Jen was born and raised in Overland Park. After going to Indiana University for college, then living in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, she grew exhausted of circling for a parking spot and headed back home to be near family. She and her husband Matt are parents to a 10 year-old boy and a 8 year-old girl. Jen teaches kindergarten and her husband teaches high school, so they wonder how they’ll relate to their kids during the middle school years. She spends her free time cheering on the Chiefs, Royals, and Hoosiers, hanging out with family, laughing with her teacher friends, and fostering a love/hate relationship with boxing. She also loves traveling, Target, coffee, wine, sunflowers and all things pop culture.

Birth Story: 5 Weeks Early

This birth story series is sponsored by HCA Midwest Health.  I became pregnant with my first child at 35. While I liked to think that being in my mid-thirties was still young, I was considered...

One Year Later

During my plan time at school today, my co-teachers and I worked on our lesson plans for next week. We were trying to remember how we taught a certain reading concept, and my partner...

Dear 2020: Now That You’re Leaving, I Feel…

Dear 2020,Now that you are leaving, I feel EXHAUSTED. I mean, what a roller coaster you had us on this year. Highs, lows, dips, twists and turns, and some nausea-inducing loops. And COVID-19 was...
family celebrating the 2021 new year at home

Ringing in the New Year at Home

Well, I think it is safe to say that EVERYONE is ready to put 2020 to bed, right? Out with the old. In with the new. I have never felt the urge to ring...
pic of family eating a holiday meal

Planning for 2020 Holidays During COVID-19

Mid-October brought the arrival of Amazon Prime Days, along with Black Friday-like deals at a number of other retailers. Naturally, I started thinking about Christmas shopping and asked the kids to compile their wish...
pic of vacation items: book, camera, sunglasses, etc.

Vacationing During COVID-19

For the past three summers, my husband and I have enjoyed an adults-only vacation to Tucson, Arizona. We go for a week with fellow teachers, usually soon after school is done for the year....
kids reading books

Summer Reading Programs in Kansas City

In these turbulent times of quarantines and lockdowns, the partial reopening of local libraries are giving us the distractions we need, both as adults and kids. The Kansas City area libraries are partnering with...

Athletic Trainers Minimize Risk to Athletes

This post is sponsored by National Athletic Trainers’ Association. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, my daughter and I had the opportunity to attend the National Athletic Trainers’ Association’s (NATA) Prepare to Play Sports Safety and Wellness...
school supplies

COVID School

Okay, friends. Time to check in on everyone and their foray into the world of homeschooling. We are on day #3498 of distance learning, and boy, do I have some revelations. What is working?...
kid on computer

Top Five Lists to Beat Kids’ Boredom

I’ve compiled some Top Five lists that can hopefully help you in times of panic, like when your child says “I’m booooored,” for the umpteenth time. Top Five Podcasts for Kids • Wow in the World...
kid building with legos

The Lesson of Legos

Recently, my husband and I found ourselves in the Lego Store, alone, without kids. We both have an affinity for these colorful bricks, and we love perusing the sets without a child begging us...
valentines party

Acing the School Valentine’s Day Party

Alright moms, raise your hand if you’ve gotten the email, looking for volunteers to help with your child’s Valentine’s Day party at school. Now, raise your hand if you’ve been scouring Pinterest, searching for...
boy reading

The Dyslexia Debate

In early November 2019, the Kansas State Board of Education voted unanimously to approve policies aimed at improving the identification of students with dyslexia. This will provide the students with better services and increase...

Groceries Delivered to My Fridge? I’m All In!

This post is sponsored by Walmart InHome, groceries delivered right to your fridge! Opinions belong to the writer. Grocery shopping has slowly become a detested chore for me. Since I work outside the home, I...
eating holiday meal

Prepping for Holiday Visitors

Christmas 2019 is upon us. And this will not be a low-key Christmas for our family. This is the biennial Graul Family Christmas! This is my mom’s side of the family, and we converge...