I'm Michelle Newman: a mama; a wife; a former elementary school teacher; an overenthusiastic child of the '70s and '80s; and for the past eight— or 43 or so —years, a writer.
Here are a few things to know about me and You're my Favorite Today that might help the stories and other content you see here make a little bit more sense.
I created You're my Favorite Today on a whim in March 2012 as a place to (over)share stories about my family as well as all the other favorite things in my life. And I did; in eight years I've shared over 600 of them! (I'm also a talker and once I get started it's hard to shut me up. Just ask my husband.)
In March 2014, a dream I never knew was in my realm of possibility came true and I began writing for Entertainment Weekly, where for over two years I recapped and wrote fun fan reactions about many of my favorite TV shows like Parenthood, Veep, Jane The Virgin, Nurse Jackie, and pretty much any show Gordon Ramsay was part of. It was unbelievably thrilling for me, and to this day cannot believe it's a feather I got to wear in my cap!
Parenting never ends
For the past six years I've been a contributing writer for Grown & Flown, writing regularly about navigating the high school and college years, and how I'm dealing (or not dealing) with all the pride, excitement, melancholy, and confusion that comes along with it. It's a topic I'm pretty well versed in now that my girls are, well, grown and flown.
Sharing my own bittersweet and poignant parenting stories on Grown & Flown is something I'm incredibly honored to do. Connecting and resonating with so many lovely readers over the years is very gratifying, and a privilege that is not lost on me.
Parenthood really never ends, and it's always good to know we're not alone on the journey, isn't it?
I also enjoy freelance writing about life's wonderful, messy distractions, and have work included on sites like AARP's The Girlfriend and Next Avenue, among others.
My family is my world
The most important thing to know about me, however?
My family is my world, and we are fiercely close.
I've been with my college sweetheart for more years than it seems possible (over 31 dating and 27 married at last count), and we have two grown girls —ages 24 and 19 — who are both chasing some pretty big dreams in places we (used to) have to take an airplane to get to ... which makes us proud, sad, and broke all at the same time.
Our older daughter (left) is a zoologist with a goal of becoming a marine mammal trainer, and pre-COVID was working in the Florida Keys. She's now working as a veterinary assistant and living at home while she waits for zoos to start rehiring. Our younger daughter is hard at work in a BFA Musical Theatre program (currently remotely at home) hoping to one day be able to pay the bills by doing what she loves most: singing, dancing, and being dramatic.
"Chase your dreams!" we said.
"You can be anything you want to be!" we encouraged.
And damn if they both didn't listen.
Okay, so now what?
In the fall of 2019, when my husband of 26 years and I officially became empty nesters, I looked at him and said, "Okay, so now what?"
But really, for 24 years we'd been parents and I kind of forgot what it was like to exist as just the two of us. Happily, our relationship had remained strong, but it was hard to remember who we were before we had kids. And seriously, what the hell were we gonna do now that they were gone?
So here we are, navigating this second phase of life without a roadmap, trying our best to reestablish our identity as a couple and discover new adventures. And I'll be honest, it's hard at times. I mean, there's only so many Netflix shows you both want to watch.
But the way I see it is this: our nest may have been empty (and I'm trusting that it will be again one day, right?) but life is still full ... and even better, full of possibility. And even though things have changed and certainly look a lot different in my life on a daily basis, I'm still here writing all about it.
Like I said, it's pretty hard to shut me up.