We Belong: Navigating Friendship and Down Syndrome

It’s 9:00 a.m. on a snowy Saturday in February. My son, Kaleb, and I drive to a friend’s house for his first drop-off playdate. He’s beside himself with excitement. We pull in the driveway and see Kaleb’s friend, Ethan, waiting at the side door of his family’s Victorian home. As he spots our van, Ethan jumps up and down shouting Kaleb’s name through the glass. My boy clambers out of his seat and reaches for the sliding van door in one, swift movement as Ethan props open the storm door to usher Kaleb in from the cold. The boys can’t ...
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5 Tips to Staycation Like a Tourist

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Are you staying home during spring break this year? No worries! Even if you aren’t heading to the beach or Disney, you can still create a brag-worthy staycation. Check out these tips for playing tourist ...
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The Mom-Break Myth

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The kids are fighting for the millionth time. The chores need done for the millionth time. The laundry sits and waits for my attention for the millionth time. Someone is hungry, someone is thirsty, someone ...
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I’m New Here: How to Find Your New Best Mom Friends

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Every mom is new somewhere. I just had my first baby and entered motherhood. I’m new here. We relocated away from our family and friends. I’m new here. I long for friends and am looking ...
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We Belong: Navigating Friendship and Down Syndrome

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It’s 9:00 a.m. on a snowy Saturday in February. My son, Kaleb, and I drive to a friend’s house for his first drop-off playdate. He’s beside himself with excitement. We pull in the driveway and ...
» READ MORE

5 Tips to Staycation Like a Tourist

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Are you staying home during spring break this year? No worries! Even if you aren’t heading to the beach or Disney, you can still create a brag-worthy staycation. Check out these tips for playing tourist ...
» READ MORE

The Mom-Break Myth

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The kids are fighting for the millionth time. The chores need done for the millionth time. The laundry sits and waits for my attention for the millionth time. Someone is hungry, someone is thirsty, someone ...
» READ MORE

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The Three Elements to Transformation

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If you know anything about building a fire, you know it takes three elements for a fire to burn: a fuel source (e.g. wood, gasoline, plastic, etc.), heat (like a spark from a lighter), and
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Second Grade Dreams

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Some kids dream about growing up to become athletes, singers or doctors. Me? I dreamt about college. I recall with great detail the day when my second grade teacher talked to our class about what ...
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The Greatest Connection

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If you say you want to connect with others but never ask questions, then you don’t really understand connection. The greatest connection often comes from just being willing to ask the question and may have ...
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Scales and Arpeggios

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Growing up, I took several years of piano lessons and my least favorite part was practicing my scales. It seemed so tedious. Did it really have a purpose? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txx9D-8ubdg Turns out there was a purpose ...
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Slingshot Fun

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"We have to reinvent fun back into our American society or we are going to serious ourselves to death." - Alice Cooper https://vimeo.com/271905836 The MOPS International staff taking a much-needed fun break from the work ...
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first move Mandy Arioto

The First Move Advantage

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There is a well-known theory in chess called the first move advantage that suggests the player who goes first is statistically positioned for the best outcome. When I first heard this, I went and found ...
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Fighting for Your Marriage When Life Beats You Up

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In the parenting journey, just as in life, nothing is guaranteed. The unexpected happens to all of us, but there are some things that not only come as a surprise, they turn life on its ...
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The Juggle Is Real

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I am a creature of habit. Since an early age, I realized that I thrive on routine and consistency and that I do not like surprises of any shape or form. The structure to life ...
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Motherhood and Career

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On November 2, 2017, my new identity as a mother formed when I gave birth to my baby girl. Suddenly, all of my maternal instincts from within unleashed care and compassion onto this beautiful creature ...
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The Anticipation of Waiting

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There are a few events in my life that I can vividly remember the wait: My wedding day and the birth of my two sons. I remember the feeling of complete and utter lack of ...
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When Simple Becomes Stunning

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A chilly breeze found its way through the cracks of the window, as my toddler son cuddled in close. Christmas was in the air, but everything was strangely out of place. The rest of the ...
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Prayers From the Heart

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When I was a young mom with four kids under the age of six, I felt guilty at my lack of a significant prayer life. My prayers didn’t measure up to what I thought they ...
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