Tag Archives: lisa jo baker



Once in awhile I participate in Five Minute Friday.  The idea is to write for five minutes flat with one word as an inspiration and to share the blog with others in a blog share.  Today’s prompt is BEGIN.  Appropriate for the first day of a new month.  I find myself turning to Five Minute Fridays on days where I need to find inspiration to write.  I often come to days like today where I feel uninspired and not sure of what to write about.  I write a lot about life and it seems rather ordinary so on those days where nothing exciting or interesting has happened, beginning that new blog for the day, is a struggle.  When I began this blog 19 months ago, with the intention to write everyday for one year, I never could have known where or how it would have turned out.  Today, I have just under 92,000 views.

For some bloggers who are able to reach huge audiences and have advertisers and many followers, this might not seem like much, but for me – when I began with the intention of just spreading kindness and perhaps inspiring others – it is something I could never have imagined.  I didn’t even know if I’d be able to maintain writing for the entire year but I am so glad I did and I am glad that I was encouraged to keep writing.

Belong #fmf


It has been quite some time since I joined in on a “Five Minute Friday.”  This week,  Crystal Stine is hosting in Lisa-Jo Baker’s online absence.  The idea is to set a timer for five minutes and write. This week’s prompt is “Belong.”

Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.
-Brene Brown

I read a beautiful excerpt on the difference between “Fitting in and Belonging” by Joel Readance who was referring to Brene Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection.

In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene provides two lists of attributes (or patterns) shared by the thousands of people she collected stories from as part of her research. The first list, she labeled “Do”, and it characterized people who enjoyed a strong sense of love, community and connection. These people were able to embrace their imperfections and vulnerabilities and share them with others. Their shared attributes included worthiness, faith, hope, authenticity, love, belonging, joy, gratitude and creativity. Good stuff, right? When I think of the “Do” category, I envision people who are loving and accepting of themselves and others, grateful for what they have, plugged into their purpose and not afraid to make mistakes.

The second list, she labeled “Don’t”, and it characterized people who denied their imperfections and vulnerabilities and tried to hide them from others for fear of judgment and rejection. Their shared attributes included perfection, exhaustion, self-sufficiency, being cool, fitting in, judgment and scarcity. When I think of the “Don’t” category, I envision people who put up airs to seek approval and acceptance, operate with a lack mentality and judge both themselves and others.

I think that my blog has given me the courage to be a part of her “do” category.  I have learned to embrace my imperfections and vulnerabilities and share them with others- from people I know intimately to complete strangers.  I feel that I try to emulate so many of those attributes.  The definition of lonely is sad because one has no friends or company” Synonyms are, isolated, alone, friendless, lonesome.  Loneliness is the complete opposite of what I like or want in my life.  Having a lot of friends doesn’t always give a sense of belonging, but having strong friendships with people accepting of me and of themselves is what makes me feel like we actually belong together.



#FMF Paint

play mr rogers

It is Friday.  Another Link Up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday.  The day were a group of bloggers come together to write, for five minutes about the same word.  Five minutes is all we are allowed.  No editing.  Just writing from the heart.

o now on Fridays a group of people who love to throw caution to the wind and just write without worrying if it’s just right gather to share what five minutes buys them. Just five minutes. – See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/five-minute-friday/#sthash.gD7vugWO.dpuf
o now on Fridays a group of people who love to throw caution to the wind and just write without worrying if it’s just right gather to share what five minutes buys them. Just five minutes. – See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/five-minute-friday/#sthash.gD7vugWO.dpuf

Today’s word is PAINT

Paint?!?!  What could I ever write about paint?  My house is in dire need of being painted.  I have the colors chosen now to get the money to do it!!  But five minutes to spend on the color I want to paint my house?  Definitely not going to happen.

Paint. Painting.  I wish there was more time to do it in Kindergarten.  With the rigors of the curriculum, squeezing in that “fun stuff” gets more and more difficult.  I have an easel in my room and plenty of paint in a cupboard.  The fifteen minutes I have carved into each day  for playtime, is barely enough time for Legos and blocks never-less paint and sand.  Paint has been pushed to the wayside.  We take out our water colors now and then for “Crafty Thursday” but colorful, messy, big paper, big brush painting just doesn’t get to happen anymore in my classroom.  There were so many days in the past that I’d come home with paint on my clothes and under my fingernails.  Not anymore.

