The spotlight is on my friend Cathy in this third installment of my A Woman I Know series. My weekly link up post is published on Saturdays and, during each month, I cycle through four recurring themes each week. On the occasion when there is a fifth Saturday in the month, I publish this special feature. You can get caught up on the past features about Amy and Joya by clicking on their names.
I’m so tickled to close out 2016 by introducing you to this fabulous woman. Cathy is the “bee’s knees”, a term used in describing someone who is “excellent, surpassingly wonderful, or cool”. This excellent, surpassingly wonderful and COOL woman is not only an exceptional wife, mother, and friend, she also has style, a successful career outside the home, and has been a huge supporter of my blog.
The Husband and I first became acquainted with Cathy and her husband Rob about seventeen years ago when our daughter Josephine and their youngest daughter Tara became classmates and fast friends in pre-school. The girls then attended the same elementary school for several years and were also classmates at the same dance school. As their friendship grew so did the adults’ and we scored an invite to their feted annual holiday party. However, it has been our mutual love for a quaint nearby beach town and time spent there together that cemented the friendship between the adults.
Rob’s family has a long history (since he was a young boy) of spending a week during the summer vacationing in Carpinteria which Cathy and he have continued with their family. As part of this tradition, they would allow their daughters to invite a friend to join them for a few days. Josephine was invited by Tara one year and she had a great time. She was invited again the following year and when The Husband arrived late one afternoon to pick her up, he was invited to stay for dinner and hang out for a while. Up until then, The Husband and I had never been to Carpinteria other than driving past it countless times. When he came home later than night, he raved about the place where Cathy and Rob were staying and told me that they had suggested that we join them during their week’s stay the following year (in our own rental unit).
The place where they usually stayed was building with 30+ apartment-like units that faced directly onto the beach. We were a little nervous the first year about spending a whole week with another family but we had our own unit so we could be by ourselves if we wanted. Our fears were unfounded, of course, and we all had a great time. So much so that it became a recurring event several years in a row. We all have a lot of wonderful memories of time spent together during those annual weeks by the sea.
When I asked Cathy if I could feature her in this series, she agreed without hesitation for which I’m most grateful. And she was able to enlist her daughter Claire for photographic duty. You can see more of Claire’s work on her website, K + C, or on her Instagram feed, claireleahy.
On Life And Living
Q – Is the glass half empty or half full?
A – I like to think half-full. Some days I wish it were full of tequila or vodka, but for the most part, I try to maintain a positive attitude about things.
Q – If you didn’t know how old you are, how old do you feel?
A – Honestly? I’m not sure what 55 is supposed to feel like! I’m in pretty good health, so I guess I’d say mid-40’s. Haha!
Q – Are you concerned about being age appropriate?
A – Yes, I am. There are outfits I think are adorable, but being 55 (55 55 55 55 55 55, goodness I’m 55!), I just can’t see myself wearing really low-cut blouses or midriff style things. Even some sleeveless outfits I get concerned about!
Q – What do you do for you to put a smile on your face?
A – I’ve only been doing this for a couple of years, but every month or so, I’ll get a facial! I actually have to thank you for this, Rena, as I go to Galena Badali! You referred her to us Leahy girls for eyebrow waxing some time ago and she has a whole menu of services. She’s absolutely wonderful and I find it a special treat that I really look forward to. An hour, just for me!
Q – What are the top five things on your bucket list?
A – 1. Travel to Europe; 2. Climb Clouds Rest in Yosemite; 3. Go to Mount Rushmore; 4. This sounds somewhat cliché, but I hope to help plan a wedding for one (or both) of my daughters someday; 5. Clean out my garage.
On Family And Parenting
Q – You and Rob have been married for over 30 years. How did you know he was the one?
A – When I first met Rob, we started chatting about things, like he was from New Jersey and I was born in New York. He was actually born in the same hospital as some of my cousins and delivered BY THE SAME OBSTETRICIAN! I think we just realized we had a lot in common. Plus, he met the height requirement. My goal was to breed taller children with good teeth and good eyesight.
Q – Since Christmas was just last week, what are some of your family’s holiday traditions?
