Five Minutes with a Mom: Lori Collins

Lori Collins, cropped

Name: Lori Collins

Kid’s names and ages:

Cassia 9 years old and June 5 months

Which songs are on your iPod right now? 

Funny story, I took all my music off to try an update and it didn’t work-I’m not tech savvy- I still haven’t put my tunes back on but, when I do it will consist of Luke Bryan, Andy Grammer, and the playlist from my wedding. :)

Tell us about a day in your life:

Our 9 year old is awesome. She’s gets herself up at 6:30 to get ready for school. That allows me to get up with the baby at 6:30 or 7:00 and get her fed and changed and then we head off to school. When we get home, I start whatever chores I want to work on for the day. Usually laundry  or cleaning/organizing a room in the house. Sometimes I’m even brave enough to unpack a box or two. We moved into our house when June was just a week old so we still have boxes everywhere. And of course, I throw in some snuggles with June before we get Cassia from school.

What’s the best part of being a mom of two?

I have the best of both worlds right now. I have this little one that lets me hold her and kiss on her and she needs me for everything. And then I have my big girl who also loves hugs and kisses but we can hang out and paint our nails or go to a movie together or just talk. It’s great.

Tell us about some traditions you’ve started with your daughters?

Cassia likes to call it ” Mommy and Cassia day”. We would go get a mani/pedi or maybe go to a movie. Sometimes it would be as simple as going to get ice cream or a sno cone. It’s a little harder with the little one here but I try to find a way to make special time for Cassia. And I will do the same for June when she is older.

We understand you’ve had to deal with cancer while also taking care of your new baby. How are you doing right now?

I am doing great right now.

I was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma in my second trimester of pregnancy. Talk about a scary time! I couldn’t have any of the typical tests/scans since I was pregnant, but I did have surgery to remove my tumor and had a test to show if the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes. There was some risk to the baby having these done, but we had the ‘A team’ and God on our side. Our baby girl is now 5 months old and happy and healthy. 

I have now had all the scans I need, all of which were clear, and a second opinion in Little Rock. That led me to decide no further surgery and no treatment right now. I will have frequent check ups and scans.

By the grace of God, I have been healed and given a second chance!

I have learned so much through this process. A lot about having faith in God, turning everything over to Him because He is in control, not me, and has a plan for my life and this cancer didn’t take Him by surprise. I struggle with the anxiety of the ‘unknown’ on a daily basis. Thank the Lord I have the most wonderful husband who supports me and prays for me. And, that I have two beautiful girls that keep me busy.

You just renovated a 1950s home, right? What’s your favorite room in the “new” house?

I LOVE our house! It took us many months of searching but this one just spoke to us. There are so many favorites but I have to say, my husband turning the den into our bedroom and the very small bedroom into a closet is pretty high on the list. And, we have a balcony off the kitchen that has an awesome view and plenty of room for Tom to do some grilling.

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

Mothering instincts and intuition. It’s crazy how you can know absolutely nothing about taking care of these little helpless humans but you suddenly know exactly what to do when they cry or fuss. You know when they are sad, or upset, or lying about if they brushed their teeth…lol

for the loveDo you have any fun hobbies?

I really enjoy reading. I just started a book by Jen Hatmaker, For the Love. I’m not very far in but I love it already. And I like to sing. When no one is listening, of course.

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

Anywhere as long as it’s with my husband. And warmish temperatures.

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

Probably Reese Witherspoon. She knows what it’s like to be a southern girl and I just love her.

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

How to be crafty…But really, I would love to play guitar or the piano.

What three things do you always have with you?

My phone, a diaper bag, and one or both of my kids

How do you relax at the end of the day?

I curl up with my husband and watch tv and sometimes have a glass of wine.

One word to sum me up:


Five Minutes with a Mom: Mindy Storey Czlapinski

Mindy Czlapinski, cropped


Mindy Storey Czlapinski

Kid’s names and ages:

I have 5 kids: a 13 year old daughter, 11 year old son, 7 year old daughter, 4 year old son, and 14 month old son.

