I know, I know. Many of you would shake your fist at me for ever dissing those orange orbs that grace front porches everywhere this fall, but your hands are full–one with a Pumpkin Spice Latte and the other with a pumpkin muffin. Here’s the deal. I used to love pumpkin-flavored everything, from warm drinks to cold pumpkin pie ice cream. But now? It must be these pregnancy hormones. It all just sounds so…gross.

These things were HUGE! I don’t have dainty hands.


As a blog ambassador for Whole Foods, I was give the opportunity to talk about some of my favorite fall-inspired foods. And wouldn’t you know, I’m all about that apple right now. I mean, local apples in season are just so crispy, sweet and delicious. I can’t get enough. I’m a frequent customer …

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When Arts Partners asked if I’d like to attend Arty Party with my girls, write about my experience, and also give away some tickets on my Facebook page, I was intrigued. I’d heard of Arts Partners, thanks to a wildly successful social media fundraising campaign, ArtDOG (Art Day of Giving) earlier this year. The campaign, a project of the Wichita Community Foundation and The Arts Council, brought funds and awareness to the many arts organizations serving our area. Obviously, it worked. Arts Partners was on my radar, at least. Here’s a little more about what they do:

…a comprehensive educational program that integrates visual and performing arts into all areas of the curriculum through the planned use of community cultural resources. Arts Partners inspires creativity and learning by using the arts to …

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I’d like to tell you a story. A story about two friends. They’re young, maybe 21 or 22. One’s name is Steve, the other, Marcus.

Marcus is outgoing and known to be a frequent party-goer and very generous. He’s often willing to give his friends money, or buy everyone a round at their favorite dive bar. Behind his back, he’s sometimes called a “sucker.” He knows some people say these things, but he tries not to let it bother him. It’s his money, and he can do with it what he wants.

Steve seems to be a good guy and has a lot of friends. He holds a good job and doesn’t seem to ruffle too many feathers.

One night at the bar, Steve runs into a problem. He’s forgotten his wallet. Noticing his friend’s plight, Marcus offers …

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This may be hard to believe, but when I was a young child, I didn’t like cheese. Wait, what? What kind of kid turns their nose up at grilled cheese, cheeseburgers, and the coveted mac & cheese? This kid. I hated it. Gagged at the thought. I even remember a time when a babysitter fixed me a cheese and mayonnaise sandwich, which I refused to eat. I threw it in the trash, and GET THIS, she retrieved it out and made me eat it anyway! I still remember the taste of Miracle Whip and sliced American filling my mouth as I fought the urge to hurl it all back up. Ick!

But somewhere along the way, I actually came across some good cheese. Some real cheese, not that nasty, processed, fake yellow stuff. That somewhere was my grandparent’s home at …

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We fought her, and then we fought FOR her. She’s amazing. She’s brave. And I don’t deserve her.

Brave. Not a word I would have used to describe my oldest daughter only six months ago. With a mental disposition much like me, I feared she would follow in my anxiety-laced footsteps. Her fear made me fearful. My nerves made her nervous. We’re a sometimes-challenging duo, her and I.

You see, I don’t want her to be like me. I want her to run through the sprinklers of life instead of skirting the edges. I want her to be Ria. I want her to live with less fear, but I know she’ll never be completely free of anxiety’s bonds. Or will she? Will she break free of the walls within own mind…and mine? …

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