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.

Go Wild at Tanganyika Wildlife Park

This post is sponsored by Tanganyika Wildlife Park. Opinions belong to the writer. Do you have animal-lovers in your family? If you have children, then the odds are high they are obsessed with all things...

Visit Wichita – The Heart of the Country

This post is sponsored by Visit Wichita. Opinions belong to the writer. Are you looking for a weekend with your family that’s jam-packed with things everyone will love? Baseball games, exotic animal encounters, STEM fun...
girl scouts

A Love for the Girl Scouts

This post is sponsored by the Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri. To join, visit them online. When I was growing up in the 1980s, youth sports wasn’t nearly as huge and time-consuming as...
teacher job

A Midlife Job Change

At the end of the 2020-2021 school year, I did a thing. I left my teaching job.  Now, I didn’t up and leave the profession altogether, even though last year was quite possibly the most...
Grand Carnivale at Worlds of Fun

See the World Kick Up Its Heels at Grand Carnivale

Are you looking to explore a few more countries before the lazy days of summer end? Look no further than Grand Carnivale at Worlds of Fun! This celebration of the world includes a parade,...

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

  I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with New Year’s Eve. As a kid, I loved it! We could stay up until midnight at age 8? Fantastic! When I was in college and after, NYE...
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...
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