It’s time for a special mid-week addition of Meet a Mom! Kelly Dunn Rynes is a Mom of three, board president of Montessori School of Lake Forest, a real estate broker associate at Berkshire Hathaway HomeService KoenigRubloff Realty Group, and proud North Shore native.
How long have you lived here and what brought you here?
I was born at Lake Forest Hospital and I’ve lived here ever since. The nurse that was in the delivery room when I was born was the same nurse that assisted in the birth of my own three children. Literally full circle life moments! My husband is also from Lake Forest and both my maternal and paternal sides have roots in the Chicagoland area dating back more than 100 years.
The North Shore area is truly home for all of us! It’s the type of place you want to grow up in and then return to raise your own family.
Do you have child(ren)?
I have three kids: Daughter age 8, son age 4 and a son age 3
They are my “3 p’s in a pod”
Are you involved in a local organization or business venture?
Aside from my family, I have two passions that fill my days. First is my career. I have been in the real estate industry since 2003 and hang my license with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group. I received my degree in Economics and I feel incredibly lucky to make a living in this field. I pop in and out of beautiful homes all day which feeds my love of design, networking, and sales.
Most recently I founded ChicagoToTheNorthShore.com a boutique real estate service that specifically assists people moving in and out of these areas. Chicago’s North Shore area is the only home I have ever known, it’s had a large impact on who I am.
A requirement of my job is to stay up to date with the top schools in the area. This has led to my second passion, non-profit board work. I am in my forth year as a board member and first year as board president at the Montessori School of Lake Forest (MSLF). Following a friend’s recommendation, my family enrolled in 2011 when my daughter was just 18 months old and we couldn’t be happier. The teachers, facilities, and grounds are like nothing else in the area. The school draws in children from more than 30 diverse communities and the philosophies transcend the classroom, they are learning how to be productive and engaged world citizens.
What are your favorite restaurants? With your kids? For date night?
With my husband and I both in real estate, our evening schedules can be unpredictable and dinner is often a last minute scramble. We are regulars at O’Toole’s, we’ve known the owners for years (another MSLF family!). The atmosphere is relaxing and the food is great.
Local Milwalky Taco on Sunday for the ‘kids eat free’ is always a safe bet as well! When it comes to date night, we head to our tried and true Deer Path Inn. If we are feeling social we will head down to The Bar where we are sure to bump into friends. But if we need a night to reconnect after a long week we will stay upstairs and hang out in front of one of the cozy stone fireplaces. There is something so special about this romantic and charming English inn.
Can we also talk about my favorite place for dessert? I’d have to say Lovin’ Oven. We designed our custom wedding cake at Lovin’ Oven and it took up an entire 4 foot long table! People still talk about that cake. For a girl with a sweet tooth, Lovin’ Oven is a must!
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
We were married for 5 years before we started a family. During this time we did a ton of traveling. We spent a few weeks in Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora. The over water bungalows ARE as amazing as they look. We enjoyed some time in Switzerland, I couldn’t pull him out of the cafes and I ran into Oprah in one of the local shops! We also went on a month long safari in Africa touring Kenya, Tanzania, and Zanzibar. That was the best trip we ever took.
I am waiting for the day my children are old enough to go back! I am so grateful for these travel experiences, they are the best memories. Jet setting isn’t in our cards these days so instead we look forward to long weekends when we can “staycation” in the city at the Peninsula. It’s just far enough away we come back refreshed and ready to take on another week.
Where do you draw support from?
I met my best friend and now husband when we were 13 years old. We started dating in college. I am grateful to have such a great partner in life. Likewise, I am incredibly lucky to have the world’s best parents. Bonus: they live down the street from me! I couldn’t do everything I do with out them. They pick up my kids if my appointments run late or they run one child to a birthday party if the other ones are at swimming. They have always shown me through example: be kind, be honest, get involved, and give back. The women in my church guild are amazing, they too inspire me. And of course I draw support from other local moms! We are all in this together. None of us have done this “mom thing” before. We are all going to experience challenges. Having support from “powerhouse mom” friends going through similar situations makes all the difference. I am fortunate to feel this within our community.
What’s next for you?
Spring will be busy! As a mom: my 3 p’s have birthdays during this time of year. Lots of planning and celebrating at our house. As a realtor: the real estate market traditionally peaks late Spring and I am looking forward to a very active year. Interest rates are still low and clients that had previous been ‘thinking’ about selling the last few years are committed to it this year. Inventory should be good. As board president: we will be hosting our Spring fundraiser and slating new board candidates. We draw from across all industries and the North Shore area is densely populated with community members energized to give back. It’s a very exciting time!
Photographer: Matt Fedderman Home Builder: PKPG Companies