Friday, January 29, 2016

My Inspirational Follow-Up

As you see in the previous post, the #D100bloggerPD crew just wrapped up our January journey- which was a post on something that inspires you. We had 10 wonderful posts, from educators though Berwyn South District 100, all reflecting on something that inspires them- in whatever way they wanted. I loved the variety of posts- from quotes and books, to family and heritage, even workouts and chicken nuggets- point being that inspiration comes from the most personal of places- yet when handled properly, impacts so many people. 

I began that #whatinspiresyou journey all the way back on 1/11 with my post about what inspired me recently- and that was a quote from Dave Burgess who, as many know, is the incredibly engaging author of Teach Like a Pirate. Ever since that post, however, I have felt that I would be crazy to not do a follow up entry about what truly inspires me every single day, without fail. That is, of course, my family. If you've been reading my posts for a while, you know a little about my family- but let me introduce them.

First, I am married to an incredibly smart and selfless man- Peter- who is a middle school math teacher in Elmhurst, IL. We met while attending Illinois State University (yet another of the million reasons why I love my alma mater) and have been inseparable ever since. He is, as the cliche goes, definitely my better half. He's dedicated to our little family above anything else and would do anything for us- yet still finds time to be an amazing teacher, son, friend, and overall human being. Recently, we have started presenting at EdTech Conferences together and being able to work with him to help other teachers has been incredibly fun and rewarding. He inspires me every single day to be a better in every way. It's so awesome to have someone in your corner who always supports you and pushes you to be better, while still making you feel proud of what you've accomplished. The top picture is from our wedding (8/2/08) and the bottom is from our most recent conference presentation.  

The other two pieces of my inspiration puzzle are our children- Brayden and Olive. Brayden, who is 4 and a half, is an absolute tender heart who tries his best at everything he does.
Brayden (Left: 4, Right: 2 Weeks)
He was born tongue tied (yes, that's a thing) and after his corrective surgery, has been in Speech to work on his sounds that were delayed due to that condition.  Just last night we were practicing his speech homework and the progress he has made (at 4!!) has been incredible. He just keeps trying and he never gives up. He is also super sweet and has a heart of gold- something that I know might change over time but I plan to nurture as long as possible. He's going to be starting Kindergarten next fall and I can only imagine the ride we are in for. I've never been one to get emotional at the first day of school- but I'm not going to lie- I'm already preparing myself for this one. Everyone says that time only goes by faster- and so far we have found this to be true- but even still. It's just so hard to believe that our little boy, who was born almost 7 weeks early into a whirlwind of life- could possibly be old enough to be starting elementary school. It's crazy. 

One great thing about Brayden having such a sweet personality is that it makes him such a tolerant and patient older brother to his little sister Olive.
Olive (Top: 2.5, Bottom: 2 Weeks)
A lot of people wonder if they heard me right when I say my daughter's name is Olive- and yes, they did. And while it seems like an "out there" kind of name- if you met her, you'd know we were spot on. Whereas Brayden is our sweet and gentle child, Olive is our wild and free spirit who, I am sure of it, will never cease to keep us on our toes. She is full of energy, full of life, and full of an independent spirit that I cannot wait to see where it takes her in life. At only 3 years old (nearly exactly as I write this!), she is already taking the world by storm. With a head of crazy curls and chubby little cheeks, she is inquisitive and curious- all while smiling her way through the day. Right now, Peter and I are convinced she's going to be a reporter when she grows up because she just has to know everything. And then, when she knows it, she questions it. Her preschool teacher probably loves this trait! But all kidding aside, she's stolen our hearts from day one and we are excited to see where she takes it. 

I realize that I just wrote an entire post about how much I love my family- but I think pausing to reflect on the gratitude I feel towards these 3 people for changing my life is important. We cannot ever overlook that sometimes the most inspirational people are the closest to us at all times. And we can never stop appreciating them for all they do to make us better every single day. 


  1. You have inspired me to reflect on my wonderful family. I don't do it enough. Thank you.