Meet Keri. She is a wonderful woman and great friend who has graciously volunteered to be my first #mommymakesithappen! Keri is a wellness coach that has transformed her life. Check out her journey! We have been talking about doing a photo shoot like this months and there was a laundry list of reasons that we kept rescheduling–sick kids, sicks husbands, sick selves, grandparents in town, crappy weather, the list goes on and on. We finally saw a glimmer of hope on an early Saturday morning at sunrise…I say early, but really mean a normal morning of before dawn toddler wake ups. Both husbands were home, kids were healthy, and Keri was ready to show the physical progress she has made on her personal wellness journey. As we started the session, I was reminded of how awesome moms are. Moms are amazing people that have to make life changing decisions in a split second. Each and every mom deserves a time to share their story with the world and to be applauded for the amazing “jobs” they do!
Keri’s story of how she got to North Carolina is very similar to mine. She went to school for Social Work (a job that can be done in any state after some re-licensing, similar process as in teaching) and had a job at a hospital in New York City. While she was working as a Social Worker, she completed a Health Coach Certification. This certification would have allowed her to open her own Health Coaching Business. She and her husband were on the path to move cross country where she planned to transition into the health and wellness field, when she got pregnant. This put life on a very different track. Nine months later, Sadie was born and Keri was torn about what to do. She wanted to be there for Sadie, but needed to go back to work. She was stressed having had to return to work after her FMLA ran out and had a hard time enjoying her new bundle of joy. Fast forward 15 months, Keri and her family relocated to Durham for her husband’s new job AND she found out she was pregnant with her second child the first week being in the Triangle. (**Side note, as she’s telling me this, her facial expression is stressed and slightly sour.**) Keri and I met shortly after her move, and later bonded over being pregnant at the same time. Our friendship grew as our littles were born and so did Keri’s ambition to continue her dream of becoming a wellness coach. She started the journey by selling natural cleaning products. This allowed for her to get out of the house (who doesn’t love some toddler free time?!), make a little money, and talk to people about her true passion. However, she was not fulfilled. She wanted more. She found a program online from a health and wellness blogger that she had been following for years and jumped in. She figured rather than testing the water, she would just do it (NIKE style)! According to Keri, this evolution has made her a better mother, wife, daughter and self. She is happier, healthier, and radiating with confidence. I mean, check out the plank, can you hold a plank like that for minutes at a time and still have a smile on your face?!
Keri and I have a friendship that has withstood sleepless nights, sick kids, and stressful situations (Keri and her daughter ended up in the ER with a possible allergic reaction, but still to be determined). We talk on a daily basis (normally around 1:00 pm, nap time!–sorry mom for sending you to voicemail…now you know why!), and I love hearing her peaks and pits, high and lows, successes and losses. She is a huge supporter of my crazy ideas and always willing to try something new with me. She has made me realize that wellness is more than just eating a healthier diet, it’s about being me as a whole. It’s about the time I spend with my daughter, making sure I make the right time for my husband, having a work/life balance, and doing things that make me happy. All of these things are just as important has choosing an apple or a cookie, which is what wellness coaching is. It’s about catching a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and saying, “wow, I am a rockstar!” Share your wellness goals in the comments below!