In today's episode I'll share my story and give you a true sense of where I came from and the things that molded me into this Mama Inspired. You will hear my journey from corporate America sales, to small town Alaska real estate, to network marketing health and fitness coach, to NOW driving a mama-led-movement as a podcaster. I'll share with you how the hardest two years of my life transformed me into the empowered, compassionate, and grateful woman I am today. It's a true example of how just a little perspective, love, and faith can unveil the miracle in the mess. I am here to help you uncover your own.
Thank you for hopping on this journey with me. Enjoy!
Hello my Mamas! Welcome to the very first episode of Mama Inspired , the podcast! I can 't even explain the excitement. What better way to kick things off than share my own story and what led me here today.
I grew up in the small town of Tipton, IN and was raised as an only child, by my mom Kathy ( though I have siblings they were born in lifetimes before me). My Dad moved to TX when I was in grade school and would visit every summer for a few weeks. While life wasn't perfect ( divorce, distant father, single mom life), I knew I was loved. From my older sisters to the family created within the community band my mother played in every Tuesday… my childhood was filled with the love and influence of those who had no responsibility to care for me, but who did so anyway. While I couldn't then fully appreciate these individuals, I do believe that from a young age I learned to decipher what true love and compassion felt like and believe they played a crucial role in the kind of mother, wife, sister, and friend I am today.
I was pretty cultured in the arts growing up. Most of my family on my moms side played an instrument at one time or another, and my grandpa play a few. My mother took me to concerts, art museums, and musicals pretty regularly. I eventually began to find my own part in the arts loving to draw, write, but mostly sing. When I was bitty Apparently I enjoyed serenading our local Jim Dandy audience ( for those of you who aren't aware- it’s a little diner similar to a Shoney's maybe if you know what that is), as I grew I sang for churches, in school choirs, school musicals, and into a college show choir where my love of singing fizzled.
Just before my first semester of college I met my husband… at a rock concert. While the story isn't one I'll be sharing with our children until they are like 20, I look at our love story as magical and jolting. Luckily we went to the same college and from the night of that concert, looked out for one another and grew up together. My senior year Cameron decided to join the military. After graduating from a degree in Telecommunications and minor in communications, we set off to our first station in Mobile, AL. After Mobile, we experienced a few years in Galveston, TX, then Kodiak, AK, where we spent the last 4 years and where we also parted ways with the military life.
After college I found a job in corporate America at a logistics company doing account management, then sales. It was great experience for me, it's where I met one of my closest girlfriends and helped connect me to my love for fitness. Like most first careers out of college it helped me recognize what I did and didn't want for myself within in the job/ life realm. Logistics is intense at times, stressful, and honestly I found the job to be energy sucking. Being tied to my email account, available until the evening hrs and weekends and feeling like the weight of the world rested on a single truckload making it on time to it's destination… it was all to much for this uber sensitive girl to handle. I took this job with me to Kodiak working remotely for my office in Mobile, when I was introduced to the world of real estate.
Through the process of buying our first home, we met the most incredible woman! She of course was our agent and ran a Remax office in town. She created the intrigue, invited me to join her team, and not only became my mentor, but a true godsend in our lives playing roles of friend, mom, and grandma.
Around this same time We had begun speaking of growing our family, as one does in Kodiak- seriously… if you didn't have the baby bug before arriving on this island, you certainly acquired it sometime in your stay. For what else does one do during a straight month of cold rain? Netflix and chill ?
Anyhow, I began seriously thinking about job life and how I wanted to spend my days as a mother. Real estate gave me the flexibility I was searching for, I loved interacting with people, and was ready to make a big transition away from my energy sucking job in logistics. Turns out I was pretty good at it and I really enjoyed it. I earned the rising star award with only 6 months of experience under my belt and pregnant.
