Author Archives: Annie

About Annie

I am a 50 year-old woman with a 11 1/2 marathons behind me. I live in an idyllic setting in the Swan Mountains in NW Montana with my husband, son and 2 dogs I am a certified coach with the International Coach Federation and also a licensed marriage and family therapist. I came to this profession as a second career. After spending almost 15 years as Executive Assistant for various small and large financial services firms, I finished my Bachelor's at Smith College and completed my Master's at PLU in WA. I received my coach training through Seattle Coach in Seattle, WA.

And Then He Started 3rd Grade

And Then He Started 3rd Grade

Dear Hunter,
You started third grade. You loved it until another boy hit you in the back. On purpose.

I think you handled it the way you felt was best at the time. You told the teacher.
Dad coached you to hit back next time. And we have always told you that you will never be in trouble for defending yourself with your words or your fists.
I coached you to consider doing something without your fists, if at all possible.

Three days later you still ruminated, marinated, really, on the incident and all the bad things you could do to get back at the other boy. You were angry and plotting your retaliation. We were driving to school.

I stopped the car in the middle of our dirt road and turned to look at you. I felt lost. How was I going to help you? Being a parent is full of these moments. Questioning how I can help you on your human journey.

I said, “Honey, I can almost guarantee that the other boy is not thinking about you right now. He’s getting ready for school or getting yelled at by his mom for NOT getting ready for school. He’s taking up all your energy and thoughts right now. You are the one feeling big feelings about something that happened three days ago. Not him. Sweetheart, brains are super powerful. You can choose to not think about him. You can train your brain and make its super powers work for you rather than let all those thoughts run loose. Would you like to know how?” I breathed easier when you said yes.

We practiced how to recognize the thought about him and redirect to something you are good at or were looking forward to. I said his name and you said ‘hunting and fishing’ or ‘playing with the dogs.’

By the time we got to school, you were laughing instead of fuming.

I picked you after school and asked how it all went. You said it went pretty good.

I’ll take that as a win.

I hope we are building a trust so that you keep coming to me when you are angry, hurting, questioning, or happy.


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Posted by on September 12, 2021 in Letters To My Son, Motherhood, Uncategorized


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You Are The Poem

My dear sweet little boy,

You are fast-approaching 9 years old. Everyone I know tells me, “It goes by fast.” I wish it weren’t true. But it is. Time is flying, and you are growing up. But, you still want to snuggle. As you fell asleep with your head on my lap the other night, I stroked your hair. I whispered in your ear all the wonderful things about you. And I told you that you are the poem I was always meant to create.

But, really, you are writing it. You are this flesh and blood and muscle verse come to life. You leapt off of the page and became poetry in motion…bringing more rhymes into this world than any words I could ever string together.

Oh, how lucky I am.

Watching you fling yourself into this world head-strong is my favorite part of life right now.

Hearing you make-up songs when you think I am not listening lifts the corners of my mouth.

Feeling you slip your hand into mine, I want to hold on. Tightly.

But I know if I squeeze, you’ll let go. So I hold lightly.

I love you,

Holding my hand walking uphill. My son and I keep a steady pace.
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Posted by on May 2, 2021 in Uncategorized


for my husband on his 56th birthday…

you are my ocean

and my opalescent shore

you are my swaying cedar

and my rest from the storm

you are my river

my white-water thrill ride

full of spring melt-off,

you sweep us

to the next season

of our lives

you are my mountain

and my rock

you are a dream


you are my star-lit sky

and I love you

the whole world

~annie ricci~

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Posted by on January 27, 2021 in Poetry


My Work Blog

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Posted by on December 30, 2020 in Uncategorized


Little Boy Dreams About…

Little Boy Dreams About…

…adventures in the woods
…fishing in streams
…snowshoe-backpacking on the mountain
…catching critters
…hunting trips with daddy
…wrestling the dog
…snuggling close to mom
…campfire heat on his face
…splashing and sploshing and skipping stones
…comparing footprints with grizzlies
…growing up
…growing up
…growing up
…he dreams about growing up so fast
…my head spins
…my heart sinks deep
…I search for my stiff upper lip
…eye lashes gating tears
…my dream
…keeps me in his field of vision
…and runs face-first
…after his dreams.
~annie ricci~

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Posted by on December 29, 2020 in Letters To My Son, Motherhood, Poetry


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Second Grade

Second Grade

Dear Hunter,

Well, you are in school. In a new school. A new teacher. New kiddos. And a mask. Dad and I decided to move you to a new school because their test scores for reading beat the old school’s scores by a TON!! It’s a smaller school. And your best buddy, Ivan, was going to go there, too. But change is still change.

You cried yourself to sleep this week, feeling like you had no friends and that no one likes you. You told me you were different and that nobody likes what you like. You LOVE all things hunting, fishing, trapping, camping, and pretty much anything having to do with the outdoors. And then some girl in class made fun of pronouncing your name. Change is hard, kiddo. And stressful.

I wanted to tell you how to fix it all. But, instead, I listened. And then I listened some more until you were falling asleep while talking. You need to unload. You need a safe place to land the big plane of emotions. And the next day at school was better. And so was the day after that. I shared your stories with your teacher and your principal. And they moved into action to support you more. And I think you’re feeling better as the week comes to an end.

I hope I am always the safe place for you to share what’s on your heart. I’ll try to always ask you what you need from me…and if you can’t tell me, I’ll listen and listen and listen even more.

I love you, buddy.


