Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Kingwood?
I grew up in the New Orleans area and went to college at LSU in Baton Rouge. My husband is a Baton Rouge native so we stayed in Baton Rouge for 10 years before his job transferred us to Kingwood in October of 2013.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
William is 6 years old (turning 7 this summer) and Olivia is 5. When we moved here, William was 16mos and I was 7mos pregnant with Olivia. It’s still crazy to me to think that our youngest has never lived in our home of Louisiana.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
My dream job would be to own and operate a small community business. I so admire the entrepreneurial spirit it requires and love how, when done right, they become an integral part of the community. Kingwood has such a strong small business culture and I love that about where we live.
What is your go-to activity for yourself for pampering or for fun?
I used to think spa days were cliché but fast forward to two kids and our crazy schedules and I get simply giddy every time I get to do one. In between, I usually just take my sweet time getting ready – like really take my time – even though it’s not a complicated process. My kids know to leave mom alone when she’s getting ready so I usually get to enjoy my coffee (or wine if we are going out), listen to music and just enjoy the solitude while pampering a bit.
Funniest shortcut/routine for helping you through parenthood?
My kids will often sleep in whatever they want to wear to school the next day. Not my idea but I’m totally cool with it. It makes my mornings so much easier. Also, I try not to have too much of an opinion about what they wear which can lend itself to some pretty creative outfits. J In the grand scheme of things, the clothing choices they make (provided they are seasonally appropriate) are just not the priority over other things and it’s been nice letting go of those arguments in the morning.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
I work in marketing for Chipotle Mexican Grill, focusing on more regional work that supplements what is happening at the national level. My 10-year marketing career has always been in the restaurant industry. I especially appreciate how the everchanging industry and culture shifts allow me to constantly be challenged and not feel too stagnant. I’ve always been field based which means I work from home and that works really well for us in balancing our family life as well.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
I’m always down for adventures so I was excited about making the move to TX 5 years ago. That said, our first year here was very difficult for a number of personal reasons – we moved when I was 7 mos pregnant so I had a newborn + toddler and was adjusting to life raising kids with no family to help. I missed my village. I missed our busy social life too. New jobs for my husband and I and it was the year I lost my father. It was the biggest transition year of my life and a very tough one.
I threw myself into meeting new people and being proactive about establishing new friendships. You know how you casually meet someone and it ends with, “we should get together some time” but then no one makes the move to make it happen. I committed to making that move, inviting new friends over for dinner, lunch meetups, meet at the swimming pool, etc. Anything to hang out more and establish new friends. It felt a little uncomfortable at first but it worked! I will be forever grateful to two specific friends I made that way who really helped me find my footing here.
I try to make sure I offer that to new moms when they move here as well. I remember that first year and how tough it was establishing a sense of “home” here. If I can help just one person make a fast friend and adjust, I feel like I’m paying it forward.
What is the best advice for juggling mommyhood and running a business (or volunteering,working, etc)?
I learned a hard lesson at a previous job about balancing work and family. I started there when I had no kids so I was much more readily available. Once I had my oldest, I needed to pull back with the shift in priorities, it was hard given that it required an expectation shift of those I worked with as well. From that point on, with any new job or a new boss, I’ve learned to communicate very clearly up front the importance of work/family balance and what that looks like for me. And if that version of balance doesn’t work for them, then I’m not the right candidate for them and this isn’t the right job for me. I’ve been very lucky that each of my managers in my career has been very understanding about that and my husband and I feel like we’ve got a really good balance between the two.
What would you tell the old “You” before you had kids?
I’m not sure I would drop any nuggets of information to be honest. I feel like the way my life has played out has brought me to where we are today. Lately, I’m just having an overwhelming sense of in this current season of life. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the journey getting here and excited to see where we go but at the end of the day, I’m just focused on being so very appreciative of where are in this moment.
What is your proudest mommy moment?
It is incredibly important for me that at the end of the day, my kids are kind. I’m watching them interact with friends, new ones and friends they’ve had for years, and even with friends that are different from them and seeing them respond to friends kindly and with empathy just makes me so proud. It’s not perfect 100% of the time and is something we will continue to emphasize as they grow but I’m so proud of who they are becoming.
Greatest gift about being a mom?
I have sensitive kids that lends itself to pretty regular affirmations of love from them and seeing how they still need and trust me. They feel so deeply as such a young age. That relationship is such a special one.
I also really appreciate how having kids has deepened my relationship with my husband – how I love him deeper for how he loves and teaches our children and how we have created this life together.
Best mom hack that makes momming easier?
My husband started doing the grocery shopping because I’m not the greatest at staying on budget – I’m a sucker for impulse shopping. This also makes sense because he does most of the cooking around here which is more common for Louisiana natives. It frees me up to focus on all the other things in the evenings. We make a pretty great team.
We also meal prep which has been a game changer! Most of the proteins get cooked/grilled on the weekend and we opt for easy sides that we can throw together quickly during the week.
Lastly, we are pretty strict about their somewhat earlier bedtime. It not only ensures they get up in the morning easier and in better moods but it’s important for my husband and I to have some time to be with each other without the kids, too.
What’s your favorite part about what you do?
Aside from the constant growth, I really enjoy the psychology behind marketing strategy and understanding what motivates people what they care about and then using that to get them to feel a certain way or change a behavior.
What is your favorite thing to do in the HKA area?
I’m always on the lookout for special events that are taking place around the area and we try to hit the ones that sound like the most fun. We are really enjoying our kids sports leagues right now, too. The kids are loving their respective sports and I’m enjoying the social side of it for the parents. I’ll take any reason to meet new friends.