Love Is It.

Love Is It.

By Kate Kole

There is a heaviness that hits my heart each year when I flip the calendar page to July. I feel it as I struggle to sleep in the middle of the night, I feel it in my initial waking thoughts each morning, and I feel it as my mind wanders throughout the day.

As I rolled out of bed a few hours ago, I felt it’s deepest twinge. The way I always do on the 3rd. I thought of my brother and our last memory together as we sat laughing in the hallway of our family home. It’s been 13 years since then, and still, it’s grip on me and its significance in my life is as strong now as it ever was. Continue reading

4 Ways My Childhood Experiences Shape My Current Spending Patterns

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By Kate Kole

I grew up in a middle-class Midwestern family. My dad was a college professor, and my mom self-employed. While we never went without, we also didn’t live extravagantly. Many of our activities were of the free or budget friendly variety, hiking at state parks, playing basketball in the driveway, at home movie nights, and card games around the kitchen table. We carved pumpkins in the fall, decorated frosted snowman cookies in the winter, planted flowers in the spring, and fished on the lake in the summer.

My childhood shaped me in a variety of ways. It provided me with an appreciation for quality time with the people I love. I grew to enjoy homemade meals, library books, and using my imagination for entertainment. I came to prefer spending time outdoors and still opt for weekend afternoons spent on our deck or playing bags in the yard over ones spent inside or shopping at the mall.  My childhood also shaped the way I now view money. Today, I embrace so many of the same financial decisions my parents made while raising my siblings and me. Continue reading

You Already Know

Memory Chest

By Kate Kole

Listen to your own voice, your own soul. Too many people listen to the noise of the world, instead of themselves. – Leon Brown

A few years ago, my mom created a memory chest for me. She filled it with high school yearbooks, significant newspaper clippings, cross country and soccer posters, report cards, and my favorite 101 Dalmatians hat that served as my primary wardrobe staple for the better part of early childhood. I have a slight suspicion that the chest came to be, in part, so I could have access to my most sentimental artifacts, and in (larger) part, so my parents could finally – and without guilt – say sayonara(!) to my shotty kindergarten “artwork”. Continue reading

Life In A Military Family

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By Joanna Grey Talbot

Family vacations usually include detours for breathtaking, natural wonders or a restaurant with amazing reviews. Mine usually included detours to the nearby Marine Corps base that my father had been stationed at so he could give us a driving tour of his old haunts. As we drove past the parade deck (the large, paved area where ceremonies and training took place), his old office building, and the O-Course (obstacle course) that he ran many times he would be transported to a previous life that he viewed with a great sense of pride and nostalgia. My brothers and I would be wondering, “When’s lunch?” Continue reading

3 Life Swaps I’m Making Before Turning 30

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By Kate Kole

I turn 30 one month from today and I’ve kind of been freaking out about it. I say ‘kind of’ because I’m thankfully yet to have a Jessie Spano caffeine pills level meltdown. That being said, the big 3-0 has been on my mind a lot lately, in that nagging what am I doing with my life kind of way. Logically, I know it’s silly to become consumed by a number. But emotionally and quite honestly, I’ve been feeling like a bit of a hot mess over it. Continue reading

We Are The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For

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By Jillian Stacia

I’ve spent my entire life waiting to become.

When I was a little girl, I thought I would have it figured out by the time I was 16. I glorified 16. It sounded like such a fun and sophisticated age. I would have a boyfriend and a job and a car. I would know what I was doing. I’d be confident and capable and fun and smart. By 16, surely, I would’ve arrived. I would’ve already become. Continue reading

To My Father, On His Birthday

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By Jillian Stacia

There are certain people you could write books about.

Certain people who bring out stories inside you. They fill you with words and hopes and dreams. They inspire and awe you. They fill you to the brim.

My father is one of those people. He is a person worthy of a novel.

So to try to encapsulate him in a blog post seems frivolous. I need more than 800 words to describe the man who taught me about life and the way I want to live it. You can’t sum up your father in a blog post. You can’t describe a parent in an essay. Especially mine. Continue reading

Advice From My Younger Self

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By Casey Rose Frank

As I approached 30 I was big fan of reading essays about what older women would tell their younger selves if given the opportunity. All the words of wisdom made me feel that I had truly learned something from the trials and tribulations of my more uncertain years. It was easy to even feel a sliver of smugness over the girl I no longer was thanks to hindsight.

But along with getting older, making informed decisions, and becoming a more emotionally balanced person, I discovered that there had been a tradeoff I was unaware of. I worried less, but I took fewer risks. I had learned to say no to the things I really didn’t want to do, but had forgotten to say yes to the unexpected. Continue reading