Tuesday, January 15, 2019

15 Days In - January

January is halfway through. The first month of 2019 is halfway done. Can you believe it?

Time for my weekly check in on my January goals! 

To review: 

Physical Health
10,000 steps per day
Drink water (no soda)

Brain Work
Read the classic Frankenstein

The Happiness Project
Go to bed earlier
Complete tasks
Act more energetic

Physical health goals are going great! I lost weight July - Oct in preparation for our trip to Disney. I gained at Disney, came home and lost most of it, then the holidays hit. I basically maintained over the holidays and now it's time to get back to losing. In January, I've lost 5 lb and am back to where I was when we left for Disney. Daily exercise meets my daily 10k steps goal and is part of my Happiness Project vitality focus to exercise daily. I've started a new Beachbody Program - Shaun T's Transform:20. 20 intense minutes, 6 days per week. It's a step program but not like old school step aerobics. It's also about transforming whatever thing inside of you holds you back from achieving, succeeding. In order to make my step goal, I workout twice. Once is the new program and then I do whatever I choose. Walk if I can or I've been enjoyed some old school Shaun T like Hip Hop abs. 

In December, I had the same daily goal of 10k steps per day and I tracked and measured daily. In January, I'm still focused on the daily goal but if I miss a day, I am confident I can balance out the miss over the next day or two. I want the weekly focus to show 10K steps on average per day. 

My other physical health oriented goal is No Soda. I had slipped into enjoying diet soda in December. For me, it's a bad habit because it can lead to regular soda. I'm also not a fan of artificial sweetener. Water is the healthiest option so that's what I've been sticking with! I like to add fruit - lemon, lime, or pineapple.

Keeping my brain healthy is another goal this year. January's goal is to read the classic novel, Frankenstein. It takes serious focus to read the old language and style of writing. I'm really enjoying it. I am delayed in reading because I misplaced my copy for about a week. Thankfully, I found it again and am back to it. 

Vitality is the focus in January for The Happiness Project. I have to say that I am feeling the most success so far with the going to bed earlier. Over the holidays, being able to sleep later in the morning meant that bedtime was getting later and later. Focusing on getting to be by 10 or 10:30 so I can get up at 5:20 to workout means I'm getting around 7 hours of sleep per night. Which works well for me! I'm clearly exercising regularly so that one's pretty easy. And keeping up with that 10k step and exercising goal means I don't have time to act like I don't have energy - all I can do is act energetic! 

So the other part of vitality comes down to organization and such. Not my areas of skill. I have not tackled a decluttering or organization project. However, over the holidays, we did major purging and organizing in our home. So I've adjusted this goal to mean that I keep up with maintaining the work we've done. And I have! I feel like friends could drop by anytime and I'd be comfortable inviting them in. There is still mess and my home certainly wouldn't meet the standards of some folks - and that's ok. 

And finally - completing tasks. Or what feels like Adulting. I've made a list of things to get done. I've completed one thing - packing up and putting away Christmas stuff. A project finish in the bathroom (installing baseboards) is in process (we bought the stuff, now Jeff just has to finish it). The other things on the list - I just have to get serious and make them happen. To hold myself accountable, I'm sharing the rest of the list. 

Phone call to health insurance 
Schedule mammogram
Schedule annual eye check   Done as of 1/15!
Get patches sewn onto Teagan's TKD uniform
Shampoo living room/dining room carpet
Schedule a painting or pottery painting thing
Figure out living room light switch (in other words, nag Jeff about replacing it)

Overall, I'd say it's going well! 

Until next time,

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Guest Post: Disney Magic Kairos Time

Today's post is from my friend, Andrea. She's an unexpected Disney fan just like our family. She just got back from a trip and wanted to share why Disney is magic for her family!


Kairos (καιρός) is an Ancient Greek word meaning the right, critical, or opportune moment. The ancient Greeks had two words for time: chronos (χρόνος) and kairos. The former refers to chronological or sequential time, while the latter signifies a proper or opportune time for action.--Wikipedia

“You are going to Disney again?” I know what they really mean to ask when they say this. They mean, “Wasn’t once enough?” or “Why don’t you go someplace else.” “Aren’t the kids too old for Disney now?” Maybe we should go somewhere else. But was once enough? Nope. Disney is magical. Disney is Kairos time, sacred time, a time carved out of ordinary time where regular time is suspended.

