About Me

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I taught for several years at a residential school for children with emotional disabilities before staying home after the birth of my second daughter. I returned to teaching, finished my Educational Leadership program in May of 2012, and now work as our district's Writing and Social Studies Coordinator. I have always loved writing and find constant inspiration from my family. Maybe someday, I will get to see my name on the cover of a book!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Slice of Life: Spoiler Alert- She was fine...

On Tuesdays, the community of Two Writing Teachers hosts the Slice of Life. Join the incredible community by writing a snippet of life, or even join with just a comment or two. Everyone is welcome!

This is my place where I write about personal and family events that happen in my life, as I try to keep my other blogs, Two Reflective Teachers and Two Writing Teachers, strictly relevant and related to the world of educaton. 

As I prepared dinner, I tried to keep my mind on school, students, my book, ideas for slices---anything except my newly licensed 16 year-old driving around dark, damp streets in her quest to find red knee-high socks for her Halloween costume. I had bought her socks the night before, but she had deemed my Walmart purchase too maroon, and she wanted brighter ones. She'd find them, she assured me. 

She had already called once to tell me she was heading to a different store since Party City had just sold their last pair. When my phone vibrated again with her face appearing, I answered. 

"Mom." 

I couldn't interpret her tone, but I paused in my onion chopping. 

"You're going to be upset," she said. 

I think my heart flipped twice. My legs definitely weakened. "What?" I asked.

"I didn't do well on my biology test."

My heart settled. The blood rushed back. I took a deep breath. 

"Cecily," I wanted to yell. "If you ever, ever call me and lead off like that when you're out with my car, I might have to remove all driving privileges for the rest of your life."

Instead, I said, "We'll deal. You scared me. Just get your socks and get home soon for dinner."

We had some good laughs when we (in person) talked about the impact of her call, and maybe her lesson learned was more important than anything she should have learned for that bio test. 

Happy Slicing,


Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Slice of Life: Game On, Game Off, Game On...

On Tuesdays, the community of Two Writing Teachers hosts the Slice of Life. Join the incredible community by writing a snippet of life, or even join with just a comment or two. Everyone is welcome!

"How can they think they're really going to play this game?" we all kept saying as we ate an early dinner and watched the weathermen track point to orange, red, and purple on the television screen. Those weathermen were having a great time talking about the thunder, lightning, and even tornado warnings. 

"They don't like to cancel college games," my husband said. "And both teams have to travel to Maine this weekend--"

Six o'clock came and went, and still no word from Julia that the game, scheduled for seven, would be postponed. 

Raingear? Check. Umbrellas? Check. Towels? Got them, too. 

As we pulled out of the driveway, it was pouring. As we got onto the highway, bolts of lightning flashed in front of us. As we made our way toward Middletown, texts from Julia started lighting up the phone screens. 

Not sure this game is going to happen, she wrote, a half hour before gametime was supposed to happen. Don't leave yet. 

"A little late," Garth said. 

Game canceled, she wrote. No, just kidding. Might still be on. 

Just when it was hardest to turn around on the highway, you guessed it. The game would be played tomorrow. 

We splattered and splashed our way home, windshield wipers at full speed. I had wondered when I'd get to write my slice, and I had my answer!

Happy Slicing,



Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Slice of Life: Yes, they surprised me!

On Tuesdays, the community of Two Writing Teachers hosts the Slice of Life. Join the incredible community by writing a snippet of life, or even join with just a comment or two. Everyone is welcome!

"Why don't you just come home?" I said. "You can be here in a few hours."

My daughter Clare had called. Her sorority-to-be is in some trouble so there were no social events or obligations over the weekend, and I knew that she wanted to see her oldest sister. Larkin had flown home for the weekend--her first time home since Christmas!

"Ehhh," Clare said on the other end of the phone. "I have a lot of work, and I can just get some rest."

I didn't push it. I was happy she likes school. 

Later, another one of the four girls called. She goes to college much closer to home.

"What's for dinner?" Julia asked. "I want to see Larkin." 

