:: Down with Detroit ::
Besides the four years spent as a Spartan in East Lansing (GO GREEN!), I have lived in Oakland County the majority of my life. Although I do enjoy traveling to other states and countries, Michigan is definitely “home.” In addition to the fact that I love lakes, cider mills, and Greek salads from Coney Islands, I’m constantly researching new restaurants to try and interesting places, especially kid-friendly ones, to check out all over the Metro Detroit area.
As a child, I recall only visiting the city of Detroit for random Red Wings games with my dad and, on the not-so-cold years, the Thanksgiving Day Parade. I remember gazing out the backseat window of my mom’s burgundy ‘91 Grand Caravan, wondering how these worn-down, vacant structures were once happy homes to my grandparents, two of whom immigrated to the city from Malta seeking the “American Dream.”
Like many who have been in and out of the city throughout the past decade though, I honestly become increasingly impressed with each visit. I currently reside in West Bloomfield with my husband and daughter and love that it only takes us 30 minutes to get to Detroit, a place that is undoubtedly developing on the daily.
:: My Life ::
Chris, my very first boyfriend, proposed to me at Yates Cider Mill in Rochester Hills in 2011, and we will be celebrating our fifth anniversary this July. Throughout our marriage thus far, we obtained Master’s Degrees from Michigan State University, had a variety of career movements and changes and were beyond blessed with the greatest gift of all: the arrival of our now almost two-year-old daughter, Analise.
Pre-motherhood, I taught high school English and journalism for two years at L’Anse Creuse High School-North and then another two years at North Farmington High School. Although the profession seemed like a natural fit, and there were many aspects I loved, I knew I could no longer sacrifice my family, or me, for the long hours, low pay, high stress and unethical acts that were seemingly occurring more frequently each year that I remained in the profession.
After my maternity leave, I began tutoring and freelance writing for some extra income. It’s been over 1.5 years since I started this “path,” and I now (during naps and in the evenings) get the pleasure of working with 12 to 20 middle school, high school and college students a week and writing on a regular basis, something I sincerely enjoy but haven’t had time for in years, all while spending my days with my daughter. I honestly could not see myself as a full-time-working nor stay-at-home mom and, although it’s insane at times, truly believe I have the best of both worlds.
:: Babies & Beyond ::
Analise Sofia, known to our family as “Mama’s Little Shadow,” came two weeks early in 2015 on April Fools’ Day, sharing a birthday with her Godmother and my little sister, Whitney. Like her aunt, she is impatient and short-tempered but probably the most enthusiastic, caring and hilarious little leader-in-the-making I have ever met. She loves her classes at The Little Gym of West Bloomfield and Born Yoga of Birmingham, and, as long as I get her a banana and avocado smoothie after, she finally lets me workout while she plays at my gym’s daycare center; I try my best to model a healthy lifestyle for her.
For my husband’s birthday this year, Analise had big news to share: she’ll be promoted to “Big Sis” this October! I’m a little nervous about the adjustment to two, but Chris and I couldn’t be happier about it. We are also extremely fortunate to live by both of our families who are always willing to help us out with Analise when needed, and I even have an amazing mother-in-law who often drops off home-cooked meals! (Yes, really).
Contributing to Detroit Moms Blog is something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. I am constantly preaching to Analise that “Nice friends share.” Not only do I love writing, but when I learn new information or experience something great in our community, I want to “be nice” and “share.”