What would your self contract say?

I planned for today to be a day in front of the computer where I got lots of writing done. Well, the universe had other plans for me. Instead of working on lesson plans for the NFB of Nevada BELL Academy, instead of writing a long blog which was to include awesome photos from my half marathon, I have a laptop that won’t turn on and a sick kid to cuddle and listen to Harry Potter with.

Instead, I get to write this short blog post from my handy WordPress app on my phone.

A few years ago, I attended a leadership program on emotional intelligence. I walked away with a personal contract that said, “I am an unstoppable, courageous, and powerful woman.”

Today, three years of continued self discovery, self development, and lots of self compassion and self love later, I have a more fitting contract with myself.

The old contract came from the self that was still searching, still needing to prove something. The old contract screamed, “I am woman, hear me roar!”

This new contract comes from a self who owns her space, A self who is confident, having nothing to prove to anyone her worth, and a self who owns and loves herself wholeheartedly.

This new contract with myself reads, “I am a worthy, kind, confident woman.”

What would your contract with your self say?

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Tuesday Tip, Never Leave Home Without a Spare

image of a metal cane tip

When hitting the road, every driver should have with them a spare tire, just in case an emergency arises.  As a nondriver, my spare cane tip is something I carry with me in every purse,, backpack, or tote bag.

Featured above is a photo of the metal cane tip zipped in that side inner pocket of my bags.  If you want to know why I choose the long white cane (also known as the NFB cane) over the shorter, heavier, slower moving cane with the red tip, I invite you to read on in my, “Meet the Rupps,” blog post.

What is something you never leave home without?

Fun Trivia Fact, What Color are the Streetlights in Henderson?

I find that I am spending more and more time in Henderson.  It’s quite literally just on the other side of the Interstate.  Most of us in this area have no idea where Vegas ends and Henderson begins.  Actually, did you know that the two cities have completely different colored streetlights?  That’s a fun fact for a trivia game.

Why am I going on and on about streetlights and the city of Henderson?  Since I’ve been running, and since I’ve been spending all of my free time preparing for our NFB of Nevada BELL Academy, which will be taking place at the new Henderson campus of the Nevada Blind Children Foundation, I’m loving the city more and more with it’s family friendly feel.  From the running trails, parks, schools, community activities, and lastly our off Strip Local stay-cation spot at Lake Las Vegas. I’m in need of a summer program for my future engineer like Snapology.  After learning about the STEM themed parties, summer and after school programs, I’m halfway tempted myself to open a franchise.

future engineer holding a lego car

I’ll stop blabbing on, but before I go, if you live in either Vegas or Henderson, can you please do me a favor?  Step outside after the sun goes down and tell me if the streetlights are white or yellow?

The ultimate accessory that goes with it all

My friend S, Author of the blog, adventures in lowvision, just posted a clever piece about her new cane. Sorry S, I am already in bed and blogging from my phone again so I don’t know how to insert hyperlinks to take my readers to your page.

After reading about her new cane, I started thinking about all the canes I keep in the basket at our front door. At this moment, I have three standing there that belong to me, and two that belong to Marley. Jackson also has his own cane because he often doesn’t want to be left out. And my husband has a cane in the closet that he received at the white cane walk at the 2014 National Federation of the blind national convention. Every year, the national organization of parents of blind children host a white cane walk. This allows parents of blind children to be Todd by certified orientation and mobility instructors, so that they can in turn learn how to work with their own children when using a long white cane.

Why do I have three canes, just to myself? Well, I always need a spare because you never know when one will get snapped in a car door. Also, my canes are different heights. Why would I have canes at different heights? Simple answer is, to accessorize with my different shoes, of course. My cane tells me what is in front of me. I like my cane to be extra long for extra information sooner rather than later. If I’m wearing a pair of shoes that makes me a few inches taller, then of course my cane also needs to be taller.

No matter the occasion, whether I am dressed in a business suit, little black dress, athleisure wear, or hippy gear, I can always count on my long white cane being my favorite accessory item.

What is your favorite accessory item?

*** please pardon the typos, as this is another post published via the wordpress app on my iPhone.***

What is your Compass word?

Real quick before I get into bed for the evening. This is been on my mind as a pending post. I figured, why not just write a quick one now, instead of not writing it at all?

