The Brighter Writer




Let's play catch up a bit here.

Kalynn is officially 3 years old.

Everyone tells me the terrible twos have nothing on the thunderous threes. So far, this is proven to be extremely spot on. She's very opinionated, very stubborn, very determined and very sassy. She makes her own path, right or wrong, and she doesn't take no for an answer. I'm not 100% sure if this is an age thing, or a hereditary thing. I guess we'll find out in due time. Either way, trying to tame the wild, or at the very least trying to keep up with her, is exhausting. Fun, but exhausting.

It seems like the crazier life becomes with a growing toddler, the faster it goes.

I'm having a hard time believing that 2012 is already over, let alone the entire month of January and half of February in 2013. Sometimes it's nice to slow down a bit and remember what is truly important. Mainly, the people I love.

When we visited California a couple weeks ago, it was really important to me to get some pictures of Kalynn with my grandmother (her great-grandmother). She's been an awesome staple in my life from before I can even remember and I really wanted to figure out a cool way to capture of all 4 generations of women in our family:

I absolutely love, love, love the idea of this picture. Being more physically distant from that side of my family then I have been in years is really hard sometimes, so having this little piece of them to on hang on Kalynn's wall is really special for us.

And with time flying by quicker than I expected, I also came to the realization that we need to be financially prepared for things that will come faster than we thought they would. Like Kalynn going to college.

Because she is going to college.

Every holiday I get asked by friends and family "is there anything that Kalynn needs?" "What kinds of things does she like?" "What types of toys does she play with?" And the truth is, She's three. And a spoiled three at that. She has more toys than she knows what to do with. More importantly, she has more energy than any person I've ever met so sitting down and playing with anything for an extended period of time is just out of the question most of the time. Sure, she loves to open gifts and have new toys and we're not unappreciative of the things that she has gotten and loved over the years. A few of those toys have even become part of our permanent daily routine, but truthfully, at least at this point, we're blessed to not lack any traditional type of toy or clothing that she needs. is a way for our friends and family to give the gift of education instead of traditional presents for any of Kalynn's special occasions, holidays and birthdays. College is expensive. I'm currently in the process of paying back a portion of my student loans and it's almost impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel. What we're trying to do, is to not let Kalynn have a giant mound of debt after she finishes her degree. After seeing the final bill of my own college experience, and imagining the inflating cost of a college education 15 years down the road, it's frightening to think where we'd be if we didn't start planning right away.

Gradsave is super easy to use and it's 100% FDIC insured. We've set up an account for Kalynn so all anyone needs to do if they wish to donate is go to her profile page. All donations big and small are welcome. As soon as she hits her $1000 goal, that money is then transferred into her 529 college savings fund and her Gradsave goal starts again at zero. This website makes it so easy for friends and family to participate in an extremely practical gift that she'll never outgrow no matter how old she gets. It's pure genius.

If you'd like to make a donation or if you'd just like to check out Kalynn's profile page,


Other than time passing far too quickly, things are returning to normal since the excitement of holidays and birthdays has come to an end. We're gearing up for Valentine's Day by planning a little photo shoot that will be posted later next week. Hope all is well with all of you!