Slice of Life: HOPE #SOL18

Image result for hope

Hope is a concept that has come up several times over the last couple of weeks. At my FABULOUS Jim Knight training for coaching HOPE is an integral part of the IMPACT CYCLE for coaching. It is a HOPE that teachers and students can get better at what they do and learn.

Jim Knight says there are 3 attributes for hope:

  1. You need to aspire to some type of goal
  2. You need a pathway to get there
  3. You have to have agency – the belief you can get there

Anne Lamott also has a new book out called Almost Everything: Notes on Hope. She wanted to write a book about all the hopeful things she knew in a world that is surrounding us with negativity and hopelessness. I picked up this book from my library holds yesterday and cannot wait to dig in. Solinet is another author who has thoughts on hope.

Image result for hope anne lamott

What do you have to say about hope?

I hope to have an impact in my job every day. I have hope that the 8th grader I am teaching to read will continue to grow from his pre-primer level. I hope that the sense of peace and connection that has been nurtured over the past weeks will continue with my fellow coaches. 

“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.”– Samuel Smiles


Where is the Daylight Saved? #SOL18

bright daylight environment forest
Photo by Skitterphoto on

Routine is engrained in us.

We have the patterns we engage in because we love them and patterns we follow because we have to. Ultimately, I understand that the “have to’s” are a choice as well but we don’t want to have an accident or get fired.

Daylight savings time is a break in the routine that is out of our control. I read the articles about how certain states are trying to end this practice. I had read someone state it was expensive that I thought was odd. There are added wages for certain jobs because they work overnight. Doesn’t that even out for the company when we spring ahead though?

I am not sure we are saving anything – why is it called that? Yes, there is the sun in my eyes on the morning commute now and it is dark when I come home. I didn’t save any sunshine. It isn’t in a bottle that I can open when I need it. It isn’t in a Sunshine bank account that I can withdraw from.

I have said before:

Daylight savings time is JET LAG with NO TRAVEL

As always, in life and in teaching there are adjustments to be made. In a week, I will be used to the new routine, but I will still be searching for the sunshine.




Blogger Recognition Award




Thank you, thank you, thank you to Books, Life and Everything Nice for the nomination for the Blogger Recognition Award.

Definitely check out her blog! It is amazing!

The requirements for this award are as follows:


• Thank the blogger that nominated you

• Write a post to show your award

• Give a brief story of how your blog started

• Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers

• Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to

• Comment on each blog and let them know you’ve nominated them, and provide the link to the post you’ve created

books on bookshelves
Photo by Mikes Photos on

Why I started blogging:

I originally started blogging with the intent to connect with other educators that centered their main responsibilities around coaching practices. Then I realized that all the areas of my life feed the others and I talk about all aspects now – my reading life, my writing life, my fitness life, my family life, and my teaching life!

I offer writing conversation and book recommendations. I also have many random thoughts that end up as posts as well just about everyday life.

Two Pieces of Advice to New Bloggers:

  1. I feel like a new blogger still myself but my first piece of advice is to write what moves you. What you write is unique to you and you will find your readers. Don’t try to write to something you are not passionate about – we all will be able to tell.
  2. Branch out to find readers. I use Twitter and recommend it. Use hashtags to help you find your tribe.  #bloggerstribe #bloggerssparkle #bloglove are ones I use.


My Nominees for the Blogger Recognition Award

There are so many wonderful bloggers out there that I read every day. Here are just a few of the amazing people, whose content you should check out. Thanks for being you!


About the Blog


NANOWRIMO Update: 9,007 words! So excited! Worried already about the finished manuscript for some reason…






Simply Tuesday #SOL18



My refrigerator masquerades as a freezer in my office. It likes to pretend. This is normally helpful for quickly making my Diet Coke cold or keeping “emergency” lunches on the days I forget to pack my sustenance.


It is not a good thing when you forget you had an extra can of DIET COKE in there overnight. When you open the fridge to enjoy the frosty beverage you find frozen coke all over the bottom and a bulging can that looks like something from a horror movie.



