I’m just a girl who grew from a daughter to a mom with an extended though ill-fated detour as a wife. I’m the quintessential Cancer, a wanna-be artist, a questioning Catholic, a believer in the underdog and a closet romantic.
I am a native Kansan. I was born and raised in Hays, Kansas, but couldn’t wait to live someplace with more concrete than wheat fields. I did so in the exact place I wanted to be, moving at the age of 17 to Chicago where I graduated from Loyola University and then earned a paralegal certificate from Roosevelt University. In the 12 years I lived there I had a baby, got married and then had another baby.
When it was time to put my oldest in school, I couldn’t wait to get back to Kansas. We chose Olathe for the award-winning schools and because it was within a half-day drive to see my dad, who still lives in Hays. My daughter was born here in Kansas, and we’ve called Olathe home for 12 years. In a strange turn of events, my oldest son is now in Hays. Technically a senior in high school, he is a Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science student, living in a dorm and taking university courses. He will graduate this May with 72 college credits to his name and is planning to move someplace with more concrete than wheat fields, thereby proving that whole apple/tree theory true.
I’m thankful for my three kids, who–even on the worst of days–remind me that life is better with hugs, giggles and cupcakes (or ice cream … or both). Being their mom means juggling the roles of disciplinarian, cheerleader, advocate, teacher, chauffeur, chef, laundry mistress, tutor, housekeeper, alarm clock, coach and hopefully, someday, friend (but not right now; they need a mom first).
Being a single mom means supporting them, so I spend far too much time doing work that I love. I write stories that others share with me, magazine articles and dating profiles for a popular online dating site. Sometimes the stories I get to share inspire, sometimes they caution and sometimes they bore (I’m not usually one to sugar coat much) but they’re always important. Our memories are important. The legacies we create are important. We are important.
I am also a co-director of Listen to Your Mother: Kansas City, a Girl Scout troop leader, a board member and a blogger. I started my personal blog, BacktoAllen, as a way to keep out-of-town family members current with kid pictures but as I went through a divorce it evolved into the space I went to to sort things out. I never know how to answer the question ‘what do you blog about?’ The answer ‘life’ seems too vague but it’s true; on good days, it’s a memoir in the making and on bad days it’s a poorly written (for cable) movie.
I’m thankful to Kansas Women Bloggers for the opportunity to share my blog and to connect with others in the Kansas blogging community. If you’d so inclined, you’re welcome to connect via any of these social media platforms: