Moms of Little Lake County

Melissa HaakMelissa Haak
Creator/Editor-in-Chief {Grayslake}
“Mom in Charge”

Melissa once lived in heels and dreamed of traveling the world, but these days she lives in her minivan and dreams of a clean kitchen. A passionate localist, she is a great ally to have if you’re living in, doing business in, or even just passing through her Lake County. She was recently honored to receive the 2014 Suburban Life Lake County Women of Distinction. Melissa also blogs at Peanut Butter in my Hair, where she chronicles the sticky bits of motherhood, including finding the bigger picture in the simple moments and her journey through loss and PPD. She believes that motherhood is the ultimate creative problem solving job. Get four kids to three locations at two different times while feeding a toddler studying with the older one and answering client calls? No problem. With four kids between the ages of 9 and 1, she experiences lots of joy and giggles, but not a lot of downtime.  Find her on just about all social media sites as @PBinmyHair and on


Features Editor/ Marketing Director {Hainesville}
“Mom who swears….sometimes”

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.) Originally from Wisconsin, she prefers her cheese on a cracker instead of on her head. Her sordid past includes concert promotion, a marketing career, travel and event planning and a stint on reality television.  She married her roommate’s ex-boyfriend, but her roommate has forgiven her.   Life is still colorful for Loralie, and daresay more satisfying, even if it’s colored with crayons. 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.


Writer Educator/ Contributor {Hainesville}
“Healthy, Happy, Hippie for Jesus”

A journalist by nature and profession, Hyacynth  has been on special assignment covering the foreign land of motherhood for nearly three years. While she enjoys covering bare baby bottoms with diapers, she does, from time to time, miss covering chair-throwing, name-calling town hall meetings. But those moments of day-dreaming bliss are often burst by a toddler’s tantrum, which, ironically enough does include pee-wee chair throwing and name calling. Hyacynth blogs about such events at Undercover Mother where she also taps into her creative-writing-bleeding heart, writing life outloud and tackling subjects like faith, marriage, organic living and Curious George. Because who doesn’t love that little monkey, really? She’s wife to very a tolerant, patient man, John, who often indulges her requests for long adult conversation and iced chai tea lattes and mom to two little boys. She loves Jesus, her country and her dog, but, ironically, she doesn’t love Country music; rather she feasts on the music genius of Jimmy Eat World and finds inspiration in song, her boys, good friends and the God she serves.



Jennifer J.
Managing Editor {Libertyville}
“Tween & Teen Handler”

Jennifer traveled to two continents as a nonprofit administrator and later helped run a small village in Lake County. But the real adventures began when she and her husband put down roots in Libertyville and started a family. Mom to a teenage boy and a tween girl, Jennifer spends her time changing radio stations in her minivan while driving to band concerts, learning new texting lingo and keeping track of the latest trends in electronics and hairstyles. Married for over 20 years, Jennifer and her husband are volunteers for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, active in their church community, and always looking for fun, new ways to spend time together as a family. Jennifer spends any free time she can find trying to stay organized, testing out new recipes that everyone might eat, reading, crafting or trying to beat her own best score in SpellTower.



Contributor {Round Lake}
“The Mamarazzi”

Rosemary is a mom who wears many hats. She is a working mom who has her own business, Rosie Bridges Photography, works full time and has two little boys (Gabriel 1/11 & Rafael 11/12). Together with her husband, David, they set off to find adventures all over Lake County. Rosemary moved to Lake County from Chicago as a teenager and has been a resident for over 10+ years. Although the big city lights have a special place in her heart, the quiet suburbs won her over. Rosemary also blogs and podcasts on with David about Parenting in the technology age. You can find her on social media on Twitter @rosie_bridges and Instagram @rosiebridges.


JC PhotographyAlli
Contributor/Event Coordinator {Lindenhurst}
“The Authentic Mom”

Alli is a boldly authentic mom (because who has time to fake it?) to three little ones. She enjoys almost all things that moms get to do and strives to find joy in every day. Along with her supportive husband, Alli can be seen (or heard) around Lake County chasing runaway children, eating ice cream and holding someone’s hand. {Photo credit: JC Photography}


Contributor {Mundelein}
“The Super Sports Dad”

Chad is a Mundelein dad who loves to stay active and on the move with his two super-hero sons, Jordan and Danny, and his energetic wife, Jen. He’s a K-8 physical education teacher at Bannockburn School by day and a crazed fan of the NIU Huskies, Chicago Bears and Chicago Bulls by night. He also keeps busy by discovering new parks with his family, teeing it up at local golf courses and making frequent visits to Chipotle.  You can follow Chad on Twitter at @c23v and @bulldogsmove