We'd all finished dinner, and we were sitting around the table when the front door opened and Clare walked in. I actually started to cry. They even caught my reaction on video. 

"I was already in the car driving when you said to come home," she said. "I just figured I'd surprise you."

Yep, she did. It was one of the best ever surprises, and SO much fun to have them all together for Julia's soccer game and more silly moments in the kitchen!











Happy Slicing,


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Slice of Life: A great start

On Tuesdays, the community of Two Writing Teachers hosts the Slice of Life. Join the incredible community by writing a snippet of life, or even join with just a comment or two. Everyone is welcome!

Truth: The first day of school didn't make me happy yesterday. The summer was great for so many reasons--it was good to meet some of my favorite friends for breakfast, though. Over coffee, pancakes, and omelets, we heard about summer highlights and shared laughs. With emotional college dropoffs still fresh and raw, we shared a few tears as well. 

The waitress approached with the coffee. "More for anyone?" she asked. 

As 8:15 loomed, we knew we had to head toward the high school, toward Convocation, toward the 2019-2019 school year. 

"We're set," we answered. "Just the check."

She returned not with the check, but with a silver business card. 

"This gentleman paid for your breakfasts," she said. "You've won the silver bullet this morning."

We looked at each other, then around the restaurant.

"He left," she said. "He just does this sometimes. If you want anything else, it's on him, as well."

Resisting the urge to stay in the booth and order mimosas, we thanked her, left an oversize tip, and headed off to Convocation. 

But what a great start to the school year. 

Happy Slicing,

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Slice of Life- Graduation was...cold!!!!

On Tuesdays, the community of Two Writing Teachers hosts the Slice of Life. Join the incredible community by writing a snippet of life, or even join with just a comment or two. Everyone is welcome!

"My expectations aren't very high," my second daughter Julia said, as we maneuvered through the airport. 

I nodded, trying to keep my own expectations in check. I put my arm around her. "I really appreciate you coming," I said.

Our oldest daughter was graduating from college, and she made it clear that she wanted her entire family there to celebrate with her. On one hand, it was a LOT to manage (and pay for). On the other hand, I loved that she's so connected. 

As it turned out, Julia gave up a lot to be there. Her friends from college decided they'd head to Boston for a Red Sox game. (Julia LOVES anything that has to do with sports.) They headed back to campus in time for some formals, and the weather in CT was reportedly beautiful. 

The weather in Michigan was NOT beautiful. In fact, during the 2 1/2 hour OUTSIDE ceremony, it snowed at one point. It was THAT cold. 

"This makes me REALLY want to make the post-season tournament," Julia said as we huddled on the bleachers. "The game should be around Thanksgiving in the freezing cold, and Larkin definitely HAS to be there."

Even though I'd have to be there too at another freezing cold event, I had to laugh. 

And then, there was another ceremony. At least it was inside, but after the first few graduates crossed the stage and said a few words, I realized those students were NOT representative of the class. EVERYONE was going to be saying a few words--some of them saying more than others. 

"I'm so sorry," I mouthed to my younger three daughters, Julia included, when I did the math and realized how long we'd be sitting there listening to about a million thank-you's. (Okay, maybe just a thousand...) For another two hours, we sat and listened to emotional graduates. 

By the next day, we were all mostly thawed, and Sunday's brunch was good food and a lot of laughs, but my hardest laugh was waiting to board the plane that would take us home. 

"I had really low expectations," Julia said. "The amazing thing is it STILL fell short of them."

Yep, sometimes that happens. She had to admit though, that we had a lot to celebrate just being us! And, truth be told, Larkin really was SO happy we were there. And, I'm pretty sure that we will NEVER have a colder graduation!

Happy Slicing,

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Slice of Life 2018- 31 of 31

For the month of March, I am participating in the Eleventh Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge. That means that I am writing every day for the month of March in the good company of the Two Writing Teachers community. 





“You will have a story in there. . . or a character, a place, a poem, a moment in time. When you find it, you will write it. Word after word after word after word.” 
― Patricia MacLachlanWord After Word After Word

How amazing is this line? More than anything else, more than any of the other writing I do-- and I do a lot-- the March SOLSC gets me to live these words from Patricia MacLachlan.

