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’re meeting Shelby, our “McHenry Mama.”
Shelby and I started out as starry-eyed innocents plying our trade together in Chicago over 13 years ago. We have remained friends through marriage, children, and moves into suburban Lake and McHenry Counties. When people stick around in your life for that long, there’s a good reason.
Recently, Little Lake County decided to dip our toes into McHenry County to answer numerous requests from our readers. When we decided to jump on this bandwagon, I knew instantly we had to have Shelby join our team.
Our motto at Little Lake County is “Local.Family.Fun,” and that’s exactly what Shelby is all about! You won’t find a bigger cheerleader for McHenry County. She’s also a talented writer, having written for the Northside Parents Network in Chicago and a novel that she will hopefully one day finish. With four kids ranging in age from one to nine, all with different needs and interests, you had better know how to keep them entertained. Shelby does, and she’s excited to share her knowledge of McHenry County with you.
What did you do before you were a mom?
Well, it all began with the paper route, making twelve cents per sold paper. But once I worked my way through many summer jobs, my official career started as a catering manager for a corporation. I worked in public relations and then was in sales for an incentive marketing company planning corporate travel and events.
How long have you been married? How did you and your husband meet?
Bryan and I have been married almost 13 years. We met on Easter Sunday while in school at Cornell University…my older sister was actually a teacher’s assistant in one of his classes. She told me about this guy that was perfect for me, so I had a crush on my husband before I ever met him!
Tell us about your kids.
Our oldest son is nine and is our intellectual, analytical inventor who is up for anything and has a heart of gold. Our daughter is our six-year-old dancing princess, who makes our hearts happy with her kindness, her nurturing personality, and her divaliciousness. Our three-year-old son constantly has a twinkle in his eye and a joke on his lips, and is up to something mischievous at all times. Our baby boy just turned one, and he is the happiest kid you could ever meet – always smiling, laughing, and making us swoon over him.
What do you love about living in McHenry County?
Everything! I truly feel so blessed every single day that this is where we settled. I love how nice everyone is. I love being part of a close-knit community. I love the schools. I love the delicious restaurants. I love all of the beautiful outdoor amenities and parks. I love watching the fireworks over Crystal Lake on 4th of July. I love the McHenry Outdoor Theater. I love the summer concerts and festivals. I love the beauty in the fall. I love the amazing friends we’ve made. I love that we are still close to the city but worlds away. And I will never get sick of the sunsets from my back deck.
What do you consider to be a hidden gem for families in your community?
Tuesday night summer concerts at Main Beach in Crystal Lake. It is such a wonderful way to get together with friends, have some appetizers and drinks, watch the kids dance and play as the sun sets over the lake.
How do you unwind and recharge? How do make time for yourself?
I am an exercise fanatic, my mood drastically improves after getting my heart pumping and having some alone time.
I also love to cook, and spend a lot of time in my kitchen concocting new healthy recipes that I can trick my kids into eating.
A lovely dinner out with some wine and great conversation is one of my favorite things in the world.
What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?
I used to be a ventriloquist – “Tessie Talk” and I did a stand-up comedy/talent skit every year in the grade school talent show from first through seventh grade. Yes, I still own her, and no, I do not perform anymore unless I am paid handsomely.
Read more from Shelby.
Go behind the trike and meet more of the parents behind Little Lake County.
When Loralie isn’t out exploring with her two pint-sized adventurers you’ll often find her in front of her computer plotting to take over the world (or at least Lake County.) She appreciates good friends, good food, expensive shoes and parents who make two lanes in the drop-off/pick-up line at school. Her spirit animal is The Hobbit. She invites you to join her on her quest for unique distractions, diversions and deliciousness in this county we call home.