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 meet one of our newest writers, Valerie, our ‘Multitasking Mama.”
Valerie is a brand spankin’ new mom that hails from Lindenhurst, along with her handy husband, Tyler, super smiley baby boy Bryce (4 months), and spunky Irish Troodle named Izzy. Formerly a communications and marketing gal in corporate America, she is a new stay-at-home mama who loves chocolate, running the trails of Lake County, baby snuggles, and bargain shopping. She invites you to read along on her quest to find her style- in her closet, kitchen, home, and beyond at The Style Files.
What are your favorite things to do in Lake County?
We love to go cruisin’ around and check out different communities, whether it be a new restaurant or a mom & pop shop. And this time of year, I love all the outdoor music concerts, farmers markets, and of course, hitting up the forest preserve trails for a run! Plus, there are so many kid-friendly activities throughout Lake County; we’ve got a ‘bucket list’ of sorts of things we want to do with our little guy!
What do you like most about where you live?
Besides all the fantastic forest preserves in the area that I love to run on, our community has the perfect mix of nature and calmness, while being super close to all the amenities you could ever need. I look in one direction and there are wetlands, parks, and forest preserves, and the other way there are malls, restaurants, and shops. It’s the best of both worlds! And the people are just wonderful … I mean where else can you have impromptu parties with the neighbors on your street?
What is a memorable and challenging mom-moment you’ve had?
Too many to count! From sleepless nights to feedings to diaper blowouts, I’m learning day by day and getting used to the whole ‘mommy’ thing. It has been a challenging (and incredibly rewarding) experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world-especially after seeing a smile on my little guy’s face. It melts my heart every time.
What is some of the best mothering advice you’ve been given?
Not necessarily advice, but these quotes from author Jodi Picoult really stick with me:
‘Rest easy, real mothers. The very fact that you worry about being a good mom means that you already are one.’
‘Sometimes when you pick up your child you can feel the map of your own bones beneath your hands, or smell the scent of your skin in the nape of his neck. This is the most extraordinary thing about motherhood- finding a piece of yourself separate and apart that all the same you could not live without.’
What do you do to take care of yourself/unwind?
When I can find the time, I love to blog, go running, and occasionally indulge in my guilty pleasure: The Real Housewives on Bravo. There, I said it. 🙂
What is something someone would be surprised to learn about you?
Totally random, but I was a contestant on the Wheel of Fortune in 2008 as part of College Week, representing my alma mater, Valparaiso University. Such a FUN experience and so many interesting things go on behind-the-scenes, let me tell ya!
Do you have any future goals you’re working towards?
Honestly, just making memories with my family, where I can say to myself, ‘Today was one of those days I want to remember when I’m old and gray.’
On a personal note, I am training for a half marathon this fall. I’ll turn the big 3-0 the weekend of the race so thought it’d be fun to celebrate crossing the finish line with my husband and little guy cheering me on!
Is there a ‘can’t miss activity’ in your area?
There are tons of things to do in Lake County, as seen here where Bryce made his first music video debut! Specifically, I do love trying out new restaurants, going on family walks at the forest preserves and running in local races like Fort2Base, Gurnee Days or Antioch’s Run for Freedom over the 4th of July.
“Lake County is such a wonderful place- from the people to the communities as a whole, and we are blessed to put down our roots here and call it home.”