Do the kids miss it?  Maybe.  Do I miss the mess?  Not really, but I do miss the creations that used to be displayed around my room.   The creativity still flows in my classroom. I have a “Creation Station” with dot paint and craft supplies and when it is open for free play, it is one of the most popular places in the room.  I want to work in more time for them to paint and create – the challenge is where to find it in our days already filled with all of the academics!  We need to remember that these kids are still only five and six years old.  In diapers only a few years ago yet now expected to write and edit their own work!!  It makes me so proud to see the transformation that these children make in the ten months we are together.  The growth is remarkable but at the end of each day, as they run out onto the playground after school, it is evident just how important play really is to their development.

#FMF Joy


Another Five Minute Friday with Lisa Jo Baker.  Today’s word is JOY and to be honest, I looked this morning to see what the word was, knowing fully well that I had a really busy afternoon and evening and wasn’t sure I’d be able to get it done.  Usually, when I do a #FMF, I just check out the word and write.  Today, I thought about the word throughout the day.  Honestly, I feel joyous most of the time.  Today after school, we had a get together with our faculty.  I talked a bit about my blog and told them that tonight I was meeting some friend’s for dinner and that I had to get home to get my blog written before I went out.  We rarely stay out late, but I wanted to be sure it was done before we left.  I told them about today’s topic and we decided that each of my coworkers would tell me what joy means to them.  So today’s blog is written by all of us…..

“What joy means to us…”

  • Snuggles in the morning
  • Dancing
  • sleeping late on a Saturday
  • Great sex followed by chocolate
  • “Bar” modeling and popcorn
  • Colleagues that are also friends
  • Laughter
  • “Life is better when we are laughing”
  • Being at peace with yourself
  • Family
  • Friends

That really seems to sum it up!!  The joy we all felt tonight was evident as we sat around the table. We got to spend a few hours together today after school and it was so nice to see a different side from our “work side” and it was really a joyous and fun time.  My heart is filled with joy knowing that I am privileged to work in a place that makes brings me so much happiness –  and for that , I am grateful.



It is Friday.  Another Five Minute Friday blogging day. A good day for a five minute blog because it is one of those busy days we all have now and then, and I am not sure when I will find the time to sit and write today if I don’t do it now.

Today’s word is CROWD:

Growing up, I was petrified to speak in front of large crowds.  I took everything in  me to just stand up in class and read aloud to the rest of them. My teachers would prompt and plead with me to “speak up” and raise my hand more.  It was always written as a comment on my report cards.  It lasted through college.  Presentations were so difficult.  It took all I could muster to just get up in front of all of them.

Many people who know me now, might be surprised to hear this, because today, I am quite different.  Although I might feel butterflies right before I have to speak in front of a large crowd, I actually have begun to enjoy it.  Maybe it is nearly twenty years of practice in front of a classroom.  Although, an audience of children is far less intimidating than one of my peers…most of the time!!

I had assumed that getting up to speak at my mother’s funeral as I read her eulogy was going to be nearly impossible for me.  Yet, as I stood in front a packed church in front of hundreds of mourners, I saw faces, filled with compassion and all of those fears left me.   I actually made it through the whole thing without my nerves getting the best of me.  When my voice began breaking towards the end, it wasn’t because of nerves, but because of the incredible love that was radiating through the church.  I know that my mom would have been proud.

Small #FMF

Once again I am linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker’s blog for Five Minute Friday (FMF).

The rules are you write for FIVE minutes and that is it.  Then you link up with other bloggers who have done the same.

Today’s word is SMALL:



My 12 year old son Drew, HATES the word.  Being one of the smallest kids in his grade is not fun, especially for a boy!

He was born small, under six pounds.  For years, every doctor’s appointment found him in the 10th percentile for height.  Even now, in the 6th grade, he is under 70 pounds and complains about it regularly.

About four years ago, we even took him to a specialist to make sure he was growing “properly” and after a year of monitoring, it was determined that he was.  He is just going to be on the “small” side.

He comes from a family of fairly small people~ I am just about 5’2″ and that makes me taller than my sister and one of my brothers.  My mom was only 5 feet tall and my dad is under 5’9″ which is about Dave’s height.

Surprisingly, my youngest brother is 6’2′!  We are not sure where that height comes from, but it looks like my older son DJ is taking after him.  His feet are far from small, already at a size 13!  This makes it hard for Drew too.  DJ towers over him but fortunately he would never make it an issue for Drew.  It is Drew who has a difficult time with it.

