“We can learn so much about how to live our life through our children.”
Photos by JENNIFER WILLARD PHOTOGRAPHY // Location at THE CHAPEL AT TEA BERRY FARMS IN JACKSONVILLE, TX
3 words to describe your family:
Authentic, Caring, Team Players
3 words to describe yourself:
Hardworking, Organized, Determined
Tell us about your children:
Vivianne is our oldest and will turn six this summer. She is our most easy-going, eager-to-please child. She loves dancing, singing and anything artistic. After Viv we thought we had the parenting thing figured out and were breezing through. Then came our middle child, Charlie, who is four and a half years old. He has a sweet, sensitive soul but is our most spirited. He has kept us on our toes. He’s so smart and loves everything soccer. Our baby, Robbie, will turn three at the end of the summer. He is all boy and loves to be outside. He is our daredevil and is always looking to get a laugh out of us. It’s so amazing how you can have three children with the same genetic makeup but with such different personalities and looks, who together make your family complete.
Tell us about your husband:
Charlie and I have been married seven and a half years and we have worked together in the same clinic for seven of those years while raising a family at home together. He has patience for our children and me that I could only wish to have. Charlie is an amazing husband, father and pediatrician. I love that he cares for his patients the same way he cares for his family. He has such an easy-going positive attitude. There’s no way our family would run without him, especially with both of us working outside the home. He is all in at night with dinner, baths, books and spending special time with the kids.
What is your favorite item in your closet:
My wedding dress that is boxed away and hasn’t been opened since our wedding day. It’s symbolic of the love we started with and the love that has grown so much over the past eight years. A part of me probably also hopes that some day Vivianne will want some part of it to be a part of her wedding day.
Best thing about being a mom:
Definitely the never-ending love and forgiveness. I can fail multiple times in a day with the kids and they love me unconditionally. We can learn so much about how to live our life through our children.
Favorite thing to do with your children:
I wait anxiously every week for the weekend and cannot wait until Saturday morning arrives. We love to cook a big breakfast, lounge around the house, play outside in the sprinkler or take trips to the zoo. We love days just filled with time outside together.
We enjoy taking trips together and showing the kids new things and new experiences, but those relaxing days at home top any experience every time.
What is your family’s favorite meal:
We love poppyseed chicken at our house. It’s the one meal all five of us will eat every single time.
What is your favorite thing about East Texas:
Being born and raised in South Texas, I didn’t know anything about East Texas until we moved here seven years ago. I love the small-town feel, even with the growing population. You can’t go shopping in town without running into people you know or making new friends. The hills and dogwoods get me every spring while driving to and from Jacksonville. It’s just so peaceful here.
Do you have any advice for new moms:
1. Trust your instincts. You can read every book, blog, or parenting website out there but every baby is different and each family has different wants/needs, so trust yourself during those many times when you question everything you’re doing. You are doing it right! We have all been there! Even with years of training between Charlie and I, when we brought Vivi home there was so much we had to figure out as we went.
2. Find a tribe of other mothers that are there for you on the good days and bad days without judgment. Go to get coffee with them, go to play dates, and also go out without the kids to get a break. That tribe renews your soul.
3. Take time away with your partner whether it be for a few hours or days. It is so important to reconnect without the craziness of parenting.
How do you juggle working and being a mom:
Working outside the home is such a huge part of who I am. I love being a pediatric nurse practitioner; I love and treat my families like my own. It was such an important thing for me to continue working outside the home after having children but it was not an easy transition. That eternal mom guilt that every mom has no matter what the situation is always present. I have learned that balance, organization and time management are key.
The biggest thing that helps me throughout the week is keeping work and home separate. I really try to be present at work and out of mommy mode. At home I am all mom and I also try to not bring any work home so that I can completely concentrate on my family in the evenings.
Best parenting or life advice you have been given:
When I was pregnant, one of my friends told me the good/fun stages fly by fast and to embrace them and the hard stages pass quickly, too, so don’t dwell on them. Try to enjoy and learn in every fleeting stage.
Words to live by:
It’s okay to NOT do it all.
Try not to get caught up in all that you haven’t done but instead look at all you have accomplished. As a parent it’s hard sometimes to not feel defeated after a long day, but take a step back and look at the beauty through the clouds. This is definitely a daily struggle for me.
Best marriage advice you’ve received:
Right after little Charlie was born only 15 months after Vivianne, one of our friends told me to remember to maintain a relationship outside of the kids. Taking a little time each day to talk about non-kid related things has been so important for us these last six years.
Best thing that happened in 2017 so far:
After a health scare in 2016, we are so thankful for a healthy 2017. It has been a blessed year for us so far!!