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Jenny Evans, who lives in New England with her husband, Phillip and six children ages 1 to 13, is the woman behind the Facebook page Unremarkable Files. Her video, posted earlier this month, now has more than three million views.

The hilarious video explains that she doesn't have "so many" kids because she likes having all her stuff broken or because she's "trying to deplete the Earth of all its natural resources."

"We never had 'a number' or consciously decided we were going to have a big family, but simply made room for one more whenever we felt like we could," Evans told ABC News. "Having a new baby join the family and watching everyone's relationships with everyone else grow is the most amazing thing. I just never get tired of that."

She said she gets asked about the size of her family even when she doesn't have the kids with her. "It's pretty clear from the 5 cartons of milk in my shopping cart that something is going on, so there's no escaping the questions."

Complete strangers are more likely than friends to ask about her family's size, she said.

"I think people who ask about our big family are just surprised. I don't think most of them are trying to be rude, although they sometimes are rude," she said. "Sometimes they'll say things like 'Wait until they're teenagers!' or 'You're done now, right?' and it genuinely makes me sad to get this vibe like, "Kids are the worst.'"

"Rarely, someone will say, 'You have beautiful children,' or, 'You're so lucky,'" Evans said. "You ride that high for a while because it gets discouraging to feel like other people look at the family you love and only see the bad things."

Evans said she's not surprised by the response to her video.

"Big families gravitate toward each other because it's nice to be understood that we're not weird or crazy," she said. "We're just like any other parent trying to do our best. Plus, we like to joke about our chaotic lives with someone else who understands that deep down we actually love it."

And, oh, the reason she has "so many kids?" Because she enjoys them.

"There's this misconception that kids in big families suffer and that they're all starved for attention," she told ABC News. "It's true that there are dysfunctional big families out there, just like there are dysfunctional small ones. But I think as a general rule, kids in big families are the most well-loved kids on the planet. The siblings are there for each other. The parents make family their top priority. And [the children] learn a lot about what it means to be part of a team."

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Taylor Tignor(ABINGDON, Va.) -- One woman's breast-feeding jack-o'-lantern creation is getting lots of love on Facebook.

Taylor Tignor of Abingdon, Virginia, shared a picture of her pumpkin on the Facebook page called Breastfeeding Mama Talk, where it received thousands of likes and shares.

"I'm very, very adamant on breast-feeding," Tignor, a mother of two, told ABC News. "I don't want to push it on people, but for those who do breast-feed, I wanted to normalize it while inspiring people to do something cool for Halloween."

With help from her family, Tignor used a large pumpkin, a small pumpkin, two tomatoes and a breast pump. Inside the pump were pumpkin guts and pumpkin seeds.

"This is my 'pump'kin," Tignor captioned the pic. "She is so happy to give her baby the perfect seed nutrients. I'm very passionate about breastfeeding. Just wanted to inspire other mamas to be creative for Halloween. #normalizebreastfeeding"

Tignor said her pumpkin has received positive feedback from her neighbors as well.

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Deanna Alfano(MELROSE PARK, Ill.) -- When Anthony, who has cerebral palsy and is non-verbal, got a device that allows him to use his eyes to communicate, the first thing he did was pull up the alphabet board like he sees on the show, according to his mom, Deanna Alfano.

So when it came time to create a Halloween costume for Anthony this year, Alfano and her husband, Tony, immediately had the idea to create a “Wheel of Fortune” costume for Anthony’s wheelchair.

The couple began planning Anthony’s costume in August. By September, Tony Alfano, who works in sales for a sign company, began to spend every night in the backyard of their Melrose Park, Illinois, home building the costume.

The Alfanos used LED lights, foam, aluminum board and PVC pipes to construct the wheel and attach it to Anthony’s wheelchair.

Deanna Alfano, a hairstylist, glued faux suede onto the foam to create the top level of the wheel that contestants stand behind on the TV show.

Tony Alfano used digital imaging to create the numbers on the wheel and contestant name tags. He even added nuts and bolts to the wheel so it makes the clicking sound when spun as it does on the show.

When the costume became too top heavy for Anthony’s wheelchair, Tony Alfano cut the family’s recycling bin in half, added wheels to it and put it under the wheel for support.

A Lazy Suzan in the center of the wheel allows it to spin so other kids can join Anthony in the game.

