Renee Nelson

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Renee holds three titles that are of utmost importance to her: mom to Cale and Ian; wife to Andy; and Communications Director for Grant Wood Area Education Agency. Although she has a Master’s degree from the University of Iowa, her heart still shines cardinal and gold for Iowa State University where she received her undergraduate degree. Renee’s a foodie who loves cooking, travel, her friends, her family, the Oxford comma, and happy hour. Cheers!

Your Must-Read Books for Parenting a Pre-Teen

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I’m way past What to Expect When You’re Expecting. My kids are in late elementary and early intermediate school, but I still have LOTS of questions. Thankfully, I have avid readers in my friend circle...

Red, Red Wine: Celebrate Red Wine Day With These Local Connections

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I remember that time in college when I declared, “I don’t know why you’d spend more than $10 on a bottle of wine when this Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill is so good.” My wine preferences...

Meanest Mom Ever: Five Reasons Why My Kids Are Skipping Disney

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Rest easy, friends, because I think I’ve officially snagged the title of the meanest mom ever. This year I think we’ve finally made the decision to take a hard pass on a family Disney...

Start Summer Right With These Tech Tips for Parents

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Like many of you, my husband and I had loosely enforced screen time rules for our kiddos pre-COVID. And then somewhere in the thick of quarantining and distancing, those already-loose boundaries on our rules...

Real Talk About Who Can Stop the “Summer Slide”: It’s Gonna be “May”

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May is an odd little beast. Just as we start anticipating the leisurely pace of summer, we’re busier than ever. Our kids are balancing their typical classwork while tackling standardized testing. At home, we’ve...

Building Your Village: Making Connections in Marion and Cedar Rapids

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I remember when my preschool-aged kiddo triumphantly announced that he changed his chip from a triangle to a quadrilateral. And I remember knowing full well that I had nothing to do with it.  I’m pretty...

I’m Rocking This Side Part and My Skinny Jeans

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They are lurking in the most unsuspecting of places. Beyond the new crease in my forehand and the silver strands in my hair, I see them; the reminders of my age are surreptitiously creeping into...

Tired of the Snow? Think Spring With Three Pandemic-Friendly Spring Break Ideas

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When I was growing up, spring break meant a break from school and little else. We were not the family that flew to the beaches every March. I think I might have been in...

How Kristen Wiig and her Robe Redeemed my 2020

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The Saturday Night Live skit proliferated through my social media feeds like candidate ads during Iowa’s political season. By now you’ve likely seen it yourself. I’m talking about Kristen Wiig in a SNL skit as...

Defeating FOMO With Six NEW Cedar Rapids Area Activities

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Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a real thing. Even before the pandemic, scrolling through your personal social media accounts could trigger a sense of drowning in self-doubt and a feeling of being left...