ILCA Women’s Networking Group

Chicago Flower and Garden Show 2010
March 10, 2010, 5:04 pm
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Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit the 2010 Chicago Flower and Garden Show at Navy Pier. I am embarrassed to say that this is the first time I was ever at the show! The ILCA Women’s Networking Group sponsored a 1 1/2 hour private tour before the show opened to the general public. What an awesome way to see the show. We were able to go up the stairs and view the gardens from above and were given info on details that we may not have been privey to without the tour. Just walking in to the Show, you could smell Spring. Not to mention being in awe of the colors in the flowers, the accessories, the themed gardens, OMG (Oh My Gosh-in text language)…I was blown away. It just really made me feel that the Spring season is just around the corner. That REAL soon we will be in the throws of our BUSY time. That our own yards, our clients yards, our clients clients yards, will be as wonderfully colorful as what I just witnessed at the show. That is enough to keep me going, especially as I look out the window today at a dreary, foggy, ugly Wednesday. HURRY UP SPRING…


Man’s best friend(and woman’s too)…
December 8, 2009, 2:22 pm
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“Can we please get a dog??!?!” I had been hearing that for years as our 3 children were growing up. My husband grew up having a dog, but had developed a slight allergy once he got a little older and was not around dogs much anymore. My two older children suffer from mild asthma/seasonal allergies and I just did not think it was a wise idea to bring a dog into the house with allergy issues, let alone a crazy, busy household. Would we have time to spend with the dog? Would the kids follow through on their promises to help train him or her? Walk him or her? Etc… I knew the responsibility would fall to me once the novelty wore off, and quite some time ago, I just was not ready for this. Well, as the kids grew older and they didn’t want hugs and kisses from mom and were busy hanging with friends, playing sports, working, etc. It got to be awful quiet in the house at times and lets face it, I was getting older too so having another child was completely out of the question. So guess what we did almost a year ago-we brought a new puppy into our home (she does not shed)!  I am pleased to say Chloe has brought us nothing but joy. She makes us smile, laugh and brings us all a little closer. The kids do help take care of her and I will say that she is a little spoiled! She gets nothing but love and attention and it happened at the perfect time.


Leadership is not about a ‘position’-it is a mindset…
October 13, 2009, 3:51 pm
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Two years ago I was filling out the application for ILCA’S new program-Leadership Council.  I was drawn to the program because my sister and I had purchased our parents business and were now in leadership roles. What great timing!  I had a yearning for knowledge in this new role I had and a yearning to become more active with ILCA.  I was hoping this new program would fulfill both of those desires I had.  I am here to tell you that it sure did fulfill those desires and more! John Blumberg had me hooked from moment ONE. He is an awesome speaker and really gets you thinking.  I still find myself looking back through my notes and the exercises we did to find support in these challenging times. I formed  relationships with some of the other attendees that are to this day very dear to me. We have formed a ‘formal’ Women’s Networking Group that is a result of the Leadership Council and I have been chairing that committee for over a year. So many good things have come out of my participation with the Council.

Leadership is a priviledge that comes with a meaningful burden…

A New Chapter in our life…
August 12, 2009, 2:11 pm
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Our first born is leaving for college! She is the bundle of joy we brought home almost 18 years ago. She is the one we both stared at in awe, looked at each other in fright (oh no, now that we have her home from the hospital what do we do now?!?!?!) took millions of pictures of (the third and last child has about 1/4 of the pictures!) let scream and cry in her crib til she finally fell asleep, so we wouldn’t have to have her depend on us to get her to sleep. Boy did the  years FLY by! She is a beautiful, smart, independent woman now. At one point a few years ago (junior high) I thought she would never ‘like’ me. She was stubborn, crabby, moody, just not real pleasant to be around. Now, we can go shopping, out to lunch, or just hang out. She is a real pleasure to be around. I think she actually ‘likes’ me now! I She is going to do just fine in college. I believe that all we have taught her, shown her, instilled in her, and how she has been brought up will carry her through these next 4 years.  I want to believe there will be no tears as we pull away from her dorm (heck-she is going to be at Loyola University on Sheridan Road, just a 15 minute drive from the house), and if there are, they will be tears of joy! I think she will do just fine…

