Photographer: JENNIFER WILLARD PHOTOGRAPHY | Location: DEWBERRY PLANTATION IN BULLARD, TEXAS | April-June 2017
“Treasure every moment because it truly does fly by.”
3 words to describe your family:
Genuine, loving, connected
3 words to describe yourself:
Focused, loyal, determined
Tell us about your children:
Caroline is 7 and a 2nd grader at Owens Elementary. She is very thoughtful, bright, social and has a huge heart for others. She loves to read and play games. Casen is 5 and will be starting kindergarten next year. He is funny, sweet, loves life and is always getting into something. He loves riding his bike, scooter or doing just about anything outside.
Tell us about your husband:
Daniel and I have been married 12 years. He is the hardest working person I know. He is very thoughtful and an amazing father and husband. He owns his own landscape business and that keeps him very busy. He is very creative and often makes up new games for us to play as a family. He is definitely the “fun” parent.
What is your favorite item in your closet:
Definitely my flip-flops or tennis shoes. After a day in heels, nothing is better than getting into comfortable shoes when I get home!
Best thing about being a mom:
I would say one of the best things about being a mom at this stage is that your sweet, precious children think you are awesome … even when you make a mistake. I’m sure that will change when they get older, but I love the way that they think I’m just the best! And the hugs – moms get the BEST hugs!
Favorite thing to do with your children:
I love to spend time together as a family away from the “hectic-ness” of everyday life. I love to vacation with the kids and just spend time playing games, etc.
What is your family’s favorite meal:
Our kids would say any time I make macaroni and cheese. They would eat it every day if we would let them! Other than that, I’d have to say my homemade lasagna.
What is your favorite thing about East Texas:
I love all of the beautiful flowers and trees! There are so many different types of plants that grow well in East Texas and I think they are beautiful! I also love the friendly people of East Texas.
Do you have any advice for new moms:
Don’t sweat the small stuff. It is so funny looking back at the way I did things when we first had Caroline. Moms are truly crazy those first few months! It really will be ok if they drop their pacifier and you don’t completely sanitize it before putting it back in their mouth! I would also tell them to treasure every moment because it truly does FLY by! It seems like yesterday that we were bringing them home from the hospital.
How do you juggle working and being a mom:
Very carefully! I’m not perfect … or even close. I think you need to know your limitations and not over-book yourself, but it is VERY possible to do both. It’s important to have a network of people, especially other working moms, who help support and encourage you. I’m very lucky to work for a company who is family friendly and I’ve always had supervisors that allowed some flexibility as needed to attend a school party or special event. It’s amazing what you can get done on your lunch hour!
Best advice for working moms:
Don’t be too hard on yourself. There will come a time where you will disappoint someone … spouse, child, co-worker, friend. We aren’t perfect, but just ask for forgiveness and move on! Find ways to be involved with your children. One of my favorite things is to volunteer in the classroom once every few weeks/months. Just spend 30 minutes in the classroom and you’ll be amazed! Your child will love it and it will help you build a relationship with the teacher and be exposed to what your children are doing during the day.
Best parenting or life advice you have been given:
Raise your children to know the Lord and lead by example. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Words to live by:
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”
Best marriage advice you’ve received:
Always put God first, spouse second, and children third. It is hard, especially when kids are young, to not put them before your spouse. They just need you SO much. However, there will come a day when the kids will be gone and you will be thankful that your spouse is your best friend. You must make your relationship a priority.
Jill Kinsley is the Executive Vice President – Director of Bank Operations at Southside Bank in Tyler.