A – We’ve been going to Christmas Eve mass with Rob’s family for years. With the family spread out now, it’s pretty much just my father-in-law, Jack, but we keep that tradition going. We usually go to mass and then have Christmas Eve dinner at a restaurant. Christmas morning at the Leahy household is Christmas lights, Christmas music and the opening of gifts. I love to cook on holidays, so if we’re hosting, I’ll get the turkey in the oven early and let the house just soak up the aroma. Rob calls me “Mrs. Christmas”; I love this time of year and all the promise and hope it embodies.
Q – There are so many new things in life since you were a twenty-something. What have you learned from your daughters that you didn’t know previously?
A – SNAPCHAT. I still haven’t quite figured it out, but it’s a neat tool. They also help me with APPLE TV. That took a bit to get used to. HAAH!
Q – What do you hope that your daughters have learned from you?
A – I hope they’ve learned to treat everyone the way you want to be treated and to be welcoming to others and generous with their time.
Q – Are you a cool mom?
A – I guess it depends on the day. I want to say yes, but that might sound cocky! I suppose Claire or Tara should answer this one.
On Fashion And Style
Q – How would you describe your fashion style?
A – My work scenario is a business casual environment, so that kind of takes precedence (since like most folks, I spend a lot of time at work). So, I’d say business casual/casual.
Q – What influences your choices on what to buy and/or what to wear?
A – I’d say primarily wearability and comfort. I don’t have a lot of things that have crazy care guidelines.
Q – What is your biggest challenge when it comes to buying clothing and how do you address it?
A – As I noted before, I’m pretty conscious of being “age appropriate”. I really try to veer away from plunging necklines or overly short outfits (I do, however, like wearing shorts during the summer-Ann Taylor has some great dressy shorts that can be dressed up or down). My biggest challenge has to be buying something online thinking the neckline looks ok, and then trying it on at home and finding it’s too low. I’m not a big necklace person, so when I just can’t send the item back (I love it too much or whatever), I’ll scarf it up, or wear a cami underneath as a layer.
Q – What trends are you keen on right now?
A – I’m really enjoying the longer, slightly looser fitting sweaters. Claire got me a cool black turtleneck recently that goes great with dress pants or jeans. The other trend I guess would be those shorts from Ann Taylor. They’re a tad bit shorter than walking shorts, but completely age appropriate!
Q – What styles are outside your comfort zone?
A – Halter tops, some sleeveless tops and other items geared toward the millennial set!
Then And Now
Q – What did you want to be when you grew up?
A – When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a veterinarian because I love animals. I changed my mind later in my teens because I didn’t like blood or chemistry and the death of my dog around that time was hard on me. I always had it in mind that I would work because of the example I saw with my mother. While in college I thought I would be a writer but other opportunities came along after I graduated.
Q – What is your education background?
A – My major in college was in journalism but I soon learned that I wasn’t going to make much money in that field. My first job was with Nordstrom as an assistant buyer. I helped with the opening of a new local store and eventually was promoted to a regional manager in purchasing. My next job was with Disney in their home video group.
Q – Where do you work now?
A – I am the Global Contract Administration Manager, Consumer Products for DreamWorks Animation. I’ve been with them for about two years when I was recruited from Disney.
Q – What are your retirement goals?
A – Ideally, we’d like to be able to buy a beach shack in Carpinteria but there are no concrete plans for that or any other specifics just yet. Our home will be paid off soon so we are looking forward to refocusing our finances afterward into building our retirement nest egg and enjoying other leisurely pursuits like traveling. I will probably work for at least another 10 years then maybe help out my husband with his business.
Let’s Wrap This Up
Now, onto the Fine-Whatever link up for this week. My featured contributor from last week’s post is Melissa from Stylista Fitness and I thought it to be fitting to share her NYE look on NYE. Also, Melissa is the only one of the five bloggers who added a post on my very first link up at the beginning of 2016 who added a post to last week’s link up.
I hope that you have enjoyed meeting my friend Cathy and learning a bit about her. Who are the awesome women that you know? What do you admire about them and how have they influenced your life?
The next month with a fifth Saturday is April and I already have another awesome woman in the queue to introduce to you. However, I’m still looking to fill the rest of my 2017 line-up so be warned my other friends and family, I may soon be calling to ask you for a favor. Please consider saying yes.
Let’s connect! Subscribe, tweet, follow, friend, love, pin, stumble … all options are available and waiting for you. I look forward to hearing from you. And don’t forget to add a post or two to the link up.