Silent Night...

It was December 14th, 2012.

On that day.... I spent the afternoon at my kids' school watching my 1st grader and his classmates perform their Christmas concert for all of my fellow parents and grandparents.  First and Second Graders were singing together, bringing joy into the season. I watched them all, recognizing many of the faces, probably able to name most of them if I really thought long and hard enough.

On that day...hundreds of miles away in Newtown, Connecticut, students were also at school with the excitement of Christmas being only days away.

I can't even begin to fathom 20 less angelic voices  than those that I heard at my school on that day.
On that day...there were elementary students in Connecticut who had spent the past few months making new friends who should've been friends for life as classmates.  At the end of the day they were left wondering why nobody ever told them about these scary, sad days at school.

...because these scary, sad days aren't suppo…

I can't believe he's back...

"The Elf", who is affectionately known as Jingles in our house, has been around for many, MANY years. He's a roly-poly sort-of elf, who shows up every year, looking like he has spent his time at the North Pole trying just a little too hard to channel his inner-Santa by growing a full beard that is completely out of control.  However, he has been part of Christmas with our family long before THE OTHER ELF was the cool thing to do - sometimes he can be uber-mischievous, and at other times, we hardly have even known he's around (or remembered, if I'm being really honest).

I woke up this December 1st, and made my way into the family room, and there he was.  (Like the creepy stalker that he is)

I had a discussion with him that these "lil' people" are now 18, 14, and 12...and MAYBE they had outgrown him and the need to be stalked watched over.  (I'm pretty sure a baby reindeer died at the North Pole when I said that)

I talked about how my kids are goo…

He's Yours.

I've been sitting on this for the past 7 days, contemplating how to pull out all of the thoughts that were filling my head and had been trying to claw their way out.  Yet each time I sat down and started to type, the thoughts were silenced, and my fingers hovered merely over my keyboard, not knowing where to go.

Sometimes it's a good thing to sit and ponder on all of those thoughts for awhile.

So I'm sitting here a week later, the thoughts are still here in my head, and I'm much less of an emotional mom-mess. 

Three weeks ago, my 18-year old FINALLY got his driver's license.  I don't care what anyone says, the first day that your child gets behind the wheel and drives off on his own...even when it is just a short distance away to his friend's house, you

Just.  Stop.  Breathing. 
And you don't start breathing again until the car has pulled back into the driveway (Heaven forbid, should an emergency vehicle drive by with lights and sirens blaring while your …

Dear Grandma

It was just five short days ago when I hugged you goodbye and told you I loved you.

Today I wish I could have just one more hour with you.

I think we should have tea, for you were the one to gift me my first tea set as a young girl.  I'm certain that it was probably mere water and crackers that we dined on outside on that sunny day for our impromptu tea party, but we "clinked" tea cups and raised our pinky fingers as if we were at a proper garden party.

However, knowing our shared love of family history, I would also take the opportunity to ask you to name every wife, every child, and every grandchild of all of those "Hulbert boys".  Lord knows, I've heard their names so many times in your house as you would update on how the family was doing.

But this time I would write it down.

I would listen intently as you relayed to me the Hulbert family that you've researched for years.  I know I've researched it too, but you were our original family historian…


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 …