Five Minutes with a Mom: Audra Shaw

Audra Shaw

Name: Audra Shaw

Kid’s names and ages: My beautiful daughter Aubree is 2 1/2 years old.

Where are you from and how long have you lived in NWA?

I grew up all of my life in Pearcy, AR outside of Hot Springs. I moved to NWA in Fall 2004 to attend the U of A and have called it home ever since.

Which songs are on your iPod right now?

I seriously have no music in my iTunes account and just play Pandora when I want to listen to music.

Tell us about a day in your life:

I am fortunate to get to stay home with my daughter Aubree. Days with her involve reading books, playing with baby dolls, listening to and singing lots of songs, working puzzles, playing with one of her many you kitties, practicing flash cards (which she crazily loves), therapy sessions, exploring the whole house, and lots of snuggling during nap time. Of course, there’s the typical keep the house running things, too.

Tell us about some traditions you’ve started with your daughter:

We watch Wheel of Fortune as a family together every night after realizing Aubree loved it. Simple, clean, fun with everybody interested in the same thing for 30 minutes! During Christmastime, we drove around and looked at Christmas lights many nights, which we plan to continue in the future. In the fall, we also go to a local pumpkin patch and let Aubree pick out pumpkins. We also enjoy going to the farmer’s market when it’s open on the weekends.

What has been one of the most surprising things about motherhood?

I think the most surprising thing is that it is surprising and you can’t be completely ready for it. The pain you feel when watching your child hurt, the joy you have when you see her accomplish or reach milestones, and how amazing the feeling is of holding her cannot be described or understood accurately until you experience it yourself.

I always knew I would love my child, but didn’t know how great that love would be until we had her!

Where do you and your family love to play in NWA?

Our own backyard is probably our favorite! Great shade in the afternoon, swinging, gardening, playing fetch with our dog Mo, playing in water when the weather is warm, it’s great fun only a few feet away!

Away from home, we like going to Murphy Park, Tyson Park, and JB Hunt Park (all in Springdale) to swing, slide, and climb. We also like to take family trips to Lowes for getting things for projects! The racecar shopping cart is too fun!

Do you have any fun hobbies?

I love getting creative in the kitchen and cooking. It’s a great outlet that I really enjoy and allows me to share with others.

If you could vacation anywhere in the world this winter where would it be?

Hawaii. My husband and I love traveling to and spending time there. We hope to take Aubree one day when she is older!

Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?

I’m not really sure. It would have to be someone who has experienced unimaginable emotional pain in real life (severe illness or loss of a child, etc.) to be able to come close to conveying it on the movie screen.

My daughter has a rare genetic condition called Jeunes syndrome that has left her critically ill and in the intensive care unit much of her life. Watching your baby be so very sick, not knowing if you will ever get to take her home again, and how that makes you feel, I don’t think could be accurately portrayed by someone who hadn’t experienced such terrible hurt that one doesn’t know existed until you have been in that situation.

Also, someone who is a believer and follower of Christ to know from personal experience the hope found in Him to go make it through tough situations.

Thankfully, after ten months in the pediatric intensive care unit and innumerable prayers from us and our family and friends, we were able to bring our daughter back home. Praise The Lord!

While there are still medical complexities, surgeries, and the like, we are so thankful to God for allowing us to continue having our daughter here with us, enjoying life and spreading her infectious joy to all who meet her.

A very specific order for an actress! Don’t see a movie of my life coming out anytime soon!

What’s something you’ve always wanted to learn?

I’ve never learned to drive a standard transmission vehicle. It would probably be useful because I have never been able to drive either of my husband Derrick’s Jeeps in the 8 years we’ve been married!

What three things do you always have with you?

My iPhone, hand sanitizer, and tea bags for a cup of hot tea!

How do you relax at the end of the day?

Holding and rocking my daughter to sleep every night. Many nights I hold her an extra 30 minutes to an hour because it’s just the best feeling in the world!

One word to sum me up: Blessed.

Five Minutes with a {New} Mom: Ashley Miller

Ashley Miller

Name: Ashley Miller

Baby’s name and age: Hattie, 7 weeks

What has been an unexpected joy of motherhood? The instant love I felt for her. You always hear moms talk about that, but I didn’t realize how that would really feel.

Hattie (Ashley Miller's baby)

Has anything been harder than you expected? The lack of sleep, especially those first 4 weeks, was much more difficult than I was prepared for.

Where are you from and how long have you lived in NWA? I grew up in Wynne, and have lived in NWA for 9 years. My husband moved here from Missouri 3 years ago.

