I've heard someone say of this month's Mom of the Month, "She IS FIT4MOM Midtown Raleigh!" This month we feature a veteran and one of the true hearts of our village. Also, it should be noted that if you need information on great deals on Lilly Pulitzer, or details on the best table centerpiece for your dinner party, Nora Bray is your girl.
I'm teasing her of course. Read on to find out how Nora is so much more than monograms.
Family: Husband John works in software, they've been married 12 years. Cooper is 8, a second grader. Jack is 3 1/2.
Hometown: "I was born in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, but we moved to Durham when I was 10."
Education: BA in English and Writing with a Minor in Journalism from East Carolina University
Career: "I was a gourmet food and confection broker. That's why I don't eat chocolate. People are like 'Do you eat chocolate all the time?' and I'm like, 'No. I sat in an office with chocolate.'"
What brought you to Stroller Strides at the very start of FIT4MOM Midtown Raleigh? "In March of 2010, I was on the green here (at North Hills) because they had a play mat out. Not even blocks. There was no cover. Cooper was crawling around and Monty was walking. I just happened to sit down next to Missy. I think she handed me a brochure. At that point I had tried to work for a couple months when Cooper was born...I had just stopped working. I was in the 'I just go to Target everyday mode.' I met Missy. She said 'I'm doing this big opening thing next week. You should come.' I went. I got a Ten Class Pass because I wasn't sure I would like it but then after the ten classes I bought a membership. There was like four people that would come."
What keeps you coming back? "Just the community of moms. You build a village. As your kids get older, there are still babies to hold."
How long do you think you'll keep doing Stroller Strides? "Another year.-and-a-half or so. Then Jack will go to school five days a week."
Nora was the first playgroup captain ever and helped start meal trains for moms. "It's how you give back when you don't really have time to go to a food bank or a soup kitchen. You kind of do what you're involved in."
What has FIT4MOM meant for you personally? "It's just given me purpose. It's helped me realize it does take a village and everyone is in it together. You have to take care of other people. You have to help your village."
What do you say to a mom who says that their kid won't sit in the stroller? "Whatever! They will scream for a minute, but they'll get used to it. Go to the dollar store and get a specific bag of toys that is just for Stroller Strides. Get them some gummy snacks and tell them they can have them if they sit in the stroller. Halfway through class, give them the gummies. If they're screaming, just turn them around and ignore them. They're not gonna die!"
Tell us about the friendships you've made through FIT4MOM? "The friends I made in that first class...I still talk to them. They were Cooper's first friends! He still talks about them. It made a big impression."
What's something people wouldn't know about you? "My front teeth are fake. I knocked them out when I was 14 on the trampoline. So, I've missed the entire bleaching revolution because if I bleach my teeth, these won't bleach. Just imagine being like, 20-something years old when you're at the club dancing and they turn on the black light and you look like a hillbilly!" Nora also added via text later "I served Martha Stewart lunch once. She was super cool. She is my favorite. That may be more interesting than my teeth."
Nora makes teeth interesting. She makes life interesting and she certainly makes our FIT4MOM village stronger and way more fun.