Five Minutes with a Mom: Kim Sirmans

Kim Sirmans

Name:

Kim Sirmans

Kids’ names and ages?

My son Julian is 4, and my little girl Ella Grace will be 3 in a couple weeks

Where were you raised?

I was born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida

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

We just moved here two months ago from Florida. My husband is a finance guy and took a job as a research professor with the Walton College of Business at the UofA.

What was the last song you sang along with?

ha! I am currently singing the “Days of the Week” song in my head: my kids were jamming out to it this morning on the way to preschool ;)

What’s your favorite vacation spot?

My brother and sister live in Destin, FL and we always enjoy our time there (who doesn’t?!). It’s going to be strange not having it just an hour and a half away anymore! But I’d say some of the most incredible places I’ve been on vacation would be Aruba, the Republic of Panama(!), or the Virgin Islands. The Lord made such a beautiful world for us to enjoy:)

Your favorite place so far in NWA?

That is hard to choose! We have found quite a few gems we love! To eat- I’d say Stone Mill Bread or Briar Rose Bakery (I love carbs); outdoors- Devils Den, War Eagle Caverns, or biking around Lake Fayetteville. I love the classes at Fayetteville Athletic Club! And I also LOVE how many adorable locally-owned shops and boutiques there are in NWA.

What about your favorite chick flick?

Also tough! I finally narrowed it down (to six! ha!) by thinking about which movies I’d try to watch if they were on TV. Let’s go with “Father of the Bride” (1 & 2!), “A League of Their Own”, “Baby Mama”, “The Blindside” and “The Help”

When/where did you first meet your husband?

We met at church when we were about 10 years old.

Was it love at first sight?

No, not quite! As we grew up, we always had the same mutual friends, but never really saw much of each other (we attended church at different times and went to different schools). Then he asked me to his senior prom when I was a sophomore. I was so excited simply to go to prom as a sophomore! I knew he was nice and cute, but at the time he was also very shy. However, it didn’t take long for me to become smitten with his kindness, gentility, humility and humor. (The fact that he played guitar and sang in a band didn’t hurt either;) We’ve been together ever since!

His family used to tell me how nervous he was to ask me to prom: he’d dial the first six digits of my telephone number and then hang up over and over again. Finally he decided he wanted to ask in person so he found me at church and asked me there. Sometimes I think about what life would be like if he hadn’t gotten the courage up, and still to this day, I thank him regularly for asking me to prom.

What are a few of your favorite parenting moments so far?

Even though my son is “all-boy” he and my daughter are both very affectionate. Some of the sweetest moments have been spent snuggling in the morning. Julian will put his hands on my cheeks and quietly says things like “you are the most beautiful mama I’ve ever had.” I also love waking up and seeing my little girl just smiling at me. I can see in her eyes her pure excitement and anticipation for all the fun the day might bring. In those moments (and always), she is so enthusiastic about life. It is such a good way to start the day! I love watching them learn new things and gain confidence through doing so.

A few days after we arrived in Arkansas and as we were waiting for our moving truck to arrive, we went to the Rogers Aquatic Center. My little 4-year-old wanted to go across the floating leaf and lily-pad path where you have to go across a rope “monkey-bar style” to get across.

Well, he was too small to do that, but he was undaunted in his determination to get to the other side. So he figured out a way and jumped from float to float. There was a group of four or five teenage boys behind me just cheering him on, clapping, and encouraging him. He made it across and was just beaming! It was such a sweet moment and such a kind welcome to Arkansas!

Incidentally, he wanted me to go across after him, so I did. When I made it to him, I picked him up and gave him a big hug and said “I’m SO proud of you!” and he hugged me tightly back and said “Thanks! I’m so proud of you too!”

What’s your favorite way to get your kids laughing again after a hard day?

An almost foolproof way to get my kids laughing again is just to be silly with them. We’ll sing songs in a silly way or dance around. Another way is to play “Red Light, Green Light”

What’s a meal you make over and over for your kids?

Do peanut butter sandwiches count as a meal? ;) Really, we are all about easy and try to be healthy, so we’ll do chicken or salmon on the grill and veggies a lot. They also love Taco Tuesday :)

Your most-loved hobbies?

Since moving here to Fayetteville I’ve taken up biking and hot yoga! I love taking pictures of my kids and documenting their lives. I enjoy cooking and baking and serving a dish or dessert I can be proud of. I have strong opinions politically and enjoy (and sometimes cringe) learning more in that arena. I also love learning more about (and striving to grow in) the gospel.

What’s your idea of a relaxing day?

Having nothing to do except go outside and play with my family :)

One word to sum me up

friendly or passionate :)

5 Minutes with a Mom: Lindsey K.

Lindsey's kids

Name:

Lindsey K.

Kids’ names and ages:

Bentley (7), Logan (girl, 6), Roman (4)

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

Nothing really comes to mind…maybe The Avengers? Back in college days, it would have been Patch Adams or The Other Sister. A League of Their Own is great, too!

