5th grade life

In the beginning…

And in the end:

Note to self: when taking end of year pictures with your son’s teachers in order to capture a glimpse of how he has grown you might want to give his teachers a heads up and not let Daniel choose the setting as it was a rather bright, windy afternoon and Mrs. B and Mr K both were busy packing up their classrooms and moving boxes. Just saying. Take note, self. Write it down for next year.

Meanwhile, don’t you just love Human Growth Hormones? Accelerated velocity, y’all. That’s what this is. It’s kind of cool to see for the first time that your child is visibly taller at the end of the school year…at the end of his 5th grade life.

Bring it on 6th grade and Middle School!

Hold me!

searching the crowd

A friend of mine, who is an administrator at a school, shared with me the story of a student who graduated today. The child upon entering the auditorium, hopefully scanned the seats looking for someone, anyone who was there for her…waving…calling her name…taking her picture and recording her waving back happily…as did every other classmate of hers. Each and every single classmate had people there for them with happy smiles and waves as they recorded the moments, called out their names waving flowers, leis and other tokens of love. But for that one girl, there was no one.

How could you not just cry for that girl?

I can.

I did.

I was that girl.

For whatever reason, whatever excuse, my own mom was never at such events throughout my school career. Yet there I was, each and every time entering the auditorium ever hopeful that people, my people, would be there for me.

Yes, I cried for that little girl and said a little prayer for her…for her to hold on, hang in there, be strong and be so much more than her people who were not there for her.

So when Hazel came to me the other day with her earnest, big, blue eyes and gap-toothed smile, asking me to come to her kindergarten graduation of course I said yes…as I say yes to pretty much every single special event featuring my kids and now my grandkids that is humanly possible for me to attend because moments like this make my heart sing as it heals.

I will confess to you all that I was tired, bone-tired having been awake and running around non-stop for the last 27 hours prior for Daniel’s last days of school activities, Jodie’s graduation and chaperoning an all-night Sober Graduation party. All I wanted to do was just crawl into bed after dropping Daniel off to school for the last day and sleep for the blessed three hours until it would be time to pick him up. But this moment in Hazel’s life was only this day and she wanted me to be there. The moment where she came in and scanned the crowed auditorium looking for her family, her people, and then seeing us…that moment was so much better than the triple shot latte I brought with me.

Who needs sleep?

Meanwhile, her sister Fallon proved to us all that when it comes to what to wear to a kindergarten graduation ceremony we are all doing it wrong.

Congratulations to the future Class of 2026! Always remember: It is better to know how to learn than to know. ~ Dr. Suess.

I’m with you kid. let’s go

Celebrating Jodie Grace Wynonna Scarborough’s moment in the way that even her school did not celebrate by recognizing her graduating from high school as Jodie Grace Wynonna Scarborough. It seems that the school will not announce the student’s name as they wish if it does not match to the name in their permanent record because insanity, foolishness and anarchy will result…HORRORS! At least that is what Mr. U., who announced Jodie’s name omitting “Wynonna” as she received her diploma, told us. He further explained that office staff reviews the names that the graduating seniors submit to be printed on their diploma and announced and if it doesn’t match with their school records the name is crossed off and replaced with the name on their records.

Yes, a little ridiculous. A lot disappointing. For the record, when Jodie was enrolled she was enrolled as Jodie Grace Wynonna but for some reason the school’s record couldn’t, wouldn’t fit the whole name so she was enrolled as Jodie Grace W. Can you imagine the chaos that would have resulted if her full name was announced?



Perhaps it is not as ridiculous as a high school altering yearbook photos of female students to cover bare, exposed arms and shoulders. Nevertheless, it was a big deal and disappointment for at least one student.

Let us also take the time to recognize the elected Senior Class of 2014 officers, whose names were left off their commencement program and replaced with the ASB officers’ names, some of whom were not graduating seniors. Congratulations Macie Willis – Senior Class President, Claudia Hunter – Senior Class Vice President, Mackenzie Henricksen – Senior Class Secretary, Jodie Scarborough – Senior Class Treasurer. Thank you all of you for your leadership, your example and all of your hard work making this year the very best year for your class, the Class of 2014.

Now that we have got that all out, let’s commence with the commencement celebration, shall we?

If you have only one smile in you give it to people you love. Don’t be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning “Good Morning” at total strangers.

Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.

Courage is the most important of all virtues because without courage you cannot practice any other virtue without consistency. We cannot be kind, true, merciful, generous or honest.

We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.

Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: “I’m with you kid. Let’s go.

Every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

Do the best that you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.

Always, I hope to grow brighter, funnier. I hope to learn to be even more well-rounded. But right now, I cannot be any better than I am.

Everything in the universe has a rhythm. Everything dances.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.

Dr. Maya Angelou




good morning!

This is a wonderful day. And I have never seen this one ever before.
~Maya Angelou

Good Morning!

Today is your day, Jodie Grace Wynonna!…Oh, and your 370 or so classmates day….and the beginning, the commencement of what is to become your great adventures!




Fair warning, there will be tears because…oh baby girl because your bumpy beginnings and the fact that I couldn’t bear to send you to school and your scary hairpin turn where we almost lost you along the way. I’m the mommy, I can cry if I want to even if this isn’t my first rodeo commencement.

Your Daddy, your sisters, your brother, your nieces, your best-bestest friend and your mentor, we all will be there today to celebrate you today and every day and every adventure that is yours.

One more fair warning: there will be pictures and words and feelings to come.

Readers, gird your loins!!!

the last week

It’s going to be a short week. It’s going to be a busy week. It’s going to be a hectic week. It’s going to be an emotional week…so many feels…there’s no getting around that. It’s going to be a happy week. It’s going to be a week of graduations, celebrations and lots of pride…so much pride.

Let’s start it off right with this.

I can’t imagine never not being amazed with this kid of mine. I imagine that he will soon grow tired of my amazement because he is almost a teenager as he likes to remind me pretty much every day. That’s okay. He can do that. I, in turn, will always marvel over the miracle that he is because, trust me, sitting by his bed every single day of those 132 days in the NICU watching over him the last thing his father and I could imagine was moments like this. Living through all those days filled with so much pain, anxiety and hope we kind of earned the right as NICU parents, because although we left the NICU with our baby boy 12 years ago, the NICU never leaves us. So yeah, we’re just a little bit emotional and over-the-top proud of this amazing, miraculous child of ours.

He’s proud too.

He should be. He worked very hard all year long for this.

Of course his teachers, aides and even the principal are proud of him. I like that you could see that pride reflected in the faces of his teacher and his principal as he accepted his awards today. I know that his principal gets just how remarkable all of this is for Daniel and for us. Having sat with her many times in a NICU years ago caring for her baby and supporting her I know that she knows.

And now there is literally only three more days of school.