“We really wanted it to be interactive for him,” said Deanna Alfano.

The Alfanos have created elaborate costumes for Anthony since his first Halloween when they dressed him as Elvis complete with bedazzled pants and gold sunglasses with sideburns.

“From there it snowballed,” said Deanna Alfano, who focuses on the costumes’ style while Tony Alfano focuses on their construction.

Last year Anthony dressed up as the Lincoln Memorial housed inside a snow globe. Other years Anthony has gone as a hockey goalie, a jockey and Pinocchio.

“He gets it,” Deanna Alfano said of Anthony, a third grader. “He is always so excited.”

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Crystal Kaye(KANSAS CITY) -- Crystal Kaye's work designing dolls to represent women with skin-pigment loss is drawing grateful responses from women across the country who are thrilled to have a doll that looks like them.

“I get messages from women saying that they’re in tears. Women in their 40s and 50s, crying because they’re so grateful to have something that mirrors them,” said Kaye of Kansas City, Missouri.

It all began about nine months ago when Kaye took a porcelain doll that her daughter was about to throw away.

Kaye, who already had an online store she calls Kays Customz for selling her handmade jewelry, stripped the doll down to make it her next canvas.

She started by designing a doll representing black women with albinism. Then she moved on to painting women with vitiligo.

Albinism is a condition in which people are born with little to no melanin. Vitiligo characteristically causes milky-white patches across the skin from a loss of melanin. Vitiligo affects an estimated 65 to 95 million people worldwide, although because of underreporting the actual number may be even higher, according to the Vitiligo Research Foundation.

Photos of Kaye's first dolls got thousands of likes and shares on Facebook, but the response to images of her creations with vitiligo was overwhelming, she said.

She has now had orders for over 150 of the dolls.

“It started as a hobby and spun into this,” she said.

Kaye designed a doll with a skin patch on her face in the shape of the African continent, an example of her positive portrayal of the skin condition.

Some women with vitiligo have asked Kaye for custom dolls that look like them.

“I always wanted a doll that looked like me,” said Que Chunn, a 38-year-old mother and nurse from Nashville who was one the first to order a custom doll from Kaye.

Chunn said she was diagnosed with vitiligo when she was 14. Because of what the condition did to her appearance, she said she was bullied and called names.

She learned of Kaye's work after family and friends saw the dolls on social media and tagged Chunn in the posts.

Kaye used a photo of Chunn to design a doll for her, then shipped it off.

The doll was sent to Chunn’s home in Nashville instead of the P.O. box she uses when traveling to different areas of the U.S. to serve as a nurse.

But Chunn couldn't wait.

She drove to Nashville and raced to her mailbox. “I couldn’t do anything but cry. It was beautiful. Every expectation and beyond,” Chunn said of the moment she unwrapped the doll to see a face like her own.

She keeps her doll in a glass case in her bedroom in Atlanta, where she is currently positioned as a travel nurse.

“It’s a good thing that she’s doing for this community,” Chunn says of Kaye's work for women with vitiligo, “We are never recognized.”

Tiffanie Wiley, 29, was diagnosed with vitiligo when she was 7 and the condition was only on her fingertips.

After it spread to other parts of her body, she started to get bullied at school.

Wiley said began wearing makeup when she was only 10 “as a favor to others.” But after her high school graduation, she said she started to embrace self-love.

She has since become a motivational speaker aiming to reduce bullying and increase tolerance through what she calls her #IAmGreat movement.
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Eric Lars Bakke / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson opened up about miscarrying her first child.

In a montage of videos, the Olympic gold medalist and Dancing With the Stars champion and her husband Andrew East detailed how Johnson discovered she was pregnant and then later how she miscarried after eight weeks.

"It's been an emotional roller coaster," Johnson said in a video posted to YouTube. "You go from shocked to 'holy crap' to 'I can't do this' to 'Let's do this' and now it's like, 'I pray to God I can do this.'"

The video started with Johnson, 25, waiting for pregnancy test results. The former gymnast, who retired from competition in 2012, then tearfully exclaimed to the camera how the news that she was indeed pregnant was "really, really exciting."

"How am I going to tell Andrew?" she said in an early part of the video. "He's going to be a daddy."

Later, Johnson revealed that she had "started having really bad stomach pains and a lot of bleeding, which is not good for a pregnancy."

After several tests, doctors confirmed that Johnson had miscarried.