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

A simple birthday tradition we’ve been doing includes taking the birthday child to pick out a couple of balloons from Party City, and then usually a lunch date with Daddy if it falls on a weekday.

My husband has also made dates with our daughter a pretty regular thing (particularly for the special daddy-daughter date nights put on by CFA). Inadvertently, we’ve spent every spring break (that I can recall) with our kids’ out-of-state cousins. Last summer they moved nearly 3x the distance they were previously and weren’t going to be able to come to AR for spring break. We managed a VERY last minute trip to go see them, and I’d love to make that our new spring break tradition – especially since my oldest son and oldest nephew both have birthdays over the break and have always spent them together.

And may I just give a shout-out to my AMAZING traveling kids?! I took them by myself (to VIRGINIA; ~1025 miles) and I’m convinced there are no better travelers than my kiddos – we managed only 1 hour worth of stops each day on the 2-day drive there. Summer traditions include spending lots of time with out-of-state cousins, and possibly a trip to FL (just mommy and kiddos) to go see my grandparents and sister.

If we manage that trip this year, it’ll be our second year in a row. I feel it’s important to see my grandparents as often as I can while they’re still with us. I suppose you could some up the last half of that as: Road trips with Mommy for spring break and summertime!

Where does your family love to play in NWA?

We have only been to Tanyard Creek once – but it was AWESOME! We will go again this summer. Closer to us, but with some of the same frills as Tanyard Creek, is the park on Horsebarn Road. The creek there is great and we just discovered a Mulberry tree there this week – those berries are DELICIOUS! Otherwise, we love hopping around to our local Springdale and Fayetteville parks (the new Rotary Adventure Park in Springdale became a quick favorite). Once in a blue moon we might go to Jump Zone, Boingo Bounce, or Little Giggles – and those are a HIT every time!

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

I rarely ever listen to the radio. I don’t typically have it on in our van, but even when I’m alone – I usually just drive in silence. Ahhhhh, silence.

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

New Zealand sounds nice!

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

Oh dear, this is totally not up my alley. Maybe Candace Cameron Bure…? I’m trying to come up with a Christian woman, or anyone who would remotely be like me. I suppose it’d be her.

What would the name of the movie be?

The two hardest questions of this whole interview – aah! I’ll go with, “Redeemed.”

What’s something you have always wanted to learn?

I’d like to learn more about photography and editing. I take photos for family/friends for fun, but I’d like to learn more.

What are three things you always have with you?

Chapstick/lipgloss, my phone, and my incessant brain chatter ;)

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

Usually just by watching some TV with my hubby and a cup of hot tea. Sometimes it’s sans TV and we just talk.

One word to sum me up …

Intricate.

5 Minutes with a Mom: Rachel Burks

rachel cropped

Name:  Rachel Kay Burks

Daughter’s name and age: Maycey Monroe, age 6

What was the best thing about being pregnant? I actually had a really difficult pregnancy, so the best thing about mine was when it was over!  I had a beautiful baby girl who has changed my life in the best possible ways.

The worst? The hardest part was being put on bed rest because of preeclampsia.

Where are you from and how long have you lived in NWA? I am originally from Conway and I moved to Fayetteville last July. But for a few years in between Maycey & I lived in Brooklyn, New York.

What brought you here? After a few years of living in New York I knew I missed my home state of Arkansas but since I lived in Central Arkansas most of my life I decided to give Fayetteville a try!

Rachel & Maycey 1What are you and your daughter loving most about Northwest Arkansas? We love the community! There is always something fun happening! But our favorite thing to do is probably visiting the farmers market on Saturday mornings and then going for brunch afterwards.

Tell us about your job as a kitchen designer: As a Kitchen Designer I get to design and remodel everyone’s favorite room in the home!  It’s always interesting to come into someone’s home and see how they live.  My projects become very personal to me, because it’s more than simply making a room look pretty – it’s helping improve someone’s day to day life. (Rachel works for Kitchen Distributors of Fayetteville, FYI!)

Tell us about a typical day for you: Every day is different! Most days I come to the office to draw up design plans and give showroom tours. Then I pick Maycey up from school and head to soccer, softball, or dance practice.  (Or Junior League for me!)

What’s something your friends might not know about you?  Hmm… That isn’t possible because I don’t keep anything from my friends! But they might not know that when we lived in Brooklyn, we lived in a Hasidic Jewish neighborhood.

If you could vacation anywhere in the world this summer where would it be? My sister is a missionary in Africa, so I am actually going to visit her in a few weeks!

What’s the most enjoyable thing about being a mother? The best part is Maycey of course. She has the biggest, happiest personality and there is never a dull moment. She keeps me on my toes and she keeps me laughing literally ALL the time!

What’s something you have always wanted to learn? I have always wanted to learn how to sew.

What are three things you always have with you? Blueberry red bull, heavy duty measuring tape and headphones.

How do you relax at the end of the day? Doing the dishes by hand.  Call me crazy, but it is a stress reliever for me!

One word to sum me up … Fearless!

