From our instructor Molly - I met Ally when she was switching Stroller Strides franchises and Graham was just a baby! Right away Ally's sweet personality shined through. Her smile legitimately lights up her face and those around her. Her eagerness to welcome and include everyone is probably my favorite thing about Ally. Coming into a new group of moms can be intimidating, but Ally will make any new mom feel like they have found their village through her smile, conversation and genuine care for each individual. A If you need a laugh, Ally is there. If you need to talk to a friend, Ally is there. If you need a glass of wine, Ally is there! Ally is also a favorite of my oldest child's which is not an easy accomplishment. It take a while for my oldest to warm up to most people, but with Ally it took no effort at all. Ally knows how to love on all of our babies with an ease that is truly a gift. Our village was so lucky when Ally joined us, and we are forever grateful to have the soon-to-all-be Washington family with us!
1) Tell us about your family -
When are you getting married! How did you meet? Tyler & I met when I was a sophomore at ODU. He went to the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Long Island and was on his sea year. His ship was in the port of Norfolk and he and his friends ventured onto Old Dominion's campus where my bestfriend and I met them. I actually dated Tyler's bestfriend first (how I met Tyler) and it was so obvious how much we liked each other, his friend told us we should be together. Yay for good friends... now he is one of our groomsmen so clearly there isn't any awkwardness. Ty & I fell in love and dated long distance until graduation. After Tyler got his first job and we settled into our first place together, we found out we were pregnant with our Graham (now 2) When he was 6 weeks I started Stroller Strides in Norfolk. We bought our home in Virginia Beach when he was 4 months and I was so nervous to switch my stroller strides locations - but I am SO thankful I did! We found out we were pregnant with our Emma when Graham was 6 months. Best surprise ever! Tyler proposed on the beach & now we're getting married in September!
How old are is your little one? 2 & 9 months
What do you like to do as a family? We love walks around our neighborhood & down the beach, eating outside, making fun checklists for each season and trying to do them all.
2) What is your favorite part of motherhood? The love I have for my babies. It is so incredible and so empowering to know what we do as moms. To see the love they have for me multiplies that feeling.
What one piece of advice would you give to a first time mom? Try not to stress over the little things. I look back on myself when Graham was born and I was so scared to be judged by little things (my newborn crying in public, his diaper exploding in public, having to nurse him while out of the house) Now with a toddler who shows me real things to stress over (just kidding...) I see that those were all such silly things and such an amazing time to enjoy... Don't forget that one day they will go to school, and these times will just be incredible memories (crying)
3) How long have you been involved in SS? Since Graham was 6 weeks! :)
What classes do you usually attend? I'm all over the place with my attendance but I'm pretty loyal to my Great Neck location. I also love Mt Trashmore if I can make the days... and am stoked for it to move to Bayville in the summer.
What brought you to us? I nannyed for a woman who invited me when I had Graham.
Why do you stay? I have never loved a group of people like this so much. The feeling of being with moms who understand what its like, who show up feeling just as crazy as me but push through, and the feeling of taking care of myself to feel and look good. I had no idea how to meet "mom friends" before stroller strides. I was so nervous, so out of shape, and so embarrassed to try and workout after just having a baby. BUT I went & learned so much about motherhood and realized how much I NEED the support. My kids need it too. Its such a nice morning routine. It gets us out and the endorphins going. Also... I suffered post partum after having Emma. I was feeling extremely overwhelemed, randomly sad, and didn't know how to balance the love I wanted to give to both of my babies. Stroller strides saved me- and Miss Molly Vaughn saved me. Soooo, that's why I stayed :) And... I've actually gotten scared before of the day my babies will be too old for stroller strides. What will I do..... good thing we're not done yet.