Peoria Mama Interview: Meet Emilie

*Meet our March's Peoria mama: Emilie, who is celebrating her birthday today.

Thank you kindly for allowing our readers a little glimpse into your life as a mama! We have enjoyed learning more about you, your family + your adventures here in central Illinois.*

Upbringing?

I was born and raised in the tiny town of Columbus City, Iowa (pop. 381). I attended the University of Iowa, with a semester abroad in Australia at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland. I studied Industrial Engineering with a business minor.

Family?

I had my eye on a career in academia, but after graduation, I took a job at Caterpillar in Peoria, where my brother worked. I met my husband through my brother as they worked together at the Peoria Proving Grounds.

Their first selfie!

Their first selfie!

We have two fantastic girls, Amelie 3, and Stella 7 months.

Favorite tradition for your family?

We go to Talbott's Tree Farm every year to pick up a Christmas tree, we started this tradition the year we got married. It makes the whole house smell amazing.

Favorite spot in Peoria to spend time with your family?

Our favorite place in Peoria is the Forest Park Nature Center. We are itching to get back out there right now. My little Amelie loves to hike and I love getting her out in nature. There is this Japanese term Shinrin-yoku that translates to "forest bathing" and it basically means that you come out refreshed and re-newed from spending time with trees. I always come back from hiking there feeling relaxed and calm, so it's my stress relief time that I also get to spend with my kids. Also, the nature center's programs and events are really great (and most of the time - free!).

What are your must have pieces that you have for your kiddos right now?

I bought Amelie these awesome North Face snow pants that have tabs to accommodate size changes that we have broken in with a lot of sledding time. For baby Stella, I have this great fleece bunting that has a hood, foot and hand covers built in (so no separate hat, mittens, socks, or boots to worry about!). As we are in transition mode here with a couple of 50 degree days in a row that reminds me spring IS actually coming, so I will need to head into Bushbaby to get some spring time goodies!

What local non-profit or foundation do you support or would like the reader to learn more about? Why?

I am a member of the Junior League of Peoria. We are currently on the cusp of opening a children's museum this summer across from the zoo, the Peoria Playhouse. The construction is currently underway, with sneak peeks shown on Facebook almost every Tuesday. While the bulk of the fundraising is complete, we still have a lot of little items that can be found on the Peoria PlayHouse Amazon wishlist (link below) so donate if you can. The amazon wish list is pretty amazing because if you buy say some books or a toy, then when you visit the museum you can see in person what you bought and watch kids play with your donation!