Smarty Mom, Eugenia Grow, is anything but your average SAHM. First, she has 4 children. Second, she is a “mompreneur” with her chic cookie business, Sweet La La’s, where she and her friend create delicious and beautifully decorated custom cookies. Third, she is a bona fide missionary and just returned from a 10 day trip to Uganda in Africa. Whew…are you tired yet?
I met Eugenia 4 years ago when our sweet daughters bonded as the only girls in their toddler preschool class. Our girls have spent the last 4 years together at preschool and adore each other. Eugenia always appears calm and peaceful. I could never imagine her raising her voice or screaming at her children! She never appears harried or stressed. A true Mom Idol in my book!
Eugenia’s Smarty Mom Quick Facts
Married to: Brad, for 10 years
Mom of: Carrigan (8), Daniel (6), Holliday (4) and Lucy (2)
Occupation: Stay-at-home mom, entrepreneur and missionary
Hood: South Charlotte/Arboretum
Home Town: Born in Montgomery, AL but grew up in Falls Church, VA
Let’s get to know Eugenia!
All of the stressed out moms out there with half as many children (moi!) and too much voice raising (guilty!) want to know, how do you do it all so gracefully? What’s the secret sauce?
First of all, I do not think anyone does it gracefully! There are no perfect parents. We are human, so lesson number one for me has been learning to say I am sorry. I have to apologize to my kids a lot. I am guilty of “voice raising” too and most of the time it is because I am impatient or frustrated not because they are being bad! When you are 4 years old it just does take a long time to put on shoes! 🙂 The second thing I am slowly learning is to pray, A LOT. I can not do it on my own strength or wisdom. I need Jesus every day to guide me through all these obstacles. I wish I could protect my kids from everything but there are hurts and growing pains that they will go through and my biggest weapon is to pray them through it (and me through it too). Thank the Lord my mom still prays for me!
Recently, you joined 31 others on a mission trip to Uganda. What made you decide to go for it?
I have been following a blog of a young woman who moved to Uganda after high school (Google Katie Davis) She is amazing and has an incredible heart for orphans. It really convicted me and opened my eyes. It started me on a search to see what my responsibility should be in caring for orphans so when the opportunity to go to Uganda came up I couldn’t wait to go! I also have an incredibly supportive husband who was 100% behind the idea. I hope he can also go in the future.
What was your favorite memory on the trip?
It is really hard to put into words everything we saw and did there. Some things that stand out are how I felt overwhelmed with the task of loving kids whose lives are so totally different from what I know, but as I spent time with them they are actually exactly like my kids. They love to be hugged, they love to laugh and they, of course, love to blow bubbles. Another was going to their church service and seeing how free they are. Free to sing, free to share, free to dance. There is no box they have to fit in. In both of those examples I learned that God just wants whatever we have to give. Sometimes that is a hug, sometimes that is a dance, He just wants us to offer it to Him without holding back.
What is your favorite family time activity?
We have woods behind our house and we love to take walks back there, visit some horses that our neighbor owns, picnic, play in the creek and just see what we see. Everyone loves it so it is fun to do together.
Favorite mommy-time activity?
Date night with my husband, or getting a pedicure or a glass of wine (or both!) with girlfriends.
Favorite place to score kids clothes and shoes?
Kid to Kids! I can always find great buys there!
Favorite place to take the whole fam to dinner?
Best book you’ve read lately?
The Help – and loved that the main character Skeeter, had the very uncommon name EUGENIA!
Tough one so here are a few favs: Breakfast Club, Say Anything, Return to Me, and any of those made from a Jane Austin novel.
Funniest thing your kids have ever said to you?
Another tough one but the most recent is my 4-year-old said “Lucy has soggy bi*ches”. I am pretty sure she meant britches, or at least I hope!
Best birthday party you’ve attended/hosted?
Broadway night dinner party or Casino night, both GREAT nights (grown-ups)! Kids party would be Farm party at my friend Claire’s house. She has a gift and makes each detail special but the highlights of course were the petting zoo, cowboy hats, and barnyard cake.
Favorite date night spot?
For really special occasions Barrington’s, for whenever Maria Bonita’s, Big Daddy’s or wherever we have a coupon!
Minivan or SUV?
SUV! I have driven one for 10 years and won’t ever change! I am also obsessed with vacuuming it – if I can’t keep my house clean at least my car will be!
Favorite phone app?
Sorry, I am lame! None. All I do is text and talk. Although I recently saw one that tells you the best time to go the bathroom during a movie – pretty cool.
Favorite Charlotte Smarty Pants article?
It was a while ago but someone’s husband took them on a trip to see Forks, WA where Twilight took place! Love it! It may not have made me a better mom but it was a great read. That is true love right there!
Best kept secret in Charlotte?
All the annual consignment sales!
I could not live without my…
iPod. I have to have music on always!
Smarties, don’t forget to vote for your FAVES in our first-ever 2011 CSP Awards! Voting ends on Thursday, support Local!
Eugenia is the real deal! thanks for writing about her and letting us all get to know her better!
Her cookies are amazing! They both super cute and tasty.
Welcome to the Smarty Mom Hall of Fame! I'm pretty sure I had your delectable treats at a recent baby shower. They were presh AND yum! -Jen Plym
I heart Eugenia!!!
Eugenia is awesome! Not only is she a fantastic mom, but she is a great friend, too!