First off, thank ya’ll so much for this nomination. I am so thankful to have found this village of wonderful women to call friends!
I was born in Baltimore, Maryland and raised in Amish country Pennsylvania until the age of 10 when my family moved to Colorado Springs, CO. I lived in Colorado until graduating high school in 2010 and then headed up to Burlington, Vermont to study Biology at UVM. It was there that I discovered a passion for research and landed my first lab job in the Neuroscience department. After a year of enduring a horrible northeast winter I packed my bags and transferred to the University of Colorado, so I could be closer to family and get more sunlight. I continued my studies of Biology there and maintained an awesome job in the Immunology Department studying Type I Diabetes and then eventually two-timed it in doing some childhood cancer research as well.
The day I moved back to Colorado from Vermont was when I met my husband, Chris. We had known of each other our entire lives because his Aunt was my Mom’s college BFF and finally met on a snowy May night in 2011 after both flying in within minutes of one another. It wouldn’t be until December of that year that we finally started dating, but after that we were inseparable. After a few years of living together in Colorado it was time for a change in Chris’ career, so we packed up and moved to San Antonio in December of 2014 so that Chris could finish his schooling to become a Nurse Practitioner.
Once in Texas, I landed a great job at UTSA as a Research Assistant in the Neurosciences Institute and became a published scientist the same year I had our first daughter, Anabelle Marie (Bella). Bella was born August 7th, 2016 and of course my whole life changed. I quickly left my job behind due to the hazardous nature of what I worked with, but I didn’t miss it much. I had always dreamt of becoming a mother and sincerely enjoyed overcoming all the challenges of new motherhood in stride. I found an amazing breastfeeding support group (shout out to the MILC Group!) and made a wonderful group of close friends with babies around the same age. They were my rock and I was theirs. I could not have done it without them. It was through one of these moms that I learned of Fit4Mom and attended classes through the North branch for a while with her. When Bella was just over one, I decided to go back to school at UTSA and then surprise, found out I was expecting baby number two in early December, a week before finals!
My biggest fear when I found out I was pregnant was that Bella would wean before the age of two, so I continued to nurse her throughout my pregnancy and still do, which is something I am extremely proud of. I continued with school for the spring semester, but my due date of August 1st didn’t leave me much room for attending in the summer or following fall. So, Bella and I had a summer full of mama daughter time. I also joined Fit4Mom AR/Helotes at this time and endured several very hot summer workouts up until my 38th week of pregnancy. Olivia Morgan Victoria (Livi) was born August 5th, 2018 just 2 days before Bella’s 2nd birthday. This birth was much different from Bella’s (an unplanned c-section) as I was able to successfully deliver her in the comfort of my own home and I attribute much of that success to Fit4Mom for setting my body up to do something so incredible!
Now that many of those original “Boob Group” friends have moved away thanks to the military I am more thankful than ever to have met such wonderful women through Fit4Mom. I know that I have found some lifelong friends and hopefully my daughters will have some too! If you don’t already know me, come say hi! I am too social for my own good and always looking for new mama friends!