Contributor {Mundelein}
“Overcommited & Hyper-tasking Mom”

Cheryl can be found at the local baseball fields, soccer fields, basketball courts or football fields with her camera almost every night after work to support (and photograph) both of her sons. She also serves as the baseball organization’s Volunteer Director of Marketing and Secretary. Cheryl lives in flip flops all year round, loves the Chicago Cubs and hates the question: “What’s for dinner?” Her favorite possession is her iPhone, the perfect tool for the hyper-tasking moms out there (because who has time to only multi-task?). Cheryl’s dream for the future is to start a group therapy session for moms like her titled: “How Not to Overcommit – Learning to Say No When People Keep Asking You to Volunteer”.


Event Assitant {Grayslake}
“Accidental Homeschooler”

Genevieve is mom to three future world leaders and wife to one really funny guy. She is a public health educator turned stay-at-home mom, who has spent 11 years navigating the course of daily life in an active household. She loves mornings, exercise, God, America and chocolate. She hates scary movies, spiders, airplanes and writing bios. She is a contributing author at and keeps up with the 21st century by blogging about her family’s adventures in and around their hometown of Grayslake, IL.


J. Johnson self portrait

Illustrator/Contributor {Grayslake}
“The Scribbler Mom”

Have you ever gone for a hike with the sole purpose of observing local insects and fungi? And when you returned from the hike, did you sit down at your drafting table and execute a series of poorly drawn sketches (usually in cartoon form) of the insects and fungi that you observed? If you’ve done either of these things, you’ve had a glimpse into the mind of Jaime (if you’re a cheap wine enthusiast you’ve also had a glimpse). A Pacific Northwesterner-turned-loyal-Midwesterner, Jaime hopes to offer an outsider’s perspective on parenting in Lake County. It will mostly be a positive perspective; because, although she originally hails from a virtual paradise, Jaime really likes it here.


Kirby Kids & LLC Gives Back Coordinator {Mundelein}
“Mom in the Kitchen”

Heather moved to what her city living parents called “way out there,” almost ten years ago and hasn’t looked back since. Born and raised a city girl most of her life, who would have guessed that she would have embraced suburban life with a vengeance? A busy stay-at-home-mom to three kids,  she decided when her first baby was born that she wouldn’t let the suburbs eat her alive and has been working hard at that ever since.Continually putting the “go” in “on-the-go mom” has been her goal with her kids and husband, and they have spent their years on various adventures to locate the perfect way to spend their time. A former middle school teacher, and a self-described organizer – aholic, she has been known to plan out her week on Sunday evening , making sure every minute is accounted for! When she is not planning and exploring with her three kids, she can be found in the kitchen cooking, posting some great recipes on her blog, Girl and Her Kitchen, curled in bed reading, or writing. One day, she knows that novel she has been working on will surface. For now, Adventures in Motherhood will have to do.


Contributor {Mundelein}
“The Adventurous Optimist”

Jen Vincent is a Technology Integration Specialist for Mundelein School District 75 who loves to stay busy and go on adventures with her two monsters, Jordan and Danny, and her sports-loving husband, Chad. As a writer, blogger and educator, she strives to model and inspire others to live a growth mindset in everything she does — be it staying in a yurt on a yoga retreat, writing a novel or ordering a drink at Starbucks. While she loves a good Kombucha and a fresh salad, she can tell you where to get the best vegan chocolate cake and non-meat “bacon” burger in Chicagoland. Jen blogs at, and she can be found on Twitter at @mentortexts as well as


Jenna BurrisJenna
Contributor {Antioch}
“Mindful Mama”

Jenna is a professional counselor/ business owner, wife and Parent to two game changers, Benjamin (2/12) and Jillian (9/14). An Antioch resident and native cheesehead, this mindful mama is laid back by nature and is up for any mess or adventure. When not tuning out or taming tantrums she’s running, cooking, eating, creating music (mostly renditions of Old MacDonald these days,) reading or shopping local.  She dreams of one day owning 10-acres, raising horses, chickens, a million barn cats and kids while using her horses to help counsel her clients.  Jenna blogs about her own journey into becoming a mindful mama and being content right where she is at A Classic Work in Progress. 