Then came baby… When I became pregnant I became obsessed with all things pregnancy and especially birth! I became so proud to be a woman with the honor of carrying and growing a baby and then getting to experience birth. You guys, I was actually looking forward to labor and fantasized about Mile's birth. I was going to have a natural, home, water birth. Then at 36 weeks we discovered Mile's was breech and I had no other option, but to surrender to a scheduled c-section. I promise I will share more details on this story in another episode, but for now what you need to know is that I took this really hard. I was crushed. It was my first and probably most profound lesson of motherhood…you can't control it all. This includes the breastfeeding journey. Miles was scheduled to enter our world on June 1st 2018 and I finally surrendered to this alternative method of birth, but by golly I still had the beautiful moments of breastfeeding ahead of me…
and yet again was reminded that it doesn't always goes as planned. Miles wouldn't latch and so my supply tanked. I fought for 6 months. I spent 2 months building back my supply (pumping like the machine I was using) to which I made JUST enough for Miles, survived on donor milk until then, fought to transition him from bottle back to breast, and suffered through gummy jaws clamping on my breast.. Until one day he all the sudden GOT IT…6 months later. For most of the journey after, it was beautiful! It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but it's a story I am proud of and one you'll hear more about later.
While nothing prepares you for the immense emotions and love you feel after becoming a mom, I was not expecting this new sense of longing and confusion about "my purpose". I began to search to for a way to fufill myself outside of my new role as a mom. I've always had a passion for health and fitness, so when I stumbled upon this beautiful, motivating, and fit mama who had also recently experienced a similar birth story, I became invested in her journey. This is where my story as a health and fitness coach within the world of network marketing begins.
I was on my own postpartum journey, doing by best to fight " body hate," grow appreciative of my body, while also re-learning how to care for my baby and myself. I found community, discovered personal growth, and submerged myself in the grind of coaching and growing my biz. I feel like "grind" is truly the best way to describe this year of my life. I told myself that I was doing it for my family, that it would be more work now, but in the long-term I would have the life I dreamed of… home with my babies, traveling at every opportunity, financially free. The only problem was, I life I was working for had me missing the life I had now. It was so much work and I ran myself totally ragged.
I was in a constant burnout cycle until I was finally brought to my knees. I m really thankful for the experience though, like any path along life it had it's purpose. Coaching helped me find my voice. It gave me an opportunity to speak positivity, truth, and real motherhood to women and I loved be a source of motivation for mamas like me who just needed a touch of inspiration and for someone to make them feel understood and capable.
At the same time I started down this new path, we were forced to began making the transition from military life to civilian life and it truly rocked our family's reality. 2019 was the hardest year of our lives. We were living with uncertainty, fear, our marriage was , all the while navigating our new role as parents. 2020 was to be the year of new beginnings, hope, and new found happiness.
While we began to map out our new life we were blessed with the news we'd also be welcoming new life into 2020. This was such an amazing gift in such an uncertain time, however it was short lived as we'd learn that I miscarried. This is about when I abandoned my coaching biz. I no longer had the emotional energy to do it all. It was all I could do to be a present mother, take care of my own health, support my husband, finish out my real estate career in Kodiak, and take the next step into our new life day by day.
At the start of 2020 we began our new life in FL. We could finally breath, were blissfully happy, and so damn hopeful. Then Covid hit, then my dad passed, then our second miscarriage. We found ourselves so confused and overwhelmed by the struggle that never seemed to quit. What could possibly be the reason for so much loss and hardship?
I spent a few months again surrendering to the reality, redirecting my focus to what was in my control, healing, choosing gratitude each day that we were alive, healthy, that Cameron had a job, that I could be home with miles, that our family was surviving the worldly chaos the best they could, and that I was finding myself in a place of hope. Through it all, I was choosing to see the beauty, to move on from a place grief, and open my heart to what the plan was from here.
The story you've just heard is of course the tip of the ice burg really, no way you can fit in, nor would I want to unveil every heartache or trauma in my life. I think most of our stories are filled with moments that have molded us - some you might want to forget, others you choose to hold onto and cherish. When I reflect on who I am and past I realize that greatest lesson and now one of my greatest strengths has been resilience. My mother's favorite line was " this too shall pass" and it I believe I've carried this with me.
And so here I am. I've been blessed with so many opportunities to choose growth and resilience through the struggle of #life. I believe that every step along my journey has been preparing me for this very endeavor. After months of soul searching and exploring my passions and skills, I heard a calling to be a voice. A calling to be courageous and have faith, and to make something from the mess, to acknowledge that it wasn’t all for nothing, but for something much bigger than me.
There's a bit more to this story, more specifically the moments Mama Inspired was born, but we'll save that for the next episode.
I need you all to know how insanely grateful I am, for everyone of you. Many of you listening today played a big part in making this passion project of mine come to life, even if you didn’t know. Thank you for believing in me, thank you for being here, and thank you for sharing this with you friends. Cause it starts here guys… Chat at ya soon