Dawn Downes

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Hey, y’all! I’m Dawn – a native Tennessean who could not wait to escape the small town for the big city. After attending a women’s college in Atlanta, I took root there and stayed. One marriage, two homes, two kids, and 25 years later, here I am, back in Tennessee. My husband moved here in January of 2016 to start a new job while our two boys, Brendan (born 2003) and Beckett (born 2006), and I stayed behind to finish the school year and sell our house. We arrived in July 2016 and have been working to make a happy new home here since then. We love living on the North Shore and I am enjoying finding unexpected beauty and little joys throughout our new city. I am also mama to fur babies, Josie the Rhodesian Ridgeback/Lab mix, and Miller, a sweet orange and white tabby cat. I'm into art, movies, music, TV, pop culture, nerdy stuff like Doctor Who and Game of Thrones and I know more than my share about the DC Universe, Pokemon, Minecraft, Battlefield, and all things LEGO thanks to having two boys.

Confessions of an Overpacker 

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“Mom, you’re bringing too much stuff.” That’s what my 17-year old said to me when he saw the two large tote bags filled with snacks, first aid supplies, medications, and cleaning supplies sitting by the...
Raising Kids to Fight Racism

Raising Kids to Fight Racism

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  I stand at a loss of words to express the pain and anger and frustration I feel over what is happening in our country right now. In the span of two weeks, we saw...

Be Nice to Your Quaranteens

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When you were a teenager, could you have imagined, outside of being put on restriction for something you did, being told you couldn’t leave your house or see your friends face to face for...
Chattanooga is No Paris and That’s Okay

Chattanooga is No Paris and That’s Okay

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Last week, in between trying to adjust to my new work-from-home reality and worrying about whether or not my kids had completed the schoolwork I’ve largely been trusting them to do on their own,...
So Your Teenager Wants a Car: Some Things to Keep in Mind

So Your Teenager Wants a Car: Some Things to Keep in Mind

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There’s nothing quite as simultaneously exciting and nerve-wracking as having a new teen driver in the family. The only thing I can think of to compare it to is that period when your baby...

Secrets of Successfully Raising a Responsible Teenager

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With two teenage boys living under my roof, I’ve been thinking a lot about how prepared they are to go out into the world. It has especially been on my mind as my husband...
Dear Girl: A Letter to My Younger Self as I Look at 50

Dear Girl: A Letter to My Younger Self as I Look at 50

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In a mere 10 days, I will celebrate my 50th birthday. Back when I thought I knew everything, I believed I’d never shy away from my age or sharing it with others. But now?...
It's Almost Halloween! Have You Boo'ed Your Neighbors Yet?

It’s Almost Halloween! Have You Boo’ed Your Neighbors Yet?

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It's late October! Just a week left until Halloween! Have you boo'ed your neighbors yet? No...I don't mean have you shouted guttural sounds of disapproval and uttered disparaging remarks about their mamas. I'm asking if...
Don’t Forget the Single Mamas: 5 Ways to Support Single Moms

Don’t Forget the Single Mamas: 5 Ways to Support Single Moms

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I have a confession. My husband used to travel a lot. He’d sometimes be gone for nearly a month at a time. More than once I found myself saying to friends that I was “single...
Diversify Your Self-Worth

Diversify Your Self-Worth

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Becoming a mother takes a toll on a woman’s self-worth.  From anecdotal evidence to a 2017 Norwegian study that analyzed information gathered from 85,000 women, it’s clear that many women experience a hit to their...