Cari Dugan

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Cari Dugan is a lifestyle photographer and writer in Minneapolis Minnesota. She writes candidly about everyday life and experiences on being a wife and a mother on her blog Dugans in Cahoots ( www.dugansincahoots.com ) You can also keep up with her on Instagram (@cariduganphotography ) Her husband, and four children make life what it is – A Beautiful Mess.

Joy in the Chaos

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If you are anything like me, you cringe at the sight of a mess.  Nothing sends me into a quicker emotional frenzy than seeing a playroom upside down, dirty dishes in the sink, or clothes...

A Date Night for Exhausted Parents

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Before I had children I use to roll my eyes at those over tired parents who had no time to date. I mean really? How hard could it be to call up a babysitter, put...

I’m Okay with Not Being First

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My husband and I have four sweet children. We adopted our youngest, domestically, 18 months ago. She is the light of our home, we all are enamored with her sweet and spunky personality. She...

Letting Go of Perfection

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Every Friday it was the same. Take the kids to school. Rush home to do all the things I didn't get to finish during the week; laundry, clean bathrooms, scrub floors, vacuum and dust. Then...

Those Whispers in the Night

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Before my oldest daughter was born, my expectations of myself as a Mama were as large and grandiose as my swollen belly. I imagined that I'd be so many things:  Patient always.  Kind always.  Tender-hearted always.  I didn't know...

I’m Going to Spoil You, Little One

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When I became a mom for the first time 12 years ago, I was the first of my friends and family who lived near us. I really didn't know what I was doing. In...

Think Before Speaking: Regarding Adoption

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Usually when I am out and about with my youngest daughter, who is adopted, I don't get a lot of questions about our family, especially if it just her and I. But if I...

This Old Couch

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Dear friend, Come on in. The door is open. Sometimes when you step into my home you will be greeted with freshly washed floors, a sweet aroma of freshly baked cookies mixed in with the...

How Do You Do It?

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Usually after school one of my two older girls entertain my littlest baby (who just turned ten months old) while I cook dinner. I know, I'm totally spoiled by their eagerness to help. They...

Giving Grace

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About a year ago, on a cold winter's morning, the kids and I were on our way to school. We commute about 25 minutes everyday, so the routine of rushing everyone into the car...

This Is My Motherhood

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"He is mine in a way that he will never be hers, yet he is hers in a way that he will never be mine, and so together, we are motherhood.” Desha Woodall Last May,...

Mom Friends In All Seasons

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About four years ago, I joined a gym for one purpose: to get healthy again. I had let my health slide after three children, and it was beginning to affect my mood, so I...

First Time Mom (Again): 10 Things I Googled

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This past spring we added our fourth baby into our not-so-little crew.  Preparing for her arrival I was pretty confident in my mommy skills. I mean, this wasn't my first rodeo. I've done the newborn...

You Are In Control

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Every since our children were little, we established with them that their bodies are theirs and theirs alone.  They controlled who they allowed to give them hugs and kisses. We never demanded that they either...