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

I’ve lived in NWA my whole life.  Growing up, my dad worked for Walmart, then I met my husband at New Student Orientation at U of A in Fayetteville.  Except for a short 2 year adventure in the Tulsa area a few years ago, I’ve always lived here.  It’s a great place to live and raise a family, and it’s been exciting to see all the changes over the years.

What brought you here?  

I have spent most of my life here, but my husband accepted a job with Hershey, and that is what brought us back to the area from Oklahoma.

What does your family love to do in the area?

We are a gaming family, so we really enjoy playing together on the xbox 360 or xbox one.  I’m looking forward to visiting Nerdies and Gamers Only, Inc. in the area.  Outside of home, the kids and I love to meet with friends at local parks, and we are active in our homeschool community with play dates and field trips.

Tell us about a typical day for you:

I usually wake up to a sweet a child or two that joined us in the middle of the night, and to massive amounts of chaos as the kids do their chores, everyone gets breakfast, plays with the dog, and we send my husband off to work.

After that, we start homeschool lessons with our morning meeting, then break out into activities.  I’ll take turns helping kids with various assignments or projects, and they take turns with play breaks and playing with each other.

The baby is usually in my lap or within arms distance, playing and learning with us.  Then, depending the day of the week, we’ll go to various activities like speech therapy, tae-kwon-do, gymnastics, field trips, etc.  Sometimes I even get some laundry done!

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

I struggled with Anorexia and Bulimia most of my teen years.

I ended up being hospitalized at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock for a few months because of the toll it took on my body.  I was told later that the doctors said I probably wouldn’t live past my teen years, and that I probably wouldn’t ever have kids.

I used to not talk about it–It was a very hard time for me and for my family, but everyone made it through, and we’re all a little stronger.   I realize I wouldn’t be the person–or mom–I am now if it wasn’t for the challenges that have helped me see what I’m made of.  Sometimes things seem really bad, but most things in life are just temporary.

What was the last song you sang along to?

Ha!!  Honestly, Minecraft parodies!  We were cleaning up, and I put my daughter’s playlist on the house speakers so it would play while they were cleaning up!  We all geek out to Minecraft :)

What’s your favorite thing about homeschooling?

The freedom it allows our family in time, curriculum choices, and advancing at each child’s own pace.

I have a child with Asperger’s, a child with dyslexia, some kids are ahead in some subjects but struggle with others.  Being able to teach them at home means that I can customize each child’s curriculum and get them the help they need in areas that they struggle, or I can let them blow through their grade and beyond in a subject where they excel.

Also, the unity; It is neat to see the teenagers including and welcoming the younger kids, and everyone playing together regardless of age or ability.

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

Europe.  Always Europe.  I have never been, but have always wanted to!  I’ve tried to convince my husband to move us there for a year or so, but so far it hasn’t been an option.

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

Seeing these tiny little humans grow and explore their world–being fascinated with everything!  They transform from being inseparable from you and needing you for everything, to becoming their own bigger human person–complete with their own individuality, thoughts, ideas and perceptions about the world that continues to grow and evolve as they continue to grow and evolve.

Some moms are sad to leave behind the baby years of cute bellies and chubby thighs and super sweetness (because OH.MY.GOSH.THOSE.THIGHS!!!), but the older kids bring long talks, curiosity about the world, non-animated movies, book sharing, jokes, competitiveness with their parents over which kid can beat which parent at checkers (or finish Lego Star Wars first!).

You’ve helped this little bitty human grow into a miniature adult–It’s a whole different scene and it can be just as fun as the younger years!

What’s something you have always wanted to learn?  

Other languages.  I know minimal Spanish, French and sign language, but would love to be more fluent in those and more.  I’ve also taught myself some culinary basics, but would love to do more of that!  Ironically, I’m a major foodie!

How do you relax at the end of the day?

I love to run.  I don’t get to do it as much as I used to–but seize the opportunity when I can.  My dad and I did the Color Run in Fayetteville a few weeks ago and it was a lot of fun!