We just returned from a Christmas holiday trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. It was our 7th (?) trip in about 15 years. We had never been there during Christmas time, however, always preferring to go in October during fall break. With one kid in college now and breaks not lining up the way they used to, the only time we could fit the trip in was Christmas. Initially, I was not happy about it. The most crowded week of the year? Give up my relaxing time at home between Christmas and New Year’s? Not at all what I preferred to do. But, we make sacrifices for our children. And for those moments of Kairos.

A well-planned Disney trip (thanks to our wonderful Disney planner, Katie Dixon with Hi Ho Vacations) sets the stage for Disney Magic Kairos Time. Despite the schedule, jam packed with early morning Magic Hours, fast passes, and dining reservations, this year I really tried to pay attention. I wanted to drink in this family time, knowing that it may be one of the last trips we take as a whole family together. I wanted to pay attention to who the kids are and who we are as a family.

One of the best things about Disney is how it grows with you. When they were little, the magic of meeting their favorite characters “in the flesh” was just about all the excitement they could bear. We would seek out the characters at the various meet and greets. Armed with their little autograph books, they would bask in the glow of a hug from Pocahontas or a high-five from Mickey. What a treat to meet Buzz Lightyear and Woody after riding the Buzz Lightyear ride! As they grew, they tackled the more thrilling rides like Rock n Rollercoaster and Space Mountain. This year, the youngest kid started really noticing all the work and attention to detail that Disney puts into creating each one of its rides and environments. Disney goes all in with the theming, no two dimensional facades for them. In Pandora, he noticed that even the railings for line control at the Na’vi River ride were designed to look like natural materials instead of just standard metal railings. We all marveled at the way the Banshee in Flight of Passage “breathed”. Still, at each stage, they love to return to the old favorites… Buzz Lightyear, Pirates of the Caribbean, the cheesy Jungle Cruise. They even humor me in my assertion that you have only really been to Disney once you’ve ridden It’s a Small World.  

Three boys, ages 20, 16, and 12. Different stages and very different personalities. In real life, the two oldest get along ok. Jake tends to be very critical of his younger brother, Griffin, but they share an interest in sports and their deep involvement in DeMolay, a Masonic youth organization for boys and young men. Jake also tends to be critical of the youngest, Owen, but has more patience for his quirks than Griffin does. In real life, Griffin and Owen do not mix. They are the proverbial oil and water. Or, perhaps, a more combustible mix like cyanide and some kind of acid that creates a highly toxic hydrogen cyanide gas that can kill all in its path. Griffin lacks any patience with Owen and can’t believe Owen doesn’t like sports. Griffin sees Owen’s youth as stupidity instead of inexperience. They have DeMolay in common as well, but Griffin’s advanced age, bossiness, high expectations, and selective memory make him extra critical of Owen in that arena. Life in ordinary time with these two is rife with conflict, hateful attitudes, toxic conversations, and generally surly teenage attitudes.

Disney Magic Kairos Time, is different. Disney Magic Kairos Time brings out the best in all of us. It begins the moment we settle into the car to get on our way and generally lasts until a few miles away from home at the end of the trip. Nope, not even 16 hours of confinement in the car (each way) can disrupt Disney Magic Kairos Time.  I mean we aren’t perfect, even in Disney Magic Kairos Time. We are just better, nicer, more helpful, more enthusiastic, more patient versions of ourselves. There is no room in Disney Magic Kairos Time for surly teenage attitudes. Nobody is “too cool” to ride It’s a Small World. They won’t ride it more than once, mind you, but it is part of the Disney experience. Griffin, the king of 16 year old attitude, insists that we start our Disney vacation with the Ohana breakfast at the Polynesian. He happily embraces Lilo, Stitch, and Mickey when they made the rounds at our table. Those Mickey waffles do something to a guy… Despite my reluctance to see that abomination, Donald Trump, defiling my beloved Hall of Presidents, my boys convinced me to go anyway. And we didn’t hate it. My husband thought Disney handled it well. There was no eye rolling as we stood in the short line for the Three Caballeros ride at Epcot. Soarin’ just makes us happy. There was genuine awe and joy as we looped, dived and flew through the Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom.

