Passionate About Genesee County
and the Moms Who Live Here

Meet Mary, a North Oakland County Mom!

Hello, moms! I’m Mary, and I couldn’t be more excited to jump on board as one of the founding Contributors for Genesee County Moms Blog! While I myself am not a native Michigander or even a native metro-Detroiter, I do have some favorite spots in the area, and I am so pleased to be raising my little brood here!

But let’s start at the beginning!

I’m a native Texan who hates heat and humidity, so at the first opportunity, I went looking for four seasons. I ventured way north to Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana for college, where I studied graphic design, French, and history. I loved everything about Valpo, from living in the dorms to midnight walks through the snow to the local Wal-mart. Plus, I met this amazing guy named Dan. Six months after graduation we tied the knot, and ten years later, here we are! He is a Michigan boy, and as I had already fallen in love with the Midwest, we settled here.

Dan and Mary tie the knot!

Photo by Beryl Striewski Weddings

My whole life, I have loved writing. I still hope to publish a novel one day. (There are some really awesome fan fictions in my past!) I love reading (Kate Morton and Jasper Fforde are some of my favorites), singing along to VBS or Disney music in the car (much to my children’s chagrin), and binge-watching shows on Netflix. I may have earned the title of Font Queen (in lots and lots of years of yearbook designing and editing), and I’m something of a grammar and punctuation fanatic. My family is accustomed to my outbursts upon seeing mistakes on billboards and restaurant menus. And anyone who knows me well knows that my biggest font pet peeve is Comic Sans. (Why does everyone use it?!)

Baby makes three! Then four. Then five!

My sweet, sassy, clever Samantha is in young-fives kindergarten this year. She is witty and hilarious, and she loves to dress herself — which often means that she goes to school in a formal flower girl dress with bright pink cowboy boots. She made me a momma and has taught me so much, in addition to making me the stark raving lunatic I am today.

Miss Sam with her shifty little eyes.

Miss Sam with her shifty little eyes.

In 2013 Sam was promoted to big sister when my crazy boy Tanner was born. He has been nonstop from the very beginning, literally: he was born in the front seat of Dan’s truck as we were hurtling toward the hospital. My Tan Man is the loudest human being ever created, but he loves to hug and snuggle and melt my heart.

Sammy and Tan Man

Sammy and Tan Man

Our tiebreaker arrived in 2015 in the form of my bright-eyed Emmaline. It’s been so fun to see her watch with rapt attention every. Single. Move that her big siblings make. She is sassy and hilarious already, at only one year old. Among her inordinate amount of nicknames is Dragon Baby, due to her love of random reptilian screeching.

Go Valpo!

Go Valpo!

Being a mom is NOT an easy job.

Since I moved here as an adult, most of my friends were Dan’s, and I didn’t have a lot of my own local buddies. This wasn’t a huge deal, until I became a mom. I don’t think anyone should have to tackle this extraordinary but extraordinarily difficult job without a support system.

I found my “mom tribe” at Faith Lutheran Church in Grand Blanc. Samantha was an infant and I was still in the clutches of postpartum depression and trying to figure out what in the world I was doing when one Sunday a mom leaned forward from the pew behind us and asked if I had heard of MOPS. I joined up, and now, two children and almost five years later, I’m the coordinator of our MOPS group.

Me too!

There is just nothing like the “me too!” camaraderie of having mom friends, especially mom friends who are in the same stage of parenthood. Potty training, sleepless nights, diaper blowouts, picky eating, selective hearing, breastfeeding, postpartum depression, backtalk — it’s just the tiniest bit easier to deal with things when you can remember that you are not alone. When you don’t feel judged for hating this phase even though you adore your child. When it occurs to you how quickly time is slipping away, and your children are growing up.

Additionally, there is nothing like having a mom with older children, who has fought all the battles you are in the thick of right now, telling you that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s within reach.

Find your tribe.

I am so excited to be involved with Genesee County Moms Blog, because that community and commiseration and solidarity is indispensable. If you are in the trenches of motherhood and you haven’t found your “tribe” yet, then reach out! Leave a comment. Write to us on our Facebook page. We’re all in this together, and we are all ready to chime in with a “me too!” and a mocha latte.

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2 Responses to Meet Mary, a North Oakland County Mom!

  1. Cindy Justus December 23, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

    Love you Mary. You are still awesome with words. Your family time sound so wonderful. P.s. I love comic sans ?

  2. Jenny M December 23, 2016 at 3:16 pm #

    I love you Mary! You always make everything look interesting and easy. 🙂 I never will forget Tanners extrodinary enterance into this world!