Smile because it happened book cover

Smile Because it Happened
A Guide to Living the Rest of Your Life

By Carole Young and Stacey Reynolds

ISBN: 978-1-942586-61-6


In 1995, as a young wife newly separated by many miles from her family in the Midwest, Stacey Reynolds began corresponding with her mother, Carole Young, by e-mail. These e-mails, along with letters, continued until 2012 and provide a very personal, often humorous, glimpse into the life of a self-described “mother of three beautiful children, wife, daughter, interior designer, crazy gardener, lifelong learner, martial artist and artist with a paint brush.”

With her, we travel to the markets of Morocco and the rainforests of Costa Rica. We experience the precious “firsts” of motherhood, the ups and downs of family life, the rewards of gardening and living “green,” and the satisfaction of community service. Writing with simplicity and honesty, she also reveals lessons life has taught her and the philosophy she holds.

When Stacey faces the greatest challenge of her life, she meets it with her trademark positive attitude and the courage of one who has earned a black belt in martial arts and zip-lined through the rainforest.

340 page paperback, 5.75 x 8.75 inches

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Carole Young and Stacey Reynolds

Carole Young is a retired art teacher and lives with her husband Gary and cat Sophie in a small town in the driftless area of SW Wisconsin. Her passion is her artwork and she especially loves doing portraits. She enjoys day trips with her book club friends, spending time with family and gardening.

She is an admitted e-mail hoarder and that is what enabled her to assemble this book after her daughter’s passing.

Stacey Reynolds grew up in Boscobel Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in interior design in 1986 and began working for Interior Systems, Inc. in Fond du Lac. During her career with ISI she designed the interiors of many McDonald’s restaurants and Harley Davidson retail stores in the United States and abroad. She also studied architecture and urban planning at UW-Milwaukee.

She was married to Thomas M. Lesiewicz on the beach at Sandals in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, December 31, 1992, and they began their married life in Milwaukee. In 1994 they moved to Seattle, WA, where she continued to work for ISI for a time and then for The Environmental Home Center designing custom cabinets using eco -friendly materials. Their three children were born there.

They moved to Elgin, IL, in 2003 where she worked from home as an alternative energy consultant for Natural Dynamics, and volunteered her time at her children’s pre-school (Elgin Parent Coop Preschool), elementary school (Lowrie PTA), her church (UUCE Green Sanctuary Committee), neighborhood community (SWAN-Southwest Area Neighbors), and in the larger Elgin community (Elgin Sustainability Master Plan-Green Buildings and Technology). In 2009 she reached a life-long goal of receiving a black belt in Kyuki-do at Kim’s Black Belt Academy in Elgin.