Meet-a-Mom: Sharri Carlin
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
I have always been a Jersey Girl! I grew up in East Brunswick and later moved to Manalapan when my husband and I got engaged. We lived there until we bought our current home in Jackson about 6 years ago.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
I have twins (one boy and one girl) who are 8 years old.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
A little over 5 years ago I lost my Dad to cancer. While it devastated me, it also propelled my spiritual journey and keeps me motivated to continue to make him proud. Our school participates in Relay For Life every year, which is an organization that raises money for cancer research. This year I put my fears and hesitations aside and announced that I was going to sell some of my artwork in our Faculty Room and donate 100% of the proceeds to our Relay For Life team. The morning I was ready to set my artwork up I remember my husband asking me if I was nervous (that people wouldn’t buy it). I remember feeling confident and telling him no, that I just wanted to make my Dad proud of me. After 3 weeks I was able to raise $600.00 through the sales of my art and donated it all. While he isn’t here on Earth anymore, I know my Dad was proud of me for stepping out of my own comfort zone and helping others through selling my art. I talk to him every morning and know he is listening and encouraging me through this creative journey.
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
First and foremost I have to thank my husband, Jon. He is a wonderful, hands-on Dad and we truly have navigated this chapter in our lives as a team. But, as most parents know, “It takes a village to raise a child”, right? I have to give a special shout-out to my own “village”. Thanks to my wonderful in-laws who let us live with them (rent-free!) the first couple of years after my kids were born. This gave me the opportunity to take a leave of absence from work and be a Stay-At-Home-Mom for a year. I feel so fortunate to have been able to experience many of their milestones firsthand. They have also taken on the responsibility of caring for them this year while my kids are in their school district’s Remote Learning Program. Relearning second grade math isn’t always easy! In addition, I couldn’t survive without all of my “Mom Friends” I have made along the way. From my neighborhood Mamas to the Mamas from our preschool days, you have all been there to help me along the way. THANK YOU!
Favorite things to do with your kids?
I am so grateful for the time we spend riding our bikes as a family and playing together in the driveway after dinner. I am lucky that my kids are still at an age where they want to hang out with us! We are also avid hockey fans and have a bit of a rivalry going on in our house. My daughter and I are New York Ranger fans, while my son and husband and big New Jersey Devils fans. We look forward to taking the kids to hockey games more now that they are getting older
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
Yes! I have been a full-time teacher for 15 years now, but I never really had time to work on my own artwork. Once Covid hit and we were in quarantine last year I found myself painting and creating more than ever. At first it was a form of therapy for me, as the quarantine was really taking a toll on my mental health. Then as time went on I found myself painting and creating every day, as part of my daily routine. I decided that it was really important for me to have at least 10 minutes to myself to do something creative. With the encouragement of my husband and a few close friends, I opened up an Etsy shop called: Hippieheartandsoul. The name of my shop perfectly explains who I am as an artist! I always felt like I was born in the wrong era (80’s child here!) but should have been around in the 60’s (maybe I was in another life?). I want my art to bring a smile to people’s faces and convey a feeling of good vibes that this world so desperately needs. It is mostly abstract, with a mix of different types of mediums and each piece is created with love. You can find me on Etsy and Facebook, under Hippieheartandsoul, and my Instagram page is Hippieheartandsoulstudio. I love to connect and share experiences with other kind souls all over the world!
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
The open land and surrounding nature are peaceful and inspiring when I’m painting and creating. I am also blessed to live on a street with amazing neighbors and friends. Many of them have bought my artwork and have encouraged me to “put myself out there” (Not always easy for an introverted person like myself!). Knowing I have their support makes their friendships even more meaningful and solidifies my confidence that my family and I made the right decision when moving here to Jackson.
What is your favorite restaurant in Ocean County?
Hands down, Ocean Organics in Toms River. I’m vegan and they have a FANTASTIC selection!
What is your favorite activity to do with your child(ren) in Ocean County?
Ride bikes, take walks around the parks, and go to the beach and boardwalk!
What are your Mom Goals?
To listen to my kids and help them, while encouraging their own independence as they get older. To continue to make time for myself, because I have realized how important self-care is to my mental health.
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org