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FABULOUS FAMILY | Celebrating their Favorite Characters Becomes a Family Affair


What happens when you put a financial advisor, music teacher, teenager and grandma together in quarantine for five months?

Surprise theme days and dress-up dinners that center around family favorites including TV & movie characters; Disney villains; musicians; comic book characters; Disney characters; 80’s theme characters; cartoon characters; Universal Studios characters; Stranger Things; and book characters.

When the quarantine hit in March, Eric, a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley, began working from home while Emma (16) transitioned to e-learning through Kaneland High School. During this time, grandma also became a frequent visitor, so beat the boredom, Jennifer initiated “surprise theme days” every Thursday where the entire day, such as board games, meals, movies, crafts, etc. would center around that theme to add a little fun to the daily doldrum.

Shortly after, Emma, came up with the idea of adding Tuesday night “dress-up theme dinners” that she shared with the family through a Power Point presentation, allowing for each member to create and assemble their costume for the following week as a surprise to be revealed as they walked into the kitchen each week.

The Hayes family is used to spending quality time together, even outside the home. They are readily building an airplane in a hangar at the Aurora Airport and are active participants in the EAA (experimental aircraft association). They also love to travel as a family and Emma works in the community at Strides in Motion therapeutic riding facility.

Although the family misses some parts of “normal” life that they look forward to seeing again, they feel the quarantine has brought them together in ways that were impossible just six months ago. -Kristen Kucharski



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