Which songs are on your iPod right now? To be honest, I’m not sure. I haven’t used it in so long. If I’m not near a radio I typically use Pandora instead.

What’s your favorite tv/Netflix show? My new favorite is Scandal. I recently binge watched from Netflix while on bed rest and was hooked.

Do you have any fun hobbies? I love any type of craft project when I have time.

If you could vacation anywhere in the world, where would it be? I have always wanted to visit Australia and New Zealand!

Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life? I’ve never really thought about it, but since you mentioned it, Jennifer Garner.

What superpower would you love to have for one day? I would love to be able to teleport so that I could travel around the world. I’ve even had a dream that I could do this!

What’s something you’ve always wanted to learn? To cook well without needing to use recipes.

What three things do you always have with you? Chapstick, a ponytail holder, and most recently…Hattie.

As a new mom, you need a few guilty pleasures. What’s your favorite? Lately it has been an hour or so to roam around Target!

One word to sum me up: Organized

Photo credit: Melissa Brawner Photography

Five Minutes with a Mom: Cheryl Hatfield

Cheryl Hatfiled and her sons, cropped

Name:

Cheryl Hatfield

Kids’ names and ages?

Brock (13) and Zach (11)

How long have you lived in NWA and what brought you here?

I’ve been here 25 years. I moved here from North Little Rock when I was 18 to be a Razorback at the University of Arkansas and study Advertising/PR in the Journalism department.

Can you tell us about your work with the American Diabetes Association?

I work for The Mars Agency, who has over a decade-long relationship with the American Diabetes Association through candidacies and creative support. We have developed the Kiss a Pig event theme for the past 10+ years and help with creative design and materials, from flyers to decor to the event program. It’s a cause that is near and dear to our hearts and Kiss a Pig is a community event that we look forward to supporting each year. At The Mars Agency, we focus on creating impact. So what better organization to support than the American Diabetes Association?

For me personally, I have friends whose son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes the day after his 12th birthday. They had no medical or family history of the disease. No explanation or reason why to point to. Witnessing their battle with the disease over the last two years has really moved me, especially as the mother of a son that age.

We understand you’re a Kiss a Pig candidate for the ADA gala. Can you tell us a little about the event?

kiss a pigAbsolutely! The American Diabetes Association of Northwest Arkansas’ 13th Annual Kiss a Pig Gala will be held on March 14th at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers. Voted as the #1 Charity Gala by both CitiScapes and Celebrate magazines, and ranked as the biggest gala in Arkansas and nationwide for the ADA; Kiss a Pig is a unique and exciting event with this year’s special entertainment by The Wallflowers and themed “KAPOW”. The event features community leaders raising funds and awareness for diabetes education and vying for the chance to kiss a pig live at the event to thank it for producing the first source of insulin for people with diabetes.

People can support the KAP campaign by contacting me at cherylh1018@gmail.com to purchase a table or tickets or donate a live or silent auction item. Or by making a 100% tax deductible donation via my personal fundraising page: Diabetes.org/chatfield.

What does a typical day in your life look like?

Oh my…there really is no “typical” day for any mother, is there? :) But I’ll describe a usual weekday with the boys. I wake up around 5:30AM to get myself (and our dog, Skipper) ready before getting the boys up and to school. Zach goes to McNair Middle School and Brock to Woodland Jr. High, so the morning drive to school starts early! Then I drive the I-49 commute to Bentonville, where I work at The Mars Agency. My client is Walmart, so the day usually includes several meetings at the agency and at the Walmart Marketing building where we brief projects, brainstorm ideas, develop strategies and review work. Never a dull moment and always a fun challenge! I drive back to Fayetteville, and on Mondays and Thursdays watch my oldest son play basketball for the Woodland Cowboys. Then it’s home to help with homework, cook dinner, take care of the dog, and hopefully squeeze in a minimum 4 mile run on the treadmill (I’m training for a Half Marathon in March). Off to bed hopefully by 10pm and then back at it the next day.

What’s playing on your iPod right now?

Maroon 5 (V and Songs About Jane), Snow Patrol, and Florence & The Machine.

What’s the best part of motherhood for you?

That’s a big question. I think the best part is when the boys show kindness, gratitude and love. Last year I spent Mother’s Day at a basketball tournament that Brock was playing in. A couple of days later, I came home to find a handwritten card from him saying how much he appreciated me sacrificing my Mother’s Day. And he had wrapped (in construction paper) his Cadbury bunny from Easter that he hadn’t eaten yet as a belated gift for me. Not gonna lie, I cried. What 13 year old does that?

