If you had an opportunity to read the article entitled “S’Editorial and Interview I Can Women Do It All“, I highlighted a dear friend of mine, Dana Koger. We, as women do so much and the question is always asked…Can Women Really Do it All! I do a lot, but I don’t think it compares to Dana and so I wanted to share with you all that she does and how she manages or balances it all. A true woman who does it all.
While I know Dana well, originally, I had wanted the piece to just be an interview. But after reading her answers, I felt inspired to turn them into a story or editorial. However, I loved her answers so much, I wanted to share them with you in the raw form. Of course I have Dana’s approval. 🙂
And she does answer the question…Can Women Really Do it All?!?!
I hope you enjoy as much as I did. Such a sweet soul!
Tell me a little about your family? I’m married to the love of my life. We just celebrated the big 10 yr anniversary last weekend, which blows my mind. I’m a mom to three spunky little kiddos – Caleb 8, Jace 6 and Braylen 2. They are amazing, each in their own way.
What sports/activities do they play? We entered the crazy world of Katy sports about 3 years ago. Both of the boys play baseball and football. Caleb plays select baseball for the Katy Gators, and tackle football for the Katy Fighting Irish (new 3rd grade team in KAA). I’m not sure which he loves more, but we absolutely love watching him learn and grow through sports. Jace plays tball with Katy Pony and also played flag football last year. This year starts tackle for 1st graders so we’re still debating if he’s ready for those big old pads or if he should just play baseball again. Luckily Braylen hasn’t started any activities other than preschool. I half dread the day when I have 3 running wild in sports and dance – although I do look forward to seeing her in a little tutu and bun!
How many hours a day do you spend doing those activities? I’d guess 2-3 hours every day when we’re in full swing of a season. We pretty much have a practice or game every single day/night of the week! I used to make fun of my friends that had kids involved in several sports and wondered WHY on earth they’d do that to themselves — but in reality, we love every single moment of it! Jeremy and I both grew up playing sports, so we understand the life skills that being part of a team teaches our little ones, even at a young age.
Tell us about your business. I have a local monogramming/embroidery business. I make baby, hostess and birthday gifts, anything personalized – tons of holiday and birthday shirts and attire! I work out of my home and am blessed to have a huge space to let my creative juices flow. I’ve been in “business” for about 6 years now and learn new things about my work every day. Growing up I always loved receiving and giving monogrammed items, and as the years passed that love turned into a huge addiction (or so my hubby says). After my 2nd child was born, I begged for a machine. Of course, Jeremy (being the businessman that he is) would only commit to us buying one if I promised to make a little profit out of it. So here I am today…. 6 years later… working 4-5 days a week! I do love being able to use my creative side but it’s a tough business to be in as a mom of young ones. I don’t think people realize just how much time goes into even the smallest orders. I spend a TON of time answering emails, responding to facebook messages, posting photos on Instagram, researching and ordering stock and supplies, etc…. But I love my little career and enjoy the freedom of making my own hours!
You also play tennis. How often? I play tennis at Falcon Point Country Club. We drill/practice with the pro once a week and have matches once a week. It’s truly one of the most fun and exciting sports I’ve ever been a part of. And of course, I love the lunches afterwards with the girls! :o)
How many bunco groups do you belong to? How often do you meet? Oh goodness, this is such a funny subject – in the past I’ve been a part of 4 bunco groups and 2 dinner groups. I was spreading myself thin so had to cut back on some as my work and family life got busier. I am currently in 2 amazing bunco groups in Katy. Each group meets once a month. I also have a close group of girlfriends I meet up with every so often for dinner, birthdays, girls nights, gossip session, etc. I love girl time and feel that getting away a couple of times a month to catch up makes me a better mommy, wife and friend. My hubby has a movie night once a week as well with his friends. We both know the importance of “me” time!
What else do you do? Gosh what do I not do? I love to read, shop, watch sports, travel, visit family, and I absolutely LOVE reality tv. Makes me feel SO much more normal about my own life! I also love hosting parties – casual, laid back, grilling out by the pool and relaxing with the kids. Of course, I have church on Sundays, Sunday School and I volunteer. If you ask my husband, he’d swear that I’ve become a professional napper. I work my “job” from 10pm-2am so I’ve become a master at finding a few moments in the day to “rest my eyes” .
How do you prioritize it? This is something I struggle with on a daily basis. I fully believe in living life to the fullest and loving everyone. Sometimes I have to reel myself back in and make a list of my priorities — if not, I catch myself saying yes to everything and half doing them all! I’m a work in progress but I feel like I’m learning to handle it all pretty well.
What drives you to manage all of this? My family — and f inding joy. Those are my motivators. I want my boys to see that mommy and daddy work hard for everything they have. I don’t want them to be the kids that expect things given to them. I believe that working hard and loving what you do is key to life!
If you could do one thing different what would it be? When I started Haute & Modern Monogramming, I jumped in head first and thought I could do everything, carry every monogrammed item I had ever seen in my sop and be able to handle all the business that comes along with it! That’s just not realistic for a stay at home of 3 kids. I had to rethink my business plan and figure out which direction I wanted to take myself and my work. I want to do this venture to make a profit of course, but I also want to enjoy it. Hence why every year I take two big breaks from work, shut down taking orders and just breathe! .
What do you love most about your life? I love every aspect of my life. I have an amazing large crazy family. I am surrounded by friends who love me for me. And my kids are such lights in my eyes. I am so very blessed to be married to a true gentleman. He makes me laugh and thrills my soul. I’ve got it good!
I stole a motto from a lady a few years back that is perfect for my outlook: “Choose Joy”. Simply that ~ choose joy. Life is what you make of it. So go out and enjoy it, treat others with respect, surround yourself with people who lift you up, and lift others up as well – Simply Choose Joy!
- S’Editorial and Interview I Can Women Do It All? (denisedesigned.com)
Dana, you are definitely an amazing lady!!! Love this girl!
Love this! Dana, you are amazing.
PATSY CONGLETON says
Dana (my daughter) has always been an amazing daughter from an early age–the kind of daughter everyone dreams of having.
Very True Patsy!! She has had a great role model! 🙂
Ann Burrow says
Dana, I enjoyed that so much!! You have such an amazing attitude and that’s how it gets done, You have chosen Joy and that’s a wonderful thing to have in anyone’s life!! Love you!!
John Congleton says
That’s my sissy.! Very proud of her, her beautiful children & her outgoing husband.! Enjoyed reading this.! Love u guys
She is a great woman to be proud of. Glad I could highlight her. Big hugs! Thanks for reading and commenting John!
What about the mom that doesn’t get to make her hours, cant work for herself because they need double insurance for a child that has health issues and a mom that has recovered from her own disease, drives 30 miles one way to work, has a husband that is on the road 4 days a week, can’t afford a house with a pool out back, drives a 10 year old car, doesn’t get to go to school functions during the day, runs when it’s dark out because a gym membership is out of the question with monthly club sports fees for their kids, spends 3 hours a day at sport practices (not including driving time), couldn’t fit in bunco or book club or tennis lessons?
The mom above is extremely easy to find in Katy and Cinco Ranch.
I read this article and thought good for her and her family, how wonderful to have all the luxuries she mentioned.
All great points and comments welcomed. No mom (including the one above) has a perfect life. We all have our challenges…some more than others. I wanted to highlight this mom as a means to inspire us all. Even I need some inspiration. But I am more than happy to interview you and provide another perspective. Let me know if that interests you. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you stop by again.