Monthly Archives: June 2015


This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song…
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes because I’ve still got lot of fight left in me.

Fight Song ~ Rachel Platten

Have you heard it? Are you living it? If you are here and reading this now, you need to fight. Fight for your beliefs. Fight for others. Fight for love. Fight for your life. We aren’t necessarily talking about breaking out the boxing gloves, but we are talking about not going down without a fight. For whatever path you are on.

Hard work and determination can take you places – a lot of places on your winding path. I have spent the past few weeks watching my boys work hard at practice and play all over the countryside…and even yard work in the backyard. I get tired just watching them, but I never tire of watching them. They go all out – whether in an AAU game on the court or in the backyard on the court or pulling weeds for their crazy mother (aka – me).

It amazes me how deep all three of my sons can dig. From running and strength training (Jackson) to breaking boards to pass his second poom junior black belt test (Jonah) to pulling out his own tooth because his dad said that he couldn’t do it (JR) – my boys’ determination surprises me and impresses me.

JV PACE  Jonah jr boards   JR baseball

One example to share about my oldest … He has discovered intrinsic motivation this year at the age of 13. He has grown up to the point of becoming my cheerleader. We used to run together last summer, and he pretty much loathed it. Something happened. This summer when we run together, or rather, start our run together, he speeds off into the sunset and then runs in place while he cheers me on to catch up. He then proceeds to “fist-bump” me and say something to the effect of “Nice work, Mom. Keep it up. I knew you could do it.”

 JV T&F 4

What has happened here?  He decided to fight to be better than he was and change his mindset. He decided to put in the hard work and dedication to get better for him, not me or anyone else. I keep thinking to myself, “where did this new found drive come from?” He just made a decision to get better and work through his discomfort. One of the reasons I think he works so hard is watching his cousin, Carter, fight. He is fighting against Ewing Sarcoma. This life-altering fight has caused many of us to press pause and then push forward and fight harder. If Carter can do what he is doing with a positive outlook, we can do so much more than we did before.

TeamCarter                  Carterstrong

Sometimes life’s challenges can make us reflect on our lives and work harder to be better than yesterday. We just need a little motivation to get us past the initial discomfort and fight harder.

We need to motivate ourselves and each other. It is time to re-energize. To be able to do that again or to do it better or to try something new… It seems the opportune time to do so –summer, a break, a vacation – the perfect time to repurpose, reenergize, renew, and fight.

Work hard. Play hard. Fight. Repeat. Switch up the order as needed. This post has gone a little off its original course, but the moral of the story is to fight.



Stay Calm & Lead On!
Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.

How to Wage War Against Loneliness

BLOG Wendy & mom

Do you ever feel lonely? I do. Please don’t judge me. I have a husband who loves me. I have two delightful adult children who both have charming spouses. I am blessed with two adorable grandchildren with a third one on the way. I have friends. I have a profession that I am passionate about. And yet…I still get lonely.

Loneliness does not discriminate. Young or old, black or white, male or female, big or small…everyone gets lonely. Here is how defines this feeling that can sometimes overwhelm us: Loneliness: Depressing feeling of being alone.

Lonely wears different hats. Sometimes being alone is just what we need. Off by ourselves, praying or meditating or just soaking in the quiet. Sometimes lonely grabs us with her sharp talons and rips our hearts to pieces. Here’s how I became prey to loneliness:

Loneliness grabbed me with her piercing claws in 2004, and it has been a rollercoaster ride of remission, reoccurrence, remission, reoccurrence ever since. Once in a while I think I’m finally done with this silly feeling. And then…WHAAM, loneliness tackles me down again. Stupid stuff!

In the spring of 2004, my friend decided to turn away from our friendship and explore other options. We had been friends for many years and just like that, with no warning, I was excluded from her life. This rejection punched me in the heart and left a huge bruise mark shaped like loneliness.

That same spring also found my baby graduating from high school. She had made the decision to go to college far, far away. Off to Boise Idaho she went. The empty nest crushed my heart leaving it smashed to lonely smithereens.

Beginning in the summer of 2004, my husband had to travel more than usual for his job. He was absent from home two out of four weeks a month. His absence went on for several months and it left me truly alone. No one home. No husband. No children. No best friend. Loneliness slithered in and wrapped itself around my heart and suffocated me.

Thank goodness 2004 has come and gone. The lost friendship has been reconciled, the daughter has moved back to her home town, and the husband no longer has to travel. Still, loneliness tends to sneak back up on me once in a while.

When extreme loneliness begins to slither its way back into my life to smother my heart, I fight back. Here’s how…

*Reading my devotional each and every morning helps.

*Reading scripture helps.

*Praying about it helps.

*Talking about it helps.

*Journaling about it helps.

*Praying about it helps.

*Surrounding myself with those I love helps.

*Being active helps.

*Praying about it helps.

*Chatting with my Professional Learning Network via Twitter helps.

*Laughing helps.

*Praying about it helps.

*Smiling helps.

*Hugging helps.

*Praying about it helps.