One word to sum me up


Five Minutes with a Mom: Beth Horton

Beth Horton and kids

Name: Beth Horton

Kids’ names and ages: Jack, 8, and Ginny, 5

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

I’ve lived here for 22 years. Like many transplants to NWA, I came here for college and decided to stay after graduation.

What does a typical day in your mom/teacher life look like?

I get up at 5:20 so I can have a little time to myself—coffee, breakfast and checking work email—before the day gets going full swing. Jack and I leave for school no later than 7:00 to avoid the traffic on I-49. Peter, my husband, takes Ginny to pre-school. School starts at 7:45.

Even though school’s out at 2:45, we usually don’t leave until around 4:00 or 4:15. There’s always more work to be done in a classroom! Then we pick Ginny up from preschool, usually getting home around 5:00. I make dinner since Peter doesn’t get off work until 5:30. After that, it’s time for a little relaxing with the kids, then homework for Jack.

We try to get the kids in bed by 8:00, then Peter and I watch an episode or two of whatever our current Netflix obsession happens to be. After getting lunches and clothes ready for the next day, it’s time to head off to bed. I like to read before going to sleep, so it’s usually not lights out until around 11:00.

What’s playing on your iPod right now?

I have really eclectic tastes, so you could find Johnny Cash, Adele, Mackelmore, U2, Stevie Wonder, Beyonce, Katy Perry, Queen, John Mellencamp, Arrested Development and more!

What’s the best part of motherhood for you?

Now that the kids are older, I love having conversations with them about anything and everything. They’re so funny and smart and have such compassion for others, not that I’m biased or anything. :) They amaze me every day!

What was the most surprising?

I never was big on sleeping very late, but it was a real shock to me how much sleep deprivation can mess with you. I think that was one of the hardest adjustments for me when the kids were little.

We know your husband is quite the cook. Do you enjoy cooking with him or just enjoy him cooking?

We both love to cook, so we cook together when we can. That’s usually on the weekends since he doesn’t get home until about 5:45 on weekdays.

Where does your family like to play in NWA?

We live about a block from a city park, so we like to go there frequently. We also like to walk the trails around town, and the Fayetteville Public Library is the best! We don’t make it up there often enough, but we also love going to the Farmers’ Market on the Square on Saturdays.

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

Seville, Spain. I got to live there for a semester during college and absolutely loved it. I would love to share that with my family.

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

How to speak German fluently. My mom’s family is from Southern Germany, and we got to visit them last summer. A few of them spoke a fair amount of English, but it would have been so nice to speak to them in German. Luckily my sister is a German professor at the U of A and was teaching there at the time, so she was able to help translate!

What three things do you always have with you?

My phone, Burt’s Bees lip balm and mint gum.

What’s one of your favorite guilty pleasures?

Shopping at Sephora. I love that place, especially the perfume section!

One word to sum me up … Caring

Five Minutes with a Mom: Laurie Miller

Laurie Miller's family, cropped

Name: Laurie Miller

Kids’ names and ages?

Ashley is age 12, and Michael is age 11.

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

10 years; We came for my husband’s job with Walmart.

Can you tell us about your new ministry for moms with chronic illnesses?

It’s a group for moms with chronic pain or illness that meets regularly for food and friendship.

Having a chronic illness is very isolating, as you tend to disengage from the community around you. Friendships can fade because you no longer have the same things in common, and you can’t participate in as many activities any more.

I wanted to create a group where women with chronic illness can make friends with other moms who understand life, parenting, and being a wife with chronic illness.

What prompted you to start the organization?

Eight years ago I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. When researching for help and support, I found that there were a lot of resources for physical wellness with chronic illness, but not a lot for emotional and spiritual encouragement and resources. I started writing articles about life with different aspects of chronic illness that were published in an online group that I had joined.

Eventually I started a Facebook page called God-Living with Chronic Illness. More recently I created a website with the same name where I will be focusing on providing spiritual encouragement and resources for people with chronic illness.