Earlier this year, a friend asked a question to a group of us, “what word would you choose to help serve as your Compass for the year?” This would be your north star word, your guiding light word, the word that turns you in the direction you want to head towards.

I chose the word… “value.”

So much of my energy in 2017 was lost in my self-worth conversation. I will leave that self-worth post for another day where I can dive more deeply and give it the proper time to articulate my thoughts.

Value.

I, I have value. I am valued. I serve value. Everyone I come into contact with, every situation big or small, there is value in it all.

So… What would be your Compass word?

Tuesday Tip, “Just Be.”

Before I continue on to the rest of my long list of to do’s on this Tuesday, I just had to stop and share a piece of my morning here.

It was an extra beautiful morning in Las Vegas. The weather forecast says the day is to be cloudy with isolated thunderstorms. At 8:30 AM, I decided to enjoy the 60° that will soon be replaced with triple digit temperatures.

After the kids hopped on the bus, equipped with my comfy running shoes, and my hair pulled back in a ponytail in a hat, my cane and I headed out for a stroll. This Greenbelt (featured in the photo above) is one of the things I love most about our neighborhood. It’s green grass, smooth pavement, lush trees, and sound and smells of spring kept me company.

When I noticed my mind was starting to race back to those to do list items, I plugged in my earbuds and turn on my current book of choice on mindfulness, “Search Inside Yourself,” google’s book on emotional intelligence. Instead of picking back up where I left off last, I went back a ways. I think it’s going to take me a while to finish this book since I keep doing that. Anyhow, as I approached the gate to my community, I heard this quote and thought how fitting to attach it with this photo I snapped during my walk.

“, what lies behind us, and what lies in front of us, are tiny matters to what lies within us.” by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I’m choosing to keep this handy in my collection of quotes. It’s especially going to help with propelling me along this Sunday as I run my first half marathon.

Tuesday tip, if you don’t have extra time in your day to fit in a stroll, just take two minutes to just be. Just be. Don’t do, or think, or plan, or be stuck in your head. Just, “Be…”

**please don’t mind any typos, as this is another post being published via the WordPress app on my iPhone.**

Silence at the meat counter

There I was, at the meat counter at our neighborhood grocery store. All I wanted was to pick up two salmon fillets to grill for dinner. We have had problems with a particular butcher at that meat counter before. You see, we don’t like contributing to the waste in the landfill, so we do what we can not to. In this case, instead of purchasing the prepackaged salmon fillet which comes wrapped in plastic on a Styrofoam tray, we wait in line to pick out our meal selections which come to us wrapped in paper.

The woman in line in front of me walked away silently. There I stood waiting… Silently. There were people standing behind me, waiting, silently… did the butcher walk to the back? Silence… I waited… And waited… Silence. Then I finally said, “Hello? Can I please have your two larges salmon fillets?” His answer came from directly in front of me. How long had he been standing there? I just had to laugh. And then when he handed me a tiny wrapped piece of salmon in butcher paper, I laughed even more. At that moment, my husband walked up to the cart and I handed him what had just been handed to me. “here you go babe. This is what your favorite butcher thought I wanted when I asked for two large pieces of salmon.” Together, we turn back around and encountered a fresh person behind the glass, who was able to give us exactly what we wanted.

That silent stand off is pretty common. I wait for the person behind the counter to say something, while that person waits for me to say something. Hmm… “Hello?”

In yesterday’s case, it was just too comical not to share.

A Smile in every Step

Today is Saturday, April 14th. The last time I actually wrote a blog on my website was my children’s first day of school. I’ve been having too much fun, way too much fun living my life and taking everything in to make time to sit down in front of a computer. It’s wild to think that exactly a year ago, I was desperately struggling. I was searching for balance. I found myself crying all the time. I felt empty, unappreciated, and I was over committing myself to people and projects, then feeling even worse when I couldn’t follow through. Recently, our family spent a week up in the mountains at my father-in-law’s property for spring break. During that week, I reflected on how choosing to fill my life with joy has changed its trajectory, and how I no longer feel empty, but whole, complete, and at peace.

Life is a journey, not the destination. I’m grateful to be able to smile every single step of the way. I am grateful to feel value, Love, and purpose. I am grateful for the characters in my sometimes theatrical play of life, no matter what role you might hold. As this month is my birthday month, I invite you to celebrate life in it’s entirety with me.

