KATY MAGAZINE I OCTOBER 2018
By Natalie Cook Clark and Katy Magazine Editors
Photography by Sara Isola
They work, they clean, they dry tears, and they can leap over piles of laundry in a single bound. They're the multi-tasking superheroes of their families. They've been named Supermoms of Katy! These moms represent a small fraction of Katy moms, who are all "Super" in their own unique and sticky peanut butter and jelly fingered way. Shoutout to all the hardworking moms who are making a difference in the lives of their little ones and in the world.
Supermom of six, Katy ISD board of trustee president, and power realtor
Courtney works at home alongside her husband Scott. He's a financial advisor and she's a realtor but spends the majority of her time volunteering. The couple has six children ranging in age from 7-25. Two boys on both ends with two girls in the middle. They have moved a total of 14 times and have had 12 pets, with anything from dogs, cats, fish bearded dragons and even a pet rat.
Just Another Crazy Day
Courtney describes their family as a "crazy bunch" and they love to travel by hopping in their 12-passenger van. She and her husband thrive on being together and serving others in their respective careers. "I spend most of my days, attending meetings, reaching out to clients, to laundry and house needs", says Courtney Doyle. When those needs are met, I research and write. I have been writing for many years, but just recently started sharing things I write on my blog, and will hopefully have the book I am working on published one day soon." Courtney had a recent skin cancer scare and shared it openly and bravely as a way to help others.
Embracing the Chaos
Courtney is currently the president of Katy ISD Board of Trustees, where she has served since 2014. "Balance comes when I slow down and remind myself and my children that life can be chaotic, hard, exhilarating and full of surprise twists and turns," says Courtney. "The more I have embraced the imbalance of our lives the better I am at riding the roller coaster of life with kids in tow, hands raised thankful for the life we have been given." Courtney says her family is bigger than most, louder than most, and more chaotic than most. 'We have had our fair share of heart break and loss, and an abundant amount of joy, peace, love and laughter."
Courtney's Super Powers: Flexible, Witty, Dedicated, Strong, Multi-tasker
Single mom of two great kids and the Director of Tourism and Marketing for the City of Katy
"I balance by prioritizing and not overloading! While I’m constantly juggling a lot of balls in the air with kids, work and life, I force myself to slow down a lot and give both myself and my children undivided time." says Kayce. "When I get home from work, the laptop stays shut and the phone away until the kids are asleep."
Constantly on the Move
Kayce is the proud mom of two children, Grant 7, who plays basketball, soccer and is a social butterfly, first grader at Katy Elementary and Avery 4, who is gymnast, more reserved, and a helper around the house.
"Together, we love to be active with sports, riding bikes, playing board games, camping and fishing. We’re constantly “on the move” but love our own living room dance parties, tickle sessions and couch snuggles," says Kayce. For us, being together and making memories is everything."
Supermoms Remain Calm
"When Grant was two, he sucked a whole grape into his throat causing complete blockage of his airway. I saw the whole thing happen and didn’t miss a beat," says Kayce. "I grabbed him out of his highchair, bent him over my leg and just started pounding his back. Kayce says even though he continued to turn blue, she kept at it with steady calmness. "Then “pop” the grape went flying onto the kitchen floor, just like in some cartoon. I put him down, he took a few big breaths, then in Grant fashion, laughed and ran off into the living room."
"I somehow stay freakishly calm even in the scariest situations and just act without hesitation. It wasn’t until after that it all hit me; my knees gave way and I burst into tears. My emotions don’t kick in until after the action."
Kayce's Super Powers: Kind, Loving, Calm, and Outgoing
Single mom, political powerhouse, and sponsor for Compassion International
Other than carrying the powerful super mom title Larissa holds, she is also the Regional Director for U.S. Congressman Michael McCaul, and oversees four of the nine counties in his District located in the Katy office.
"In my field of work you are essentially "on call" 24/7," says Larissa. "My job often involves evenings and weekend events and meetings."
Larissa has two daughters, Adalie 10, and Alandra 7 while sponsoring four children through Compassion International, Stellah, Daysi, Denis, and Clara, while hoping to foster to adopt in the near future.
Every Day is a New Adventure
There is no "typical" day for Larissa and her family. "A few Saturdays ago my day looked like this: The kids were up by Seven AM and I refereed about six arguments between them and multiple time-outs. I took the trash out to the curb, got the kids breakfast and folded laundry, only to be interrupted by shouts that the dog escaped upstairs and “messed” on the carpet. After cleaning the “mess” up and shampooing the carpet I went outside to mow the yard and nail back a few fence posts that were falling down (All of this, before noon)," Larissa said. "Then got the kids ready and dropped them off at my parents house. I rushed back home and changed into my suit and headed out the door to meet the Congressman for a Human Trafficking event in Houston. After that concluded, I drove through the Starbucks drive thru and got a Venti coffee (with an extra shot), reapplied my powder and lipstick and then drove out to Bellville for a GOP banquet with the Lieutenant Governor. After the event, I drove back to my parents to get the littles and pulled in back home around 10 pm." Exhausting just thinking about the day to day life Larissa leads is a testament to the super mom role she hold's here in Katy.
