Announcing 2018 Moms of the Year Winners :: Presented by Renewal by Andersen

We are SO excited to announce the winners of our 2018 Moms of the Year Campaign. 

We received many submissions – it was such a difficult process to choose this year’s winners. Thank you to everyone that took the time to nominate a friend or family member. Albuquerque is very lucky to have so many wonderful mothers in our community!

This year, we are honoring 3 amazing local mothers, each one displaying unrelenting service to their families and communities. We are so excited to introduce you to these wonderful, inspiring women!

Thank you to our 2018 Albuquerque Moms of the Year Campaign Sponsor, Renewal by Andersen. Your support of the moms living in Albuquerque does not go unnoticed!  We appreciate you!

Renewal by Andersen Moms of the Year


Christina Beppler

Sarah Mcintyre Photography

Christina is an exceptional woman who has successfully built her career, nurtures her family, and helps improve the lives of other new & expecting parents around her. Christina is a Principle Materials Scientist at Sandia National Laboratories. She is a mentor, role model, and coach to mothers and fathers, alike through creating the Sandia Parents Group. She creates an atmosphere of inclusion, empathy, and support for all types of parents (e.g., adoptive, step, biological, parents of multiples, etc.). Christina works to collaborate with leaders across Sandia Labs to develop and execute goals that will improve the work environment, policy, and procedures that affect parents (e.g., flexible work arrangements especially for dual working parents; creating a positive culture for dads to take paternity leave; ensuring all moms have a place to pump at work; creating equal opportunities for women’s careers to succeed after having baby, etc…). She is committed and passionate about helping new and expecting parents and this is evidenced in the positive changes being implementing across the Labs.

What is the most unexpected thing about motherhood?

“Before I was a mother, I held all of these expectations. The most unexpected thing was the reality of having a child is nothing like you expect. I have found strength and confidence through motherhood because it is by far the most challenging thing I have done.”

What advice would you give to other moms?

“Trust yourself and your ability to do what’s best for your child.”

What inspires you?

“Being grateful for what I have and not focusing on what I don’t have is something I have been working towards in 2018 and continues to inspire the way I view and live my life. Also, I am surrounded by some of the most inspirational women through work and the Sandia Parents Group. I could not have accomplished everything we’ve done thus far without these wonderful friends.”


Heather Esqueda

Welcoming her first born at age 17, Heather’s whole world changed. She decided to stay at home to raise her family, homeschool her children, and spend time giving back to her community. With a teenager, a tween and twin toddlers, she can probably provide advice to just about anyone. While raising four kids, supporting her husband (who has been her sweetheart since 1997), and maintaining a household, Heather is a gardener, a musician and an active volunteer. In her “free time,” Heather participates in the Firewheel Collective: Women’s Cooperative Farm Project. She formed the first all women’s mariachi group here in Albuquerque, Mariachi Flor del Alma. Lastly, she offers her time and energy at annual fundraising events. In addition to all this, Heather is also the glue to her friends’ sanity. She constantly reminds other women to self love, to reflect, and that imperfections are what make us all perfect.

What is the most unexpected thing about motherhood?

“That just when I think I have it all figured out BAM another season, another phase hits. It’s ever changing and I’m always evolving because of it. Motherhood has broken me down and built me back up and shown me exactly what I’m made of–my strengths, my shortcomings, all of it. Motherhood has made me better, more self aware, a more compassionate and conscious human being.”

What advice would you give to other moms?

“That SELF LOVE and SELF CARE is absolutely essential and we should never ever feel guilty for making ourselves our own priority. And also that it’s so important to honor the different forms that self care can take on. Perhaps one week it’s yoga and meditation classes and the next week it’s hiding from your kids in the closet with a bar of chocolate and a big glass of wine. Let’s stop being so hard on ourselves, mamas!”

What inspires you?

“First and foremost, my four incredible children. They are my greatest teachers. They inspire me each and everyday to enjoy what may seem like the smallest most simple moments, to look on the bright side, and to always continue to believe in magic! Secondly, I’m deeply inspired by nature. I feel most alive and free amongst wild things. The natural world reminds me how resilient I am, to slow down, to nourish myself so that I may grow, bloom, and flourish. And lastly, I am so inspired by other mothers, my own mom primarily and all of my wonderful mama friends! These women who surround me empower me everyday to reach for my dreams, to love fiercely, and to never give up despite challenging times. They are my rocks and my village. I couldn’t do motherhood without them all by my side!”


Leslee Schneider

Leslee is the mother to three children. Her daughter has HLHS, a congenital heart defect, that requires a lot of medical care and extra attention. Not only does she care for her children, but she also cares for neighborhood children near her home in Bosque Farms. Leslee was a coordinator of the Hoffmantown MOPS group, where she encourages other moms in the community. She is the co-founder and Board Vice President and Treasurer of Lexiam Heart Foundation, a nonprofit that supports families whose children have congenital heart defects. Leslee is an inspiration in the way that she handles adversity and in her honesty with her struggles. Through her volunteer work, Leslee has created wonderful support systems for Albuquerque area families. 

What is the most unexpected thing about motherhood?

“The most unexpected thing about motherhood is how much love I have for these little people.  It’s like there are three pieces of my heart walking around on the outside of my body.  As much as they drive me crazy, and as much as I treasure my alone time, it almost pains me when I am not with them.  I never want anything bad to happen to them.  Going through all the hospitalizations and seeing all the pain my daughter has gone through, I would have done anything possible to take it from her.  Watching my boys get their feelings hurt, or getting physically hurt, really brings out the mama bear in me.  It’s so hard trying to teach them to handle adversity, while not being able to take the discomfort away.”

What advice would you give to other moms?

“I would advise other moms to trust their mommy-gut.  There are things “the books” tell you to do, or other moms may tell you what works for them, but at the end of the day you know your child best.  There are things the doctors predicted my daughter (born with a heart condition, HLHS) might or might not do, and they suggest ways for me to care for her, but she has thrived in certain situations where I trusted my gut, and prayed, and did what I believed was best for her regardless of their suggestions.  Do what you believe is best for your child, no matter what others think, because you know your child better than anyone else on the planet.”

What inspires you?

“What inspires me is when I see my children doing amazing things for those around them.  We are doing our best to raise them to be loving, Christ-following individuals, who are compassionate, respectful, and kind.  When I see them doing something for others, it makes me feel like we are doing something right as parents. They are great little people, who will be great adults.”


Thank you to our amazing sponsors who showered our Moms of the Year with wonderful gifts!  Thank you for supporting the moms in Albuquerque.  You are so very much appreciated!

 

This contest is sponsored by our partners at Renewal by Anderson.

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