At the beginning of the month, I wrote about the slicing community feeling like coffee shop customers in that we all develop our posting habits in the same way people show up for coffee on their way to their daily life. I stayed consistent with my morning posts for just about the entire month, and every morning I commented on the three to five bloggers who posted before me. There were other people I commented on as well throughout the day, but it was fun to have my virtual coffee shop of bloggers to get there morning greeting. I'll miss them. I'll look forward to next year.

Last year, I wrote my top ten reasons for taking this challenge. This year, I am going to try to write my top ten take-aways:

  1. The law of magnetism works even in communities like this. I relate and react to people with similar posting habits and writing styles. I need to do a better job fighting this law of magnetism. 
  2. Less is frequently more. Kevin's six word stories were super powerful, and I can't say I read every word of some of the longer posts. (I apologize for the length of this one, and if you skipped the top to get to the list, I completely understand.)
  3. Everyone loves a list. They're easier to read, and they provide information to brains in more consumable chunks. Note to self. 
  4. The third quarter is tough for me in all I do. My attention wanes midway through, and I need the end to be in sight to regain my energy. School years, games, projects, SOLSC's...
  5. I love watching people experience this for the first time, which is something that's also true in other arenas. (Peg and Georgia, that one's especially for you.)
  6. When we write about positive experiences or we share with humor and insight, we get positive responses and usually feel positive energy. 
  7. People read fast and frequently miss key details, and this shows up within the content of a comment. I have to think about this. We live in a fast-paced world. Do we as writers work to make our writing less subtle, less clever? I think not. I think we smile to ourselves and think, yep, they missed that one. 
  8. I don't need structures or sentence stems in order to come up with slices (funny that I'm writing this within the structure of a top ten list) but I do need the element of time. Time to pause, to reflect, to decide, to write. And sometimes it's the first three that take more time than the writing itself. An important takeaway for teaching...
  9. It's really, really hard for me to write multiple projects. My work on my novel suffered this month, and my professional writing went down. However, I know when I return to them, I will be better at them because of this, as long as I keep my writing pattern. I will keep my writing pattern. (You read it here, and you are invited to ask me about it in a couple weeks/months...)
  10. See #2--here's a 6-worder: That's all for now. Write on.
I'm a better person because of this community and the writing I do within it. Thank you to all who are a part of it. 


Friday, March 30, 2018

Slice of Life 2018- 30 of 31

For the month of March, I am participating in the Eleventh Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge. That means that I am writing every day for the month of March in the good company of the Two Writing Teachers community. 



By Day 30, I thought I'd run out of things to say, thoughts to share, posts to write. And yet, even now as I sit at the keyboard, I'm debating between two very different posts. 

Dad, this one's for you. 

Lanny's beautiful post about his mother where he talks about the levy and its cracks makes this have to be for you. One of my first memories was heading to the levy in St Louis and learning the words to American Pie. We drove your gold Duster--I've written other stories about that car with the 'gator skinned-roof--and you told me to pretend it was a Chevy. 

Holidays bring out the cracks in my emotional levy. We'll have people for Easter, and I'll hide jelly beans around the house. I'll try not to hide in any in places where they won't be found. Mom used to find them for days after we got sick of looking for your more elusive candies, even though you tried to remember where they all were. "You're getting warmer---" a favorite phrase toward the end of the hunt.  The girls and their friends aren't quite old enough to hide a couple cases of ponies in the backyard like you used to do. Give me another couple of years, and I'll carry on that tradition. 

I'll see you later today. I'll bring a lily by. You used to walk in with too many to carry, and many of your shirts had the telltale signs of carrying lilies--those stamen stains really don't come out. I can't tell you I'll go to church--that was something I did only for you and only in your company, not in your honor. And I can't tell you that I'll go to Sunrise Service either, but I will wake up on Sunday morning before the sun rises, I have no doubt, and I will go outside, and I will think of you and greet you and miss you. 

Hard to believe that tomorrow will be the final post for the SOLSC 2018. 
Happy Slicing,