"It sucks," Johnson said toward the end of the video. "It's definitely not fun. I felt like going into it we didn't even know if we were ready for it...but having a doctor confirm that you miscarried doesn't feel good."

Her husband East, 26, whom she wed last year, noted how the experience had changed them for the better.

"We've grown through this, Babe, and I can't emphasize enough how proud I am of you," he said in the video.

After the initial video was posted Saturday, Johnson and East took to Facebook to answer fan's questions and thank them for their support.

"We know everything happens for a reason," Johnson said in that video. "We believe God's got a bigger plan for us. All we can do is be positive otherwise we just sink into a hole."

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- At least 9 million deaths a year can be attributed to pollution, according to a new report published in The Lancet.

The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health found that toxic air, water, soil, chemical and workplaces killed one in six people worldwide in 2015.

This is because of the role pollution plays in non-infectious diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and stroke.

Air pollution was by far the largest contributor to early death, accounting for 6.5 million fatalities -- over two-thirds of the total. Water pollution, linked to 1.8 million deaths, came in second.

Most of these pollution-related deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries. In countries undergoing rapid industrialization, such as India, Pakistan and China, pollution accounted for nearly a quarter of all deaths.

In the United States, over 5.8 percent of deaths -- approximately 155,000 -- were linked to pollution.

The poor -- even in wealthy countries – were disproportionately affected.

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iStock/Thinkstock(PARKERSBURG, W.V.) -- West Virginia residents are being warned to avoid exposure to the billowing smoke from a fire at an old tool plant now being used for storing plastics.

Firefighters responded to the blaze at a former Ames tool plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia, at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday.

No injuries were reported but authorities are warning against breathing in the smoke from the fire.

"It is strongly advised to not subject yourself to the smoke of this fire unnecessarily," Wood County emergency authorities said in a statement.

The factory building was currently being used to store plastics and other articles, according to the statement.

"Initial air monitoring testing completed in the immediate and surrounding area of the fire scene shows air to be within acceptable quality limits," an updated statement from authorities said Saturday afternoon.

The statement added that officials are conducting tests of smoke from the fire, which could contain particles harmful to the respiratory system.

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Kristin Marx(MILWAUKEE) -- Kristin Marx finished the Milwaukee Half-Marathon Sunday, surrounded by family, friends and her cardiac-care team.

It was a huge accomplishment for Marx, 37, who said she'd come up with the "crazy idea" with her sister-in-law one day in July.

"We thought, 'Hey, wouldn't it be fun to do a half-marathon.' It was kind of in a joking way and I wasn't sure if I wanted to commit to it because I have never run a half-marathon in my life," Marx said.

It was also a huge deal because more than 16 years ago, Marx had been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and was in and out of the hospital in Wisconsin, desperately awaiting a heart transplant.

In 2000, Marx was a healthy, 20-year-old college sophomore at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Then, she got very sick. Marx thought she'd come down with a cold. A chest X-ray later revealed that she had an enlarged heart.

"Right away that night, I was admitted to the hospital," she said. "In my 20 years of life, that was the first time I was ever in the hospital. I never had a surgery, a broken bone, nothing in my life, until that very moment. It was my first hospital stay and it was terrifying. At the doctor's office, they told me that I would need a heart transplant."

For the next 10 months, Marx said, she was in and out of the hospital, as she awaited a new heart.

"I had to take a leave of absence from school," she said. "I literally couldn't walk 10 feet without having to stop and rest."

In January 2001, she received her new heart. She said her donor's name was Mindy. Eventually, Marx's good health returned. She returned to college in August of that year and finished her schooling. And, she got married and traveled.

Since her transplant, Marx said, she has remained a very active person.

"I felt like running a half-marathon would be a great way to honor my donor because I have been taking such good care of myself and the doctors have been taking such good care of me. ... This would be a great way to honor her by how strong my heart is -- our heart, I guess! And what better way to do that then run a half-marathon," Marx said.

Before she could run, Marx got medical approval from her doctors at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin. The staffers were supportive and encouraged her to run. Some of her doctors even decided to join her.

"When you come across a person like Kristin, who is post-transplant and trying to do half-marathons, you're, like, all of the sudden, looking in the mirror at yourself and saying 'OK. Where are you, mister?' ... I decided, 'OK, this is a good chance to run alongside her and start taking better care of myself,' and I only have Kristin to thank for this," said Dr. Asim Mohammed, who ran as well and was right beside her at the finish line.

