By Heather Short
Wife and mother of four dreams of success for her family, continuing her education and helping others.
What are your favorite holiday traditions?
Our favorite traditions are to have an ugly sweater contest and a silly, secret Santa gift giveaway. Whoever is voted to have the ugliest sweater wins a gift card. As for our silly secret Santa gift giveaway, my mother and I each buy 50 things for a total of 100 gifts. Throughout the year, we go to yard sales, thrift stores, after-Christmas sales at stores, and buy silly,cheap gifts. This year, I bought a box that says it is a human-size-hamster water jug, but what’s really inside is a box of wine.
We each go around taking turns picking a gift that is already wrapped under the tree. Adults can trade with adults but cannot trade with children. Children (ages 15 and under) can trade with other children and adults if they would like. You can trade as many times as you like, but once the last gift is unwrapped, the trading stops. It is a lot of fun, brings on ton of laughs and wonderful memories.
What is your favorite Christmas movie?
My favorite Christmas movie is Disney’s “Sing Along Songs — Very Merry Christmas Songs.”
What is the go-to meal your family is sick of eating?
My go-to meal is chicken spaghetti — so easy and quick to make and so delicious.
What is the one thing you cannot live without?
My EOS Lip Balm.
What is the best Christmas gift you received from your children?
Seeing them open their gifts on Christmas. The happiness it brought to their faces and being so happy and humble for what they get.
Last thing you bought for yourself?
The last thing I bought for myself was a hat and a pair of kitten high heels. I don’t normally go out and buy myself stuff, but I bought those two things because I have been invited by a friend to accompany her at the Kentucky Derby for Gold Star members. I was told at the Kentucky Derby, one must dress up and must wear a hat! I have never been to one, and I’m very excited and honored to attend and dress up for once.
What is your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure is “Total Divas.” It’s a TV show about woman wrestlers. I’ll admit, I was never into wrestling until I started watching this show. I love how these women are strong, independent, intelligent and compassionate and still manage to have fun during their hectic workweeks. The drama also makes it exciting.
How do you unwind at the end of a busy day/week?
I like to unwind with my husband in our bed watching a TV show, basketball or football game.
What’s the last book you read and what did you think of it?
The last book I read was “Star in the Storm” by Joan Hiatt Harlow. It’s a children’s chapter book, but it was wonderful. My 10-year-old daughter has to read books for (Accelerated Reader) tests, so she checks out books at her school library, and we read the books together. She is really into history, so the last couple of books have been fiction books. Although this book is not all fiction, it is based on some true events and places. I love this book because it has drama. It pulls at your heartstrings, and it has adventure and suspense.
What is the must-have app or gadget for parents?
The must have app/gadget for parents (especially those who are trying to eat healthier and exercise) is the Jawbone wrist band and the UP app. This wristband and app are life changing. It does all the hard work for you. It tracks your calories and how you exercise as well as your weight and even how you sleep. I highly recommend it.
In your words, what is the best part about being a mother?
The best part about being a mother is seeing my children grow into their individual selves. My four children all have similar characteristics and then they have total opposite characteristics. For instance, my first and third child are snugglers and my second and fourth child are not. My first and second children are very kind, while my third and fourth children are kind, to a certain extent. I love that about them.
How do you remain a tight-knit family even while everyone is so busy?
Although we are a very busy family, we remain a tight-knit family because we preach to our kids that family is everything. We eat dinner together at the table every night, we have family game nights, family movie nights or family wrestle/hide and seek nights. We try to do those fun activities through the week or every Friday/Saturday night. We make time for one another because we are that important to each other.
What do you envision for your future?
In the near future, I hope to have a part-time job. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree earlier this year and my youngest two children will hopefully be in school full-time next year. I would like to find a career where I can apply what I worked so hard to accomplish. I also envision myself doing a lot more for the homeless and military community. I would like to volunteer more for Manna, Habitat for Humanity and Operation Homefront. I would also like to find a job that would help alleviate college tuition costs so I can start on my dual master’s degrees program in finance and (business administration). I would also like to eventually go on and get my doctorate in either teaching or counseling.
My ultimate career goal is to become a professor, but I can’t shake wanting to help homeless and military communities. I feel like if I became a counselor, I could help so many more lives. I would also donate my time and expertise to those who could not afford it. Once my husband retires from the Army, my goal is to one day own my own business with him. He is a great artist and I want to help others, so we will see where this can lead us in the future.
You have many accomplishments to be proud of. Tell me what it was like being a student, wife and mother.
It wasn’t easy being a student, wife, mother, mentor and worker all at once! But what kept me motivated was my family. I know that I cannot give up because the way of life for them would be sorely affected.
What are your dreams for your children?
My dreams for my children are to grow up, go to college and live comfortable lives. They don’t have to be rich, famous or extremely successful. I just want them to be able to afford the things they need and want without going into debt for it or compromising their integrity. I also would like to see them continue with some type of philanthropic work. I already see these qualities in my oldest child, as she loves to help others, especially those in need. They don’t have to directly follow in my footsteps, but something that would help make a positive impact on their community would be wonderful. Whether that’s as a coach for a sports team or being a friend for the elderly, anything would make me proud.