Season opener

My children both grew up playing soccer, at first it was only my son, since he played on a traveling league. My daughter kept asking……..well, begging to play, and the answer was always no, because I couldn’t be in two places at the same time. With my son getting older and a couple of coaches asking if she could play, I thought it was time, and the answer was finally yes. My daughter was so excited; I clearly remember her the next morning, running and jumping onto the bed, proudly announcing she was a Northstar (the newest traveling league player), and was beaming from ear to ear.

The excitement and joy that filled her heart that day only grew stronger with each passing season. She became passionate about the sport and worked hard to be her best version. Her varsity high school coach confided in me that she was his most dedicated and hard working player he ever coached (male or female) and was voted MVP two consecutive years.

imageWhen deciding on colleges, she knew she wanted to continue to play. I was happy she made that decision since I loved watching. Unfortunately, she had to sit out her sophomore year due to an injury that resulted in surgery. It was a very emotional season watching her sit on the bench. Her heart was broken but, once we got past the season she had two more years to look forward to.

The start of her senior year, she was pumped to kick off her final season, and as usual trained hard all summer preparing for pre-season training. I was excited and yet sad this would be her last year. I spent many hours watching my children play soccer, and wondered what would ever take its place.

In her senior, season opener, the entire team was looking forward to getting underway. Hannah was in her element and falling into place in the midfield position, and having a pretty good opening game. Twenty-five minutes into the first half, her and an opponent collided and I see her go down. She was laying on the field, unable to get up, my heart sank and I wanted to run to her side, but in college ball, that’s not an option.

Her pain and heartache told me so much and all I wanted to do was tell her it would be all right, but I knew that would make matters worse. I offered her two loving arms, and a shoulder to cry on. After talking with the trainer, we made the decision she would come home and go to a well known specialist.  As the tears rolled down her cheeks there was little I could offer, and felt helpless as I fought back tears of my own. Her devastation felt like mine, and my heart ached for my baby girl.

imageAfter seeing the specialist, having an MRI and getting fitted for a brace, we were given a glimmer of hope, she might be back on the field in two to four weeks, but a follow-up appointment would hold more answers.

The appointment was worse than we hoped, and for the second time in two weeks her heart was shattered. Trying to make sense of it to her, I explained everything happens for a reason. It didn’t make it easier for her to believe or me to utter. As she headed back to school, I bravely wave, watch her pull out of the driveway, close the door and weep………for her broken heart, and mine.

As parents, we ache when our children hurt, no matter their age, and provide any advice we think might help. Even though I know this is something she must work through, I offer my love, support and words of wisdom. I’ll continue to cheer on her team and give any comfort she needs, while we wait for the final word if she will return to the field. The season opener won’t be long forgotten, but rather a reminder of the passion #7 has in her heart for the game.




While attending a conference in Las Vegas, it was clear to me that just about anything goes. The dazzling bright lights, glitz and bling makes it easy to get distracted; I am not a gambler by nature, but when in Rome…….!

The small group I went with ended up at a different hotel that was connected to mine by a casino. The first day we had some free time and planned on meeting for lunch near the pool, but I wanted to do a little exploring and I ended up at the casino. Having little to no gambling experience, it was a bit overwhelming. I noticed a slot machine that was flashing and sparkling more than the others…….the sign read……Diamond something or another. I sat down, and other than pushing buttons, I was not sure there was any method to the madness.

I put in my $20 and started pushing buttons, but it wasn’t clear to me on what constituted a win. I continued pushing the buttons as I watched my money dwindle……..then all of a sudden I hear a machine that is blaring and practically yelling…..I look up and it’s mine……’s so noisy I look around to see if anyone is noticing. It’s loudly announcing I have ten, and then another five free spins. At this point I have no control over the machine.

This goes on for what seems like forever, and I am a bit embarrassed by the noise as people start noticing; it finally stops and see I have won a little money, so I decide I’ll only spin a few more times. The next thing I know it’s happening all over……as it draws everyone’s attention again…….UGH!  I want it to end, at the same time I don’t want it to stop…….”Come on baby…..bring it on home!” As it settles down again, the machines around me fill in and everyone is hoping their games follow suit. After the third time it happens, I take my winnings and head to lunch……I was up by $13…….WOO-HOO!


Having the casino in between our group meant I was passing through often, and figured I had my winnings to burn so when I had a few minutes I would play. As you would guess, I lost it all and then some. Instead of being up by $13, I was down by $50. I came to my senses and fought the urge to gamble more away.

Since I am not a gambler, I was surprised at how easily I became sidetracked at the thought of winning it big. I became greedy, and instead of taking my small winnings and calling it a day, I watched it dwindle to nothing. I am not against taking chances, but want to be cautious on what is real and what is not. Glitter can be deceiving and most likely not as shiny as it first appears. The next time you’re dazzled by sparkle, fight the urge…… grateful for what you do have, in the end you’ll be thankful you did.



…..worth more than a thousand words

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I beg to differ; I possess two drawings that are worth so many more. When my children were in high school they both had the same art teacher, three years a part, and the same assignment…….a floral, pencil drawing.

When my son first brought his home, I was amazed at the beauty and lifelike characteristics of the flowers. He was always artistic, but to me it was exceptional. He was very proud of the drawing, and I knew I would have it framed. A few years later, I came across the piece again and wondered why I had forgotten, so I took it to a local framing shop.

Three years after my son brought home his artwork, my daughter brought one home equally as beautiful, and I  took it in to be framed as well. She was also proud of her drawing. In fact, my son and daughter have sparred back and forth several times throughout the years debating who is the clear winner.


They usually try to get me involved and want to know which one is superior. I always tell them…..”There isn’t a winner…..I adore them equally.” Even though they are completely different, I love them both for their unique qualities and distinctive shading.

imageLike the drawings, my children are varied in so many ways, one is a logical thinker, and one leads with the heart, but they are both smart, kind and have a wonderful, yet different sense of humor. One has great conviction and the other has determination; one wants to be eternally right and the other confidently knows they are. I could go on about their special qualities, and I might be a bit biased, but the bottom line is I think they are both extraordinary, and I couldn’t love one more than the other.

As parents, we nurture, teach, and encourage our children to become their best selves, hoping they share their special gifts and unique talents with the world. Just as the precious drawings hanging proudly in the living room are worth more than a thousand words……my children are cherished.




finding courage

Growing up, watching the Wizard of Oz once a year, was a family tradition.  I suspect many households did the same. I always liked Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion best, and of course Glinda, the Good Witch; mostly because she sparkled.  All three roles showed courage throughout the story.  Having fears, but being brave enough to challenge them showed the strength of their character.

Are there fears you are facing in your life? I confront plenty in mine, or should I say, I allow them to get into my head and self-doubt usually sets in. If I can turn that self-doubt into determination, things work out as they should, and I am reminded just how awesome and powerful it feels to conquer that fear.

This October I will be testing the strength of my character by going back to school to further my education in a six-month, life coaching program. It is something I have been wanting to do for the last three or four years. I am taking the leap of faith, and jumping into the deep end, and am saying “I will.”image

Glinda had the determination to go up against the Wicked Witch, the Cowardly Lion was able to find the courage within to rule his forest, and Dorothy had the power all along to get back to Kansas, she only needed to believe.  They were all able to confront their fears in the midst of chaos and uncertainty.

Next time you suspect you are being controlled by your own fear, search the power within, be bold, be brave; finding courage may be easier than you think.  Let go of fear and see what happens.