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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Smarty Mom: Angela Smith



By Rachel H

I am so happy to feature Angela Smith as today's Smarty Mom. I met Angela a few years ago through a mutual friend and loved her personality from the minute I met her. She is so much fun to be around, and always seems to be up for just about anything!

Angela and her husband, Andy, have to children, Drew(8) and Hallie(5). They have lived in the Triad since 1999. Angela and Andy met in Raleigh, but actually grew up about 5 miles from each other in Eastern NC. Awwwww. Angela works part-time as a school psychologist with the WS/FCS. As a psychologist, her special interest would be autism. It is a population near and dear to her heart. She also volunteers with the PTA at her children's school. Angela loves her Fruit and Veggie co-op, and spending time with her friends from book club, bunco, and the neighborhood. Friends from way back also continue to play an important role in her life. She enjoys going to the beach with her family.

Last year Angela started a 5K in honor of her childhood best friend, who passed away in 2008 from Sarcoma. The 5K was called the Rae of Hope (her name was Rae Lynn) and was held in Ocean Isle Beach, NC where she was a physician. The race raised over $25,000 for the Sarcoma Foundation of America in their first year.

Can't wait for you to get to know Angela ...

Please tell us your best tips for managing your volunteer obligations and career as well as family and friend time?
Nothing is ever perfect, but it always helps if you have a schedule. I am not the most organized person so a calendar really helps, especially when the kids get busy with their activities. Fortunately, I only work part-time so I am home in the afternoons when the kids get home and we try to immediately get homework out of the way. I think play is still very important for them so sometimes I don’t even worry about making dinner just because we enjoy being outside and playing so much! We love to eat out on those nights! I don’t work on Fridays and I try to reserve those days for catching up around the house, running errands, volunteering, and doing a few things for myself.

What is your main job as a school psychologist?
My main job is to help students achieve academic, social, behavioral, and emotional success. To reach this goal, I may collaborate with teachers, parents, or other professionals to create a positive and supportive learning environment that meets the individual needs of each learner. Additionally, I may work individually with the student by conducting an evaluation to determine their eligibility for special services, assess academic skills and aptitude for learning, and determine social-emotional development and mental health status. In times of crisis, a team of psychologists may be called in to help families or schools in situations such as death, illnesses, or community trauma. They may provide psychological counseling to resolve interpersonal or family problems that interfere with school performance.

What tips do you have for parents who have concerns regarding their child’s learning?
First, maintain open communication with your child’s teacher. It is important to remember that there is a wide range of learning styles and rate of development among children. By working closely with your child’s teacher, you are able to stay on top any potential concerns that may arise and need to be explored.

Tell us more about the 5K you started in honor of your childhood best friend.
In 2008, my friend, Rae Lynn Yates (a proud Wake Forest graduate) passed away from a rare form of cancer called Sarcoma. It appears in a variety of tissue structures, including nerves, muscles, joints, and bones, collectively referred to as the body’s connective tissues. Unfortunately, the current outlook for many sarcomas is bleak-about half of all sarcomas are totally resistant to any medical approach. Rae Lynn was a doctor in Ocean Isle Beach and I thought it would be fitting to honor her memory by raising money to find a cure for the disease that took her life at such a young age. Last year, the first annual Rae of Hope 5K was held in Ocean Isle Beach, NC and raised over $25,000 for the Sarcoma Foundation of America. My children are reaching an age where they understand the importance of volunteerism and I especially want them to know how important it is to raise money for cancer research. My father has struggled with cancer for the last few years so this lesson is more important than ever to our family.

The 2nd Annual Rae of Hope will be held October 30th at 8:00 a.m. in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. If you love running and the beach in the fall, this will be a great event! For more information or to donate, visit curesarcoma.org or email raeofhope5k@yahoo.com

What is the smartiest way you save money?
I love to re-sale my children’s clothes at consignment sales. I then turn around and spend the money at the consignment sales. I also love the 70% off sale at Gazoodles.

What is your favorite family activity?
We love spending time at the beach throughout the year. Both of our families have houses at the beach and our children love going out on the boat and collecting shells and sand dollars and looking for crabs. We pack a lunch and spend all day outside. My kids also love fishing with their grandfather.

