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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The Day Politics Went Dark

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Our lives have become filled with negative things – ugly things we do our best to bury deep. Lately, it’s been hard. Take a look around Facebook. Or, even worse, Twitter.

But the eclipse, I would argue, changed it all. For one day, politics wasn’t the focus. Yes, we should all still care what President Trump says and does, but the distraction was – in a word – welcome.

Last week, I was scrambling to order glasses in time. My husband may be the scientist, but the eclipse offered something so rare, so human.

I craved a reason to look up.

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The Great American Family Road Trip [2017]: Day 4

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When you get married, you don’t consider all the things that can go wrong – the things that WILL go awry. 

In many ways, Karen Carpenter was right: You’ve only just begun.

And little did I know that – just before our eighth anniversary – my husband would be driving me up a steep mountain road in the pouring rain with two excitable children in the backseat…thousands of miles from home.

Thanks, Expedia.

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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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A Sobering Swim

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Two. The number of times I have almost drowned.

The first episode involved one of the only adopted children I knew growing up. His birth mother had been an addict. His psychology was frail. But I was a fighter and broke free from his attempts to submerge me permanently in water.

I should have internalized the bigger lesson: steer clear of the deep end.

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You Can Do This

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“You can do this.” It’s become a mantra in our relationship.

First, it was sweet encouragement my husband and I whispered to one another during our tenure in graduate school. Eventually, we walked across the stage – just minutes apart.

Next, it was yelled by my husband over intense labor pains. Truthfully, I thought our children might be stuck forever. Eventually, two little people entered the world.

And, just this weekend, I found myself mentally replaying the words.

For the first time, we trusted a non-grandparent caregiver to put both children to bed.

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