite a bit lately and the tears have flowed freely.  I look back on major events and not so major events in the lives of my kids and the memories warm my heart. 

You know the ones, the first day of school, the bout of chicken pox over Christmas break, beautiful crayon artwork for the refrigerator and so much more.  As the cliché says; time flies. 

It certainly has flown. 

I have traded the worries of childhood boo-boos for the worries of young adults.  What will the future bring for them as adults?  Have I planted enough seeds of faith in them to sustain them for the challenges ahead?  Isn’t this the mantra of parenthood? 

As we make final plans for graduation I will continue to embrace the memories and remain hopeful in their future.  If you look in the eyes of a graduate you can see the spirit that has made our country great.  The spirit that drives innovation.  The spirit to succeed, make a change and develop a new frontier.

Congratulations to the Class of 2010!

Grease is More Than a Word

My daughter performed in the play “Grease” this weekend.  I was amazed at the level of talent from this group of high school students.  The production was beautifully cast and it was an outstanding performance.  The music, colors and energy were captivating and uplifting. 

There are high schools throughout America going through this same ritual this time of year…..what a blessing.  High School Musicals are something to celebrate and lift up.  If you have the opportunity to participate in one of these events I would strongly encourage you to make the investment.  It will be the best time and money you have spent in a LONG time.

I am grateful for the spirit of youth.  They bless us with hope, growth and change.  Look in their eyes and you can see tomorrow……..WOW!

Road Time and Prom Dresses

Recently, I took a road trip with my teenage daughter. The destination was my alma mater – the University of Wyoming. I did not complete my degree at UW but it was the first step of my post-high school chapter. I also played volleyball at the school. I hadn’t been to the school in nearly 20 years.

We were both eager to visit for different reasons. We logged over 1100 miles in 72 hours to spend about 8 hours on campus. It was indeed a trip.

A road trip with a teenager prompts all sorts of interesting conversations and emotions.

We laughed, we squirmed and we sang. We also argued. It wouldn’t be normal if we didn’t.

Have you ever noticed when you are on a road trip as you get closer to your destination you become more agitated and impatient?

This is where is can get real interesting.

I decided on our return drive home, it would make sense to stop on the way home to look for a prom dress. The illusive prom dress. If you have not had the privilege of partaking in this search…you have no idea what you are missing. Can you hear my sarcasm?

Back to the trip. We have been cooped up together for 3 straight days, felt a wide array of emotions and now we are looking for the perfect dress. I had to pause during this search and laugh inside. I didn’t dare laugh out loud.

I realized that this would indeed be part of the fabric of stories for our future. I was grateful for our time together and am so hopeful for my children. I hope I have instilled the courage in them to pursue their passion. I know this is how they will make their greatest contribution.

It is with a full heart that I have written this piece. We did not find the dress. We survived our trip. I wouldn’t change a thing. Wyoming is one of the schools in the running right now. The future is SO bright.