Jackie is a wife, mama, and your trusted neighborhood Realtor. We loved getting the chance to learn how deep her roots run here in AACO and her favorite parts of motherhood. Read on to learn more about Jackie’s mom must-haves and how she took a giant leap of faith in her career that paid off big time.
You’re a mama, of course! How many kiddos do you have and how old are they?
I have three little girls – 5, almost 3, and 14-months.
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Annapolis? What made you decide to live here?
I grew up in Gaithersburg – Montgomery County – Maryland. I moved to Anne Arundel County (Crofton) in 2012 – my husband grew up there. He proposed at the Annapolis waterfront in 2013 and the rest is history. In 2014, we bought our first home in Severna Park and we have lived here ever since 😊 We actually just purchased a brand new home in our neighborhood, we love it so much!
What’s your favorite family activity to do in the Annapolis area?
We love to take the girls on hikes and to the AA County parks. There are so many outdoor places for fun and we like to spend a lot of time outside. We also really enjoy dining out – be it crazy with three kiddos – and can’t wait to resume going out to eat! We recently visited Downs Park and loved being by the water and a playground – what a gem!
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in the Annapolis area?
We have three “beaches” in our community and that is priceless! I didn’t grow up by the water so being able to raise my girls in a water-privileged community is amazing. We love going to the beach and hope to one day get a boat of our own. Our neighborhood has Friday Fun Nights by the water and the whole family loves them. We are ready for summertime!
Greatest gift about being a mom?
The greatest gift about being a mom is honestly inexplicable. Finding out how much you can truly love someone and watch your heart(s) outside of your body is surreal. Its nothing short of chaos, but I literally want to bottle up these moments as they go.
Sometimes I feel like I can’t even hear myself think when the girls are slightly wired. That can be really hard. It has forced me to prioritize things that serve me. It helps remind me that if I don’t take care of myself, physically, emotionally, mentally, all the ways, that I cannot adequately care for others and that’s imperative.
Where’s your favorite place to eat and/or shop around Annapolis?
Severn Inn is very special to me. Its just absolutely gorgeous with the water and the views of the Naval Academy Bridge. The first restaurant my husband’s parents and my father met and we all dined together. It was an unforgettable night. My local favorite is Garry’s Grill in Severna Park and Otani in Crofton is an all-time favorite for sushi.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
People would likely be surprised to hear that I grew up a die-hard Yankees fan. Baseball was big in my life as a child and I will always hold that dear to my heart. My father was very close with Joe Torre and I call that stage the “Yankee Years.” We attended galas, batting practice, World Series games – it was amazing.
What’s something you love that’s just for you?
In the past year, I have started running for exercise. I hadn’t run routinely since probably high school which was a million years ago. I needed a workout that was just for me but that was “condensed” – since time is a true commodity – and committed to it. It is so hard to do some days but it truly makes me feel better and stronger and that is what matters.
Best mom hack that makes your life easier?
The Instant Pot has changed my life! I try to meal prep breakfast for the week occasionally. I started making an egg & bacon casserole on Sunday nights and it has been a proven mom hack. Bacon, eggs, salt, and pepper baked at 350 for 30-minutes. In the mornings, I just cut into pieces and re-heat. Super helpful and everyone loves it. Most days 😊
Best advice for mom guilt?
Mom guilt is so so so so real. Am I doing the right thing being a working mom? How do I balance? Is everyone getting what they need? Do I really need to work right now or should I take them to the park? What is the priority? These questions literally go through my mind constantly. I don’t know the cure for mom guilt but I do know that I am here for it.
Who has most influenced you to be the mom you are today?
My own mom has been so supportive of my girls and my family in the recent years and it means so much to me. My father passed suddenly when I was 27-weeks pregnant with my 3rd daughter and that was life-changing. I think Ayla is a gift we didnt know we needed.
Name something you hope your children look back and remember about their childhood and you as their mama.
I just hope that my girls always know they deserve the best and not to stop short. If I could do anything, I would instill confidence. I know they will need to experience pain as a part of life and things will hurt me more than they hurt them, but I just want them to always know they are loved immensely.
You’re a Realtor in the area! How did you choose your career?
I am a Realtor! My first job out of college (Towson University in Baltimore) was a Leasing Agent for an apartment & townhouse community. I worked in residential property management – apartments – for 12-years, climbing up the corporate ladder. I learned so much. My mother-in-law has been a Realtor for a very long time and I took an interest. I had my second daughter in Feb of 2018 and spent my entire maternity leave literally agonizing over whether or not I was “strong enough” to make a change. Could I take a risk? Leaving a steady schedule and reliable paycheck? I finally decided there is no perfect time and to be brave. I have been full-time for 2.5 years and am so grateful that I decided to take the risk. I get to help people and families invest and sell real estate and I truly feel like its my calling (my second calling – being a mama is first).
Being a Realtor, I am entirely referral-based. I work hard on marketing but have always had a knack for talking to people and building relationships. My clients become my friends and I truly can not thank my network enough for the referrals. Please keep them coming – we have three kids to raise 😊
How has your community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
My networks here in AA County have been instrumental in my success and I pride myself on customer service. People say it takes 2-years sometimes to profit in real estate and I have exceeded my goal. Staying focused on the big picture allows me to navigate clients through these huge purchases and sales and we work together.
How does being a mom yourself impact your business?
Being a working mom is hard. Its literally all about juggling. Sometimes I feel like I am a walking juggling act. Just doing the next right thing and picking up all the pieces. I understand being a mom and other moms and all types of moms. I relate!!
What advice would you share with other mothers who are thinking of making a career change?
Advice to mothers looking to make a career change – I guess this advice is pretty general. What I have learned in the last few years – specifically 18-months – is that life is short. Not to be cheesy but there is no perfect time for anything and time doesn’t stop ticking. Do it. Try it. Lead by example and try to enjoy the ride. And kiss those babies.
How has the pandemic affected the nature of your business?
Covid and the housing market! Where do I begin? I remember Friday, March 13th 2020 was the first day my girls were out of daycare/preschool due to the “sickness.” How long was this going to last? They were home for 6-months – all summer – before resuming childcare. I was busier than I had ever been with real estate and had all three kids home all the time. My husband and I are both trying to work from home while managing 3 kids, barely 5 and under. It has been Covid Craziness but we are blessed with our health and you can’t ask for anything more.
This interview has been edited and/or condensed for clarity.