Thankfully, for what Drew lacks in size, he makes up for in personality because there is nothing small about that!  He makes us laugh nearly everyday!


Time for my second Five Minute Friday post:

Here are the rules:
1. Write for five minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back to Lisa Jo Baker’s blog with the rest of the Five Minute Friday-ers.
3. Comment on the person who linked up before you.

Please join us!

missing someone

Today’s prompt: SEE

Nearly every night, before I fall asleep, I say a quick prayer to my mom asking her to come see me in my dreams.  Once in awhile she shows up.  Not very often though and rarely in the way I want to see her.  It has been nearly ten months since she died and I miss her dreadfully.  I didn’t see her daily, but we talked… and talked… and talked… probably three times a day and living less than two miles from each other, my kids, who I know miss her so much, saw her just about everyday.

Everyday, I see things that remind me of her, or make me want to pick up the phone and call her.  I will be driving, or walking, or…..doing anything when a memory of her comes back and actually makes me catch my breath.  Is that normal?  I don’t know.  Before she and my sister-in-law Francine died last year, I really was fortunate to not have to deal with death very often in my 43 years.

There is a commercial that I see nearly everyday.  I hate it.  I understand the reason for it.  It is an anti-smoking advertisement.  It shows a man sitting in a chair, struggling for breath, attached to an oxygen tank.  It truly hurts my heart to watch it, knowing that my mom was dealing with this on a daily basis and she was NOT a smoker.  She was just unfortunate enough to wind up with COPD, (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.)

So for now, I will keep asking her to come and see me, and when I picture her in heaven, I see her with her mom, Francine and all the people she loved that went before her and I see her breathing – unattached to hoses and breathing tubes, and of course, she is smiling.

One of those days


Tough day.

I know we all have them.  Today mine consisted of another headache, (yes, they are still here), arguing with my health insurance to get an MRA covered – battling with doctors to see which one will finally give me the order for it to go through.  Canceling the MRA for the SECOND TIME since doctors could not work out who would give it the okay.

Making sure our family schedules worked out so that both boys and I could make it to our dentist appointments on time, while arranging a ride for Drew to get to his baseball game so that I could get to the (NOW CANCELED), MRA.

It really was just one of those days, so as I sat down to write today’s blog –  with every intention of being negative since that is how I am feeling,  I read this on Facebook and had to remind to myself to “remember the little things” and let this pass because it will eventually all work out.

I must give credit where credit is due, so although I found it on facebook, I did some research and found the site: http://lisajobaker.com/  http://lisajobaker.com/2012/06/encouragement-for-tired-moms/

For those days. You know the ones.

Repeat after me:

1. I shall not judge my house, my kid’s summer activities or my crafting skills by Pinterest’s standards.

2. I shall not measure what I’ve accomplished today by the loads of unfolded laundry but by the assurance of deep love I’ve tickled into my kids.

3. I shall say yes to blanket forts and see past the chaos to the memories we’re building.

4. I shall surprise my kids with trips to get ice cream when they’re already in their pajamas.

5. I shall not compare myself to other mothers but find my identity in the God who trusted me with these kids in the first place.

6. I shall remember that a messy house at peace is better than an immaculate house tied up in knots.

7. I shall play music loudly and teach my kids the joy of wildly uncoordinated dance.

8. I shall remind myself that perfect is simply a street sign at the intersection of impossible and frustration in Never Never land.

9. I shall embrace the fact that in becoming a mom I traded perfect for a house full of real.

10. I shall promise to love this body that bore these three children out loud, especially in front of my daughter.

11. I shall give my other mother friends the gift of guilt-free friendship.

12. I shall do my best to admit to my people my unfine moments.

13. I shall say sorry when sorry is necessary.

14. I pray God I shall never be too proud, angry or stubborn to ask for my children’s forgiveness.

15. I shall make space in my grown-up world for goofball moments with my kids.

16. I shall love their father and make sure they know I love him.

17. I shall model kind words to kids and grown-ups alike.

18. I shall not be intimidated by the inside of my minivan this season of chip bags, goldfish crackers and discarded socks too shall pass.

19. I shall always make time to encourage new moms.

20. I shall not resent that last call for kisses and cups of water but remember instead that when I blink they’ll all be in college.

… with love from one tired mother to another