Cara is new to the leadership team this semester and we are SO blessed to have her!
Tell us about yourself and your family
I grew up in Texas, traveled a ton with my family and ended up at the University of Miami in Florida for college. I started school in Aug. 2001. In Sept. our country was rocked to its core and for the first time I realized just how short life could be and how much I cherished my family. Less than a month later, I quit school and drove all my worldly possessions back to TX so I could be closer to the people I loved most. I ended up attending the University of North Texas and I graduated in 2 1/2 years with a BS in Emergency Administration and Planning….a degree I have yet to use! After graduation, with a renewed closeness to my family, I packed up my car once more and, along with my little dog, I drove nearly 2000 miles to settle in Los Angeles. I came to L.A. to act and act is just what I did! I met my husband, Brent, two years later through ChristianSingles.com. It works for some people! Brent and I married in June of 2009 in Ventura in the most perfect cliff-side wedding you could imagine. Brent lived in Canyon Country before we married and after the wedding we moved into an apartment in Valencia together. We bought our house in Castaic the next year and sweet Charlotte, our baby girl, followed in March 2012! Now, I am a full-time, stay at home mama. Some days I miss my time on set, but then Charlie will do something to make me giggle and all thoughts of going back to work leave my mind. In my down time, I write for my blog Mommy Crunch and occasionally I will guest blog for other sites. I love my job as a mom and wife most of all the positions I have held through the years. After all, it’s the only job that pays you for catching vomit in your bare hands with toothless grins and tiny, sticky-fingered hugs!
How long have you been in MOPS? How long have you been on leadership?
This is my second year in MOPS and my first semester in a leadership position.
Share a favorite vacation memory
Last March Brent, Charlotte, and I celebrated our 40th, 1st, and 30th birthdays (respectively) by traveling through Scotland, Ireland, and England for two weeks. It was incredible! It snowed on us in all three countries as we explored medieval architecture and photographed our curious kiddo in breathtaking landscapes. Charlie was a perfect little traveler! One of my favorite memories from that trip was in Inverness, Scotland. We were driving around exploring when we came upon some Highland Cows (the shaggy cows.) Charlie got so excited and started shouting “DOG! DOG!” Our Scottish driver laughed the deepest belly laugh at her misidentification and told us he just LOVED our funny little girl. Nothing makes a mama’s heart warm faster than when a stranger recognizes the unique qualities of her kid!
How has motherhood changed you?
I am definitely a less selfish person now. My first priority through the day is her…not what I want to eat, but what WILL she eat? Not what I want to watch on TV, but what will be the most educational for her? Brent and I said before we had a child that the kid would fit into our life rather than us rearranging ours for them. I believe that is biblical, however, there is more of a middle ground than we realized. Charlie does adapt to our life, but her health, education, well-being and HAPPINESS is so important to us that often our desires align with her needs. And I LOVE it that way!
What has been your proudest parenting moment?
So far, my proudest mommy moment was having C fully potty trained at 18 months. Earlier this year (shortly after we returned from Europe, actually) Charlotte started having bowel and weight loss/fail to gain issues. We tested for allergies. We treated infections. We eliminated potentially irritating foods from her diet. All these approaches yielded nothing but more questions about our baby’s health. Finally, we found a GI we really liked and he suggested, based on family health history, that we do a colonoscopy and endoscopy. So, we did. And it was horrible. But, Charlie came out on the other side with answers and we got her treated with far less invasive treatment than we thought we would have to. After that ordeal, potty training seemed like it would be really tough because of the psychological association with going potty that her sickness brought on. But, our girl did great and here she is at 22 months diaper free!