“Fly and Help Others Fly”

October 29, 2017

This past weekend I had the honor of attending the Fall Cue Conference 2017


That would be my one word to express my thoughts on the experience. Connecting with so many like-minded educators was beyond mind-blowing. Add the layer of being provided the opportunity to share the #BookSnaps message–humbling and exhilarating. Jon Corippo is incredible as is his hardworking staff. The event ran like a fine-greased machine, and the connections with the people had an intimate family feel.

Huge #FallCue perk–I had the honor to hear and hug Pernille Ripp, again. She inspires and is truly the REAL deal. Love that lady and her passion for educating our future.

Needless to say, CUE exceeded all of my expectations. 

Day 1 – Mission Meet Brad

I had heard Brad Montague would be the opening keynote, and I knew I had to get to the conference in plenty of time to make certain I got a seat up close. The anticipation was killing me. In fact, the morning of his keynote, I woke up at 4 AM with the excitement of a small child headed to a theme park. 

Inspiration Overload

Whew…made it! Seated in the auditorium and not the overflow. 

Brad captivated me with his authenticity and vulnerable nature. It was as if we were having a conversation over coffee and every word he uttered was #PresentationSnaps worthy aka quotable. 

I laughed, cried, sang, giggled, and smiled until my cheeks hurt. When he closed the keynote, I wanted to meet him so badly–if for nothing else just to tell him how much he inspires me. However, my #Booksnaps session backed up to his, and the line was massive! So, I headed out to my post of duty hoping to return later after his next session. 

Mission Meet Brad

A few hours later…

I waited outside his session hoping to let him know how much he inspires me. While waiting for him to finish up selfies and greetings, someone from my first session walked up to me and needed some assistance creating #BookSnaps in the Snapchat app. To which I dropped everything to help –all while looking up every few seconds hoping not to miss Brad’s departure. 

Determined Redhead

I must have got caught up in the moment because I looked up and saw Brad Montague headed to the parking lot with all of his bags. He was packed up and leaving. *sad day*

I’m not sure what got into me, but I decided I would walk toward him. Maybe I would catch him and could merely tell him, “Thank You for sharing your message. We share a similar passion, and I admire your work.” I know he hears this all of the time, but I wanted to tell him again.

So, I began my trek, fighting the urge to run because let’s be honest–a girl running at you, in wedge sandals, with red hair flying in the wind is a bit much. Quite possibly too weird, and a bit on the “desperate fan-girl” side. 

Mission Completed

YES! He was stopped by another member of the conference, and I was able to walk up to him. I shared my little tidbit and planned to walk away, but he said. “What’s your passion?” I gave him the elevator version of my R.E.A.L. message because I didn’t want to further delay his departure. 

Then, he reached into his bag and pulled out this little notepad and a few stickers. The cover of the notepad had me teary. It was based on the story he shared at the end of his keynote. 

“Sing On, Little Birds”

*fighting tears as I temporarily relived the story he shared*

I whispered, thank you.


Then, he opened the plastic packaging that covered the notebook and drew me a message. 

As he drew it, tears leaked from my eyes. 

He might have no idea how much this meant to me–but it was EXACTLY what I needed at this particular time in my life. There is no way he could know the opportunities I’m embarking upon or the terrified feeling I experience daily while launching into my current adventures of life.

But this little message…


“You are Awesome. Fly and Help Others Fly!”

The message alone was powerful. That’s my purpose in this life. Right?

But the image…

The symbolism of the image is what squeezed my heart just enough to cause tears to leak from my eyes.

The single balloon with a happy yet humble smile floating in the wind not sure where it might land.

That’s me. 

The entirety of this little note touched my soul.

Thank you, Brad Montague, for not only inspiring children around the world but thank you for making time to fill my tank this weekend.

“Fly and Help Others Fly!”

The idea of this message has been and continues to be my purpose in this life. However, this little note of encouragement pushed me to not be afraid. It reminded me to fulfill my purpose.

As if that wasn’t enough…

He handed me these adorable stickers.

“Remember, we are all just humans who want to be loved. Fly, Tara. Fly and help others fly.”

*lump in throat*

Ten-Minute Conversation = A Lifetime of Inspiration

Thank you, Brad Montague, for helping this little bird fly so I can continue to help other birds fly. Honored to have met you in REAL life. 

Now, to all of my readers and the fellow Fall CUE attendees,

“Fly and help others fly.”

If you missed Fall CUE 2017, you can experience Brad’s presentation here

(After getting my emotions in check…this happened!)

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