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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Smarty Mom: Shelley Holden

Smarty Mom Quick Facts:
Smarty Mom: Shelley Holden
Mom of: Joanna (4) and Libby (21 months)
Married to: David for 7 years
Years in Triad: Has lived in Winston-Salem for almost 15 years since her freshman year at Wake Forest, finished undergrad and law school.
Occupation: Full-time mommy and does some part-time work as a development consultant (She previously managed the Law Fund for the Law school at Wake Forest before she decided to stay home when her oldest was born).

Shelley Holden is a miracle worker with a personality that shines with faith and love as she prides herself in giving back to her community. She is proudly on the Friends Board for both the Ronald McDonald House and Brenner Children's Hospital, on the Board of the NC Triad Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and the Board of the Junior League of Winston-Salem. She is very involved with her church, Centenary United Methodist Church, and her girls' preschool. All of these things are very important to her....she lost her mom to breast cancer in 2005. In addition, one of her girls was very sick when she was born. They are so thankful to have the best pediatricians and Brenner Children's Hospital. Shelley's hobbies include spending time with her girls and husband and friends, cooking, crafting, shopping and volunteering.

I’m so proud to introduce you to Shelley Holden. She is the type of woman who makes a difference in this world through her selfless heart and faithful soul. Let's meet Smarty Shelley!

You are a Smarty Mom with a big heart! Tell us about your volunteer work.
I am a big believer in "to whom much is given, much is expected". I feel like I have been blessed with so much - health, education, etc., so I have a lot I need to give back. Also, my mom and dad have always been very involved in their community and I truly learned to give back from them. They taught me that if you are able to get involved, it is your responsibility to help others and make this world a better place for yourself and those around you. Now with two little girls, that is even more important to me because I want them to learn about helping others and doing what they should and can to make their world better. I also want to do everything I can for them, so that their world can the best for them. My work with Brenner Children's Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House is so important because of my children. Living in Winston-Salem and being 5 minutes away from one of the best Children's Hospitals is such a blessing. I feel like we are so blessed to have this hospital that caters to serving children with doctors who are trained in pediatrics and equipment made for pediatrics. When my youngest was born, we had to go to Brenner a number of times and I was so relieved that she could be seen quickly and by doctors who knew exactly what to do with such a young child. I want to do everything I can to support them and being a part of the Friends board has given me that opportunity through the fundraisers for the hospital and the meetings to learn more about this wonderful facility. The Ronald McDonald House ties in with Brenner because it is a home away from home for families whose children are being treated at Brenner and at Forsyth. These families aren't as fortunate as we are to have a hospital just 5 minutes away and they need somewhere to stay to be close to their child. The RMH gives them this and offers so many wonderful services to these families. The work this house does is wondeful and I, too, love being a part of their Friends board. I have also enjoyed being in the Junior League of Winston-Salem for the past 10 years and it has given a lot of training opportunities and taught me a lot about Winston-Salem and ways to be involved in the community. The Children's Museum of Winston-Salem has been one of the best things the JL has enabled me to work 1st year in the JL was when they decided to build the museum and now I love being able to take my children to play there. I think we are so blessed to have this fun place where our children can learn in this community.

I am also involved with the NC Triad Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999 and died in 2005. I became involved with this organization in 2003 as a way to honor my mom and fight this disease that eventually took her away from me and my family. I have met so many wonderful people through Komen who are working diligently to end this disease and in the last 25 years, there have been many great improvements but there is still a lot more work to be done. The Race for the Cure is their signature fundraiser and I chaired this event in 2006. It is such an inspiration to see over 10,000 people gather at Salem College each May to fight breast cancer. I continue to stay involved because of my mom and my girls. I pray that they will know a world without breast cancer and that they will never have to battle this disease or lose someone close to them because of it.
My mom was truly the most wonderful person I know and she dedicated her life for 25 years to me. She taught me so much through her cancer fight and her everday life. She was one of the most unselfish people and always was helping or doing something for someone. There is not a day that goes by that I don't miss her and it was really hard for me when I had my own children because I wanted her there to meet them. It makes me sad that my girls won't know her but I keep her alive for them by teaching them many of the things she taught me and also by keeping alive traditions from my childhood. Losing her also taught me that we have to make the most of each day and that is what I want to do with my girls everyday. I hope that I can be half the mom to them that she was to me.

You made a big decision to stay at home when your oldest was born. Was that a difficult choice for you?
Staying at home was a big decision for me when my oldest, Joanna, was born because I loved my job so much. It was such a privilege to work at my alma mater and I loved the many people I met and for some odd reason, I love fundraising! However, I wanted to every spend minute with Joanna that I could and I was fortunate enough to be able to do that. I have missed my job but have not regretted one day of staying at home. Being home with both girls has been a blast and even though so days are tough, I have never regretted it. I have gotten invloved with their preschool and the children's program at my church and I have loved that. I have satisfied my desire to get out some through my volunteer work and still dabble in some contract development work too. I think that one day I will go back, but I know these days with my little ones are flying by too!