Marx's time: 3 hours, 1 minute.

Not a day goes by that Marx doesn't think about her donor family or about Mindy, she said.

"Everything I do is with purpose and to give thanks to them for letting me live my life. ... Every Thanksgiving, people talk about how grateful they are,” Marx said. “That's my every day.”

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Deanna Alfano(MIAMI) -- Meet the baby boy whose smile has been viewed more than 1 million times on Facebook.

His name is Cruz Muse, born six weeks ago during the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Miami, his mother, Lidia Muse, told ABC News.

"We didn’t lose power -- thank God -- because I’m in a new house so they built the electricity and everything underground," she explained of giving birth. "I was so worried that I would have a newborn in the heat with no air."

Lidia Muse, 35, said every morning she sings to her son, whom she and her boyfriend of three years, Antoine Williams, welcomed.

A video of their morning routine, with baby Cruz showing off his winning smile, went viral on Facebook recently with 1.6 million views.

"I just wake up and say, 'Good morning, Cruz' and he's just smiling," she added. "He's my first. He's a blessing."

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Affordable Care Act has led to a dramatic decrease in the number of adults with cancer who lacked health insurance, new research shows. But whether future changes to this law could reverse the trend remains to be seen.

 “We wanted to understand what the ACA did, especially for vulnerable populations,” according to Aparna Soni, a doctoral candidate at the Kelley School of Business of Indiana University whose research on the topic was published Thursday in the journal JAMA Oncology. “Cancer treatment can be expensive or unaffordable for people without insurance.”

She and other researchers used data from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results program. They compared pre-ACA (years 2010 to 2013) to post-ACA (2014) data from more than 850,000 adults (ages 19 to 64) without health insurance at first-time cancer diagnosis. They found that the uninsured rate dropped from 5.73 percent to 3.81 percent after the law's implementation – a 33.5 percent relative decrease.

Past research has revealed that numerous socioeconomic factors can determine whether cancer patients live with or die from their cancer; one such factor is insurance coverage. The ACA Health Insurance Marketplaces and state-specific Medicaid expansion significantly reduced the number of uninsured Americans – including those with cancer – after going into effect in 2014.

 “[We thought] the ACA would have increased insurance coverage for people with cancer, but we weren’t sure by how much,” Soni said, adding that she was surprised to discover that after the ACA took effect in 2014, “uninsurance among adult patients newly diagnosed with cancer fell by one-third. It was greater than we expected.”

In fact, the percentage of uninsured patients with all types of cancer studied – breast, prostate, colorectal, lung and thyroid – dropped. And this change was seen across all cancer stages as well. Among the races the researchers evaluated, they saw the greatest drop in Hispanics, who had a nearly 40 percent relative decrease. The uninsured rate declined most dramatically in states with Medicaid expansion.

These findings echo those of an article published last month in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, where researchers at the American Cancer Society looked at over 1.7 million adults with the 17 most common types of cancer in the National Cancer Data Base. They found that the number of uninsured among nonelderly adults with newly-diagnosed cancer declined significantly after the ACA, particularly among low-income adults living in Medicaid expansion states.

But as questions loom over the future of the nation’s health care system, Soni said it is uncertain what will happen to the rate of uninsured adults with cancer if parts of the ACA are repealed or replaced.

“There are multiple ways it could go,” she said. “Our hypothesis, based on these findings, is that it could reduce insurance coverage for adults with cancer … but we don’t really know by how much. It is more important now than ever to study the impacts of the Affordable Care Act, in order to understand the implications should the ACA be repealed.”

One of Soni’s next research goals is to examine how health insurance status influences treatment options in relation to cancer stage and mortality. Prior studies have shown that a lack of insurance is associated with higher cancer stage at diagnosis, worse clinical care and increased risk of death following a cancer diagnosis.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Fire safety experts are urging people to close their bedroom doors before they go to sleep, saying the simple task can potentially save lives in the event of a fire.

“When you can’t get out, the most important thing you can do, close that door between you and the fire," Stephen Kerber, the director of the UL's Firefighter Safety Research Institute (UL FSRI), told ABC News, adding that the simple act "could save your life.”

