Well, hello Jenny Berg of Atlanta!! When I said these interviews were a “piece of cake”, you made it look exactly so. Every week I’m inspired by the stories each of you ladies has to tell and this week has left me wanting to hug a little longer and laugh a little louder with the ones I love. Oh, and I’m left wanting to throw on a bib and eat some finger food!! Thank you for sharing ALL of you in this week’s Candid Keepers.
Q: Tell me about yourself. Where you live, where you grew up and about your family.
A: I feel like I am one of the lucky few who was actually born and raised in Atlanta! I have lived within a ten mile radius of where I was born pretty much my entire life except for college (Go Dawgs!) and a brief 6 month stay in Keystone, Colorado. I am completely blessed to have an amazing family. I can honestly say my parents are two of my best friends. My little brother literally was a rock star and helped front the band the Black Lips, an underground punk band that to this day is pretty big in the grunge scene. We grew up around music with my dad playing the guitar to us from the time we were little to he and my brother building guitars in the basement. You would think I would be destined to follow suit but art was my passion. Give me a paintbrush and some paint and I am in my element, my happy place!! I married an Arizona boy of all things (totally thought I would end up with a GA boy, ha!). We have three amazing little gifts from God. Our son Madden is almost 6, our daughter Hanson is 3 1/2 and our baby girl Zoey is 11months.
Q: How did you and your husband meet and what made you fall for him?
A: I was out one evening with my best friend enjoying a cocktail or two at one of our favorite Irish pubs and literally from across the room there he was…staring back at me with these amazing eyes. Before I knew it, there we were talking as if no one else was around. We went on our first date the very next night and I remember calling my mom before our date and telling her I had met my husband. I just knew I had a good one and I needed to hold on tight! On December 1st, 2002 my life would change forever and our relationship would be put to the test. My little brother was tragically killed by a drunk driver over Thanksgiving weekend. It rocked my family to the core and put me in a place that was dark and empty. He was there through it all, by my side and was my absolute rock. That is truly when I knew if we can get through this then we can get through anything! 7 months later we were married and I began to start a fresh new life full of hope and dreams…good dreams.
Q: What do you think is the best part of having children?
A: My kids have truly brought Joy back into my life. I treasure these precious gifts that God has given us and don’t take a minute for granted. They keep us busy that’s for sure but I personally think sleep is over-rated, we’ll have time for that later when they are off on their own but I can’t even think about that (laugh). My favorite time with them is in the early morning when they crawl in our bed and we talk about our plans for the day.
Q: When you are in need of advice on life, whom do you turn to and why?
A: My husband first and foremost. He tells it like it is which is one of the qualities I love about him. He doesn’t sugarcoat a thing. He gives sound, honest advice that I know I can trust. Another reason I knew I had a good one!! And then of course my mom…
Q: If you are in need of a good laugh, where do you go?
A: Hands down my little girl, Hanson, is one of the funniest people I know! She is always making us laugh whether through her dancing and singing routines or simply the words out of that mouth of hers. She is destined to be a performer or entertainer because she constantly is up to something. We nicknamed her Beatrice Buttance because a silly girl needs a silly nickname and it fits her perfectly!!
Q: If you could go back in time, where would you go and why? Would you change something you regret or would you go back to live one of your best days?
A: I would have to say Thanksgiving night, 2002. The last night with my brother. Man would I have changed things if I knew that was our last night together. Tell him I loved him and how grateful I was to be his big sister. Instead of racing out the door that night, I would have made him give me the biggest bear hug ever, because his were the best. I can still feel them when I close my eyes, they were that good!
Q: If your daughter came to you and asked your secrets to a happy, long lasting marriage, what would you tell her?
A: This one is easy. Christ needs to be the foundation your marriage stands on. I want my girls to marry a man that loves the Lord and puts that relationship first then everything else will fall into place.
Q: What inspires you?
A: My kids inspire me every day. To be a better mom, a better person. I see how easy they love and how accepting they are of others. How the little things make them laugh. Their carefree attitudes…I could use more of that for sure!
Q: If you could have one wish, what would it be?
