Friday, August 17, 2018

A New School Year of Firsts

We had a wonderful summer full of rest, vacations and camps.   
This new school year, 2018-2019, is Garrett's first year at Lakeway Elementry School as a Kindergartener with his big brother, Hayden in 4th grade.
He gets to have his first teacher, Mrs. Crenshaw, who happens to have been Hayden's special education teacher for the past few years.
I can hardly stand to be without him for the whole day.  He is my baby boy.
 He is thrilled that he gets to be Batman and Superman with one of his best buddies from Emmaus Preschool.

Although he isn't in class together, he gets to ride the bus with his long-time buddy.


It is also Hanna's first year in Middle School at Hudson Bend being all by herself without being defined by her brothers.  It reminds me very much of the book Wonder and the sister, Via.

Hayden is BMOC (big man on campus) this year being in 4th grade with an excellent teacher, Mr. Fazzio team teaching with Ms. Wilson.  I couldn't be more pleased with his teacher who has over 30 years of experience.

Neal has been Hayden's nurse since Kindergarten and is now employed by the school.  It is a win for everyone.
 Nurse Christine will be with Hayden for a second year.  She is wonderful at fostering his independence.

Hayden loves school.  The new buses are pretty exciting too but not quite as exciting as being home alone for the first time in 12 years.

Monday, May 28, 2018

New Trailer for the Wheelchair

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Year of the Woman- Happy Mother's Day 2018

I am honored and grateful for this Mother's Day for my strong mother, step-mother, mother-in-law, step-mother-in-law, grandmothers and the many adopted mothers in my life.  Most of all I am grateful to be a mother to my three children. I was honored to a wonderful week of school celebrations and friends.
 Hanna's 5th grade Mother's Day celebration was amazing and more than I could have expected.

The last two weeks I ran two races, neither of which did I win.  I ran my last marathon (Nashville) and my last campaign (LTISD School Board).  Both took me roughly 5 months of daily work, training and a lot of fun with friends along the way.  Both ended with tears for different reasons, but both ended with a sense of relief that I never gave up and accomplished my goal of completing my two great challenges.
Acting on the prompting to run for the school board put me in an uncomfortable position to speak out and stand up in the face of personal insecurity and public judgment.

The reminder of why I was doing it, kept me going for people like these.
Every day was a learning experience some of the pleasure and some of the pain. Neither of them had the outcome that I had hoped for, but I can say that I did my best.  I couldn't have completed either race if it weren't for the sacrifice of my husband, my family and the support, love, and encouragement of friends.  Both races bonded my family together in service, sacrifice, and planning.

Thank you for the texts and messages all along the way.  They lifted my spirit and filled my heart and are healing my bruised ego.  I valued each and every vote I received and treasure each of your friendships and support for entrusting me to advocate for your children and our community.

Your vote of support will keep me volunteering and advocating regardless of title or position.  I can't begin to thank each of you for your volunteered efforts of support, hosting meet & greets, hosting debate forums, helping me solidify my campaign, offering advice, hosting my yard signs and talking with your neighbors. I am honored to call you my friends.

Many people have asked how I am doing.  Here are a few of my thoughts on my marathon and running for a public election.


I sacrificed seeing the 3rd grade musical as I was on my flight to Nashville.  Look how cute was this!?

 Sunrise and happy to run.
 My starting group was #16
 Elvis was hurting around mile 11.
 I took a selfie of me on the jumbotron.

Start of the race

Finish of the race.  My bib read 4Hero Hayden

Training for a marathon takes time, dedication, sacrifice, and determination.  According to Google, approximately 0.5% of the US population has run a marathon. Once my injuries began intensifying in my distance running, I realized I needed to redefine the framework I put around the criteria to judge and view my happiness and success. 

It was a pleasure getting to know a new city well by covering it on foot for 27 miles.  I love you Nashville, but your hills are beautiful and exhausting.

There were just over 2,000 runners to run the marathon of over 40,000 runners registered for the race.

Perfect weather start

Although I know lessons are learned from failure as well as success, I continue to pray for success and to earn wisdom.  Over the years, I have learned that my many struggles and failures in finding medical answers have kept me humble and submissive to the Lord's will.

I found comfort in the blessings from the power of prayer that allowed me to complete the entire marathon free of pain.  You too are entitled to the call upon the power and grace of the Lord in prayer.  

Lessons in losing a public election:

I am proud to have participated in the process of running for a public election.  According to Politico, the 2018 election cycle is being dubbed by some as the new 
“Year of the Woman”.  

Lakeway elected its first woman Mayor and both LTISD school board candidates elected were women whom I respect.

  • Today, on Mother's Day, Indiana's Journal Gazzett said, "this message is for two groups of women: Those who want to run for office, and those who have previously run and lost. The message is simple and urgent: Run, Jane, run."
  • Today, on Mother's Day, Fox News's headline reads, "On Mother's Day be thankful women have the right to vote -- But it's worthless if we don't use it."

According to Pew Research, Women are still badly underrepresented in elected offices with less than 2% of the total population ever running for office and significantly fewer women holding elected positions.

My campaigning shortcomings:

  • Donations:  I ran on personal principle and without donations as I firmly believed that donations should go to community charities and not to my campaign propaganda.  This was a losing strategy for anyone wanting a career in politics:)
  • Ballot Placement:  Because I waited until the end of the filing period to formally declare what position I would run for on school board, I was listed last on the ballot.  I should have declared immediately when I filed.  I had believed that placement was random.
  • Non-partisan Office:  I felt strongly that as a school board candidate representing the entire district, you should not have specific endorsements from political parties.  I continue to work with both sides of the aisle at the Texas Capitol to advocate for the most vulnerable medically fragile children.  I believe a true agent of change will fight moral issues, not partisan issues.  
  • Campaign Base:  When you are a member of a minority group, developing your voter base takes a village of support.  You have to engage that village and expand your reach to the majority and the older populations that turn out to vote.
While we are all very busy, I have learned that continued service and fearless advocacy is what will help shape the future of the communities that we live in.  #govote!