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Saturday, January 28, 2017

#momconversation with susie fah, community activist

In our community of Catholic families, I'm what you'd call an underachiever. In other words, I  gave birth to only two children. (The standard is four or five in these parts.) And while I feel I'm sufficiently busy, I'm shocked how these other moms keep it all together. I'd like to think they're closet drinkers. But I know better. They drink wine quite openly.

Susie Wilwerding-Fah was one of the first Earling girls I met when I started dating Doug. I distinctly remember how she confirmed Doug’s cute factor—admitting how she had a crush on him in grade school. (Who couldn’t love that long hair?) I appreciated Susie’s connection with Doug. There’s something about growing up together in a small school that brings you especially close to your classmates. When Susie and her husband, Jeff, decided to move back to the Earling area, we were happy. (More people our age!) The Fah’s bring life to a party. Whether Jeff is busting a move on the kitchen dance floor, or Susie is braiding your hair, they always add that undefinable dynamic that makes you smile through your wine-induced headache the next day. 

Meet Susie Fah.
From the left, clockwise: Stephen, Joseph, Jeff, Patrick, Thomas, Ash, Katherine and Susie.

Quick bio:
5 kids:  Patrick, Thomas, Joseph, Stephen, Catherine and 1 Yorkie named Ash. Hubby:  Jeff J Fah,  Teach preschool at Tri-Center near Neola (Love it!), Grew up on a farm outside of Earling, went to college at Iowa State and lived around that area before moving back to Earling 13 years later to live across the street from my parents.  I come from a family of 8 kids.  Been married for almost 24 years.

Favorite family tradition:  taking vacations with my siblings and their kids, we always have a great time together.

Funniest kid story of late:  I won’t mention which one of my sons did this but . . . two of the kids were sorting clothes and one of them came across nine-year-old Catherine’s bralette/ cami.  Well, he got curious and tried it on.  Jeff walked passed the room and did a double-take.  He was quick enough to snap a photo of it.  Priceless!

Most surprising lesson you’ve learned about being a mother:  Kids want to know that you are there for them (physically and emotionally).  They want to know that you are interested in what they are saying and doing.  If you lend an ear you will learn a lot about them and something about yourself, as well.  I learned a lot about kids through teaching, too.

Opinion on work/life Balance:  Still trying to figure this one out.  I was part time until two years ago.  Going full-time kind of upset my applecart.  I’ve found I am better off letting little things go (like cleaning my house . . . eek!).  I think our kids will remember the more important things rather than stressing over a sparkly clean house.  They know what I turn into when company is coming.  I don’t want them to see that side of me all the time.
A little note about Susie here. While she has her Masters and at one time was a elementary school principal, she changed her career path to teach preschool where she feels she has more impact on kids and has time to be a better mom. This is a great example of the many choices working mothers must face.
Guilty pleasure:  A glass of wine and watching Hart of Dixie with Jeff after the kids go to bed.

Last book you read that you couldn’t quit thinking about:   The Help

Best family tradition:   skiing in Colorado

Favorite or most-used app:  Storm Shield (not too exciting but I have recess duty to think about!)

Who’s your celebrity obsession?  Stef Kramer 
I think she means the actress who starred in that great TV series, Hunter.
What’s your go-to movie?  The Sound of Music

What advice would you give to new parents:  Life goes FAST!  Enjoy every stage because kids grow up!

How do you recharge?  Take a nap, go for a walk or run (jog)

Anything else you’d like to add about being a working mother?  Your kids don’t need to feel your stress if you’ve had a rough day.  Find an adult to use for your sounding board. I try to keep this in mind but I, too, have my occasional explosions.  Jeff might say it’s a bit more often than occasional.  

An occasional explosion with five kids? I think you're justified, Susie!

Susie is an amazing person. In addition to her teaching job and raising five kids, she’s always looking for ways to improve the quality of our community and make memories for our children. She was instrumental to getting new playground equipment for our town and leads an annual Easter Egg Hunt for our parish. Right now she's spearheading a “father-daughter” dance to be held Earling on February 3rd—a night for daughters to get dressed up and be pampered by their doting dads. Thanks Susie for all you do in our community! You're a treasure.

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