I feel so truly blessed to be able to speak to audiences all over the continent on a lot of different topics. I love to talk, and I love to travel, and to be honest it sometimes seems surreal that I get paid to speak in really fun places.

But there is something so different and so special about being asked to speak at a MOPS group. MOPS International (Mothers of Preschoolers) came into my life at a time when I really needed it. I had just moved to Reno in 2001 and found my life as a stay at home mom of two babies who couldn’t talk was not meeting the social needs of my extroverted Red/Yellow personality. But we had just moved I didn’t have any friends yet. MOPS not only changed my life, I think it saved my life…and probably my children’s lives and my marriage too.

Speaking at MOPS groups is one way I can still “give back” to an organization that meant so much to me, even though I’ve “graduated” out and am well beyond the preschool parenting years myself. Yesterday I was asked to share about family traditions, specifically for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

My power point was essentially a “scrapbook” style presentation where I shared photos of our family through the years and shared stories. I hope that I was able to encourage these young moms that having family traditions is important, but that they should choose wisely. It’s okay not to do the same thing every year. And it’s okay to drop traditions that you don’t enjoy or to add something new that you think you will like.

Even though the group I spoke to yesterday was relatively new, and even though it was in a building that I had never been to before, as soon as I walked in I felt like I was Home. MOPS moms are connected through the sounds of crying babies and the chatter of much-needed adult conversation. I’m so glad that speaking at MOPS has stayed one of my traditions.

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