By Heather Short
What inspired you to become an attorney?
I was inspired to become an attorney after reading a slew of John Grisham books when I was in middle school. Reading those books piqued my interest in becoming an attorney but it wasn’t until I became a debater in high school that I knew I had a knack for argument and theory. My original goal was to become an attorney for NASA, and although maybe I will someday reach that goal, I have come pretty close by working for an aerospace manufacturing company that makes parts for NASA, SpaceX and large aircraft companies.
How did you meet your spouse?
Mike, my husband of nearly seven years, and I met at a dog park in Austin, Texas, where I was attending law school and close to where he was stationed, Fort Hood. I knew right off the bat that he was a quality person — honest, kind and brave. We hit it off by laughing and joking, and our marriage has thrived on our
mutual ability to make one another laugh.
What are some of your favorite family vacation memories?
I cherish the memories I have of my firstborn son, Michael, riding around on a snowmobile with our family in Vermont, where my husband is from. His face giggling, so full of joy at the thrill of bumping over snow covered paths is a great reminder of the joy of childhood. Another memory I truly love is of our second son, Christopher: he was still a tiny baby when we decided to take a trip to Destin. The water was perfectly calm, so I laid him in a baby pool in a foot or so of water, and watched him drift off to sleep in the gentle waves. He still falls asleep to the ocean sounds. This summer, we are about to create another set of epic memories by taking a long road trip to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. We recently invested in a brand new travel trailer, and we are loving it.
What is your favorite thing about your current job?
My favorite thing about my job right now is the work I get to do and the people with whom I work. My coworkers are great, and I love my mixed workload. Most of my job consists of legal analysis, but I also interact with some of our European aerospace customers to ensure contractual compliance.
The company I work for is great, and all of my bosses have been so understanding of the unique challenges I face as a military spouse with a husband who is often deployed.
If you could bring one thing from Texas culture, what would it be?
This is a tough one: it is a toss-up between the Texan grocery store H-E-B and the Mexican food of my hometown, San Antonio! No
offense to anyone, but Mexican food in
Tennessee and Kentucky does not hold a
candle to the exceptional food found in San
Antonio, Texas. The homemade tortillas, real-cheese enchiladas and breakfast tacos — delicious! On the other hand, the grocery store, HEB, is well-known for its great deals, fresh produce and ability to market just about anything in the shape of Texas — Love that place.
What outdoor activities do you enjoy with your children?
I love to swim and hike with my boys and husband. Neither of my boys are afraid of the water, which is great because I love the feel of cool water on a hot summer day, and it is great to share that with them! We are going to do a lot of hiking at Yellowstone, so we’ve been gearing up for that. I also love fishing, and that is a joy I’ve been able to share with my oldest son. I am looking forward to seeing the happiness on my littlest guy’s face when he reels in his first big catch!
What is one book that you think everyone should read?
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. So many people I know are burying themselves in things, trying to find satisfaction in items, and I include myself in that category occasionally. What I found after reading this book was that it is okay, AND so freeing, to let items go. You can simplify your life, get down to what you truly need and start seeing the world unencumbered by meaningless items you can’t take with you into the next life. It helped me to pare down, simplify, and see life for the things that really matter.
What is your spirit animal?
Can I say Claire Underwood, from House of Cards? Ha! I love her ambition, refusal to accept anything less than what she feels she deserves, and her style, of course! If I am limited to an actual animal though, I’d say a lioness. I love how these fierce animal mothers aren’t afraid to fight on behalf of their cubs!
9) What movie will you never get tired of watching?
Braveheart. Love, love, love Braveheart. Although I know that Hollywood has filled in many of the gaps of the history of the real William Wallace in this portrayal, I still love this movie and the idea that it stands for: fight, with all your strength, for what you believe to be right. One person truly can make a difference.
What is one thing you hope to teach your children?
I hope to teach my children empathy. There are so many things my boys will learn inevitably- that to get ahead, you must be a hard worker; to feel okay with yourself, you must invest in yourself, and a whole host of important lessons that my husband and I are doing our best to impart. Empathy, though, is a skill set that is lacking throughout the world. People find it incredibly difficult to put themselves in another person’s shoes, and the problem has been exacerbated by the anonymity the Internet affords us. I want my boys to be able to notice the suffering of others, and instead of turning a blind eye or making it worse, try to find a way to lighten someone else’s burden. We speak regularly about how fortunate we are, as Americans generally, but also as a family, and that we must do our part to lift those up who aren’t quite as fortunate.
Who in your life motivates you and how?
To be honest, I motivate myself. I have found that I do the absolute best at reaching my goals when I am the primary motivating force behind achievement. A few years ago, I ran a marathon, and that has been my greatest personal victory to date. Although I had incredible cheerleaders along my running journey encouraging me to keep going, ultimately, finishing both the training and the race was a purely self-motivating victory. I have found that when I envision myself achieving a feat I once felt was impossible, I am able to push through much more pain/general misery than I ever thought, I could. I would literally close my eyes for a few seconds while running (on a flat, safe surface), imagine the finish line, feel the relief and pride, and voila! I am able to eek out a few more miles! It really helps having specific goals that can be envisioned.
That said, I have a core group of people who are always on board for wherever my personal goals take me: my husband encourages me to try new things; my mom will pump me up, and then help watch my boys when I need her to; I also have a couple of great friends who are able to bolster me when I feel I have failed.
In a rare moment that you get to yourself, any particular snacks, coffee, celebrity gossip you like to indulge in?
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and chocolate covered almonds!
What is one quality your friends always say they love about you?
My friends say they love how protective I am of them. It comes partially with being an attorney, but whenever a family member or friend is wronged, I get very protective. No one wants their loved ones to be hurt, so I feel particularly grateful that I am regularly able to use my education to help those in my life. Sometimes this means that I am able to see the glass half-full because I know that all is not lost; other times it means helping friends and family members cope with grief that has no solution.