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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Smarty Mom: Karin Head

By Rachel H

We are thrilled to introduce you to Karin Head, this weekend’s Smarty Mom. Karin, her husband Darryl, and her children Reed (8) and Hayden (5) have lived in the Triad the past 3 ½ years. They previously lived in Raleigh and have had job offers to move back to Raleigh or Nashville but decided this is where they want their children to grow up. Karin says that the Triad is such a hidden jewel with the most incredible people!

Karin has been a full-time Realtor with Leonard Ryden Burr since February. She retired from The Tennessean newspaper in 2001 to stay home with her children. After moving to Raleigh she started a concierge stationery and gift business, which she still owns today. She volunteers at Jefferson Elementary by serving as a PTA Board Member and Fundraising Chair. She also enjoys spending a lot of time in both of her kids’ classes. Karin is a member of First Presbyterian Church and is a Children’s Choir organizer, Sunday School Teacher, and VBS hospitality volunteer. She is also a volunteer for the YMCA, serves on the board of Greystone Place HOA, and makes meals for Ronald McDonald House.

This Smarty Mom has some great stories to share with us today, so keep on reading …

You and your husband are both involved with the YMCA. Tell us more about this.
I started volunteering with the YMCA when I first met my future husband in Nashville, Tennessee in 1995. At the time, I was working for USA TODAY in marketing and that was a very quiet, very corporate world. Darryl was an aquatics director for a new YMCA in Murfreesboro. My first experience volunteering at the Y was at a large “family night” with children playing, running, swimming and going wild. He had to keep moving me to different areas of the Y because the noise was giving me a headache. When I watched him dive into the deep end of the pool to rescue a child, I promptly vomited. Needless to say he eased me into volunteering a little more gently thereafter.

Many people do not know what the Ronald McDonald House is all about and how they help families with loved ones in the hospital. Share with us how you help contribute through them.
My favorite volunteer project each year is making dinner for the clients at the Ronald McDonald House on Christmas Day. The incredible volunteers and staff of the RMH serve families who have a loved one at the hospital; usually it’s a child or a parent. Sometimes families stay in at the Ronald McDonald House for weeks while they await a miracle. The family members can stay at RMH for as little as $5 a day and have a nice room and meals. When we moved to Winston-Salem, my neighbor and good friend, Lois Miller said that RMH needed help with Christmas Day meals. So now it’s a new family tradition. Serving others reminds me of what’s really important, especially on Christmas!

Tell us more about working for Leonard Ryden Burr.
I love working in real estate. It’s super fun and ever-changing with each client, market and business environment. My favorite part of each relationship is having a new friend in or out of the community! My newest real estate project is a brand new development called The Coves. My partner, Julie Coleman, and I were involved from the beginning. We visited homes and communities on Lake Norman with the developer, builder and architectural designer to create the concept and now we’ve just started the sales process. It’s challenging and rewarding with interesting hours! My balance is that I try not to work from 3-7 each weekday. That’s the time my kids need me!

What is a fun fact that people would be surprised to find out about you?
After dinner each night, my family sings and dances each night to the golden oldie 80’s music on YouTube. Reed and Hayden can belt it out to some Bon Jovi just as easily as they can Hannah Montana! I belt it out to Chaka Khan. I’m a huge geek. I love to watch the market reports on Fox Business, CNBC and Bloomberg. Sometimes my husband will make fun of me for falling asleep watching C-SPAN.

What is the smartiest way you save money?
I buy my kids clothes at the end of season each year. I get the half off sales at the boutiques, online and am planning to buy Kelly’s Kids at half price in the morning! I have sports jackets for my son already for next year.

What is your favorite family activity?
We love it all…vacations, holidays, dancing together, having friends over for dinner or just for roasting marshmallows.

Favorite “me-time” activity?
I like to do a few things. Every evening I take a super hot, relaxing bath. I try to get monthly pedicures and a real indulgence is to just shut off the phone and take a nap. My favorite is to snuggle Hayden while she takes a nap. Of course, I am asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.

Favorite place to eat dinner as a family?
Anywhere that I don’t have to cook it or clean it up. Don’t tell my mother!

Favorite date night spot?
Friday nights on our deck with a steak, cocktail, music and the stars. Sometimes we play chess and other times poker.

Favorite book you have read?
I’m always reading something unusual….everything from “Millionaire Real Estate Agent” to “Getting Organized” to “Pride and Prejudice”. Usually I read in the bath tub at night.

Best place to eat lunch with the kids?
In their lunch room at school. And, not in the booth with a friend or two. I sit right in the middle of the table with all of the kids and I buy a lunch from the lunch room.

Favorite place to shop for children’s clothes?
Locally: BenPhil’s and Button’s (they’re the friendliest) Online: Kelly’s Kids, Rags Land, Patsy Aiken, Ralph Lauren and Lacoste. Desperately needed in the Triad: a children’s shoe store that is not in a mall!

What is the best birthday party you have attended?
I love all birthday parties. I really loved seeing my children dig into their first cake! Any chance to celebrate a loved one is a good plan.

What is your favorite mom’s must have item for around the house?
My BlackBerry keeps me organized along with lists, lists, lists. Absolute “must do” sometimes get marked on my arm.

Favorite or most helpful blog you have read on Triad Smarty Pants thus far?
Working Moms, Holiday, Craft and Raising Children.
It’s so important it is to borrow ideas from others.

Best thing about raising a family in the Triad?
The Triad is just filled with great families with exceptional mom’s raising terrific kids. I feel so blessed to be raising my children in Winston-Salem. It’s so easy to live here. No traffic, everything is close and everywhere you go you see someone you know. Love that.

I could not live without my...
Children! They are the reason I breathe, my smile and my heart. My husband’s pretty special too…but I could live without him about 4% of the time!

Thank you so much for your Smarty answers, Karin! We appreciate the time you took to share a little bit about yourself with us. I am so impressed that you watch C-SPAN, too!

Do you know a Smarty Mom? Email us at to mominate a friend!

* Photo of Karin and her children was taken my Tanya Odom,


Anonymous said...

Great write up Karin! Congrats!

candice said...

What would be the best way for me to go about contacting the Ronald McDonald House if I would like to volunteer some time or meals? This is a great idea.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading all your answers, Karin. Great interview!

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Candice, sorry it's taken me so long to return your comment. Please get in touch with RMH as soon as you can. They always need great volunteers and most non-profits are really in need because of the down economy. Ginny Hunter coordinates the meals and is a volunteer for them. Give them a call at 723-0228. Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Way to go girl! What an amazing life you have!(from ap)

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