11.29.15 The Difference Between Boys & Girls


There are about a thousand daily differences between my daughter and my son.  From character to actions, personality to performance, I’m never quite sure what the day will bring, but I know it will be littered with laughter and, “Oh, wow … that just happened,” moments. 

There’s an unknown quote that says, “The difference between boys and girls is boys know exactly what they want, but never know how to get it. Girls never know what they truly want, but know exactly how to get it.” I not only think this is true, but see that it’s true, day in and day out in the lives of my little wonders. 

My son, every-bit an eight-year-old, is completely enthralled with video games. We only allow him to play two days a week, but that doesn’t stop him from inquiring, bargaining, and downright pleading to gain, “just a few more minutes,” here and there on a daily basis. My daughter, on the other hand, never asks to play, and when we offer her the opportunity says, “Do you think I should? What game would you play if you were me?” 

That’s just the start. We were in a Costco bathroom yesterday, and upon exiting the stall to wash my hands, my daughter waited at the sink with a paper towel in her hands, saying, “Here you go mama,” politely. About a minute before, my son, one stall over, shouted, “Whoa mom! My poop is the size of a hot dog!”  Both were seeking attention and praise, but in vastly different ways!  

In terms of sports, my son has a postman mentality, “Neither rain nor hail, nor sleet nor snow,” can keep him from the soccer field. My daughter nearly skipped a dance class because she had on the wrong shoes! 

When discussing babies, my six-year-old daughter told me the names of her someday children, while my son asked if, “babies are pooped out or thrown up.” I explained it was neither, and that we’d have that conversation when both of us were more ready to have it.

My son is a snuggler, but only at night. He would sleep with any one of us anytime, whereas my daughter prefers her own space to dream. He likes salty, she likes sweet. He prefers a sprint, she enjoys a stroll. He dives into homework, she waits until you’re there to help. He spends time with one kitty, she reads to the dog. 

So they’re different, to say the very least. My daughter hugs, my son squeezes. My son belly-laughs, my daughter giggles. She’s the magenta in her tu-tu and he’s the green of his grass stains, but both are filled to the brim with color and charm. 

I can’t fathom what grace I’ve been given by having these two in my life, but one thing is sure … whether I’m coloring a mermaid, or crafting out a clay anaconda, my boy and my girl bring the purest delight to my days. And regardless of their opposing personalities, each of their hearts is honest, bright, and filled to overflowing with love. How, therefore, could mine not be? 

Go smile today with the ones who bring you light! And then thank the God who made them shine. 


11.23.15 Hello Lovely



“The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event.  You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if that is not enchantment then where is it to be found?” J.B. Priestly

Hello Lovely,

And might I say you could not have chosen a better time to fall upon this lately, too-dark place.  Just when it felt as though nothing could be clear or beautiful again, there you were.  Speaking in quiet whispers, falling in lullabies to tuck in the world with white … you never disappoint because wonder travels with you.

Is there truly a heart that does not quicken at the sight of you?  Enchanting the air with sparkles the same way the stars decorate the night sky … you leave no a path unloved, no hill un-glittered.  So beguiling, it stops me in my tracks when I see no tracks in you at all.

So I thank you …

… for hanging on boughs, with a weight that replaces the burdens we carry …

… for encapsulating branches in enamel glazes that click upon themselves, becoming the wind-chimes of winter …

… for creating a space to make the imprints of angels visible …

… for enlivening the awe of children in even the most aged of hearts …

… for coming without fail …

… for simply being simple …

You awaken the hope of the season First Snow, and this was just to let you know –

I love you.


11.16.15 Before Complicated



When I was young, I was a much different person – we all were, I think.  And what’s more … that version of ourselves is worth remembering.

When I was little, I would sleep like a starfish, open and free.  I would draw, and doodle till my heart’s content.  I would sing and dance to the audience in my mirror. Unabashed. Unconcerned. Free.  Like my daughter, I would roll down grassy hills and spin in circles, looking to the sky until it spun.

