Family trip to a NASCAR race..


Life doesn’t have to turn out like you imagined it would in order to be AMAZING.


Look for answers where truth, laughter, kindness, beauty, compassion and love are found. (Not in outward appearances or illusions of perfection. Not in cynicism, apathy or destructiveness.)

10, 13, 16, 19, 21

Be a safe place. Teach them to be a safe place too.


Start a tradition of asking them to memorize and recite a poem or famous speech for a gift for Mother’s Day, Christmas, etc. Start small with the little ones, expand as they get older.


Sometimes it happens that what you do [for a living] is who you are. I’m reading a great book about that called The Women by Kristin Hannah.

16, 20, 21

Spend time with people you admire. Real-life acquaintances, biographies and documentaries, and fictional characters in novels, plays and movies.

13, 15, 18, 21

Theme this year: Self Control (Repeat every year until age 99)


Songs hit so much different (better) when you read the lyrics while listening. Headphones help heighten the experience too.

12, 14, 19, 21

Plan trip to Bush Gardens late September


You are never too old to play in the snow.


“Write hard and clear about what hurts.” - Ernest Hemingway

12, 15, 21

Drunken shenanigans are part of life when you’re in college, etc. but it gets old fast. That kind of behavior as an adult is just sad. Drink responsibly. Don’t make an $@!#% out of yourself. I recommend this rule: Don’t have more than one drink at a work function.


Stay fit. Try to increase fitness every year in some way: Strength, flexibility, endurance, or a specific sport or practice. Never take your body for granted.

14, 20

Educate About Risks of Driving


Resentment is a sign you are giving too much and are in need of replenishment. It’s a good example of how even the “negative” emotions are on your side, interpreting your experience in the world.

16, 18, 21

Replace “but” with “and.” “I love you but...” Becomes “I love you and that’s why...” etc.


Two rules: First, don’t be a sh!tty person. 2. Try to have some fun. Everything else is just “whatever.”

13, 21

Just for the record, I didn’t vote for Trump. I want my great-grandchildren to know that.


Fact: when you drink to excess you are significantly more likely to cause harm to someone or be harmed yourself. Being drunk means surrendering your ability to keep yourself and others safe.

12, 15, 18

Watch the documentary Kelce (2023)


Any thought about self-harm is like a “check engine” light going off for your brain. Seek professional help. You will recover.

12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21

Sometimes (oftentimes) the truth is easier to find than to face.

14, 20

Read or listen to The Mountain is You by Brianna Wiest.

17, 21

Read maps.


Enroll in a CPR course. Re-certify every year.


Teen years are a whole other ballgame. Find a community and stay up with trends and news. Check out the website Raising Teens Today.


Don’t offer them advice until you ask questions: What does a good outcome here look like for you? How much energy are you willing to put into this? Do you feel like you’re being asked to sacrifice a part of who you are if you do this? Is the fear you’re feeling maybe just that initial reaction we all get when something is new and unfamiliar? Stuff like that. Mostly they just need help understanding themselves and encouragement to stay true to themselves.

4, 7, 12, 15, 18, 21

Ask them to name 2 current or historical figures that they admire and why (one man one woman).