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Right now I'm (kind of) Having It All

Last month, I launched my first book. It took 2+ years of writing in the evening and finding an editor and designer, but I finally pressed Publish on Passports and Pacifiers. It's pretty exciting to see a physical copy in my children's hands and in stores.

Then, this week Chicken Soup for the Soul: Be You shared my story, "Having it All," that I wrote and submitted pre-pandemic. I had been working and coaching, and my kids were in school. The premise was about how blessed I was, yet how stressful having it all can be. It reflects on working from home, being a parent, following a dream, and the importance of taking a moment to appreciate it all. Little did I know what was to come and how I would lean on that philosophy! It's oddly fitting now, barring the "crowded parties" line.

No shortage of outtakes when the kids help

So, even with all of this past year's craziness, this past month has been exciting for me. Passports and Pacifiers was the Top New Release in many categories—Family Travel, Travel Humor, Scandinavia Travel, Sweden Travel, Finland Travel, Central American Travel, Western Europe Travel, and Irish Travel. It even reached #1 Best Seller in a category! The prestigious Kirkus Reviews gave a good review and Midwest Book Review raved on it. Passports and Pacifiers may be targeted to young parents (the days!), but I've received strong reviews from a Grammy and a 13-year-old reviewer for LItPicks. Once you put it out there, you never know who will find it. I just got an interview request from a radio station with over a million listeners!

I’ve conducted interviews, done readings, and held a virtual launch party. I even learned how to handle a failed one with grace. (Not really—I cried my eyes out.) What I've enjoyed most is the adventure part of it. Learning new things and meeting new people. When I was reaching out to people for endorsements, I discovered new books and podcasts. Please check out some of their books and podcasts:

Erin Hatzikostas, a former corporate CEO and TedX speaker. She recently launched her first book, You Do You(ish): Unleash Your Authentic Superpowers to Get the Career You Deserve. She's smart, direct...and fun to read.

Joseph Vivens, author of Chunky and Friends children's book series about healthy eating. He showed me some tips and tricks on promoting my book. His books are great—my kids adore them and I love the messaging.

George Mahood, best-selling British author of many funny travelogues. I loved Free Country: A Penniless Adventure the Length of Britain and Not Tonight, Josephine. George is hilarious and generous.

Gerald Yeung, another up-and-comer, writes beautiful prose. I first discovered his work through a mutual interview, BookClubMom, and loved his descriptive language in an essay. I recently finished his first book, Kong Boys. It reminded me of my Aussie friends mixed with my husband's friends, told by a true storyteller. Brilliant!

I loved meeting the velvet voice of Janet Perry and the adventurous Caroline Berry. I'm really excited about the couple I have coming in the next few weeks.

From the days of team sports at Northern and Davidson College, I understand the importance of working together. My writing group has been instrumental to me. My work colleagues have been amazing throughout the years.

Sometimes the universe sends a sign. An endorsement from a go-getter author. Rekindled friendship with childhood buddy (fashionista Running on Heels and Happiness). Receiving my author copies of Be You. 100+ writers worked together to create something special. We're encouraging people follow their dreams and realize their potential. The authors above are doing it, and I'm joining them on their journey, as a teammate and a friend.

Check out their books and podcasts. You won’t be disappointed.

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