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Freshman Year Survival

I survived Freshman year!   Well, not mine but my daughter Maddi’s High School Freshman year.  Honestly, this is no joke. It was one of the hardest most challenging years of my life. As a parent Maddi’s first year and this past year were undoubtedly the absolute hardest.  At least her new born year, there were books to reference, mom groups to join and a flood of family stopping by to help. Do you remember What to Expect When You’re Expecting and all the editions following …

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Journeys and Meetings

The journey of life is painful and full of trials but ultimately it’s beautiful. Each encounter is meaningful and provides opportunity.  I believe that every situation, every encounter and everyone that we meet shapes who we are, who we decide to be and ultimately who we become. There are lessons to be learned and it’s up to us to interpret what that means.   I’ve been fortunate enough to encounter and embrace really really good people in my life (and learned to run fast from those …

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Minimalist Mom

Be a minimalist Mom, is that possible?  I’m going to try a moderate Michelle version and you should too!   I recently read a book written by a friend and talented colleague, Danny Dover, called the Minimalist Mindset.   I have always been interested in the ideology, and this book really opened my eyes.  It is so much more than eliminating clutter and organizing your space. The general takeaways for me was  that by lessening decisions such as what to wear or eat, implementing daily routines …

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Mother-In-Love

I’ve been writing and rewriting this blog because this does not do justice to how influential and blessed I was to have Kristine as my mother-in-law.  So here it goes … Daughter-In-Love You were like a daughter coming into my life When my son married you and you became his wife.   Your gift of love to me makes me think of you always As my daughter-in-love to cherish and to praise. But poetry can’t convey affection deep and real; Some things there are in …

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The Dinner Hustle

I LOVE to cook, and ideally I would cook all day Sunday sipping red wine listening to mellow music while prepping meals for the coming week.  Sounds dreamy but there is absolutely no time for that especially during baseball season. That leads me to using my resources so I’m ready to prepare quick healthy meals during the school / work week.  It’s all about being prepared to hustle so I thought I’d share my strategy for healthy family dinners.   I have not always loved or …

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Earth Day

Today is Earth Day!  It is important that we all take responsibility and do our part today and everyday.  It’s also a good reason to get the kids to clean-up the yard!  I have been active in organizing recycling efforts and educating our school community for the past seven years.  It’s gratifying to organize efforts that help our environment, and I’m always up to working with other parents and making new friends.   It’s amazing what we can accomplish coming together and sharing our time, treasures …

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Reboot

I’m in a funk, a real funk.  I’m feeling overwhelmed both personally and professionally, and this cold wet Chicago weather is depressing.   I’m digging real deep to keep it together but today was my breaking point. I showed up to a swim birthday party today and the party was yesterday.  WTF is wrong with me! I could see the disappointment on my poor Allison’s face and my stomach immediately went to knots. Fortunately, she thought it was funny and was very forgiving.  I gave her …

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Choose Kindness

It’s Autism Awareness / Acceptance month, I care and you should too.   I don’t have a child with Autism or any other disability, physical, intellectual or developmental.  I don’t know all the facts or the details of this condition (is it even called a condition), I truly don’t know the daily struggles of Autism, I don’t know what it’s like to be told that my child is on the spectrum and I don’t always know the right things to say or the best way …

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Happy Easter!

The bunny has come, mass attended, the golden egg has been found, brunch was success, now the ham is in the oven for dinner and friends are here to make prank calls (it is April fools day).  My brother and his beautiful family were here today, and it was perfect! Today it was so nice to slow down to reflect and spend quiet time with family.  It’s amazing how we grow old and take on so many different roles of being a wife, mom, friend, …

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Sweet Home Chicago

This past Sunday, I visited Holy Family Church to celebrate the feast of St. Joseph with my family and neighbors.  It’s a beautiful diverse and contemporary church in Inverness, Illinois. It is multicultural and inclusive to all which makes my heart happy.  They always seem to serve food after mass which make is worth the drive! The purpose of the day was to spend time with my wonderful friend and neighbor, Maria.  The most beautiful soul that lived next door to us for over fifteen …