Meet Mike & Alicia

We are Mike and Alicia Hernon and we are honored that you have come to our site to get to know us better.  When we started our parenting journey in the early 1990s, we looked hard for someone to tell us the perfect way to be a parent, but then we finally realized – there is no perfect way!  After launching some of our ten children and with some still at home and now with grandkids running around, we have found that parents actually never stop learning.  Nevertheless, even though being a parent is difficult, it is not impossible.   We are passionate about families and we are here to give you hope! 

We know that you are overwhelmed, busy and distracted. That is why we do what we do!

What is the Messy Family Project?

In 2015, we started a podcast dedicated to simply discussing issues affecting families today. The goal was to encourage parents and get husbands and wives to talk to each other and to be intentional about their parenting. 

Our podcast, which started as a hobby, grew entirely by word of mouth to thousands of families listening monthly. We quickly realized that we were being called to a greater work than simply the podcast.  So in 2018, we left our jobs and started the full time ministry of the Messy Family Project.  Our podcast is now one of the top podcasts in the world for Catholic parents and we have loads of free resources available to any family who needs them.

What can we do for you?

Our mission is to empower YOU to embrace your sacred calling of being a mom or a dad. We want to inspire you with the gorgeous God-given vista of Catholic marriage and family life. But we’re not just here to point out the view: we’re here to show you the path, point out the footholds and equip you for the journey.

On this site you will find videos, podcasts, blogs, worksheets and other downloads that will help you spark ideas and conversations with your spouse so you can be the family you are called to be. 

We believe that…

      • You have a special and unique grace, given by the sacrament of marriage, to be the best parents for your children. 
      • No matter how great or effective the latest parenting trends are, at the end of the day, you are the one who makes the difference in your child’s life. 
      • You can figure this out!  We are here to help spark a conversation between you and your spouse in order to unleash your distinctive approach to leading your family because there is not one perfect way to be a parent.
      • Parents need encouragement and realistic expectations.  We have walked this parenting road for a long time and we want to help you by sharing our experiences and offering advice.

Just remember – you don’t have to be perfect.  The reality is that marriage and family life is messy but the Catholic family has what the whole world is looking for!

“Each family finds within itself a summons that cannot be ignored and that specifies both its dignity and responsibility: family, become what you are!”
St. John Paul the Great

Meet Our Team!


Alicia Hernon

Alicia, Messy Family Project co-founder, married Mike in 1994, during the most damaging ice storm Philadelphia has ever seen! She’s the second of the ten Doman children and mother to her own ten. Her grandchildren are her greatest joy! She founded a Montessori school in Steubenville, OH in 2011 and still serves on their board. You can find Alicia at home working in her garden, reading and watching football.


Mike Hernon

Mike, co-founder of Messy Family Project and father of ten, lives in Steubenville, OH with his wife, Alicia and their children. He has extensive experience in fundraising, development and politics and currently serves on the local city council. When he’s not doing all things Messy Family Project, you can find Mike enjoying family time, especially with his wonderful grandchildren!


Katie Gamboa

Katie is Mike and Alicia’s oldest daughter, the “guinea pig.” She is married to Jorge and has two beautiful children. Katie manages most of the “behind the scenes” work as the Program Coordinator for the Messy Family Project. When she isn’t working for MFP, you can find her singing karaoke or watching movie marathons with her husband.


Vicky Gardner

Vicky, a military spouse and former FOCUS missionary, lives with her husband, Joe and their four kids in St. Louis, Missouri. They are HUGE Cardinals baseball fans! Despite having a messy house most of the time, Vicky enjoys creating systems to keep things running smoothly and “KonMari” organizing. She serves Messy Family Project as the Project Manager.


Anna Guerin

Anna, Alicia’s youngest sister, has been working with Mike and Alicia for over two years turning their amazing ideas into organized content for publication and marketing. She enjoys creating beautiful and visually stunning designs that capture the heart of the Messy Family Project’s charism. She lives in the greater Philadelphia area with her husband, Dave, and their amazing four boys.


Regina Schmiedicke

Regina, Alicia’s older sister, has ten kids of her own and lives on a homestead in Virginia with her husband Andrew and a handful of cats, dogs, chickens, sheep, pigs, and miniature cattle. Regina writes and edits copy for Messy Family Project while also teaching high school English part time at her parish homeschool co-op, and managing to never get much housework done.