Dawn Downes

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.

Bullying: How to Help if Your Child is a Victim

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The past week has had me thinking about bullies a lot…and sadly not because I just watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, although that program serves as a case study in bullying and toxic masculinity....

A Chattanewbie Looks Back on Her First Year

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Just a little more than a year ago my family and I moved to Chattanooga. We actually moved in July, but it took us until November to really get settled and recognize (and accept)...
Midlife is What You Make It

Midlife is What You Make It: A GenXer Responds to Oprah.com

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Heads up, GenX Fam! In case you missed it, the over 40 crowd should feel miserable. Sad. Angry. Maybe even bitter. Definitely jealous of your Millennial colleagues and resentful of your peers who live seemingly...

When Personal Loss Meets National Tragedy: A Miscarriage Story

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On Monday, September 10, 2001, I was just a statistic. Mine was just one of the 25% of pregnancies that end in a miscarriage. I had called my doctor’s office and insisted that they...
Your School Parent-Teacher Group Needs You

Your School Parent-Teacher Group Needs You

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You’ve probably heard the cliché “It takes a village…” when it comes to raising children. I would dare to say that many of you have carefully cultivated your village – creating carpools; watching out...

It Ain’t Easy Being (a) Teen: 7 Tips for a Smooth Transition into High...

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I still remember the morning my friend Laura taught me the secret to leaving our weekly toddler playgroup without tears and meltdowns – either by my son or me – when I felt incapable...

Confessions of a Reformed Scaredy-Cat or 5 Lessons I Learned When I Faced My...

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Last May, with most of my belongings in storage, I loaded my two boys and our 80 pound Rhodesian Ridgeback in the minivan and headed into the next little chapter of our lives –...

Oprah Winfrey or How I Learned to Stop Stressing and Parent More Mindfully

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Okay. I admit it. Oprah really has very little to do with how or why I parent with greater intention and use mindfulness practices to reduce the stress in my life and hopefully, with...