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January-February 2022

Features

Don’t Know About You, But We’re Traveling in ‘22!

Like kids streaming out of school the last day before summer vacation, we are ready to soar! Vaccine card? Check. Masks? Check. Bored out of our minds? Check, check, check. Leaving the kids with the grandparents is so last century. These days, according to VRBO’s annual Travel Trend Report, parents…

They’re Blood Brothers

LaToya Cypress and her husband Brett keep a bag packed in case they have to rush to the emergency room with one of their twin sons. “We are pretty much in a ready-to-go situation,” says Brett. “It’s like a new normal. Other kids get fevers and parents can treat it…

When Healing Runs in the Family!

“I’ll never be a teacher!” I proclaimed as a high school senior. “My mom teaches.” My attitude was rebellious and my spirit defiant. I majored in psychology as an undergraduate and ignored my calling, according to my college English professor. After graduating, I worked briefly as an addiction counselor before…

Football Lovers in the Family?

You might not be able to score a ticket to Super Bowl LVI, set for Sunday, February 13, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, but a good substitute is a visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. There, you can take in a movie review of…

Columns

It’s a Wonderful Life

He didn’t want to miss out.” About this time last year, Adam Oakes, a student at VCU, died of alcohol poisoning after drinking a 40-ounce bottle of whiskey at an off-campus party. On the local news, I heard one of Adam’s family members talk about his kind heart and sweet…

Open Heart and Open Home!

My family’s caregiving journey for an older adult began some thirty years ago when my father died unexpectedly. In her sixties, my mom was thrust into a dynamic situation of caring for a home, cars, and a yard, and it quickly became overwhelming. My husband and I took over many…

Big Man On Campus

The smooth greens. The stately trees. The academic buildings that beckon all who walk along the paths that cross the vaunted quad. It’s all just how you remember it – though at another college, in another place, in your all-too-distant past.  But hey, you’ve got this. Yes, maybe now you’re…

Happy 2022 to You!

Greetings, readers, and warm wishes for a bright year ahead.  After looking back at some of my past January notes, I think I’m finally ready to stop making far-fetched resolutions and predicting what the year ahead will look like. I mean, let’s be honest, was there really any chance that…

Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

Mitch Albom strikes emotional gold, again. It’s hard to believe it’s been twenty-five years since Mitch Albom’s first book, Tuesdays With Morrie, was originally published, the one that turned the sports writer I watched most Sundays on ESPN’s Sports Reporters into an internationally acclaimed author.  Since then, all of his…

Departments

Royally Cool Craft for a Winter’s Day!

Create your own crown using a recycled paper bag, and declare yourself the king or queen of creativity! What you need: • Medium to large paper bag  • Markers • Scissors  • Glue stick or liquid glue  • Acrylic or tempera paint  • Paintbrush  • Stapler Optional:  • Pompoms, tissue…

5 Signs You’re Trying to Be a Good Parent

Am I a good parent? Maybe not perfect. But at least good? Every parent asks this question at least once, more likely every day. Your child’s answer may vary widely depending on when you last let her have dessert. Your best friend will likely give you a positive answer, but the stranger…

enCircle

Imagine moving to a strange new country to find safety, but being forced to leave behind your five children? Lola knows that reality all too well. The single mother came to the United States from Guatemala two years ago and only recently – one by one – was reunited with…

Should I Have My Younger Kids Vaccinated?

COVID-19 has taken center stage now for nearly two years – upending family routines, lives, and the world as we knew it. Nearly 140,000 Virginia children have tested positive for COVID-19, more than 1,000 of whom required hospitalization.  With everyone ages five and up now eligible for the vaccine, our…

The Truth About Chocolate and Your Health

If you’re a chocolate lover, you already know chocolate is a huge hit when it comes to meeting your sweet tooth needs. Now keep reading for some great news! Cocoa, an ingredient in chocolate, has been shown in research to have cancer-fighting effects.  Cocoa has antioxidants called flavanols that have…

Managing Finances From the Middle

When a friend is having a tough time, do you prefer to bake cookies, instead of buying some at the store? Have you ever experienced a Pinterest fail attempting to make a Baby Yoda birthday cake for your seven-year-old instead of relying on a boxed cake mix? Or (gasp) just…

Care Guide for Your Senior Pets

Just like people, pets go through physical and mental changes with age. Unfortunately, they can’t tell us the specifics about these changes, their needs, or concerns – or can they? Don’t speak dog? Can’t talk cat? No problem! Your older pet is cluing you in through changes in behavior, activity…

Raise Your Voices for Kids and Families

Each year, Voices for Virginia’s Children hosts Advocacy Days during the General Assembly session in Richmond. Youth, parents, nonprofit partners, and community members take the opportunity to speak with their elected representatives on issues that matter to them. For many, it’s their first time engaging with a state senator or…

The Benefits of Urban Agriculture

The pandemic has revealed how fragile food access can be. Large-scale agricultural operations, small farms, and family farms have been affected, supply chains have been interrupted, and for a time, grocery store employees were considered frontline workers. Many Virginians had reduced access to food sources and had to rely consistently…

Weighing the Risks, Trusting the Science

Pregnancy is a unique experience with many variables that can leave you feeling overwhelmed. I understand. I am also pregnant. When the COVID-19 vaccine first became available to healthcare providers in December 2020, my husband and I weighed the risks and benefits of getting vaccinated versus the risk of COVID-19…

The Ups, Downs, Ins, and Outs of Menopause

Our mothers and grandmothers called it the change – the mysterious process during which females become unpredictably moody, irritable, short-tempered, and most of all, hot. We now refer to this time in our lives as perimenopause, and it can last from two to five years. These years can feel like…

Dos and Don’ts of Crowdfunding

After a tragedy, people want to help in any way they can. That often means contributing to fundraising campaigns that appear to directly benefit survivors, victims, and their families.  The shooting at the high school in Michigan late last year, where students and teachers were injured and killed, resulted in…

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