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.

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