Perhaps the best and most important realization that I had during our time out of time at Disney this year, was how connected we are as a family. It is at Disney that I notice most that we are truly a unit. At Disney, I can see the invisible threads of love and devotion that connect us. It gives me hope that those bonds will endure even after they are grown and gone from our home. In Disney Magic Kairos Time, Griffin leads the way consulting with Jake, checking the Disney app for wait times and the best route from here to there to make sure we get to our next fast pass on time. He leads, but he never leaves behind. He is never more than three or four yards ahead, always checking back to make sure that we are still with him.  

In Disney Magic Kairos Time, I notice how physically connected we are. We hold hands, walk with our arms around each other, and occasionally hug. Owen, at 12, is still not quite taller than me, despite what he says, and still enough of a little boy that he doesn’t mind frequent hugs and hand-holding with his mother. Griffin, firmly entrenched in the teen years, shows his affection with pats on the back that are almost a little too hard, playfully bumping into us to move us along or get our attention and, occasionally, he puts his arm around me and leans. Jake, almost 20, mature for his years, seems almost protective and solicitous of me. He frequently puts his arm around me as we walk and talk, staying connected in the midst of the bustling crowds. They do the same with their dad. We stick together. There is no splitting up, Jake makes sure of it. We all go or none of us do. In Disney Magic Kairos Time, the older brothers put their arms around the baby brother to guide him and encourage him, rather than to choke him. It is a beautiful thing to see and even more beautiful to be a part of.

We stay in warm bubble of Disney Magic Kairos Time during our trip home, for the most part. Everyone is reluctant to go back to normal. If there were a way to conjure it up when we are back home and back to our daily lives, I would. I find myself looking at our pictures frequently. (Love that Memory Maker.) My new Disney tennis shoes on a Monday morning brighten my day and conjure up just a little bit of the Disney Kairos Time. My husband holds on by keeping up with the updates on Disney parks throughout the year.  And there is always planning the next trip. Maybe next Christmas? Star Wars Land, anyone?


Thank you, Andrea! I love this because it really captures why I also love going to Disney. It's unexpected but we are really a version of our best selves when we go. Not every moment is magic, of course. But I can more easily see our goodness and joy and love for each other. I like the spirituality of calling that Kairos.

Until next time,

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The Year of Happiness

It may sound cheesy.

It may be setting myself up for disappointment.

But I've decided that the goals I'm working on this year are leading me to focus on Happiness.

2012 was the start of a lot of years of upcoming hard stuff. Layoffs and big changes at work. Unexpected new job (same company) at work. Leaving our church after 11 years. Finding a new church. Zach's cancer scare. Various health issues for me and Jeff. Illnesses for the kids - typical stuff but it seemed to come in waves.

Something about this year feels different.

Not that life is going to be sunshine and roses and no problems. Life is all about handling and surviving hardships.

But this year, as 2018 began to fade and 2019 was coming into view, I began to feel like I had the opportunity to make things better.

A big part of this adjustment is taking some control over my physical health. At the end of June, I decided it was time to take back this part of living. I'd last been successfully and consistently healthy and active back in (you guessed it) 2012. In 2012, I did the Dirty Girl Mud Run, I took a spinning class and did a long bike ride (The Girlfriend Ride). The year before, I did a half marathon.

Life got super hard and I just let it slip away. And I gained weight. Quite a bit of weight.

So in June, I knew it was time to get really serious about taking back control of my health as best I could - with a good nutrition plan and with daily exercise. Thanks to finding Beachbody and Shakeology, I had help in getting both of those things under control.

So in 2018, I started to take control.

In 2019, I want to take it to the next step. I want to be happier. I want to continue to improve my physical health but I also want to do maintenance checks and work on happiness. Enter the book "The Happiness Project." I also want to keep my mind engaged and sharp by reading more - and maybe reading better. I blogged last week about my January goals.

How am I doing?

10K steps per day - check

I've also kept to my goal of only drinking water, tea, coffee. No soda!

Reading - Because I have to be able to concentrate when reading Frankenstein, I have not made as much progress this week as I'd like. I think I will need to get creative on how to get more reading time in - like, dinners where we can read while we eat or something. But I definitely need to find times to read more where I can really concentrate.

Go to bed earlier - I am getting the amount of sleep I need (see the Fitbit review above). I'm making an effort to get to bed between 10-10:30. It definitely takes effort.

Exercise - definitely meeting this goal.

Declutter/organize - Meh. We've done a lot of purging in the past couple of months. I think I'm seeing this goal as more about making the effort to stay on top of keeping our living spaces livable. I'm doing ok but again - it will take more effort.

