From Highland Park to Hainesville, the Lake County suburbs are vast and everyone is looking for that parent who’s just like them. This month we’re taking a look “Behind the Trike” and meeting the parents who bring Lake County to you every day. Today we meet our newest writer, Kari, “The Mom Who Freaks Out.”
Our “Mom Who Freaks Out” is a stay-at-home mom of two living in the Round Lake area. Kari is not originally from Lake County, and after 15 years in her community, she says it is finally starting to feel like home. She moved to Illinois in 1989 from Central Ohio, where she was born and raised in a little town called Lexington. According to Kari, Lexington is many things to many people, but it will always be home to her. Kari shares her new home with her family: Anna (14), Ella (6), her husband, and Lucy the 8-year-old goldfish.
Where do you find inspiration?
Honestly, the imperfect parts of life are what inspire me to write the way I do on my blog. I am the person who trips in front of the large crowd at the soccer game, spills food on my nice dress at the wedding reception, accidentally burps during an interview. Most of these things happen to everyone. I choose to write about it and discuss it in detail.
What is your favorite hidden gem or event in your community?
Now that my oldest is in high school, I love going to the school sporting events. There is nothing like going to a local high school football game to create such an amazing sense of community. I have lived in this area for over 15 years but this fall is the first time I have truly loved being a part of the community where I live.
What do you like most about where you live?
I love that we have so much to do and see here. You can go get authentic Mexican food, see a drive-in movie, take a hike in the woods and go to an amusement park all in the same day without driving more than 20 minutes. We are quite spoiled to have all that we have here.
What would your children say about you?
It would depend on which child you asked. My oldest would have PLENTY to say about me because, hello, age 14. My youngest would say that I make really good macaroni and cheese. In the microwave. They definitely would say I overreact to everything and I worry about too much. But I am sure they would say I give really good hugs, that they love when I buy them little things I think they would like from the dollar section at Target and that I make the best brownies. You know. The things that count.
What room in your house would you most be embarrassed by if you stop over unannounced?
OK, let’s get this out in the open to those who don’t know me: I am a neat freak. Don’t judge me. It can’t be helped. But there is one area of my house that is my hidden secret. The basement. Now, I know all of you are all…..OMG EVERYONE’S BASEMENT IS A MESS. Give me this. There are parts of it where you would need mining gear to make it out alive. I wish I were making this up. My husband is nodding his head while reading this. Hi honey. It is bad. I clean it once a month because the playroom is down there and I don’t want parents to have to sign a waiver to send their children to play at my home. But if you came over today? You would need to give me proof that your child has insurance.
You can read more by Kari at her blog, A Grace Full Life, and twice monthly at Chicago Parent. Kari was also in the 2014 cast of Listen to Your Mother – Chicago, you can watch her “Freak the Crap Out” on YouTube – but make sure you’re not drinking anything when you do!