Happy Saturday, Smarties! This week’s Smarty Mom comes to us as a mom-ination from a fellow Smarty Mom, Ginger Salmon.
“When asked if I wanted to nominate a Smarty Mom, April Whitlock was the first name that came to mind. I first met April back in the 1980’s when we took dancing at the same location and were in class together. My most fond memory of April was her solo performance at our dance recital. Man could she jump and had the most perfect “russians” ever. As a freshman, I wanted to be just like her. She was amazing then and still is. We reconnected some 24 years later at church. I think she is an amazing wife, mother, and friend. I am so proud to know April and hope you all gain some inspiration from her.”
April is mom to daughters Carson (almost 5) and Camden (7). She grew up in Mt. Pleasant, and after going to Duke, lived in Chicago for a while. Upon returning to Charlotte, she met her husband Thomas and they have been married for 9 years. Let’s get to know April:
How do you find the right balance between taking care of 2 kids, all the household activities and working a full time job?
Someone once told me that it is not about balance, it is about alignment- keeping it all in perspective. Good alignment starts with a great foundation and I have that with my husband, Thomas. Since he owns his own business and is back in school, Thomas is able to be home after school with our girls. This really gives me freedom to be more focused at work and to contribute to my community. I am blessed to work for someone who respects my life outside of the office, trusts me to get the job done and gives me the flexibility I need. And, if I’m going to do something beyond my family and career, then it better be something I am extremely passionate about. Passion makes anything worth the investment. It’s all about making choices and knowing that everything ebbs and flows. Some weeks are crazier than others and you just take it one day at a time. I know what I can let go of (e.g. daily cleaning – I hire a housekeeper twice a month and live with it the other days) and what is important (e.g. dinner as a family, school events, performances and games and bedtime routines).
You’re also involved in a lot of “extra curricular” activities – the new Dilworth Elementary school, Dress for Success, Girls on the Run – tell us a little about that.
Again, it’s all about alignment. My opportunities to give back to my community have always aligned with my skill sets and my enthusiasm! Our family has been very involved in the process that created a new home school at Dilworth Elementary. I am currently the VP of Marketing & Communications for the new PTA. It was daunting to take on the responsibility, but as a marketer, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to brand a new school and the challenges of communicating to a diverse audience. I am on the board of Dress for Success Charlotte and love being part of an organization that has really built a strong following with grassroots’ efforts. My Girls on the Run (GOTR) relationship resulted from a professional partnership between my employer, Carolina Pad, JACK!E Studios and GOTR to create a new line of school and office supplies called “Dreamsicle”. As the mother of two girls, I’m counting down the days until they can participate in GOTR and experience a program that empowers girls to make healthy mind and body choices.
What is your favorite family-activity in Charlotte?
Playing at Latta Park (especially in the summer with the splash ground) or jumping on the Lynx and heading uptown for a show at the Children’s Theater.
Favorite mommy-time activity?
This is sad to say, but it’s my Dowd YMCA time at 5:00 a.m.! That’s the one hour a day that is totally and completely mine.
Favorite place to take the whole fam to dinner?
“Welcome to Moe’s!” is what we hear after soccer practice and Luigi’s Pizza at Kenilworth Commons Shopping Center for Friday night family pizza night!
Favorite date-night spot?
Vivace at the Metropolitan. Do not miss having a before or after dinner drink on a couch on the upstairs deck looking at the skyline!
Favorite lunch spot with your girlfriends?
Big Daddy’s Burger Bar on East Blvd. or Mac’s on South Blvd. – no wimpy salads for us :)!
Favorite GNO outing?
Yn Bar on East Blvd. in Dilworth (or the patio next door at 131 Main if it is a beautiful night)
Best place for a mani/pedi?
Dilworth Nails on Park Road – Unbelievable customer service! She always accommodates my need to have a pedicure at the same time I get a fill-in – she knows how packed my schedule is!
Best birthday party you’ve attended or hosted?
For my oldest daughter’s 7th birthday this year we took our family and two of her friends to Great Wolf Lodge for an overnight stay and birthday celebration. That place rocks! It was so nice and clean, the staff was amazing and the kids had a blast! There was also my 40th birthday get away last summer to Turks & Caicos. Now, that wasn’t officially a party, but it was the very best way to welcome myself to 40!!!
Best book you’ve read lately?
On a recent trip to visit grandparents, my oldest daughter found my old Laura Ingalls Wilder paper back collection. She asked if she could have them, so we brought the box of books home and I’ve been reading them to my girls. I adored these books as a child and read them many times over. Reading them to my girls has been a very special event.
Funniest thing your kids have ever said to you/ever done?
Oh – this is the hardest question by far since I have two very funny and silly little girls. But my youngest, Carson, takes the cake on funny! She’s truly a hoot that makes us laugh hourly. One comment that stands out was last September. It was the morning after my 40th birthday party and I had all the pictures of me my friends used for decoration. Carson and I look a lot alike, so I showed her a picture of me at 4. It was typical 70’s – I had hippie-straight hair, socks to my knees and some crazy dress standing beside my parents Duster. I said “Carson, who is this?” She studied the picture, wrinkled her nose, and then handed it back to me saying “Mommy, that’s me, but I do not like that dress you put me in.”
What is your favorite CSP blog thus far?
I cannot live without the information from Smarty Scoop on Weekend Activities, Smarty Alerts (I owe you for nabbing Lucky jeans and Lilly dresses at Costco) and Smarty Review.
Smartiest way you save $$?
We eat out more than we should, so I love using any coupons I can – CitiPass, Entertainment Guide, Groupon.com, Restaurant.com – I’m always on the lookout for a good restaurant deal. We also cash in our credit card reward points for gift cards to purchase holiday or birthday presents – it’s like free money!
I could not live without my…
Blackberry. It’s a serious addiction. There is absolutely no way that I would be able to manage my family life, my professional life and my volunteer life without it. It keeps me productive at all times and gives me flexibility to do it all!
Click here to enter the Mother’s Day Swagilicious Giveaway! But first be sure you are a newsletter subscriber and facebook fan. This is our small thank you & the break that you rarely get for the demanding role you happily play each and every day. And it’s a giveaway just for you gal, so take a deep breath and feast your eyes on the dreamy collection below. Only the Smartiest of mom-centric sponsors would do… and holy pink & green do we have some unbelievable stuff to give to one lucky Smarty! Our winner will be chosen at 5p on Friday, May 7th.