Tips for Going Back to School as a Working Mom

I’ve been in corporate marketing for many years. I enjoy working for small companies where I feel I can make a difference and collaborate with cross-functional teams. I earned my bachelor’s degree at a time in my life when my complete focus was on school. That wasn’t the case when I decided for study for the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification online.

I’m a working mom with two active kiddos and a full-time job. The thought of squeezing one to two hours of study time into my day made my head spin. I was at a point in my career I felt I needed to up my game and gain new knowledge in the areas that interested me the most. Continue reading

Finding Your Passion as a Working Mom

Being a working mom is hard. Sometimes it feels like a constant state of multi-tasking schedules and shifting priorities. Your time is spent from the moment you wake up until you crash in the evening. It can be really easy to let go of things you loved to do before you became a mom.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day. I always wondered how some moms make it look so effortless to do it all. I realized after being a working mom for so long that it really isn’t effortless. It actually takes a lot of effort. A LOT. Continue reading

Book Review: The Happiness Equation

Book Review: The Happiness EquationThe Happiness Equation is a practical guide to developing the happiness muscles in your brain. It gives the reader a framework with real, practical ways to train your mind for the positive.

The book outlines nine secrets for achieving  happiness. And while these “secrets” are really nothing new, the approach and framework provide the tools you need to build a grateful and positive mindset in your life.

Written by Neil Pasricha, The Happiness Equation is a research-based book that shares the insights from thousands of interviews and a range of resources.

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Why We Love Special Olympics

It wasn’t so long ago I found a Special Olympics Arizona notice in my daughter’s backpack. I was so grateful her school offered participation in the events.

Special Olympics is a wonderful organization that supports children and adults with intellectual disabilities through sports. The organization also improves the health of others through collaborations with health providers and community organizations. The health of the athletes is so very important. These competitions help them get physical fitness, build confidence and experience happiness.

My daughter’s first competition was bowling. She was so excited. The kids took a field trip to the local bowling alley and she won a medal that day. The next competition was track and field.

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How Do You Define Success?

It’s the million dollar question that you have to look from within to define. Success is subjective. It’s an intangible that to some is only defined by the tangible. To others it comes from a feeling of accomplishment.

However you define it, Success Magazine is a good place to find the cornerstones of self-fulfillment that defines how we view success. I started reading Success Magazine a few years ago and have found their podcasts really insightful.

I’ve always had a fascination with people who have achieved greatness in their careers and lives. I’m not so much interested in the money or fame part though. What’s always interesting to me is the path taken to get there. Continue reading

Homemade Trampoline Therapy Activities

It took over five years to get our daughter’s conditions diagnosed. We moved to a new state in between all of the doctor appointments and it was a very long journey.

Her first neurologist couldn’t figure out her conditions. He looked at me that last day I saw him and said, “She is a little girl who needs a lot of  therapy.” He also encouraged me to go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital when we got settled into our new home and get a second opinion.

During that time, we were encouraged to start Occupational Therapy (OT). I had no idea what that was or what it could do for her. I started reading and learning what OT was and why it’s important for people with disabilities. Continue reading

Benefits of Practicing Daily Gratitude

My 2018 gratitude journal. I started last year with these goals and added an entry every day.

We’re already a month into the new year. Hard to believe how fast time flew by this month. Resolutions were made and broken within the first few weeks of the year. One poll suggested that 80% of the people who set a resolution failed by February. Yikes!

Don’t despair if the resolution didn’t work out for you. We always go for the brass ring and create the lofty resolutions that are hard to achieve. It’s the consistent, daily efforts that turn into the big wins over time. The small practices benefit you more in the long run.

Gratitude is one of those practices that’s been part of my daily routine for years now. I’m not talking about daydreams with rainbows and unicorns, although I love both of those things. It’s the daily thought about what you are grateful for. And I get it that some days just really suck. I had a few of those days in January. Continue reading

Kids, Bikes and Adaptive Play

Riding a bike is like a right of passage for a young child. It’s the moment when the training wheels come off and they take off with that little wobble. I saw a father help his girl take that first ride in a field behind our house the other day. She was smiling and beaming with excitement. She fell once and then got back on long enough to ride away.

For moms like me, watching that moment is inspiring and also bitter sweet. It’s hard for me to imagine our girl taking off on her own two-wheeled bike.

She has balance and coordination challenges along with other conditions and intellectual disability. She tries very hard to ride her bike and she really just wants to join in play with others. Continue reading

Book Review: Live Happy

It’s not often I come across a book I want to read a few times over. Live Happy: Ten Practices for Choosing Joy is one of those books. I read it three times so far!

Live Happy combines the science of happiness and ways you can create joy each and every day. From an attitude with gratitude to finding meaning even in the darkest of hours, we can all improve the quality of our lives through small, daily practices.

The book includes stories from people who worked through life’s challenges by simple acts they made each day. Some of the stories you’ll read are from celebrities like Alanis Morisette and Hoda Koth. Best selling positive psychologist, Shawn Achor, offers his research on happiness and is among the 40 stories available from all kinds of people. You will feel inspired about your own journey. Continue reading

A Mom’s Journey into Inclusive Play, Advocacy and Partnership

Inclusive playground visit January 2017.

Advocacy has many meanings. When I think of that word, I imagine protests in the streets to build awareness or a fight to right a wrong with a certain issue. It’s a way we rise up to support people who are under served. It’s how we support a cause to achieve a common goal for the greater good.

Parents with children who have disabilities are the strongest advocates I know. Between medical appointments, school IEPs, state rights and down to daily interactions in the community, we advocate for inclusion, support and compassion. A simple trip to a playground can be a battle of sorts when it’s not designed for all.

Our small town started promoting a new park build with a 10,000 square foot playground in 2016. I was so busy between my kids’ school, the work schedule and life I didn’t think much of the call for community comments. Continue reading