A: Man, that’s a hard one because I like a lotta wishes…hum, gotta think on that for a minute. To be honest, I want to be able to be with my kids through every phase in their life…from the first day of Kindergarten to their high school graduation, from the phone call that they met the love of their life to dancing with them at their wedding, to the big announcement they are expecting to holding my first grandbaby. I wish to be a part of all those special memories and more. So my wish is for us all to have a healthy productive life filled with amazing moments to share as a family.
Q: If you were gifted 1 million dollars to donate to the charity of your choice, which would it be and why?
A: We have several wonderful charities that we are blessed to be able to give to each month and take part in actively so it’s hard to chose just one. But I would love to be able to give more to a sweet small ministry that was started by a lady in my bible study called Kindred Spirits. A home she started for teen girls to stay who are pregnant and have been abandoned by their families. Kindred Spirits provides a safe, Christian environment for these moms and their babies. I can only imagine the blessings a million dollars could do.
Q: How did you become a Trunk Keeper? Tell us your story.
A: Let’s just say some things are all about timing. God is good in that way!! Ironically, I was at a mini-Boden trunk show and my girlfriends happened to be talking about Matilda Jane which at the time I had never even heard of. The Boden rep overheard us talking and actually told me they were looking for an Atlanta Trunk Keeper for Matilda Jane! I raced home and checked it out online, and of course fell in love. I mean why is this the first time I have heard about these fabulous clothes??? I immediately filled out an application and had my first show in December 2009, Gypsy Blue yumminess. I invited girls from all my different walks through life with the intention of introducing them to these amazing clothes and seeing if they would host a show for me if I were to become a TK. I did not expect them to buy anything since Christmas was a few short weeks away and they were probably placed on a shopping freeze!! Well, not only did everyone buy each of them said they would host a show! My first 12 parties that spring were all the girls who came to my December show!! Matilda Jane sure does have a way of making people fall hard and fast J!! And it was a sign…this was destined to be!!
Q: What is your ALL-TIME Favorite piece:
A: Hands down my all time favorite is the Sky Knot from Hammond Bay. Absolute love at first sight! I am thrilled that Zoey can wear the size 2 now as a dress. This piece will be treasured and passed down to their little girls!!
Q: What do you love most about working for Matilda Jane?
A: I have made so many amazing friends through Matilda Jane. Not only with the trunk keepers, but with my Jane’s. We are a family and we are there for each other. So many things come to mind. From Selena Binkley entering in helping out my customers for the Almost Summer launch last May when I was in the hospital having Zoey, to my Jane’s dropping off meals to me after her birth and letting me borrow their baby gear, to picking up my kids for a play date when I needed to enter in orders, to surprising me with a spa gift card just to say Thanks…the list seriously goes on and on! I have a good thing going on and I feel truly blessed!
Q: Who has been the greatest influence in your life?
A: My greatest influence in my life would be my parents. They have been through so much especially with the loss of my brother. I can’t even imagine how they got through it. At my brother’s funeral, they were reaching out and comforting family and friends instead of the other way around, they are amazing. There marriage is rock solid and they are the perfect example to follow for my marriage.
Q: What is your dream car?
A: Well back in the day sans kiddos my dream car would be something sporty and fun, maybe a convertible mercedes. But I am going to be a bit more realistic …I just want a big enough car so my kids can’t touch each other (laugh)!!
Q: How would you spend a day alone sans children and no obligations whatsoever?
A: Laying by the beach with a cocktail in my hand…
Q: If you could have only one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A: Toss up between Mexican and Sushi but I’ll go with Sushi. Our favorite little gem of a sushi place is gone so I am still searching for my new favorite spot (any of you Atlanta sushi lovers, let me know your fav spot J) but I could seriously eat a rainbow roll for every meal even breakfast!!
Q: Would you be willing to share one of your favorite recipes with us? I know the readers would love it.
A: I really do love to cook and I love to fire up the grill especially now with this amazing Spring weather in the South. Here is the recipe for my fail proof mouth watering ribs that are a hubby pleaser for sure.
I hope you try it out and enjoy one of my favorite Southern comfort foods!!
**Also, I’d like to give a big shout out to Posh Photography for coming to our house this week to take some updated pictures of my family. The reason we picked Posh Photography is Cindy Tallman used to be a fabulous Georgia Trunk Keeper!! Now she is an amazing photographer. You rock Cindy!!!