My Motherhood Story: Safari Surprise

Heather Zimmerman with her honeymoon photo in our Cairo frame. 

Heather Zimmerman with her honeymoon photo in our Cairo frame. 

She's got killer style, a beautiful daughter, another on the way(!), and a Pinterest-worthy *crazygorgeous* home. Meet Heather Zimmerman. Heather framed a pre-motherhood throwback photo, from a honeymoon safari with her hubby (Washington Nationals player Ryan Zimmerman). It's a memory she loves and now, two years later and just in time for Mother's Day, one she can enjoy every day. With Mackenzie by her side, Heather is reflecting on how things have changed, and all the things she's learned since that sweet safari moment. 


Name: Heather Zimmerman

Occupation: Stay-at-home mom

Hobbies: Wish I had the time for hobbies, with a 2 year old! :) When time allows, I volunteer with Ryan's ziMS Foundation, which raises funds for multiple sclerosis research. His parents run the Foundation from Virginia Beach, but I am working to promote more ziMS events in the DMV area, since Ryan and I spend the majority of our time here and he, of course, represents a D.C. team. I also LOVE to travel, whether it's around the U.S. (mostly during baseball season), or outside of the country in the offseason with my family. 

Favorite Things: First and foremost, my caring husband and hilarious daughter. Also, our two dogs - a sassy English Bulldog and sensitive Lab mix. Also, I have no choice but to love baseball! Also: cars, shoes and wine (when I'm not pregnant.) And! spending time outside in sunny, warm weather. 

Favorite Instagram accounts: How do I name just a few? @ScaryMommy, @TSA (surprisingly entertaining), @Wonderful_Places, @GlitterGuide, @Guarnaschelli, and @TheFatJewish (because he makes me laugh while I scroll).

What did you admire most about your mom? Her patience and fun personality! She was always coming up with new arts and crafts activities for my sister and I, if she wasn't sitting down playing Barbies or ponies with us! She was a stay-at-home Mom as well, and now that I understand what a challenge that is, I appreciate her even more. She was always so involved. 

How were you creative as a child? I was never involved with sports, so I spent a lot of time drawing, painting and crafting. Craft stores were my heaven! I remember writing and illustrating stories, and making construction paper books when I was little.

 

"It's a complete lifestyle adjustment that I wasn't at all prepared for, but it's been an awesome experience so far."

 

How has being a mom changed your life? The most drastic change has been that, as a mother, all personal needs take a back seat... from day one! It's a complete lifestyle adjustment that I wasn't at all prepared for, but it's been an awesome experience so far. Timetables and itineraries are thrown out the window. It's also taught me to think in a completely different way. You always have to be 5 steps ahead, and somehow prepared for that one scenario you never dreamed would happen. Toddlers are WAY smarter than we give them credit for. They are constantly training the parents - not the other way around!

Proudest mom moment (so far)? Potty training! Hooray! Mackenzie has overall been an easy baby and child (until the dreaded "terrible 2's" hit). Potty training was a doozy! When it finally clicked just a couple of weeks ago, I felt like texting everyone in my phone. But I held back.

More than anything, what do you hope Mackenzie and her sister learn from you? I hope that they learn to be patient, kind, and open-minded with everyone they meet, and that they are social and a good friend to others. It's important to have a wide circle of various types of friendships. You learn from others. We need different types of people on different days of our life and in varying phases in life to keep us grounded.

What have you learned from Mackenzie?  To not freak out about anything! It's important to keep a cool head at all times. And most of all – define your priorities! When I wake up, I think about things that absolutely must get done today, and what can wait until tomorrow.

What does a day in your life look like? Nine months out of the year, it's baseball season which means our schedule is crazy! This year will be a little different, as I will not be traveling on the away trips like I usually do. In the past, that means I'm headed on a trip approximately every 7-10 days. In a few weeks, there will be a new baby girl in addition to our headstrong toddler, which means I will be spending the next few months happily at home while Ryan travels! It's going to be a whole new phase of motherhood this year.

How do you stay inspired? I feel very lucky to be a stay-at-home momma. While every day is exhausting and trying, I appreciate how much flexibility it gives me to live each day to the fullest and introduce my daughter to the wonders of the world around her. 

What did you frame with us? This is a photo of my husband and I on our honeymoon in South Africa. It was one of the rare opportunities when our guide allowed us get out of the safari vehicle, while this herd of giraffes grazed ahead of us. 

 

"We became pregnant with our first daughter approximately one month after this photo was taken - so this is sort of a symbolic picture capturing the end of our young and foolish era."

 

What makes it so special? The whole trip was absolutely breathtaking, but this picture is while we were on safari in Kruger National Park, and was an experience I think everyone needs to enjoy during their lifetime. I remember it being a Monday morning and I couldn't get over how crazy it was to be on almost the other side of the world during "rush hour" with a traffic jam of giraffes! We became pregnant with our first daughter approximately one month after this photo was taken - so this is sort of a symbolic picture capturing the end of our young and foolish era.

How do you feel when you look at your frame? I am obsessed with it! 


What special photo or memory do you want to frame for the mom in your life this Mother's Day?