Father’s Day over the years

We always go to Wrightsville Beach for Father’s Day. It is Rahul’s happy place. We have been going since at least 2007, and after seeing the  picture of our kiddos yesterday looking so grown up I decided to look back at the pictures of them over the years.

The first pics I could find digitally were from 2008. So, here it is. The Shimpi kiddos from 2008 to 2017. I can remember taking the 2008 picture while Rahul was grilling dinner…. just like it was yesterday.

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officially a published author!

Look what came in the mail today. An advance copy of my book!


I am supposed to read over it to make sure there are no changes needed before additional copies are made.

My first thought (after checking out the ISBN number) was how thin it was…. all that work and time. But I think 10 lessons is a good amount for a teacher or counselor to commit to doing with a small group of girls.

So, this will be my first reading on the way to the beach.

Oh and I met with a colleague today to start working on book #2 – The Skills for Academic Success Program. It will be another workbook-type publication for professionals working with adolescents with ADHD.

And continuing with the writing trend… I have been invited to be on the council task force to help with the curriculum for new Girl Scout co-leaders.


So much writing, so much fun!




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Lake therapy

All of my work up until Thursday was from home, so I decided to take a road trip for some lake therapy. Aidan was already heading to Lake Gaston with a friend. Check out this sunset pic he took from his kayak.


My task was a bit harder. I had to find a place that we could book for one night… and that would allow a 120lb dog. Rahul is on consults this week, so we could not leave Smooch home solo with unknown getting home from work times.

I found a place at Lake Tillery. Samantha asked if her BFF could join us, which I of course agreed to.


The clock at the lake house pretty much sums up how life should be at the lake.


This morning Smooch joined me for coffee as I planned for a weekly conference call for work. I call this working from home… summer style.

Samantha and her buddy asked if we could rent a boat (our place was right next to the marina). I said we would ask but that we did not have a lot of time since we had to get back home for dinner and give me some time to get some more work done. The manager let us rent a pontoon boat for an hour and even gave us a 20% discount since we rented the place next door. He gave me a quick tutorial and we were off for one hour of blissful fun on the water. I have always wanted to drive a boat and today it happened.


Smooch liked the boat ride. Well, she really just enjoys doing anything with her family.


And here is Samantha getting out of the water after I told her to watch out for the alligator. Bahahaha.


Super fun memories made and my desire to live on a lake is stronger than ever!


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book cover preview

I looked back today and realized that I signed my first book contract on Dec 11, 2015. And last night I finally got a book front and back cover preview (manuscript is done). Check it out –

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It is really feeling real!


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learning to relax

The R word has NEVER been easy for me. I have never been good at meditating or doing yoga or other things that are supposed to make you relax. Thanks to a good friend, I recently found a way to *really* relax. Kava tea. Kava is a root found in the South Pacific Islands.  It is super bitter to drink, but it truly relaxes you. Here it is as prepared at Krave, a Kava Bar in Carrboro, NC.


While drinking this tea, I have learned to step away from my work computer and color. You Are Here has been a great way to start coloring. Jenny Lawson’s messages in her drawings are really relatable. Here are some of my drawings.

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At Carolina Friends School, middle schoolers spend the last 3 weeks of the school year studying a topic in depth each week. Our kiddos had 2 amazing experiences this week.

Samantha went on the Civil Rights Trip. Her group went to Selma, Birmingham, Montgomery, Atlanta and Greensboro. Here are some pics from her trip. She had a good time but heard stories that were some times hard to hear. I am proud that Carolina Friends School was the first integrated school in North Carolina where all are accepted and treated equally.

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Next up, Aidan. He headed back to the Smokies for a week of hiking and writing poetry. He did this trip last spring and had so much fun he wanted to do it again. Check out his pics. The mountains are so beautiful this time of year!


Next week Samantha will be doing the traveling play and will perform at 2 Friends Schools in DC. Aidan has an art exploratorium. The last week, Aidan will head to DC and Samantha is doing Forest Forts…. not exactly sure what that is, but I am sure it will be fun.

What my kiddos cannot appreciate is the fact that their peers in public school spent this same week taking End Of Grade tests. The learning that happened on these trips was so much more meaningful and will stay with them forever.

Happy to have my kiddos home for a bit. It was WAY too quiet here without them 🙂


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The things we leave behind

The Bloggess posted about a childhood memory of sitting in a giant turtle at the local library. She and her sister had both been looking for a replica of this turtle as adults (for their children, right?). This prompted a question for her readers  –

It made me wonder if everyone is like this.  If everyone has a thing they search for…something from childhood that they never got, or want to recapture.  A physical thing…like a book long out of print, or a toy a neighbor had that you always wanted, or a song that you knew but now you can’t remember, or a silk blanket that your grandmother had that you loved and that disappeared and you never found another blanket that comfortable or comforting again.

So here are some of my memories.

Disco Duck playing on a vinyl record on my light up stereo thing that was kind of like a Jukebox…..

Here is a picture. The lights pulsed with the beat of the music. Pure awesomeness.


The Belly Buster game.

Basically you strap on these inflatable bellies – one strap over your head, the other two for each arm. Then you slam into the other person. Good God this is such a 1980s game…. it sounds so stupid to write it out, but it was so much damn fun to slam into your sibling and bounce off of each other and fall down. I could not find a picture, but visualize blue straps and a pinkish/white belly with a picture of a bald headed dude on the belly. My Internet search history was quite suspect when I entered these search terms. I guess Belly Buster will have to live on only in my memory.

My Easy Bake Oven.


I was not supposed to use it in my bedroom…. but I did anyway when a friend was over for a sleepover. Come on, we were hungry. It cooked the tasty cakes right before our eyes… on my bedroom carpet. When I went to clean up, there was a perfect black circle where the oven had burnt a hole in my carpet. I tried to disguise it by offering to clean my room and kept a throw rug over the spot. Shockingly, I did get busted for my illegal cooking and I lost my Easy Bake privileges.

My Geraldine Ferraro biography.


My dad swears that UNC Chapel Hill corrupted my conservative Baptist upbringing, but if this book was on my reading list in 1985 I am thinking those liberal beliefs were deeply rooted in my brain despite living in rural North Carolina as a child.

Wow, now this was a fun blast from the past. Childhood memories that make me smile… thanks Jenny Lawson!


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