Then you kick yourself for being in a hurry the afternoon before and not remembering to take the can out of the fridge to avoid this situation.

Oops…I am more upset I lost a can of Coke rather than the mess!





The Real Neat Blog Award!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

real-neat-blog-award.png (864×540)

Thank you to for the nomination!

The ‘rules’ of the Real Neat Blog Award are: (feel free not to act upon them if you don’t have time; or don’t accept awards; etc.):

1. Put the award logo on your blog.

2. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.

3. Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.

4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.

5. Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog etc.)


My seven questions are:

1. Where do most visits to your blog come from?

WordPress reader and Twitter

2. What is your favourite sport?


3. What has been a special moment for you so far in 2018?

Our family rented a boat and went tubing with the kids. It was a great day on a lake near where we live.

4. What is your favourite quote?

“When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” Maya Angelou

5. What was your favourite class when still at school?

English – hands down. Reading and writing – oh yes!

6. Anything you had wished to have learned earlier?

That IOWA was the mecca of MFA’s …and what an MFA even was!

7. What musical instrument have you tried to play?

The violin! I played from 6th grade to 12th grade. I almost played in college but intentionally chose different activities in my college experience.

My nominees are:

Melanie At Home

My Best Friend Adeline


Are you a Genius? #SOL18





This is the year I will start programs for students.

I started Genius hour yesterday with a group of 7th graders.  My school moved to block scheduling this year which allows the opportunity for remediation and enrichment with students during an Impact time. I am taking advantage of this time opportunity!

I conducted a writer’s workshop a few weeks ago which was successful and took place during a consecutive 5 days. Genius hour will take place over 6 weeks. The group of 10 students meet once a week to work on their projects.

I introduced the concept to the students last week and they were able to sign up. No one had heard about the idea before I spoke about it but they were very excited it was inspired by Google. I told them a few facts and then listed several ideas of projects that could think about.

Genius hour is time for students to pursue a personal interest, make something, and share it with the world. It could be a program, a blog, a game, a video, or anything they imagine. It can solve a problem or showcase a study.

Yesterday’s agenda:

  • Video 
  • Brainstorming
  • Joined Google Classroom
  • Read aloud: The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spears
  • Discussion about perseverance and making things that don’t look like what is in our heads
  • Students took 16 personalities test


Cover art

This is another video I found helpful about general concepts about Genius Hour.

Results of day one:

  • One of my students wants to make a motivational video to share because she feels it is needed. She is thinking about staging it like a TED talk.
  • Several students are thinking about starting programs or clubs for their fellow classmates
  • Several students are thinking about starting fundraisers for local community organizations
  • One student is thinking about a photography project.

They are all THINKING and wanting to CREATE! It was a glorious day and I cannot wait to see what the end of 6 weeks looks like!

What have you created today, no matter how small?


Weekend Coffee Share



It is Sunday! I am so glad we are meeting for coffee again! Two weekends in a row and I am looking forward to a lovely time.

It is October so I think my first coffee will be a pumpkin latte just to celebrate the season! I will have dark black coffee after that. I imagine our conversation will be at least a 3 cupper today.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I really miss the Chile Mocha from Starbucks. I have put the drink in a couple short stories too! I know it is discontinued but I wish the company would bring it back.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I have been able to sleep a little more this week. I am getting used to the new house. It is slowly becoming more like home. I was struggling with this a bit this week and my husband reminded me we did a lot of work with the other house months before we moved in. We removed carpet, tile, wallpaper, and junk. We tended to a garden before the renovations were complete. We did have lovely tomatoes and lettuce that year!

If we were having coffee I would ask if you heard Kelly Link was awarded a MacArthur Fellows grant. I am so excited she is honored in this way! I love her short stories as you know. I found out you cannot apply for this award.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I had to replace tires AGAIN on my car. The tire place was quick about it and I didn’t have to sit there for hours so that was a nice surprise. I have to get them aligned now next week.

person holding cup with coffee
Photo by samer daboul on

If we were having coffee I would ask you what was the most surprising thing for you this week?

