15 October 2012

Christa, Former PR Professional and Mother


Last year I wrote a blog post about my brother-in-law that generated a comment about how interesting my family is.  I realized that it's so true!  My family is super interesting.  Each Monday I'll be interviewing a family member (or dear friend).  I hope you enjoy these Meet Me Monday posts.
Christa and her family.


Today's interview is with my friend, Christa.

Where do you live?
I lived lot of different places in the USA, but for the past 10 years, I've lived in Georgia with my husband and 4 kids.

What are your hobbies or special interests?
I love reading. I don't always have as much time to read as I'd like, but I enjoy it. I love that I can learn new things or be whisked off on an adventure just by opening a book. I love to make and eat desserts. I can honestly say I would be happy having treats for every meal. I know, terrible! Because I love the goodies so much, I also love to bake. I'm interested in sewing, but not amazing. I have a Mom that excels at everything or will excel at it once she learns more about it and she is always willing to help me out. Thank goodness for Moms.

What is your current profession?  What did you do before staying at home?
My current profession is Mom. I graduated from Brigham Young University in 1997 in Public Relations and worked for 2 years as the PR director at the Provo/Orem Chamber of Commerce while my husband was going to law school. I loved my job! I wrote articles for the local newspaper, did grand openings for new businesses with ribbon cuttings - yes, I was the keeper of the BIG scissors. I got to help put on functions for business leaders to learn and network with each other. It was a great job. Honestly, perfect for me. My 1st child was born in May of 1999. My Mom raised me and my four sisters as a stay at home Mom and I always wanted to do the same for my kids. It was all a part of my plan. It was a really hard for me to go from my full-time job to being a 24/7 full-time Mom, but it has been so worth it. My oldest is now 13 and we've added 3 more to that mix. There are days when I think  back on that time in my life, but I can honestly say that I wouldn't trade it (OK - most days - just keepin' it real) for anything else.

What made you choose that line of work?
Since I was born, I've always loved to talk, so when I went to college (Ricks, now Brigham Young University - Idaho) I decided to study interpersonal communications. I loved it. Everything I learned seemed to just make sense to me. I didn't mind studying and homework, because it was something I was interested in, something that I knew. After I got my associates degree from Ricks, I transferred to Brigham Young University in Provo. They didn't have interpersonal communications as a major, so I chose public relations. It was different this time, because you had to test into the PR program at BYU. I took the test and passed with flying colors - I guess anyway because I was admitted into the program. After the fact, I learned that it was a pretty competitive program to get into. Good thing I didn't know before the test or I might have been nervous. One of the classes I had to take for my major was journalism and I had to write for The Daily Universe. I was pretty terrified at first, but I learned that I love newspaper writing. I loved making my articles as short and info packed as possible. I even kind of loved the deadlines, even though it was a lot of pressure. It was such a thrill to see my article on the front page above the fold every now and again. After graduating from BYU, I knew that I wanted to work for a non-profit, but I also needed to support my husband through his undergrad and law school, so I kept my options open. The job at the Chamber of Commerce was perfect for me. I loved writing the articles for the local paper and doing the grand opening parties. I also learned about business meetings and how to take minutes.

When people find out what you did (and do), what question do they usually ask you?
When I was newly graduated, most people that were interested in PR would ask me how hard it was to get into BYU's program. The problem was that I didn't know it was supposed to be hard, so I couldn't really give them a satisfying answer. Now as a Mom with my youngest in school, some people ask me what I'm going to do with all my time. Some wonder if I'm going to get a job. 

What question do you wish they would ask?  Or, what insider information would you give them?
I don't really know what questions I'd like them to ask. I would just say enjoy each stage of your life. Work hard and have fun when you are in college. You've got a long time to be a grown up, so enjoy those last few years as a "kid". Choose a career that inspires you or at least one that you enjoy. We all have days where we think, "Why am I doing this again?" But if you have more of those than not, maybe it's time for a change. I had a blast in college. I decided to serve a 18 month mission for my church and it was an awesome experience. I couldn't have picked a better job after graduation (OK, maybe the pay could've been better :) ). I love being a Mom. I'm truly enjoying each new stage of life as my kids grow. Some days I just wish I could slow it all down or at least stop it for a moment because it all seems to be going by so fast. 

If you had it to do all over again would you choose the same thing?  Why or why not?
Sometimes I complain to my husband that I wish I was a younger Mom. He always responds by asking my what part of my life I'd like to leave out. Of course nothing! The decisions I've made have gotten me to where I am today and while I'm a busy Mom and wife, I wouldn't have it any other way!

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