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Karen A

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Born & raised in the KC metro, I now live in OP with my husband, 8yo son, goofy Golden mix & grouchy geriatric cat. After graduating from KU & spending over a decade as a buttoned-up corporate person, I quit my job, pierced my nose & hunkered down to raise a kiddo. Here we are, 6 years later, & I love spending my days writing, volunteering & planning our next far-flung adventure.
beach

Bringing Your Spring Break Vacation Vibes Back Home

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I don't know about you, but our vacation budget isn't exactly brimming. We try to make an effort to get away once every 18 months or so. Every time I get on a plane...
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Family Dinner Follow-Up: We Failed

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You may have read my lofty post back in November about starting a more traditional family dinner routine, wherein I challenged our family to sit at the table and eat together at least four...

Family Dinner in the Era of Endless Evening Obligations

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Monday - rare free evening! Tuesday - piano class Wednesday - soccer practice, Dad out of town Thursday - Mom @ PTO meeting, Dad's home at 8:30 pm! Friday - family night, possible soccer game Saturday - soccer game,...

If It’s Not a Hell Yes, Then It’s a No

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For years, I said yes to things I didn’t dig. Jobs. Volunteer opportunities. Friendships. Activities. All of it. I said yes because I thought my work, my contribution, or my presence would make someone...

The Road to Citizenship

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Once upon a time, I was halfway through my third year at KU, working as an RA and gearing up for another semester at the journalism school. That same month, an 18-year-old Indian guy...
school desk

10 Ways You Can Support Your Local PTO/PTA

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Don't be scared! I'm just the PTO lady (and my name is Karen. Can I talk to your manager? Just kidding.).   This was going to be a post about how I got involved with the...
cooking over campfire

Delicious Fireside Tradition: How to Make Pudgie Pies

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When my dad was a little boy, his family, the Wards, camped in tents at Pomme de Terre Lake every weekend in the summer and at Bennett Spring State Park every weekend in the...

Navigating Life in the Sandwich Generation

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In the past three months, my mom was admitted to the ER three times (in-patient once), my son celebrated his eighth birthday, and my grandmother passed away. One of my girlfriends has two kids...

Why I Still Love Shopping in Actual Stores

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You know what I love? Walking into a store, being acknowledged by an employee, and then being left alone to browse unless I have a question. It's my ideal way to spend a free...

13 Resources for Slaying the Anxiety Dragon

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I'd like to begin with a caveat - I am not a doctor or a therapist. My son experienced a bout of mild, manageable anxiety and the following resources were very useful as we...

Meals on Wheels Ride-Along

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Volunteering is one of my very favorite things. A few years ago, my friend Megan asked if I'd like to share her Meals on Wheels route. Yes! All the yeses! I know for me,...

Using Mudita to Cure FOMO

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Mudita is one of my very favorite words. A Sanskrit word with no English counterpart, mudita translates to sympathetic joy; the pleasure that comes from delighting in other people’s well-being. Doesn’t that just sound...
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A Note to My 20-Something Self: Freeze Some Eggs

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Dear me, How much attention did you pay in health class when they explained menstruation and ovulation and all that other lady-part stuff? What did you learn? Oh, yeah - how NOT to get pregnant....

Raising a Biracial Child

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A few years ago I read a National Geographic article about what Americans will look like in 2050, exploring the trend toward cultural and racial mixing. The faces in the accompanying photographs featured goldeny...