If we were having coffee I would ask you what you are looking forward to in the coming week? My fall break is coming up and I am excited to be able to stay at home. No work means no driving. That makes me happy.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am writing every day. I am working on a loose outline for NANOWRIMO. I have been writing every day for the five-minute challenge. I have obviously not been posting my end piece on the blog but I assure you it is insightful and worthwhile.

I am glad we met today! I am looking forward to hearing your surprises and what you are looking forward to.


10 Fall Questions

autumn autumn leaves blur close up
Photo by Vali S. on

Thank you to Rambling Woman for the nomination! She knows I love a list…especially a list of questions!


1.  What is one candle you MUST light every fall?

Apple cider candles! I recently found out about roasted marshmallow scent which I will be picking up.

2. When you think of fall, what does it remind you of?

When I think of fall, I think of cooler temps so I can wear sweatshirts! They are my favorite especially right out of the dryer.

3.  What is your all-time favorite fall/Halloween movie?

Hocus Pocus. Yes, I’m definitely following the masses with this one.

4. What Halloween costume do you have in mind?

I think that I want to be a classic witch this year!

5. What is your favorite fall trend?

Boots and long sweaters with jeans.

6. When you think of fall, what drink comes to mind?

Hot coffee – always. There was a Chili mocha drink at Starbucks last fall I adored. I need to check if they are bringing it back!

7. What is your go-to fall beauty product? A must-have staple!

Vaseline – for extra dry spots and for chapped lips. It is simple but necessary.

8. Do you prefer apple pie or pumpkin pie?

Pumpkin pie! I love the pumpkin pie Blizzards from Dairy Queen too!


9. Do you have any fall traditions? If so tell us all about them!

Going to the local apple orchard and eating many (probably too many) apple cider doughnuts. I also love to take runs down the trail where all the leaves are changing.

10. The moment of truth, is fall your favorite season?

It is not. Winter is. I love the snow outside and sitting in front of the fire.


Tag 5

The second step to this post is to tag five fellow bloggers to tackle these questions if they choose to do so. Here are five blogs I enjoy reading:

Therapy Bits


Sparkle and Style




Follow the White Rabbit #SOL18

selective focus photography of white rabbit
Photo by Tejas Prajapati on


One of the philosophies I try to live by is

Follow the White Rabbit: Be Brave.

What does this mean to me?

It means that I need to allow myself to follow the unknown even if it takes me into Wonderland.

It means that I need to move out of my comfort zone INTENTIONALLY.

I believe that fear is somewhat imagined. Our brains like to work ahead about what MIGHT happen. It is the same rabbit hole we can go down with the idea of what we SHOULD be doing. I have to not allow this thinking to stop me from experiences and knowledge that will make my life richer.

Great moments cannot happen if I refuse to experience them.

Yesterday I was interviewed for a podcast I listen to regularly. It is going to air in February so I will be posting that information later but it was a white rabbit moment for sure.

I am starting several programs at work that I am excited about but there is an element of the unknown. The potential for greatness is vast.

Following the white rabbit means I have to pay attention to opportunities that are presented to me – I cannot let them pass me by because I hesitated.

Where will you follow the white rabbit?







FMF: Share


Thank you to Kate for hosting the 31 day FMF challenge!


It is my responsibility to share my knowledge with others.

It is my responsibility to share my experiences to inspire or help others.

When I encounter people within my day,  I need to make a conscious effort to share kindness. The idea of kindness has come up in the sharing in meetings lately which is why it is on my mind. It is a concept so many of the students do not understand because we do not use the word. They understand nice because we use it, but not the term kind. With the popularity of the book and movie Wonder there was a little more spotlight shed on the concept, but it needs to be massaged and encouraged.

Today I have to share my understanding of a concept for people that have a different viewpoint than me. We have to come together to make it work for the betterment of everyone. I am bringing doughnuts to help sweeten the journey.

How will you be kind today?