Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in St. Clair Shores, Mich. in a corner house that everyone in my neighborhood knew about and stopped by frequently. I now live in Marine City on the “Babcock compound” where my in-laws and sister-in-law are my neighbors on both sides of me! My family spends lots of quality time together and enjoys sharing in special moments with one another.
Tell us something about your family.
I have a terrific husband, Tommie, who is my better half; a very energetic 3-year-old son, Grayson; and a 12-year-old Vizsla dog, named Red. Tommie and I married in October 2015 but were together for 6 years before marriage. We are currently expecting our second child in January; we’re waiting to find out soon if that bundle of joy will be pink or blue! (I’m hoping for pink to even the girl numbers in the household.)
Why did you choose to be part of the Parenting Program?
When I was entering my bachelor’s degree in Social Work, I attempted to volunteer for the Parenting Program as my student internship. This was before I had my son and since I wasn’t a parent, I was unable to participate.
After I had my son and graduated with my master’s in Social Work, I found that the job I had was fulfilling and didn’t seem to accommodate my family life. When I found out that the Parenting Program was hiring, I instantly applied for the position. I’ve always enjoyed working on a preventative basis and the thought of supporting first-time parents is such valuable and needed work! I truly love and enjoy my job. The best part is helping parents in their adjustment to parenthood and watching them become confident and loving parents. The second best part of my job is the free baby ogles. 🙂
Who or what inspires you?
This is a tough question. I feel that I draw inspiration from multiple areas of my life. I am inspired by anyone who perseveres and fights for what they feel is right in their life. I am inspired by those who take their time to help others who are less fortunate. I am inspired by those who do the extraordinary. I am inspired by children, and works of art and music. I am inspired by extraordinary acts of kindness and pure joy that I see in this world. If I gave names this article would never end. Some of my most inspirational images that I try to model my own life after are Malala Yousafzai, Amelia Earhart, Liz Murray, Nelson Mandela, and more.
What are your hobbies or special interests?
I enjoy delving into a good book, surrounding myself with nature, hiking, camping, and spending time with friends and family. I also enjoy reading inspirational quotes, playing “tickle monster” with my toddler, and when I have more free time, I generally volunteer as well. Hopefully once things calm down after this year (when we move into our new house and welcome baby #2), I can volunteer once more.
What’s your favorite family-friendly destination?
My family loves to travel to Florida; last year we even camped down there. I think this is a great family-friendly destination because of the numerous amount of activities available. You can hit up a free beach; go a historic museum; visit SeaWorld, Disney, the everglades, and more! The last time we went to Florida, we visited a Turtle Rescue to see the turtles recovering that may have been injured due to boating or fishing/trapping occurrences. It was such an amazing thing to witness. And not to mention the nice weather to escape to during a tough Michigan winter.
What’s your favorite movie? Book?
Since I don’t have a favorite movie, I’ll share a couple of my favorite books. “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak is a good read, which is about a young girl who bravely and dangerously steals books during WWII in order to learn to read. “My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult comes in a close second. My favorite parenting book I’ve read so far is “Even June Cleaver Would Forget the Juice Box: Cut Yourself Some Slack (and Raise Great Kids) in the Age of Extreme Parenting” by Anne Dunnewold.
What’s your favorite meal?
My favorite meal has changed over time. It used to be my mom’s homemade spaghetti. Since I’ve had my son, my tastes have changed a little bit and I would have to say a good quinoa, arugula, pine nut, and lemon dressing salad. Sooo yummy!
What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Anything with vanilla, chocolate, or peanut butter. I can easily call it my favorite!
Share something about you that might surprise us
Hmmm … this is a tough one. I think the fact that most family and friends find surprising about me is that my husband and I built our home ourselves. Literally.
My husband has his builder’s license and along with the help of some family and friends (and my great in-laws who let us stay with them), we purchased the supplies and built our home ourselves! My husband did most of the difficult and laborious work and I helped out whenever I could. It took just over three years to complete building but now that we are in the house, we get to enjoy it mortgage free! We feel we are so much more appreciative of our home and the work that it took us to build it. My husband and I married in the backyard, and we love the fact that our two children will be able to say that we hand-built their childhood home!