Meet A Mom: Marla Yates- Noonday Collection and Sportball North Houston | Kingwood Moms

Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Kingwood?
I was born and raised in Vicksburg, MS. Honestly, I never intended to leave MS. But after meeting Tim (now my husband for almost 11 years) on e-harmony and dating long distance between Houston and MS for 9 months, I made the move to be closer to him in 2006. I’ve been in the HKA area ever since!

Picture by Tiffany Harston Photography

Child(ren) and Age(s)? We have 4 children, Marlie (10), Reed (7), Marissa (5), and Aaron (4). Aaron came home through international adoption from China in 2016.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you… it’s usually that I have hearing aids and without them am VERY hard of hearing OR that I have a few heart issues that weren’t discovered until I was an adult. I found out at age 30 that I have a progressive hearing disorder called otosclerosis. Hearing aids do not compensate as well as say contacts correct vision, so I still don’t hear as well as I once did. I often feel the need to tell people I’ve just met that I wear aids so they won’t think that I’m just not listening when I miss words. Due to the heart issues, I’ve seen the inside of hospitals and ICUs more than the average person.

What is your go-to activity for yourself for pampering or for fun?
I enjoy getting pedicures, a very rare massage, and for fun, I have a mom friend who I meet (not often enough) for margaritas at Chachi’s to catch up with each other’s lives!

Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
Well yes, I have two businesses! After our journey to adopt I was on FIRE to help orphans. My eyes had been opened to the fact that 90% of the 140 million orphans of the world were “social orphans,” meaning that they have parents who can’t take care of them due to poverty, lack of affordable medical care, and more. Shortly after I learned of Noonday Collection, an Austin-based, socially-responsible business that uses fashion to create meaningful economic opportunities in over 15 countries. AND, the company supports adopting families here in the U.S.! After hosting a fundraising trunk show for an adopting family, I KNEW this was how I could wear the hat of a homeschooling mama and impact the orphan crisis on BOTH sides- prevention and adoption! I partnered with Noonday Collection as an Ambassador in 2017. Last year, my customers provided a year’s worth of dignified work and fair wages to 3 artisans and we helped 9 adopting families fundraise!

Our family business is Sportball North Houston, which I co-own with my husband Tim Yates, affectionately referred to as “Daddy Coach” around the house and “Coach Tim” in Sportball classes! As a volunteer coach for the YMCA and Upward for the last several years, he saw a great need for children to learn the fundamentals and develop their individual skills, like dribbling in basketball for example, BEFORE joining teams where the goal is to play as a team. Makes sense, right?! Sportball has been in business in Canada for over 20 years and in January we brought it to Houston! Sportball offers methodology-based sports instruction for children 16 months-12 years old. Our star program is our multi-sport program (read: 8 sports in one registration) which provides an amazing foundation for a lifetime of active living in one package! Because we use developmentally appropriate methods, Sportball classes are great for EVERYONE! We welcome all children—those who are active in leagues but want to develop skills during the offseason, those who just want to build confidence so they can play with friends in the backyard, and children who have special needs!

How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now? Oh my, well I moved here not knowing anyone other than Tim and felt so alone at first. Soon after I joined our local church and local Bible Study Fellowship, where some of my deepest relationships were formed. It has been these ladies and families that have been there for us through sicknesses, pregnancies, adoption, and job loss with prayers, meals, showers, gifts and more! Now, these same people are our greatest cheerleaders and supporters for our businesses! Friendship really is invaluable!

What would you tell the old “You” before you had kids?
I would encourage myself to enjoy the adult-before-kids stage and to not wish it away being so eager for the next season of life. I’ve learned from the seasons I’ve lived through, and believe it to be the case for the ones to come, that each season brings its own amount of joy, sadness, hopes, and disappointments, and to embrace each as it comes. For instance, there are many things that I would like to do one day when my family needs less of my focus, so instead of a “bucket list,” I keep a “empty nest” list. I know I will have all the feels when that day arrives, but I want to see the good in it too, and have a list of fun waiting for me!

What is the best advice for juggling mommyhood and running a business (or volunteering,
working, etc)?  Be flexible and give yourself and others lots of GRACE. Also, know that you can’t do it all, all at the same time. Again, there are seasons of life where parenthood, business, health, etc demand more time and energy than the others, and that is OK.

Greatest gift about being a mom?
I think there are many, but I can narrow it down to two. 1) The Lord uses my kids and parenting to sanctify me, showing me how I am so much like them in making mistakes as well as teaching me about His love for me as His child. 2) I love watching my kids learn new things and overcome struggles! We homeschool and teaching my kids to read and seeing them become independent readers is so exciting!

Best mom hack that makes momming easier?
Each season (of a year or just of our family) I create a monthly menu. I take into consideration which nights NEED to be slow-cooker nights, which nights I can stand over the stove or wait for something to bake, and then I plug many of our favorites in accordingly, about every other night because I plan/prepare for leftovers, which means less cooking. I also throw one or two “try something new” nights in there. Then I stick to it if at all possible! No more daily/weekly meal planning, which is one of my least favorite chores!

What’s your favorite part about what you do?
I shared my favorite part of homeschooling above. My favorite parts of being an Ambassador with Noonday are helping families raise money to adopt, meeting new women at trunk shows, but once I travel to Guatemala this summer to meet our artisan partners there, I’m thinking it may give those some competition! My favorite part about being co-owner of Sportball is watching my husband use his passion for sports and his fun personality towards coaching kids and seeing them love Coach Tim in return!

Marla Yates
Noonday Collection Independent Ambassador
Email: [email protected]

Marla & Tim Yates
Sportball North Houston

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