September 09, 2015
The One We Call Bullets

She's from the South Side of Milwaukee, and don't you forget it. 

Our mom is the toughest lady we know.  Not in an "ultimate fighting, break your back" sort of way (though she could). She's tough in an "eight-kids-clothed+fed+schooled, multi-charity-board-running, hasn't-slept-since-she-was-23, tough-love-I'll-give-you-something-to-cry-about" sort of way.  

We grew up in a house that all your friends wanted to come play at, but were kind of scared when they got there, or at least forced into some type of manual labor.  Earn your keep or hit the road! Also 8am mass.  EVERY SUNDAY. 

Growing up we always complained that we had the strictest mom in the world, so many cruel and unusual rules and regulations. Incessantly making us wear shoes, do our homework, partake in an inordinate amount of yard work, and the "Clean Plate Club". She can yell loud enough to shake walls, but is so much more effective (read: scary) when she whispers. 

Yet  somehow, in the midst of all of this, our mom had built the recipe for a highly functioning, incredibly loving and fun-filled house. 

Mom took the brunt of pretty much everything, and still made sure we were always fed, happy,and  driven to every activity on time.  As adults, it's easy to see why she sometimes seemed a little stressed when we were growing up, and very hard to understand how she's maintained her sanity at all. Not to mention that as amazing as our Dad was, he was more like the "ninth" child at home. ( I promise you; he was once grounded from the living room for a lamp while goofing around with us.)

The woman is a wonder and we continue to learn from her every day. She has the best ideas, and the most creatively efficient ways of getting things done. She'll give it to you straight, whether you like it or not, and she's usually right. She's a doer, a maker, and a leader. She's someone you want on your team. 

So with that in mind, we're excited to announce that our mom, Colleen Ryan, aka "Bullets Bartosch" (her maiden name), will be writing a blog post once a month to offer her "Bullet Points" on life. 

It's fitting that we're announcing this today, in the week of my 40th(Yikes!) birthday.  Take a look back, to 1978, when this picture was taken. (She nailed it with that shirt! Love the stripes!) Can't wait to see where the next 37 years take us! 

Stay Tuned!

Maggie Allen