I am SO excited and proud to introduce you to this week’s beautiful Smarty Mom, Lisa Weaver. Lisa and I met several years ago at Pure Barre Ballantyne. I totally remember when she started (I moonlight as a teacher at Pure Barre), and from Day 1, she has worked her absolute hardest every single class. I mean every single class! As a teacher, it is so incredibly gratifying to watch someone push her limits everyday, and as a fellow barre devotee, I am always inspired and challenged when Lisa is next to me at the barre or on the mat. It’s such fun to see her walk through the door, always smiling and usually in a cute glittery headband, ready to work her seat off for 50 minutes.
Lisa has a HUGE heart, especially when it comes to helping others. I’ll let her tell you a little bit about everything she’s involved in, but you’ll quickly see that it’s people like Lisa who make our amazing city what it is. She’s strong, smart, sparkly, and kind – just one of those people you want to be friends with. AND, she’s this week’s Smarty Mama! Meet Lisa Weaver!
Smarty Mom: Lisa Weaver
Married to: Scott, who I started dating my sophomore year of college. We have been married for 22 years this past November.
Children: Samantha age 14 and Ava age 10.
Years in Charlotte: Since the Summer of 1995, 22.5 years.
Hometown: Syracuse, NY
Area of Charlotte you call home: Marvin, NC
Alma Mater: Binghamton University in NY.
Occupation: Full Time Mom since I was pregnant with my first It took way longer than I could have expected!! Prior to that I worked in Finance at Bank of America and PWC.
One of the things I love most about you is how passionate and community-focused you are. Tell us about some of your favorite charities.
My favorites are JDRF, Komen, Make a Wish, Community Blood Center of the Carolinas and Ronald McDonald House. But the one that is my absolute favorite and has inspired me and captured my heart forever is The Isabella Santos Foundation.
You do a lot of work with the Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF). How did you get involved with ISF?
My daughter Ava endured many medical issues and complications at birth and in her first year that resulted in her spending several months at the hospital. It was traumatic, exhausting and a strain on our family.
I first heard about Isabella’s battle against Neuroblastoma when Ava later attended the same preschool as Isabella. The Santos family later moved into our neighborhood and Isabella began Kindergarten at our elementary school. Knowing that Isabella and her family battled that horrific disease for 5 years and at the same time established the Foundation to raise awareness and research funds for Neuroblastoma in hopes that it could help to potentially save Isabella’s life or other children facing a similar diagnosis, I was blown away. The Santos Family experienced the unimaginable loss of their beautiful daughter at the age of 7 after 5 long years – yet they continue to fight in her honor in the hope that another child can be saved. The Foundation works tirelessly in the fight and continues to raise money and awareness for the awful disease that stole Isabella’s life. From the first event I attended and the first interactions I had with this Foundation, I was awe inspired. Each and every time since, I am blown away by what they are able to accomplish and how rewarding it truly is to be even a small part of.
What do you love most about the organization?
The Foundation is comprised of a small group of amazing and dedicated individuals most of whom live close by and gather at each other’s homes to brainstorm, research and prepare for the many successful fundraising events and activities that are creating awareness and support for this most worthwhile fight. They do everything with class and finesse and have become one of the most well respected charitable organizations in the greater Charlotte area and are making an impact far beyond. In 2017, their 10th anniversary year, they set an incredible goal to raise $1 Million to bring an MIBG Treatment Room to Levine Children’s Hospital. This treatment is a highly effective option for children with Neuroblastoma and potentially other rare cancers and will be a phenomenal addition to Levine. I was thrilled to learn on New Years Eve that their Million Dollar goal was achieved and construction of the MIBG room will begin in March of this year.
Tell us about some of the roles you’ve had and work you’ve done with ISF.
Over the past couple of years I have taken the lead role in organizing the Kids Zone at the annual race in September. We partner with vendors and organizations in the community to make race day a blast for the kids and families in attendance. We have bounce houses and inflatables, photo booths, games trucks, art projects, face painters, balloon twisters, princess and superhero character visits, local mascots and so much more! I also support the Silent Auction Committee in gathering items and preparing for the incredible silent auction and raffle that takes place at the Race. I have also enjoyed volunteering and helping to support their Annual Coffee for a Cure and other fantastic events throughout the year.
Something that I have also tried to do is connect local businesses that I admire to ISF. Sponsoring a local business helps to not only raise funds for ISF but is a great marketing tool and creates positive brand awareness for the business. It also spreads awareness of ISF and its mission to the individuals that are affiliated with that business and their customers.
What are some ways we can help?
