My classroom is not a quiet, orderly place.
Students are constantly moving, thinking, talking, reading and writing.
I do my best to help my students find success.

July 23, 2013

OLW update: Thrive

Read more Slice of Life stories at
Two Writing Teachers
Last week Stacey at TWT inquired about our OLWs, our One Little Word that we've chosen for the year as our mantra, instead of a full-out resolution.

My family's OLW for 2013 is thrive (here is the story of how we picked this word as a family).  We are two adults and two teenagers, and 2012-2013 has had its share of bumps in the road.  Nothing devastating, but challenging.

My husband, Jeff, had the challenge of heart surgery in May to correct a congenital defect.  He was doing great until a minor setback during his last week of leave.  His recovery was pretty easy (from my perspective - the one who didn't have surgery!), and it was tough to see him in pain the week before he returned to work.  Thankfully that issue resolved itself and he went back to work.  Jeff starts cardiac rehab later this week.  He's looking forward to redesigning his nutrition and fitness plan.  He's a man with a plan, and I know he will reach his goals and thrive.

My oldest daughter, Lindsey, is entering her senior year. (I will not cry. I will not cry.) It's a time of tough decisions (college!) and fun (fun!) and a full class load (no time for senioritis!)  I know she can balance all the school work, sports, activities, college apps and fun now that junior year is behind her.  I've offered to coach more and nag less in order to give her space to thrive.

My youngest daughter, Allison, will be a sophomore this fall.  She has her driver's permit (she's SUPER excited - like Mo Willem's pigeon).  We're hoping she can build her homework stamina and see school as more than a social scene.  She's got all the tools to thrive - she just needs to use them.

I am trying to walk and eat my way to a healthier body as well as organize my books, coach my girls (without nagging) and be my husband's number one fan.  I'm happy that I walked or biked over 50 miles in June (hooray!) and I'm eating more veggies and fruit.  I still spend a bit too much time nagging (old habits die hard) and I love surfing the 'net instead of exercising, but I'm not beating myself up about it.  I'm trying to thrive by living each day to the fullest - appreciating my good health, great books, the beauty of nature and all the positive people in my life.

Here's hoping you're doing your best to thrive as well!


  1. I love the word thrive. I may have to borrow it for next year. I like how you used it with each member of the family. Living each day to the fullest is a great way to thrive. I bet your students thrive in your classroom too.

  2. Love your reflection! Each member of the family is thriving.

    There will be bumps in the road (survive), but may the second half of the year allow you to continue to thrive!

  3. It sounds like each of you have your own way to thrive and are succeeding. Sorry to hear that Jeff had a set back, but that he is now doing better, back to work and has a PLAN. You all have the determination to thrive (an yes, old habits do die hard).

  4. A great reflective piece. Glad each member of the family has the opportunity and ability to THRIVE.

  5. I love your post and funny enough I chose the word THRIVE too. Good luck and enjoy 2014.