I’m so excited to highlight my friend Jennifer today! There’s so much I can list about her (and it’s not just because she has taken some amazing photographs of my girls!) Aside from her outgoing character, loving mom abilities, and ridiculously good looks, Jen has a heart of gold. Every year, at this time, she selects a family in need of financial support and donates her time and 100% of proceeds to this particular family with an event called “Glimpse of Santa”. The idea behind the photo shoot is so innovative (pst, the parent is actually dressed up as Santa Claus!) and of course the quality of the photos is phenomenal. But read through the story of the sweet little girl who Jennifer has picked to be the recipient of this year’s charity. It will break your heart. While I’m out, trying to find the best deal on a Pillow Pet for my girls this Christmas season, Jen is doing this! See? Heart. of. Gold.
Your name and hometown:
Jennifer Eliason Turcsanski
Blog(s) / Website (s):
Photography Website: www.jennifereliason.com
Photography Blog: www.jennifereliason.com/blog
For the Love of Photography Workshops: www.jennifereliason.com
Tipsy Typography Signs: www.jennifereliason.com/tipsy
How many kids? :
JACK (7)- BMX racer, piano player, snow skier and friend to everyone he meets!
MAX (4)- Snow skier, musical , artist and comedian
CHARLIE (2) - Busy, Busy, busy…did I mention busy? Mostly just loves keeping up with his big brothers and making messes on the side.
Besides being a mother, what else consumes your time?
My photography consumes a big chunk of my time. Sometimes too much! But I am so grateful to have my career. It has been an amazing blessing to us in some tough economic times. When I’m not behind the camera I also love to snow ski, water ski and just be outdoors with my family.
What is the biggest challenge you’re faced with right now?
BALANCE- right now is probably the craziest time of year for me. Fall picture season just ended and now it’s time for the Christmas Card Frenzy and my annual Glimpse of Santa Charity event all mixed in the daily family life, a house remodel, birthdays for 4 out of the 5 of us, Thanksgiving, and Christmas parties and Christmas….all make for an interesting few months around here.
With so much demanded of you, how do you “Make it Work”?
Well, honestly some days no matter how hard I try IT. Just. Doesn’t. work! Most days if you dropped in and asked to use my bathroom I’d probably make up some big fat lie and say “So sorry, my kids jammed hot-wheels down all the toilets…not a functioning bathroom in the house.” Just to hide the fact that they haven’t been cleaned. We really should buy stock in Little Caesars Pizza for how often I present the cardboard box as “Dinner.”
What does WORK though is…. I have an amazing husband! He cleans bathrooms, folds laundry, takes Max to speech therapy and a lot of mornings even does my carpool duty for me. He truly helps me Make it Work. I find that having a Weekly Plan, date night, office hours and just knowing when it’s time to shut down shop, get on the floor and play with my boys are all key in finding balance between work and family.
If you had a full day to yourself, free of daily responsibilities, what would you spend it doing? Where?
I’d hop on a plane bound for Orange County. Pick up my best friend Carrie head to the spa for the morning, grab some lunch at our favorite Nordstrom Café, do a little shopping, hit the beach to soak up some vitamin D while reading a good book and be home in time to snuggle in bed for a bedtime story with all my boys.
What would be your advice to other mothers trying to “Make It Work”?
I never feel like I’m qualified to give out advice but here is what works for me: 1. Best 12 year old neighbor girl helps me every Thursday afternoon. 2. I hire house cleaners when we have extra cash and 3. I set office/computer hours. I accomplish so much more at the computer when I know I have a set amount of time to get things done. I don’t know about you but it’s like that weird “phone” phenomenon. Whenever I put a phone to my ear suddenly all the kids, husband and usually half the neighborhood kids need something. Same thing happens when I sit at my computer during non-office hours. I wish I could say everyday was smooth sailing but there are always hiccups or people who need something “yesterday” that I have to attend to, but it does help minimize the chaos if I stick to my hours and my weekly plan.