Get to know a local mama: MEET JACQUELYN

I was born and raised in Eureka, Illinois. As a family, we would leave to visit family that lived in other states. These provide me with the most found memories with all of our road trips and family surrounding us whenever we went on those trips.

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After high school, I attended Illinois Central College to transfer to Illinois State University to major in education, specifically special education. When I was in 8th grade, I worked with a student that just needed a little help to get his homework done and at that moment I knew this is what I wanted to do in life.

Upon graduation, I was able to get a job where I student taught in Roanoke-Benson Junior High with grade 6-8. After one semester, I went back to school to get my Masters in Reading. I wanted to learn how to help my students read better. After teaching in Roanoke-Benson for 12 years, I was able to get a job at Eureka Middle School where my dream of becoming a teacher all started. God put all those pieces into place for me and now I still love what I do after teaching 15 years.

All the while pursuing my dream of a career, I had my rock and love of my life pushing and believing in me all the way. We married in 2003 right after I got my bachelors. We have 3 children, Micah (10), Opal (7), and Sadie (4). They are the spice in the household that keeps us on our toes and laughing all the time. We spend time as a family doing activities we all enjoy like day trips, weekend trips, movies nights, game nights. We want to instill in our children the importance of family.

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Also in 2008, I was had a cancerous tumor removed from my right lung. They also had to take 2 lobes at the time. I only had surgery and no other treatment for this type of cancer. However, it has lead me to my passion of running and encouraging my children to have an active lifestyle. I have ran many 5k’s, a 10k, half marathon, Eureka to Peoria St. Jude Run, and Memphis to Peoria St. Jude Run. Since this surgery I have learned that exercising helps me breathe let alone just my overall health is better. Also during this trial in our life, family was there right alongside us helping with everything: keeping our 4 month old, staying with me during the day, making meals, cleaning our house, mowing our lawn. We could not have done all that without family. We were so blessed by the outpouring of all their love. God gave us the strength to get through that and the family to know exactly what we needed.

Throughout my entire life, I can see God’s hand in everything and it is causes me to step back in tears with great awe and amazement of his doing. We have been through both trials and triumphs and all along the way and God provided us exactly what we needed. As you can see family is that common theme that is interwoven through the my entire life. We work hard at instilling the family life style with our kids as well and sharing with them God’s plan for each one of us.

We are looking forward to warmer weather so we can be outside much more. On the nice days that are few and far between right now, we try to get outside to take a walk, run, and/or ride bikes as well as play on the swingset and shoot hoops.

This summer, we will be busy with gymnastics for the girls, swim team for Opal, and baseball for Micah. We also set up a pool at our house to get more time to be outside. We have two family vacations planned with one trip to Florida and one trip to Connecticut. The kids and I enjoy taking day trips as well to Starved Rock, amusement parks, mini golfing to get us out of the house and moving.

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