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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Smarty Mom: Jayme McConnell

By Rachel H

I am so happy to present Jayme McConnell as this week’s Smarty Mom. Jayme and I met through our Mother’s Group at church a few years ago. She is such a kind and giving person, not to mention a fantastic mom. She also has a wonderful family. Jayme and her husband, Steve, have lived in the Triad for three years after moving from Chicago , IL . They have an adorable son, Patrick, who is 18 months old. Jayme works full-time as a Product Manager for Bank of America. She is also a member of the Junior League and President of our Christian Mothers Group at St. Leo’s Catholic Church. She enjoys reading, gardening, traveling and spending time with her family.

So let’s chat with Jayme...

How do you manage to juggle your career, home life, and volunteer obligations?
A friend told me when I was pregnant to try to remember that my baby and husband were the most important and not to be disappointed when I couldn’t be 100% to everyone/thing else in my life. When I became a mom, I realized very quickly how true this piece of advice really was and that sometimes I can only give a small piece of my time to something in which I would love to do so much more. However, it is better to do something small than nothing at all.

What is your best tip for other Moms in your same situation?
Each week, I try to use a “Ten Most Important tasks” rule in work, home, etc. I make a list of my ten top priorities (outside of feeding, clothing, loving my family!) to complete for work, home, volunteer obligations, etc. I try to make sure two a day in each category are complete. This helps keep me on track and makes me feel like I actually accomplished something at the end of the week!

You have been spending a great deal of time lately organizing an event at your church. Please tell us more about it.
It's a two-day forum for Catholic Women called" Strong Women, Strong Friendship, Strong Faith" and will be the perfect way to start Lent! Sr. Paula Hagen from St. Paul ’s Monastery in St. Paul , MN , will facilitate the retreat using scripture, prayer rituals, journaling, quiet reflection, and discussion centered around Mary. She is the co-author of Ministry of Mothers Sharing. Sr. Paula is a family therapist, national family ministry consultant, trainer, and retreat director. This event will be held at St. Leo the Great Parish Center in Winston-Salem Friday, February 27 5:30-9:30 pm & Saturday, February 28 9:00-12:00 pm. We are extending the invitation to all Catholic Women in the area. Cost is $25.00; $30.00 after February 23rd, payable at door $15.00 for ½ session option available. It will include a light dinner on Friday & continental breakfast and lunch on Saturday. To register, or for more information, please contact St. Leo the Great Church at 336.724.0561 or Kelly Cavanaugh at We are very excited about making this event meaningful and fulfilling for women in the Triad!

Favorite place to get a good deal on kids clothes?
Online. You can always find a coupon if you Google the store, asking for a coupon.

What is your favorite family activity?

We love to take walks together. Salem Lake is one place that is usually stroller friendly (other than very rainy weeks).

Favorite “mommy-time” activity?
In the mornings, I have Patrick snuggle up in bed with me. We will read a book or play games to start off our morning. It is a great way to ease into our day and get in some extra snuggling time!

Favorite book you have read?
Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio is wonderful. It is a story about a very misunderstood little orphan girl, growing up in a rural area of KY in the 50’s. It takes several years for those around her to realize she actually has Tourette’s Syndrome. The book takes you through her life, trying to hide her disease from the world.

Best place to eat lunch with the family?
Chick-fil-A. It is not fancy, but they have balloons, treats for the kids and anti-bacterial wipes. What more could you ask for?

Favorite place to eat dinner out with the family?
Mi Pueblo is a favorite of ours. Patrick loves Cheese Quesadillas and showing off his Spanish skills!

Favorite Date Night?
Movies and dinner, usually at 4th Street Filling Station in Winston (I know-we aren’t that exciting! Any ideas are appreciated!)

Favorite park in the Triad?
We love Miller Park because it is close to our home. However, recently they have removed the swings and tree house.

Best thing about raising a family in the Triad?
It is a very family-friendly city with a lot of events and places to take kids. Because there are so many families, it is easy to find mommies to relate to and find children to play with Patrick.

Best kept secret in the Triad?
This isn’t actually in the Triad, but something we discovered in the late Summer 08 was Dan Nicholas Park in Salisbury , NC. It is wonderful day trip for children. They have paddle boats, a carousel, a train, mini golf, gem mines, fishing, bike rentals, a petting zoo and great playground areas with places to BBQ, etc. The best part is that it is very inexpensive! Many of the attractions in the park (water plaza, aquarium, playground, etc) are free. Other attractions cost in the range of $1-$4

Best birthday party you have attended?
We haven’t joined too many birthday parties yet, but I have heard there is a great kid’s band in town.

I could not live without my... Obviously, I wouldn’t give up my little Patrick and his daddy. However, I would find it difficult to live without contacts and glasses given I can’t see a foot in front of me.

I wish someone had told me sooner about... YMCA Parent’s night out, it is the very 1st and 3rd Friday of the month and only cost $10. Patrick loves it and it gives us a couple of hours to run errands or have a date night!

Thanks, Jayme for all your Smarty answers!

We are always on the hunt for Smarty Moms. And while we've been featuring some moms who have done AMAZING things such as going above-and-beyond the call of duty for others, doing incredible work for her family, friends, or community, or has accomplished tremendous feats - we are also looking to feature moms in the Triad who just simply live the daily grit of motherhood! Please send us your "mominations" and don't be embarrassed to nominate yourself - no one will know! We look forward to hearing from you. Email us here with your “Smarty Momination”!


Anonymous said...

Jayme is a great choice for Smarty Mom. She is always so organized. I don't know how she does it!

Jamie said...

I like your "Ten Most Important Tasks" idea. I always seem to have a list a mile long and never end up getting to the end of it.

Anonymous said...

Jayme's smile lights up any room. She has so much warmeth and love in her heart that just pours out to people. No wonder she is such a great Mommy and friend.

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