If you could vacation anywhere in the world this winter where would it be?

Italy with the boys. It’s on my bucket list.

What’s something you have always wanted to learn?

A foreign language. I’ve studied French and Italian, but never to any depth. I’d love to be fluent in another language.

What are three things you always have with you?

1. My mother’s rings with the boys names on them

2. My mobile phone

3. Black eyeliner pencil :)

What’s one of your favorite guilty pleasures?

British Cadbury chocolate and red wine. No better flavor combination exists on this earth.

One word to sum me up …

Persevering

Five Minutes with a {New to NWA} Mom: Denise Lightbody

Denise Lightbody

Name: Denise Lightbody

Kid’s names and ages:

Lauren 7 & Xander 5

Where are you from and how long have you lived in NWA?

We drove here from California 6 months ago! I lived in California all 45 years of my life!  This is a dramatic adjustment for all of us!

What brought you here?

We moved to NWA for my husbands job.

What are your family’s favorite things to do so far in the area?

We love the parks here and all the community events!

Tell us about a typical day for you:

While the kids are at school, I’m generally busy doing something around the house or for the house since we just moved in at the end of August. After I pick up the kids, we head to martial arts, therapy, Girl Scouts, or gymnastics. By the time the activities are over, we bathe, eat, and fall into bed.

What’s something your friends might not know about you?

I was secretly excited to move somewhere with seasons.

What was the last song you sang along to?

Do They Know it’s Christmas? (I’ve been listening to Christmas music since they started playing it.)

What’s your favorite holiday tradition?

I love being able to see the kids faces when they first see the gifts that Santa left for them under the tree; it makes all the stress leading up to it worthwhile.

If you could vacation anywhere in the world this winter where would it be?

Our family would be thrilled to go on a Disney cruise!

What’s the most enjoyable thing about being a mother?

Every day I look forward to the look on their faces when I pick them up from school. They are so happy to see me; I’ve never felt so loved.

What’s something you have always wanted to learn?

I’ve always wanted to learn sign language.

How do you relax at the end of the day?

Relax? What’s that?

One word to sum me up …dedicated (My family is everything to me.)

Five Minutes with a Mom: Janet Roberts

Janet Roberts

Name: Janet Roberts

Daughters’ names and ages: Melody is 32 (she made me a grandma, two girls of course!), Sheri is 30 (she married a German and moved to Germany this year), Monica is 18 and a senior in High School.

Where are you from and how long have you lived in NWA? We moved to Arkansas from Central OK August 6, 1965, my 6th birthday.

What is some advice you would give other moms who will be experiencing the empty nest? Have more babies!  I did and I’ve never regretted it.  Our older girls were 12 & 14 when the realization of impending empty nest hit me.  I realized it wouldn’t be long before the girls were gone and I wasn’t ready.  We had one more daughter; adored by all and a blessing to me even more since my husband died two years ago.  We were 22 days shy of our 33rd wedding anniversary.

Do you have any advice for how to survive widowhood? Don’t have regrets.  The only way to avoid them is to live each day like it is the last you will have together.  This website was a blessing to me when Brad died. www.griefshare.org. I signed up for the daily email…just what I needed when I needed it.

How did you meet your boyfriend? We met when I was 15 and he was 21.  I thought he was so handsome. We dated for about a year, but not until after my 18th birthday.  Thirty four years later we got reacquainted.  He didn’t know I was a widow…so I had to work that into the conversation.  We have been dating since.

We understand you have a personal “rule” about doing things that pull you out of your comfort zone. Will you tell us about it?  I decided a few years ago if I am asked to do something that is outside of my comfort zone, but it won’t hurt me, I’ll do it.

Tell us about your job at DaySpring: I have a great job.  I am one of the travel coordinators for the company but I also coordinate focus groups.  We host 25 or more events each year and we are always looking for more participants.

Where does your family love to play in NWA? Crystal Bridges is a new favorite, the Safari in Gentry, and since we are a family of mostly girls… the mall.  I love home improvement stores and flea markets.

Do you have any fun hobbies? I love to bake and sew, but there isn’t much time for that these days.

What’s something your friends might not know about you? They might not realize how shy I am.  I am chatty, but in a group I panic.

Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life? Lucille Ball!  Wasn’t she fabulous?!

What’s something you have always wanted to do? I’ve always wanted to write a book.

What are three things you always have with you? Don’t ask Monica this question because she thinks I lose everything; my phone, car keys and sweet memories of my family.

How do you unwind at the end of the day? Sitting in the living room with my sweetie and my baby girl, drinking coffee.

One word to sum me up … Blessed

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