Kelly Barbrey

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Kelly Barbrey is an early riser, old soul and retail therapy expert. She is a wife to Jonathan and a mom to two strong-willed daughters, born in 2007 and 2010. Kelly grew up in Atlanta, GA and earned a degree in magazine journalism from The University of Georgia. She has worked full time in tourism marketing for Experience Columbia SC since 2004, where she loves to share all the exciting things happening in Columbia, SC with potential travelers. When she’s not working or wrangling kids, she enjoys date nights with her husband at local restaurants, exercise, reading and sharing real and humorous accounts of life, motherhood and nostalgia on her blog, Up Early + Often.

Wings of Love :: Confessions of an Almost Helicopter Mom

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“Ugh, you’re such an airplane mom,” my daughter said to me one afternoon. I can’t remember what we were discussing, or what I was reminding her to do or take with her out the door,...

Middle Ground :: The Unexpected Joys of Parenting Tweens

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I have always been jealous of baby whisperers. I was not one. I will never be one. I truly love a newborn, but I was never good with them. It’s probably because I’m a...

Side Hustles and Second Shifts :: When You Want to be More Than a...

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“I want to do something splendid before I go to my castle, — something heroic or wonderful, that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the watch for...

When Mom’s the Messy One

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Sometimes dads get a bad rap. They are teased for their inability to remember which brand of yogurt to purchase at the grocery store. They are chided for not spending enough quality time with...

Is There a VSCO Girl in Your House?

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The other morning as we waited on carpool, my 8-year-old daughter was sporting a homemade beaded necklace, per usual since her preschool days. But this time instead of displaying her name, the name of...

Supply List for the Middle School Mom

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I remember the middle school years like they were yesterday. The cool, caustic burn of a Clearasil wipe straight from the little plastic tub. The thrill of an encouraging word from a favorite teacher...

Shake Break :: Celebrate National Vanilla Milkshake Day in Columbia SC

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Vanilla sometimes gets a bad rap for being, well, vanilla. But sometimes vanilla is the only flavor your kids will accept. And with melty weather and meltdown-y kids in the forecast, we’re all glad...

Dear Mama, It’s MAY :: A poem of solidarity in a month of crazy

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On the last day of April you scroll through your phone In a rare quiet moment with coffee, alone To prepare and to plan - get ahead for the day When you realize in horror the next...
10 Parenting Rites of Passage for the First 10 Years | Columbia SC Moms Blog

10 Parenting Rites of Passage for the First 10 Years

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I remember my baby shower well. I'd never changed a diaper. The only babysitting experience I had was playing with younger cousins on holidays with many other relatives nearby. I even remember telling my...

8 Ways to Celebrate Basketball Tournament Week in Columbia SC

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Columbia, South Carolina will be a site for the first and second rounds of the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament at Colonial Life Arena March 21-24, 2019. It’s the first time since 1970 that the...
Dear Teacher, I Promise My Kid Owns Pants | Columbia SC Moms Blog

Dear Teacher, I Promise My Kid Owns Pants

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I seriously contemplated emailing my child's teacher this morning. I desperately wanted to let her know that I had strongly suggested (ahem, demanded) long pants, not shorts, as attire for this rainy-ish 47 degree...

Please Go to Sleep :: Parenting Through the Night

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  Over the holidays my sister-in-law asked if I had any tips for transitioning a toddler from a crib to a big-kid bed. After thinking for a few moments on how I could possibly regale...
Christmas in Tweenville - Columbia SC Moms Blog

Christmas in Tweenville

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Not long ago in a land just like this There were two little girls who were on the nice list. They both wrote to Santa, so heartfelt and real And all his deliveries were met with a...
The Babysitter Village - Embracing a Variety of Childcare Helpers - Columbia SC Moms Blog

The Babysitter Village :: Embracing a Variety of Childcare Helpers

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I distinctly remember a conversation I had with someone shortly after returning to work after having my first child. She was talking about her son, and mentioned that he and his wife had decided...