My Birthday Is Cursed

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No, really. I used to think it was just me.

September 11, 2001: my sweet sixteen. New York City. Twin Towers. Pentagon. Flight 93.

September 11, 2012: my 27th birthday. Benghazi. Perhaps the most tragic event ever used for political gain.

September 11, 2017: my 32nd birthday. Hurricane Irma. The most intense hurricane to strike the U.S. since Katrina (2005).

The latter, however, is the first catastrophic birthday I have celebrated with two little ones at my side.

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Every goodnight kiss is a gift.

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When you’re a new mother, it feels like they’ll be little forever.
You study their every part. You learn their every mood. You breathe more deeply in their presence.

But then life changes, and you settle into routines. And you begin to understand the difficulty that comes with children growing – evolving into better humans.

And, at some point, you may return to work.

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What I Wish I’d Known

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It’s an overused motif, really. But every mother has some secret locked away – a confession waiting to be read.

And, after two years of blogging, I suppose it’s my turn.

Of all my life’s choices, I wish I had mastered something so simple – so vital to parenthood.

Before children, I never learned to savor the moment right in front of me.

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3 Ways You Can Prepare Your Preschooler for College

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When is the best time to prepare your child for college?

Today.

If you are parenting young children, you have an incredible gift: time. There is still time to read. There is still time to play. There is still time to develop a healthy emotional, social, and diverse learning environment for your little person.

And, perhaps best of all, there is still time to save for college. 

From the halls of higher education, I glean insights daily from those students who successfully made the leap – including what their parents did or didn’t do.

Here are 3 ways you can prepare your preschooler for college:

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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 10

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“It’s going to be uncomfortable.”

My husband’s pre-road trip words were more than a warning – they were an imminent truth.

And by Day 10, hand, foot, and mouth disease had led to collective sleepless malaise. We were also running out of clean clothes.

But our daughter gave us the best reason to hold on and not grow weary.

It was her second birthday.

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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 1

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“I can’t find it!”

Two doodle pads. Really, I thought this would be our solution to the endless backseat rivalry.

But, within one minute of my son entering the vehicle, a special feature of his brand new toy had been lost: a cat face magnet.

And – to no one’s surprise – two preschoolers now fought over the newest doodle pad.

This was the beginning of our epic first road trip as a family of four.

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