Laugh at Life's Curve Balls
Describing how she balances the chaotic days in her life, Larissa has been a single mom for seven and a half years of which she says, "I have to laugh at all the curve balls, and plot twists that seem to have become a “normal” fixture on this crazy road of my life…or I could curl up in a ball of messy tears," said Larissa. She shares her advice for other hard working single super mom's in Katy, "It’s okay to allow others to help carry the burdens of single-parenting. We were made for community."
Larissa's Super Powers: Humorous, empathetic, passionate, and, powerful
Teacher, single mom, runner and rescuer during Hurricane Harvey
Ginger, a second grade teacher at Creech Elementary, is known for her heroic efforts during Hurricane Harvey where she spent countless hours dispatching boats to rescue families in and around the flooded areas of Katy.
A Super-Sized Village
Like most moms, mornings are crazy for Dewberry especially being a single parent to two kids, Reece 9, and Jackson 2. "Being a single mom requires me to wear several different hats and I feel like I can juggle several things at a time." Ginger also describes the importance as a single parent to have an amazing support system. "I'm so blessed to have an amazing tribe of people that includes my mom, brother, friends, boyfriend, and coworkers," says Ginger. "They are always willing to step in and help with me and my kiddos any time I need them! It takes a village and my village is amazing.”
Ginger enjoys quiet time of "cartoons and cuddles" with her kids after a very busy day. "Sometimes the days can feel long and tough, but they are always worth it when I see the smiles on my kiddos faces."
Ginger's Big Goal
After the kids have gone to sleep, Ginger runs on her treadmill to reach her goal of accomplishing 999 miles by the end of the year. "My running time in the evening is time to clear my head and refocus." Ginger pushes to complete her goal and participates in No Label's Running Club and also completes in various races in the area to move her toward her goal.
Super Human Strength
Ginger has been a source of strength for her daughter after the unexpected death of Reece's father, Tyrel, who was formerly an active duty soldier. "I lost my father when I was in high school so unfortunately it is something I have in common with Reece," says Ginger. Ginger says she understand the pain and sadness and is helping her process her grief and feelings, but also start to resume normal routines and everyday life.
Ginger's Super Powers: Dedicated, Caring, Hardworking, Determined, Strong
Mom of three, teacher, overcomer, and coach's wife
Amanda has a long history with her Katy High School roots, married to now Katy Football coach Matt McDaniel, the two met their freshman year when they were just 14 years old. Amanda works part-time at St. Peter's United Methodist Church in the Children's Ministry.
A Katy Love Story
A full circle Katy bred love story. After high school the couple attended Texas A&M and returned to their roots here in Katy to coach and teach. They had their first child, Carter and then 20 short months later they had twin girls, Madeline and Molly.
Encouraging and Equipping Other Moms
Amanda joined Mothers of Young Children, a biblical based group of mother's of young children run by St. Peter's United Methodist Church, after her son Carter was born where she gained friendships that helped her through the hardest of times. "These women have walked with me through the loss of my dad, five weeks in NICU with our twins, the loss of my nephew, and everything between," Amanda says. "They've taught me it truly takes a village to raise children and MYC has become my favorite part of my week." Amanda now co-facilitates MYC along with Dana Sitton. "I have found that encouraging and equipping other moms is one of my passions. I believe this is how we change the world: good people raising good people."
In her everyday life, "Every day is different, but I always try to start my days early while my kids are still asleep. I am fortunate to work at the church where my girls go preschool, so I can attend chapel with them, see them on the playground and around campus, and volunteer as much as possible," Amanda says.
"After school we head off to dance, gymnastics, baseball or church but on Friday nights during football season you can find us cheering for the Katy Tigers."
Amanda's Super Powers: Reliable, Organized, Katy Proud, Strong
A mom and former teacher on a mission to help kids with cancer
Kelli, along with her husband Garrett, are the founders of Stuff the Sleigh, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children and their families affected by cancer and hematological conditions. Both Kelli and Garrett grew up in Katy and graduated from Katy High School. Kelli is a former teacher who is now a stay at home mom of four children; Erika 11, Kiersten 9, Brock 5, and McKinley 2.
The Ashmore's established Stuff the Sleigh in 2008 as a way to help kids with cancer. "All we want is to do good for these kids and for a small moment in time, create an atmosphere where kids can be kids," says Kelli. "We want to help restore hope where hope has been lost," says Ashmore. Stuff the Sleigh partners with Texas Children's Hospital.
On a typical day, Kelli gets three kids ready for elementary school, takes her two-year-old to Mother's Day Out at Holy Covenant, works out, runs errands, goes to meetings for Stuff the Sleigh, picks-up kids, and transports kids to after school practices and activities. "To find balance I workout and find time for myself. Eating better also helps me feel good," says Ashmore.
Kelli's Super Powers: Dedicated, Giving, Helpful, Passionate
Super special single mom of triplets, twins, and a teacher for 23 years
Jennifer is a remarkably hard working single mom, and educator working 23 years as a teacher for at-risk kids. At home, she is the mom to a set of triplets who are 22 years old and a set of twins who are 11 years old. Among her triplets she has one with Autism and another with Spina Bifida.