There are so many ways to get involved with ISF. You can support the cause through donations, attending fundraising events like the annual 5K, 10K & 1 Mile Fun Run for Kids Cancer in September or other events throughout the year, joining the Dream Team (is an endurance running program that raises money for ISF while training for half and full marathons), becoming a sponsor for fundraising events, donating good or services to be included in silent auction and raffle packages or volunteering your time or talent throughout the year at the many ISF events.
What would you tell other Smarties who are looking to give back to the community in 2018?
Each and every one of us can and should find an organization or charity we can relate to and support or be passionate about. You can make a difference in the life of someone who may be fighting their greatest battle and will feel inspired and find you appreciate the blessings in your life even more.
You’re a Pure Barre Ballantyne devotee – I LOVE taking barre with you (and teaching you) :-)! What do you love about the workout and what keeps you coming back?
I was never consistent or passionate about any exercise until I tried Pure Barre. I love that Pure Barre is all women, the music is amazing and gets you through the burn and it has the most incredible instructors who motivate you and push you to do your best every time. It works every part of your body and the exercises are different each time. It never gets easier! I also love that I schedule the classes on line so they are on my calendar, I plan ahead and I’m committed!
Any tips for Pure Barre newbies in the new year?
My very first class (and maybe first week) I had the feeling like I just took a test that I didn’t study for. But within a couple weeks I was hooked. Regardless of your fitness level you can start where you are and be challenged every time. You will begin to fine tune the techniques and get stronger with each class but it will kick your butt every time!!
You’re also a busy mama to two beautiful girls. What’s surprised you the most as they get into the teenage years?
I thought as they got older I’d have more free time or maybe go back to work part-time but the schedule of their activities is so hectic and non-stop and the pressures they face in school, with friends, social media etc. makes it even more important for me to be involved and available to them. One of the most wonderful surprises is the joy that comes from watching their unique personalities develop and their individuality shine and how our relationship continues to evolve and strengthen.
Speaking of family, you’re quite lucky to have a lot of extended family close by. What kinds of things do y’all love to do together?
I am so fortunate to have my parents, my sisters and their families, as well as a first cousin and his family, all in the Charlotte area. My sisters and I were all living in different cities and moved down to Charlotte within about 6 months of one another. Our children have grown up together and share such a special bond. Much of our time spent together is enjoying meals, celebrating holidays and birthdays, attending sporting & other special events or school activities. Some of our best times together have been trips where we rented a big mountain house and had all 15 of us under one roof.
How do you think having so much family around has shaped your girls?
They are surrounded by love and support in all that they do. In good times or in bad, they are never alone. They have their devoted Nanny & Poppa and amazing aunts to be their biggest fans and have developed special friendships with their cousins who are also incredible role models to look up to.
Now it’s time for the Smarty lightening round…
Favorite song or artist on your workout playlist: New Rules by Dua Lipa
Best phone app: Useful – Starbucks App – I use it constantly so my drink is ready and waiting when I get there and I never have to wait in line. Entertaining – SnapChat, the filters are the best. My entire family can get hysterical with the face swaps!
Family’s favorite vacation spot: It’s a tie – St. Pete Beach – Don Cesar Hotel and San Diego – Hotel Del Coronado
Starbucks order: Cold Drink: Venti Shaken Black Unsweet Iced Tea – no Water (a tip a friend told me so they don’t water it down and then I can add ice to make it last all day!
Favorite book read over the last year: It’s been far too long since I’ve read a book that I can’t put down. I’m the one that will watch a movie to the very end no matter how tired I am just to see how it ends. I can’t stop reading once I start and then nothing gets done!! There are a couple of books given to me by my besties that are at the top of my list to get 2018 off to a great start – “Present over Perfect” and “The Best Yes”.
Favorite show to binge on Netflix: I have to admit I literally just got Netflix because of my teenager’s constant pleading and I have not binged yet. First on the list for me is “Breaking Bad” after the rave reviews from just about everyone!
Best part of raising girls: Dressing them up in all the cute clothes & bows when they are little (and let you) to watching them grow into who they are meant to be and seeing what truly makes them sparkle. Also the peace of mind knowing that no matter how much they argue now they will grow up to be the best of friends – like my sisters and I.
Scariest part: Balancing the desire to keep them safe from anyone or anything that can cause them pain or steal their joy and letting them “spread their wings” and grow through life’s experiences and challenges.
Finish this sentence: I can’t live without… belly aching laughter! Thankful for the never ending laughs with my silly girls, dear friends, amazing sisters and best mom and dad ever!