Midlife Margaritas: Stories from Women Who Made It to the Other Side of 40 and Rocked It
Authors: (Compiled by Hembree) Shannon Hembree, Jen McGinnis, Bree Luck, Sarah Weitzenkorn, Dionne Williams, Anne Karrick Scott Deetsch, Heather Von St. James, Barbara Fleck, Elizabeth Pendleton, Emily Cooke, Bernadette Jasmine, Vanessa Velez, Laura K. Bedingfield, Beckie Cassidy, Sarah Freeman Knight, Jennifer Porter, Rosanne Nelson, Brooke Schmidt
Release Date: May 8, 2017
Midlife Margaritas is a collection of essays by a diverse group of women sharing their heartwarming and hilarious stories of what it’s like to conquer forty in today’s world and live to tell the tale. They are the stories of women rising up after unimaginable loss, of overcoming impossible odds, and of finding humor in the everyday challenges we all face.
These touching essays reveal the true strength, beauty, and heart of women. They show us ordinary women doing extraordinary things. And, above all, they remind us to have fun.
Inspiring and encouraging, Midlife Margaritas is the fun companion you never knew you needed at this time of your life. Reading it is like being wrapped in a warm embrace from a beloved girlfriend…who is trying not to spill the margarita in her hand.
1. On Returning to Work (or Trying to) after Raising Kids: White House Easter Bunny Costumes, Tongue Rings, and Résumés, OH MY! by Shannon Hembree
2. On Love and Loss and Loving Again: Rediscovering Joy After the Love of My Life Died by Jen McGinnis
3. On Taking the Path Less Traveled: How I Joined the Circus, Went to Prison, and Arm Wrestled My Way to a Joyful Life by Bree Luck
4. On Becoming a Caregiver for a Parent: Being Thankful for What Is Left, Not Lamenting What Is Lost by Sarah Weitzenkorn
5. On Rockin’ the Single Life: Why Sipping Lemonade on the Beach Is Always Better Than Plunging Lemons out of the Toilet by Dionne Williams
6. On Depression at Forty: Finding Solutions When You Can’t Wish It Away or Wait It Away by Anne Karrick Scott Deetsch
7. On Hope: Turning a Death Sentence into a Life Well Lived by Heather Von St. James
8. On Motherhood: Taking the Long View from Under the Big Top by Barbara Fleck
9. On Growing Up Black and White in America: How I Learned to Live My Life Boldly in My Own Unique Way by Elizabeth Pendleton
10. On Surviving Breast Cancer: How the Boobs You Love and the Football You Don’t All Come Together in the End by Emily Cooke
11. On Finding Your Inner Warrior: How I Left a World of Abuse and Alcoholism Behind and Built a New Life as the Mother of a Beautiful Boy with Special Needs by Bernadette Jasmine
12. On Marriage: Redefining Happily Ever After by Vanessa Velez
13. On Strength: Uncovering My Innate Power, Barf by Barf and Poke by Poke by Laura K. Bedingfield
14. On Balancing a Career and Kids: Finding Perfection in Not Being Perfect by Beckie Cassidy
15. On How It’s Never Too Late to Face Your Fears: Even If It Requires Alcohol, Pills, or Prayer by Sarah Freeman Knight
16. On Spirituality: How a Preacher’s Daughter Rediscovered and Redefined Faith by Jennifer Porter
17. On Confidence: Don’t Ask, Just Do by Rosanne Nelson
18. On the Loss of a Parent: How I Grieved, Coped, and Learned to Live Differently After My Father Died by Brooke Schmidt
19. On Friendship: Bonjour, Dear Diary by Shannon Hembree
Shannon Hembree is a professional writer and editor for a government relations and public affairs firm in Washington, DC. She embraces the idea of living fearlessly…unless the situation involves heights, spiders, snakes, public speaking, or anything else that crosses the boundary for sane living.
Jen McGinnis is a physical therapist and co-owner of an outpatient physical-therapy office. She is married to a great guy, and they have a fun, fabulous little boy. They live on a tropical island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and wake up most days to sunshine and warm breezes.
