Gainesville FL Moms Blog is excited to continue our new series, I Am a Gainesville Mom. The moms in our community are our number one passion. After all, this site is written by and for local moms! The I Am a Gainesville Mom series highlights moms from all around our community featuring the work they do, the families they love, and the ways they’re giving back to our community. We’re interviewing them to learn more about their amazing lives, passions, and contributions. So, link arms with us, read, share, and celebrate moms in Gainesville.
Tell us about yourself! Where are you from? What brought you to Gainesville? What do you love most about it here? How old are your kids?
I was born in Rochester, NY and moved to St. Petersburg, Florida when I was 9 years old. When I graduated high school, I moved to Gainesville to attend the University of Florida. What I love most about Gainesville is the family-friendly environment. My daughter is 7 and my son is 5. Gainesville is one of the best places to raise a family.
Tell us about your career! We’re also passionate about all things personal identity so tell us about your hobbies and interests too!
I currently work as a Family Nurse Practitioner at UF Health Eastside Community Practice. I am passionate about serving the underserved community and love building relationships with people. My husband and I serve as youth leaders at our church, Open Door Ministries. We love ministering to the youth about God and helping them to connect with their purpose in life. We also love traveling. Our goal is to travel to all 50 states within the next 10 years. (We have a long way to go!) Family time is the best time and every other Friday we have “Felder Family Fun Night” where we do some sort of activity like watching a movie, play board games, video games or go to dinner. The kids love it!
I know you were recently finishing up your education as a nurse practitioner all while being a wife, mom, and active in our community. Tell us about that season of your life. What were the challenges and wins? Share with other moms how you managed to accomplish that incredible goal while also growing in your marriage and family.
Going back to school was definitely a struggle, but in the end, it was well worth it. My family ultimately had to sacrifice 2 years, once when I finished my RN and then when I finished up my Masters in nursing. I thank God for giving me a loving and supporting family. My mother has always been my #1 fan and has encouraged me and uplifted me throughout this journey. She would come to clean the house, watch the kids, cook dinner, whatever was needed to ensure my success.
My husband held down the fort financially, working extra shifts and giving me mental time to complete my work. Mentally I had to be resilient, disciplined and focused. There were times when I felt the world was caving in on me but family and friends quickly brought me back to the light.
My marriage has strengthened as we have faced many challenges together and have worked together to overcome them. We have been together 12 years and every day we fall deeper in love.
How do you balance a full-time career as a nurse practitioner, owning a local Teddy Bear Mobile business, and your family life? Any tips or secrets for trying to make it work?
Organization. I manage time very well. My husband and I link our calendars to our phone so we always know what’s going on. Life taught us a lesson early on not to bite off more than you can chew, so we do not over commit to things we are unable to give our best in. We allow each child two extracurricular activities and we schedule them on days we are available to take them.
Regarding Teddy Bear Mobile, we try to schedule one large and one small event per month so we are not over exhausting ourselves. It is tough but we make a way with organization and time management. My advice would be to make sure you balance your life and time. Make time for your children, make time for your family, make time for your business, and make time for yourself!
Why did you and your husband decide to start a business? How did you choose your path?
We wanted to do something different, something outside of our daily lives. We wanted to make people smile in a good way. We wanted to start something that could continue on in our family. Teddy Bear Mobile gives us the opportunity to make our patrons smile with life long pals. Events that we are able to do gives us joy as many leave happy and satisfied with their new pals! Starting this business was a way for us to come together and explore our new talents with one another. It definitely has brought us closer as a family because the children love helping out as well.
For more information regarding Teddy Bear Mobile please visit our website
What is the hardest thing about being a mom? What is the most fun thing?
One of the hardest thing about being a mom is worrying if you are doing the right thing. There is no manual to parenting, so we are left to decided what we think is best for our children. I often worry about placing them in the right school, right activities, and environment. Their well-being is what’s most important to me. So I would say worrying is the most difficult thing for me. The most fun thing is growing up with them! You’re never too old to learn new things. My children keep me engaged and active. I love seeing them in sports and extracurricular activities, it’s like being a kid all over again.
What are your favorite things to do as a family in Gainesville?
We love to go to the parks! Depot Park is our favorite. We also like to go out to dinner at various places such as Yamato and Bev’s. Most importantly we love to support local businesses around town. The children also love going to Alachua Splash Park.
What do you do around town that is just for you?
Ha Ha! Well, we are still working on that. Every now and then I will go and get a pedicure at Pro Nails and Spa or go out to eat with some of my friends. I am starting to get back into the gym so maybe in the future, my time will be a
little more defined. Also, and maybe the most exciting, I took my first flying lesson at the University Air Center last year. It is my passion to learn how to fly and I hope to get more flight hours soon!