Amanda Smestad

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Amanda is a lifelong Cedar Rapidian along with her husband Chad and their seven daughters. She has been blessed by her littles at the ages of 21, 24, 32, 34 and again at 42. Her oldest two girls are now young adults and living their own lives, her middle girls are in their tweens and teens, and to round it all out, identical twin toddlers, four dogs and a house that is never empty.

Rediscovering the Magic of Christmas

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  This has always been my most favorite time of year.  The end of November to the end of December marks days out of school and off work, those family members that you haven't seen...

Building a Connection for Life through Foster Care and Adoption

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November is a time to raise awareness, celebrate adoptions and share our stories. On November 1, 1995, President Bill Clinton set forth proclamation 6846 for National Adoption Awareness Month.  The declaration supports adoption awareness, recognizing...

I’m Not Just Mom: Rediscovering Who You Are

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I have spent the last three years rediscovering myself and my purpose. This journey began in 2018; our twins we barely two months old when postpartum hit hard. It didn't stop at six weeks or...

Fall into Autumn, Where Change is Beautiful

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  The sweltering heat of summer is finally giving way to the crispness of fall.  The days become short as the darkness grows long, and the energy shift will bring a welcome change.  As fall...

Staycations and Backyard Adventures in Cedar Rapids

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Family life is all sorts of things.  Sometimes it's overwhelming and a little messy, dashed with chaos, and blended together for fun and fulfillment.  Every day brings new adventure and uncertainty. Suddenly summer vacation...

Smoke-Free Five years and Counting: Breaking Hard Habits One Day at a Time

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Up In Smoke On June 6th, 2016 I smoked my last cigarette. Far too many years and thousands of dollars later. Wasted on absolutely nothing, literally up in smoke. I enjoyed it when I did...

So You’ve Got a New Graduate: Advice from a Mom Who’s Been There

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Change Happens in the Wind It's the end of another school year.  The preschoolers will move into kindergarten.  5th graders move up to middle school.  And the 8th graders are moving to high school.  But,...