Here's what our instructor Jessica Schenck had to say about Kristen: You can find Kristen throwing out compliments to the other moms, cracking funny jokes, or saying hi and inviting random people to join as they walk by our class. She isn't afraid to welcome all with open arms.
When Molly and I first met Kristen at Mt. Trashmore, she instantly attracted us with her personality. She even agreed to join us for her first workout already having run a mile!
The biggest reason Kristen stands out as our mom of the month was because what she said once at our Saturday class. The question of the day was "Why are you a part of our Stroller Strides Village?" She talked about how she was not brought up eating healthy foods or being active through exercise - and now it's hard to see that her parents aren't able to play with Julius with all their energy. She made the change herself to make better food choices for her and her family, exercise and make it a part of her life. That is absolutely not an easy thing to do! And when she does it all with a big grin on her face you cannot help but be proud to call her a friend!
More about Kristen
1) Our little family unit is a fairly common one for this area: I am a 26 year old stay at home mom, taking care of our son Julius. My fiance' Matt is an intelligence specialist in the Navy. J money is almost 2 years old and right now he is in love with motocross and puzzles! Which of course makes me one happy momma. Watching his little gears turn quietly is pretty much all a mom can ask for in my opinion!
So Matt and I met partying and acting reckless through online dating a little over three years ago- little did we know we wouldn't spend a day apart after meeting until the Navy forced us. I always joke that with the shenanigans surrounding how we met, I got really lucky because I could have just as easily woken up with out a kidney. Instead, I met the man I will marry. ha ha. That's all in good fun; but I am still in awe. I am so fortunate to have a man that not only provides financially, but he seems to truly respect and value what I do as a stay at home mom. He tells me every single day that I'm doing a great job raising our son. He understands that I love my SAHM gig but still holds me up when I'm having a bad day. I couldn't build a better father and partner if I tried... ok, so maybe I would toss in a little more movie-romance, but who wouldn't? hahaha
2) My favorite part of motherhood is definitely getting to know who Julius is going to grow up to be, and watching him make connections with his surroundings; watching him learn and being able to see the things that I work hard to teach him turn up in his personality. I spend a lot of time trying to slip in the word "kind" and so far I would have to say it pays off. He is still a toddler, he does push and cry.. but the moments when he hands a smaller kid a toy and signs "share"... oh there aren't even words for it... I'm getting long winded! My biggest piece advice for new moms would be to parent with intention. By that I mean, try to eliminate some of the white lies and weird, commonplace things that people "just say" to kids. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. I am finding out that even at under 2 years old kids understand so much. so treat them like they understand. Don't say 5 more minutes if you mean 30. Don't tell them you're going to leave them if they don’t hurry through a store. You wont! but they will panic and stop taking your word for it. We are all guilty of some of these things. Its not about perfection its about practice! And I will tell you up front: i need to remind myself about patience and practice and mindfulness EVERY. SINGLE.DAY. And thats ok.
3) I wandered into stroller strides on accident. I had just moved into the neighborhood behind Mt. Trashmore and I was starting to work out on my own by jogging J money out to the park. One day we got there, and he wandered over to the swings and this tiny, delightful woman with a big personality greeted him so sweetly and asked if we were here for class. I said no, and she explained, and offered me to join them. I almost said no because at the point I had run a mile and was pretty hot and tired as beginner.. but I stuck it out and I'm glad I did! So now I regularly attend Molly and Jess's classes; we are starting to come daily, but if we don't come daily we just make it to whichever class fits into our week. The notion of becoming healthier and losing a significant amount of weight brought us to SS, but there is something special about the play groups, and working out with a bunch of moms who know what it's like to want to work out, but not have a sitter. There's something comforting about a group who doesn't get annoyed the day your kid is throwing toys out of the stroller because they've all been there. It's irreplaceable to have instructors who will pick up your crying baby and tell you to knock out those last 10 squats, she has it handled. Understanding is invaluable to new moms, and I really think that this is why Stroller Strides is such a success; both for me personally and as a business. Not to mention the personal accountability! I owe a huge THANK YOU! to Jess and Molly, who are so sweet and have such good memories, and say, "we missed you last week, I'm glad you're back!"
Much love for the SS!