Valerie Earnest

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Valerie grew up Naperville, Illinois, and is a Midwestern girl at heart even though she spent 16 years in Phoenix. She moved to Marion in 2016 with her husband, daughter (14), and two sons (12 and 9). Valerie graduated from BYU with a degree in Instrumental Music Education. She is a former band director, a current substitute teacher and accompanist, and an avid reader and crafter.

Just Okay IS Okay: Redefining the “Excellence” Narrative

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Years ago, all my friends enrolled their three-year-olds in full-day preschool. Not because they were working and needed it for child care. No, it was to make sure they were getting a head start...
Where to See Santa in Cedar Rapids

Where to See Santa in Cedar Rapids 2021

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Did you miss our Cookies with Santa event? There's still plenty of time to catch the "Big Guy" out and around town. We’ve put together this handy guide to help you know where to see...

Use Your Voice and Vote! Why Local Elections Matter

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Tomorrow is Election Day. This year is an “off-cycle” year, meaning you aren’t electing a president, senators, or candidates for any other “major” office. However, the votes you cast tomorrow are even more important,...

Don’t Ignore Me Just Because I’m New: A Plea to the PTO Moms

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It’s hard to be the new mom-- maybe just as hard as it is for our kids to be the new kid. I’ve been the new mom quite a bit in the last five years. ...

Hold Your Next Event at Mulligan’s Pub: CR Moms’ Night Out Review

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Whether you're looking for a location for a night out with friends, a place to watch the big game, or just a delicious meal, Mulligan's Pub in Cedar Rapids is the place to go! **...

First Day of School Traditions: How To Make Their First Day Rock

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Who is excited about the first day of school? If your family is like mine, you probably have a mix of excitement, sadness, and even (especially?) anxiety. I’ve been sending kids off to school for...

Favorite Food Trucks In and Around Cedar Rapids

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Whether you're looking to try something new to eat or need something special for your next event, our guide to local food trucks in and around Cedar Rapids will help you find what you're...

I’m Over The Teacher Hate

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I know it was a roller-coaster kind of a year for everyone, but teachers might have had the worst ride of all. A year ago, teachers were overworked and underpaid, but at least we showed...

How Jen Hatmaker Inspired Me to Think About Self-Care Differently

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Jen Hatmaker, speaker, mother, and life guru, stopped me in my tracks in her recent Facebook post. She talked about how her therapist taught her that she should treat herself like she would treat a...

Instead of That, Try This: New Holiday Traditions for 2020

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If I hear the phrase “Out of an abundance of caution...” one more time, I might scream! In a year where it feels like everything has been canceled, many of us are trying to figure...