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The Courage to Become | Allison Mack

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” ~ Maya Angelou

I love this quote. I live my life by this quote. When the opportunity to write about the “Courage to Become” fell into my lap my first thought was, gosh I haven’t really “become” anything. I’m a pretty ordinary person. I’m just me. I started to dig deep and really take a hard look back on my past, my history, my childhood, my parents, and what defines me, what doesn’t define me, but overall, what makes me… me.

I really feel pretty lucky that I’ve become a lot of amazing things - I’ve become a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a friend to countless, but I’ve also had the blessing of becoming a business owner of an empowering community of women called, Austin Moms Blog and sometimes also known as my 4th child.

The condensed version of me is that I grew up in Austin, TX, lived in the same house my entire life and attended Westwood High School where my mother was {and still is} a teacher. My parents divorced when I was 2 years old and my sister and I are almost 10 years apart {I’m the baby} so in essence I grew up slightly like the only child…or so I’ve been told.

For as long as I can remember, I was always outgoing, tenacious, and loved being around people… a true extrovert. I was a cheerleader, trained in English Equestrian for several years, joined the FFA where I raised a lamb {we never made it to the slaughter trailer — my heart just couldn’t do it}, started competing in beauty pageants my Freshman year in high school, graduated from the University of Texas in Austin, and ultimately met my best friend, Wesley, who I would later marry and have 3 beautiful children with. Whew… that’s me in a outer surface nut shell and the longest sentence EVER.

My years in pageantry really set me up big time for what I’m doing in life now — I mean I can strut in a pair of heels while holding a crying baby on my hip, holding another’s hand, leading another with my knee, and still have room to throw in a hair flip all while my lips are glossed and my eyeliner is winged. That’s talent right there, people. In all seriousness though, pageantry really did help prepare me for being a business owner as well as a mom. I definitely don’t regret my pageant days.

Throughout my competition years I endured countless hours of training to make sure I was the best version of me. I know it sounds so cliche, but I really do believe that pageants bring out the best of who YOU were meant to be. I spent the most amount of time training for interview and public speaking. I also spent time learning how to walk in heels, how to put on false eyelashes,  how to get my hair closer to God {it’s called a teasing comb}, and more, but my weakest area was always speaking in public.

When I look back at all of that training I kind of smile. It seemed like nonsense once my pageant days were over, but I can’t tell you how grateful I am for that training now that I’m older. As the owner of Austin Moms Blog, I make some sort of media appearance at least twice a month. Whether I’m on the news, speaking to a University of Texas advertising class, or connecting with other moms at an event, I’m now extremely comfortable speaking in public. I still get nervous, but I now know that at least I won’t suck when I do have to do it.

Austin Moms Blog is an opportunity that truly fell into my lap. It wasn’t something I was looking for, but I really feel like it was looking for me. In fact, my dream in life was to be a mom. Nothing more, nothing less, “just” a mom. Life had bigger plans for me. My husband had bigger plans for me. A friend had bigger plans for me. My children had bigger plans for me. And in the summer of 2011, after being a mom for just 1 very long year, a friend and I decided to launch Austin Moms Blog. It would be our hobby, a place where we could talk about all things mommy, a resource of sorts for other moms in the Austin community, a judgment free zone, and safe place. Now I juggle being “just” that mom as well as managing a business that requires at least {if not more} 30-40 hours of true work per week. 6 years later, I’m reminded that when you’re doing something you are passionate about that it can often lead to something pretty special.

Starting Austin Moms Blog made perfect sense because honestly, there was zero pressure and we were moms starting a moms blog. I mean duh. The way we looked at it was this was truly just for fun! I believe that’s what has made AMB so successful - we started from a really organic and authentic place in our lives. Moms just being moms. Eventually other moms kind of started to like us, which was awesome!

Austin Moms Blog Executive Team

Austin Moms Blog Executive Team

When we first launched Austin Moms Blog we knew that there were similar resources out there for parents so we made every effort to try to be different. In the very beginning when AMB was just a newborn, we really didn’t have a lot of direction or guidance so it was just us trying to navigate as we went along. It wasn’t until we started bringing on a team of writers that AMB’s legs really grew and we were able to set ourselves apart from the rest as not just a resource, not just event focused, not just community driven, not just a contributing team, not just a one mom perspective, but ALL of that wrapped up under one umbrella. Diversity in our team is our #1 goal, because we recognize that all moms are different with different backgrounds, parenting styles, and that we are all at different stages of motherhood. Our team is 50 strong and we try really hard to embody all of those differences so we can touch all moms not just the ones that are like us.

Austin Moms Blog Contributing Team

Austin Moms Blog Contributing Team

I started this journey with a Maya Angelou quote and it’s literally something I say {condensed version, of course}, whenever I’m faced with adversity or in times that simply put, aren’t going my way. When you focus on the good, it’s hard to be saddened by the bad. Austin Moms Blog is good. I’m reminded of that daily by our current team, our past contributing writers, and even by our readers. We are ALL good good mamas no matter what our path to motherhood was, regardless of how many children we have, and despite our differences. That’s why I’m so proud to have become the behind the scenes voice of such a powerful platform as Austin Moms Blog.

A Few Fun Little Facts::

•   Which living person do you most admire? This is tough. There are at least 2 handfuls of people that I truly admire so it wouldn’t be fair to call out only one. I will say that characteristics I admire most in people are “hard-working, driven, strong sense of humor, well-spoken, kind, dedicated, intelligent, faithful, successful {at something…anything!}, not afraid to show raw emotion, and open-mindedness”.

Which talent would you most like to have? I wish so much that I knew how to play the piano. I know I know… it’s not too late to start, BUT it’s just not something I have the patience to learn this late in life. It’s one of those talents I wish I could just snap my fingers and magically have.

What is your most marked characteristic? My hair.

• What are some things you are proud to have accomplished? I’m incredibly proud that I’m a UT graduate…it really wasn’t in the cards for me to go to an accredited university, but that tenaciousness came out in full force and I was determined to get ‘er done.

What are some hopes you have for your future? I think my biggest hope is to watch my children grow into their own little people, which means I get to grow old {YAY!}. And I mean that…I’ll be ridiculously lucky if I get the chance to be full of wrinkles, gray hair, and live the journey my children and my husband take me on. If AMB went away tomorrow, I’d still be incredibly fulfilled.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to women who are about to embark on the journey you are on? Do it {whatever “it” is} because you love it and it’s a passion, not because you need it or are trying to profit. If you’re truly doing what you love, it’s not really work.

Essay by: Allison Mack

To keep up with Allison's adventures be sure to follow along! 

Austin Moms Blog  // Facebook // Instagram 

Waco Moms Blog // Facebook // Instagram


Hi friend!

I'm Catia, a woman, wife, mama, sister, sister friend, you know -- I wear a million hats just like you.

One of my biggest whys is that I want people to feel good about ALL of who they are. Including you.

The threads running through all my work (I’m an author - The Courage to Become, I’m a motivational speaker - TEDx, Choose Joy or Die , I am a private coach ) are hope, joy and empowerment.

If I could choose ten words that best describe me I would say: honest, welcoming, giving, curious, loving, earnest, empathetic, spiritual, playful, and sassy. Let's add: adventurous. That's 11.

Nice to meet you!


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