That's the one word that describes the weekend I just returned from.  (Okay, so maybe it's technically TWO words, but since it is hyphenated, that counts, right?)

After just returning home from NY State PTAs annual convention, I HAVE to sit here and get some thoughts down before too much time passes.  It was inspiring, exciting, motivating, and just chock-full of "aha!" moments where I was challenged personally.

To be fair, there was a point when I was more nervous than I cared to let on.  Being a part of the Resolutions Committee, this weekend was the moment when all of our team's hard work came to a head with our work placed in front of the delegates for discussion, possible debate, and hopefully their approval.  This was work that we began on this year's resolutions in June, and there may have been a collective breath of relief when the final update was accepted and passed by our membership.

However, when I wasn't in the Resolutions Zone, I was being …


I've always been a fan of the first day of school.   That day when the monkey children can no longer sleep in until the afternoon sun begins to pass over the house, and they manage to find 18,000 ways to do absolutely nothing all day.  Hey, I'll admit that I drop the ball every summer at providing structure and making sure my kids amount to more than mere slugs over their summer vacation. This summer proved to be no different, as the first day of school has snuck up on me yet again.  The past eight weeks flew by with little to no structure happening and 3 very happy slugs slugging their way through each lazy summer's day.
Today starts a new school year, and there's a certain level of excitement in the air.  We are no longer an elementary school household!  At our school district, the elementary years are K-5, and if you send your kids to our District PreK program, that's 7 years in the same building, multiplied by multiple's an eternity as an elem…

NYS PTA: Leading the Way

One day recently, I was sitting at my desk, watching the U.S. Senate confirm our current Secretary of Education.  A co-worker had come in, and she commented, "You know, some day Candy will be on the other side of that camera and we'll be watching her!"

Please.  Stop right there.  I have absolutely NO intention of becoming a political figure.

Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt (literally) and all...

If success is measured in whether or not a candidate wins, then I suppose it can be said that I have failed with my past experience in that arena.  I choose, however, to believe that success is measured in coming out on the other side as a better person.  And today I can look back at my relatively short-lived political experience and say that I did, in fact, succeed.  I haven't changed who I am.  I haven't walked away.  I haven't backed down.  I'm still out there looking to make change happen.

Over the past months, I've watched politicians from both …

Don't Blink.

I have these "mom moments" when, despite all the crazies of my life with three monkey children, one (or more) of them will do or say something, or have a moment when I'm stopped in my tracks, and I catch myself looking at the individual that they are becoming right before me.  At the same time, I find myself remembering the littles that they once were...and not knowing what happened to all of that "in-between-time".

My "mom moments" typically last all of 15 seconds.  Just long enough for the tears to begin to well up in my eyes as I remember with pride...and then I move on with life.

But somehow ...


First-born monkey child is 16 years old.  Officially closer to 17 than he is 15.  Not yet driving, but there are rumors that will be happening ... soon.


He's a Junior in high school.  When did that happen?


Today we're heading out for our first college visit.


This morning, my 15-second "mom moment" became 10 mi…

The Great Adventure

"Discover all the new horizons, just waiting to be explored. This is what we were created for.... Saddle up your horses, we've got a trail to blaze." **

Giddy-up, cowpokes!  I have just returned home energized and ready to dig in after a weekend at NY State PTA Summer Leadership Conference.  Added to that, it was a whole western theme, so I also have these images of cowboy hats and cowboy boots dancing in my head (so much for visions of sugarplums).
This year, I had my partner in crime with me.  She is the Thelma to my Louise.  In the past, we have travelled to New York City together for an eduction debate, and also attended New York State PTA Convention together.  When we travel together, the two of us will often brainstorm in such a way about PTA and what we can do better to accomplish more, and this trip was no different.  The two of us were in our natural element attending a weekend of leadership development and advocacy training with other like-minded PTA members.

Who I Am

A few years ago, I had made the decision to run for a seat on my local school board.   I made the decision. I was not asked to do it by anybody looking for their own end result. I was also not asked to run to counter someone else's decision to seek out one of the available seats. When I made the decision that I was going to pursue this, I thought hard and I prayed even harder. I always wanted to be certain that I was doing this for the right reason. The reason always being that I knew that I had a purpose that I was called for, and fully believing in my own children's public education.

Make no mistake, the loss of that election still stings.

I know that I'm called to advocate on behalf of children and public education.  I know this with every fiber of my being.  Certainly, there have been many times when I have closed up my computer and went to bed at night thinking I couldn't possibly read one more article, send one more email, make one more phone call...and yet t…

Mrs. D. Goes to Albany

There comes a time when you think you know what you're supposed to do in life, or when what you may do with your life when you finally grow up becomes clear and you actually get the opportunity to go out and do it.  When you've found what you're called to do, at least for this moment in time.

This past Monday, the realization hit me.  I've found my purpose.

Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to Albany to be a part of New York State PTA's Legislative Education Conference (or "LegEd" for short) and Lobby Day.  Given that I am the current Education Chair for my Regional PTA, and I've spent the past 4-5 years reading more education news from our state than I ever thought I would in my life, I anticipated the weekend with more than just a little excitement.  It seemed like a nearly perfect fit.

I say a "nearly" perfect fit, because I knew going in that there are a few areas where National PTA's position and my personal position just…