Meet Elizabeth, a local mom of 3 who, inspired by helping children become the most successful version of themselves, founded OC Speech Services and has never looked back.
Where are you from originally?
Originally, I’m from Ventura, CA. But I’ve lived in Davis, CA when attending UC Davis, and Santa Barbara, CA when I attended UCSB. I also lived in the San Fernando Valley during graduate school.
How long have you lived in Huntington Beach? How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I’ve lived in Huntington Beach for almost 17 years. I have a daughter who’s 16, and two boys ages 13 and 11.
What are your favorite things to do with your kids in general or in town?
My favorite activity is probably playing Just Dance or VR games with the kids at home during the quarantine. Around town we love to go to try new Boba Tea places, getting sushi, or watching my daughter and her step-dad cook for us all restaurant style (and then we all enjoy what they make)!
Name 3 things in town you can’t live without.
Green Drinks from Neckter, beach days and looking for dolphins, and classes at Pure Barre (although I’ve been doing classes virtually since COVID).
What’s your favorite restaurant in town for a family date?
One of our favorite restaurants is probably Red Table in Huntington Beach. We enjoy taking the kids there, sitting outside enjoying the nice Huntington Beach weather. They even allow dogs outside so we can take our whole family!
What has been your go-to activity during quarantine?
Cooking new foods together like homemade ramen or make your own pizza night, lake days (socially distant), playing all the new VR games, and taking lunch breaks at the park. I also loved watching my kids’ new quarantine activity, roller hockey in the front yard, and we have enjoyed watching UFC fights as a family in the living room while eating good food!
What’s the number 1 thing you miss about pre-COVID life?
Big extended family parties, being able to hug and enjoy each other in person, sharing meals, kids having sleepovers with friends, concerts, and watching the kids’ sports and art performances. I also really miss going to Pure Barre in Huntington Beach. I have been going there for almost 10 years and stopped during the pandemic. I am really looking forward to returning now that it’s back open and the world starts to return to normal.
What is your local go-to store for clothes?
I’m not a big shopper (or don’t have much free time) so I like small boutique stores like No Rest For Bridget where I can run in and out with a new outfit or gifts in no time! Furniture? My FAV is Living Spaces!
Do you have a favorite destination for family trips? Why?
Our Favorite destination for family trips is Lake Mohave! My kids are really into wake surfing, family time and letting the dogs swim and chase ducks in the lake. Finding our favorite cove, setting up for the day, making sandwiches and listening to music on our boat is a family favorite!
Name a favorite book or podcast?
Haha! Only free time I have is spent with my family! I’m either working/running a busy practice or with my family. Not much reading or podcasts these days! Hoping to have time to read in the future!
What has been the most difficult age with your children to date? What helped you overcome the challenges at that time?
I don’t think there is any one particular age that was hardest, just individually harder moments came up for them as they transitioned to new schools like middle school/high school. I believe it is so important to give them support when they need it and space and resources to overcome obstacles as they grow. I really focus on helping each of them learn to be independent. I believe resources that helped us were looking to professionals (counselors) when they needed it, extended family, and our close friends to always give my children community to lean on.
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms?
Having a balance between having fun with your kids, while also setting boundaries and teaching responsibility and respect and independence is so important. As a family, you can each help and support each other during difficult times… and when life gets hard, I encourage my kids that we CAN do hard things.
What do you most value in your friends?
Laughing with friends about life’s ups and downs, finding strength in them for my daily struggles and making a life of friends who are family.
What was your career before having children? If it’s the same, how do you balance career & motherhood?
I was in graduate school when I had my daughter. That is when I learned the importance of balancing my intended career with motherhood. I had to lean on family to fill in when I was working. I do my best to create a balance by creating a flexible schedule so I can work and be at home for my children. By owning my own business, I am often grateful to be able to attend the kids’ activities, performances and games. I also know there are times when work can overflow into our time at home, and there is no perfect balance when you are a working mom.
IF and when you get time to yourself, what’s your favorite thing to do?
One of my favorite things to do is to head to Palm Springs with my husband to RELAX. Knowing my kids are happy and having a blast being spoiled by their grandparents makes my time away even more enjoyable. Happy kids equal happy mom! ☺
You mentioned that you own your own business. Can you tell us a little more about what you do?
As a pediatric speech-language pathologist I had a dream of a center where kids could feel safe and get all the therapy they needed under one roof. I started Orange County Speech Services as a labor of love. A business I built from the ground up, inspired by helping children become the most successful version of themselves. This company provides a variety of accessible therapy resources for families all in one welcoming space. A business created through my own trial and error, sacrifice for myself and children, problem solving daily, and risk-taking. It’s filled with late work nights long after the kids went to bed, and above all passion to make it the best center around. My dream was to become a home base and place of advocacy for so many Orange County families. As I grew, I carefully selected a staff over the years (a team of speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and behavioral therapists, along with support team members) to work together to create an invaluable growing space for children of many abilities and needs. A team that sets goals, makes plans, celebrates growth and change (and reworks setbacks). We high-five children as they graduate and walk out the door for the very last time (with some tears in our eyes). A center that re-worked everything during the pandemic, brainstorming new ways to help our families through virtual therapy. We even recently added academic tutoring as a lot of kids have the need after recovering from a year of virtual school.
Thank you Elizabeth! If you or anyone you know could benefit from the services Orange County Speech Services provides (Speech, OT, PT, ABA or academic tutoring), give them a call today at 714-916-0641.