Meet Big Jules
The moment I was introduced to Julie I knew I wanted to be her friend. She’s absolutely darling, adores everything French, has the most incredible sense of humor, is an excellent conversationalist, loves peanut M&Ms, and is all-around FUN. I was especially drawn to her thoughtfulness and genuine care for others. Julie's smallest gifts of kindness seem second nature to her. However, if you are the recipient, they make you feel more than special; they make you feel seen and loved.
What I admire most about Julie is her amazing relationship with her daughters, Lauren and Sarah (who affectionately call her “Jules”). They look forward to being with her all the time and in any capacity. The mother/daughter trio is the greatest of friends and their adoration for each other is so special to watch. As a mom of teens, I'm constantly learning from Julie and try to mirror her compassionate and encouraging ways.
When I told Lauren and Sarah that I wanted to write an article about Julie and her ability to make kindness such an ordinary yet extraordinary part of her life, they were giddy with excitement. We secretly met when Julie had other appointments and concocted a plan for the interview. It was especially perfect that her birthday (today - July 28th!) was just around the corner and could serve as my very first blog entry.
I’m so thankful that Lauren and Sarah are willing to share a little bit of Jules with the rest of us. After you read this, you will want Julie to be your mom, too - or at least be fortunate enough to call her a friend.
Happy Birthday, Jules!!
Q. How do you think your mom has shaped your kindset?
Lauren: Watching my mom practice compassion with family, friends, and strangers over the years has shown me the importance of showing love towards others and allowed me to form my own philosophy on kindness. Without her influence, I would have a completely different attitude on life and I would not be the person I am today.
Sarah: Since I was young, my mom has always been one of my greatest role models because of her generosity and compassion for others that she shows on a daily basis. In everything she does, she demonstrates a genuine care for everyone around her that I admire so much. She has made me realize that it is the little things that matter, that a powerful act of kindness can be something so small.
Q. I love watching your relationship with your mom. It's such a great balance of being a friend but yet still being a parent. What do you most appreciate about your relationship with your mom?
Lauren: I could not be blessed with a better mom than Jules. Somehow, we just grow closer and closer as the years go on, and I can truly call her my best friend in life. I appreciate everything when it comes to our relationship, but most importantly, she is great at keeping us grounded, reminding us what is important in life, and is always here for us no matter the situation. One of her best qualities is that she is an amazing listener and I really do feel like I can tell her anything!
Sarah: I think the one thing that really stands out to me is how honest and genuine our relationship is. I think it is so important to have a balance of being friends with your parents, but still acknowledging the importance of the parent-child relationship. I see my relationship with my mom as the perfect balance of this. I love spending time with her and genuinely having fun, but I also know that she is there for me when I need advice or just need my mom! I appreciate so much how I can always be myself around her without worrying about being perfect, but still be encouraged to try new things and challenge myself.
Q. You’ve told me how much your friends enjoy being around Jules. Why do you think that is?
Lauren: Not only is Jules is really great at making everyone feel welcome, included and cared about, but she has the best sense of humor and is incredibly fun-loving. We spend so much time hanging out with her that our friends end up spending a ton of time with her as well. Because of Jules’ ability to be so loving with our close friends, I think some of them think of her as another mother figure in their lives and a friend!
Q. Now that you are older, what are the moments you most cherish with your mom?
Sarah: My mom and I have done some really special things together like traveling to Rwanda, and sharing a weekend of our 15th and 50th birthdays, but the moments I value most are the casual, everyday ones. One thing that I cherish deeply is my mom picking me up from school every day. It is one of the main reasons that I don’t want to start driving myself! If I have had a great day or terrible day, she is always there with the same smile on her face, ready to hear whatever I have to say. Some of the best and most memorable times are just the two of us driving home, stuck in traffic on Montlake! I know that I can always count on her at the end of the day no matter what. I can’t think back to any soccer tournaments, ice skating lessons or school performances that my mom hasn’t been there in the front row encouraging me every step of the way.
Lauren: My favorite things that we get to do together are cook in our kitchen, have dance parties to One Direction and Madonna (what else?!), and hang out with Ziggy (our cute dog)… really, not many of our favorite activities have changed since Sarah and I were little! That is, with the exception of our latest activity being going to SoulCycle together, which we have definitely bonded over too!
Q. What do you want people to know most about your mom?
Sarah: What I want people to know most about my mom is how great of a mom, friend, and person she is to everyone around her. She inspires me everyday because of the constant love and encouragement that I get from her. Through her, I have learned how to be the most authentic, best version of myself without being afraid to make any mistakes along the way. Whenever I think about having kids in the future, I picture my mom and hope to one day be half as amazing of a mom that she is to my sister and I (and Ziggy)!