Bree Luck is a mother, theater director, and amateur arm wrestler. She is always looking near and far for the next big adventure.
Sarah Weitzenkorn is a stay-at-home mom of two children. In addition to liking piña coladas and getting caught in the rain, she loves girls’ weekends, mindless celebrity gossip, and oatmeal creme pies.
Dionne Williams is a nonprofit project manager extraordinaire. Her coworkers tell her she has the biggest, brightest smile in the office, which could be because she tries to stay positive and lives life one day at a time. In this crazy world, she simply laughs a little, lives a little, and embraces whatever adventure comes her way. It’s all about the journey.
ANNE KARRICK SCOTT DEETSCH
Anne Karrick Scott Deetsch is a full-time stay-at-home mother with four children, a husband, a dog, and several fish. She cooks with abandon and embraces her disorganized life.
HEATHER VON ST. JAMES
Heather Von St. James is a courageous mother, wife, and survivor of mesothelioma. She has made it her mission to help other mesothelioma victims around the globe and can be found sharing her story and her message of hope at http://www.mesothelioma.com/heather/survivor/#intro.
Barbara Fleck is a mom of two, who recently stopped using her fancy science degree to pursue a less stressful job as a substitute teacher…an illusion that lasted until the first indoor recess. She continues to substitute because she enjoys interacting with people her own mental age—and because she spends less money if she is at school all day.
Elizabeth Pendleton is a working mother of a three-year-old wild child. No, it’s not her grandchild. She’s realizing that like it or not, her body has no choice but to keep up with the physical prowess of her budding track star/parkour extraordinaire and that any memory loss is OBVIOUSLY due to sleep deprivation (which her sister failed to really warn her about before motherhood).
Emily Cooke is a currently single, mother of two who earns her living as a benefits professional in Washington, DC. She finds humor in almost everything, loves to embarrass her kids, and is willing to make you laugh at her own expense. She is always up for an adventure and though she usually gets lost, has fun anyway. You can find her on Twitter at @MLEC03.
Bernadette Jasmine is a rockin’ career woman who has been to the dark side and come out on top. She embraces the surprises life throws at her with her happy (and slightly crazy) clan of family and friends by her side.
Vanessa Velez is a policy consultant raising two children with the man of her dreams. She has no regrets about her reimagined happily ever after and instead enjoys quiet evenings at home in her very own Irish pub.
LAURA K. BEDINGFIELD
Laura K. Bedingfield maintains her strength by writing, practicing yoga, scoring baseball games for her sons, driving a mean carpool, and dominating during family game night. You can find her on Twitter at @LKBHerakovich and on her blog at https://jtandtheob.com/.
Beckie Cassidy is a full-time working mom who is finding balance amid the goldfish (crackers and otherwise), karate lessons, and doggie day care. After spending twenty years trying to figure out what she wanted to be when she grew up, she gave up and now spends her days telling college students what they should be when they grow up.
SARAH FREEMAN KNIGHT
Sarah Freeman Knight is a professional writer living in Atlanta. She is married to a fabulous husband and is the mother of two amazing and courageous girls. You can find her on Twitter at @sarahsknight.
Jennifer Porter is a communications professional, wordmonger, political junkie, and chocoholic whose favorite question has always been…“Why?” You can find her on Twitter at @jpgore
Rosanne Nelson is a leadership-development consultant by day and a mother of two confident little girls by night. She enjoys telling her husband about the twentysomething version of herself and remains grateful the Internet was not around during those years. You can find her on Twitter at @rosanne_nelson1.
Brooke Schmidt, freelance editor and writer and part-time activities director, lives with her engineer husband, two kids, and two rescue dogs in the ’burbs of Atlanta. Her life goals include educating parents about the link between kids’ diets and their behavior and actually finishing a book club book someday (otherwise it’s just wine club). You can find her on Twitter at @BrookeBBlogs.