Posts in category "#CelebrateLife"

Sammy Gardner: February 24, 2012 - July 4, 2017

Sammy Gardner: February 24, 2012 - July 4, 2017
Sammy Gardner was born in Chicago on February 24, 2012. He was one of three kittens, two boys and a girl, born that day to a mom I’ve never known anything about. When he and his siblings were found by volunteers from the Illinois Animal Rescue within a few days of their birth, their mom... Read more »

Hey! Hey! What do you say! The Cubs are gonna win today!

Shannon and me with 5 million of our closest friends at the Cubs' World Series Championship Parade!
Today is Opening Day for the 2017 Major League Baseball Season and it finds the World Series Championship Cubs playing against their perennial rival the St. Louis Cardinals. The truth is that I have no idea whether the Cubs will win tonight. I certainly hope they do because like any good lifelong Cubs fan, I... Read more »

2017 is the Year of Kindness

2017 is the Year of Kindness
After a tumultuous 2016, it’s time to get back to basics. And, in my opinion, nothing is more basic than kindness. Kindness to others. Kindness to ourselves. Kindness to our pets. Kindness to our planet. I am making a new personal commitment to kindness and I invite you to join me. Can you imagine the... Read more »
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My top 10 favorite experiences of 2016

#1 The year began with the Totally Fabulous Jessica party thrown by Tim and <a href="http://www.norpieswalltowall.com">Michael</a>. Yes, it was simply a party to celebrate ME! Joining in on the fun were Christopher, Wendy and Geoff, and <a href="http://www.chicagonow.com/organizing-with-erin">Erin</a>. Thank you all for spending an evening honoring me! Y'all have no idea how the memory of this evening carried me through some dark moments this year.
As 2016 quickly draws to a close, I need to stop and reflect upon the joy I felt this year. In fact, especially this year. By just about every measure, 2016 was a difficult year for many people. Generation X lost many of our pop culture idols; a presidential election went wonky at the last... Read more »

My next chapter is at Bernie's Book Bank

My next chapter is at Bernie's Book Bank
After a long and winding search, I have officially begun the next chapter of my life as the new Event Manager at Bernie’s Book Bank in Lake Bluff. If you’re not familiar with Bernie’s Book Bank, its mission is to “collect, process, and distribute new and gently used children’s books to significantly increase book ownership among at-risk... Read more »

The Gardner Family Cookbook: The best Christmas gift I've ever given

This photo was taken at our 1987 family reunion on Sanibel Island. I'm in the back row, fourth from the right in a green dress.
I love Christmas. I love the traditions. I love going to church at Christmas. I love the family time. I love the holiday parties. I love sending Christmas cards. I love receiving Christmas cards. I love picking out the perfect gifts for the people I love. And I love receiving gifts. When it comes to... Read more »
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Like every Friday night of my childhood, I hung out with Sue Ellen Ewing, um, Linda Gray

Like every Friday night of my childhood, I hung out with Sue Ellen Ewing, um, Linda Gray
If you’re a Gen Xer, you grew up on a Friday night of Dukes of Hazzard, Dallas, and Falcon Crest, even if it was against your parents’ wishes or explicit instructions. I was lucky. My parents would often go out on Friday evenings, ironically to church group functions, leaving Dave and me with a babysitter... Read more »

Watch LMS TODAY on Huffington Post Live discussing mammograms

Watch LMS TODAY on Huffington Post Live discussing mammograms
Do you remember last fall when my first mammogram turned into a lumpectomy? I’m sure you do because I (over) shared the whole thing right here on these pages. Today I have some exciting updates: First, after a mostly positive 6-month follow-up diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound in May, I was referred for genetic counseling and... Read more »

Love won. Gay marriage is now law of the land.

On June 25, 2015, 37 of 50 states had marriage equality. States without marriage equality included: North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan. Map from <a href="http://planetmundus.com/dichotomous-america/">PlanetMundus.com</a>
Unless you’ve been living in an underground bunker with zero modern conveniences, you’ve certainly heard about Friday’s Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, No. 14-556, slip op. (U.S. June 26, 2015) (dissenting opinions by Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito) legalizing gay marriage throughout the country by a 5-4 margin. In writing the opinion of... Read more »
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I received a Pay It Forward and it FREAKED ME OUT

I received a Pay It Forward and it FREAKED ME OUT
We’re all familiar with the idea of “pay it forward” where one person performs a random act of kindness for another person with the hope that the recipient will be inspired to “pay it forward” and perform a random act of kindness for someone else in the future. We may have seen the movie, probably... Read more »
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    Jessica Gardner

    A native of Chicago's Northwest Suburbs and resident of the North Shore, Little Merry Sunshine comes by her name honestly. The story goes that as a child, she was always so happy that she even slept with a smile on her face. Her mom nicknamed her Little Merry Sunshine. It stuck, along with her insatiable desire to focus on the good in the world and to leave it a little better than she found it. She does this by sharing her passions and dreams, what inspires her, and maybe you too, and furthering the discussion about how we can listen to our better angels. You can reach her at LittleMerrySunshineCN[at]WowWay[dot]com.

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