Spotting My Daughter’s Smile in a Crowd Makes me Happy

I love that my daughter’s school uses Class Dojo to share events and classroom memories. But last week’s memory was extra special. For the first time in two years, I spotted Quinn’s smiling face immediately. She didn’t blend in with the sea of children wearing masks where I had to zoom in to find her. I immediately spotted her in the middle of the third grade crowd holding with a peace sign in the air with a huge smile on her face.

Most recently, her school made the difficult decision to make masks optional. Since Quinn is vaccinated, my husband and I allowed her to determine if she wanted to keep wearing a mask. She opted not to but said she wants to carry one with her just in case.

Though I blurred out the faces of the other children for privacy purposes, they all looked so happy, and it practically brought tears of joy to my eyes to see all of their smiles. Is the tide officially turning? I hope so! These children are so resilient and been through so much. They deserve to have some fun without constantly worrying about all that came with the pandemic. We all do! Here’s to seeing everyone smile big in the weeks and months to come! 😁

All the best,


Kindness “Rocks” with My Daughter

“I have some ideas of where to put mine, Mommy,” my daughter excitedly told me as she continued painting. “How about the park? Plenty of people, especially kids go to the park!” While on social media, I saw a post from my township encouraging citizens to place “kindness rocks” around town in public places for people to find, and I thought it would be a perfect activity for my daughter and me to not only bond but to spread some kindness and positivity.

To get started, we selected rocks my husband had for a landscape project and then decided on colors for our rocks. Quinn wanted pink, her favorite color, a light blue that’s like the sky because it makes her happy and a mixture of pink and blue to look like a “space” rock. I used royal blue, one of my favorite colors, green, orange and a nice bright yellow.

“I already know what I want one of my rocks to say, Mommy! Be yourself because some people are afraid to be themselves, but they should be proud of who they are!” Quinn informed me. I was very impressed by the wisdom of my seven year old because even adults (including me) sometimes struggle with simply being themselves and being happy with that. I decided on, “You are special” for one of my rocks because oftentimes we must remind ourselves that we “are” special, and it’s a message I want to make sure my daughter always remembers.

People locating our rocks around town really fills both Quinn and me with joy. We’re both hoping they attract those who’ll benefit the most from our positive notes and that they will possibly decide to create their own kindness rocks for Quinn and me to find on our daily travels!

All the best,


On the Fifth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Feeling of Gratitude for Having a Healthy, Happy Family!

On the Fifth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Feeling of Gratitude for Having a Healthy, Happy Family!

Last year on this exact date, my little girl was very ill, so ill that she was hospitalized through Christmas Eve. It’s an experience I never want to endure again, so when she said, “I hope I don’t get sick like last year,” it made me think about how grateful I am for family and friends.

This year, over thirty close family members and friends came together for our annual holiday party, and we all had such a wonderful time playing games, eating food and tasty treats and simply enjoying each other’s company. My six year old had a blast as she navigated the room giggling and having big fun with her cousins.

Yes, it’s nice to get and give gifts, but the gift of health and happiness of me and my family and friends far surpasses anything I could ever receive. I truly am grateful that my daughter is well this year. Sometimes, we all get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, so I’m so glad my family and friends all took time to celebrate the holidays with us.

All the best,


Shake a Tail Feather: Thankful with the Thanksgiving Turkey

“When are we going to bring out the Thanksgiving turkey?” my six year old eagerly asked. I was pleasantly surprised that she recalled when I purchased it on sale after last year’s Thanksgiving. No it’s not a real turkey for eating, but it is meant to satiate one’s appetite for expressing gratitude.

The turkey comes with a book with a great story explaining why it’s important to be thankful. There’s also cardstock feathers to family members to dress it with why they are thankful.

We set this cute bird at our dinner table last week, and Quinn was so excited to write down why she’s thankful. As she placed a feather on the turkey, she said, “I wish we had tons of feathers because I can think of a hundred reasons why I’m thankful!” She then proceeded to rattle off a few. One was being able to have food to eat. Another was being able to read. This was music to my ears because sometimes we’re all guilty of taking things for granted and may not express gratitude.

I truly am thankful to have a daughter who has so much for which to be thankful.

All the best,


Thankful for a Kind & Loving Daughter

“I have something for you, Mommy,” my little girl told me. It wasn’t Mother’s Day, not my birthday nor Christmas. What could it be, I thought? Probably a picture she drew or a craft she made at camp. “You have something for me?” I asked. “For you and Daddy,” Quinn responded. It was a special note she wrote that said, “For Mom and Dad.” Inside, it read, “You are kind an loveing. love Quinn.” While the English professor in me was tempted  to tell her she spelled loving incorrectly, I was just so moved by the kind gesture of my six year old.

I inquired, “Did your camp counselor ask you all to write notes to your parents?” Quinn quickly said, “No! I just wanted to write you and Daddy a note to thank you for being kind and loving.” Even though we’ve both been keeping gratitude journals since the start of the year and often talk about the importance of expressing gratitude and thanking people for their generosity and kindness, I was still pleasantly surprised to get such a lovely note from Quinn. She truly is a loving and caring daughter for which I am grateful.

