From Highland Park to Hainesville, the Lake County suburbs are vast and everyone is looking for that parent who’s just like them. This month we’re taking a look “Behind the Trike” and meeting the parents who bring Lake County to you every day. Today we’re meeting Stephanie, our “Shooting From the Hip” Mom.
Stephanie is a married mother of two girls. Her husband is a police officer, and she is too! She has lived in Lake County for seven years after living in the city for a decade and loves the hometown feel of this area. Although she has little time for downtime with two girls and a job outside the home, she still tries desperately to make time for herself. If she needs to clear her head, she loves to go running. She wishes she had more time to read, but her love of books seems like a distant memory in the busyness of her life. She does love real estate and checking out houses is her idea of some downtime fun. Her husband tells her constantly to get her real estate license, but for now, she does it for enjoyment. She also enjoys finding new ways to decorate houses and loves to make her own house stylish and comfortable. Having friends over and making them feel at home in her cozy house is a favorite pastime. She loves party planning and finding creative ways to make a celebration special, no matter how big or small it is. She made me feel right at home too, while I was lucky enough to learn a little more about her.
What is something your friends would be surprised to know about you?
I’m pretty open about myself, so that’s a tough one. I hear from my friends that I seem so confident with myself. I’m not at all. I’m a good actress. I question my choices and have a million insecurities from the last bits of baby weight I have struggled to lose to having to cut my hair short and start over from scratch after it was finally super long again to getting a big zit on my nose. I don’t often talk about my spiritual beliefs because I feel it’s my personal business what I believe, so I’m sure they might be surprised to know I wear across my brother bought me for Christmas when I first started my job as a patrol officer. I wear that cross under my uniform every time I work. I do believe in God, and I not only feel His watch gives protection (which in this job I think we can never have enough of), but because it’s from my younger brother as cheesy as this sounds, I keep my family closer to my heart too.
Where do you find inspiration?
My kids, my experiences, my past. When it comes to my home, I look to give my kids something special in any way I can, and when you are on a budget, that takes creativity. That is how I came to start my blog, The Social Butterfly, hosting and planning special moments on a budget. It takes more time than money. I love the expression on my kids’ and my husband’s faces when I come up with the idea that I know they would all really enjoy. .As far as work, my inspiration has always been to help those who can’t always help themselves: children, the Elderly, and Animals. I can’t stomach the abuse. I feel accomplished and successful that I have been a part of being able to give victims justice and help them begin a healing process so they can have the full victory against evil people, and that is to have happiness in their
What is the best thing about your job? Being a mom and working outside the home?
As a mom, cuddles. My favorite time of day is during the evening wind down. When Molly recounts all of the events in her day and Lily is too exhausted to jump all over the place. When we all settle down to read a book or watch one of their shows just before they go to bed and I have them both snuggled in my arms. When Molly tells me, “I love you so much, Mommy.” Lily is still figuring out her words, but it melts my heart all the same when she bear hugs me and gives me a Lily kiss and hug. Watching these two baby girls growing into their personalities is the most amazing experience I have ever been blessed to have. As a cop..oh come on..going lights and sirens never gets old. LOL…The best part is when you work really hard on a case and give it your all, and see it come to a successful ending in court.
What has been your most outrageous real mom moment?
Not even sure where to start. For Good or For Evil? Because my girls give me plenty of both. I would have to go with going to get my younger daughter out of her crib last summer and made the mistake of letting her go to bed with just a nightgown on with her diaper. I walked into a strong obscene smell of poop all over the room. To my nightmare, I looked in the crib to seeing this adorable blue-eyed, blond hair little girl smiling at me with poop smeared all over her face, her hands, her body, the crib. I had my gag reflex kick in as Lily looks at me like she just did something amazing and goes, “Mommy!!! I poo!” I carry Lily straight into the bathroom with extended arms and dump her straight into the bathtub.
What is your ultimate stress reliever?
A good ol’ deep belly laugh. I love to laugh so hard I have tears in my eyes and my tummy hurts. That usually comes from fun conversations with my amazing husband, friends, and family. Running clears my brain and helps my temper even out when I’m upset. Alcohol…let’s be honest and get real here…Wine or an Effen Black Cherry and Diet Tonic can fix anything. I’m pretty sure the fun conversations with friends get even more ridiculous and hilarious when alcohol-fueled. Ever watch 2 girls going through a couple of bottles of wine try repeatedly to do “Single Ladies”? Ask my husband, he never wants to hear that song again. That’s what happens when two old friends get together and act as they did at 16.
Best advice you have ever received as a mom?
Enjoy them in the moment, remember them now, because it all goes by way too fast. I already feel like that. I pick them up or look at them on certain days and I wish for a little bit of time would just stand still so they weren’t so tall already. They weren’t so independent already. They weren’t talking so much already and ready to take on the world just yet. I wish I could hold them close to smell that baby smell, hear that teeny baby cries and giggles, or feel their little bodies move around my belly. I know I can’t so I take as many pictures and videos as I can. Even in their bad moments, I keep in mind that their strong-minded, independent, stubborn attitudes that drive me to drink now are what is going to make them strong, confident, self-sufficient women in their future.
Stephanie works on two blogs in her “free time”. She chronicles adventures with her children on her blog Molly is My Mother’s Revenge, which she started so she could remember later all the funny moments that happen in her hectic life. It is her journal, but also a way for her to engage with other parents that are riding the same crazy train with their children! She values the conversations and interactions she has with other parents via her blog. Her other blog, The Social Butterfly, is her idea of celebrating life’s fun moments on a budget. She hopes that her ideas inspire others.
Read more by Stephanie.