Posts in category "#CelebrateLife"

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 »

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 »
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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 »

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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What are your family traditions?

What are your family traditions?
My dad is the second of five children born to Giff and Peggy Gardner – Giff, John (my dad), Jeff, Kathy, and Ray. When we moved to Chicago from Ft. Myers, Florida in 1975, the entire extended family lived in the Chicago Area and we got together regularly. I have vivid memories of family dinners... Read more »

Professional headshot: the picture that speaks 1,000 words

April 2011 professional headshot. It's not bad, but it's not great. Originally, it had a white background that washed me out.
Late in 2014, I decided to make an investment in myself and obtain a truly professional headshot for my LinkedIn profile, my blog, and other uses. Keep in mind that this was a big decision because quality isn’t cheap and I don’t currently have a job. A few things you should know about me: I hate... Read more »

31 Days of Random Acts of Kindness: Week 1 Results

31 Days of Random Acts of Kindness: Week 1 Results
Have you been performing 31 Days of Random Acts of Kindness? I’ve had so much fun in the past week being extra kind and seeing the reactions of strangers. I’ve also noticed many people performing random acts of kindness for me. What have I done? I’ve . . . Treated my favorite 1st year Foresters... Read more »
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31 Days of Random Acts of Kindness - 2014 Elf on the Shelf Edition

31 Days of Random Acts of Kindness - 2014 Elf on the Shelf Edition
In December 2013, I hitched my wagon to my friend Stacy’s incredible idea of 31 Days of Random Acts of Kindness and spent the entire month spreading joy throughout the land. Stacy even created a hashtag, #31RAOK, which was a blast to use and follow on Twitter and Facebook. Last year was such a success... 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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