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Monday, April 30, 2012

Evanston Newbie Anniversary Series: 40 Lessons Learned Moving from El Paso, TX to Evanston, IL

1. My marriage is the most important relationship in my life.
2. My children are smart, capable and flexible.
3. Jobs come to those who seek them.
4. Milestones are for celebrating and recognizing, even the bad ones.
5. New traditions can be created every day.
6. Children notice and hold onto memories and events that you will find totally strange and alarming.
7. Children want to be part of the decision making process in a family.
8. Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be. (Joseph Campbell knew this before I did.)
9. Living near water is good for my spirit.
10. Lake Michigan looks like the ocean with waves, seagulls and sand – the only thing missing is salt.
11. Being able to walk instead of drive makes you feel more connected to your community.
12. People are open to making new friends after 30.
13. Selling 80% of your possessions on is extremely liberating.
14. Everything you need can be replaced.
15. Everything you want can be found.
16. Everything you dream of doing can be done.
17. Money only buys food and shelter.
18. Living like a tourist is a great way to get to know your environment.
19. No matter how much research you do, being on the ground, experiencing things in real time teaches you everything you need to know.
20. Red foxes eat brown bunnies in large quantities.
21. People project their insecurities onto you. For instance everyone will tell you that you can’t do “it”, but really what they mean is that they don’t think they can do “it”.
22. Abraham Lincoln was NOT born in Illinois.
23. The New Madrid Fault Line is right next to Chicago.
24. Everything and everyone looks better in a new environment.
25. Buying products directly from the farmer is very rewarding.
26. Even women can grow up to be successful architects.
27. Skyscrapers make a city looks successful.
28. Cicadas are so loud.
29. Biting red ants are terrible creatures.
30. Having a reliable public transportation system as an option instead of driving is wonderful.
31. All of Chicago’s mayors are from the same neighborhood, except for Rahm.
32. Having a boss who is smarter than you is essential for career growth.
33. True friends cheer you on, even when you are leaving them behind.
34. Surprising yourself is wonderful for your self esteem.
35. You can do anything!
36. Fun can be had anywhere, even in a Chevron bathroom on the Jersey Turnpike.
37. Happiness is a choice, not the result of how life treats you.
38. Diversity in a population produces lots of yummy restaurants.
39. Life should be lived in chapters, with evaluation periods after a decade closes.
40. There are so many wonderful places to live.


  1. Lisa! I LOVE this list. You are an inspiration and all the boys in your life are very lucky to have you. Wishing you and your family much continued success.


  2. Cassie, you are so sweet, thank you! I was totally inspired to write this by a fantastic blog post I read recently by Lydia Netzer, 15 Ways to Stay Married for 15 Years,
    Enjoy the read!

  3. badass list from a badass lady! Miss ya tons lisa!

  4. Now i just love and miss you more ( and i just put on mascara!)

  5. Ditto to all of the above ^^^^^^!!!

  6. Beautiful Lisa. This was really encouraging for my soul. It's great to know you're doing so well. I can't wait until venture another city.

  7. I love it!! I really do. This is awesome. So much wisdom here. Un abrazo fuerte!

  8. I love this LisaD! You hit it all right on the nose! xoxo

  9. Right on! I'm glad our paths crossed in e-town, at least until I moved across the country. Having shed most of my belongings, I concur that it's a. liberating b.instructive. Things can be replaced or done without. Cheers to you and your kick a*s family for undertaking an intrepid adventure!

  10. This blog post totally landed me in the New York Times!