2010 was full of big wins. In late January 2010, I became the US National Long Track for the Senior Ladies. A few weeks later I skated to my third US National Speedskating Marathon title and completed the 50k (which left me smiling for at least three days). And in June, I was awarded one of the ISTE Emerging Leadership awards and met some of the most amazing individuals ever (Julie Stevens, Mary Beth Hertz, Adam Bellow, Chris Craft, and Andy Crozier). After I won that award an individual came up to me and said, "This award is a gift, and it is up to you on how you want to use that gift." And use that gift I did.
In 2011, I decided to head back to school for my Minnesota Administrative License at the University of St. Thomas, received my Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) in 2012, and my Superintendent license in 2013. While my day-to-day job had me creating a professional development program which was awarded the ISTE Seal of Alignment and Osseo became the first school district in the country to receive this distinction. I was ready for a new job in 2016 and I became the Coordinator of Instructional Systems, which has been an amazing experience and the team I hired is truly the best.
Besides education and a new job, I used that gift to do good for others. See Mary Beth told me while we were backstage waiting for our Emerging Leader Award about a way to give teachers professional development for free. So in 2012 not only did Tom Brandt and I start EdCampMSP and host seven camps through fall of 2017, we also helped Winnipeg and Bemidji start their camps as well.
In 2013, I hung up my speedskates. After five national titles, one North American title, and a gold and silver medal from Masters International it was time to figure out what to do next...
And then 2014 happened. Instead of a romantic dinner on Valentine's Day, Erik had a biopsy of his thyroid. Two weeks after he completed his bachelors degree at Bemidji State in May - he had his first partial thyroidectomy, June we learned he had thyroid cancer, July he completed his thyroidectomy, October he was nuked with radioactive iodine, and on December 9, 2014 we learned he was cancer-free. While I was so thankful for the work of his oncology team; our thoughts quickly shifted when in November 2014 my mum was diagnosed with colon cancer. My mum fought and lived every day throughout her 3 years of treatment. We went to Hawaii, Alaska, Kansas, Florida, Utah, and Canada (just to name a few places). She made sure that everyone she loved had a homemade quilt from her - so that when she was called home in 2018, we were able to wrap ourselves in her love. While I would like to tell 2018 to kiss my #$%, I found an amazing group of other motherless daughters [She Climbs Mountains] and learned that I wasn't alone.
I found out in 2016 that I loved running long distances and have completed four Bemidji Blue Ox Half Marathons, three Indy Mini's (including one in a downpour). I also got dad to start running again and we did the Twin Cities 10 mile in October 2019.
By 2019 I realized that when my mum would say to me, "Honey this is life, and that is why we live it." That she would want me to live my life. So I got new cross country skis and taught my nephews (born in 2013 and 2015) how to ski. Then my sister and I made my mum's dream come true by nominating my dad to raise the US Flag at the Minnesota Twins Game. Ironically, he was selected to raise the flag on my birthday, if that wasn't the way to kick off my goals to have 40 amazing experiences before I turned 40 in May 2020 - I am not sure what would be. We were able to celebrate the day with many of our family and friends.
As 2019 wound down, Erik and I celebrated 20 years together. We met as two college kids in 1999 and married in 2006. Looking back at many of the pictures from early in our relationship, I thought of the lyrics from the Sunscreen Song, "trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at the photos of yourself and recall in a ways you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you.". There is so much truth in those lyrics. In 20 years it has been a great adventure, and I am so glad that at 19 and 21 we decided to go out on that date.
The 20s will bring more changes. While I will be turning 40 in May 2020. There is a new home in our future. I will continue to remind myself of the mantra I learned in my 30s, "Until further notice, celebrate everything".