Complete tasks - I have made my list. Now I have to work on completing the tasks.

Act energetic - I have made myself be active at times I didn't want to be. I definitely do believe in the "fake it until you make it" way of thinking.

One week of the new year is done. I feel good about the progress I've made!

Until next time,


I used to blog very regularly. Now, not so much. Which means I may be disconnected from you. Or maybe we haven't met before.

I'm Liz. I'm married to Jeff. We live in Indiana. Our kids are Teagan (she's almost 14 years old) and Zach (he turned 11 recently). Our dog is Bandit - he's a rescued chihuahua-esque cutie with his own hashtag #BanditioPoochito on Twitter and Instagram. Jeff and I both work full time. The kids go to the local public school. We are very involved in our church. We are a liberally minded family. We also love Disney - movies and World. In a lot of ways, we are just a basic, typical, white, suburban family.

Sometimes, I blog about faith. Or about life in general. Sometimes, I write about my political opinions or issues about social justice. Sometimes, I blog about healthy living and getting healthier. I like to dive deep into life and faith and trying to improve myself as a parent, a spouse, a friend, and so on.

In 2019, I am focusing on improving my physical health (diet and exercise), sharpening my mind (reading consistently), and improving my happiness (The Happiness Project).

Things I might blog about include:

Parenting a teenager and a tween is not for the faint of heart or those without a backbone.

Faith is fluid. It shifts and changes. Sometimes that can be scary.

Friends are vital.

Surviving parenthood and keeping a marriage in tact and happy is a unique challenge. I want my husband to be my best friend. I want us to like each other after the kids are gone.

Rekindling or finding new creativity.

Until next time,

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

One Choice

It's the New Year and that means many people are setting goals and resolutions. I'm no exception. I don't have a vision for all of 2019 but I do want to set monthly goals.

Here are my overall 2019 areas of focus.

Body - Health
In 2018, I lost 35 lb. I want to lose more. At least 15-20 more lb. The best way for me to achieve this goal is to break it down into manageable steps.

January Goals
10,000 steps per day - achieved through working out and walking.
No soda - drink water, 1 cup of coffee per day, hot or iced tea is ok.

Mind - Reading
I grew up reading constantly. I enjoy reading. But in the past few years, I tend to stop and start and not consistently read. Instead of just setting a goal to read 1-2 books per month, I plan to commit to a specific book each month. 

January's book is the classic Frankenstein.

The Happiness Project

My sister-in-law recommended this book and I received it for Christmas. While I know that I'm supposed to figure out my own path to Happiness, I like the idea of reading this book month by month since I happened to start it exactly on New Year's Day and it's written with monthly themes.

January's focus is Vitality.

  • Go to bed earlier
  • Exercise
  • Declutter/organize
  • Complete tasks
  • Act more energetic

It might feel like a lot to take on. But most of these things are already in place in my life. This just helps me sharpen the focus. Prioritize.

As I made my breakfast this morning, I was reminded that goals are achieved with each choice I make. If I choose to sit down and watch TV instead of exercising or reading, I am choosing not to focus on my goals. Sometimes, that's ok. But with each choice, I either stay focused or I don't. When I make a meal, I either make healthy choices or I don't. When I put water in my cup instead of Diet Coke, I'm making a choice. So it's just a matter of intentionally making choices throughout the day. Sometimes that feels less overwhelming. One choice at a time. Even if I make a bad choice, I don't have to throw away the whole day. The next choice can be better.

The next choice can always be better.

Until next time,

Monday, July 23, 2018

Healthy Choice Making

I am starting week 5 of a big change in our self care choices.

Back around the end of June, it suddenly hit me, after seeing part of a TED talk on how exercise helps your brain, that I have got to seriously change what I'm doing.

On June 23 and 24, Jeff and I began planning the new diet we needed to follow. On June 25, we started making different food choices. On June 26, I started working out.

I'm going to be really honest now.

Up through April, we had been doing tae kwon do 2-3 times per week. Yes, it's a good workout. But only if you work really hard at it and it would be most beneficial to do tkd a few times per week and be doing something else the other days. Once tkd was done, we were doing absolutely nothing.

My diet was horrible. I was easily eating fast food literally all 3 meals in a day.

