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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Smarty Mom: Kelly Cavanaugh

By Rachel H

Welcome to another Smarty Mom Saturday! Today we will be talking to Kelly Cavanaugh. Kelly has been a fellow “mom-alliance” of mine for years now, as we have shared many mommy-hood stories through our playdates, Bible Studies, date nights, book clubs, birthday parties and Bunco evenings. Kelly and her husband Mark have lived in the Triad since 2001. They have two sweet girls, Maureen(4) and Audrey(2). Kelly taught high school Psychology for six years, and then earned her Masters while pregnant with her second daughter. She now has the best of both worlds, as she is a work-at-home mom! Kelly creates and teaches online classes for high school. Although, teaching is just one of her many talents. Kelly also makes and sells various crafts, sings at weddings, and gives piano lessons. Yes, she is one of those multi-talented women who I aspire to be one day! She is also very involved in her church, where she sings, works with the Youth Group, and is a member of the Christian Mother’s Group.

Let’s learn more about Kelly...

I don’t think I could ever work from home because I would let my “mom duties” interfere with my job. How do you balance your home life and career?
I love calendars! Truly, I make a schedule, keep my fingers crossed and then resort to flexibility when my plan isn’t at all how the day or week unfolds. Luckily, my work can be done at any hour, so sometimes I work during naptime, and sometimes it’s after midnight. It is nice to have flexibility – especially with young kids. I do my best to keep “work hours” that don’t get taken over by laundry and errands. It’s a work in process!

Was it difficult to adjust from working full-time at school to working at home?
A little…when you work at home, there is no end to the work day. You can always check e-mail just one more time. I had to learn how to close the office door for the day. (Sometimes I still need a reminder.) But I still haven’t once thought about being back at school. I must really like what I’m doing, because I loved teaching in the classroom.

You have so many hidden talents. What would be your dream job?
There are probably a hundred different things that I’d be happy doing. If I could make a living singing and still be home for dinner, I’d never do anything else. But if I needed a “real” job…I love to find simpler and less expensive ways to do things. I’d really enjoy spending a couple weeks at a time in a company or someone’s house discovering ways to save them time and money. Take a few weeks off to spend with the kids and then on to the next place. I’m a big picture kind of person, so someone else might have to handle the details.

You are one of the most organized people I know. Give us your best tips for keeping your head on straight in the crazy world of mommy-hood.
I love my week-by-week white board calendar I have in my kitchen. It’s color coded – by a system that seems to make sense to only me – and keeps track of what everyone in the house is doing. We always find ourselves too busy, so my husband and I have a rule of only two evening activities during the week – one church related and one social – at most. Otherwise, we’d never be home!

Favorite place to get a good deal on kids clothes?

What is your favorite family activity?
Singing and dancing in the living room, wagon rides after dinner and picnics on the sunporch.

Favorite “mommy-time” activity?
Dinner out with the girls…or running.

Best book you’ve read recently?
The Shack, by W. Paul Young. I read it in an afternoon. It was a thought-provoking, beautiful story that I’ve thought about almost every day since I read it. I bought four extra copies almost immediately and gave them away to friends. I didn’t agree with all of it, but it certainly made me think!

Best place to eat lunch with the kids?
Besides the back porch? My kids love Panera. Anytime they can have yogurt in a tube, they’re pretty happy.

Favorite place to eat dinner out with the kids?
Ciccione’s in Lewisville – what kid (or Mom, for that matter) doesn’t love pizza? The food is yummy, and it’s very family friendly. And we almost always run into someone we know.

Funniest thing your kids have ever said?
How to narrow it down…I’m always cracking up at the random information they have. Maureen once asked me about what science was…I mentioned something about earthquakes in my list of things. Her response, "Tsunamis can happen a few minutes or a few HOURS after an earthquake." Sometimes I think she watches the Discovery Channel while we’re sleeping! Audrey is a jokester, and loves to tell made up knock knock jokes while laughing hysterically.

Favorite park in the Triad?
The kids love Joanie Moser Park in Lewisville, as well as the town square park – plenty of room to run!

Best thing about raising a family in the Triad?
Small town life with city life just around the corner.

Best kept secret in the Triad?
The Lewisville town square – starlight movies, concerts, plays, musicals…the list is endless, and everything is free! (I love free)

Best birthday party you have attended?
A party at the Hidden Horse Farm in Advance/Mocksville. They have pony rides, a “secret” walking trail and other outdoor activities. We’ve also gone to their pumpkin patch in the fall.

I could not live without my... family, calendar & Costco card.

I wish someone had told me sooner about... How to search for coupon codes when buying things online, (a place to create your own hard-cover books), cutting out dairy a few hours before bedtime helps them night potty-train, not to run out to get the mail in cold weather without keys and a two year old inside (I learned that the hard way), playing stories on CD at night for kids helps them not ask for 14 glasses of water, and where to get a copy of the secret two year old handbook that the kids get on their 2nd birthday.

Thanks for all of your terrific answers, Kelly!

If you have a mom in mind who you think would be a fun Smarty Mom for us to profile, email us at to nominate her!

Less than one week left to sign yourselves up for the fabulous FREE family portrait session with Andrea Halsey Photography! This promotion ends at Noon on Friday, July 17 and the winner will be announced on July 19. You must be a Triad Smarty Pants newsletter subscriber to enter. Just click here to register. Good luck!


Maythi said...

I met Kelly this year, both our girls were in the same preschool class, and she really is amazing! Not only is she talented, but Kelly is one of the sweetest people I know. Oh, and she makes the BEST curly bows (think Gymboree, but prettier!). Thanks for highlighting her as a Smarty Mom - her smarty answers were awesome! Where do we find this 2 yr.old handbook thingy? ;)

Jenni said...

I am envious of your musical talents! I am lacking quite a bit in those areas!

Pam Wilson said...

Kelly is my neice and she has been a remarkable person as long as I've known her. She dove into motherhood like everything else she does... learning all she can giving all she has every single day! very proud of this fabulous lady! aunt Pam

Becky said...

If you ever decide to start that job of going into homes and saving people time and money, give me a call!!!

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