Kelcey and Rudoff Liverpool started Kids Rank as a business while
stationed in Japan. Kelsey created children's clothing based on
their parent's military service ribbons. Kids Rank became a
nonprofit in 2011, with the first club in Highwood, to teach and
empower military kids while instilling pride and honor.
"It's not so much 'woe is me, we're military
kids.' These are things that will make them really successful
in life," Liverpool says. They earn ribbons by their service
to their community and kids are the driving force behind the
What has been the hardest thing about being a
For me especially, being away from our family. We are a
really tight-knit family, and having to move and be isolated
sometimes and having to reestablish at every turn new connections.
I'm pretty social, so I do fine, I do OK but I do miss seeing my
family on a regular basis (from Philadelphia). The military
community, they rally, they become your family. If you reach out,
you will find people.
How do you describe your parenting
I am pretty involved. I like to know what's going on in
their lives while they want me to. I would say I'm
kind of laid back. They have one area that I am not laid back,
that's school. I'm an experience person, I like to go out and go
do, so we're pretty busy. They are my buddies, we hang out, we have
movie night, our favorite shows we DVR and we'll sit and watch them
together. I've really enjoyed every stage. I'm pretty open and we
like to have fun.
What has been your best moment as a
I love to see my kids doing something that they love. They
get on me because I sometimes cheer a little too loud, but I love
to see when they have accomplished something and they are super
excited about it. That's the best for me. They are really great
girls. I just like to see them happy.
For me, the toughest is when I think I have too much going
on and I look back and I feel like I haven't done what I needed to
do. Or I've overlooked and something has fallen through the cracks
(such as forgetting to sign that permission slip).
I have a lot of good people in my life. To be able to step
back and understand that I do a lot and I sometimes have to cut
myself some slack and understand that not everything is going to
get done. I'm hard on myself sometimes; my mind is always racing;
I'm always thinking of what I need to do next. I meditate in the
morning now because I have to quiet myself, to appreciate all of
the things that are happening and not worry about those things that
I can't control right now.
Tamara is the editor of Chicago Parent and mom of three.
See more of Tamara's stories here.
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