My husband, Garett, introduced me to Andrea and her husband Brandon a little over a year ago now. She was singing with him at church and not only was I taken back by her beautiful voice but her contagious enthusiastic nature. Garett and I were new to the area and she was so kind and spoke to me with such familiarity she's just one of those people you want to be around. Back then she talked about dreams of opening up a fashion boutique in her home town of Sebastopol. She loves fashion, and shopping, and meeting new people- I could tell this was going to be something I would see come true for her in the right timing! Now, a year later when I asked her to be the first mama spotlighted in my Motherhood in Bloom it is a reality! She excitedly told me about Sparrow and all the markets she had been traveling to gearing up for the big reveal of her store. I couldn't be more excited for her! Below she tells a bit of her story sprinkled with some of the portraits we took at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. In every spotlight I look forward to hearing how each mama answers about 15 questions ranging from favorite products and local finds, to the battles they're waging and the triumphs they're having with their littles. I hope you enjoy and may the same thread of trials and joys we all share in our motherhood journeys bring unity and strength for when we need it most!
Hi! My name is Andrea and this is my motherhood journey:
My husband Brandon and I got married right before turning 22 years old. Since we were pretty young and he was playing minor league baseball we knew we wanted to wait awhile before we had kids. I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a mother but I have always been pretty aware of the commitment of marriage and motherhood, so I wanted to take my time adjusting to married life before adding another person into the mix. We went to a wedding in Nebraska in the winter of 2009 and I don't know if I'd ever been so emotional in my entire life and for no apparent reason. I had a really bad cold and was singing for the wedding of our dear friends so I was taking all the cold medicine in the world just to get through the ceremony. I was so distracted that I didn't realize that I was late until the drive home from the airport. At the time we were living in my parents pool house because we traveled 6 months out of the year for baseball and were making next to nothing. So I happened to have a pregnancy test on hand and took it and lo and behold it was positive! I was in shock! I had two really good friends that had been trying to get pregnant for a long time and couldn't and the only thing I could think of was how unfair this all seemed. That they couldn't conceive but here I was not even trying and absolutely not ready to have a baby. I felt ashamed that my reaction was not one of joy but of sadness and fear. But the beautiful thing is that God gives us 9 months to warm up to the idea of this little being living inside of us. I am not a fan of being pregnant, I was sick and exhausted and uncomfortable. Strangers kept touching me and asking me very personal questions. But then she was born! She was this beautiful cone headed little thing and I was so scared of her and loved her so much all at the same time. It was then that I understood. I understood what it meant to fall in love at first sight.
What energizes you the most?
A good talk over coffee with a friend. Listening to the thoughts, triumphs, and struggles of another opens my mind to different perspectives and gives me more and more compassion for people which energizes me. It gives me a purpose and redirects and clarifies my thoughts. And coffee is just heaven.
Favorite Song Recommended:
This is ever changing but currently I’m really into Kelly Clarkson’s newest album, specifically the track Whole Lotta Woman. It’s super fun and sassy, my girls love singing it with me in the car.
Favorite Clutch Recipe:
Tacos! They’re the best because let’s be real, you can put anything in them. Chicken, fish, cauliflower for a vegetarian option, beef. I always have cheese and lettuce in my fridge and usually tomatoes. And then you can literally fill them up with whatever else you have on hand. Leftovers are great in tacos as well. And if you don’t have tortillas you can just throw all the ingredients in a bowl and you have a taco salad!
Favorite Local Business:
Sparrow is my favorite local business. I may be biased because it’s mine. :) We are a new women’s clothing and gift boutique in Sebastopol. But other than my business, I really love the Face Place in Sebastopol as well. I go there for facials, waxing and lash extensions in the summer. The staff is wonderful!
NYX Butter Gloss has been one of my favorite products for awhile now. They retail for under $10 at any drug store. I have at least one in all of my purses. The colors are pretty neutral so they are an easy thing to put on. I add a swipe of mascara and I feel a little put together when I have very little time, which is most of the time.
What is the battle your fighting with your kiddos right now?
I have one child who is organized, efficient, and overachieving and one child who is imaginative, messy, and content. I love that they’re so different and hope that they will learn from each other. It’s hard for me as a parent not to compare, even if it’s just in my mind. I want them to be free to be there person that they are created to be but I also have to teach them how to be people out in the world. It’s a tough balance!
What single piece of advice could you share with us that has stuck with you when it comes to parenting?
To lower your expectations of yourself. When the day doesn’t go as I hoped and everyone in the house is tired or unhappy, including myself, I have to remind myself that we’re all doing our best. Most things won’t go as planned, the kids will fight, I’ll lose my patience, a glass will break, we won’t be able to find soccer shorts for the game in 10 minutes, the laundry will pile up to the point of not knowing if it’s clean or dirty anymore, etc. But if at the end of the day my kids go to bed knowing that they’re loved, I’m happy.
If your child could only have three things in life what would they be?
Love, wisdom, and faith.
What is your favorite thing to do with your kiddos?
Laugh! Kids have such a beautiful way of not taking themselves too seriously! We have dance parties sometimes and just laugh. It’s so important to take a break from all the rules and homework and striving and just be together.
What three things about your routine make it work?
The grandparents! They are all four amazing!!! We are so incredibly blessed to have grandparents in our girls lives that love them. They take them overnight, they watch them while we work, they truly love them so much!
InstaCart is my new best friend. It’s a grocery delivery service. When you sign up you pay a membership fee and you tip your shopper/driver after they deliver your groceries but OMG you can place your order at Costco (anything to avoid going to Costco, am I right?) Whole Foods or Safeway, and they deliver it within 2 hours! I can’t rave about this enough! Also I tend to get very distracted by end caps with sale items, such as wine or cheese and make a few impulse purchases and this eliminates that for me.
Rest. This is a huge lesson that I learned last year. I actually learned how to rest, to be still. Ladies, it was weird and super hard at first but then once I got a little more comfortable with it I really enjoyed it. This can look different depending on your personalty and needs. Sometimes that’s sitting in my backyard reading or praying, sometimes it’s yoga, sometimes its taking the dog for a walk, sometimes it’s hiding in the bathroom/closet/car with some chocolate (whatever you gotta do to survive :). It’s just depends on what I need that particular day. I like to describe myself as an extrovert with introvert tendencies, so people energize me and fill me up but I do need time to process and be alone, just a little bit. It makes all the difference.
What is something long term that you want for your child?
Hands down, I want more than anything for them to know that they are loved. I pray this prayer over them at tuck in all the time; “God, Remind them that they are loved just how they are, by me and their Dad but most importantly by you. I pray that they grow more and more in their understanding of who You are and that they cling to that with all that they have. Amen.”