“If you want to be beautiful, make beautiful choices.” - (Greek philosopher whose name I can’t remember.)

10, 13, 17, 21

Ask him to memorize and recite William Ernest Henley poem “Invictus” as a Christmas present for me.


It’s your civic duty to vote (including midterms!) Be an informed voter.

16, 18

If you’ve never dressed a newborn before, an easy way to get the hang of it is to lay the outfit flat on the bed and then place the baby on top of it. Tuck her little arms and legs inside one at a time, then zip or snap them in. Done!


When something is upsetting you...Name it...Take a deep breath...Imagine holding it gently in your hands. (This is a reminder to use this visualization myself and to teach it to you. I want to give you as many tools as I can to help you learn to cope with negative emotions in a healthy way.)


Consider what you value. Act accordingly.

10, 14, 17, 20

Rain, snow or sleet...Always return the shopping cart to the proper spot in the parking lot.


Mackinac Island trip


Just focus on shining on your own terms. Your shine is not dependent on anyone or anything else.


Practice “going without.” Talk about how nobody gets what they want all the time. We should learn how to just choose to go without something we want. Get them in on the discussion and pick something every day to do without.


Resist the urge to give unsolicited advice. Wait…this entire thing is unsolicited advice!


Adopting a “do it right now” mentality has done wonders for my self-discipline. Something on the floor? Grab it right now. Thinking about cooking later? Cook right now. Laundry finished? Put them up right now. Home from a trip? Unpack right then. It’s the small things.

8, 9, 12, 17

Sometimes it just takes a while to catch on. I had to watch Game of thrones 3 or 4 times before I could keep track of all the characters and subplots. Record your lectures so you can replay them a few times.


“Just because you think it doesn’t mean it’s true. Your brain’s a little $@!#% and likes to lie to you.” -Elyse Myers

15, 21

“If you want to be holy, be kind”. -Frederick Buechner

14, 19, 21

To paraphrase Ted Lasso, it’s the people who think they’ve got it all figured out who delight in judging people and events. It’s better to be open minded, ask questions. Be curious, not judgmental.

15, 21

“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

13, 19

Think about building a career. Take low-paying or no-paying jobs that will give you the experience you need to build it. It's not all about the paycheck, especially when you're young and don't have too many bills to pay.


Figure out a way to teach the concept of zero-sum game vs. how giving and sharing actually compounds love and goodness. Someone else getting a fair shake, or attention from someone you like, or well-earned rewards or recognition does not take away from us. Celebrate those victories and encourage others to reach for more instead of jealously guarding what you have.


Set up a 529 plan. Virginia has a great plan if you don't want to do too much research https://www.savingforcollege.com/

birth-age 3

Sometimes good people aren’t a good match. It’s better for both of you if you’re honest with yourself and with them.

17, 21

Attend a Pride parade.


Healing takes time. You can't rush it. Whether it's your body, your mind or your heart that's hurting... you just have to let it heal in its own time. What you CAN do is to take good care of yourself: eat, rest, stay close to loved ones. Do things that bring you joy. Revel in the smallest steps forward. You'll heal, things will get better. Trust. Love. Serve. Live.


Dream big. Work hard.


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.

5-7, 1Infant-12

You’ll miss me when I’m gone, but if I did my job right you won’t need me.


Considering taking meds for your mental health but concerned about the side effects? Consider the side effects of *not* taking them! Meds don’t turn you into someone you’re not, they lift the murky fog around your brain so you can be more yourself. It’s the depression that changes you. Meds just help you get rid of the fog.

18, 21

Every “yes” to something is a “no” to something else. Take your time processing the choices - write in your journal, sweat it out, listen to music, talk to someone you trust, read books from experts. Once you’re clear about what you’re giving up, let it go and don’t look back. (Remember there’s no advice that’s right more than 99% of the time. Always trust your gut. Just remember an impulse isn’t the same thing as a gut check.)

15, 16, 19, 21

Spread kindness like confetti.

12, 21

No matter how late you are, don’t speed or drive unsafely. It’s not worth someone’s life or limbs.

18-18, 21