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Posted by on September 17, 2020 in Letters To My Son, Motherhood


So Much To Tell You…

Dear Hunter,

When I posted in early May, George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis, had not yet been killed by a police officer kneeling on his neck while begging for his mama and his life. Protests for racial justice had not yet begun and I was still walking with crutches, recovering from knee surgery and trying to get you to do schoolwork. Because, back in early May, we were still slogging through online schooling due to the quarantine because of a worldwide pandemic called COVID-19.

I feel like 10 years have passed since my last post. But it’s only been 10 weeks. I struggled with how to tell you about Mr. Floyd and why his murder upset me even though I never knew him. I told you in very plain words the very basic facts about the history of slavery and racism in our country. Telling you these things so your 7-year-old brain could take it all in wasn’t easy. But I tried and I keep trying.

Just like I keep trying to protect you from COVID-19, which continues to rage through the world, killing people and devastating the health of people who are lucky enough to not die. One day you’ll read all these posts and remember the summer of your 7th year as a solitary one. You’ve played by yourself, watched too much YouTube for Kids, target practiced with your .22, and been bored to tears. I’ve been busier than usual with client calls and webinars. And we’ve stayed away from people as much as we could.

Now school is right around the corner. I am afraid to send you. I am scared to keep you home. We know, from experience, that neither of us are cut out for homeschooling. I think I feel like most parents in this country feel right now. Stressed. Out.

But the best thing happened today, and it’s memory I will cherish. I came down to the house and found you on the front porch working to save the life of a small bird. It had hit our windows hard enough to drag you away from the TV. You wanted to take it to a “place that heals birds.” We talked about the circle of life and Mother Nature. You decided it would be o.k. if we put the bird in some bushes where it would be safe from predators and then let nature take its course. As you held it in your hand and stood up, it took off and flew away.

You were so happy the birdie was o.k. and so proud of yourself for helping it. I was so proud of you, too. I loved your worry and compassion for a small bird. I’ve been thinking about how the world would be a better place if all humans were that worried about and compassionate toward each other.

Thank you for being an amazing little human.

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Posted by on August 3, 2020 in Uncategorized


I Hate Homeschool!

Dear Hunter,

These are the words I yelled today.  Not at you; but you certainly witnessed it.  And you’ve yelled them, too, just not today.  Today it was my turn.  And, of course, I did not manage myself very well in the midst of a techno-frustrated rant.  Thank you for letting me apologize.

Nothing was your fault.  This stupid coronavirus-Covid-19 situation has tested all of us – you, dad, and me.  Like I told you today when I was holding you in my lap and apologizing, the video recordings from school are the most challenging B.S. to access.  And I am stressed about you falling behind.  I am worried that I am failing you…miserably…when it comes to your education.  Is it enough to trust that you are smart and would easily catch up when school reconvenes (and, god, let’s hope it does in the fall)?  Or, do I need to put the hammer down and try to get you up to speed on all the lessons we’ve missed?  I am unsure about the answer.  And I am unsure what to do about being unsure about the answer.

When we look back on this crazy, not-normal time in our shared history, I worry that all you will remember is feeling the stress of my yelling.  I worry that my frustration with things beyond the control of either of us will negatively affect you – and our relationship.  It hasn’t been our best few weeks, for sure.

But, we have been able to talk through all of it.  When I’m upset, we talk.  When you are upset, we talk.  If there’s a bright spot, I think it’s that we keep talking.  We keep apologizing, we keep forgiving, we keep starting over.  We keep finding our way back to each other with loving hugs and wiped-away tears.

You are my heart, walking around outside my body.  And it’s so scary for me.  But I promise I’ll stay brave so you can keep exploring and learning and figuring out lots of stuff for yourself.  I’ll stay rooted, even if the wind sways me.  I’ll keep apologizing so you can keep coming back.

I love you, son.


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Posted by on May 6, 2020 in Uncategorized


Covid-19 Quarantine Letter to My Boy

Dear Hunter,

One day you will be older and reading this.  When you look back on this time in your life, I hope you remember that you had fun outside.  You target practiced with your bow & arrows.  You stalked chipmunks with your BB gun.  You drove the side-by-side 4-wheeler all over the back pasture.  You played.  You did some school work.  You probably spent too much time with the TV and the iPad.  And you missed your friends.  But you loved being home with me, too.

You helped me a lot.  During the time we were quarantined, I was recovering from knee surgery.  You were my runner.  You ran my smoothie upstairs for me.  You ran the laundry downstairs for me. You ran the dogs outside for some fresh air. You ran around like the wild seven-year-old little boy you were.

Thank you for your sweet spirit and fun personality.  Thank you for being smart and interested in the natural world.  Speaking of world… you are my whole world, my sweet son.  The craziness of the coronavirus pandemic scares me for you.  There will come a day when something like this happens again and I might not be here to keep you safe at home with me.  But I trust that you will always do the right and smart thing.

One day in the future when you are reading this, I hope you look back and remember we laughed and put puzzles together.  I hope you remember we snuggled on the couch and stayed up late watching tv.  One day in the future when you are reading this, I hope you remember the feel of my arms hugging you tightly.  Because these days, I am holding on a little longer and little tighter.

I love you, my sweet boy, I love you!


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Posted by on March 28, 2020 in Uncategorized


Peace of the Morning

Cup of tea

The dogs and me

Draped on the couch

In the pre-dawn gray

Relishing the calm

Before the Saturday storm

Of chores and errands

And little boy’s Mach-10 energy

Only the tick-tocks of the clock

And then … Mommy?

Ah…I love the

Peace of the morning

~annie Ricci~

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Posted by on September 14, 2019 in Uncategorized

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