Why hello blog! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? It’s that time of year where it’s hard to find the time, energy, or even courage to write something. I spent all of last month, writing each day for the Slice of Life Challenge, and things just kind of dried up for me.  Life has not been kind, and I’m just not feeling like me.

However, a good teacher and writer reflects (though it can be painful) and I just needed to step back and have a look at all around me.  There are many things I have that give me inspiration to get up and make the day a good one. I’d just like to share a few of those with you:


This beautiful creature is my number one inspiration, hands down. My wife, Melissa, after 22 years, continues to amaze me with her passion for life.  Like most honest husbands, I would not be the man I am without her in my life.  Her willingness to jump into something with both feet is a characteristic I’m in awe of (and jealous too), but it’s more than that.  Her passion for teaching and learning, both with students and adults, helps me to keep focus on what is important in front of me.  We are entering new territory with both daughters soon to be graduated from high school, but I look forward to the new found freedom with her at my side.


Speaking of my daughters, they inspire me in their own ways. Our oldest, Gabrielle (on the right), will be attending Iowa State in the fall, majoring in software engineering. She amazes with me her ability to be even-keeled, to be that force of calm and reason when crazy is running everywhere. She’s a self-proclaimed dork, and welcomes it with open arms. Her love of reading, of knowledge, of just being who she is with no apologizes, makes me proud to call her my daughter.  Our youngest, Faith (on the left), is currently a sophomore. She’s had a rough year, being hurt during cross country and track along with a few other things. What inspires me about her, her ability to wake up the next morning after something terrible going on, and have a smile.  The resiliency this girl has is remarkable. The natural ability she has with her voice and her instruments (baritone and trombone) makes us smile (and drive us crazy when she sings all the time!).  I’m proud to call her my daughter.


This group is why I’ve decided to start writing today.  If you aren’t familiar with the Slice of Life Challenge, in March, a group of teachers take the opportunity to write each day about whatever strikes them.  It could be an event, some poetry, a vent about something, or just whatever.  For my 6th and 8th graders, I offered this up to them with the understanding that if they made it the full month, pizza for lunch was their reward.  Well, these were my writers who managed the entire month of March! We had stories, random posts, things about our day, vacations, but best of all, just writing.  I was so excited and proud to be able to reward these kids for a job well done.  They want another challenge, which might have to take place in May! 🙂


And finally this group. Last weekend, my wife and I had the opportunity to be chaperons on our school’s band and music trip to St. Louis. I talked this up big time with my 6th and 8th graders, how we had a blast together and how you put people on a bus for 7 hours, you learn a lot about them.  I learned a lot of things about our bus:

  • Boys shouldn’t have rap battles (though the rhyming was way too funny to listen to!).
  • Google is not our friend when it comes to finding inappropriate jokes!
  • Lack of sleep changes people, sometimes good, sometimes not so much!
  • I’d gladly do this again.

We had the chance to go up in the Arch, spend an afternoon at Six Flags, and listen to some wonderful music performed. I enjoy watching the fine arts kids be in their element, and those who were more jocks still enjoy being together with the group. They inspire me because I know it’s not easy being a high school student with the pressure of school, parental expectations, and having every moment documented on social media. But these kids were amazing.  And the adults we traveled with were awesome too.  The directors of this fine group (one being a former teacher of mine when I was just a 8th grader), the passion they have for these kids and music as a whole, it’s an inspiration of its own.

As I’ve written this, I’ve felt a center coming back that I’ve not felt in a while. We all need that sometime, just to take a little stock in what our lives are all about and those who truly have influence inside them. I’m glad to have these inspirations, both from family and school.  As a I’ve felt a little darkness lately, it’s good to shine some positive light on things, and remind myself that life is indeed, good.