Mad for…Scott

Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play. (Henri Matisse)

It seems like a million years ago since I roamed the halls of Central Catholic High School, but I will admit to being a member of the class of 1989. Yikes, that’s 30 years ago!! When I noticed that this week one of my old classmates was celebrating a birthday, I decided it was time to honor his awesomeness all these years later.

It’s been three decades since I have laid eyes on this guy in person, but I have been watching from afar and it’s very easy to see that he is a loving dad to two very blessed children and the husband to a lucky gal named Rhonda whom I’ve never met. Witty, kind and generous were always qualities I associated with Scott when we tromped through those old halls at CC, but his defining quality was his creativity. He could draw circles around the rest of us and as a writer, he was a shining star. Even through Facebook I can see that his beautiful kind eyes and winning smile are still very much in tact.

Here’s what I never told Scott. He’s the one who made writing seem cool to me. What he penned, I was drawn into completely. Undoubtedly, it was because of Scott’s lead that I continued to read like a crazy person and dabble a little with my pen or my keyboard in the post high school days. When he used his God-given talent, he was at his shiniest. The Lord loves when we brighten up the area, and I suspect that the current, slightly older version of Scott Haan still sees the world through a lens different enough to make it truly great when explained from his perspective.

Thanks for showing me that being curious and coloring outside the lines is actually the secret sauce, Scott! I am LOOOONG overdue to acknowledge your fabulousness. We’ll have to adopt the festival approach to birthday celebrations since I am a day late with my greeting, however, I have always been in the “more is more” camp where these things are concerned! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SCOTT!!

Mad for…Kelly

Motherhood is a choice you make everyday to put someone else’s happiness and well being ahead of your own. To teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is…and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong. (Donna Ball)

Sports-loving moms like yours truly are easy to locate in the stands. You see, I am “gifted” with volume. In good news, you don’t even need to know where I am sitting to find me…? I don’t even realize how loud I am, until my husband gives me the death glare and scolding tone. I usually deserve both, but certainly I do not receive them gracefully. My much more tactful friend, Lisa Oberndorfer, used to hand me a sucker at such moments. She called them “hushers” and I find her strategy both brilliant and effective!! I bring this up today because I really thought I might be the loudest, most passionate mom around…but then I met Kelly Panzer.

A wife to Matt and the mother of Brien and Caelan, Kelly is an Indianapolis native who I think attended St. Mary’s College. She’s incredibly beautiful too, as you can clearly see from her photo above. Her smile is infectious! I first met her when we did hot lunch duty together at St. Louis de Montfort Catholic School. We have a truly phenomenal mutual friend, Lisa Houze, who introduced us to one another. Those lunches full of chaos and cute kids sealed the deal for me on Kelly. She never lost her cool and she is a hard worker.

Quick-witted, sarcastic, and just plain fun, Kelly is the center of the action. She’s involved in the everyday lives of her children, and those two sweeties are incredibly blessed to have such a loving mama! She values her friends and is filled to the brim with generosity of spirit. This quality was called to my attention when I watched her help to organize an impressive 50th birthday celebration this summer for our mutual friend. The thoughtfulness and gracious spirit of this woman was impressive and inspiring. Also? This woman can tell a story. She makes me laugh until I am doubled over!

I turned to Kelly once looking to tap into her professional expertise for a friend in need of health care guidance for her very ill father. Her compassion and willingness to do absolutely anything she could to assist made clear to me the quality of her character. She’s a passionate, high-volume, integrity filled PISTOL. If you attend an SLDM CYO contest in which she has a child participating, you’ll know exactly how to find her, ha? Sometimes she’s coaching and sometimes she’s in the stands, but I promise you she’s there, so just listen for the sound of passion. She’s a little fierce on the outside, but interiorly, she’s as warm as folks come. Today is her birthday! Please join me in wishing Kelly a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Thanks, Kelly, for making the world a more positive and exciting place to inhabit by the way you live your life. You are a rock star, my friend!