Who is Melissa Caddell?


Melissa Caddell-redheaded woman, smiling, gray sweater
Fun fact–taken at the Confucian Temple when we lived in Shanghai, China. So, not my usual photo where I’ve had to crop out a kid…

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. I mostly spend my days driving kids to auditions, or going to Target, or trying to find a Starbucks with a drive-thru.

When the kids aren’t looking, I hide at the back of my closet and write as fast as I can.

I have been married to my college sweetheart, Casey, for 23 years. He is a software engineer who gets to work for The Mouse as an Imagineer–I know, pretty sweet gig, right? He is an incredibly patient man to me and our bright and funny children who keep us thoroughly worn out.

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

We have three daughters [ages 19 (The Eldest), 16 (The Middlest) and 12 (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 equipment cost. Our house is full of ideas and chatter and the comings and goings of busy, creative people.

I mostly cook and drive. And manage the carefully color-coded family schedule. And try to find parking in LA and interpret the 13 parking signs to (likely?) mean I (probably?) won’t get a ticket…

I was pre-med in college (I mean, weren’t we all when ER was on?) and turned to writing when I found myself an at-home mom after two babies, and a Masters in Public Health. 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 is *actually* like. (Anyone else? HAHAHAHA!) Eventually, I did some other kinds of writing including articles for parenting magazines.

I’ve come back to blogging after a move to Los Angeles and multiple life transitions left me composing blogs in my head while I sat staring at car butts on the 405 freeway, driving a daughter back from an audition or lesson or something. I have a lot of thoughts and it’s just better if I share it here instead of with the Starbucks barista or the checker at Target. It just backs up the line.

So, if you stick around, you’ll see that Monday focuses on mom-related stuff. 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.

Wednesday posts have a specific aim to chat about things related to being a human on this planet. Recycling? Yes. Global justice? Yes. The guy who stole your parking spot? Also, yes. (The jerk.) And I also write about relationships; sister, friend, daughter, and wife stuff.

Fridays are all about the insight and hacks I’m trying out on my family to improve some aspect of life and where I share the things I am struggling with on my journey as a person of faith. (When I say ‘journey’ I mean more like an ultramarathon. In the dark. Uphill both ways.)

The posts will revolve around:

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, know that I am doggedly trying to find the simplest, easiest, most meaningful way to do the thing. But 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. I do love me a good Mason jar craft or recipe, but I shall spare you evidence of my attempt. You’re welcome.

Passions-The world is an endlessly fascinating place and I nerd so hard. Our family travels, we read a lot, and I am aware that we all have an impact on this world and the people around us. Hopefully, for the positive. 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 mom, wife, sister, daughter, human, and person of faith. I don’t know that I have figured out what Living My Best Life would look like (capitalization for irony), but whether I want to or not, I know I have an impact on the people around me. And so do you. I think we’re all doing our best, though some days our best may not be very good. But, we can get better. I mean, right? Though, it’s probably going to hurt a bit first, tbh.

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.

P.s. You might find these tools a helpful way to know me a little better:

Myers-Briggs: ENFJ (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 (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!)

p.p.s. If you aren’t sick of me talking about myself at this point, feel free to check out What you should know before you read this blog