#DriveKia

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I recently had the opportunity to drive a Kia Sorento SXL 2.0T with all-wheel drive, and I loved it! It was super fun to have a brand new (incredibly clean) car delivered to my driveway… even though it was only for a week, I felt very fancy! It’s a contender for 2016 North American Car & Truck of the Year for a week, and I can see why.

The Sorento has a very technologically-advanced feel to me. Andy and I kept talking about just how much information is available on the dashboard.

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As you can see, it’s got a great display for a GPS (why yes, I do drive to the Ritz Carlton in Lake Tahoe frequently. I told you I was fancy. Okay fine, I stole that photo) and it’s set up for Pandora, among other things. It was really easy for me to pair my phone with the bluetooth system. I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but considering I haven’t gotten around to digging out the manual to figure out how to do it in my own van, I was excited about that. I could even use Siri through the voice recognition in the car.

And get this – it shows the speed limit of wherever you happen to be. We are living in the future, I’m telling you.

However. I haven’t told you the best part yet.

The camera.

Check this out.

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There are 360 cameras that show the entire area surrounding the car when you’re trying to park. So not only can you see what’s behind you, you can see what’s all around. Which means you don’t have to cross your fingers and hope you’re not going to sideswipe the car next to you. (What? It can’t be just me.) You can see the lines of the parking space. It is amazing.

To be quite honest, that camera/display system could be set up in a tin can and I would still love it, but the rest of the car was great too! My kids loved riding in it – they really, really wanted to keep it, actually. Andy and I enjoyed driving it as well. It drives kind of in between a car and a minivan. It is low enough that it was easy for my 90 year old grandma to get in and out of, but it is high enough to not break your back putting babies in a car seat. I’m a little past that stage of life, but I remember it well!

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Learn more about the Kia Sorento here, and follow Kia on Twitter!

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It’s National Down Syndrome Awareness Month & Pampers is Making it #BetterForBaby

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If you’ve been following this blog for any decent amount of time, you know that people with special needs, especially Down syndrome, are very precious to me. Since October is Down syndrome awareness month, I want to once again tell you about my friend Joy Marie Minor! Joy turned 3 in April and since she was an infant, it’s been my privilege to walk on her Buddy Walk for Down syndrome team and raise $$ for our local chapter of the Down Syndrome Association. ALL of the funds raised stay here in our area to help our friends with Down syndrome get the therapies and services they need to fully rock out their extra chromosome. Since I’ve had two out of my three kiddos in various therapies, I know how expensive it is. The money we raise helps out with these expenses and more! Joy works her butt off in therapy 5 days a week and has recently started taking steps on her own. She is a rock star!

This year because of my affiliation with the Pampers Baby Board, I was able to give a grant of $2500 to an organization I felt made life #BetterForBaby, which is a main aim of the Pampers brand – making life better for baby! Since the Miami Valley Down Syndrome Association helps babies with Down syndrome and their families as they grow, I knew I’d be blessing the Buddy Walk with my grant! I spread the grant money out over three Buddy Walk teams that are special to me including Joy’s Team Peace, Love, and Joy which my family and I walk on. Thanks in part to Pampers we were a top fundraising team! Whoop whoop!

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Joy has so many people who love and support her!

Joy has so many people who love and support her!

People with Down syndrome may have an extra chromosome, but they are just like you and me. They are people with dreams, struggles, highs, lows, talents, abilities, goals, wins, and losses. The reality is they need some extra help through therapy but SO many others do too – like I said, two out of three of my kids have. I appreciate Pampers #BetterForBaby helping to truly make life better for these amazing people who live, love, learn, and work in our community. It’s an honor and a blessing to be associated with such a giving brand who sees the value in every baby!

Thanks Pampers, for making life #BetterforBaby and for helping me to bless the Miami Valley Down Syndrome Association and the three Buddy Walk teams that are special to me: Team Peace, Love, & Joy, Emmaline Curley’s Crew, and the Carsonettes!

Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Month! To learn more about Down Syndrome, check out this link! And check out this awesome Pampers #BetterForBaby video that will make you cry!

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“He Named Me Malala” in Theaters October 9

What do you have going on this weekend? For us, it’s one of those rare times that we don’t have too much on the calendar. Soccer game tomorrow morning and dinner out with friends tomorrow night… but other than that, we’re not scheduled.

If you have some time this weekend as well, I have a good idea for how you can spend it – go to the movies!

Specifically, go see “He Named Me Malala.”

Doesn’t that look amazing?!?

It’s the story of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakastani teenager who was shot in the head for speaking out about the radical idea that girls should be able to go to school. As I’m sure you know, Malala recovered from her life-threatening injuries and has gone on to have an incredible impact on the world and was even granted the Nobel Peace Prize.

I read her book several years ago, and I had the opportunity to sit in on a conference call recently where she answered questions posed to her by mom bloggers. I was impressed with her kindness and humor, and the amazing way she articulates her vision. Did you know that providing 12 years of high-quality education for every child in the world would cost what we collectively spend on military power in just eight days?

Let that sink in for just a minute.

I really want to take Kate to see the movie! It’s a complex topic, though, and there’s a parents guide available here that will help facilitate discussion with our kids.

“He Named Me Malala” is showing in a couple theaters near us (Dayton peeps – it’s at the Fairfield Commons theater, as well as at The Greene), and I’m sure it’s showing near you as well. Check here to find out!

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