Melissa Caddell, redheaded woman, smiling, gray sweater

Hey there!

i'm melissa.

Thanks for dropping by! I’m a writer and hopeful lifestyle blogger in Los Angeles. I am a wife to 1 very patient husband (Darling) and a mom to 3 very chatty daughters (Chickadee is 14, Pixie is 18 and Sunshine is adult-ish).

You know how humaning is hard? I write about that, being a decent human (from recycling to social justice), raising decent humans and some of the hard things around faith.

I also drink a lot of coffee because thinking about things and parenting teenagers requires a lot of caffeine. And a sense of humor.

About me-who is Melissa Caddell?

Yay! You’re here! I’m so happy you found your way to this little spot on the interwebs. Grab a lovely drink (may I suggest coffee?) and get comfy. All settled? Okay, I’ll go first:

Hello! I’m Melissa. I am a writer, mom of three and wife of one. When we are home in LA, I mostly spend my days driving our kids to set or auditions, or going to Target, or trying to find a Starbucks with a drive-thru. Sometimes we live other places. See next paragraph. 🙂

I have been married to my college sweetheart, Casey, for 25 years. He is a software engineer who gets to work for Disney as an Imagineer–I know, pretty awesome, right? He works on Mouse-related parks around the world and it has been very cool to get to go with him! We have lived in Shanghai, China and Tokyo, Japan with his work. He is an incredibly patient man to me and our bright and funny children who keep us both thoroughly worn out.

Omg, I am so tired. (<-thus, you’ll understand about the coffee…)

We have three daughters [ages 20 (The Eldest), 17 (The Middlest) and 13 (The Littlest)] who are actors, writers, musicians and generally creative people. Basically, they have interests that seem to need a lot of driving to lessons and an increasing amount of equipment. Our house is full of ideas and chatter and the comings and goings of busy, creative people. (Note: The Eldest has grown and flown and is living her best young adult life 11 minutes away. We are in the weird stage of parenting where you miss them so much and are also so proud of how they are managing their own lives.)

A little history…

I was pre-med in college and got a degree in Biology and a Masters in Public Health (wash yer hands!). But I didn’t go to medical school and I turned to writing when I found myself as an at-home mom with little ones. I started blogging because I had a lot of things to say as I processed the huge transition from what I *thought* my life would be like and what it was *actually* like. (Anyone else? HAHAHAHA!) I got to write for some awesome parenting magazines, and that was super cool.

I came back to blogging after a move from the suburbs of Denver, Colorado and multiple life transitions left me composing blogs in my head while I sat staring at car butts on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles. I have a lot of thoughts and it’s better if I share them here instead of with the Starbucks barista, because it backs up the line.

Ok, now you’re all caught up!

My goal is to normalize things about living as a person in this day and age through the lens of humaning, family, parenting and faith. Life feels hard and isolating and sometimes we forget that EVERYONE ELSE is struggling, too. You and I are not alone.

(Caveat: if you are hoping to find help on how to LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE, this may not be the place for you. I try to get to medium most days, with the occasional spurt up to good.)

Here, you can expect to find stuff about:
Humaning/Lifestyle: tips, stories and thoughts related to being a human on this planet and small, simple ways we can try to do a little better. Recycling? Yes. Global injustice? Yes. The guy who stole my parking spot? Also, yes. (The jerk.)
And I write about relationships with other humans: sister, friend, daughter, and wife stuff.

Parenting: mothering is hard and, well…..kinda mostly hard. At least for me. But, you know, amazing. (In a hard way, to be clear.) The enormity of the task of influencing humans is pretty staggering. My girls and I are working (and have worked!) through a lot of life stages together and it seems a shame to let all that pain and suffering go to waste. When I say ‘worked through’, I mean we are all still alive.

Stage mom: I find myself in the unusual position of being a mom to child actors. It’s been a weird and wacky ride and I share about our journey and how we are trying to just raise decent humans through the interesting lens of them being child actors in Hollywood. And, because I get so many questions about it, I provide some tips and resources that we have found helpful.

Faith: the hard and ugly questions most of us have. Because, jeepers, I am just struggling with my journey. (When I say ‘journey’ I mean the ugly ultramarathon kind. In the dark. Uphill both ways.) As a long-time person of faith (I consider myself a recovering Evangelical), I have a lot of questions and sometimes I’m really mad at God. I don’t understand a lot of things. I’m no scholar, but I figure it helps to write things down to process them. Humaning is hard. Doing it with hope makes it a little better. (p.s. I love Jesus but I swear a little. Sometimes a lot. Depends if I’m driving. You have been warned.)

I love to share all of this through:

Processes

I think about and try to find a better way to do things. I look for the hack with food, family life, travel tips and the stuff of everyday living. If there’s a thing we all do (like try to pick a movie on Netflix together), know that I am doggedly trying to find the simplest, easiest, most meaningful way to do the thing. If you are looking for Pinterest perfect, you’re not going to find that here, so move along, these aren’t the ‘droids you’re looking for. I am pretty raw and authentic–not because I’m that self-ware, but because I’m just too tired to do anything else.

Passions

The world is an endlessly fascinating place and I nerd so hard about a lot of things. Our family travels, reads, and we love to watch movies. Give me an epic story! I am also aware that each of us has an impact on the stories around us, and my goal is for all of us to have hope that we can be a tiny force for good . Except to that jerk who stole my parking space. It’s people like him who are the reason I can’t have the Jesus fish on my car.

People

Which brings me to the crux of what this blog is about: being a better human, mom, wife, sister, daughter and person of faith. I don’t know that I have figured out what Living My Best Life would look like (italics for irony), but whether I want to or not, I know I have an impact on the people around me.

And so do you. We’re all part of each other’s stories (which can be annoying, I get it). I think we’re all doing our best, though some days our best may not be very good. But, I know (and hope!) we can learn and get a little bit better. As Chidi Anagonye asks, ‘What do we owe each other?’ 🙂 (<–The Good Place reference.)

So if any of this is your jam, pull up a chair and stay awhile. It’s going to be fun! Or, at least, caffeinated.

Hugs to you,

Melissa

Myers-Briggs: E/INFJ (The Idealist Teacher—my top career recommendation is a fitness instructor. Hang out with me for about 3 minutes to know why this is HILARIOUS.)
Enneagram: 1w2 (The Reformer. Likened to the cultural aura of the Amish. Also, Switzerland.)
StrengthsFinders: Connectedness, Input, Belief, Intellection, Achiever
Disney Princess: Belle (Sacrifice yourself for someone you love AND get to read books? Sign me up!)’