Summer Field Day-part 2
July 17, 2009, 5:41 pm
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This is the second entry I have made regarding Summer Field Day. For those of you who receive the ILCA magazine, there was also a HUGE article about the event. You would have to be a really spacey person to not see that the goal this year is to really recreate the image of SFD. Actually back to what it used to be, from what I understand. Last summer was my first Field Day. I remember growing up and my dad would go to Field day with his close landscape buddies, hang out, drink a little, come back with some good information regarding new products, or a new list of people he had met. When my sister and I bought the business, it took a few years for us to have some trained personnel in the office so we could actually get out and go to Field day ourselves. I enjoyed going last year and am looking more forward to it this year. Actually in just a few weeks. So this is my reminder AGAIN, to take some time out of your day to go to SFD’09. There has been a LOT of planning and preparation for this year. More so than previous years so it gets rave reviews. The Women’s Networking Group is hosting a scavenger hunt for the kids. A good way to have your kids come with you to visit the vendors and in the end they earn a little prize.  Please join us!

Laura Weldon


We are Stronger than we think…
June 17, 2009, 4:14 pm
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Laura Weldon, C0-Owner


We are Stronger than we think…

I was 14 years old when the ‘Farrah Fawcett’ craze hit in 1976. I think every boy in my junior high school had the infamous poster hanging on his wall and every girl wanted our hair to look as beautiful as hers did. She was beautiful, famous and seemed to have it all. She sold millions of dollars worth of ‘Farrah’ merchandise. Dolls, posters, you name it! She married the $6 Million Dollar Man, Lee Majors, to become Farrah Fawcett-Majors. They later divorced and later in life she became involved with Ryan O’Neal. They have a son named Redmond.

Other than seeing her occasionally in TV movies, or in People magazine, I really didn’t pay much attention to what she was doing with her life, other than recently being diagnosed with anal cancer. For some reason I decided to tune in to the special about her cancer that aired on NBC May 15. She had been have her best friend, Alana Stewart document her struggles with the cancer.

The 2 hour long special really touched me. It was very intimate and moving to see what this brave woman was dealing with. She even shared the shaving of her beautiful, famous hair. A last resort for her was to undergo any treatment that would make her lose her hair, but she was getting desperate! Watching this made me wonder if I would be strong enough to fight the fight she has. But then I think that all of us women are stronger than we initially think and give ourselves credit for. Just look at what we do on a daily basis. We work, we own our own businesses or help run very successful ones. We may be married, may have children, we volunteer, we cook, we clean, we shop, we do laundry, we plan/schedule, love, encourage…The list is exhausting(and I am sure I left some things out)! But in no way whatsoever do the things I deal with on a day to day basis compare to what this woman and all the other people with serious illnesses go through. I try and keep this in perspective when I get down about this juggling I do, when I just want to throw in the towel and give up. I thank God everyday for my health, my family, my friends and the day to day juggling that I am ABLE bodied to do!

Summer Field Day!
April 22, 2009, 12:31 pm
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Time sure does fly! It has been a year since we began the “Women’s Networking Group.”  The idea to have more events and networking opportunities for women in the industry has really grown to be more than I expected. I have to say how much I enjoy our meetings every other month where we really do accomplish ALOT, and have fun doing so! At our last meeting we discussed what WNG wanted to do during Summer Field Day  August 5 at Mariani Nurseries in Garden Prairie, IL.  ILCA was looking to change the format to make the event like it used to be-more fun, more relaxed and unlike a ‘trade show’ atmosphere. Our committee was also interested in making it more ‘family’ friendly.  We are planning a scavenger hunt for children. This will give parents an opportunity to visit with vendors while the kids are getting a bingo type card filled with stamps or stickers. There will be prizes for children when they turn in their completed bingo card.  We hope that this, along with other changes being made this year, will lead to a successful, and FUN  Summer Field Day! Hope to see you there!