It’s okay to take a beat, a pause before you answer: “Hold on, let me think about how this is going to work...” I’ve seen a lot of mistakes or loss of confidence in an employee because they just blurted out a guess or starting off in the wrong direction only to have to go back- just because the plan hadn’t been thought through. It only takes a minute.

15, 18, 20

Plan a few screen-free weekends every year. (Reticket until 16.)


Summer concerts at Wolftrap- get good seats so they can really get a sense of the experience.


Rent kayaks.


Remember Mom's birthday


Universal Studios


Read If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin. Young adult coming of age story.

14, 17

Never post a pic to social media that you wouldn't want Grandma to see. NEVER send or ask to receive naked pictures. It's tacky, gross, illegal and not worth it. Even if "everyone does it". It's rude and disrespectful.

11-13, 18

Sometimes you just have to let go. Let go of a relationship, or a dream, or plans. Let go of a person, a pet, or an object. It's hard. It takes a lot of trust. Trust the Lord will heal the wound, no matter how deep. His goodness is infinite.


The $@!#% never ends. Dealing with the $@!#% IS your job. If you think you’ll ever reach a “post-$@!#%” stage in your life, you’re wrong.

14, 19

I hope you don’t have to struggle with your weight. For me it’s been a lifelong battle. Some things I learned are: Listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry. Eat as many vegetables as possible. Ignore the scale and focus on other goals, ones that are in your control such as how long you can run (or dance, or row, etc.) Reading a book instead of plopping down in front of the tv with a bowl of ice cream, saying “no thanks” to a treat. Focusing on pounds lost or gained is deflating. Stay in good shape for as long as you can! Make your health a priority. It’s much harder to get in shape than to stay in shape.


One of the best doctors I ever worked with started his day by walking through the office and saying “good morning” to everyone. He’d do the same before he left at the end of the day, just making sure everyone was ok, to call him if they needed anything, etc. I don’t know what your career will be but if you’re in a position to do so, I hope you’ll adopt this habit.


Just let them be who they are. Enjoy getting to know them.


Your body will go through all sorts of shapes and sizes. You’ll have times when you’re gorgeous and times when you’re awkward or frumpy. Whether you’re having a great hair day or sporting a face full of angry pimples, your looks have never and will never define your worth. (And nobody else will ever be defined by theirs.)

13, 15, 21

Be open to the possibility that you might be wrong.

12, 14, 17, 21

Instead of focusing on finding love, focus on DOING what you love. When you're thriving and in your element Love will find YOU. Besides, love isn't just about finding the right person it's about being the right person.


Grandpa was a Marine, though you’d never know it. Slight in build and oh-so gentle natured. But underneath he had a good bit of grit. He never complained. He once told me “You can stand any amount of pain for a little while.” (Basically saying suck it up and hang in there until help arrives.) I’ve never forgotten it.


Depression can look a lot like a bad attitude. Try reacting to his chronic edginess with “Sounds like you’re in pain. You can come to me about anything, any time.”


ADHD hack for studying or projects- Leave yourself notes about where you left off.

13, 21

Take the train to Roanoke.


Sometimes procrastination is part of the process. Eventually though, doing the thing is easier than stressing over it or hiding from it.

10. 12, 15, 21

Name five women who contributed to our country’s history.

8, 13, 16

Once a relationship goes from loving someone as they are to trying to change them into something you want them to be, it’s doomed. We can challenge, inspire and educate those we love, but in the end we have to accept them as they are and embrace them warts and all. (They’re doing the same for us.)


take advantage of the bike trail. Bike places as a family.


Practice being okay with someone misunderstanding you. Not everyone is going to “get” you. That’s okay.

14, 19, 21

Guard your health and fitness as if it were your most valuable possession. (It is.)

14, 17, 21

Sleep paralysis runs in the family. If you ever feel like you’re awake but you can’t move - don’t panic. It will pass in a minute. It’s just a lag time in your sleep/wake cycle.


Sometimes I think the best way to take care of them is to teach them to take care of others: Littler kids, sick or disabled, those who’ve been left out.


Look into Rustic Pathways to see the world and do some good.



Write your own job description. When you've been around long enough to know what you're good at and can identify what needs in the company you can help with.