2021 Pay-It-Forward:
The first five people to connect with me will receive from me, sometime within the calendar year, a handwritten note, perhaps with a gift attached. There will likely be no warning and it will happen whenever the mood strikes me.
Let’s all pay it forward this year!
Pay it forward!!
Let’s connect!! Peace, #tutulady #forwardisapace


Holiday hints from Krissy Claus.
First the easy stuff….Do not count calories. Do not wear a watch. Try doing what other people feel like doing rather than being compelled to always make the plan. Stay in pj’s as long as possible each day. Getting coffee, bagels, donuts or tacos in pajamas is not only socially acceptable, it’s encouraged. Get down and look at your children when they talk to you. Or if they are getting taller than you these days, look up. Make eye contact. Cook someone’s favorite meal. Or cook your favorite and deliver to some friends. Sit by the fire and leave your cell phone in another room. Let the kids frost the cookies, trash the kitchen and get high on icing. Watch Christmas Vacation. Make pancakes with holiday M&M’s in them. If it’s not a hassle to make a fire in the fireplace, it’s an invitation. Pet your dog, especially right behind the ears the way they like it. When you grab your last minute stocking stuffers from the drugstore (admit it, I’ll see you there), pick up a couple scarves, socks, or fleece blankets to hand out to homeless people when you drive by – you can even let your kids do the honors and feel warm inside.
Now these are a bit more challenging but Krissy has faith in you! Put away your politics for a while and just love on people. Be kind …..especially to those “sandpaper people” in your life. The people who bug you are in your life for a reason, you may as well love them because they have something to teach you (as my friend says on the subject of judgment, “You spot it, you got it.” THAT makes you think twice). Don’t assume people know you love them, be clear. Ask questions and LISTEN to the responses. Active listening is a form of love. Accept people where THEY are right now…not where you want them to be or where you are in your comfort zone….you don’t have to step all the way out of your box but perhaps take down part of a wall. Think of someone you know (maybe not even very well) who has had a tough year this year and pick up the phone or put pen to paper and wish them a happier new year. Go for an evening walk and take in all the lights. Turn off all the lights in the house except the tree and sit there, at least once, late at night and recall what you are grateful for. Try to make peace with (instead of sense of) the things you don’t feel as grateful for. You are not too old or jaded to believe in magic. Everything you need is right here – every day, and especially at the holidays.


This photo means so much to me. It popped up in my memories recently and was a reminder of so many things.
It was 5 years ago….but it seems like a lifetime ago. My kids and I had taken a trip way up North to be with friends. While there, the kids wanted to go cliff jumping at a quarry. The last time I was cliff jumping was when I was in high school… it had been a minute! One after the other the kids jumped from the high cliff into the water as the adults cheered and laughed. I am not sure why but all of a sudden, I decided I wanted to jump. I could not remember the last thing I did something irrational. So I moved in front of the other kids and just took that last step….that leap of faith. What I did not know then was how that momententary decision would become a metaphor for my life.
As I felt my back foot leave the ground and I began to freefall, I felt scared but in an exhilarating sort of way, if that makes sense. It was not the “fear of death” scared. It was the “excitement of the unknown” scared. For the past 20 years of my life to that point, I had been controlled and lived in the service of others, my husband, my kids, my job…everything. In that moment, I was free to make a choice for myself. Free to step off a cliff and freefall to the water.
The second I broke the surface of the water I gasped. It was the kind of gasp a baby takes at the moment of birth. A long pause and then a loud cry……I screamed! What a feeling! Unforgettable on so many levels!
The following week, I legally filed for divorce. I had been separated for a few weeks when my kids and I left for this trip but once home, I was ready to take the next step….that real leap. The dissolution of a 20 year marriage is never easy but when other issues are tossed in the mix, the process becomes nasty and horrendous for everyone involved.
The months and years that followed, as I moved through the divorce process, I leaned into all the feelings. The loss, fear, pain, devastation, anger, sadness, greif, failure, guilt, depression, anxiety….I leaned into it all. And then I took a leap.
I leaned and then leaped each time. With each leap, I gained confidence and more freedom. I was learning to make choices for myself again. I was learning to trust myself again. This was not an easy process. Fear had always been my go to emotion, but slowly faith was taking over.
These past 5 years have not been easy by any means but nothing worthwhile is ever easy. I have learned so much, growing in self confidence and faith, becoming so much more courageous. I have learned to trust myself and others. I have become more courageous, excited about life, fearless (ok….not totally!), free and I am discovering a new me that I LOVE!
Do I make the right choice every single time? Nope! Am I proud of every choice I make? Nope. But I own every single choice I make, as well as the consequences of each choice. I lean, leap and learn each and every time!
What is one way you have taken a leap of faith? Do you need guidance or support to take that step? I am here for you! Do one thing today that scares you!
Let’s lean, leap and learn together!


He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.

Muhammad Ali

I thought about courage as I ran today. What is courage? What does it take to have courage? When do we exhibit courage?

I see courage in the face of the parts of children with autism and other special gifts. I will never know the challenges these parents and children face fist hand but as I look at them, I see courage. Courage to face whatever comes their way. Courage to care for a child that is in need 24/7/365. Courage to give 100% of themselves all the time. They are heroes to me.

I see courage when I look into the faces of the girls I teach, coach and mother. The life of a girl is so much harder than when I was growing up. There are so many more pressures. There are so many more expectations. There are so many more challenges for girls today. We are a society obsessed with appearances. Girls are forced into a ‘box’. If girls do not look, act and dress like the others, they are teased, make fun of and bullied….not only by other girls, but by boys and adults as well. There are so many ways for children to get bullied now. They can not have a ‘safe zone’ to escape and quiet the nasty voices. I see courage in these girls when they stand up for themselves and stand up for others in order to quiet these nasty voices. It is no easy task to stand up for yourself. It is no easy task to stand up for another person, but these girls stand up! They have learned empathy and feel this for the bully. It is up to all of us to help girls learn to love themselves for who they are RIGHT NOW….something I did not learn until I was older. If I had learned that lesson at a younger age, perhaps I would have been more courageous in my life. Instead, I tried to fit in the ‘box’ and never had the courage to step out and like myself.

Courage….what does it look like to you?