I estimate that I could have easily consumer 3000+ calories each day in drinks and food choices. If not more, honestly. Every choice was driven by what I was in the mood for or what sounded good. I gave zero consideration to nutrition.

Breakfast - Taco Bell grilled breakfast burrito and iced coffee with cream and sugar.
Lunch - Jimmy John's with chips and a large soda.  Or maybe a chain restaurant meal - like Abuelo's. Chips and salsa and then a couple of enchiladas in sauces and rice or potatoes.
Dinner - Again with the restaurant choices. French fries was an easy choice for a side.

Snacking happened all day. We always had ice cream, chips, dip available for snacking while watching TV. We were taking the kids out for ice cream several times per week.

We were teaching our kids our bad habits.

Now a month has passed. I am starting week 5.

My food choices are based on nutritional value - does this food have nutrition or is it empty calories?

I am back to wearing a Fitbit and have pretty consistently been getting around 10K steps or more per day.

I signed on for Beachbody - access to all the workouts and am doing daily Shakeology. I do at least 30 minutes of working out Monday - Friday and get out for walks throughout the weekend.

I am logging my food daily on My Fitness Pal.

I am consuming under 1800 calories per day.

And it's working.

I've lost 11 lb. I feel stronger. I've revived my healthy living Facebook group. I feel good. I don't feel deprived.

My first goal is another 9 lb to lose. Then I will reset my goal.

My motivation is our upcoming October trip to Disney - I want to be healthy and strong for all of the activity and walking.

My motivation is setting a healthy example for my kids. I don't want them growing up thinking that potato chips, cheetos, ice cream, and fast food are normal and acceptable ways of fueling yourself. I do want them to love fruits and vegetables and have the knowledge to make better choices. I do want them to value activity and exercise.

My motivation is feeling the way I used to feel. The last time I was this strong in my healthy living choices was more than 6 years ago. I miss having this energy. I miss feeling proud of my accomplishments.

I think there was a series of things that have happened this year in order to bring me to this place where I could finally flip the switch.

1. I made a new friend through church. At our women's retreat, she just kind of mentioned that exercise is really important to her. She gets up super early to workout.  And since then, I can just see how that plays out in her life and who she is. She hasn't talked about it since to me or brought it up at all. But it stuck in my head.

2. I got my black belt in tae kwon do. Which was an awesome accomplishment. But I was also disappointed because I knew I could have been better if I had been taking better care of myself and exercising more. I also knew that reaching that goal meant that the little bit of exercise I was getting was now gone.

3. I recognized that my body was craving fruits and vegetables and I wasn't doing a good job of feeding it. I even had a week where I was drinking fresh pressed vegetable based juices again simply because my body wanted those nutrients.

4. I hit my highest weight ever. Truth be told, I don't know exactly what my highest weight was. But I had a physical in the spring and my weight was... *gulp* 246 lb. I know I gained more after that weigh in. I wouldn't be surprised if I actually started this journey at 250 lb. But I put my starting weight at the 246 I knew to be true in April.

5. We kept having health problems. I knew that improvements to diet and exercise would help with physical health, mental health, and behavior. For everyone in the family.

6. That looming trip to Disney. I would be crushed if we went and my body failed me on a long day in one of the parks. I always make a plan to start walking more before we go to Disney to prepare myself. But because I was so very unhealthy, more had to be done than just trying to get out for a walk each day. I need muscle. I need stamina. I need strength.

I was thinking that I really want to keep better track of when this started. The motivation has stayed strong. The desire to stay on track has remained in tact. I have goals that I want to achieve. I have my husband also participating and going strong. My kids are supportive and understanding of the different food options in our home. Nutrition and exercise is common conversation in our family now.

This next month will be a huge test for me. I have a substantial project at work and will be traveling for 2 weeks. Not even home for the weekend. I will be staying in a Residence Inn so will have a kitchen - won't have to rely on every meal coming from a restaurant. I also traveled my very first week and it ended up feeling like a personal fit camp - I learned I could get up early and work out. I could make healthy choices in restaurants or the cafeteria at corporate. And then I brought those habits home with me.

I am eager to see what happens in the next month - the first month certainly went better than I had expected!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Aftermath

There was a school shooting in our community last Friday.

A 13 year old male student asked to be excused from his science class. He returned with 2 guns and opened fire. A female student was injured. The science teacher (and football coach) tackled the shooter, knocked the guns away, getting shot in the process. Thankfully, no one was killed. 2 people were physically injured.

