Where are you from originally?
I was born and raised in a suburb outside of St. Louis, Missouri until I left for College in 2007 to Kansas City, Missouri where I lived for 10 years.
How long have you lived in Newport Beach / Huntington Beach? How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
When my husband and I moved to California four years ago we found a tiny apartment above the garage on the Newport Peninsula and then recently moved to a home in Huntington Beach. We miss living within walking distance to the beach!
We have three girls… Amelia (7), Eleanor (6) and Margot (1). My husband jokes that we only know the recipe for girls.
What are your favorite things to do with your kids in general or in town?
We are a homeschool family so we love spending time outside in nature whether it’s at the beach, on the trails, at a local park, or playing in our neighborhood. You’ll find us outside the majority of the day, all day, every day.
Name 3 things in town you can’t live without.
If I had to pick three things in town that we could not live without it would be the beach, the local pizza spots, and all the parks around us.
What’s your favorite restaurant in town for a family date? A night out with friends or date night? Why?
One of our favorite local restaurants is 2145 Pizza in Costa Mesa. They have, hands down, one of the best pizza crusts out there. And we eat a lot of pizza! You can usually find us there once a week. When we lived on the peninsula our family favorite was Mama D’s! Mama D’s has such a fun family-friendly atmosphere but their pastas and customer service are off the charts good!
What was your go-to activity during quarantine?
I would say quarantine didn’t change too much for us because we continued to find good trails to hike along, hang at the beach and get outside as much as we could. The sun does wonders for our sanity! Hence why we pay so much to live here.
What’s been the biggest change you’ve had to make to adjust to the “new normal”?
We have been extremely lucky to not have so many of the same challenges other families have faced during this pandemic. Mainly because we were already homeschooling and my husband had been working from home for a few years prior. We count our blessings that the “new normal” was already normal for us. I know others have not been so fortunate.
What is your local go-to store for clothes? Furniture? Gifts?
One of my favorite places to shop for clothes personally would be Buffalo Exchange at the Costa Mesa Lab. It’s a more curated buy, sell and trade shop but they always have such cute tops and jeans for great deals! For the girls I usually stick with H&M and Zara because you just can’t pass up those cute corduroys or sweaters that you can’t find anywhere else. For furniture I love to thrift on Facebook Marketplace or OfferUp. Orange County has such a good world of thrifting that I just can’t justify looking anywhere else! Savers, Goodwill, and Target are probably where you’ll find me, but if I had all the money in the world, SEED Peoples Market in Costa Mesa on “The Camp” side would be my spot for sure.
Do you have a favorite destination for family trips? Why?
Our family loves visiting National Parks. There are so many within driving distance for us that it’s been a great way to spend weekends or mini vacations. Our favorites would have to be Yosemite, Sequoia and Joshua Tree. Being outside surrounded by huge trees or rocks really does something to your body and mind. We all feel better being there and getting that good fresh air. Not to mention the views! So breathtaking.
Name a favorite book or podcast? What’s it about/brief description?
I love listening to audiobooks and podcasts while I’m washing dishes or folding laundry. Since we homeschool, The Wild & Free podcast is a personal favorite as well as Unruffled by Janet Lansbury in the parenting category. They give such useful, helpful tips and tools that my family has benefited from greatly. One of my current audiobooks I’ve enjoyed is Emily Ratajkowski’s book My Body. I think any woman could relate to this book in some form or manner. Worth the read! Another book on my list would have to be The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd. It’s a story based on if Jesus had a wife and what her perspective would look like. Very fascinating. Lastly, a fan favorite is always Where the Crawdads Sing. I couldn’t put it down!
What has been the most difficult age with your children to date? What helped you overcome the challenges at that time?
I would say one of the biggest difficulties I have faced in parenting is unlearning the style or ways I was parented. I think we all carry things from our own childhoods that when we look back on we wish our parents could’ve done differently or maybe said in a different way, that maybe they weren’t even aware of. It can be hard to parent from a place of peace and calm when your kids are triggering those wounds, and so really working on myself and my inner child has been freeing in how I handle my kids and their big emotions. It’s hard enough to regulate a child, let alone while you’re trying to regulate yourself. We are all (re)learning and growing, and I pray that grace fills in the gaps that I mess up and make mistakes. Because we all will!
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms? What was the best advice your mom gave you?
One piece of advice I would give to other moms would be to heal those wounds and hurts from your own childhood because 90% of parenting is about us and not them. This will relate to how you respond, handle stress, calm your voice, and process emotions. If we are able to do those things in a healthy way, they will see it and follow. Model what you want for your kids. A clean tidy home? Model it. No yelling? Model it. Generosity to others? Model it. My mom was so good about showing us how to live instead of telling us.
What do you most value in your friends?
In friendship, I value honesty and vulnerability. I don’t want to stay above the surface, I want to talk about what’s really going on, how we can support each other and lift each other up. Motherhood takes community and walking alongside each other, and I value those who ask, listen, and are willing to share their own experiences and wisdom. There’s plenty of room at the table for us to show up as our unique, individual, real selves.
What was your career before having children? If it’s the same, how do you balance career & motherhood?
Before having kids, and up until this fall, I was a Registered Nurse in Cardiac Telemetry and Progressive Care at Hoag Hospital. I took care of mostly post open heart surgery patients and anything heart related. I tried my best to balance motherhood and my career for almost 8 years, but by the end I knew it was my time to take a step back so that I could be fully present with the girls. I would not recommend working full time, homeschooling, and maintaining everything else but you gotta do what you gotta do! Ha. In all honesty, I am so thankful that my husband is able to provide enough for me to stay home now because this is the career that matters most to me in this season of life. All that to say, women who work full time and are mothers are truly heroes in my eyes. The work and sacrifice does not go unnoticed and I hope you see how amazing you are! One day at a time, we show up and give it our all. Women are amazing.
I truly love getting to talk with other women and learn from all the wisdom they bring. I co-lead a Homeschool nature group that meets the 1st Thursday of every month at Canyon Park in Costa Mesa off of Arbor St. It’s a place where moms get to gather while the kids run around and explore and it has become a really beautiful community. If you would like to know more please reach out and I can send you the details.
How do you relax and unwind?
If I’m not roaming the aisle of Whole Foods, sipping a latte from our local coffee shops, Vacancy and Bad Coffee, or eating pizza at 2145 you can usually find me at the beach or sitting on a patio in the sun with a cold drink. Pizza, coffee and La Croix are my (not so guilty) pleasures and if I had to pick a love language, it would always be them. Add a group of friends and I’m a very happy mama.