We are starting a new feature called 5 Minutes with Mom where we will feature local Moms in Northeast Wisconsin. My hope is that these little stories will be inspiring and fun and other moms will be able to relate. We aren’t alone on this ride!
Tell us about your family
I’ve been married for 13 years to my fabulous husband Chad (I’m still crazy about him), and we have two daughters—Clara (age 8, third grade) and Noelle (age 5, kindergarten). We live in Neenah, where Chad’s parents grew up, so there’s a lot of family heritage here. The only thing missing is a Target.
What is one must have for your family?
We’re a family of faith, so I’d have to say our one must-have is Jesus. I love my family and I have great intentions to treat them with love and gentle respect, yet I still mess up all the time as a wife and mom. So we need God’s grace and guidance to get through every day.
Describe a typical day in your world.
I thought I’d have all sorts of free time once my girls were both in full-time school, but so far that hasn’t been the case! On weekdays I’m up before the sun getting my girls ready for school, then I drop them off and head back home to tackle the freelance writing and blogging projects on my desk, plus I’m working on promoting my upcoming book, The SuperMom Myth: Conquering the Dirty Villains of Motherhood. That has been great fun but very, very busy!
I do make sure I find time to read my Bible during the day, plus I try to block out an hour or two on occasion for a lunch or coffee date with friends. A couple days a week you can usually find me volunteering at school for art class, computer class, Ready Reader or chapel. When the clock strikes 3, I’m off to the carpool line to pick up my chickadees. Then you know what happens next—the homework, supper, piano practice and prep-for-the-next-day routine. It’s a pretty ordinary mom life, yet filled with great blessings if I train my eyes to see them.
What has surprised you most about motherhood?
Ha! What hasn’t surprised me about motherhood? The picture I had in my head about what motherhood would look like was definitely unrealistic. I have found that parenting holds greater frustrations AND deeper joys than I ever could have imagined. The biggest surprise for me was probably how much selflessness parenting would require, especially when it came to sleep deprivation. And I had no idea I was an impatient person until motherhood tested my patience!
Finish the Sentence: I wish someone had told me _____.
The newborn stage is hard. I walked into it thinking it was supposed to be pure joy, and it was not. If someone had validated my heartache as normal, I might have enjoyed those early months more.
What is your family’s favorite things to do in the area?
We love to visit local playgrounds! The valley is full of them, and my girls are determined to test every set of monkey bars in the greater Appleton area. My husband and I also enjoy surprising our girls with “pajama runs,” which are spontaneous outings for ice cream at the end of a random day. There are lots of places in the valley to get a good sundae. Cherry on Top in Neenah is one of our favorites.
What is something your friends might not know about you?
I’m a professional writer, but I never learned how to type. I can do about 60 words a minute using my own two-fingers-per-hand memory system, but if I ever get struck with some sort of amnesia brain-block, my career is ruined. (Don’t tell my publisher.)
What is something you have always wanted to learn?
Photography! I’d like to take my fancy DSLR camera off the automatic setting and still shoot something worth looking at.
How do you relax at the end of the day?
I curl up on our oversized chair in the family room with my laptop to write. Or I read the latest fiction pick for my book club. Or I watch a television show with my husband. We’re currently on a Longmire kick on Netflix.
One word to sum you up…
What are 3 things you always have with you?
My phone, Burt’s Bees caramel lip shimmer, and my children’s hearts. They are a part of me.
What is the first thing on your Christmas list this year?
A nap! And a Kitchen Aide mixer. In that order.