*Walking and swimming helps.

*Getting OUT of the house helps.

*Praying about it helps.

If you ever feel lonely, trying one or all of the ideas above might be a good way to help you combat against loneliness. ~Wendy

How have you won the war against loneliness?

Stay Calm & Lead On!
Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.

Oh the Places You’ll Go…If Only

BLOG BelieveWith the flurry of graduations this past month, you were bound to hear some reference to Dr. Seuss’ well-known poem “Oh the Places You’ll Go.” If you are like us, you love Seuss and you find yourself thinking about where you have been and where you will go. How did we get here? How will we get there? Sometimes the path is filled with joy and fun. Sometimes the path can be down-right scary and treacherous.

Oh the places you’ll go if only… hmmm… how should we end that one? Dr. Seuss’ tells us, “Oh the places you’ll go with a head on your shoulders and shoes on your feet.” So now let’s think back to “Oh the places you’ll go if only” – how should we end that one since we know we have a head on our shoulders and shoes on our feet? There are moments we are unsure of the answer; we just know to keep thinking about it and trying new things. Have a little faith and believe.

We cannot live by our regrets, we can learn from them and grow from them and move on from them.

How often do we think or say or hear the words “if only I would have… But ”  Far too often we judge ourselves based on what we have failed to do or own or be in the past. As we look to the future we need to remember that our mistakes are in the past, and they do not define us but guide us to make better choices in the future.

So – what do we do? Here are our “6+ one adventure traits” to living the life you were meant to:

This summer – take time to smell the flowers. Literally. Life flies by and missing the flowers just won’t do.

Go somewhere fun.

Do something for someone anonymously.

Volunteer regularly without expecting thanks. This is different than the previous… join a group or organization to make you part of something bigger than you are alone.

Write a note to yourself and tuck it away. For now. Decide when you will take out your reflection or words of advice. Is it a goal that you set and met? Is it a big birthday? Think of it as words of advice to follow from the person who knows you the best – yourself.

Smile. It truly is contagious and makes everything seem okay – if only for a little while. That little while may be all it takes to look up.

Journeys and places – peoples and faces… Where will your adventures lead you this summer? You decide on what the +1 for life’s adventures. Only you can decide.

So whether you travel afar or just outside to the lounge chair, remember that only you can decide where to go and what perspective to have. So have a little faith and believe …and … Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Stay Calm & Lead On!
Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.

Do You Have a NEW Normal?

BLOG Jamie

My daughter, Jamie, turns thirty on Sunday. I know…not a big deal. We all have these milestone birthdays. So why do I choose to write about this special birthday of hers? Because my 30th was a major life-changer…for her and for me! And, it seems like it happened just yesterday.

I spent this crazy day back in October of 1989 at the Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD with this special daughter of mine. She was four years young at the time and was given the life sentence of Type I diabetes on my 30th birthday. And so began our new normal…

For a week, we lived in the pediatric wing of this hospital learning how to take care of our newly diagnosed diabetic child.

We learned how to give shots of insulin by practicing sticking the needles in our own bellies. Then we had to stick them in hers.

We learned how to test her blood sugar by practicing on our own fingers. The first time I tested her blood sugar, I missed her finger and caught her fingernail. My four year old cried and cried, and then said “I do it.” She’s been ‘doing it’ ever since. It brings tears to my eyes just writing about it. Sorry Jamie. I never meant to hurt you. I know you forgive me. 🙂

In case of an extreme low blood sugar, we learned how to give the glucagon shot by practicing on an orange. I never did get to the point of being able to do this. I always called the ambulance. I even joined the ambulance crew for a few years thinking that would help. It didn’t.

We learned how to squirt gel into the side of her mouth so the gel would absorb and enter her blood stream quickly to help her recover from low blood sugars. She’d bite her teeth together and lock her jaw when we actually had to use the gel during a low blood sugar. It was a lot easier when it was just practice.

We learned what a low blood sugar looked like by the nurses inducing a controlled low blood sugar by not letting Jamie eat. When they’d feed her to bring that blood sugar back up, she would inhale her food. She still does. 🙂

My daughter has grown to be a beautiful young woman. As she grew and went through life challenges coping with her disease, she learned to be in control of her diabetes, instead of her diabetes controlling her. Today, she is still in good control with her A1C’s being between 6.8 and 7.2. Excellent, proud of her!!

Jamie was an outstanding athlete in high school who worked hard, and then went on to Boise State University to play D1 volleyball. She is now head volleyball coach for her high school Alma Mater while teaching young adults with special needs. See! Diabetes can be controlled.

She was married last August, and yesterday began another ‘new normal’ for her. This new adventure will take her through education classes once again. These classes will teach her how to take care of herself. These new classes are happy classes. She is learning how to take care of herself as a diabetic mom-to-be. A miraculous NEW normal. 🙂

Ah, yes…happy 30th birthday, beautiful daughter. What a birthday present you’ve received. ~Wendy

 BLOG Wendy & Jamie

Stay Calm & Lead On!
Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.