Life doesn’t need to be perfect to be beautiful.


I just want to to know that I didn’t know what the $@!#% I was doing. It’s a miracle you turned out so beautifully! Just know you don’t have to have it all figured out. You’re going to have a wonderful life. xoxo - Mom


Put your purse, (wallet,bag, phone, or shoe) in the backseat with the baby. Unattended babies die every day and it’s my worst nightmare.

Infant-3, 21

Super good-looking people often don’t develop good people skills because they’ve been able to get by on their looks. Listen! Beauty fades. Get curious about people who don’t necessarily catch your eye right away.

16, 19, 21

Grandpa was a Marine, though you’d never know it. Slight in build and oh-so gentle natured. But underneath he had a good bit of grit. He never complained. He once told me “You can stand any amount of pain for a little while.” (Basically saying suck it up and hang in there until help arrives.) I’ve never forgotten it.


Keep stories about younger years to tell them later: You used to call yellow “lellow” etc. Ten years from now you think you’ll remember this stuff but you won’t.


"You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read." ~ James Baldwin

14, 19

Try not to confuse excess with quality. It’s okay not to have the biggest house on the block. It’s okay not to drive the fanciest car.


Mindset for a breakup: “I’d rather adjust to your absence than be continually frustrated by your presence.” Can work with romantic partners, jobs, habits...anything you’re hanging on to that you know you should let go of.


Let people do what they want to do so you can see what they’d rather do.


Considering taking meds for your mental health but concerned about the side effects? Consider the side effects of *not* taking them! Meds don’t turn you into someone you’re not, they lift the murky fog around your brain so you can be more yourself. It’s the depression that changes you. Meds just help you get rid of the fog.

18, 21

Always hold the door open for the next person.



Sojourner Truth's "Ain't I a Woman" speech.


Kids Can Make a Difference is a great resource for teaching little kids about poverty and equality.


My biggest regret is wasting my energy on people who didn’t think much of me. You can’t make someone love you. It’s a mystery what brings people together. You didn’t do anything wrong, you just need to let go and spend your light on people who bask in it.


Get to know your body, push yourself in terms of strength and endurance. You're stronger than you think. You're growing stronger every day. Your body is amazing and healthy. Take care of it! Enjoy it! Use your amazing strength and energy to do good in the world.


Give them the book Starfish by Lisa Fipps.

12, 14

Of all the things I worry about, addiction is very high on the list. Begin talks (age appropriate) about addiction.


Your great-great grandmother was a seamstress at Marshall Fields. Her husband was a firefighter in Chicago. The immigrated from County Wexford in Ireland.


A mommy-friend of mine gave me some good advice: "Count the wins." So what if you didn't clean the house, you showered! So what if she's wearing 9 different colors - she dressed herself! Great advice. So remember, especially on the difficult days - and there will be many: Count the wins.


Stuff is gonna happen! They will make incredibly stupid choices and get into all kinds of trouble. Take a beat. Be radically merciful. THAT is what they’ll remember and that is the lesson they’ll learn.


What problem do you want to solve in the world?


Plan a trip someplace where we can see the Northern Lights.


Talk about how choices become habits. Habits can become addictions. Describe how pathways are literally dug into the brain and it's very hard to change them once those paths are made.


From our beautiful Grandma Marie: Go easy on the makeup, get serious about skincare. Don’t skimp, use good-quality products on your face and neck. And remember SUNSCREEN on face, neck and hands every day!


Never pretend o know what you don’t know. But you can bluff your way through a lot of interviews just by doing a 30 minute Google search. Research the company, the industry, its governing body, key terms, awards, criticism, etc. Check out their social media.

17, 19, 21

Remember the hymn we used to sing at bedtime when you were little? “What Does the Lord Require of You?” To seek justice. To love kindness. To walk humbly with your God. (Walk humbly means to remember God is so very good. That he loves you and is for you and wants you to talk to him, listen for him, love him, serve him.) No matter what religion you practice (or don’t practice) I hope you’ll remember that.


"God came to us because he wanted to join us on the road, to listen to our story, and to help us realize that we are not walking in circles but moving towards the house of peace and joy. This is the great mystery of Christmas that continues to give us comfort and consolation: we are not alone on our journey. The God of love who gave us life sent his only Son to be with us at all times and in all places, so that we never have to feel lost in our struggles but always can trust that he walks with us. The challenge is to let God be who he wants to be. A part of us clings to our aloneness and does not allow God to touch us where we are most in pain. Often we hide from him precisely those places in ourselves where we feel guilty, ashamed, confused, and lost. Thus we do not give him a chance to be with us where we feel most alone. Christmas is the renewed invitation not to be afraid and to let him-whose love is greater than our own hearts and minds can comprehend-be our companion" - Henri Nouwen

16, 21

Do something that feeds your soul every day. Experience or create joy, even if just a small spark of it.


Resist the urge to give unsolicited advice. Wait…this entire thing is unsolicited advice!