Tell us a little bit about you and your family! Where did you grow up? How long have you lived in Annapolis?
I have two kiddos – AJ is 12 and Penelope is 3! I am originally from GA. I moved back and forth a few times from 2001 – 2008, but have been here full-time since 2008. My stepfather is a retired Naval Commander, so my mom originally made the move for him and we all eventually followed.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I am a classically trained ballerina. I danced my entire youth from 3 years old to high school.
What’s your favorite family activity to do in the area?
Food anywhere on the water! My son has an impressively mature palette and he’ll eat just about anything. My daughter’s favorites can be found just about anywhere. We love the time together and soaking up the best food and views Annapolis has to offer.
What have you learned from your children?
Patience. They don’t call your name 50 times to be annoying – they genuinely want/need your help. They aren’t throwing a tantrum to drive you crazy – they just don’t know how to regulate and communicate their emotions. Having more patience has forced me to slow down, get on their level and just listen and assist. I have been able to translate this into adult relationships with friends and colleagues.
Best advice for mom guilt?
JUST DON’T. I know it’s hard, but just don’t. Find supportive friends and family that understand. Just do what you need for yourself and constantly remind yourself that you’re a better mom for it.
Who has most influenced you to be the mom you are today?
Cliché – my mom. She is the strongest, truly fiercest woman I have ever met. She is a boss, literally, at work, and has done so all while being an amazing and present mother. She is proof that you can run things at work and still show up for your children anytime you are wanted or needed by your children or spouse. She does this without losing the respect she has earned in the workplace. I think society makes us think we can’t do both without falling short on one or both areas of our life.
What’s something you love that’s just for you?
Nail day, I go every other weekend, no kids, and just take care of myself. It’s so easy to lose yourself after becoming a parent, but I pride myself on never letting that portion of selfcare go. I realize the importance of not just having nails done, but more so the time to myself and feeling good about it.
Best mom advice that makes your life easier.
Being honest with my kids. I am not a sugar coater; kids understand more than we give them credit for. They don’t want the vaccine at their check-up? Tell them about the illness it prevents. My son now looks forward to it! Tired? Tell them! Tell them why you’re tired, tell them what you need, tell them why you think it will help, and tell them it’ll be better if they help.
Greatest gift about being a mom?
I am their favorite person and there is no greater feeling! They are trusting me to care for them, raise them, and love them unconditionally. It feels great knowing even on the rough days – all they want from me is a snuggle.
Name something you hope your children look back and remember about their childhood and you as their mama.
I am always there, and always will be. There is nothing that they could do to make me love them less. I hope that they remember the fun that we have, the life I have built for them, and the love they get every day.
You’re a Senior Associate Interior Designer at Kimmel Studio Architects. How did you get to your career today?
I always wanted to do Interior Design. My mother was raised by a Home Economics teacher who was also a seamstress and caterer. Growing up, our home was always well designed with custom upholstered pieces, window treatments and fine finishes. My Father was in high-end Real Estate and always brought us along on commercial projects that were beyond my wildest dreams! Between the two of them, I was inspired to enter the industry in my own way.
What is your top design tip for busy parents? And finally, please share your time-saving mom hack that streamlines your mornings!
Kids don’t play with things they can’t see – “out of sight, out of mind”. So put their items on open shelves or in clear bins within reaching distance. Pre-pair outfits on hangers and let your kids pick which one to wear every day. It’ll help keep their appearance parent approved and make mornings less stressful!
We love to support local businesses! What are your favorite local places to:
Get coffee: Curate & Bitty & Bows
Go on a date night: Lewnes
Go out for a girls night: Parley, Dry 85 & Fox’s Den
Go out to dinner as a family: Severn Inn – the viewwwwwwws
Get your hair done: Blush Hair Studios – Sierra <3
Shop for your kids: Wheat on Main Street in Annapolis
Get your nails done: Annapolis Nails & Spa – Lily & Holly
Have fun as a family: Quiet Waters – Dog Park, Downtown Ice Cream – Kilwins, Navy Lacrosse games
Kimmel Studio Architects is an award-winning full-service architecture firm based in Annapolis. Specializing in Master Planning, Architecture, Interior Design, Interior Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Visualization and Construction Administration, their team acts as a one-point administrator for all your Commercial and Residential project needs. Find Kimmel Studio Architects designs throughout the country.