Best advice you ever got from your mom?
My mom worked as a teacher and then school librarian when I was growing up. She taught me, through example, how to balance work and family. Through the years, I’ve been amazed at the number of her former students who have stopped her in random places and thanked her for the difference she made in their lives. Though I work with most of my students on a short term basis and therefore most of them do not remember me long term, I hope in some way I am having a positive impact in their lives.

Favorite “me-time” activity?
I love to read! I am always reading during the summer. I also read a few chapters each night before I go to bed. Although it is strictly for fun, I love to refinish old pieces of furniture. It is really fun to watch them turn into something completely different.

Favorite place to eat dinner as a family?
We probably hit the outside patio at La Carreta at least once a week. My kids love to run in the grassy area and we all love the food! We are all disappointed when winter comes and we have to start eating inside.

Favorite date night spot?
My husband and I are pretty casual people so we enjoy places like the Mellow Mushroom or Foot Hills Brewery on a date night.

Best place to eat lunch with the kids?
Chic-fil-A or The Bagel Station

Favorite place to shop for children’s clothes?
For girls, the Peaches-N-Cream outlet in Burlington. They have the cutest clothes at amazing prices! My mom took me there when I was little and now I take my daughter there. For boys, we go to the Gap or Old Navy.

What is the best birthday party you have attended?
I love throwing a kid’s birthday party so it is really tough to choose my favorite! My son’s 4th birthday party was in Spencer at the NC Train Museum on the caboose. What a blast! That year, he was really into trains so it was perfect! My daughter’s 4th birthday party was at Cash Lovell Stables and they did a fabulous job! We also had a petting zoo party for their 2nd and 5th birthdays that was a lot fun, except for all the snakes they brought!

What is your favorite mom’s must have item?
I keep a Tide To-go stick with me at all times! My kids and I are really messy and that thing is great for getting out stains!

Mini-Van or SUV?
Right now, Mini-Van but I am pretty close to switching!

What is the funniest thing one of your children has ever said?
I am lucky because I have very affectionate children. I always make them promise me they will still hug me the same way when they are older. This past Mother's Day I asked my five-year-old daughter as she was hugging me if she would still hug me like this when she was sixteen and she replied, "Oh yes Mommy!" I then asked her if she would hug me like this when she was twenty-one. She gave me a really funny look and asked me, "Yes, but will you still be alive then?" That was not the answer I needed on the eve of my fortieth year!

Favorite park in the Triad?
Tanglewood! It has everything! My son has recently started a golf program there this year at their Par 3 course called First Tee. He is so excited about it!

Favorite or most helpful blog you have read on TSP thus far?
I love your camp guide and your Kids Eat Free guide. I also love reading about other moms in the Triad! You can learn so much from other moms!

Thank you, Angela! And best of luck with the Rae of Hope this year!

Photo courtesy of Uppercase Photography.

9 comments:

Kelly G. said...

Angela, you are a great choice for smarty mom! Good for you for starting the 5K. That's a huge undertaking.

Anonymous said...

Angela- I loved reading your answers! You truly are a Smarty Mom! Let me know if someone drops out of your Fruit & Veggie co-op because I would love to join!
Dayna

Katie M said...

Great interview, Angela! Loved reading your profile today. Thanks for being a Smarty Mom :)

Ashleigh said...

Angela is a fabulous person! Had no idea you started a 5K in honor of your friend. My husband's cousin died at the age of 35 from sarcoma and more $$ is needed to find a cure- way to go!

Anonymous said...

Angela is a perfect candidate for TSP's Smarty moms and my go to person when I need to talk to my kids or my hubby about tough topics. She is an awesome listener and sound advice-giver. You can always trust her to tell you the truth, no matter how difficult or awkward the subject. Few friends do that, though more should. She's the best 32 year old I know!

melissa said...

Angela is a great choice for smarty mom!! She is beautiful inside and out. I enjoyed reading her answers and learning more about her great dedication for a dear friend.

Anonymous said...

Angela is a fabulous choice for a Smarty Mom!! She is not only a great Mom and friend, but always knows what's going on, where the sales are and makes an incredible steak soft taco! Great article!

ashley said...

Way to go Angela! you are a Great Smarty Mom!!

Amy T. said...

Angela is a wonderful person and a great choice for this honor! I was so excited to see her featured this week! Very well deserved!!!

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