Where are you from and how long have you lived in town? What brought you to the area?
I grew up in Libertyville. I attended Hawthorn Jr. High and Libertyville High School. I lived away from the area for a while until my husband Scott and I moved to Mundelein, where we have lived for 24 years.
Do you have child(ren)? Age(s)
We have two grown children, Natalie, age 23 and Kurt, age 20
What are your favorite things to do in the area with and without your kids? Family friendly restaurant? Date night?
When the kids were younger, we enjoyed hiking and biking on all the trails around. We loved camping and took a family vacation every year.
Now that the kids are older, we enjoy long walks with our two dogs and relaxing on the front porch of our old house. Scott and I love eating out for date night. One of our favorite spots is Mambo Italiano in Mundelein.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor or in the corporate wold? Please share!
I enjoy being involved in the Mundelein Community. I was a part of the Mundelein Centennial in 2009 and have chaired the Mundelein Arts Festival since 2011. Since 2015, I have worked at the Mundelein Park & Recreation District as Marketing Manager. It is very rewarding to serve in the community where we live.
My latest adventure has been to become a published children’s book author/illustrator. This has been a dream of mine since I was 17. My journey began in 2017 when I began to create, Trouble Brewing for Thomas. I was inspired to write the story after creating a Halloween sculpture of a witch being trapped in a cauldron by a triumphant toad. It has been a long journey to learn how to create the pagination layout, illustrate and craft the story with seemingly endless edits. Once I completed the book, I had to learn how to get it published. I finally settled on self-publishing. My timing couldn’t be worse… publishing it during a pandemic, but I just felt it was time to share it with the world. In May, I published another book, My New Mask, for the Park District to benefit Mundelein Parks Foundation. Taking that step made me brave enough to publish the Thomas book
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
One thing I love about living here is feeling part of the community. There is something special about Mundelein. I feel supported by family, friends, neighbors and colleagues which has given me courage take chances and to grow.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
In third grade went on a field trip to Bozo Circus and I was selected to for a heel to toe relay race. Our team lost and were given a carton of Whoppers. The winning team each got a Viewmaster.
What are your favorite places to travel near and far and why?
Last year, we went on my dream trip to England. I fulfilled the dream of staying the Cotswolds and Bath. We visited Berry Pomeroy Castle, which was built by my ancestral family in the late 1400’s. I was awed to see the small writing table where Jane Austen wrote her amazing books. And we capped it off with London, an amazing city full of vibrance and history.
Which podcasts and/or TED Talks inspire you the most?
I was greatly inspired by Greta Thunberg, who stood on the Ted Talk stage at age 16 and talked so intelligently about her passion and concern for the climate crisis. I was so impressed by her and many other youth who are speaking out and trying to enact change for a healthier, safer world.
Tell me about your favorite book/s. I love receiving fiction and non-fiction recommendations!
I just read Where the Crawdad Sings and loved it. I really enjoy reading and rereading the classics. I am a Jane Austen fan (I was very excited to see her house in Chawton last year). Other authors I enjoy are Jojo Moyes, and Liane Moriarty.
What is next for you?
I am planning a new book starring Midge Pigeon. Follow me on Facebook @christalawrencechildrensbooks or Instagram at christalynnillustration to see sneak peeks as the book progresse
*This post was sponsored by Mundelein Park & Recreation District