I’m excited to announce a very special friend this week – my sister, LeAnn Thongvanh! She is my first friend and my very best friend. This is a special week to introduce her as well, LeAnn and her daughters are visiting us in Florida on Spring Break. We’ve been having a super fun week carting around five girls (three of mine, two of hers) to all of the tourist hotspots – and enjoying our share of girl drama as well! Forgoing toddler naps, “mandating” the pre-teen to hang out with family instead of friends, lucky leprechaun scavenger hunts, picking up rental cars and borrowing strollers… all included in this week of craziness & fun. I’m so proud of my sister and her accomplishments – all while being an awesome mom and thriving business owner. Please read on to learn how LeAnn persevered to accomplish her goals as a new mom, and continues to be a good role model for her daughters. I know you’ll love learning about her awesome business as well, and how to make meal time easier at your house.
- Tell us about a time in your life when things were not easy for you. How did this point in your life shape who you are today?
One of the biggest crossroads that I’ve had to deal with was shortly after my first baby, Elise, was born. I had a great opportunity to go from a full time teacher to a co-teacher so that I would be able to work a flexible schedule- working 2 or 3 full days a week. Sounds perfect, right?!? Well it was an amazing get up but I soon found that working part time as a teacher was just as busy as teaching full time. Trying to fit a full time job into part time hours (and pay)and figuring out how to take care of a little one at home was quite the task. On top of that, I was still getting used to married life (Elise came just about 9 months later) AND I was getting my Masters in science education. Lots of new to juggle. So when it came time to register for the spring semester, I was ready to throw in the towel. I was about half way done with my coursework but knowing how tough it was to juggle work, a baby, a house, and school it made my head spin. My husband was supportive of whatever decision I wanted to make but encouraged me to think about the long term and how glad I would be when it was all over and I had the degree. So I decided to keep going- just for another semester- and see how it went. And I made it through. And again when the next semester rolled around I debated AGAIN. And really all the way to the end of my degree I struggled to continue. I knew things would be so much easier I just stopped. But deep inside I knew that being able to complete my long term goals was more important than short term comfort. Having a full plate is something that I am used to-I’ve been busy with jobs, sports, and other commitments since early high school. And there is usually always a make it or break it moment that I run into. The choice to continue AND FINISH my masters showed me that no matter how daunting the task and how new the challenges, I can make it through. I’ve found this very comforting in that I havent *yet* found myself as crazy busy as I was during those first few months of being a new mom (before I finished my degree I had my second girl, Maggie, oh and I started a new business as well!). Even when I think my life is too much to handle I think back to those grad school/baby years and know that this too shall pass and that I can make it work!
- What is one thing you would want others to know about why you persevered? What did you learn along the way?
One of the biggest reasons that I wanted to finish my degree is because I didnt want to tell Elise and Maggie that the reason I didnt finish my degree was because of them. I didnt want them to think that because I became a mom I had to give up the goals I had for myself. I wanted to show them that you can have it all if you are willing to put in the work. I am a big proponent of life balance- there is time for everything that YOU make a priority. I knew that I wanted to be a good mom, a good teacher, a good student, AND a sane person so I knew I needed the help of others to make that happen. When I knew I had to get work done I worked with my husband so that I could be unavailable. Whether it was a block of time late at night or in the middle of the weekend- I forgot everything else and just did the work that I needed to do. I think that is key- you HAVE to schedule the time to work towards your goal. So now that my Masters is finished, I’m on to another venture as a business owner and I’m so proud to be showing my girls that, again, with hard work goals can be attained!
- What is one goal you have, either personal or business, for 2017? What keeps you motivated to reach this goal?
With lots of irons in the fire, I’ve found that the key for me to feeling successful is to start each day fresh. I’ve read the book Miracle Mornings and have been motivated to implement this practice into my life. I ended 2016 on a high note- I was very successful at getting up and working out in the morning as well as implementing some reading, writing, and planning into my morning routine. For 2017, I wanted to continue this practice to make it ‘just what I did’ instead of something that I had to work to do. I’m not there yet. However, everyday that I do get up and feel that calm that starts my day, it gives me more motivation to continue the next day. I love being able to catch up on life, catch up with work, or just get some ME time during this morning session. This calm start to the day helps to make the rest of my day more successful and I am pumped to continue.
- What is your name and occupation? Where can we find out more information about you? (Website, blog, social media)
LeAnn Thongvanh – Meal Planning Coach with Wildtree
Wildtree’s mission is to make a difference in our world-one
meal at a time. We offer meal solutions for even the busiest families with our Make Fresh, Make Fast, and Make Ahead options. Our products are the cleanest around- we are certified organic, certified gluten-free, peanut free, GMO free, with no artificial colors, dyes, preservatives, additives or MSG. I am here to provide you with meals that your family will love that you can get on the table in minutes. With sugar and sodium levels that are 2, 3, even 4x less than grocery store brands, you can make big improvements in your family’s health with simple pantry swaps. How can I help you answer the question “What’s for dinner?!?!”
Is meal planning a challenge for your family? What have you tried that works for you? Do you plan meals ahead or just wing it every night??