One Word

Last December I finished reading the book One Word by Jon Gordon, Dan Britton and Jimmy Page.  This book helped me to bring my life into focus.  For two years prior to reading One Word, I have been documenting my life through Project 365.  I started Project 365 not only to capture moments but also to begin the process of reflection and to have a grateful heart.  After reading One Word in December 2013, I realized I wanted to continue this process of reflection and truly guide my direction for 2014.

On December 31, 2013 my word became very clear in my mind.  


This is what I wrote on that day: My #oneword for 2014. EXECUTE.  It is time to make the most of every opportunity, moment and wish.  I want to be fully present and follow through on each task and to-do.  I want to experience so much this year and fully execute each occasion that comes my way.  

This past year I have focused on executing so many things in my life - both professionally and personally.  I also even created 14 of '14.  These were 14 things, I wanted to fully execute throughout the year.  Although some were as small as reading a book a month, others seemed almost too large at the time like finishing another master course just for my own professional growth.  

However, as the days past throughout the year, my word began to drive everything I did.  I would find myself asking if I had fully executed throughout the day.  Did I commit and follow through on what I had promised?

As 2014 comes to an end, I have decided to do One Word again for 2015.  While reading Jon's book, he mentions the word will just come to you.  You will find it and feel it with your whole heart.  In recent weeks, I have written a word over and over, I have seen it come up over and over in books, on videos I watch, twitter, etc.  I feel it when I lay in bed before I close my eyes.  My word for 2015 truly does feel like it is meant for me and has come even more from my heart.  I can not wait to share it.  

But for the next few weeks of 2014 - I will continue to EXECUTE fully every challenge, opportunity, and experience that comes my way.

Stop Thinking and Start Doing

We often sit around and think of all the things we would like to do.  We think of all of our dreams we have for ourselves.  We create lists upon lists – grocery lists, to-do lists and for some, we often even create bucket lists.  All of the time we spend thinking we tell ourselves it is for preparation.  Our thinking is preparing us for when we actually are ready to do it.  We think about all the things that need to be in place before.  I need this new job first.  I need this amount of money.  I need to have my finances in order.  I need to finish this project.

Although preparation is important, we need to start doing.  Action is the only true way you are going to accomplish the items on your list or be the person you were meant to be.  Tomorrow is going to come whether you want it to or not - but more importantly it is what you choose to do that counts.  So stop thinking and start doing.

Celebrate YOU!

I have been spending a lot of time reflecting and finally relaxing after a long school year.  What really intrigued me today was thinking about how we celebrate others so effortlessly but can so easily forget ourselves.  We can easily celebrate other people's successes and accomplishments.  We can easily celebrate other people's birthdays.  But for some reason when it comes to ourselves we struggle to celebrate ourselves.

We are often modest.  We will say things like, "Oh, It is no big deal" or "It is just another day."  If this becomes our norm, what are we constantly telling ourselves.

Today, you need to take some time to Celebrate YOU!  Go out and buy yourself that mini-cupcake and celebrate all the things you have accomplished in life.  Whether it is school, family, work- whatever it is.  I don't really care.  How about just even celebrating life!! You are alive!!

Tuesday, I OWN YOU!

Well, Monday has come and gone and it is Tuesday.  Sometimes after a rough Monday, I just want a do-over.  But, then I sit back and I really want a do-over of Monday or do I just want to take Tuesday on with everything I got. 

So, here we are Tuesday.  And I have three words for you - I OWN YOU!

I am not going to let others bring me down.  I am going to stay positive and only say kind words.  I am going to be present in today.  

Have a great Tuesday, everyone! 

Be Your Best You

I think we all have those days where we wish to have someone else's life.  The people who seem to have everything or even things we want in our own life - money, cars, fame, relationships, etc.  I think having those days is a natural part of being.  Maybe they are there to remind us of goals and aspirations.  Or maybe they are even there to remind us to think sometimes out of our ordinary life.  

But, I am here to tell you one thing:

Yes, you can want things others have, but you will never achieve any of those if you are not the best of who you are.  Be the best mother/father, friend, teacher, son/daughter, uncle/aunt you can possibly be.  Be the best version of you and everything else will fall into place.  You will have the fame, fortune and success you desire.  Never stop looking for ways to improve.  So go out there and 

13 of '13

It is hard to believe 365 days have come and gone.  As we continue to live in this crazy rat race we call life we must take time to create moments to make memories.  Life is short.

Just shortly before the start of 2013, I signed up on Instagram and also committed myself to Project 365 - a photo a day to capture my life.  What I loved most about this project was it was an opportunity to just appreciate the days and even sometimes the little things in life.  Now as I reflect on it, I wish more than ever I would have started sooner.  I am so grateful for the many moments and memories I have captured this year.

