My Whirlwind Blog Tour

Today I'm excited because I've been on this whirlwind tour of
and cheerfulness this week.

It started in St. Louis where I met up with the amazing
Is she not the most adorable thing? She did a phenomenal job on her keynote about motivating the underachiever, but her sidekick tried to steal the show 
in his cute little tux!

If you don't have any of Julia's books, you're missing out big time. My favorite is probably the one about feelings and horse sense, 

I went off site for lunch on day two to meet up with Pam Dyson from the St. Louis Center for Play Therapy. I met Pam online when she guest posted for me {here} and it was so delightful to meet her in person. Turns out we both grew up on a farm, so being farmer's daughters connected us and made us feel like we'd known one another forever. In the end when I thanked her for driving a half an hour to take me to lunch, she told me that she'd have driven sixty minutes. 
Isn't that just the kindest thing to say?

That night I flew to Milwaukee and my brother Mark shared his second-row concert seats to hear Jewel rock the acoustics on stage.  
I had heard of few of her songs, but hadn't really known much about this artist, whose velvety voice was soulfully smooth as silk. Did you know that for a time before she was discovered, she was homeless and living out of her car? Her songs tell her life's stories. They were so meaningful because she shared a bit of history before each one; she gave them authenticity and sprinkled in a huge helping of humor. She's a new mom, too, and she spoke so endearingly about her toddler. We were so lucky to get in on this epic performance, which ended with Jewel's yodeling encore. 
Such a talented beauty. 
Jewel's warm-up singer was Tori Kelly. Her song Fill A Heart was written to help in the fight against hunger. 
Talk about a treasure!

I've heard it said that good things come in threes, but I actually had a fourth outstanding outing when I met up with Lisa from Growing Firsties in downtown Wauwatosa for lunch on Thursday. I don't think we stopped talking for two solid hours. Though we're a decade apart in age, we had so much in common, starting with being Badgers and UW-Madison School of Education alumni. 
Teachers, bloggers, moms, wives, daughters, friends. 
We discussed all sorts of things and I left there 
feeling pure joy in my heart.

It's been an exhausting whirlwind few days, but I am energized and so encouraged by the compassionate and courageous collaborators who share my passion for character and kids.


  1. Wow! You have had an amazing last few days!

    First Grade Magic

  2. That was a whirlwind tour! What a great experience :) I'm so glad that you had such a good time.
    Fun in Room 4B

  3. Barbara, I'm STILL glowing with happiness about our lunch! I have always thought you were incredible through "knowing you" from your blog and now I know you're that way in person, too!!!

    Hugs of happiness - Lisa
    Growing Firsties

  4. Wow! It does sound like you have been a busy beaver! I am so glad you were able to do all of that. Thank you for sharing your time with us :)

    Teaching in Room 6

  5. Barbara,
    It sounds like you had a wonderful week! I am kind of jealous about your Jewel concert! She is an amazing story teller!
    Enjoy your weekend!
    The Picture Book Teacher's Edition

  6. Wow!!! Julia, Pam, AND Lisa?! Lucky you! I adore Julia's books, love Pam's play therapy strategies, and Lisa is so sweet! Glad you had a great time!

    EduKate and Inspire

  7. I love watching Jewel's family in the Alaska show The Kitchers. What a hard life they choose. Her father is quite the singer, song writer too.

  8. Julia was at our annual school counselor's conference here in Montana - she is amazing! Hope you are getting your rest with all the excitement. Big day tomorrow, huh? Have fun!

  9. Barbara, it was such a treat to meet you in person. Hoping the next time we meet up we can spend more time together.

  10. Wow, you HAVE been busy. Glad to hear of your good times:)


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