So what have I been up to these last few months that has kept me from wanting to write? I have fully embraced my role as the president of the national Federation of the blind of Nevada, a role that allows me to educate, empower, and inspired as I change what it means to be blind. I hosted my first NFB of Nevada State convention and I am now planning my second one, which will be held in Reno October 5 and sixth. I took a trip to Washington DC and finally dragged my husband along with me where we not only met with Congress but had some time to play tourist as well. I rediscovered my love of running thanks to Achilles Las Vegas. Yesterday, I ran 10.5 miles, and on May 6, I will be running my first half marathon. My ultimate goal is to run the Las Vegas rock and roll marathon in November. I spent a weekend in Salt Lake City at a leadership seminar, and another weekend in orange county with a beautiful group of women whom I call my Daring Sisters. I started teaching braille at the blind Center of Nevada. Though I am busy living an active life, if the center decides to find more value than only offering braille once a week, I would be happy to spend more of my time there bringing the joy of literacy to its members. Just this week alone, I had a birthday brunch with some ladies and their daughters, celebrated our dear sweet friend’s eighth birthday, and my children and I gave a presentation at a book club at a senior center where Marley and I both read braille. Our family calendar is quickly filling up with plans full of adventure.

The sunshine is too seductive and life too sweet to be spent in front of a screen. I may or may not write more on my blog website, but please follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as I share my journey with you.

#LiveActivelyLoveProactively

For My Loves on Your First Day of School

Today is a big day.  Today, is your first day of school.  When you step onto the playground, and into your classroom, mommy wants you to remember these two very important things.  You’re backpack is loaded not only  of school supplies, your lunch not just packed with healthy eats, the most important thing you are bringing with you today are kindness and compassion.

Marley, this summer you discovered that blindness comes in all different flavors.  Just like blindness, personalities differ as well.  Some personalities might mix with yours better than others.  Just remember that no matter how nutty, gritty, sweet, or sour they may be, you feel better when you add in sprinkles of kindness.

Jackson, you have always been my special little guy who wants to know how everyone feels.  Keep those questions in your heart.  Trust your tummy.  That tummy of yours, and those dragonflies fluttering about will never fail you in making the right choices.

This morning I’ll make sure to swirl an extra layer of love into your breakfast, spread an extra serving of kindness into your lunch, and stir an abundance of happiness and joy for my special girl and boy.  I promise to keep your bellies fed with love, so that you never run out as you step into the adventure of another school year.

Love,

Mommy

image of a heart with two footprings inside of it. Over the image are the words, Many people will walk in and out of our life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your hea

What is the source that drives your force?

I only recently became a Star Wars fan.  Our family owns all seven episodes, minus Rogue 1.  That one wasn’t really that good and not part of the series.  So, since today is Star Wars Day, and we’re all wishing each other, “May the fourth be with you,” I thought that this was the perfect time to publish this post.

What is the source that drives your force?

Whether you are a Jedi, a stay at home mom, working mom, single mom, a teacher, firefighter, cop, lawyer, politician, bus driver, house keeper, nurse, doctor, whether you may be young or old.  Think about that question for a minute…

What is the source that drives your force?

or in my husbands way of saying it, which often follows some snotty or passive aggressive comment from my mouth,

“What is the motivation behind that?”

I admit, I have had my ups and downs.  I want to thank you for hanging in there with me as I work through my craziness.  I recently went back and read some of my older blog posts and saw that my earlier pieces were so much more uplifting and inspiring.  I also found a new book I absolutely love, and begin each day with.  I’ll be writing all about this wonderful book soon, so don’t worry.  I never keep those sort of things to myself.

What is the source that drives your force?

Is it status, recognition, power?

Is it money so you can keep up with the Jones’s ?

Is it fear?

Is it obligation?

Is it duty?

Is it guilt?

Or…

is it love?

In my attempts to isolate what is causing my ship to spin without a working compass, I took a hard look in the mirror.  I did not like who was looking back at me. My engine was overheating and on the edge of exploding or going under.  It was vital I unloaded all that I was taking on board and weighing  me down.  It was time to clean out the gunk that clogged the gears.  It was time to get back to the old me, the joy filled me.    It’s still a work in progress, but with the daily practice of self love, I will be able to find land again.

It is love that I needed to power my force.

What is the source that drives your force?

 

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My kids sledding together on a bright green saucer