Dr. Zoe Shaw, A Year of Self-Care

Melissa Solle

When not being placed on a pedestal by the humans and animals in my life, I can be found reading, gardening, or hiking, and sometimes enjoying a glass of wine or a bottle of cider in my backyard oasis in the Mitten State.

10 Tips for Tackling Menopause with Grace

10 Tips for Tackling Menopause with Grace

I recently entered the much despised stage of life: second puberty. More commonly known as menopause. This is a stage of life that most women go through with varying degrees of symptoms and frustrations and lengths of time. Do I want a taco? A salad? My husband’s head on a platter? It changes often and quickly. Sometimes I just want to be left alone. Other times I want all my people around me. I want to eat the carbs, but I want to stay in the same size pants, which is, for the record, impossible. I have yet to find a diet or miracle food to prevent the dreaded menopause belly, otherwise known as muffin top. I exercise, I eat right (most […]

10 Tips for Tackling Menopause with Grace Read More »

Being a mom—the job that keeps on giving (even though it doesn’t pay)

Being a mom—the job that keeps on giving (even though it doesn’t pay)

I’ve read so many articles about the veritable “mom salary” over the years, and I’m trying to get my bearings on why this hasn’t gotten any traction. I mean, seriously! We, moms, do it all! I’m not diminishing those hands-on dads or single dads. Just telling a mom-type story. I was a stay-at-home mom for many years when my kids were younger. That was a tough time financially, emotionally, and physically. I went back to work part-time when my youngest was in second grade and full-time when he was in fourth grade. Now he’s in 11th grade, and here’s the deal. The mom’s salary should be real. The last five years of parenting have caused me to be more aware of the

Being a mom—the job that keeps on giving (even though it doesn’t pay) Read More »

Sending Your Kid to College is Very Much Like Kindergarten

Sending Your Kid to College Is Very Much Like Kindergarten

Several years ago, my oldest child left for college, a large university two hours away. As she prepared for this exciting adventure, I took to pen and paper to express my feelings. The sentiment is likely similar for many who are sending your kid to college, a gap year, the military, or wherever. So, this is for you… To My College-Bound Daughter You are leaving for college in less than two weeks. I knew that this moment was coming, and maybe it was a little denial or perhaps it was genuine thoughts of “it is a long way off…” Either way, now the moment is practically here. and I’m having a mini panic attack. I realize all parents have this moment in

Sending Your Kid to College Is Very Much Like Kindergarten Read More »

16 Things That Live in a Woman's Purse—For Better or Worse

16 Things That Live in a Woman’s Purse—For Better or Worse

I’m a 46-year-old wife and mother who wears a lot of hats, and often those hats aren’t exactly straight on my head. When I was a young teen, I never wanted to be one of those women who had a purse with them all the time. I wanted to buck the trend that a woman needed a bag to perform whatever duties were expected of her when I got to that stage of life. I fought that cultural norm hard, so hard, often to the point of massive inconvenience or causing significant discomfort to those in my inner circle. Then I became an adult and realized the benefits of a purse far outweighed the negatives—my chapstick was always at the ready, tampon—check, wallet wasn’t getting lost under the

16 Things That Live in a Woman’s Purse—For Better or Worse Read More »

grieving our dog revealed the power of family love

Grieving Our Dog Revealed the Power of Family Love

Unlike many families we know, our family, thankfully, has experienced very little death or illness. Our kids have been to less than five funerals in their whole lives, and as their parents, we aren’t too far off of that number either. We’ve lived relatively grief-free for decades. Recently, however, we had to euthanize one of our beloved dogs upon the advice of our veterinarian. For many people, dogs truly are a member of the family. It takes all of 10 seconds for a puppy to be forever a part of your heart. If you know, you know. Grieving our dog is hard, and sometimes still painful, but it’s teaching me a lot about the power of family love. Remembering Our Beloved Dog,

Grieving Our Dog Revealed the Power of Family Love Read More »

the-surprising-joy i found in raising 3 chickens during the pandemic

The Surprising Joy I Found in Raising 3 Pet Chickens During a Pandemic

If you’re like me, puppies make you smile, kittens make you purr, and ducklings make you “awww” aloud. Pets, especially family pets, are good for the soul, and they are also proven to help your mental health and decrease depression. They make you laugh so hard you pee your pants a little. They frustrate you and teach life lessons, even when you’re 45 years old! Obviously not everyone is a pet person, and I’ve met my share of people who definitely wouldn’t pass the patience test. However, most people appreciate pets and the joy they bring to someone’s life. COVID restrictions, quarantines, and lockdowns made me and my family (well, mostly me) want more pets, more animals, more joy. Even our relatives

