Where did you grow up?
Detroit, Michigan—and not like Kid Rock—actually in the city of Detroit directly across the street from Detroit City Airport.
Tell us something about your family.
My family spends a lot of time going to amusement parks, and chasing down new roller coasters and extreme water slides. We put our son on his first roller coaster when he was 18 months old—the classic “Jackrabbit” at Kennywood Park in Pennsylvania. We’ve even stood in line for hours to be among the first to ride a new coaster. We love going to new parks and sharing the time together.
Why did you choose to be part of the Parenting Program?
I joined a group as a new mom because I had recently lost my Mom and I knew I could use some help. I chose to volunteer as a group leader for the BPP because the experience of being in a group was the single, most important influence on my parenting and I wanted to help other parents have that opportunity. I chose to work for the program because I was given the opportunity to hold the very best job in the world—keeping babies safe, and giving their parents the tools to continue keeping them safe.
Who or what inspires you?
Everyone says this, but my family inspires me. My oldest child, Katie, is a brave, independent, old soul. She inspires me to step outside my comfort zone. My son, Austin, is a joyful, exuberant, brand new soul. He inspires me to try to find happiness in everything. My youngest child, CJ, is a graceful, loving, creative little pixie, and she inspires me to put my heart into everything I do. My husband is the best man I have ever met, and he inspires me to be a better person.
What are your hobbies or special interests?
I love to bake (but not really to cook), and I love to read. I still read “family books” aloud to my husband and kids, usually on road trips. My husband says I’m their “books on tape.”
What’s your favorite family-friendly destination?
What’s your favorite movie? Book?
My favorite book is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – closely followed by everything else ever written by Diana Gabaldon.
What’s your favorite meal?
Deep dish pizza from Giordano’s in Chicago.
What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Double Dark Chocolate from Marble Slab Creamery.
Share something about you that might surprise us.
I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was married. I started dating my husband shortly after I turned 16, so I always had a ride. I started college at barely 17, and graduated when I was 20. My husband and I got married shortly thereafter (as soon as I turned 21). After the honeymoon, he taught me how to drive, and that’s when I got my license.