Lori Pelikan Strobel

16 Steps for 2016!









It’s a New Year, so here are some ways to make life better for ourselves and those around us. Let’s incorporate these 16 steps for a better you in 2016!

  1. Hope and dream
  2. Accept yourself
  3. Plan to read more
  4. Pray for peace
  5. Yearn to see goodness in all
  6. Never hold a grudge
  7. Enjoy new things
  8. Wisdom prevails
  9. You can give love
  10. Eat healthy
  11. Activate the mind and body
  12. Respect your family
  13. TO say I love you often
  14. Yield to moving forward
  15. Open your heart
  16. Understand it all starts with you!

As I move forward in my journey as an empty nester, I am finding more time to focus on how to make this journey meaningful & joyful.  

Happy New Year to You and Yours!

Lori Pelikan Strobel, forever 49, loves her two adult daughters, husband of over 30 years, her dog, Louie, dark chocolate, and red wine. Lori’s work and life experience has ranged from pharmaceutical sales representative, Pilates instructor, community college teacher, to a registered animal assisted therapy team. Lori can be found at: www.loripelikanstrobel.com, or on facebook. Her essay “Mom-On- Demand,” appeared in The Zen of Midlife Mothering.

By |December 29th, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living|Tags: , , |3 Comments

The Professional Photo Shoot (In Honor of My 3rd Child)

Lori and LouieThe night before the photo shoot, I made sure he had a bath. I brushed his teeth and trimmed his hair so you could see his eyes. The next morning when I said, “We’re going for a car ride,” Louie ran to the door and waited patiently. I packed a bag of his snacks and favorite toys. Finally we were ready. Louie, my dog, was ready for his first professional photo shoot.

I am an empty nester and Louie is my third child. I admit it. Louie has replaced my children – my husband knows it, my kids know it, and Louie knows it.

I love stopping at the pet store to buy little treats and toys for him. He also receives a monthly BarkBox of surprise toys and treats. My phone is filled with pictures of my dog. I feel like a new mom as I take pictures of every new thing he does or encounters.

He sleeps, I take a picture. He looks cute, I take a picture. He plays with a toy, I take a picture. It’s his birthday … well, you get the picture! [Read More…]

The Heart’s Memory Lives On

Lori Pelikan's V-Day card IOn my kitchen counter there sits a small basket. In the basket, there is a small, folded-up piece of notebook paper. I have kept this note for 36 years. It is yellowed and slightly torn at the corners, but I haven’t been able to throw it out. It has a very special Valentine’s Day message to me.

I remember the grade school days of giving Valentine’s Day cards to all of my classmates. My mother would drive me to the store and I would painstakingly pick out the perfect box of Valentine’s Day cards for my friends. After handing them out in class, I can clearly see myself breathlessly waiting to open the cards from my friends, especially the boys. Somehow my girlfriends and I could always figure out which boy liked us. [Read More…]

Here Comes Santa Claus, Here Comes Santa Claus

Lori's Christmas I

On the outside of the boxes it says “SANTAS” in bright red letters. The corners of the boxes are reinforced with duct tape, since the contents get a little heavier each year. A musty smell clings to these two hat-sized boxes. Now, however, it’s time for the boxes’ annual unveiling.

Opening the boxes, I touch crumbled tissue paper and old, yellowed newspaper. I unwrap the first one and smile. It is one of the 30 Santas—one for every year my husband and I have been together—that are nestled together for safekeeping. It’s Christmas time and here comes Santa Claus!

When I was newly engaged, my husband and I attended a family friend’s home for an annual Christmas get together. Going to “Mrs. J’s” house was always fun, delicious, and filled with laughter and memories of our childhood. That particular Christmas, I noticed her collection of Santas. [Read More…]

Autumn Breathes

Lori Pelikan Strobel's barn

Colored magic and crisp whiffs whirl over wooded pastures

Summer sighs

Autumn inhales

Coolness dawns while Fall tumbles into me.


By |October 21st, 2014|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living|Tags: , , |0 Comments

A Mid-Life’s Summer Night

sleepIt’s 10:30 p.m. The kitchen is cleaned, and the family room picked up. They are both ready for tomorrow’s life of meals, random newspaper circulars, and at least a dozen water glasses left half full lying around both rooms.

The dog, Louie, has been put out for the evening. We both climb the stairs to finally to go to sleep. My husband, already snoring peacefully, has his earphones on and plugged into his Ipad that is now flopped haphazardly onto his stomach. As Louie jumps onto the bed, I prepare my nightly ritual for sleep.

“Boy, it’s so hot in here.” I lower the thermostat before changing into my pajamas. I stare into my closet, trying to conjure an outfit I will wear to work tomorrow. Then, off to the bathroom I plod for the beauty regimen. Teeth brushed and flossed—check. Contacts out, eye make-up off, face washed—check. [Read More…]

Any Day Can Be Mother’s Day

The teacups are set out over the lace tablecloth. One teacup is from Ireland, one from Germany, and one from the Czech Republic. These cups represent our heritage, as well as the ritual of having tea with mom. The teas are chosen, too – one decaf green tea, a pomegranate, and a mint medley.

The teakettle whistles like a train horn to let me know it’s time. It’s Tea Time.

Time to sit with my daughters in the evening and to chat, to watch TV, and to read. Most likely we will be doing all of these at the same time because we are mulitaskers. This teatime is something I still do with my mother, too. It has been passed from one generation to the next, and it makes me happy when we have tea. I smile knowing that this is a mother’s day. Any day can be Mother’s Day. [Read More…]

Spring Cleaning

spring cleaning - Lori StrobelIt’s Spring! Alleluia!

I know it’s here because I have heard the peepers at night proclaiming their joy from being stuck in the frozen tundra.

The stillness has suddenly been broken by birds singing in the early morning. There have also been sightings of color to break the barren landscape with the arrival of a crocus or daffodil.

Finally, the smell of spring whiffs past my nose in the form of that indistinguishable first spring rain smell, which is a heady, glorious scent. It is the time for new beginnings. Now is the time to spring ahead with new opportunities as the season changes, too. [Read More…]

Winter Moments

I look at the pristine fallen snow and feel somewhat melancholy that there are no little footprints in the yard, no snowman or snow angels. Since I now have adult children, the snow in my yard remains fluffy.

Looking at this unspoiled snow, I notice the immense silence in the air as the downy white flakes fall. The branches look like they have been coated with powdered sugar and I feel the cold start to sneak into my bones. The only marks left in the snow are made by my dog, Louie. I see his paw prints meander throughout the yard to his special area. There, the white snow is dotted with yellow and brown. [Read More…]

Behold the Bounty Before Us

thanksgiving_feastAll of a sudden it becomes “the holidays” as I turn my calendar to November. I begin to think, Oh, my, how did it get here so quickly again? The beautiful leaves have fallen and now make a dull brown carpet beneath my feet. I rush to remove them to make way for the first white snowfall.

The wind seems to blow stronger and my bones begin to feel weaker as the coldness settles into them. Darkness drops its curtain hastily, as if it’s advising me to prepare for what lies ahead. I snuggle into the couch and sigh,  “It’s too cold and dark to go back outside.” The house glows from the flames in the fireplace and the thoughts that the season of family is here warms my heart. The holiday season of bounty is before me. [Read More…]

By |November 26th, 2013|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Mothers Over 40|Tags: , |1 Comment
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