Here is what I haven't heard about in the media when it comes to school shootings - because they haven't been in my community. Local media reports very differently than national media. Listening to the people who were impacted - those stories don't make the news. And really shouldn't, I suppose.

When these shootings happen, we jump to "don't give the shooter any attention, don't say his name" type of comments. I often agree. Until it happened here. I want to know who he is. I want to know who is parents are, if he has siblings. I want to know if they knew their child had problems that were pointing to the ability to take this kind of action. Because I look through my lens of parenting and I know that if my child were to shoot anyone, I would have a lot of questions. My kids have zero access to guns. I don't see any signs in my kids of problems that could lead them to violence. Did this child's parents know what was happening in his head and in his heart? I assume the kid brought the guns from home - but what if he didn't? Where did he get them? How did he learn to use them?

The kids from the middle school were bused to the high school. That part was reported. Parents had to wait a long time to pick up their kids because of the process of reuniting the right kid to the right adult.

Not reported in most media was that some little jerkwad kid at the high school thought it would be funny to text in a bomb threat at the high school. Again - I want to know who that kid is and if the school and his parents knew that he had the potential for this kind of trouble. Because that stupid threat created an even more terrifying situation as the high school and all the kids who had been bused over went into "code red" lockdown. Which means barricading classroom doors, hiding in closets and corners, sending terrified texts to your family and friends.

The kids who had just been bused to the high school because of a shooting inside their school are then in lockdown in a gym in a high school with most of their parents waiting outside to get to them.

The kids who go to that high school, who are on alert because they know why those middle schoolers are in their gym, are now terrified of what they imagine is about to happen in their school.

The middle school kids who were closest to the classroom where the shooting occurred - kids who witnessed their friend and classmate being shot, who witnessed their teacher fulfilling his promise to always protect them, kids and teachers who heard the gunshots and screams in the classroom next door, across the hall, nearby - ran out of the building and hid (as they are taught to do). I have a friend who is a bus driver in that district and she was picking kids up in her bus from the field next to the school. Kids who were scared and not sure what was going to happen next after running away to hide from a gunman - who then had to trust that she would be able to keep them safe, get them to safety.

Those kids from the middle school came to the high school gym and as the hours stretched on, those kids got hungry. The cafeteria stepped up and brought as much food as it could, considering they didn't expect to feed 2 schools that day.

Here is what will stay with me the next time there is a school shooting that makes the news - all of the ripples. While the Noblesville shooting won't stay in the media for long because no one died, it will stay as an impactful event on the community.

The next time there is a shooting, I will think about the teachers and administrators who stay in their classrooms and schools within that district, even though they have their own kids in the school where a shooting has happened.

The next time there is a shooting, I will think about the bus drivers who take traumatized kids to a safe place.

The next time there is a shooting, I will think about all of the ways these kids and teachers are connected to their communities outside of the school. The other schools in the district, through churches, through sports, through gyms and community centers, through neighborhoods, through their local eateries, and so on. A school shooting doesn't just impact that school. It impacts the school district, the neighborhoods, the surrounding school districts and more. Just by virtue of being a resident of Indiana, people in other states heard about a shooting in Indiana and reached out to me to see if it had happened where my kids are located.

The next time there is a shooting, I will think about the kids in nearby schools who don't know what is happening, who aren't being given any information, but are clearly understanding that something has happened, the teacher is acting different, we are on "code yellow" and no one will tell me anything.

The next time there is a shooting, I will think about the parents who get the phone call to come to the police station rather than the hospital or school or pick up location.

The next time there is a shooting, I will think about all the families at bedtime and all the kids who won't want to go to sleep. It's easy, from a distance, to assume that these kids are fine because they weren't hurt or they weren't in that building. But Friday changed so many children in so many ways. Children were introduced to a real level of fear that they hadn't truly ever understood before. And shouldn't have to understand. Adults get the concept of "upset person with gun has long term, serious, terrible consequences." Children don't. Which might be part of why they turn to a gun... I don't know.

I don't have answers. I do have questions. Questions that don't seem to have answers right now. Questions that maybe I don't even have words for right now.

My focus is just on how we get hurting people through a traumatic event. How do we move forward and convince our kids that the school is still a safe place? How do we calm parents as they send their kids to what should be a safe place? How does a community heal and how does each individual take part in that healing?