For several years, I have wanted to have intentional friendships with women who also lived with and understood chronic illness, so that is how the group “God-Living Girls” was born. We chat online regularly and meet when we can for fellowship and just good, plain fun.

We want to open this group up to any mom in the area with chronic pain or illness, whether that illness takes the form of migraines, diabetes, chronic pain, autoimmune issues, or something else, all are welcome.

When is your next public meeting and what will happen at the event?

god living with chronic illnessFriday, May 29th, from 6-9 pm we will be having a Meet & Greet at Panera Bread at 1320 Walton in Bentonville.

We are going to enjoy food and fellowship, and will also have a massage therapist giving 5-minute neck messages to anyone who wants one. All are welcome, and are asked to RSVP to me at 479-381-5347 if they can attend. We will be meeting every 4th Friday for food and fellowship.

What does a typical day in your life look like?

I get the kids up and off to school and then on Mondays, Tuesdays, and every other Wednesday I go to work at Washington Regional Medical Center as a Diabetes Educator. I am an RN and work part-time. When I am not working, I rest a lot so I can have energy to work and spend quality time with my kids and husband. Somewhere in there, I try to keep up with laundry and the housework.

Where do you enjoy hanging out with your family in NWA?

We eat out a lot and go to Barnes & Noble, and the kids love High Rise, of course. My daughter plays soccer, so we go to her games. We play a lot of board games at home, too, and have Nerf Gun Wars.

Which songs are your favorites for getting motivated?

I love KLRC, and am especially encouraged by the song “Blessings” by Laura Story. It is about how God can use the most difficult of circumstances in our lives to bring us blessings. I have definitely found that to be true in my life.

What’s the best part of motherhood for you?

Getting to know the people my children are becoming and getting to invest in their lives for good.

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

London– I love the castles and palaces, and I love getting to know people from a different culture. And the shopping at Harrods!

What’s something you have always wanted to learn?

To play the piano and sing. I love to sing, but I don’t know if other people love to hear me sing!

What three things do you always have with you?

Purse, cell phone, and lipstick.

What’s one of your favorite guilty pleasures?

Shopping! I can spend money with the best of them. (Not always good for the budget, though…)

One word to sum me up …

I wasn’t sure how to answer that question, so with fear and trepidation, I asked my daughter and braced myself for her answer. She said “loving”, and I hope that will always be true in my life. I want to show others the love that God has shown me.

People with chronic illness or other difficulties tend to think that God is harsh and must be punishing them, but I think that God’s tears mingle with our own when we go through tough times.

He cares about us and tells us in the Bible that He collects our tears in a bottle. He also tells us that He will provide for us and take care of us and that we can bring all our anxiety and worry to Him.

That is the message I want to hold up like a banner to those who are hurting. God loves you, has not abandoned you, and wants to provide you hope and joy despite the difficulty in your lives.

Five Minutes with a Mom: Sheila Tally

Sheila Tally

Name: Sheila Tally, 53 years young

Children’s names and ages:

Brooke 32 one daughter, Ashlynne Grace 13 months.  Brandt 28, one son Landon 4 years and a daughter Bowen 7 months.

What’s one movie you could watch over and over?

This was hard…I have about 3 really near to my heart movies all different.  It’s a Wonderful Life, Sixteen Candles, The Painted Veil, but I have to say it would be “Fried Green Tomatoes”.  I think it is due to the fact that it highlights strong woman in a time when it was not acceptable at the same time showing how one person can impact your life and change it for the better and not even realize it.

Who could forget the scene where the young girls steal her parking place she has waited so patiently and her taking her vehicle and slamming it over and over again into the young girls car…over the top? Absolutely, but lets face it, we all would like to do something equally over the top at times…  “I’m older and I have more insurance”.  LOVE IT!

Tell us about some traditions you’ve continued with your kids, even though they’re out of the “nest”:

The kids all live hours away from me now so I try to find a special ornament for them to put on their own Christmas trees each year.  I look for something that fits their personality, a hobby, something of interest that matches them all.  I have the best time trying to find something new and different for the kids as well as my son and daughter in law and those 3 grand babies.