Alexis King told ABC News that she survived a house fire in Corpus Christi, Texas, that killed her parents and brother when she was only 10 years old. Her family home's smoke alarm battery was not working, and King said she credits closing her bedroom door with saving her life.

"The door helped me to still have clean air ... and to really figure out a way to get out," King said.

Following devastating wildfires in northern California earlier this month that left 42 people dead, the UL FSRI is re-launching its safety campaign, "Close Before You Doze," calling on people to always remember to shutter their doors before they go to sleep.

Approximately half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., according to a 2017 joint report from the U.S. Fire Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Researchers with the UL FSRI found that during a fire's spread, closed-door rooms had average temperatures of less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, while open-door rooms had average temperatures of over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

The UL FSRI used a model home to serve as a test facility in order to demonstrate how crucial it can be to close the door. The model home was outfitted with cameras and sensors to track temperature and gas levels, and all of the information was fed into a control center where the UL FSRI monitored the data.

During the demonstration, which was overseen by the Philadelphia Fire Department, a fire was started in the living room and two bedroom doors were closed, while one bedroom door was left open.

When fire experts opened the model home's front door to feed more oxygen to the fire and increase its strength, part of the window in the room with the open door flew off.

After 10 minutes, the UL FSRI and the Philadelphia Fire Department put the fire out and examined its aftermath.

The bedroom with the open door reached temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit, enough to melt the TV that was inside. Carbon monoxide levels soared to 6,000 parts per million. An industry standard carbon monoxide machine would go off at approximately 70 parts per million.

Meanwhile, the bedrooms with the closed doors reached temperatures of up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and carbon monoxide levels were 10 times lower than what was recorded in the room with the open door.

The UL FSRI called a closed bedroom door versus an open bedroom door the difference between "life or death" in a fact sheet on its website.

King told ABC News that she wishes her brother had known this information.

“Every day I wish my brother had closed the door,” she said.

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manifeesto/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- When one woman met a young man in a popular D.C. nightclub, she had no idea she'd go onto marry him, much less become part of a royal family.

But that's just what happened when Ariana Austin met Joel Makonnen in Pearl Nightclub 12 years ago.

Austin told ABC News it was "days before my 22nd birthday" and she had no idea the relationship would last. "We were just so young; that's the thing," she recalled.

But for Makonnen, 35, the great-grandson of Ethiopia's last emperor, Haile Selassie, he had a feeling right away that Austin was different, noting that "within five minutes, I said, 'You'll be my girlfriend.'"

"It was more like an assertive question," he added with a laugh. "I just had a really good chemistry with her right away. I felt like I already knew her."

Still, the prince was hesitant to reveal his royal heritage to his new girlfriend.

"We were with some friends ... and one of my friends brought it up and said, 'You know, you're lucky. Your boyfriend is a prince!" Makonnen recalled. "And I always kind of like had my own way to introduce it, but he just put it out there and I kind of laughed it off."

"But then she turned to me and said, 'What? Is he serious? What does he mean?'" Makonnen said, explaining how his friend told his future bride, "I am serious. He's the great-grandson of Haile Selassie."

Although his humility tried to downplay the importance, Makonnen said it was Austin's reaction to the news that confirmed what he already knew -- that she was the one.

"She kind of got it right away in the most respectful sense," he explained, "where she was like, 'Wow don’t shrug. It’s a big deal. I’m really impressed and it’s amazing.'"

Austin, 33, told ABC News she was "pleasantly surprised" by the news. "I obviously knew of the emperor, but I didn’t know the full scale of it then."

The two wed in front of more than 300 people on Sept. 9 inside Debre Genet Medhane Alem Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Temple Hills, Maryland.

Wedding planner Yodit Grebreyes told ABC News, "They chose to get married on the Ethiopian New Year because it’s about new beginnings and they were creating a new life together."

Austin, whose grandfather was a lord mayor of Georgetown, Guyana, and Makonnen are "still in the process of moving," the prince said, adding that they've chosen an apartment in the Washington, D.C., area.

Right now, they're both looking forward to starting a royal life together.

"It feels pretty weighty but I’m excited," Austin said. "It’s the world’s oldest monarchy and there’s just something pretty powerful about that. Of course I'm happy to be a part of it and I hope I can ... be of service and take all this good will and all this good energy and just turn it back and do good work in our countries."

Makonnen added, "I just look forward to being with Ariana all the time and kind of continuing this journey."

