The Great American Family Road Trip [2017]: Days 11-13

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“Do you want to stay or leave?”

It’s a question with no right answer, but it comes up often in our marriage.

Several weeks ago, my husband and I decided to make our last overnight stop a short stay in Mississippi with his family. But our daughter’s diagnosis of hand, foot, and mouth in Colorado changed everything.

We desperately needed a day outside of the car.

But, if we stayed longer than originally planned, could we drive from Mississippi to Georgia in one day in time to make our kids’ preschool open house at 7 p.m. the next day?

This would be the challenge on the final leg of our journey.

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The Great American Family Road Trip [2017]: Day 9

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Chocolate cake for breakfast.

Is there any other way to celebrate your four-year-old’s birthday on the road?

For months, my excitement had been building for this special day. My husband and I even purchased two books a month ago and wrapped them for our little guy.

And as we stood singing “Happy Birthday” off-key at 7 a.m., I couldn’t shake a feeling.

Today will be memorable for all.

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The Great American Family Road Trip [2017]: Day 8

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We aren’t rich enough to be here.

It’s an insecurity that crept in throughout our visit to Aspen, Colorado – arguably one of the most beautiful places in the world. The Land Rovers, lavish jewelry, and perfect complexions are hard to ignore.

But there is something significant that everyone who frequents Aspen has in common. They love recreation and the natural world.

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How We Can Prevent Suicide

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Is there a Millennial who survived teenage angst without Linkin Park?

The world is currently mourning the loss of the talented Chester Bennington. I am, too. And, ironically, last week I completed suicide prevention training.

The question feels as urgent as ever: How can we prevent suicide?

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What do playgrounds say about us?

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One of my earliest school memories involves biting the dust while climbing an oversized metal spider in the middle of our playground. Morning dew and my mother’s shoe selection were equally to blame.

But I didn’t give up on the challenge. And, by the end of that week, I conquered the source of my fleeting Kindergarten shame.

It would be decades before I would see equipment that resembled that delightful spider I once cursed. Last week, in fact, I took our kids to a park with a similarly aged steel insect and a rusted merry-go-round. As you may have guessed, both still inspire squeals of joy…and caution.

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