All the best,


Grateful to See the New Year of 2019 with My Little Girl

The last few weeks of 2018 were a roller coaster ride for my family as we dealt with my daughter being ill and hospitalized and then rejoiced in her being home for Christmas and having a great recovery. Even though gratitude is something that I try to practice and teach my daughter regularly, I decided in 2019 I would make a more conscious effort. I also made a resolution to be even more present with my family.

Both my daughter and I received gratitude journals as Christmas gifts, so I thought it would be awesome for us to talk and write together about that for which we are grateful. It’s also a perfect way to promote writing with my little kindergartener. We started our journals on January 1st and actually were grateful for the same thing: a visit from my mom (her nana) and my aunt (her great aunt).

It pleases me that my daughter is grateful for her family because I certainly am grateful for her. I’m looking forward to bonding and sharing wonderful moments together with my five year old as we write about that for which we are grateful throughout 2019.

All the best,


What Would We Do Without It Wednesday: Thankful My Little Girl is Grateful

With a smile on her face, climbing up her “new” jungle gym, my daughter said, “Wasn’t it nice of the neighbors to give this to me!” “It sure was,” I told her. She then proceeded to ask, “Why did they give it to me?” To which I responded, their children outgrew it, so they thought you would like it. “Wow, that was very thoughtful!” Quinn informed me. “Yes, it sure was.” I said.

More and more frequently, I hear people talk about how it’s a cruel world and that everyone is out for themselves or how so many people, especially the younger generations, have an attitude of entitlement. While it may be somewhat true, I sincerely do not believe all people are this way. I have been trying my best to instill positive values such as gratitude and hopefulness rather than entitlement and hopelessness in my four year old daughter, so it warms my heart each time she not only utters the phrase thank you but expresses her gratitude by acknowledging how thoughtful the other person is. I always tell her that when people do something nice or out of the kindness of their hearts, it must be acknowledged because they did not have to do anything.

Just yesterday, my uncle asked her is she wanted to help frost a pink lemonade cake for the July 4th cookout, and she was so excited and said, “Uncle David picked me to help with the cake! That was very nice of him.” After helping, she told him, without me coaching her, “Thank you for allowing me to help decorate the cake, Uncle David.”

I truly believe gratitude goes further than we think and that one is never too young or too old to display it. The world is not so cruel as long as we contribute some positivity towards it. I hope I am modeling a behavior where my daughter will continue to feel the same way I do well into adulthood.

All the best,


Grateful to Grover: Easing the Transition of Preschool for My Little Girl

2016-09-10-19-50-55“Please, Mommy! Don’t Go!” my three year old cried out. My chest tensed up, and I could feel a tear or two welling up in my eyes as I pried my daughter’s hand off of my arm while struggling to comfort her as I left her with the teacher who was trying to console and distract her with an activity or toy as I left for work. What a difference a week makes! Quinn went from being excited the first week to adamantly voicing her dislike of being left at school by her father and me in the second week. We’ve explained how fun school is and how it’s great to meet new friends and learn from the teacher, but she is still somewhat resistant, especially considering that this is her first school experience.

Actually, she mainly cries for us not to go during the initial drop-off, and the teacher has reassured us that she is smiling, having fun and interacting with the other children for the rest of the day. So, we’ve been trying to come up with a way to help with the transition from home-life to school life in the morning.

Apparently, Quinn had the answer all along; it was me who was not receptive to the idea because I wasn’t sure if it would be acceptable by the teacher. “Can Grover please come with me, Mommy?” Quinn would ask in such a sweet yet desperate voice. I suggested that she could bring him for show and tell to which she quipped, “Mommy, Grover is my friend, not a toy. We bring toys for show and tell, not friends.”

On this past Friday, we had a talk in the car before heading into the preschool building, and she seemed to be doing okay. She asked again if Grover could come with her, and I said that he could but needed to stay in her book bag, and I’d ask the teacher if it was okay for Quinn to nap with him. Quinn was fine with this compromise, but as I hung up her book bag and little jacket, tears began to form in her eyes.

As I gave her a hug and tried to console her, the teacher saw that Quinn was visibly upset and asked, “Where’s Grover, Quinn?” I was surprised at this inquiry. How did she know about Grover? Maybe Quinn mentioned him during nap time or when they were talking about friends or toys at some point. I asked, “Is it okay that she has Grover?” The teacher smiled and nodded, “Of course, she can have Grover!” She then looked at Quinn as I handed Grover to her from the book bag, “Your friend Grover can spend a little time with you this morning, and then you’ll be able to put him away in your book bag until nap time. Okay, Quinn.” Her tears subsided, and she smiled and clung to Grover. Quinn was going to be okay. I later found out that my husband allowed Quinn to bring Grover on that Thursday but just didn’t tell me.

While some people may think children should not be permitted to have “security blankets,” such as a binkie, favorite toy or an actual favorite blanket that provides comfort, I think it is sometimes necessary to get them through a major change or transition. I am so grateful to Grover, for he has provided my daughter with some comfort during this major change, and when I picked her up, she immediately informed me, “Grover and I had a fun day at school Mommy!” Hearing her say this really made my day because it truly did upset me to see her so distraught.

All the best,