The Surprising Joy I Found in Raising 3 Pet Chickens During a Pandemic Read More »

How to get aware from the comparison trap

Everyone Seems to Have It All but I Refused to Let Jealousy Steal My Joy

The other day I saw a meme that said, “Your ice cream is melting because you’re too busy counting someone else’s sprinkles.” It was completely random, but it has stuck with me. 2020 has been rough—super rough. We’ve lost people to a virus we can’t seem to get under control, our economy is confused, our society is super divided about everything, and we’re scared. It is so easy to fall into the trap of “if only I had _______” to make myself feel better. If only I could have it all, I’d be happy. If only I had a million dollars. If only I had subway tile instead of the cheap ugly tile that came with the house. If only I could

Everyone Seems to Have It All but I Refused to Let Jealousy Steal My Joy Read More »

This Is What Running in My 40s Has Taught Me

This Is What Running in My 40s Has Taught Me

Once upon a time I was a fast runner (think, like, 25 years ago when I was 18 and solid muscle). My personal best for a 5k was a little under 19 minutes! I could leg-press as much as half the guys in my class and didn’t back down from a race or competition. I was tough, strong, and extremely competitive. Fast forward almost 20 years, add a career-ending injury to my ankle, three babies, a husband, and a life of contentment, and I was bored. I hadn’t really exercised in two decades, unless you count a brief stint chasing my middle child who was an escape artist as a toddler. I Made a Goal Despite the Challenges Before I turned 40,

This Is What Running in My 40s Has Taught Me Read More »

6 Ways to Love the Addict in Your Life

How Do We Really Fight Racism? It Starts With the Heart

Last night I watched with horror as my city, Grand Rapids, was devoured by hatred and violence. What started out as a peaceful and powerful protest for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others who’ve lost their lives for no legitimate reason were being honored and celebrated, turned dark and evil when the sun went down. Protesters left and rioters moved in. Buildings and vehicles were burned. Glass was shattered. Livelihoods were crushed. Tear gas was used. Last night, I was so sad…sad for Grand Rapids, sad for those who worked so hard to put together a peaceful and purposeful protest that was quickly squashed by rioters and those who simply wanted to be destructive. Sad for my neighbors and friends. Sad

How Do We Really Fight Racism? It Starts With the Heart Read More »

A Few Things You Need to Know About People With ADHD

A Few Things You Need to Know About People With ADHD

At this point in the COVID-19 situation you’d think we have this daily routine, this new “normal” figured out. You know, the wake up, get-through-the-day, go-to-bed routine. Yet, here I am, still over-thinking every little thing. I have ADHD and so does my teenage son. This lack of normalcy is harder than hard. We thrive on routine and rhythm, and it’s missing. Those of you who struggle with ADHD personally know what I’m talking about. Those of you with kids who have ADHD really know what I’m talking about. When I was diagnosed with ADHD (as a college student) 25 years ago, I realized that I have to learn some coping mechanisms, some unique and interesting ways of making my scattered brain

A Few Things You Need to Know About People With ADHD Read More »

This is What Your Teen Needs to Know About Dating

What Your Teen Needs to Know About Dating

Do you remember decades ago when you were in high school and how the week of Valentine’s Day always brought so much anxiety and anticipation (or loathing)? The high school I went to would sell flowers that week to be delivered on Valentine’s Day during homeroom—some would be sent anonymously and others would have a sentiment from a friend or an admirer. Every year girls (particularly girls) would wonder the entire week if they would get a flower. Cue the early 1990s version of The Bachelor, “Would you accept this rose?” Every year I was no different. I usually had my eye on a cute boy, hoping they had their eye on me. My friends would do the same. (Psst, if your daughter

What Your Teen Needs to Know About Dating Read More »

This Is What I’ve Learned 16 Years After My Miscarriage

This Is What I’ve Learned about Grieving My Miscarriage

17. This summer will mark 17 years ago that we suffered the unimaginable loss of a baby. Over time, the details have gotten somewhat fuzzy, but I do remember the significant physical and emotional hurt and pain of this late miscarriage. We were well into our 2nd trimester (around 17 weeks); friends and family knew we were expecting our third child—it was obvious since I was already showing quite a “baby bump.” I remember going into labor at home but not fully comprehending that that was what was happening to my body. After all, it was much too early for labor, I wasn’t even halfway done with this pregnancy. I remember knowing something was devastatingly wrong. I remember my husband trying to

This Is What I’ve Learned about Grieving My Miscarriage Read More »

Scroll to Top