We’ve had the pleasure of knowing Julie since 2015, first with just her son and now with both her son and daughter in tow. She has been a true gift to our community for the last 4 years bringing with her the kind of mom wisdom we all wait in line for. She comes to every class with positive and palpable energy, a relatable realness and a contagious silliness that puts a smile on everyone’s face. We’re so happy to honor her this month. We love you, Julie!
February 2019: Julie Simms
Where are you originally from?
I grew up right here in Sun Valley, CA with my parents, my 4 brothers and 1 sister.
Tell us about your little workout buddy?
I roll into class in a big old double wide stroller with my 4.5 year old son Will and my 2.5 year old daughter Lyla. I was really nervous to start attending classes with them because I thought they were too old and would never ever stay in their stroller for an entire hour but I was wrong! Will is my number one cheerleader and asks if we are going to class almost every morning. It is the one hour of the day he is allowed to use my phone to play games so he is always very excited to attend. Lyla goes with the flow for most things but she also really loves going to class because she eats all the snacks, sings all the songs, and plays with all her friends. Its a win for all of us!
How did you choose their name?
Will's name was decided on long before I was even pregnant. My husband and I knew we wanted a strong, traditional name for our son that could work if he wanted to be president but was also cool enough if he grew up and wanted to be an athlete or artist and we agreed William Quincy checked all those boxes. We had a much harder time picking a girl name once baby #2 came along. We wanted to check the strong, traditional, cool boxes for her too but the options felt endless. We finally agreed on Lyla Ruby and never looked back. Lyla was my great grandmother's name and Ruby was my very beloved Grandma's nickname.
How did you meet your partner?
I met my husband, Kevin, 11 years ago at a bar! I went out with now Fit4Mom instructor extraodinaire, Amy Iglow, to celebrate our friend John's birthday. *Side Note* I can't remember if Amy and John were dating yet at the time(it was complicated) but Kev and I were both in their wedding years later and it was a real full circle, awesome beautiful thing. Anyway, back to the night at the bar...Amy and I were standing there about to take tequila shots like you do when you are 27 and I looked across the room, locked eyes with this dude, smiled at him and my life was forever changed. He came over and introduced himself, we chatted, he took down my number and I never heard from him again. Just kidding! He actually put my number into his phone incorrectly so he didn't call but he did find me on Facebook and messaged me 2 days later. It's a very 2008 love story.
Tell us a little about your career (pre or post baby)...
I worked in television production as a Costumer for many years before and after having my kiddos. It was a hard as hell, fun and exciting career that involved preparing costumes for actors, matching continuity during filming, and spending long hours with other on set crew members that became almost family. Before having Will, I was fortunate enough to land a job on a nightly show that had amazing hours and great stability. I stayed home with him for the first year and then went back to work part time which was great. That show ended and now I am very happily home with Will and Lyla doing the SAHM thing and loving it.
How did you find out about FIT4MOM and what classes do you attend?
I first found out about FIT4MOM back in 2015 when I was attending a Mommy and Me class with Will. One of the the moms had gone to a Stroller Strides class and loved it and recommended it to everyone. Will and I started attending as much as we could because I absolutely loved getting outside and being with other mommies. Once I started back to work, I stopped attending but found my way back all these years later so that I could go see my bestie Amy in action as a Stroller Strides instructor. Now it is a part of our weekly routine to attend about 3 times a week.
What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?
I really do love the workout but it is so much more than that for me. Being at home with babies can be extremely isolating, and it is so nice to have a place to go where I know I will see other mommies in a positive atmosphere doing something great for themselves and their babies. It starts to become a part of your routine and next thing you know you have a little community of friends for yourself and your kiddos. Not to mention that it moves the day along, people! We have breakfast, get dressed, go to class, play and then next thing I know it is lunch time followed by the oh so blissful nap time. And let's face it, I'm just trying to make it to nap time each and every day, you know. :)
What is your favorite family activity?
All these years later, we have learned to just keep it simple. Typically, if the kids are happy than me and my husband are happy. A simple morning visit to the park or zoo usually results in happy kids that then take naps which makes Mommy and Daddy really happy. My husband and I both love being around our family and friends as much as possible and our kids seem to feel the same way. Give us a gathering with all our people and we are a happy bunch.
How do you plan to spend Valentine's Day this year?
I'm not big into the forced romance of Valentine's Day but I'm all about making it a special day to shower my people with love, They will wake up to balloons and all the heart shaped and red sprinkled goodies because that fills my mom cup.
What is your proudest moment as a mom?
This is cheesy but I am just really proud to be Will and Lyla's mommy. All the time. Even when they aren't the best version of themselves or they are throwing wild tantrums, I adore them. I love how friendly Will is by nature, how care free Lyla is, and how ridicuously self assured they both are. I feel really lucky to call them mine.
What has been the most challenging part of motherhood?
Man. I really struggled with letting go of my independence. At the exact moment I gained this beautiful healthy baby, it also felt like I was losing a little piece of myself. I had this big career and active social life and then all of the sudden I was in a quiet house all the time with a baby that didn't do much other than eat, sleep and poop. Once I stopped trying to hold on to my old life and started embracing the new one, I was finally able to finally find my place in motherhood.
How has becoming a mother changed you?
Motherhood has grounded me. I used to be a real go with the flow kind of girl but motherhood has made me a little more Type A. Routine is my very best friend but the old carefree me comes in handy during the moments when absolutely nothing goes according to the plan which happens a lot.
What advice would you give a new mom?
Motherhood is a beautiful mess...try to enjoy it! Let go of expectations, create a routine that works for you and your baby, find humor in the chaos and a community that supports you. On the days when it seems like nothing has gone according to the plan, pour yourself a glass of wine and try again tomorrow.