No, I don’t want your products. Yes, I still want to be friends.

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To be fair, I’m a blogger. I get it. Marketing is an essential piece to any business or brand.

And every so often, I get that same awkward eye contact that you do by a friend. They worry that somehow they’ve disappointed you by not supporting your efforts, your passion.

But, for myself, I have nothing tangible to offer – only words of encouragement voiced from the trenches of early parenthood.

So I know it’s different. But I want to share a secret that I’ve learned to overcome the psychological distress of rejection.

People who love you don’t always say “yes”.

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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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Working Hard for No Money

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The Gratitude Gospel: Day 9

Lately, I’ve been thinking about jobs.

Our rental has become a bit of a fishbowl in recent days. A deck is being built outside. Shirts, as we have learned, are optional.

The whole environment is strange until you consider that the beings clanging around our home are humans. They have families, too. And when they work long hours after a long day of work, they leave them behind.

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Now What?

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In every parenting journey, there is a moment when the unthinkable happens.

You decide to stop having children.

For our family, the curtain call came five months after our daughter was born. No more babies. Slowly, our lives adjusted, my body mostly returned, and our careers settled.

But a question has increasingly haunted me: Now what?

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Descending the Ivory Tower

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My uncle is a plumber. To the average American, there is nothing exceptional about his life.

One Christmas, when our extended family still gathered for the holidays, my uncle was late. At the time he was working for a highly-esteemed university in our community.

The reason for his tardiness that particular year? He had been called in to shovel snow off of campus sidewalks.

I remember staring at him in disbelief. “But it’s Christmas.”

“Well,” he explained with an air of resentment, “those professors gotta have clear sidewalks so they can do their work.”

What I didn’t realize then was that this division – between the haves and the have-nots – was bigger than Christmas lunch that year. That it would only grow in the years to come. And that it would forever change our political landscape.

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The Eyes of March

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When you return from a long road trip with two young children, the last thing you want to discover is that your oldest has pink eye. Inevitably, somewhere between “kissing baby” and the poke-sister-in-the-eye trick, you will lose your mind in trying to confine the infection to just one child. Tears will be shed, sleep will be lost, and you will offer a prayer of thanksgiving for antibiotics.

And, if you are very lucky, you will regain your sanity just in time for your youngest to start rubbing her eyes.

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