Photo credit: Anna Martin Photography

5 Minutes with a Mom: Jill Langham

Jill Langham

Name: Jill Langham

Where do you live in NWA? We live in Springdale.

What brought you to the area? Originally, I moved here to help open the Christian Book Outlet stores. I worked at the one in Harrison and was asked to move to help start stores in NWA.

Children’s names and ages:

Tanner – 18
Rachel – 10
Porter – 6
Grady – 3

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Western Grove, AR. No one knows where that is unless you’re from there. :) It’s just south of Harrison, AR.

How would you describe a typical day in your busy mama life? Weekdays consist of getting up way earlier than my kiddos to have a quiet time before I get them up at 6:30am. Mornings are usually hectic getting out the door for them to get to school and me to work. I work Sunday through Thursday and weeknights are usually spent at kids activities and some rare nights at home just hanging out. It’s a busy but oh so fun life!

You’re pretty busy on Sunday mornings, too, right? Tell us about your job at Cross Church in Fayetteville: My main responsibilities on Sundays are making sure everything is running smoothly with our preschoolers, their families, and all of our volunteers.

We have a rotating list of about 200 Preschool volunteers for Sunday that I’m privileged to work with! During the week, I oversee our preschool staff and organize any activities that we have where preschoolers will be in our care to help maximize the time we have with them to make the most of every opportunity to share Jesus with these precious kiddos. I also help with our greeter and cafe teams for Sundays and help place new volunteers in serving positions throughout our church.

Favorite all-time movie? Steel Magnolias (with The Notebook running a close second!)

Last book you read? The Inheritance of Beauty by Nicole Seitz

What’s some great parenting advice you used and then passed along to others? The advice I most often got from my mom was “Don’t do anything stupid”. I have sort of revised that and with my kids and with some of the girls I mentor, I just ask them to judge anything they’re doing with the question, “Is it wise?” Something may be permissible, but ultimately, is it wise? Always choose the wise thing.

Something you’d love to learn in the future? I have always wanted to learn how to play the piano or the guitar.

Do you have a favorite phrase? Y’all! – I know it’s just a word, but said just right it can also be a phrase. :)

What’s your favorite guilty pleasure? Donuts!!

What’s the best thing about being a mother? For me, seeing my kids displaying things they’ve been taught at home and at church is awesome! Seeing them becoming great people and kids who love Jesus is the most I could ask for!

And the hardest thing? Seeing them hurt either by others or by choices they’ve made themselves. (And chasing after a VERY active 3 year old – that’s pretty tough!! :)

What’s your favorite way to relax? I love a good cup of coffee and a good book. A quiet place to enjoy both of those is just about the most relaxing thing ever!

One word to sum me up … Grateful

5 Minutes with a Mom: Beth Christy Hamilton

Beth Christy Hamilton

Name: Beth Christy Hamilton

Children’s names and ages? Lily, 7 and Jackson, 5

What’s something funny your kids did recently? They enjoy playing pranks, so together they took a plastic snake and put it outside Lily’s bedroom door to “scare” me. I saw it but still did a little scream. They thought they played a great prank on mommy!

How long have you lived in NWA and what brought you here? We moved to NWA in October 2011 from Joplin, MO.

I decided to relocate following the tornado due to the emotional trauma it left on myself and the children. They were buried in the rubble in Wal-Mart and the heartache of that night and the months following was devastating. My son also was diagnosed with a heart condition which required invasive surgeries. I decided we needed a fresh start. I loved Arkansas and we have been blessed by support since moving here.

Tell us about a day in the life of Beth: I begin the day at 5:30 and it is go-go from there. I travel with my position as a mobile assessor for Lakeland Behavioral Health System, which is a behavioral treatment facility for children and adolescents. I work closely with therapists and probation officers as well as families throughout NWA. The evenings are family time and one tradition we have is to sit around the dinner table and discuss our day. This is our time to laugh and enjoy one another.

What’s been the most unexpected thing about motherhood for you? Priority change. I no longer care about the latest styles or name brands..I just want a world that is better for my children. I strive to make them proud and happy.

What advice would you give a brand new mom? Don’t sweat the small stuff! The dishes can wait..enjoy your time as a mom because they grow up sooo fast! Take time to play!

If you went back to college what would you study? I would study Special Ed.

Having worked in mental health I realize the need to change the attitudes of society toward children with mental illness.

What are three things you always have with you? My phone (lost without it!), paper towels (we are a messy group!) and lip gloss (I am still a girl at heart!)

Do you have any fun summer plans? Silver Dollar City! We have season passes. It was my favorite place as a child and my kids adore it!

What are your favorite places to hang out with kids in NWA? We love all the parks and the splash pad is a hit! We also love the First Friday events in Bentonville!

If someone wrote a book about your life right now, what would the title be? Girl From Kansas Still Following Her Yellow Brick Road

What’s something interesting that’s happened to you recently? I was asked to interview for an article for nwamotherlode.com :) {And we’re so glad you said yes, Beth!}

One word to sum me up … Determined

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