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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Smarty Mom: Kathy Corbean

By Guest Blogger, Marybeth B

Sometimes I believe it is fate when you meet someone. Six months ago I was searching for after-school childcare for my Cal, my youngest. My preschool had mentioned another mom who may be interested in watching another boy her own son's age. I thought she would never call me back after I left the most awkward, random, cold call of a message. But, thank God she did. After a brief conversation we had lots of small world stories, including the fact that the best man in her wedding and my hubby went to high school together in Cincinnati, OH. Little did I know that I would end up finding so much more than someone who would care for my son, instead I found a lifelong friend.

Ok, now for the good stuff. Why should Kathy be a Smarty Mom? She is amazing in so many ways with a huge heart. She is selfless and so generous. The biggest is how she recently reached out to help a complete stranger. More on that below. But in a nutshell, Kathy and her husband Walt have one son, Trey Joseph (TJ) who is five, and they've lived in the Triad for over two years. Kathy was humbled when I told her I nominated her, she asked "Why?" Seriously?!? So, I wanted to introduce Kathy to you and share all her goodness!

Just recently, Kathy had heard through a friend that a family, the Silva's, was recently struck with tragedy and could really use some help. The son, Norman, was in a fire in VA while traveling on business and was severely burned. They transferred him here to the burn unit at Wake Forest University Baptist Hospital in the burn unit. The Silva’s live in Indiana and have been commuting back and forth to be with Norman as he undergoes intense therapy, surgeries, etc. Kathy had reached out to them and has since coordinated weekly meals for the family while they are staying at a local church guest house next to the hospital. Kathy befriended Mary (the mom) and frequently visits and dines with her. Just the other day, Kathy drove to the airport to pick up Norman’s fiancĂ©. Norman was in surgery and Mary wanted to be there. I have so much respect for Kathy and her heart of gold and how she reached out to help a complete stranger. It is a selfless act. To learn more about Norman (Norman Nation) you can visit their journal. She mentions Kathy, one of her Winston Salem's Angels throughout it.

For 20 years, Kathy managed a career in student affairs, and most recently worked full-time as Associate Director of Campus Life at Indiana University Southeast. Since moving to Winston-Salem, Kathy has worked part-time at a local real estate office so she can have more time at home with TJ. She has plans to be a stay-at-home mom this May, and asks for a big Woo Hoo from other fellow SAH moms :)

One of Kathy's favorite hobbies is writing and sending handwritten notes. "Friends refer to me as a 'stationery-aholic'. For my 40th birthday, friends organized a 'paper parade' showering me for 40 days with unique stationery, notepads, cards, etc. I'm still working through that stash!"

She also recently lost 25 lbs on Weight Watchers (congrats Kathy!), completed a half-marathon the year before she had TJ and is eager to train for another one. Additionally, Kathy enjoys taking long walks and trips to the dog park with her family's two labrador retrievers (one chocolate, one black), and she loves to read, she says, if she can keep her eyes open long enough to get through a chapter.

Now that you know a little bit about Kathy, let's ask her some smarty questions!

What has been your greatest challenge to date as a mom?
The biggest challenge I have faced was actually becoming a mom. When I was little girl, I dreamed of a family that included seven kids. As I grew older, I narrowed it to five, then to three. After eight years of marriage, many failed pregnancy attempts, several fertility treatments (and a lot of $$$), we were blessed with our only son, TJ in 2004. I suffered a very rare condition as a result of the IVF, and was hospitalized for many weeks with OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome). It nearly took my life and we never thought TJ would be, but God is good and we are both living proof of that.

What advice to have for other moms on balancing a busy life?
My husband is a basketball coach, and therefore, as a coach’s “widow” six+ months out of the year while he is traveling with the team, it gets challenging to “keep all the balls in the air.” I strive for simple and good, not perfection. Don’t even try to “keep up with the Joneses.” Rely on my girlfriends, especially when my husband is in the thick of basketball season. Use my crock pot weekly. Practice gratitude daily. And laugh A LOT.

What's your favorite place to find deals on kids clothing?
Church & Preschool Consignment Sales, TJ Maxx, Marshalls

Favorite place to splurge on kids clothes?
Old Navy, Children’s Place, Gap

Favorite family activity?
Hiking, biking, and carpet picnics on rainy days

Favorite Mommy-time activity?
Where to begin? An uninterrupted phone conversation (ha!), spa treatments of any and all kinds, shopping ALONE, and attending local Wine Tasting Festivals with gal pals.

Best place to eat with TJ?
At home around our very own dinner table

Favorite date place?
That would require my husband actually being in town and available to dine with me, right? Hmmmm… I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

Favorite Triad park?
Miller Park for the shade; Hathaway Park for the sun; Joanie Moser and Leinbach tie for 3rd.

Mini-van or SUV?
SUV. Gotta have that space in the way back for two 100 lb pups!

Best thing about raising a family in the Triad?
What could be more magical that having your child grow up in Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest? It is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L here!

Best kept secret in the Triad?
All the great farmer’s markets around town and how good it feels to support the local peeps.

Best book you've ever read?
Last Child in The Woods by Richard Louv. I’m actually going to use it as a theme for our summer. We want TJ to have a memorable childhood filled with fresh air, cloud watching, exploration, digging in the dirt, and creative, experiential education in the great outdoors!

Could not live without my...daily dose of Diet Coke

Favorite thing about Triad Smarty Pants?
The Triad Smarty Pants web-site was the first place moms told me I must check out, as a newbie to the area. It is such a great resource! I appreciate that it has something for every mom, no matter your age or what stage of parenting you are in.

Great Smarty "Momination", Marybeth - thanks for coordinating this interview. And thanks for all your stories and tips, Kathy! I love, love, love your "paper parade" party and will have to keep that in mind for friends! Good stuff! - KM

Do you know someone you'd like to "mominate"? If so, email us! Send your Smarty Mom or Dad recommendation to And if you want to guest blog the profile, just let us know!

Don't forget to register to win a pair of Orthaheel flip flops - a generous offer from Fleet Feet of Winston-Salem. You must be a Triad Smarty Pants newsletter subscriber to be eligible to win. This promotion ends Friday, June 25 and TWO winners will be announced shortly afterwards - just in time for you to sport these sandals at the pool!


Rachel H said...

Kathy - I am right with you on the Diet Coke addiction. You would think it is a daily massage or something, the way I look so forward to my DC each day! :)

You seem to be such a beautiful person and I enjoyed reading about you this morning!

RLR said...

Kathy - Congrats on being a Smarty Mom! There's no doubt in my mind why you were nominated. Nice to 'get to know' you!

Gaye M said...

Kathy - What a great introduction to you! It only begins to tell the story of your remarkable kindness and outreach to others! You're the person that leaves a trail of lifelong friends in every city you lived! How lucky this community is to have you in their midst! Peep from Florida!

Jen Z said...

I am blessed to know Kathy as well and she is an amazing mom, wife and friend!

MotherMagsinMassachusetts said...

Kathy ... so great that you were nominated as a Smarty Mom! I know how much MB cares for you and the care and fun you provide for our grandsons! Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Kath is not only a great mom, great friend and great person..she is the love of my life. Thanks for making this world a better place!

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