Five Minutes with a Mom: Laurie Marshall

laurie-marshall.jpgName: Laurie Marshall

Children’s names and ages: Delaney – 17, Kelsey – 15, Griffin – 4 (two girls and a boy)

Tell us a little about this picture of you (at right): This was taken at my favorite place — the beach in Inverness, Nova Scotia. I have teenagers, so it goes without saying that I am familiar with the  narcissistic tendency to photograph oneself from every angle and with a variety of attitudes and personalities exhibited. I thought I’d give it a shot while I was sitting outside reading one day as my son chased worms and rode his bicycle/rocket ship.  My brother has called this one my “author face”. I think that was it… could have been my “smart-ass face”, but I can’t remember. They’re both very similar anyway…

Where else have you enjoyed traveling? Well, Nova Scotia is my favorite place ever; getting to Orcas Island, WA was a pain in my derrier, but worth the trouble; Paris was wasted on me at age 18; and I enjoyed a week of amazing backpacking along the Continental Divide in Colorado… definitely a cool weather mountain lover over warm beaches.

Where were you raised? Born in Fayetteville; lived in Little Rock until I was 14; Pasadena, TX for my teen years; then Dallas in my early 20s… but I really didn’t grow up until I moved back to NWA in 1990 and started raising my own kids. Funny how that works. This area has always been home to me.

Tell us about your different jobs: Oh lord… how about some highlights and things I learned:

  • There’s the first job – Wendy’s. Helped me decide to continue my education past high school.
  • The only retail job – Dillard’s (men’s dept.). Found out I’d rather do almost anything besides work in retail. Torturous.
  • Fun job – waiting tables at Bennigan’s. Loved tips!! Spent tips!! Tips are not a reliable source of income.
  • Cool job – ticket sales at Wild River Country. Meet cute guys, get a tan, what’s not to love??
  • Almost job – bartending at a topless club. I was desperate for additional income, but was saved when Cheeburger Cheeburger hired me instead. I never actually worked a day at the club. (Thank you Charlie!!!)
  • First inkling I could make a career out of a job – Admin Assistant in the Office of Development at the UofA. I loved making a difference in people’s lives, and building relationships between people and the causes they are passionate about.
  • Shocking job – nude model for the UA art dept. Desperate for income again, but it was actually a really fascinating thing to do. I’ll write about it someday I’m sure. (interesting fact: artists don’t care if you look like you have had children and don’t work out often!)
  • Current job — The Development Coordinator at HOPE Inc., a non-profit agency that provides emotional and financial assistance and clinical trials access to cancer patients in NWA.

What is your favorite thing about summertime? My garden in bloom, and the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market

If you went back to college, what would you study? Ooooh… this is tough. I am not kidding when I say that if I won the lottery I would go to school for the rest of my life. I would probably get my MFA in creative writing, then work on studies in art, musical theater, cultural anthropology, and landscape or interior design.

What’s something you would never have believed about being a mom? How difficult it was to deal with my girls having a step-mother. It was extremely hard for me to accept the fact that they were doing things with her that I was not involved in. I had just always been involved with all of their shopping trips, vacations, sleepovers… knowing they were having experiences and making memories without me hit me in a very unexpected and emotional way.

What’s your favorite way to de-stress? Reading, but I rarely find chunks of time large enough to do that, unfortunately. I also love to lurk around in thrift stores and junk shops.

Name three things you always have with you: cell phone, mascara, Big Ideas notebook

Your favorite restaurant in NWA? This is completely ridiculous! You may as well ask me which tooth I prefer to chew with – it’s impossible! Just depends on the desired cuisine, really, but if I’m craving something, it’s usually one of three: Buffalo Wild Wings (F’ville!), Ella’s for their Indian buffet, or Osegueras.

Do you have any phobias? Pish posh… phobias are silly. I did, however, take out a life insurance policy before going on the aforementioned hiking trip. I like to think that was just responsible parenting, however. 🙂

The last “alone time” outing you had: Now you’re just being mean! Does taking the trash to the curb count? That was 3, maybe 4 whole minutes of solitude. Oh wait, I hit two thrift stores and a junk shop one afternoon a couple of weeks ago on the hunt for a coat rack to use to display the handmade bags I sell. (Found it!!) (btw, Laurie sells her handmade bags and vintage finds at two  Etsy shops: and

What is stressing you out the most right now? Normally, it would be the fact that my laundry never gets folded. I have tried and tried, but just can’t train our cats to do this while they’re home all day doing nothing. Today, however, my stress is fairly heavily influenced by my mother’s terminal illness. Being a parent is such a roller-coaster, but being a parent while caring for a parent is an emotional journey of unimaginable proportions.

The best thing about having children: EASY!! Parental Embarrassment Opportunities. Or maybe the sack of soft, stretchy flesh I will probably carry around my middle for the rest of my life. It’s a toss up, really.

One word to sum me up: Open