Congratulations Alyssa (Jack's Mom) for being selected as our August Mom of The Month!
Alyssa has worked extremely hard over the last couple of months at Stroller Strides. She also gives you a sneak peak at what can be accomplished in our newest results based class called BODY BACK that will begin this FALL. Way to go Alyssa!
1. I lived in northeastern PA, on the banks of the Delaware River, most of my life. It was small town living (we only had one traffic light) but it was a wonderful way to grow up. We ran around barefoot and the woods and river that surrounded our house were our playground. We were allowed to roam anywhere within shouting distance. We didn't have friends down the street to play with, just our cousins who lived next door, but there was always fun to be had.
2. I had such an overactive imagination as a kid. Since we lived in such a rural area, we didn't have a lot of distractions, so we were always making up our own games and activities. One summer (after reading one too many Nancy Drew books) I was convinced that my neighbor was a criminal. With absolutely zero proof and no clue as to what crime he may have committed (my guess was murder) I spent weeks spying on him. Finally I realized that outside of playing his music too loudly and being a very poor housekeeper, he probably hadn't done anything wrong and gave up. But I attribute a lot of my creative ability to the daily workout my imagination received growing up.
3. Just before I was two, my mom let me begin ballet class. I didn't stop dancing until my sophomore year in college. I was also the captain of the football and basketball cheer teams in high school. We had a strict coach who had us throw basket tosses in the cafeteria until the flyer could touch the ceiling. I ended this tradition my junior year when I broke my wrist during the stunt. One day I hope to coach a cheerleading team, though I wouldn't be quite as strict as my coach!
4. I went to college intending on getting my degree in business and then going on to receive my masters in design. I quickly realized that business was not for me. Because it was too late to apply to art school, I spent the second semester of my college career doing an internship at Walt Disney World.
5. I still have friends at Disney. My best guy friend, Christopher, stars in the Muppet Show and makes appearances as Goofy at MGM. Jack will makes his first visit to Disney this month!
6. When I did finally apply to art school, I was accepted to both FIT in New York, and the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Georgia. Although I had always thought I would go to FIT, something in my gut told me otherwise. I accepted SCAD's offer without having ever visited the college. I never looked back.
7. I graduated from SCAD with my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design in 2006. The day after graduation, I flew to Costa Rica where I spent the next two months as the resident designer for Punta Dominical, a vacation home developer. I designed 33 vacation villas during my stay, most of which were purchased by the guys who created Crocs.
8. Some of my lifelong goals are to write a book that gets published, learn to play the piano, and become a fitness instructor.
9. I have always loved kids. I started nannying in the summers full time the year I turned twelve. I only made about ten dollars a day. I continued babysitting and nannying until my early twenties. I have worked as a live-in nanny and a traveling nanny. I am still close with many of the families I worked with.
10. My first real job in the design world was with DC-based luxury hospitality designer ForrestPerkins. I had initially declined their offers to interview, but after months of persistence, I agreed to meet with them. It was a true lesson in following your instincts- I knew the job wasn't the right fit as soon as I started. I stuck it out for almost two years before making a change.
11. In 2008, I took on the role of Visual Manager for the Rockville Anthropologie store. I would later move to the Richmond location in 2009, just before having Jack. Anthropologie was like a fairyland for me. It provided me a creative outlet like I had never felt before. I love being a mom to Jack, but I still miss my job.
12. Matt and I met in 2007, dated for a few months, and broke up because of the distance. (He lived in Richmond, and I lived in DC.) We stayed friends and he would occasionally take me to dinner when he was in DC or call me to see how I was doing. In 2008, after suffering a cardiac event, he reconnected with me and we began dating again. We accidentally became pregnant, but it turned out to be the most amazing experience of either of our lives.
13. Jack arrived at 7:03 pm on February 28, 2009. I never knew how much I could love until I saw him. The nurses dubbed him 'Jack Frost' as we went into the hospital on a warmer winter day, but by the time Jack arrived the snow had begun. It snowed heavily throughout my hospital stay. One of my favorite memories in those first days was snuggling in my room with Jack, watching the snow fall outside.
14. Since Matt and I got married two weeks before Jack was born, I never had a proper engagement ring (my fingers were too swollen to get it fitted properly.) Matt and I had looked at rings, but he had orchestrated an elaborate story with the help of fellow Stroller Strider Robin to throw me off. So, for Christmas this past year, when Matt handed me the box for a tacky cat ornament I was confused. Inside was a long ribbon and at the end-my sparkly ring.
15. My great grandparents owned a very successful hotel called Peggy Runway Lodge in my hometown. It opened it's doors in 1929 and was sold in the late seventies. In the early eighties, the new owners burnt it down in an attempt to commit tax fraud. I have a chair, painted in the original robins egg blue my great grandparents had chosen, that was salvaged from the fire. It is one of my most cherished possessions. The shuffle board courts and a few of the satellite buildings still stand on the banks of the Delaware today.
16. When I joined Stroller Strides, I never anticipated what a journey it would take me on. I had gained a lot of weight during my pregnancy and hadn't worked out in months. What started out as a way to get out of the house and meet other moms turned into a fitness obsession! I am in the best shape of my life and loving it! My favorite thing about SS is achieving my goals and watching other moms achieve their goals. It's such an adrenaline rush!
17. Although I am not a professionally trained graphic designer, I do freelance graphic design work from my home office. My favorite project so far was a custom wedding invitation suite I designed using an antique letter as inspiration. The invite was hand painted with gold ink after it was printed.
18. My husband owns a very successful contracting company called Pioneer Painting. He started out as a one man show and now operates a team of ten during the busy season. He constantly impresses me with his business know-how, but one of my favorite things about him is his willingness to give back- no matter how busy, he is the first to offer his services free of charge to local schools or the elderly.
19. When I was twelve, I briefly sang with a regional opera company.
20. My first word (besides 'Mama' and 'Dada') was 'flower'. Jack's first word happened recently, when I asked another child "What is your name?" and Jack replied "Jack!".
21. My little brother is my biggest hero. He serves with the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment in the Army. He is currently overseas in Afghanistan. Becoming a Ranger is tough and being one is tougher, which is why it is a volunteer regiment. My brother knew this going in and still volunteered. He was only one of ten who made it into and then through the Ranger Initiation Program last fall. Whenever something feels tough, I think about him and it always pulls me through.
22. Both my mom and dad come from big families. I have 22 aunts and uncles. Family events are chaotic and loud! I think this is why when I throw a party I can never reign in my guest list. I love a crowd and the cozy feeling it creates to have so many people in your house.
23. My mom and I are the same person in two bodies. She has always been my best friend. My sister and I are opposites, but also best friends!
24. My dad used to work as the manager for a prominent foundry that would cast sculpture for artists. There are famous sculptures in almost any city you visit that my dad has helped bring to fruition. One of his coolest clients- he worked with Yoko Ono to cast John Lennon's glasses.
25. I am an eternal optimist. My mottos are 'it always works out' and 'everything happens for a reason'. Sometimes it takes a little hard work and a whole lot of faith, but in the end these words have never failed me!
3 months ago