Pressure, then relaxation: Due to the incredible response of my book, I have experienced increased expectations and demands. I have had national and local media interviews, book signing events, additional writing assignments and travels. My media tour wraps up in mid-March after a trip to Canada, where I will be appearing on all the national morning programs there. While these activities are important when promoting a new book, I look forward to going back to my simple, quiet life where I write my stories and experience hands free moments with my family.
Next book: My initial book deal with Zondervan/HarperCollins Christian Publishing was for two books. I have written six of the 12 chapters of my second book, “Hands Free Life,” which is expected to be published in fall 2015.
Education: Grades K-12, Burris Laboratory School, Muncie; bachelor’s degree in elementary education, Hanover College; master’s degree in special education, Ball State University
Local teaching career: Batesville High School and Batesville Primary School, 1994-95 (a half day at each); Batesville Primary 1995-2001
Batesville memories: I think of all the BHS and BPS teachers and administrators who took me under their wings as a new teacher fresh out of college. I think of every student I was blessed to teach – students who taught me so much about being a present and loving mother. I think of the blue roof of the elementary school that housed people who became family to me and where lifelong memories were made.
Best pastimes: I love to read, take long walks, bake with my daughters and go to Hilton Head Island with my family.
Ways to transform a tech-obsessed family into a hands free family • Turn off notifications on the cellphone and place it out of reach while driving. • Allow yourself 60 extra seconds for an unrushed, undivided, loving goodbye. If you only make one small effort to let go of distraction and grasp what matters in a day, do this! • Establish do-nothing moments with no agenda and no itinerary. • Create and maintain one daily ritual where time with your loved one is protected from all other distraction and interruptions. Examples: morning snuggles, nightly tuck-ins, walking the dog together, prayer, afterschool snack time. • Consistently invite your family to engage in activities that do not involve electronic devices. Try cooking, board games, nature walks, bike rides, arts and crafts, sports or science experiments. Info: www.handsfreemama.com or www.facebook.com/TheHandsFreeRevolution.