Dear Diary,

I’ve been sleeping in a hotel room for four nights, and it feels quiet, clean, comfortable and strange. I can hardly believe how old my kids have gotten since this picture was taken that I just found on wordpress!

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It’s the fourth year I’ve come to the Alliance for Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds conference, and this marks the first full year of being the co-chair of the Alliance National Parent Partnership Council. I can hardly believe that the time has gone so fast and I’m honored to have been able to be a part of this group.

The parents on the alliance that came before me, the members that came before me and the people who work to run the organization, are wonderful. I have really loved getting to know people from all over the country, and listen to how each state runs so differently. One thing that works in one state, may or may not work in another. This creates a challenge to duplicate systems – and it forces everyone to get really creative.

I spoke yesterday about partnering with parents in the work with programs. It was exciting, intense and altogether fabulous! I am becoming more confident speaking in front of groups, and I hope that I can continue to build this skill. It used to rattle me pretty bad, but now I am to a place where it energizes me. I do get nervous in the way that I want to do a good job, get my message across and make sense – but I’m okay with the attention of a room full of people who are listening.

I will be returning home today and my focus is turning toward things coming up in my life next. My kids have been home with two different nanny’s that have taken turns. We hired Kelsey a year ago to help out when Jon and I were busy, and she’s been an awesome addition to our family! She plays with the kids, she’s great at helping me make sure the homework is done, and we juggle the insane driving schedule of lessons and making dinner for the kids. She will be graduating from her physical therapy assistant school in a few months, and so we recently hired Kenzie to begin taking over. I used to feel really guilty for having help, but now I realize that I shouldn’t. Jon travels a lot and even though my work day is usually done by 3:30, I still can’t physically do everything by myself. I figure that I’ve done it for twenty years by myself, so I’ll enjoy having more help for the last few years of having little kids.

While I’ve been gone to this conference in Arizona, Kenzie has been making decorations with the kids for making our house look like Howgarts! I can hardly wait to come home and see my house transfigured! Kenzie is a wedding planner and she often makes her own decorations – so the kids have been  having a ball! Jean, my friends that owns dream dinners is making some crazy-fun Harry Potter foods, and we will have them at a few parties we will be having at our house during the next month.

On a totally different note, I have recently been accepted into a program at Utah Valley University for women leadership in Utah. Dr. Susan Madsen from the Woodbury School of Business is leading this program, and I’ve enjoyed it so much. I’m even considering going back to school officially in January. This would mean that I could potentially be sharing classes with two of my daughters! I can only imagine the fun we’d have together trying to remember how to do math, find our classes, write papers – and more! I can also only imagine how much this could cost…. I’ve gone back and forth between studying a sort of degree that is geared toward things I want to study, or going for a business degree. When I was at the Governors Gala last week with Barbara Barrington Jones, I saw Cameron Martin, the Vice President at UVU, and asked him who I should talk to if I was considering studying business, and he pointed to a man that was already sitting at the table with me! It was a funny coincidence.

So we will see. First, I will be traveling home today, hosting a blogger party tomorrow, and settling in back at home until I will travel to the Protect Child Abuse Conference in October, where I will be co-training on Resilience. And then it’s Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas…. the time seem to fly this time of year! And if I start school in January – that will be a whole other change….

Okay, well I’m off to pack up my room, and get ready for the day!

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