“You have a choice. Live or die. Every breath is a choice. Every minute is a choice. To be or not to be.”
-Chuck Palahniuk

I believe, with absolute certainty, that all of life boils down to choices.  Choices themselves become habits and habits translate into a lifestyle.  One small change, one step forward, one small choice, can make all the difference. I also believe that the biggest obstacle, the one thing that keeps people from making good choices is fear. 

Oct. 2010

Oct. 2010
As a coach, I tell my girls that soccer is a game of choices.  My job is to teach them the foundational skills so that when they have the ball they have the confidence to free up their mind to make a smart play and focus on the options that they have: dribble, pass, shoot.  I have them practice unstructured drills so that the variables are always changing and they don't become conditioned to any one scenario.  That way, when they get into a game, they are prepared for anything.  I fail them if I don't give them the tools and provide them with the learning opportunities so that they can effectively execute when it matters in a game.  They know I will never yell at them for making a mistake.  Mistakes are how we learn and they are not themselves failures.  Not learning from them is where the failure occurs. I get upset with them for two reasons only: 1. Getting out of position because that leaves a teammate having to pick up the slack.  The system works when everyone does their job.  2. When they quit on the ball.  Quitting on the ball is a choice.  There is a moment when you can go on or you can give up.  I want to teach them that giving up is never the right choice. 

As a mom, I love my daughters more than anything.  It is an honor and a humbling job to know that I am the one charged with raising them.  I take that job very seriously.  By definition, my job is to raise my daughters to NOT need me.  My job is not to make their lives easier. I have to give them the knowledge, learning opportunities, and lessons to make sure that happens and that they are strong enough and smart enough to chase down their dreams, make a difference, be happy and live a fulfilled life.  I am teaching my daughters to be independent thinkers that are self-reliant, confident, and intelligent.  I am teaching them that fear cannot dictate the choices we make or don't make. 

June 2010
I won't do for them what they can do for themselves.  If they make a mistake or fail here, it's okay because I am giving them a soft place to fall.  The world will do them no such favors.  I need to know when I send them out there I have equipped them well and that I won't have to worry (as much) about how they will fare.  I need to know that they will make the right choices and when they are faced with a moment where they could give up or they could go on, that they will choose to go on because they know they can because they have what it takes.  I tell them to be bold.  As Robert Frost has said, "Freedom lies in being bold."

October 2010
I'm not a "mean mom" all the time.  There is so much love in what I do.  My girls and I take care of each other.  I can count on them to be there for me too. I tell my girls to dream big and that dreams are just ideas that have yet to be realized but if I don't prepare them for the hard work it's going to take then they won't achieve them.  Earning something, reaping something in and of itself is part of the sweetness and grace of the reward. 

 I won't be there for the moments of uncertainty that will face my girls; but my words, the lessons, the confidence I am helping them discover in themselves will be.  And when the fear arrives, they will overcome because they will choose to step forward to go beyond the fear...

I tell them that when you come to the end of the light that you know and have to take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you have to assume one of two things that there will be something firm to stand on or you will be taught how to fly.  I will be that something firm for them to come back to when they need it, but the dreamer in me wants to see my girls take flight and I know that they can...


  1. Great advice from one mom to another! Most days I honestly don't think much further ahead than about 3 hours and the next bottle. This is something awesome for me to just keep in the back of my mind for later on. Thanks Carrie! :)


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