Monday, January 23, 2017


We all have opinions. We base them on fact, conjecture, experience, and hearsay.  But we all have them.  The difference between opinions today and opinions 10 or 20 years ago is that we all see each others opinions on social media.  Like my blog, or your Facebook post.

I have friends who have all sorts of opinions. Some I agree with, some I don't, some I really wonder where they got them from.  But we're all entitled to our opinion - that's what makes us all beautifully unique.  If we all had the same opinion on everything we'd probably all be pretty boring.

Which brings me to this past weekend.  The Women's March.

Based on my own Facebook feed I have seen it called amazing, enlightening, shameful, and pitiful.  Again, we all have our own opinion.  But I think some people missed the point.

This was not just an American Women's March on Women's rights.  This was not a Women's March against President Trump. This wasn't an abortion rights march or a pro-Planned Parenthood march.  Although these are some reasons that some may have marched.  But it was not the principal theme.

This was an International Women's March for ALL women for many, many different reasons.  Women and men outside of the US marched as well.  They were marching for politics, theirs and ours.  They were marching for equality, equal pay, and safety.  I read a great post over at that discussed the marches and some of the issues people were marching for in different parts of the world.

I've seen friends post asking why are we marching and calling attention to other issues in the world around us. Aren't the crimes of human trafficking all over the world a more important cause that we should be protesting?  Yes, those are horrible things and we should be doing more to stop them.

There are many positives and negatives in our world, we all have opinions on them.  And they really can't be changed all at once.  But each small thing we do can help lead to greater good.

Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. ~ Robert Kennedy
Read more at:

I applaud the people who are willing and brave to march to create dialogue and change.  I am honored to have friends with strong opinions that I might share or disagree with.  These conversations and actions have the ability for us to see there are more than one opinion.

What makes me sad is the friends who seem unwilling to see that there is more than opinion and that although our opinions may vary, they are the correct opinion for us.  And maybe the anonymity of social media makes some of us more vocal.  Although I know I have friends who will say exactly what they post. I know I am not alone when I can write that I've changed my opinion on many things over time because of experience, facts, or situations that have made me realize a different viewpoint.

So my summation is this: Be the change you want to see. Rather than complain about the actions of others, do something to be the change for good.  Be kind, be respectful, and agree to disagree.  Take positive action to improve the lives or situations of others in a non-violent manner.  You have an opinion - what can you do to create the change that you believe in?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2016 recap

Despite my best intentions, I did not get caught up on blogging during school vacation week.  In hindsight I have to wonder,.. why on earth do I think I will get work done or caught up on things when everyone is home?  Chalk it up to good intentions.

I did spend the week thinking back over the previous year.  I'm not pessimistic, but it wasn't the best of years.  We lost my mom to cancer and spent most of our summer driving to visit her in hospitals and at her home.  The world lost some amazing artists and we saw friends posting about their struggles or losses.

But on other side of the coin there were a lot of good things that happened in 2016 as well.

I was able to chaperone the PHS Band trip to Disney with Becca.  Becca applied to college and we all watched the mail come in.  She was fortunate to receive scholarships to her top choice schools and we watched her graduate in June.  In August we brought her to school and she loves college.  She finished the semester with great grades and today I'm driving her back for her winter semester.

Micaela had a small exhibit of her artwork at our local library and I think was very surprised by the positive comments she received on her work.  She interned for a week at a local art camp and her work is impressive.  We've been to 2 college tours and she was really impressed at one of the schools.

We've bridged from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts this spring and Jacob attended Boy Scout overnight camp this summer.  It was his first time away and surprisingly enough I wasn't too worried about it.  I think those boys wore the same clothes all week and he came home covered in bug bites (because bug spray makes an excellent flame thrower apparently....) and super happy.  He had a great time!  This fall I was able to chaperone a 3-day hiking trip with his class and was super impressed with him.  He lead part of the hike and was encouraging the kids who really didn't want to be there.

I posted on Facebook a few months ago that I've been a scout mom, sports mom, and band mom, and I've now become a dance mom.  Sophia started ballet this fall.  She's asked a few times over the past year and I looked into it this fall.  I gave her a choice of soccer or ballet ... and she chose ballet.  She really enjoys it.  She also began playing the saxophone this fall.

Despite the craziness of our summer we managed to fit in a 3-week camp job and some family day trips.  For a family that never really traveled before, after last summer's college tour vacation we've begun doing more family adventures for which I am very thankful.  While we will all grumpily remember discovering that the city we wanted to visit was not within walking distance of the train station, we did get to find the quirky small museum that was nearby.  We had fun on public transportation and visited some great places.

We had ups, downs, and a whole lot of in-betweens.  I've been reflecting on these for this past week and am really looking forward to 2017.  It can only get better.  I write that not from a place that says we're mired in a low spot, but that we will continue to move forward to the adventure ahead.