Greetings! My name is Sandra. I am truly honored to be a new contributing writer for the BurlingtonVT Moms Blog, and thankful to its lovely founders for believing in me.
I am a Vermonter (South Burlington native) and stay at home mom to two wonderful children: a 3 year old boy, and a 1 year old girl. I married my best friend from high school in 2007. We met when I was a sophomore and he was a senior, but didn’t start dating until he was in college. For the past three years we have been living in the Champlain Islands next door to his parents, and my mom lives in an apartment on our property too. It’s an old fashioned arrangement that is surprisingly common here in the Islands. My kids get the experience of having extended family close by (something I never had), and it’s really convenient for babysitting too. Win! We have been dabbling in a bit of homesteading since moving to the Islands. We have egg laying chickens, goats (just for fun), and our dog Pepper. We are trying to become better gardeners and food preservers, and tap our maple trees for syrup each spring.
Before marriage and children, I went to Mount Holyoke College and earned my BA in environmental studies. The environment has been my passion since I was a little girl, and although I considered majoring in something else at times, my heart wouldn’t let me. It’s a difficult field to get a well-paying job in however, especially in an ecophile saturated area like Vermont, so I got my master’s degree in urban planning from UCLA. My husband (then boyfriend) and I packed up whatever fit into our Honda Civic and moved to Los Angeles for 3 years to pursue our advanced degrees. It was an amazing adventure and we loved our time there, but we always knew we wanted to come back.
Upon returning to Vermont I worked as a transportation planning consultant, primarily on bicycle and pedestrian and public transit projects. I was laid off in 2008 during what we now call “the great recession.” Around the same time my husband and I decided we wanted children. After agonizing over how aggressively to pursue a new job, I took a part-time, temporary position while I was pregnant. When my son was born, I knew I had made the right decision to stay home full-time with him, and with his sister when she came along two years later. I do still try to keep a toe in the professional world I left by serving on my local Planning Commission. More recently, I started a personal blog called Mama of Ma’at where I write about my biggest passions: my kids, the environment, and the threat of man-made climate change.
Being a stay at home mom for these past three and a half years has been both rewarding and challenging. That old adage is true about motherhood, “The days are long but the years are short.” My kids teach me every day how to be a better person: more patient, more forgiving, more present, more playful, more loving. I don’t ace each lesson every day, but I’m so happy to have this time with them.
I hope you enjoy my posts on BurlingtonVT Moms Blog, and I hope to hear your stories too.
We are so glad to have you as part of the team!