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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Smarty Mom: Kelly Melang

By Katie M

Smarties, meet Kelly Melang. Not too long ago, Rachel and I had the pleasure of meeting Kelly at a meeting with our media partner, Forsyth Family magazine. Kelly is one of those people who engages you as soon as you meet her, and her background and experiences are just as captivating as her personality. She's an obvious choice for a Smarty Mom, and I'm excited for you all to meet her as well.

Kelly and her husband Jeff have two boys: Wolfgang, 9, and Max, 6. Before settling down in the Triad 10 years ago, Kelly worked in the airline industry which moved her around the country every two years - from Boston to DC to Baltimore, Atlanta, Alexandria and to Cleveland. Currently she runs her own social media company where she maintains Facebook Fan Pages and Twitter accounts for businesses and provides creative input to help their pages stand out from the rest! (How fun!) Additionally, Kelly blogs and writes on a regular basis for Forsyth Family magazine.

Let's chat more with Kelly!

If someone were to ask you to describe your greatest accomplishments in one short paragraph, what would you say?
I am an avid writer, I've written 4 romance novels (yes, bodice ripping style) and wrote a 50K word novel in one month for National Novel Writing Month. I co-chaired our Forsyth Woman/Forsyth Family Race For The Cure Team and grew it from 50 to 262 members. I've completed 6 marathons, 2 Half Ironman's, am currently Team Captain for Forsyth Woman magazine's triathlon team competing in the Ramblin' Rose this Sunday. But perhaps my biggest accomplishment this summer was renting an RV and driving from one end of the Blue Ridge Parkway to the other-the parkway turns 75 yrs and the RV turned 100 years. Amazing trip, here's the blog about it.

Wow, that's it? (Just kidding!!!) What are some challenges you face as a busy mom - both in and out of your home?
One of our challenges is is keeping our family time when too many things in life try to intrude (sports, church, friends). We have a place in the mountains and this is our oasis as it is forced family time every weekend. We also limit what the boys participate in letting them each choose one activity then one joint activity (cub scouts). As an athlete, it's hard to find time to train that doesn't take away from the family, so it's very early workouts that keep me going.

You are a regular blogger and contributor to Forsyth Family magazine. Tell us exactly what you do and your responsibilities.
I am a writer - I write the Rants and Raves column for Forsyth Family and The Last Page as well as Cycling for Forsyth Woman. I write other articles, stories as well as blog posts for both magazines. I write for other online eZines and blogs.

I'm so intrigued with your social media business, So-Me Social Media. What is involved in that, and what exactly do you do?
My business came from my addiction to Facebook (ha!) I started maintaining the magazine's Fanpage and it grew from there to over 20 businesses now. It is the perfect pairing, I love being creative and helping businesses grow-this business is the perfect fit. We hope to grow and create franchises with our Fan Page maintenance system.

What smarty tips can you share with other readers on how to balance work and home life?

I feel like I'm working all the time whether at home trying to keep up or at work. A home based business is challenging in that you're always at work, I have to end my day! (right, like that ever happens) I am learning to delegate - we've hired a cleaner (may not be as PERFECT as I do but it ACTUALLY gets done) - the clothes have made it back to the dry cleaner. Sometimes it is worth the extra money if it saves the arguments or stress.

Life is how you see it, if you are unhappy then pretend you're in a great mood and everything is working out and soon enough it becomes the truth. Always remember your gifts then work hard and give more than you receive in everything you do.

Kelly, thanks for all that great information! You certainly are an accomplished mom. Now, let's move on to some lighter topics...

Favorite place to get a good deal on kids clothes?
Gap Outlets, Old Navy and shhhh, Rugged Warehouse for Boys clothes!

Favorite place to splurge on kids clothes?
If we had our way we'd spend too much money in Abercrombie. (But we're cheap :))

What is your favorite family activity?
Winter is skiing and snowboarding, we spent 42 days on the snow this past winter. Summer is family time hiking all the trails of the Blue Ridge Parkway - current favorite is Cascades Trail.

Favorite “mommy-time” activity?
If I had Mommy time, I take myself on creative dates - that's where I'll go and look through little boutiques, or small art galleries or book stores and let the creative energy flow! This helps me clear my mind and be more creative. My other me time is going out on long runs or long bike rides - PLENTY of time to THINK!

Best place to eat lunch and/or dinner with the kids?
Favorite lunch spot is The Loop, favorite dinner spot The Old Fourth Street Filling Station.

Favorite date place?
My honey and I enjoy hiding away from everyone in a corner at Sixth and Vine, we love eating at Finnegan's Wake for lunch.

Funniest thing your boys have ever said?
My son told me that I had a splinter on my chin, I had to politely inform him that it was actually a billy goat hair before I went and PULLED it!

Favorite park in the Triad?

Salem Lake - kids love the greenway!

Mini-van or SUV?
Crossover - Love my Pacifica it's made it to the top of the mountain in 16 inches of snow this winter!

Best thing about raising a family in the Triad?
That you can jump in the car and change your scenery - go to the mountains, go to the beach, go off the beaten track.

Best kept secret in the Triad?
That skiing is less than 2 hours away. If you don't ski then you can always snow tube. Everyone feels they should wait and only do the once-a-year trip to Utah, why not spend less and get your kids going early!

Best mom secret YOUR mom has shared with you?
Learn to laugh at yourself because being a Mom will teach you HUMILITY. From that time in the hospital when you leave your humility behind, your kids will always do something to embarass you, laugh at it!

Best book you’ve ever read?
The Bible. I always find something new that makes me think. I love to think of a question then open the bible and read the answer, and it's always there!

Who is your hero?
My Mom, she passed from Brain Cancer and her wit and determination in the middle of battle makes her my hero. I wish I had an ounce of her strength. Then my husband, I've never met anyone who works hard, plays hard, loves hard and doesn't let a day go by!

What is one thing about you people would be surprised to know?
That my first name is Kathryn and that my Dad used to call me Kate. Also that I'm a sci-fi fanatic

What’s your favorite thing about Triad Smarty Pants?
Love all the deals, the camp series this summer really helped me keep the indians at bay.

I could not live without my... pen and paper, it's my connection to my heart. From there my business flows, and I let everyone know how I feel.

I wish someone had told me sooner about...Body Glide for long runs....helps with chaffing, and if you've ever been chaffed in your you know what, you'll understand why I believe God created this.

Great answers, Kelly! I love how "outdoorsy" you and your family are, and all your tips and tricks. While I'm not nearly as athletic as you, I do have some Body Glide in my medicine cabinet - good stuff (ha!). Thanks so much for doing this interview!


Rachel H said...

I loved reading more about you today Kelly! Your RV trip sounds awesome and a great bonding experience with the kids, too. Congrats on your Smarty Mom nomination.

Vaishali said...

Wow, Kelly, you have so much energy! It was so inspiring reading all the varied things that you do!

By Word of Mouth said...

Have known Kelly for many years! She is passionate about her writing, her family, and all life has to offer. She has love and compassion for all of those around her and has the ability to add a little twist of humor to everything without ever seeming irreverent. I love to read her musings and I am blessed to call her my friend!

Anonymous said...

Congrats, Kelly!!!!

Jeff Melang said...

Loved this interview! Kelly stays very active in her family and business life. Somehow she still has time to devout to our church family and the boys school. I think Kelly did this interview to remind me how busy she is!

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