“You Should be on HGTV”

My aunt’s mother passed away in 2009 and in April of 2010, my Uncle suggested I consider buying her townhome.  We had so much going on at the time, I was due to have my daughter the following month and buying a home seemed IMPOSSIBLE.  We didn’t think we had enough money or credit to even entertain it.  After viewing the townhome which was VERY rough on the eyes Ryan (my husband) and I talked about our options and thought it wouldn’t hurt to apply for the loan.  Although the townhome wasn’t “move-in” ready, my uncle assured us most of the work him or my other uncles could help with.  We loved the layout and neighborhood. It was 2 blocks from downtown Mt. Prospect and the Metra train station, we couldn’t ask for a better location.  It was 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths with a basement.  “What’s meant to be, is meant to be” was the way the next 6 months went.  We were approved for the loan while I was on maternity leave and from that time in June it took over 5 months to actually close. On 11/9/2010, we signed on the dotted line and became first time homeowners.  We started work on the house the last week of December.

Dining & Living Area 

Dining Area (Before)

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For Billy: The Movie

A 2009 study by the Indicators of School Crime and Safety showed that 1/3 of teens reported being bullied at school. An even more alarming statistic showed that school bullying can be related to violent actions, including suicides outside of school.  It is truly outrageous and heartbreaking to think of a young child or teen who thinks there is “no way out”  that they actually contemplate taking and in some cases do take their own lives.   A fellow WHS alum of mine, Michael Anthony is standing up and making an effort for change. It all started with this hilarious You Tube video.

Michael’s video sparked a reaction in many people and the documentary, For Billy: The Movie, was created.  After posting the You Tube video, “It Gets Better:” “Michael received over 100 responses from friends and strangers alike; however, one letter in particular changed the course of Michael’s life. Simply signed “Billy”, this semi-anonymous note was written by a boy from Michael’s hometown, one who currently attended his very same high school. In the letter, Billy shared his personal struggle with his sexuality and the sadness it has created in his life – a story Michael found all too familiar.” I urge you to go to the For Billy: the movie website and read Billy’s letter, find out how you can help, donate and mark your calendars for the event:  BE: The Exhibit on March 18th in Arlington Heights, IL.  I asked Michael if I could write this blog because it is such an important message to send to kid and adults. He was kind enough to let me share this story and his objective of this documentary: “What do I hope to accomplish from this? My goal is this…You can’t change the world, but you CAN change conflicted hearts, the people that are on the border of accepting everyone. Maybe I can change 10 people in Wheeling. Maybe my media coverage can change 100 people in Illinois. Maybe this documentary can change 100 people in each state. That’s 5,000 people who, before, weren’t accepting or aware of our culture of bullying, homophobia and ignorance. 5,000 people can change the world, I think. That’s what I hope to accomplish.” Michael’s open heart and kindness gives me hope and I feel so proud to support his vision with this movement.  If you have been following my blog, I hope you gather that I am a strong believer in accepting others for who they are.  This is the quintessential time to act on that belief ! See you on the 18th and special thanks to Michael Anthony for the message, movie and motivation to stand up for our youth!!