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    Times change, but the way we connect shouldn’t

    Ahh, the first day of school. Can’t you just smell it? The new backpacks, clean sneakers, nerves and anticipation? As I write, teachers and administrators are beginning to plan their classrooms, gather supplies and schedule meetings. Parents are thinking about school shopping, doctor’s appointments, volleyball practices, senior photos and getting everyone back on a schedule. […]

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    The sweet spot of summer

    “You only get 18 summers with them in your house.” Leave it to the accountant friend of mine to break down the reality of parenthood in a matter of numbers. “But then, when you really add it up, it’s more like ten or eleven with them really being a kid, before the summers fill up […]

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    Checking in with dad

    Let’s talk about dads. With Father’s Day approaching and our house in a constant state of princess dress-up, meltdowns, sippy cups and dance parties, I’ve realized that while I delve pretty regularly into conversations with my sister and girlfriends about the challenges and tribulations of motherhood and how it’s transforming me in more ways than […]

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    Mom we love you, peas and thank you

    We’ve been working on manners in our house lately. I have two girls, aged three and one, so you can imagine the lists of demands I receive on a minute-by-minute basis as their mother and assumed servant. So far it’s been going ok. I mean, when the one-year-old can’t find the word for the giant […]

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    Taking a trip without the kids builds more than just your relationships

    Every spring, since as long as they could make it happen, my sister-in-law and her husband take a trip someplace tropical. With three daughters—now fifteen, twelve and ten—the couple has spent countless hours navigating schedules and car pools, coaching softball, packing snacks, braiding hair, cheering on half-time tumbling shows, bumping volleyballs, nursing hurt feelings and […]

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    6 ways to channel spring with your kids

    If I told you spring arrives this month would you believe me? I checked the calendar and March 20th makes it official, but I’m not so sure. All my years as a North Dakotan have taught me not to rely on spring until at least July 4th. This might be especially true this year. Because […]

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    For better or for worse

    Twelve years ago I said “I do” in front of a big oak tree that had likely been growing roots on our ranch for close to 80 years. I stood beside a twenty-three year old man who I’d known since I was twelve years old, I held his hand and I made a promise to […]

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    New Year, new ways to celebrate milestones, big and small

    There’s something about the new year and birthdays that feel the same to me. It makes sense. Both occasions mark the end and beginning of a year and both hold nostalgia and hope tightly in the celebration. But mostly, now that I’m a parent, the way they both ceremoniously mark the passage of time carries […]

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    How to take a Christmas card photo

    Step 1: Set unrealistic expectations. To properly achieve this, head to your favorite mom blog to find that she has already published a series of her perfectly groomed clan in matching Christmas jammies decorating the tree, laughing. hugging and looking like they love one another while reaching to put the star on top. And if […]

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    Show them how to be grateful

    At the end of November, two days after Thanksgiving, my oldest and first daughter, Edie, will turn three. And almost three, apparently, is the age when you become aware of your birthday and what it means, because for the past month or so, birthdays have been the big topic of conversations at our house. Her […]

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    Ask not what your community can do for you

    Last week I helped plan a welcome event in my hometown of Watford city. On a Friday afternoon, before a home High School Football game, nearly 600 people came through the doors of our community center. And the purpose wasn’t to shop or be convinced of anything, but to show them what our community has […]

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