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Smile Because it Happened: A Guide to Living the Rest of Your Life

Smile Because it Happened: A Guide to Living the Rest of Your Life

by Carole Young, Stacey Reynolds
Smile Because it Happened: A Guide to Living the Rest of Your Life

Smile Because it Happened: A Guide to Living the Rest of Your Life

by Carole Young, Stacey Reynolds


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In 1995, as a young wife newly separated by many miles from her family in the Midwest, Stacey Reynolds began corresponding with her mother, Carole Young, by e-mail. These e-mails, along with letters, continued until 2012 and provide a very personal, often humorous, glimpse into the life of a self-described “mother of three beautiful children, wife, daughter, interior designer, crazy gardener, lifelong learner, martial artist and artist with a paint brush.” With her, we travel to the markets of Morocco and the rainforests of Costa Rica. We experience the precious “firsts” of motherhood, the ups and downs of family life, the rewards of gardening and living “green,” and the satisfaction of community service. Writing with simplicity and honesty, she also reveals lessons life has taught her and the philosophy she holds. When Stacey faces the greatest challenge of her life, she meets it with her trademark positive attitude and the courage of one who has earned a black belt in martial arts and zip-lined through the rainforest.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781942586616
Publisher: Little Creek Press
Publication date: 08/15/2019
Edition description: None
Pages: 340
Product dimensions: 5.75(w) x 8.75(h) x (d)

About the Author

Carole Young is a retired art teacher and lives with her husband Gary and cat Sophie in a small town in the driftless area of SW Wisconsin. Her passion is her artwork and she especially loves doing portraits. She enjoys day trips with her book club friends, spending time with family and gardening. She is an admitted e-mail hoarder and that is what enabled her to assemble this book after her daughter’s passing. Stacey Reynolds grew up in Boscobel Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in interior design in 1986 and began working for Interior Systems, Inc. in Fond du Lac. During her career with ISI she designed the interiors of many McDonald’s restaurants and Harley Davidson retail stores in the United States and abroad. She also studied architecture and urban planning at UW-Milwaukee. She was married to Thomas M. Lesiewicz on the beach at Sandals in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, December 31, 1992, and they began their married life in Milwaukee. In 1994 they moved to Seattle, WA, where she continued to work for ISI for a time and then for The Environmental Home Center designing custom cabinets using eco -friendly materials. Their three children were born there. They moved to Elgin, IL, in 2003 where she worked from home as an alternative energy consultant for Natural Dynamics, and volunteered her time at her children’s pre-school (Elgin Parent Coop Preschool), elementary school (Lowrie PTA), her church (UUCE Green Sanctuary Committee), neighborhood community (SWAN-Southwest Area Neighbors), and in the larger Elgin community (Elgin Sustainability Master Plan-Green Buildings and Technology). In 2009 she reached a life-long goal of receiving a black belt in Kyuki-do at Kim’s Black Belt Academy in Elgin.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Seattle, Here We Come! 9

Chapter 2 A Flicker of a Heartbeat 21

Chapter 3 Lesley and Jon Join the Peace Corps 30

Chapter 4 SWAT Teams and Tear Gas 36

Chapter 5 Doc Martens and Earrings 44

Chapter 6 December 14 is the Big Date 48

Chapter 7 "Shake-up" 57

Chapter 8 Help from the Midwest 71

Chapter 9 A Cross-Country Biking Adventure 78

Chapter 10 Big Changes on the Horizon 82

Chapter 11 Ho Jo's All the Way! 96

Chapter 12 A 1928 Brick Bungalow 111

Chapter 13 Costa Rica, 2005 135

Chapter 14 Mantra: "We Love Elgin" 142

Chapter 15 Fay Lake 160

Chapter 16 Going Overboard on a Summer Schedule 163

Chapter 17 We Might Become Famous! 166

Chapter 18 No Matter What, Mom, I'm Happy 187

Chapter 19 The New Normal 193

Chapter 20 A Return to Costa Rica 206

Chapter 21 Treatments and Treating Oneself 215

Chapter 22 I'm Really Not Afraid of Anything Anymore 230

Chapter 23 "My Doctor Loves Giving Me All This Chemo" 241

Chapter 24 Expect Change 259

Chapter 25 Each Day Is a Blessing 273

Chapter 26 Darling Stacey Is the Most Awesome Person in the World 302

Chapter 27 Carole's Story 311

Chapter 28 Memorial Service 316

Chapter 29 I Have Found Another Spot 322

Chapter 30 At Peace with My Own Mortality 326

About the Authors 338

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