As a girl, I would remember my dreams, and tell them to whoever cared to listen.  I would write stories without ever caring whether or not they were noticed (let alone published).  I would practice cartwheels until my legs wobbled and fall down laughing with exhaustion at my grass stains.

As a child, the most real thing in my entire world was pretend. I would imagine oceans filled with mermaids, chandelier-sparkeled ceilings, and elegant balls held in my honor.  Peanut butter and jelly was fit for kings and queens, and with my dolls and teddy, I was always in royal company.

But it was in-between lost and found that insecurity started to creep in.  Somewhere after my first good report card and the fear of not getting another – somewhere after being old enough to watch the news, and old enough to understand it –somewhere after making the team and competing for first string – somewhere after my first kiss, but before the expectation of more.

I want to go back to before complicated – back to believing anything is possible if I just believe with enough hope, wish with enough conviction, and pray with enough faith.

Even now, miles past complicated … I believe it is a choice  we have to make.  We can still wish on stars.  We can still jump on the bed when no one’s looking.  We can make snow angels and eat dessert first and skip chores for a day.  As C.W. Ceran said, “Genius is the ability to make the complicated to the simple.”  So let’s be geniuses; let’s make things simple.  Let’s try to live like we did before complicated.

Much love in the process,




11.8.15 Speaking of Advocacy …



Child advocacy author Wess Stafford once said, “I spend half my time comforting the afflicted, and the other half afflicting the comfortable.”  I think it’s an interesting concept that more of us should try.  If we weren’t afraid to make people a little uncomfortable once in awhile, I’ve come to believe the world would be a whole lot more accountable.  We’re often so concerned with being politically correct, tiptoeing around and trying to never offend anyone, that we end up neglecting what should truly be addressed. Nearly a week ago now, I had the honor of speaking for a women’s group on, “Advocating for Your Child.”

I wish you all could have been there, but instead, I decided to bring my speech to you. Please take some time to listen if you feel it the topic could apply to your life.  I’m always happy to book new venues, so visit my “Contact Me” page with comments or queries!  Now, like I say to my students and to quiet my crowds … 3 … 2 … 1 … mute!  Time to take a listen. I hope you enjoy.

With love, please click below.


Elle’s Speech on Advocating for Your Child

11.2.15 Making it Small



I passed my favorite, quaint bookshop tonight after their recent remodel.  The owner was warm and welcomed me in with a, “We need to get you in here again!”  To which I earnestly replied how much I’d love to do a writer’s workshop, or an author visit with anyone interested in showing up!  I’m not well known, but she knows me … and wants me to come back to relate with her customers, fellow writers, and lovers of words.  It is in moments like these that I realize, I am “making it small,” and I love it. 

Author, educator, and orator Booker T. Washington was credited with having said that, “Success in life is founded upon attention to the small things rather than to the large things; to the every day things nearest to us rather than to the things that are remote and uncommon.”  I too am an author, an educator, and orator.  In fact, I’m prepping right now for a speaking engagement I have coming up, but unlike the infamous Washington, my words will most likely be remembered only in tiny increments, unmeasured moments, and close conversations.  And I’m okay with this, because like Booker said, it is our attention not to the, “remote and uncommon,” but the day to day, and here and now that matters most.

I know I have things backwards.  I know that the world tells me I’m supposed to want to, “make it big,” but making it big won’t necessarily make my words matter.  People matter, not statistics.  No matter how popular or un-viewed my blog may be … regardless of how many sales my first publication gets, or whether or not I’ll be published again … it is the person I become for others that is of real consequence.  The mentality of Mother Theresa is ever-on-point, “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”  

So it is no longer my goal to “make it big.”  When an image is too big it becomes distorted; when a life is too big, it looses focus.  And it is the pin-point moments that make life ever-so-worth the living of it. I hope you too find your living in the smallest, and thereby strongest way. 

With love,