I’m the proud mommy of Arielle (5) and Zavier (3), and baby Alyssa and primary author of this lifestyle blog, MommyA-Z. Like many women, I wear many hats: full-time career woman, social media chic, sucker for good deals, coffee addict, and new to my 30s (yikes!).
I currently reside in the suburbs of Chicago. As my family grows and I make our house a home, I want to document and share all the things I’m learning along the way. Trust me, there’s LOTS to learn – I have 3 small children to parent, an entire house to decorate, a husband that hates my cooking, and I’m a beginner photographer. I also have aspirations to grow my own garden, sew my own clothes, refinish old furniture, and play pop music on the piano so I can sing along to my own accompaniment – but there are only so many hours in the day.
Why I Blog
Blogging is my outlet. I find joy in writing about A&Z just as they are today because they are growing way too fast. This is my way of documenting our lives and freezing those precious moments in time. I also enjoy having a voice on topics that I love – parenting, home decor, products, and social media. I found that blogging is a great platform to connect with other bloggers who have similar interests.
Getting feedback from my readers – my family, friends, and other bloggers – is what keeps me motivated to continue to find the time to write when life gets hectic. So if I haven’t personally told you, now is my big chance: THANK YOU SO MUCH for stopping by and reading! Thanks for your comments and your encouragement. If you’re a creeper and read without leaving feedback, then thank you at least for letting Mommy A-Z be a part of your day.
My Real Job
I’ve been a working professional for about 9 years, and currently work full-time at the corporate headquarters of a major US retailer. My primary focus is integrated retail and customer experience, which means I do pretty much everything – marketing strategy, product development, project management, execution, and reporting. Right now I’m the Project Manager for all digital experiences for the new celebrity brand launches in the stores and online. It is as fun as it sounds! Prior to that, I was a Sr. IT Auditor in that same company. It was as painful as it sounds! I did huge career switch-a-roo from IT Audit and leaped into the exciting world of Social Media Marketing. I took a huge risk and it opened up so many opportunities that I never thought were possible. However, looking back at my undergrad: I dual-majored in Management Information Systems and Marketing at UIC. I can honestly say that I’ve used EVERYTHING that I learned in my college curriculum with that fierce combo of Marketing and IT, so my crazy career progression has some solid roots to it. I also graduated magna cum laude. (Sorry, I had to throw it in there!)
For those who love a little TMI…
I didn’t have any hardships or horrific events that I had to overcome to be who I am today. Quite honestly, I truly live a blessed life. A happy, drama-free life:
I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. I had an ideal childhood where I played outside with my friends without fear of all the crazy things you hear in the news today. I had wonderful parents who are still happily married after 30+ years. I have a sister who is two years older than me who is my best friend. I’ve been friends with my girlfriends since middle school – we grew up together through high school, college, first jobs, houses, weddings, and now babies. I have a large network of close family and friends who are supportive, loving, and party animals. I swear, there’s a birthday party, shower, or some happy event to attend every weekend!
I married the first guy I ever really dated and his name is Jeffrey. We were together for 10 years and got married in 2009. Shortly before (and after) we got married, we had our daughter Arielle in 2009. Then, exactly 1 year and 364 days later, we had our son Zavier in 2011. One girl, one boy – both adorable.
We have the best dog in the world, Coconut. His full title is “Coconut, Sweetheart of America and President of the Welcome Committee.” Big title for a little dog, but it suits him well.
We recently moved into America’s dream home this past August. I say that because every time I watch House Hunters, I’ve noticed that our house meets the criteria on everyone’s wish list: open concept, granite countertops, hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, 4 bedrooms, luxurious master suite, office, playroom, basement, garage, fenced-in yard, and in a cul-de-sac. Well, at least it’s our dream house. We worked very hard for many years to get a house that we can raise our children in.
I’m very thankful to God for this wonderful life I live!
It’s not all sunshine and gravy (is that even a phrase?) every day of my life. I’m over-whelmed, over-scheduled, exhausted, and not as patient as I could be as a working mother, but I try to focus on the positive and find humor in the situation (eventually).
If you have a few more minutes and want to get a little random, here’s more:
- I’m a former cheeseburger addict. Perhaps I’m still an addict, but I don’t want to admit it. I used to tell my friends and colleagues, “Today, I am XX days cheeseburger-free.” As it stands today (5/10/2013), I am 1 day cheeseburger free! I think I ate cheeseburgers 3 days in a row this week.
- I’m allergic to coconut, but I named my shih-tzu dog “Coconut” because he’s the only coconut I could ever have. Turns out, he’s a hypoallergenic dog, so he’s perfect for me!
- My most embarrassing moment is when my grandfather tried hooking me up with his associate…while Jeffrey, who was my boyfriend at the time, was standing right next to me.
- I was voted best dancer in high school in 2000. Not because I had much skill, but because I really liked to shake it all the time, even when there was no music playing.
- I’m mean when I wake up from naps or if I’m hungry. Just give me coffee or a Snickers, respectively, if you catch me in one of those states if you want to live.
- I cannot run a mile.
- Family and those who know me well call me, “Gracielle.” Acquaintances and co-workers call me “Grace.” If someone from one group calls me the other name, I immediately become suspicious of why they are calling me as such.
xo // gracielle.