Tell us about yourself and your family.
I’m a native Wasingtonian, born and raised in Bellevue.
I’ve been married to my husband Kemp from 7 years in May, together almost 10. We have two beautiful miracle girls, Olivia 4.5 and Meleah 10 weeks. We live in the Shorewood neighborhood. I’m on the board at WestSide Baby and love love love to cook, entertain people and laugh.
I’ve been blessed to work at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for a little over two years and I’m currently enjoying a year maternity leave.
What surprised you the most once you became a mom?
I never knew I could love two little girls as much as I love them. And I didn’t think I could love my husband any more than I did when I met him but seeing him with his girls makes me fall even more in love. Both of our girls fought against odds to live and be here today and I suppose what surprised me the most was how much stronger I am emotionally and physically than I thought I was. Olivia was in the hospital for 42 days after being born 8 weeks early and Meleah is our rainbow baby after experiencing 8 losses.
Meet Strider and mama to beautiful girls, Melissa Garcia!
Why did you join FIT4MOM? Why do you love it?
I first joined Fit4Mom to meet other moms. I love it because I already have met so many amazing women and already feel stronger. I can’t wait to meet more mama’s and see what my body is capable of in the next year.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? If you didn't have any obstacles, what dream would you pursue?
I see myself enjoying watching our girls playing soccer in the mud, swimming, and lots of dancing in the kitchen. I also hope to still be at the Foundation and growing in my career. I hope to do lots more traveling as well.
If I had no obstacles I would travel the world and try every worldly cuisine.
What is your favorite go to piece of baby gear? I wish I could say my baby carrier but sadly I’m still trying to find the perfect one, so I have to say my Fawn Design diaper bag. It’s stylish and doesn’t look like a typical diaper bag and I’m all about repurposing so I plan to use it as my laptop bag when I go back to work.
Any advice for new moms?
First and foremost, trust your gut. Second, I read this somewhere and I had to print it out so I can read it every day.... “When my children remember their childhood, I want for them to remember that their mom gave it her all. She worried too much, she failed at times and she didn’t always get it right.... but she tried her hardest to teach them about kindness, love, compassion and honesty. Even if she had to learn it from her own mistakes she loved them enough to keep going, even when things seemed hopeless, even when life knocked her down. I want them to remember me as the Woman who always got back up.”