Where does your family love to play in NWA?

We all love Beaver lake or one of the many rivers.  We have always been out door lovers.  We have a sailboat we take and camp on as well as tents, canoes for the Buffalo or other local rivers and several fishing poles for bass and trout.

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

I am a closet action movie lover…  I love action movies with a strong female hero.

Think “Salt”,  “The Long Kiss Goodnight”,  “Terminator”, you get the picture.  My husband does not like these movies much so I have to watch them on the sly when he is not around or he makes fun of me and my love of a good kick in the rear action movie.

I think it is because I secretly would have liked to be a spy or been able to kick rear end and hold my own.  I think a lot of women these days feel that way.  The world has become a bit of a scary place.

If you could have vacationed anywhere in the world this summer where would it have been?

This is difficult….there are so many places, but if I were honest we usually spend the entire 4th of July week with my husbands family which is very large and all of their family and friends at the “Tally” cabin on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.

My husband’s family has owned this land and cabin since the fifties.  It’s not fancy, but it is beautiful there and so relaxing.  The kids and grandkids can swim, play and just be kids right there on the point with all of us “big” kids to watch and supervise or play with them.  We have so many memories of years past.  It has been impossible to get to the cabin for the past 2 years and we have sorely missed it.  We have made a pact that this year we are going for at least a week.

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

Oh my, if I could have anyone…Angelina Jolie.

What would the name of the movie be?

Super Granny, Defending the Defenseless.

What’s something you have always wanted to learn?

All types of martial arts, kick boxing etc…OH and Ballroom dancing!  I love “So You Think You Can Dance”.  Now, this is ironic because these days I can barely put my underwear on without landing on my head and struggling into a pair of panty hose or tights…that you could sell tickets to see.

What are three things you always have with you?

3 things I always have with me….I have to have my Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Plum.  LOVE IT…just a hint of color and feels great without being dry or too sticky.  My day timer/wallet and my phone.  It has pics of my kids, husband, grand babies…forget making or getting calls, I have to see their sweet faces at least once a day.

Tell us about a typical day in the life of Sheila:

I am Director of Patient Accounts Receivables at a fairly large Orthopaedic surgeons office. Working in healthcare is a challenge these days.  I am up at 5am since I commute 45 minutes to work from the boondocks past Elkins over the river and through the woods.

I make the coffee, feed our 2 “girls” Beans and Shady, I guess you realize they are probably dogs and feed the cat Punk.  I am at work most days by 7:45.  I have a terrific staff of 5 ladies that make up my wonderful team.

My department is responsible for billing all the charges for 9 surgeons, 2 physician assistants, 2 very busy physical/occupational therapy departments, our own MRI and durable medical soft goods such as braces, boots etc…  We are very busy and it can be a stress ball at times.

Since I live so far out my lunch time is usually as with a lot of moms and women these days with errand running or shopping, once I get home I don’t usually come back into town.  I try my best to leave on time most nights, but it is not unusual for me to work at least until 6 or maybe 7 a night or two.

By the time I get home, and yes I do some errands such as grocery shopping or checking our mail at the post office on the way home, and I call my kids during my drive (hands free),  so it can be 6:30 or 7:00 even on days I leave at 5:00pm.  My husband does try to have some type of dinner started or ready and I usually try start winding down, unless there is laundry to start or other paperwork needing to be done.

I am on the Board of Altrusa of Fayetteville, the Midwest AAOE state representative and am a member of the National AAOE communications council, so there are times when I have projects for them that need to be completed.

How do you wind down at the end of the day?

I do watch TV when I have time, but am not a reality TV fan unless it is on HGTV or Food Network, of which I love to watch both!  I am addicted to “Madam Secretary, The Good Wife and Hart of Dixie”.

When I finally get to bed at anywhere from 10:30pm to 12:00am I generally have to read and I am a serious reader, anything from a bodice ripping historical romance to serious Biographies and trade books for my profession (now that will put you to sleep.)  Then it is up and go another day.

One word to sum me up … Hopeful.