I have tried to create a recap of my 2013 year with 13 of '13.  Here are just a few of the many moments I will never forget.  I feel very blessed as I write this blog post.  Many amazing things happened this year for me.

1) Best Friend moments even oceans apart
Every friendship is about time, effort and love.  My life has been truly blessed with a best friend who still makes time for our friendship even though we are miles apart.  We make time for each other holding long distance movie nights as well as finding time to text.  As well, this year also marked her becoming a mom.
Thanks for the memories, Lynn.

2) Concerts with my niece
It has become somewhat our tradition to go to concerts together.  I call myself the loser aunt that drags her niece to all these concerts.  But deep down nothing beats getting a chance to spend some one on one time together.  This year saw us go to Nelly Furtado, Rihanna and Taylor Swift.

Need I say more.  This was truly a once in a lifetime experience.
One of my favorite quotes from the evening was What ever follows I am..... becomes your being.

I went to my very first WCFW in March and fell so much in love I decided to volunteer for it in September.  My love for fashion is always present and this year also marked a joint Instagram account with a girlfriend called Teaching in Style.

5) Twitter/#cdnedchat
I finally embraced many elements of social media this year and really can't believe I didn't do it sooner.  I have met many inspiring people who are passionate about education.  Joining Twitter also pushed me to go outside my comfort zone and also become a moderator for #cdnedchat.

6) Summer Concert Series
This summer saw me attend many concerts with friends and family.  I loved each one and feel so grateful to spend this time with the people I love. Concerts seen include: NKOTB, DLM, Bruno Mars, REBA and Legends of Summer.

7) Flattening the Classroom 
I was so pleased to apply for a grant and be the recipient of $1000 dollars that allowed my students to make connections outside of our classroom through Twitter and Blogging.  This project also allowed us to document our learning through our digital lunchbox.

8) First 5km Race.
Another push outside my comfort zone.  I signed up for my first 5 km race and was able to share this experience with some exceptional friends.  Already looking forward to next year's Color Me Rad run.

9) Olympic Cauldron
Although this was part of a trip to Vancouver during the summer concert series - the Olympic Cauldron has to be mentioned separately.  This was truly a dream come true for me.  Every time I even think about the 2010 Winter Olympics - I tear up. To be a part of the torch run in 2010 was breathtaking and to witness where the journey ended was AMAZING!

10) Seattle
This summer marked a trip to Seattle which meant an adventure in itself - 8 different hotels in 8 days.  Tried to experience as much as possible on this trip which included:
My first ever kayaking experience
Gum Wall in Post Alley
Pike Place Fish Market
First Starbucks
Pinball Museum
Mariners and Jays Baseball Game
Seattle Needle
EMP Museum
And my favorite part - Dale Chihuly Museum

11) WE Day
In recent years, I have been wanting to serve and finally pushed myself to actually do it.  One of my most inspirational moments this year was WE Day.  I volunteered with a friend as part of the Youth Seating Team.  We made two trips to Calgary to be a part of this event.  This day included speakers such as Spencer West, Magic Johnson and Marc and Craig Kielburger.  If you ever get a chance to be a part of WE Day, I encourage you to take part.  The future looks bright with these amazing children leading the way.

One of my favorite quotes from the day:

12) Los Angeles/Anaheim
A trip to Anaheim seems to be a yearly occurrence as my love for Disney can't keep me away.  But, I also wanted this trip to include some other highlights including a once in a lifetime experience.
Some of the highlights on this trip were:
Disneyland/California Adventure  - Blue Bayou, CARS Land
Griffith Observatory
Disney Concert Hall
Tar Pits
The Grove
Farmer's Market - Sticker Store
Rodeo Drive
    This was my first ever NBA game and I wanted it to be memorable.  Nothing could beat court side seats sitting amongst celebrities.  I don't think I stopped smiling all game and I also have the game recorded so I can watch my silly self over and over waving at the camera.

13) Phoenix
As 2013 drew to an end, it had to go out with a bang and be memorable.  This trip to Phoenix became a family event which would include 3 major sporting events- Football-Dec.29, Hockey-Dec.31 and Basketbal-Jan.2.
There was also a special trip to Taliesin West which has been on the bucket list for awhile.  Not only was this trip enjoyable but it also allowed an opportunity to escape the cold weather back home.

Some other notable highlights from 2013
Cirque with the family, EIFF (Edmonton International Film Festival), Master Course with 100% Final Mark

Cheers to a fantastic 2013!
Looking forward to 2014!!