Can Any Good Come Out of This?

Self-quarantine. Social distancing. Coronavirus. None of those words mean a thing to my little ones. All they know is mommy and daddy are home all the time, there are a lot of yummy snacks in the pantry and they aren’t allowed to enjoy swim class anymore. How do I help them make sense of this frightening situation? Can any good come out of this? I … Continue reading Can Any Good Come Out of This?

Family Travel Gift Guide (Grandparents too)

It is hard to pick the perfect gift for the people you love the most. There is only so much precious suitcase space available after all. Aside from that special family gift, we’re always looking for take-a-long gifts for the kids too. Here are a few gifts I found this year that you might enjoy. For the Grandparents Forevernote – what do you buy for … Continue reading Family Travel Gift Guide (Grandparents too)

Don’t Forget to Visit the Loudoun County Fair

The Loudoun County Fair is a great way to spend the day with your tiny carousel riders. We visited mid-week around 10 a.m. and came back at 5 p.m. (after naptime). Morning at the fair is filled with baby animals, face painting and yummy carnival food. Fair evenings boast kiddie-sized rides, live music, and even more delicious carnival eats. Continue reading Don’t Forget to Visit the Loudoun County Fair

An Instagram-worthy Family Scavenger Hunt in Loudoun County, Virginia

We’re blessed to call Loudoun County our hometown. It is a beautiful place to live. We love the mountain view from our bedroom window, over 40 wineries and breweries, a delicious foodie scene, and tons of family-friendly destinations to enjoy. Continue reading An Instagram-worthy Family Scavenger Hunt in Loudoun County, Virginia

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, TN is an Epic Family Experience

This amazing aquarium was voted the #1 aquarium in the United States, and the reasons are very clear. It is awesome! There is an underwater tunnel the size of a football field, kid-sized tunnels and corners throughout the building, and tons of amazing underwater life to explore. Continue reading Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, TN is an Epic Family Experience

My TOTEM Story: My Journey to Travel

I’m a mom to three under the age of three, wife to the best man I’ve ever known, and travel writer dedicated to families with young children. If we can travel with three little ones, we know you can too, and I’m here to help. After 10 years of creating digital engagement strategies for corporations, politicians and non-profits, I decided to apply my passion to the people and places I love the most.

What three books or people have made the biggest impact in your life? Why?

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – I graduated from Johns Hopkins University, and I’ve always had an obsession with all things Hopkins. This book is about medical research at Johns Hopkins, but most importantly, it is about an amazing woman and her family. They lived through racism, national division, suffering and a strange kind of triumph for mankind. It is intense, but it reminds me that we leave a legacy in one way or another, and I want to leave the right kind of legacy for my kids.

Eat. Pray. Love – I found this book during a really tough time in my life. We were going through our second year of infertility treatment, and I needed something uplifting. The main character packs her entire life away in a 10×10 storage unit, and heads out on a yearlong trip to Italy, India and Bali. Her journey teaches her to love herself again and to open her heart to loving others. It helped me the do the same things.

The Bible – it is the blueprint for my life and an unending source of strength and encouragement.

How has a struggle or low point in your life turned out to be a blessing in disguise?
My husband and I decided to start a family early on in our marriage, but things didn’t go according to plan. We endured two years and seven rounds of infertility treatment, a miscarriage, emergency surgery to remove a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy, and the hardest days, weeks, months and years of our lives. In the end, we were blessed with three amazing rainbow babies (twins via IVF and a our littlest was a miracle surprise!) that fill our lives with so much silliness and so many snuggles. It has been such a blessing to help other women dealing with the same struggles. It was so difficult to open up about our experiences, but when I did, I was surprised to find out I was surrounded by women dealing with the exact same things. They needed to talk, to cry, to ask why, and to connect in a way they couldn’t connect with their own friends and family. It is an honor to support these warriors in any way I can, and such a blessing in my own life.

When you get up in the morning, what gets you most excited?

I left my corporate job to spend more time with my family, but I knew I still wanted to find a way to apply my passion and expertise to an endeavor that included them. I started Toddlin’ Across America to not only help young families get the most out of their next vacation, but to be there as my kids experienced the sights and sounds this beautiful world has to offer. Each morning, I get so excited to plan where we’re headed next, and share our adventures with our community. I love seeing their sense of wonder! Continue reading My TOTEM Story: My Journey to Travel

The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is Fun for the Whole Family

When Visit Pittsburgh told us all about the family-friendly attractions in the area, we didn’t know where to start. But, we knew the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh was a must for our family. My kids love to touch everything and play with cool exhibits. Continue reading The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is Fun for the Whole Family