What is your favorite thing about being a stay-at-home mom?
Being there for everything with my girls and taking them to do lots of things around town.

What is your favorite piece of baby gear?
The snap'n'go stroller. I would keep it in my car and pop it open and snap the carseat in everywhere I went. It was especially helpful when I have my 2nd child because it much easier than the stroller and I didn't have to take her out of the bucket carseat.

Minivan or SUV?
I love an SUV and all the room, even though I feel like my suburban is bus sometimes. I am still learning to parallel park in it!

How did you make mommy friends?
I have made some of my best mommy friends through children that are the same age as my girls. Some are older than me and some are younger and I love them all. My best advice is to listen to people who have been there before you. They have a lot of good advice because they have worked through potty training a child, getting tubes in their ears, preschool teachers, etc.

Favorite place to buy children's clothes?
Peaches 'n' Cream outlet in Burlington- they have the cutest play clothes for really good prices and it is fun for me because my mom used to take me there as a child and now I get to dress my girls from there. I also love home shows. I am the rep for a line- Castles and Crowns and some of my best friends sell Ragsland, Chez Ami, and Beaux et Belles. They all have cute and different things. McCalls is my favorite store in Winston-Salem. They have some of the most beautiful baby things and great gifts for baby showers and baby gifts.

Favorite place to take your whole family to dinner?
Twin City Diner- great kids and adult menu. Lots of selection.

Favorite Date night spot?
David and I love Mozelles or Milners. We also love Ryan's for special occasions.

Favorite Girls Lunch Spot?
The Carving Board- it is my all-time favorite spot in Winston. They have the best blue cheese chicken salad and spicy noodles!

Favorite Mani/Pedi spot?
Deja Vu- everyone there is so nice!

Favorite park in the Triad?
I love Hathaway and Polo Parks. Polo has great equipment for really little ones like my youngest (21 months).

What is your favorite fall family activity?
Going to the Pumpkin Patch at Maple Springs Methodist Church on Reynolda Road and picking out pumpkins and taking lots of pictures. My girls love all the pumpkins and have the hardest time picking out just one! We also love the Festival on the Quad at Wake Forest University which they have every year in the fall during Homecoming weekend. My girls love seeing the Deacon and the cheerleaders.

Best thing about raising a family in the Triad?
I love all the small town feel with big city opportunities. I love seeing people I know when I go out, but I love the access to sporting events, art events, museums, parks, etc that my children and my husband and I have living here. I love being with so many other young families too.

Smartiest way you save $? Ordering my groceries online is not only a time saver for me but it saves me $$ because I buy exactly what is on my list and don't get side tracked by things I see etc.

Favorite TSP article so far?
I love all the events that TSP tells me about, but I have to say that my favorite has been about planning a Disney trip. My oldest is obsessed with Disney princesses and we are taking them to Disney in the spring. I learned about Martha Nichols from TSP and called her up and she planned the whole trip for me and made all the reservations for dinners and shows and really helped us save money. It has been so easy and she has given us such great advice. I would not have known where to start if it hasn't been for this article and finding Martha!

Best book you've read lately?
I actually have 2: Lift by Kelly Corrigan- she writes a letter to her girls about everything she wants them to know about her and their life. It is an easy read and such an inspiration. I would tell every parent to read it. My other favorite lately has been: Bringing up Girls by James Dobson. It was a fabulous parenting book!

Favorite Smarty phone app?
facebook! I love keeping up with friends and being able to connect with friends this way....doing on my phone makes it easy when I am waiting for an appt, etc.

I could not live without my... or computer. I love being able to connect with my family and friends and I love finding things on the internet= events, locations, shopping etc.

I wish someone told me sooner about...
...The All A Flutter Butterfly Farm. We went just recently and my girls loved it, but so did I! It was amazing to be able to feed the butterflies and hold them and I couldn't believe how much my oldest and I learned about butterflies. We can't wait to go back when it reopens in the spring.

Best kept secret in the Triad?
The Nutcracker performed every December by The University of North Carolina School of the Arts. I lived here for 12 years before I went to see it and now I don't want to miss it. It is such a holiday treat and I took my oldest last year and she loved it. She has already asked if we are going again this year! The students there do a fabulous job in this performance!

Thanks, Shelley, for sharing your story with us!

Do you know a super cool Smarty mom, dad or just someone doing something fantastic in our community? Well we want to know them! We are reaching out to you to “mominate” those who you admire, have a great story, live life to the fullest or have created a Smarty Business. We have been fortunate to share the stories nearly 100 area moms and dads! We have laughed at common stories, been reassured that other families go through the same things that we do, been introduced to new restaurants, shown the way to fantastic bargain shopping, met new moms and gained wisdom from the old pros. Email us your peeps!

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