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Jennie - September's Motivating Mom of the Month

Why her instructor nominated her:

Jennie has been an inspiration to me ever since I met her in January. She has such an easy-going way about her, she makes having three kids ranging from 10 months to 8 years old look simple! Jennie's commitment to keeping her family and herself healthy is evident. She is a part of our Body Back program and told me that she'd have her morning smoothies with her 8 year old! I'd say THAT is setting an awesome example. She is truly a model of what it means to be a "supermom". - Becca

FROM JENNIE:

Who are the members of your family? My husband is Tom and we have three kids: Harrison (8), Graham (6), and Lily (1)

What is or was your career? I was an auditor/CPA at PricewaterhouseCoopers for 4.5 years and then worked at DePaul University in their Internal Audit group for 2 years. While working at DePaul, I got my certification/masters in education to teach elementary school. I did my student teaching while pregnant with Harrison and finished exactly one week before he was born. Since then, we've moved around a lot and I have not been able to put my teaching degree to work yet, but hopefully someday. Right now I am enjoying being a stay at home mom!

What is something that has surprised you about motherhood? The lack of sleep, LOL, just kidding! I knew I would love motherhood, but I didn't know how in love I would be with my kids!! It is like having little pieces of my heart out there in the world.

What is your child's/children's favorite thing about you or favorite thing that you do? I asked Harrison and Graham since they are old enough to answer. Harrison said: "When you help me with sports like how to hold a bat, how to play goalie better in soccer......can my answer be you're the best mom ever?" Graham said: "When you let me play the Wii!" For Lily, I would say she just loves to have me with her. Her smile and the way her face lights up when I go in her room in the morning, after a nap or come in the house after being away is pure joy! It never fails to melt my heart!

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? A teacher

What are three of your favorite things (besides your family)? Vacations/traveling (i.e., the beach); Spending time with friends (i.e., drinking wine and eating good food); Taking time for myself (i.e., shopping, a pedicure, reading a book)

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us (or makes you unique). Our family lived in London, England for 3 years for my husband's work. We moved there when our boys were 2.5 and 8 months old. While living there, we were able to travel around England and to Scotland, Germany, Finland, France, Belgium, Ireland, Prague, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Amsterdam, and the Canary Islands. And I traveled to China with two of my college roommates in 2006. I love to travel!!

What has been your proudest mommy moment so far? Such a tough question because there are so many. I would say what makes me proudest is how our family has survived and coped with Graham being diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 3.5. He went through one year of chemotherapy and continues to have regular monitoring via MRIs, with stable results thus far. As a mom/parent, it has to be one of the most devastating experiences - being told your child has cancer. But I think it is true that you don't know how strong you are until there really is no other choice. We have all been strong for Graham in our own ways and he has been such a fighter, such an inspiration. I could not be more proud of him!

How did you learn about FIT4MOM? Through the La Grange Newcomers and Neighbors Facebook page

Moment of truth: What did you think of those first few classes? I was so SORE!!!! I did not expect it to be such a tough workout but I loved it!! And even after doing the class regularly for several weeks, I would still get sore after certain classes (and I still do). It is always such a great workout!

How have you been able to stick with making healthy choices for yourself while still managing all your other responsibilities? It is hard, especially with older kids who would prefer to eat pizza and hotdogs for dinner every night. But I now keep many more healthy options in the pantry and fridge for snacking and meals. I try to always have a go-to healthy option on-hand for a meal/snack for me in case I'm short on time (which is quite often). And I buy a roasted chicken breast every week at the store and cut it up so that I always have pre-cooked chicken ready to go in the fridge for salads, wraps, etc.

Favorite FIT4MOM exercise? Plie squats that also incorporate arm/core work with the bands

Least favorite FIT4MOM exercise? Burpees - although, they have gotten easier to do since getting back in shape :)

Thanks to Sara Happ and Kama Indian Bistro for their generous gifts on Jennie's behalf!