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Say ‘Hello’ to Courtney Shelton!

Hi there! My name is Courtney Shelton. I am a native Texan with a typical small-town upbringing outside of Austin. One of three kids to amazing parents who taught us to love God and everything He created (even the Longhorns) while enjoying life.

I moved away to go to college and it was while living in College Station, Texas, and finishing my undergrad degree, that I met my husband through a Christian social group. We immediately hit it off and eventually dated long distance for a year. After a year we were ready to either move on or move closer. While we both considered jobs in each other’s city, an amazing opportunity at the University of Memphis came my way that I couldn't pass up.  (Side note - this was not a fun conversation to have with my close-knit family: “Hey, Mom and Dad!  You know this guy I am dating you only met twice?  I am moving 11 hours away to be with him!  Isn’t that awesome?” Did I mention he is 12 years older than me?  That was a fun conversation too.)

Moving right along... I made it to Memphis and fell in love with my job, fell in love with the city and more in love with my guy.  We got engaged, bought a house, got married, moved in together, adopted a dog and had kids. Wow. Life has been busy!  Those are just the highlights, but there have been plenty of low lights too. Losing jobs and loved ones, miscarriages, and just plain, not glamorous life stuff. The good and the bad, we take it all and learn to keep going and try to focus on the highlights.

Photo Cred: Alison Jo Photography
Photo Cred: Alison Jo Photography

Our three best highlights are our three kids.  Doug (December 2009) is the ultimate loving, caring big brother to little sisters Adlee (December 2013) the free spirit, and Nora (December 2014) the happy-go-lucky baby.  Who noticed they all were born in December?  Everyone does.  And, no, it was not planned that way.  Who noticed the last two were one year apart?  Everyone does.  And, no, it was not planned that way.  We were delighted when we had Doug and wondered when we would have more, and even started the adoption talk, but God brought us Adlee and then really surprised us with Nora 11 months later.  No one quite has the timing of God!  These three drive me crazy, keep me on my toes, and make me want to pull my hair out, but at the same time can make my eyes well with pride and my heart literally warm over with love.  Nothing like being a mom.  Nothing.

First moment with my three lovies.
First moment with my three lovies.

I am still happily employed at the University of Memphis, coincidentally my husband is too, and our son will start Campus School at the UofM in the fall of 2016 .  Tiger Pride runs deep at our house!  Our little world being very centrally-located makes all of the struggles and chaos of  being a working mom easier.  Not easy, but easier.  I try to encourage all working moms I meet to know it’s not about balance, but peace with where your family is. Some days we really nail it all -- kids all up and ready and out the door on time and happy, everyone is picked up on time or early and back home for some happy play or homework before dinner followed by a perfectly smooth bath and bedtime.  SOME days.  Other days we are all running around trying to make it to appointments on time, trying not to make kids or work feel neglected, and let's not talk about how neglected the house cleaning or laundry can get!  But I have learned that's okay.  This is where we are in life and I find happiness in that peace.  Trying to achieve perfect balance as a working mother is impossible, but finding peace is totally up to me.

When I am not working and momming I love to do DIY projects on our 1938 house in the UofM area of Memphis, read fiction and self-help books, follow college football (Go Tigers, go! And Gig 'em Ags!), rearrange the furniture in our house to the point it is an actual hobby, and spend time with my family and friends exploring our city.  Memphis was never in my grand plan, but not many of the awesome parts of my life were in my grand plan, and I wouldn’t change any of it.

Photo Cred: Rach Vendetti Photography
Photo Cred: Rach Vendetti Photography

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