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Jevgenij Kulikov/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Southwest Airlines has marked their very first "unmanned" flight.

The company tweeted photos on Oct. 18 of the all-female crew posing before takeoff on the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.


The first "unmanned" Southwest flight on a @BoeingAirplanes 737 MAX 8! All-female Crew pic taken before flying STL - SFO.

— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) October 18, 2017

The plane was headed from St. Louis to San Francisco.

Four flight attendants took a photo in the main cabin area along with the female pilot and co-pilot.

The pilots also posed for a picture inside the cockpit.

According to 2016 data from the Federal Aviation Administration, there were an estimated 39,187 active women airmen certificates held out of 584,362 pilots total.

Southwest followers replied to the company's tweet on the crew, commending the women working the flight that day.

Southwest Airlines has not yet replied to ABC News' request for a comment.


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(Mike Juliannelle) Mike Juliannelle, 41, the author of, poses with his two sons in this undated family photo.(NEW YORK) -- Mike Julianelle, a blogger and father of two, gained internet fame by posting photos of all the things kids can ruin, like when his kids turned a coffee table into a train set.

The 41-year-old Brooklyn dad, is now sharing photos on Instagram of how kids have changed the parents themselves.


Julianelle, who writes at, posted his own photo this month of how he looked in 2006, before having two kids, compared to 2016, after several years of raising two sons, who are now seven and one years old.

“It’s funny to make fun of yourself and kids and how much your life has changed and what they’ve done to you,” said Julianelle, who noted the change is also “obviously” because he aged.

Julianelle, who works full time as a marketing writer, said he has received hundreds of submissions from other parents to share on his Instagram page.

“People like to know they’re not alone,” said Julianelle, who started his blog as an antidote to the blogs portraying parenthood as perfect and complete joy. “It’s the solidarity of it and there’s a contingent of parents who like poking fun at the idea of parenthood.”

One of those parents, Kate Cortelyou, sent Julianelle her before-and-after photo.



Cortelyou, 32, from Nashville, said she finds herself “laughing out loud” at Julianelle’s take on parenthood. The before-and-after photos, she said, resonated with her experience.

“Sometimes I look in the mirror and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, who is this person,” said Cortelyou, who has a 3-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter with her husband, Justin.

“Not to say we never dress ourselves up but there are days, especially in the early days and with two toddlers, when you’ll go a week without showering and not even notice it,” she said. “These first several years of your kids’ life are just so dead exhausting.”


See below for more parents' before-and-after photos:




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(Courtesy Dean Otto) Dean Otto; Will Huffman, left, the driver of the truck; and Dr. Matt McGirt, the surgeon, participated in the Napa Half Marathon to celebrate Otto's rehabilitation.(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Dean Otto of Charlotte, North Carolina, was riding his bike one humid morning in September 2016 when the unimaginable occurred: The husband, father and marathoner was struck by a truck.

His spine was fractured. His pelvis, tailbone and ribs were broken. And he could not feel his legs.

After surgery, Otto's surgeon Dr. Matt McGirt gave him a one percent to two percent chance of ever walking on his own again.

But, after months of grueling physical therapy, Otto was taking his first steps with the help of a walker. Slowly, he picked up speed, eventually climbing stairs and then running.

"As far as my recovery goes, it's been a really long, rough road," he told ABC News Wednesday. "I've worked really hard but I've had a lot of great support from my doctors, my physical therapists as well as my family and friends supporting me."

During Otto's rehabilitation, he was also visited in the hospital by Will Huffman, the driver of the truck. The two became friends.

Otto says that forgiveness had been key to his recovery.

"To be able to forgive Will immediately after the accident has been paramount in my positive attitude, in my recovery from this terrible accident," he said.

Dean Otto's spine was torn in two and dislocated, his doctor said. He also had no movement in his legs. "The odds were stacked against him," his doctor said.

Eventually, Otto invited Huffman and McGirt, with whom he'd formed a friendship as well, to run a half-marathon with him. Neither men had run in years but felt motivated by Otto's perseverance.

On Sept. 24, a year to the day of the accident, the three completed the Napa Half Marathon in California.

"To be able to do that with my doctor Matt McGirt as well as Will Huffman, the guy who was driving the truck that morning on Sept. 24, was fantastic," Otto said.

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Man overcomes paralysis to run half-marathon with his surgeon and the driver who hit him


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