Welcome to spotlight #8! Here is where I highlight one woman I believe to be a "strong woman". I believe we are here to learn from one another and be strengthened, so what better way to both learn from and celebrate a beautiful friend than a special blog post dedicated to her?
One of the most energizing gals you will ever meet, I am super happy to introduce Aimee. I met her a few years ago on the "comment section" of Strong Woman Spotlight #1! We have our dear friend Amanda in common, and upon my looking at her blog, I realized we had a lot more in common since her Mother, like my husband, has Multiple Sclerosis. Her Dear MS letters inspired my own. When we moved back to Seattle we made sure to get together, and I am so happy to call her my friend. She and her hubby have the cool etsy shop PopRocks Design and you can also check out her uber cute family on my photo blog here.
1.Your mother has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis since your childhood, how has this trial affected you?
Her illness has been critical in shaping who I am today. I think I am more independent as a person because there was a need in our family to step up and fill in the spaces that were once easily managed by her. We have used humor as part of our family resiliency through this trial and it has made all the difference in how I react to difficult circumstances in my life.
2. As a an individual, marriage & family therapist, what is your biggest challenge? Is it easy to be cynical when you hear/see so much negativity?
I think my biggest challenge is leaving work at work. I have created mental way to leave all the sad stories I hear on the couch in my office so I don't bring the weight home with me. I am not always successful but I try very hard to be intentional. It is easy to get cynical when you hear all the heartbreak, but on the flip side I would say that I see so much positive change and healing in people that it gives me hope in humanity to see the power of change.
3.What made you decide to go into this line of work and what has been your most rewarding experience thus far?
I think from a young age I wanted to be a therapist. I was always much better at people than sports or academics.
I really loved working at an in-patient drug rehab in Everett for pregnant or parenting women. The visual change I would see in my clients when they would first arrived to when they graduated was some of the most powerful transformations I have ever seen. I miss working there, but love working at my practice, too, which I do get to see change- it just isn't as up close and raw.
4.What is your favorite book?
I am a sucker for Scarlett O'Hara. I read Gone With the Wind the summer of my sophomore year in high school and when it ended I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself for a few days.
5.You are a new mother to a ten month old baby boy. How has your life been changed?
Wow. I would need a write a whole blog post on this one. I remember the first few days of him being born I kept thinking,"When is his mom going to come get him?" And then I realized that I WAS THE MOM. It has been the most wonderful and hardest experiences of my life and I am learning more and more about myself with each month that passes. Everything I thought was going to be amazing about parenthood is even better than I could've imagined and the things I thought might be tough are even tougher than I could've imagined. I am an amateur still.
I have recently declared myself the President of the Don't Judge Mom's Club. Everyone is just trying to do their best and moms need to be kinder to each other I think. If co-sleeping works for you - great! If you are a BabyWise mom - great! Whatever is best for you and your baby (that is not abuse) is cool with me. No more judging!
6. What's your advice for new mothers?
Lower your expectations. Things will not get done to the same speed as they did pre-baby.
7. What is your favorite food indulgence?
Donuts always tempt me. I heart their lovely doughiness.
8. What is it about your husband that you are most grateful for?
First off I just think he is a really cool person. He is way, way cooler than me. Plus, I like him and I love him. I think both are essential. I believe one of our greatest strengths is that we fight fair. I get to see how a lot of couples fight with each other and some just don't do it fair. My husband and I definitely have conflict but for the most part we remain kind to each other in the tension. It has worked well for us. He has been an amazing dad and it has been so fun to see him in that new role.
9. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I know this sounds so cliche but my pick would be Hawaii. Every time I go there I end up trying to justify ways and reasons we must move there. It is, for me, the happiest place on earth. I am the best version of myself there.
10. Was there a moment or decision that you feel completely changed the direction of your life?
When I was 15 my family moved to Seattle. That was definitely a life-changer for me.
I believe for everyone the choice of your spouse is the biggest decision you will ever make. Ever. So obviously choosing to marry, Scott was big in my life choices too.
11. What is your favorite quote?
Ohhhh that is a hard one. I have always loved this description about joy and sorrow and how they are inseparable.
Thanks Aimee! As always, I have learned a lot from you;)