Two words: Kinetic Sand.


It's very important to me, the idea of the scale of good and bad, of beauty and suffering. I think we should do everything we can to increase the beauty and to take away from the suffering. We have to work hard to tip the scale in the direction of good.


I wish I had heard this in my 20’s.


Read maps.


Three things you cannot change: The past, the truth, someone else.


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

Give book "50 Things Every Young Lady Should Know" by Kay West.


Practice your signature


“ A vocation is where our anger and our joy meet.” -Sarah Bessey


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.


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.


We don’t snoop. Never read a correspondence (email, letter, text, note, etc.) that is not intended for your eyes, or listen in to a conversation that is not intended for your ears. The right to privacy is sacred. Always respect people’s privacy and set the expectation that others do the same for you.


Don’t be afraid of work.

12, 17, 21

Explore American Sign Language. Libraries have books and websites like are great resources. It’s a good skill, helps build vocabulary and verbal skills. Seems that preschoolers are naturals -they just think it’s fun.


Sometimes you have to put aside how you feel about a person and objectively look at how their actions show how they feel about *you.*


The biggest mistake I *never* made was in 1997. I was working two jobs: nurse and waitress. I was having an extremely difficult time in the nursing job. I struggled to understand it and made mistakes despite working long hard hours. My waitressing job was hard too, but it was fun! A great group of fun young people, we hung out and bonded. I was crushing hard on the bartender too! I decided to quit my nursing job and wait tables full time. (I had TWO college degrees at the time.) Not sure exactly what made me change my mind, but I didn’t do it. Instead I quit the restaurant (probably because I was heartbroken over the bartender!) and enrolled in graduate school. Kept my nursing job. There I met lifelong friends, and went on to be nursing director. That waitressing job was my escape hatch. The best I could imagine for myself was waiting tables full time! What a small SMALL world view. While I am VERY glad I didn’t quit the nursing job I hated, because that’s how I got you, I wish I had imagined a bigger, better option than waiting tables full time if I felt that I needed to quit nursing. Peace Corps, move to the city, SOMETHING brave and bold and exciting. All this is to say - widen your vision. There’s so much more to life than what is directly in front of you. Be bold. Be brave. I love you.

17, 20

Hold fast to what is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21)

10, 15, 21

Just let a sweet moment be. There’s a time for jokes or small talk, but sometimes silence is best.


“I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken.” - Oliver Cromwell ……. Great example of this is the story of Dr. Anthony Fauci with regard to his HIV/$@!#% research and corresponding dealings with the gay community. They started out adversarial but Fauci wasn’t above hearing their concerns and working together. Life-saving drugs got approved as a result. Dr. Fauci is one of my heroes. Huge brain, big heart and tiny ego.


When making decisions remember HALT: are you hungry, angry, lonely or tired? (Or ecstatic) Give yourself time to be in a good place. Ask yourself if you’re choosing something because it’s going to bring you closer to being as authentically yourself or are you trying to meet someone else’s expectations? This is not to say you won’t need to compromise and put others first (spouse/ family.) That happens a lot in marriage. No, I mean ask yourself if you’re trying to prove something or are you being true to yourself. Hope that helps.

18, 21

Watch Parts Unknown together.


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


Honestly I think all religions are at least fifty percent bull pucky and none of them come close to reflecting the loving nature of God, which is broader and deeper than our little brains can grasp. So pick your poison. Whatever religion feels like home, like a place that can provide context for you to explore the goodness and beauty at the heart of the universe…that’s the religion for you. And if no religion fits the bill, that’s fine too. Either way, always remember and keep coming back to the knowledge that you are so very loved.

16, 21

Zero-cost method to reaching your goals (academic, career, fitness and health): Get up an hour earlier. You’ll be amazed how much you can get done and how “on top of it” you feel.

16, 18, 21

Send thank you acknowledgemnt for gifts received



“You belong in every room you enter.” - Shonda Rhymes


Make a Shutterfly book for each year and give it to them on their birthday.


Soothe a newborn: Swaddle , shushing noise, swing, side/stomach position, suck on a binkie. Read The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp (or watch the video.) It' a life-saver.


I’ve been trying to retrain my brain to deal with anxiety in healthy ways. It’s SO hard when these connections were fused decades ago. BUT I REFUSE to be a party to YOU laying down those same unhealthy neurological pathways. I’ll teach you better ways to handle stress and anxiety. Exercise/ Music/ warm showers/ creativity/ rest/ journaling/ meditation... WHATEVER! I promise to Somehow teach you what I never learned.

5-10, 14

Set up a 529 plan. Virginia has a great plan if you don't want to do too much research

birth-age 3