Thank you again to everyone that nominated your friends and loved ones for our Birmingham Moms Rock Event. We received so many wonderful submissions our task of narrowing it down to only ten was very difficult. We received pages of heartfelt stories about everyone and the short profile we put together below does not even scratch the surface on how these Moms rock. After much deliberation we are happy to introduce you to our nominees!
Laura Kate Whitney – LK Loves Birmingham! She is a go-getter with an optimism and energy that is infectious. After being re-located to the Magic City and leaving her close friends behind she has embraced her new town and planted roots that will last a lifetime. Moving is no easy task and can mean a loss of connection to a community but LK has made sure that her son will never have that problem. His mother will show him the beauty in the city he is in as well as the beauty of the people in that city. She has become a valuable advocate to our community, encouraging others to get out and see what Birmingham has to offer. Her attitude is admirable, and we can all hope for her to serve as a role model for other moms in our town. We love reading her newcomers take on Birmingham on her Blog: Magic City Manifesto
Talene Yacoubian – Described as a “Super Hero able to leap long hours, tall grant writing deadlines and hair-graying lab politics,” Talene is a working Mom to 2 children, a 4 year old and a 9 month old. She handles a career in cutting edge science and clinical neurology while still being able to maintain the demands of motherhood. After working long hours she still comes home with an unfathomable reserve of energy to make her time with her girls as happy and exciting as possible. The energy she is able to give them is a combination of her natural strength and the equally natural joy that bounces between her and her girls when they are together. It’s not just her medical skills that make this Mom the best boo-boo soother in their house.
Nicola Stephens – Mom to a 5 year old little boy, 4 year old little girl and pregnant with number 3, Nicola is the President of a local Moms Club that she manages with great care. In her pre-mommy years she was a traveling nurse originally from England, she grew up in Canada, met her husband in Texas and has been in Birmingham for a few years and is now a stay at home mom. Nicola has a happy demeanor even when dealing with the toughest situations and her willingness to help other moms is remarkable. She is patient with her children and is always ready to lend an ear, or a shoulder to a friend that may need one, she gives and never expects the favors to be returned. Caring, considerate, positive and fabulous are all words that can be used to describe this Birmingham Mom.
Brandy Dahlen – Brandy is a mother who lives every aspect of her life around her family. She homeschools her children and devotes her life to experiencing every day with them. She is always the mom with the patience and the calming attitude. Earlier this year her 2 year old daughter Abigail was tragically killed in an automobile accident. Even in the face of the loss of her beautiful baby, she goes on for her 4 other children. She has the courage to not only face each day, but to face it and try to find a way for her family to go on. She doesn’t leave Abigail behind, but keeps her memory present. Even though it’s hard, she will never let her baby be forgotten. All 5 of her children are so fortunate to know the love of such a wonderful mother, every day. On the good days, but especially on the bad days.
Keri- Lane-Hontzas –Keri has always been destined to be the mom that made all the other kids think “I wish my Mom was that cool.” She makes sure that her daughter has the opportunity to participate is numerous extracurricular activities. From dancing, to swimming, art and theater camps, she accompanies her mom to plays and performances at the local theater and symphony, she helps her garden and has been introduced to the world of charitable work by helping raise money for local animal shelters. When Keri travels, she makes sure to leave behind little tokens around the house for the kids to find. As her son (born in March) gets older there is no doubt he will be afforded all of the same fun opportunities. In addition to being an all around fun mom, she manages to run her home based business. She is involved in event management, and is the producer of the Rocky Horror Masquerade Ball at the Alabama theater. She sits on the board of the GB Humane Society, has volunteered for Do Dah Day, City Stages and held the position of Producer of the Sidewalk Film Festival. She never fails to make time for her husband and friends showing them kindness and love and setting a wonderful example for her children by living her life this way.
Abigail Williams – Having 2 girls under the age of 3, Abi still manages to be an incredible mother, wife, friend, teacher, debate coach, volunteer and individual. One of the many remarkable things about Abi is her ability to rally and advocate for her children who both suffer from severe asthma, allergies and other complications. With many trips in and out of the hospital for one of her daughters, she took it upon herself to research the perfect diet to increase her daughters immune system and lung health. In addition to being Mom Extraordinaire she teaches full time at Samford University and is a member of and on the steering committee for Survivors Overcoming Abusive Relationships (SOAR) helping young women learn from her difficult past. Even when running on zero sleep she manages to plan daily activities and crafts for her girls. She sets a wonderful example that you can have a career and a loving famil,y that forsaking one for the other is not inevitable in today’s world.
Kona Romans – Kona is a mom who never stops. She has 2 very active boys, one who was diagnosed with autism. She has handled his diagnosis well and is able to work with him and maintain a level of patience that most people just don’t have. She has become his advocate in every way possible. She is not a mom that sits by and lets the system pass her son through, she fights to insure he is treated equally. She also works part-time to help support her family all while managing to maintain a close group of friends to whom she is invaluable. She’s a kind person who’s hard work goes unnoticed on a daily basis.
Claire Davis – She works for a local adoption agency and will be adopting a baby boy from Uganda with her husband. While not “traditionally expecting” she’s expecting nonetheless. Caring and Compassionate, Claire pours herself into a homeless boy’s shelter in Peru (Puerto Alegria) and personally sells jewelry to raise support for the boys. She has been on numerous trips to Peru and loves investing in others. In addition to her job and charitable work she also volunteers as a small group leader in their church. She has a heart for the lost and for children and that can be seen by everyone around her.
Jennifer Dowling – Jennifer was a single mom for 4 years after her husband passed away when their daughter was almost 2 years old. While being a single mom she successfully managed her career in Medical Sales where she was ranked number 1 in the country. She struggled with so many things during that time. The uncertainty of being a single mom, loneliness, debating between working or focusing on her child during the important developmental years all while trying to deal with grief. Jennifer is now re-married and expecting her second child this October. She is a complete joy to be around and her daughter is so excited to be a big sister. She has managed to independently raise a sunny spirited child that is cheerful and nurturing all without a father figure. That speaks volumes to her ability as a mother.
Jeremi Payne – Jeremi has an amazing heart. She has 1 adopted child from the foster care system and is waiting on her other 2 to become official, hopefully within the next year. One of these children is the baby sister to her adopted daughter. She was born premature and in the ICU. Jeremi would go in every morning at 4am to give her her first feeding just so this sweet child would have something stable in this world. She even goes to great lengths to include extended family by taking one of the older siblings shopping and having her with the family on holidays and birthdays. She takes in kids knowing that at any moment they could be stripped from her care. Before becoming a full time mom, she was a highschool teacher and now is involved in the mother’s program and Sunday school at her church.