No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night. ~Elie Wiesel

Today I am thankful for community and especially three women: Hannah Murray, Shannan Griesman and Abby Upmeyer.  Hannah is the co-president of PTO at the kids’ school.  Shannon is a past PTO president.  I’ll get to Abby in a minute.

Hannah and Shannan planned the annual field trip for the entire fourth grade to visit Jefferson City, MO.  It’s a ton of work behind the scenes and most people probably don’t know that the school doesn’t organize the trip – it is funded by money that the PTO raised and all planned by two moms with the help of lots of others on the trip.  Today is the big day and everyone is very excited!

The lovely Hannah… current PTO co-president and Jeff City trip planner extraordinaire.  She’s also a great mom and funny as hell.  Frankly I’m voting for her for Mrs. Missouri this year… (check her out at  Thank you Hannah for being you.


The lovely Shannan … who has basically no pictures of herself on facebook, which tells you a lot about this mama.  She’s understated and warm and kind.  She graciously stepped up to help Hannah plan this trip when I was not able to do it.  Thank you Shannan for your generosity and kind spirit.


And Abby.  This girl is one of a kind – she has more energy and strength and gusto than most humans.  She’s funny and sensitive and wise and is usually bruised and battered because she works out like a machine and never lets a sprained ankle or torn up skin stop her from pushing on. I am not able to be on the field trip today, and Grace is assigned to Abby’s “group”, which consists of Abby, her daughter and Grace.  So many parents go on this trip that the groups are quite small.  Thank you Abby for looking over Grace; I’m certain you will protect her and the whole bus:


In short, it takes a village and I’m grateful for ours.