Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
My dad was in the military, so we moved around every couple of years. Virginia has always been home, since it is where my parents’ families live and we were stationed throughout the state several times. My grandparents live in Richmond, and I went to college here, so it was as close to a “hometown” as I had growing up. I moved back into the area in 2013, and I’ve loved raising my kids in RVA since!
Children and Ages?
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I really enjoy Vegemite sandwiches. I had a tremendous group of friends from Australia and they introduced me to it. A delicacy that’s not for everyone, but I love it! #happylittlevegemite
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
Definitely my mom and dad! I did the single mom bit for a few years, and I can’t imagine going through that without them and their support. Even beyond that, they have been such a tremendous resource and model for life. As a kid, you don’t think you want your parents to live as close to you as humanly possible, but now even the 7-minute drive to their house sometimes seems too far. They are like a second set of parents to our kids (everything is more fun at Nanny and Grandad’s house!), and the advice they dispense has always been invaluable. I really hit the lottery with my folks!
Favorite things to do with your kids?
Anything outdoors! Exercise is really important to my husband and I, and we’re trying to instill the same in our kids. My oldest daughter has been running some of the one-mile kids’ runs in the past year, and it’s been fun helping her train and going on runs together. My youngest daughter is about to kick the training wheels on her bike, and we have a great time speeding about the neighborhood. Some of the smaller things that I really enjoy are cooking with the kids, too, because it brings back so many memories of cooking with my mom and my grandmother. Connecting the things I love with the kids and seeing them love it, as well, is really heartwarming.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
I work at my alma mater, University of Richmond, and just hit my 5 year work anniversary there! It’s incredible getting to go to work in a place where you feel so passionately about the mission, has such a gorgeous campus, and helps you to successfully balance work and your personal life, health, and well-being. I work with our alumni database which enables me both to nerd out with my love of a good Excel spreadsheet and also to stay connected with my fellow alumni. I love being able to help build the Spider community. I also volunteer with my daughter’s Girl Scout troop and find that it has been a great way to continue to connect with her, reminisce upon my own experiences as a Daisy and Brownie, and make sure my girl has a sweet selection of Girl Scout badges.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
Richmond has really defined itself as what it means to be “home.” I’m 34 and have lived in 17 different homes. I’m hitting a new record now for “longest in one house” with almost 4 years in one place. Growing up in a military family taught me a lot about adapting to new places, but didn’t give me a lot in planning long-term in one place. It’s odd, yet refreshing, to be able to tell my children with any degree of certainty where they will attend school or to be able to even say, “So-and-so might be in your class next year.” That just wasn’t something that I knew. I love the diversity of people and of opportunities that our community has that keeps the idea of this sort of permanence of location from getting stale. Certainly there’s always room to grow in these areas, but it’s fun to be part of it as it grows and evolves. University of Richmond has definitely served as a foundation for this concept for me, as well. It’s been fun being able to come back and see some of the familiar faces that I knew when I was in college. This feeling of family and community has helped me to better connect with others and to help define what it means to be part of the area and not just someone who is passing through.