[#1] Share with us a snippet of your story.
I am a type-A, introverted homebody who loves to travel the world. I grew up wanting to be a marine biologist (Free Willy anyone?!) and then a teacher and then, thanks to Patch Adams, a doctor. But after nearly flunking out of my freshmen year of college I concluded it'd be easier to marry one. Somehow that dream lined up perfectly and I in-fact did. We were best friends in college, kissed toward the end of our senior year, got engaged two weeks later and this year we will celebrate our 10th anniversary. (And, yes we got married when we were 13 because I'm only 23.) We thought we'd have two kids and a dog, but infertility kept the kids thing from happening so we adopted a special needs dog. Then, adoption made the two kids thing possible and then our dog died so we've learned together in the words of Mick Jagger, "you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime you just might find you get what you need." (Thank you, Jesus!) Oh, and I founded and run The DEFINE school.
[#2] What is your favorite part of the day with your little one[s]?
I don't know why this is.. really, truly... because I'm usually totally frazzled and undoubtedly looking like I'm about to start crying, but the time between 5-8 pm. We play music and we (try) to make a reasonable dinner. We eat and discipline is delivered a half-dozen times to our 1 and 2 year old for throwing food, putting a scratch in the table with their fork, dumping their water, etc, etc. Then, we dance and play and put each kid in timeout at least once and strip 'em naked and they run wild and free before jumping in the bath. I clean the kitchen and he scrubs them clean like they're going in for surgery and they scream their brains out. Then, they run around nekkid some more and laugh gleefully and then we do books and bottles and Bible stories and prayers and singing and it's in that moment that our family's time is so so special and sacred.
[#3] Name three Instagram MOMS who inspire you.
@laraacasey / @underthesycamore / @wanderingwithmary **[Mary does not have biological children, but living in Uganda caring for orphans so that makes her a mom in my eyes.]
[#4] What challenges have you faced in balancing motherhood and your passion for creativity?
Every challenge that ever existed. Does that sound dramatic? Good. I thrive on quiet, alone time. I thrive working on personal projects and being productive. I thrive being an active mother. In a perfect world I would never miss my kids when I worked and I would never desire to work in a quiet room when I was with my kids. But, all of it ... every passing minute I am being VERY intentional about being present and I am learning (oh am I learning!) how to say no, how to set boundaries, how to take care of myself and how to NOT fret when not everything gets done in a day. My kids are my number one priority and man do I friggin' ADORE them. I do not want to look back on the hundreds of pictures I take every week and not remember the moments because I was so mentally distracted. You know what I mean?
[#5] What are your staple go-to pieces from your closet this month?
Most days I'm in workout clothes (loving me some Pure Barre these days!), but on my off days it's a comfy pair of jeans and an oversized sweater.
[#6] If you could give us a peek inside your home - what image would you share and why?
Our living room. In many ways I feel I've outgrown the design of the room, but who has the money and who has the time!? So, it is what it is and I love it because it's where we spend most of our quality time together. Around the fire, reading books, rolling on the floor, eating breakfast sitting on the couch, watching a show on the iPad or just coming in and out of the house - it's our Grand Central Station.
[#7] Share a photo you wouldn't typically post on Instagram but depicts real life happenings.
It's a blurry mess and the girls look like they're being harmed, but my husband is actually "wrestling" them and they are laughing hysterically. Our girls LOVE to roll around on the ground with him.
Be sure and follow @Jess_Cudzilo on Instagram! You can also keep up with the series by following @kelliandvanessa or #myeverydaymoms