Contributor {Ingelside}
“Animal Wrangling Mama”

Jessica was born and raised on Vancouver Island, BC in Canada and has been living in Lake County for almost 2 years now. She loves to explore new places in the area with her husband and 1-year-old daughter. A published author and avid crafter, Jess is also an exotic animal trainer and with her husband they own Animal Quest (an animal outreach company), where they take their animals all over for educational (and fun!) shows. She blogs about their daily adventures with their little zoo of 75 animals on her site Loving Every Moment. It’s never a dull day around their home! Jess also enjoys cooking and baking and has fun re-creating healthy recipes which she shares on her blog as well. She loves photography but admits she is nowhere near the professional level, but has fun taking photos anyway. Oh and she has a slight addiction to Instagram…and of course Pinterest!




Jessica G. 
Contributor {Spring Grove}
“A Faith-Full Mom”

Jessica is a busy mom of three girls— an infant, a preschooler and one in grade school. Her hometown of Spring Grove straddles both Lake and McHenry counties, and is a stone’s throw from the Wisconsin border. When she isn’t in the kitchen with her girls, she can be found running her photography business (Jessica Lynn Studio), playing the violin or eating dark chocolate. In “real life” she is a licensed clinical social worker, but she is loving this season of her life as a stay-at-home mom. A freezer-cooking addict, Jessica actually enjoys grocery shopping—but she prefers to do it by herself! Jessica takes pride in teaching her girls about healthy eating and knows that someday they will realize that green smoothies are delicious. The most important thing in Jessica’s life is her relationship with Jesus. Jessica leads several Bible studies and women’s groups, where she helps other moms to find their significance beyond their mothering role, but in the Lord.



Visit Lake County
Contributor {Gurnee}

The Lake County, Illinois Convention & Visitors Bureau promotes Lake County as a tourist destination for travelers through events, special offers, hotel packages and all of our exciting attractions and things to do for families.



Contributor {Vernon Hills}
“Raising an Active Family Mom”

Lake County native Maureen was born and raised in Libertyville, before moving to Buffalo Grove during high school. She vivdly remembers being asked in school where she would like to live when she grows up, and answering proudly “Libertyville”. Now the mother of 4 kids ranging in age from 1 to 8, she did not actually land back in Libertyville after her time on the East Coast and Chicago, but has adopted the village of Vernon Hills as her hometown. A Lake County girl through and through, Maureen spent the first 6 years of motherhood as a Stroller Strides stroller fitness instructor and franchise owner. That experience connected her with women all over Lake County, encouraging them to stay active and support each other through those difficult first years of motherhood. After selling her Stroller Strides franchise to focus more time on her family, she discovered she would be starting the amazing motherhood journey all over again, but this time with twins. Now she spends her days chasing toddler boys, helping big kids with homework, shuttling everyone to sports and music, and trying to maintain the chaos in her life. Maureen loves being outdoors, staying active as a family, and finding fun low or no cost activities for her family around Lake County.



Sales Executive/Contributor {Lakewood}
“McHenry Mama”

Shelby has lived in counties across the U.S. from New York to California. She has worked in catering, public relations, and as a sales executive for a marketing and travel company before giving up her mundane life of exotic food, party planning and international binge travel for the glamour of poopy diapers and being known by name at Costco. She calls Lakewood home with her three sons and a daughter ranging in age from nine to one, and is married to her college sweetheart. Shelby enjoys cooking, exercising, coaching, church-going, wining and dining with friends and spying on her kids under the guise of “volunteering” at school. You can find Shelby dancing through the aisles of the dollar store, sporting heels and nursing her baby in the Ergo, while looking for inspiration for the next family theme day. Or, she might be chauffeuring her kiddos to one of their 1,204 activities while belting out Kids Bop (but using the original lyrics) in her gluten-free cracker-filled family truckster.



Editorial Assistant/Contributor
“Single Mama”

Tracy dreams of someday being considered a “cool” mom and she can still remember the days when she had time to put on makeup in the morning. She is a young, single, stay-at-home mom to an awesome little boy named Jayden (7/12). She recently graduated college with a degree in Early Childhood Education and has lived in various parts of Lake County her whole life. Every day, she and her son set off in her Jeep, rocking a pair of oversized sunglasses, in search of a new and exciting adventure to go on. In her free time she enjoys photography, reading, dancing, yoga, shopping, and pinning kid’s activities on Pinterest. She truly believes that if she was given enough Starbucks that she could rule the world.



Interested in joining the team? You don’t have to be a blogger! Just a mom on the go! Contact Melissa at littlelakecounty (at) gmail (dot) com


Headshots provided by Rosie Bridges Photography – Lake County family photographer

Rosie Bridges Photography | Little Lake County Mompreneur



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