Michaela grew up in Scituate and has spent most of her life here. As a child, she could walk or ride her bike to the beach and school. She went to school in New Hampshire, lived in the city briefly, but the most significant move she made was to the Seattle area to live with her husband before finally moving back to the beloved South Shore.
How many children do you have?
We have two babes. Marin is turning 7 this fall — I can’t believe how the time has flown, she started first grade. Lars is 4 and is in his second year of preschool. Marin wanted Lars to be a baby sister named Magenta.
Where on the South Shore do you live? How long have you lived in the South Shore area?
We live in Scituate. My husband likes to tease me that I am a townie, but being here 30+ years barely qualifies me for that by Scituate standards. We’ve been back from the west coast for 5 years. When we first returned we rented in Cohasset for a bit.
What is your favorite thing about living here?
The beach. I love being near the ocean. And the network of friends I have here.
What do you love to do with the kids around town?
I love to take trail or beach walks with them. Sometimes if it’s long they try to tell me their legs are getting tired, but for the most part they are so happy to explore and find things — it’s a wonderful experience for us all. I swear I’m a better parent outside, more relaxed, enjoying the environment, not concerned about messes or rules. I work during the day so in the summer I’ll finish work, pack dinner and we’ll head to the beach. I don’t know why I pack dinner because when the kids get to the beach the last thing they want to do is eat. ☺ There’s a creek at one of the beaches that we go to when the tide is high and the kids can search for crabs and swim without me worring about waves.
What is your favorite local Fall activity?
A couple of years ago we went to a Halloween event at Norris Reservation in Norwell put on by the Trustees. There were many different activities for the kids but the one we most enjoyed was making lanterns from mason jars and using them to light an evening hike around the property. We’ve taken that project and made it our own, inviting friends over and having the kids make and decorate their own laterns then walking the trails at the end of our street in their Halloween costumes.
Also, the past few years we’ve had a “Friendsgiving” potluck at our house in early November. It’s an adults-only night and we prepare the main dishes and a signature cocktail for the night then let all of our friends bring different appetizers, sides or desserts. It’s grown so we’ve got people sitting in the dining room, at the kitchen table and in two folding tables going through our family room! We start a fire in the backyard, serve wrm chocolate chip cookies out of the oven at the end of the night and allow our friends to catch up or meet new people in town.
Also, the farms and markets are bursting with produce this time of year! It’s so hard not to buy everything. My kids love that when we go to Magical Moon Farm they’ll have warm apple cider while we pick out ouf vegetables and R&C Farm is nearby and has a wide array of produce they grow themselves.
What do you do for work now or what did you do before having kids?
I work in financial services selling to institutional investors like corporate pension funds, endowments, foundations and public entities. Yes, it is every bit as glamorous as you imagine.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or otherwise?
I do photography, especially family photography. I really enjoy trying to capture children in their own element. I also teach cooking clases in my home. I’m very passionate in what I feed my family as that is a gift my mother gave to me and I hope to instill that in others. Cooking doesn’t have to be fancy or something you see out of a magazine. Sometimes it’s just about getting food on the table but that doesn’t mean it can’t be wholesome and you can’t learn to maintain an efficient kitchen.
Would you share a kid friendly / family favorite recipe?
I’ll give you two. One is our favorite chocolate chip cookies and the other, for Fall, is slow-cooked applesauce.
What is your favorite moment/memory as a mom to date?
I can’t choose a specific memory as a mom. What I can tell you is the most rewarding moments are when I see empathy or unprompted kindness flowing from their little bodies. It makes me think, “Is it possible I may be doing something positive to affect their lives?” I have two genuinely good little humans.
What is the toughest part about being a mom?
Am I cliché? The hardest part for me is balance. When I’m working or traveling or doing creative projects I feel like perhaps I am being selfish and not being there enough for my family. However I understand that I am a better parent when I have time to foster these other aspects of my life just as I’m sure some women would not be able to leave their children to go to work every day or for a creative trip away.
What is the best advice you have received as a mom?
There is a Patti Smith quote about telling her kids that they are captains of their own little ship and sometimes the sea will get rough and you will have to navigate it. I have to remember that I’m relationship building with my kids not getting them to follow set or prescribed rules so they can navigate life independently.
What is the best advice you would like to give to a new mom?
Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself the way you’d treat your girlfriends, meaning we see all the good in our friends and can point out all the wonderful things they do and accept they are not perfect but it’s harder for us to see this in ourselves and accept that life sometimes has to be “good enough”.
Do you have a favorite local store, fitness class or restaurant and why?
I really enjoy the yoga classes at BeWell in Scituate Harbor. There are many teachers with varoius styles and you can’t complain about the views of the harbor. It’s a very serene setting. Also, my new jam is Seabird Coffee in Cohasset. The space is inviting, they want to foster a sense of community and their espresso is fantastic.
Where do you love to shop (for kids or yourself)?
I must say because I work full time I shop a lot online for myself, our kids and our home. Mini-Boden is one of my favorites for their fun, colorful styles, they have free returns and their clothes wear quite well and can be passed down. I’ve gotten my daughter some lovely dresses online from Alice & Ames which she enjoys because of the twirly skirts. Also for toddlers Winter Water Factory has some fun prints. I shop online at Nordstrom and try to hit up their anniversary sale every July to pick up staples for the coming seasons. How about Target and Amazon for basics like leggings or bike shorts that are going to get worn 1,000 times and destroyed!
Anything else you would love to share?
I am so happy to see the community of moms you are looking to build on the South Shore!