After a successful year in Kindergarten, Avery had a fun summer and learned how to ride her bike with no training wheels!

Wow, to think just a year ago I was a complete bundle of nerves waiting for my little one with food allergies to start Kindergarten. And WHAM suddenly the year flew by and we’re getting ready to begin first grade in just a few days.

Some of you have asked for updates on Avery’s first year in school and how things went with food allergy management. We had a successful year – there were no food allergy reactions at school or after-school care the entire year. I never received the “dreaded phone call” and my daughter was able to focus her energy on learning to read and making friends.

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In today’s age of compulsive-selfies and over-sharing online, our Facebook and Twitter streams are filled with happy pictures and stories about our friends and family.

But some things don’t get talked about online. Especially when we are struggling in our jobs or marriages.

In the last few years, I can’t tell you how many friends and acquaintances have confided in me about their failing marriages and asked for advice because I’ve been in their shoes.

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My first stop in the  morning is always to my children’s bedrooms to say “good morning.” Yesterday I found these two cuties having fun together in Alex’s room. I was struck by their sleepy eyes, messy hair and big smiles. And in their cute pajama sets and Avery in her robe. It was one of those moments I wanted to remember forever. So much so that I had an overwhelming urge to go find my phone so I could take a picture. And even though it turned out grainy and a bit blurry, it captured the essence – the love and happiness – of the moment. And the graininess is reminiscent of the pictures my parents took of me when I was a kid in the ’70s. I loved the moment and I loved the picture of the moment. I can already imagine showing it to them when they’re teenagers.


Attendees from the first MN Blogger Conference gathered at CoCo St. Paul back in 2010.

Five years ago, Arik Hanson and I started the first conference in Minnesota solely devoted to Minnesota bloggers: The Minnesota Blogger Conference.

We started the event because we saw a need (at the time): to help bloggers from different walks of life, who blog about different topics, come together and learn from each other. And, to be honest, just to network and get to know one another.

With the help of many, many people, we’ve pulled off four #mnblogcon’s plus a couple of mini-blogcons and happy hours. And it’s been wonderful and fun, but also exhausting… as you can imagine, even with the best of teams, it takes a ton of time and energy.

And so, our run has come to an end–well, for now, at least.

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I hear people ask this all the time: Why do we need to carry around emergency medications (like the EpiPen and AuviQ) for severe allergies to food or insects? Why can’t we just call 911 and rely on EMTs or doctors to give epinephrine if we need it?

Let’s think about this for a minute. Why would doctors prescribe these medications and expect you to carry them around? The answer is because the medicine needs to be given swiftly when a person is experiencing anaphylaxis (severe food allergy reaction involving multiple body systems). Doctors actually want YOU to use the EpiPen at home (where ever you are) because time is of the essence. Don’t wait for someone else.

We carry two EpiPens with us at all times to be prepared for my daughter’s multiple food allergies. At school, she wears them in a belt around her waist. The reason we keep epinephrine with us or in arms reach of my child is because doctors have taught us that the best chance of surviving a life-threatening food allergy reaction is when the patient receives epi in under 2 minutes from exposure.

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Marketing Mama® features articles on parenting as a working mom, health, family activities, cool products, my two adorable children and sometimes I even talk about marketing.


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