“I met Cassie a few years ago in Austin when a group of us were gathered to celebrate a best friend’s birthday. I remember we all went out to explore the South Congress Avenue area and we went to this cool shop and Cassie immediately started to hunt for me when I said I was looking for a particular item. They didn’t have my size, but I did walk away with this pretty, vintage, mirrored tray that I keep on my dresser and always makes me think of her. Just like the mirror, Cassie always makes you feel seen, and in the best way possible.” – Michaela
You’re a stay-at-home mother to two beautiful, little girls in Dallas, TX, but in a past life you were a commercial and editorial wardrobe stylist in Los Angeles, CA. What was it like transitioning to this new role and city and have you been able to intertwine these two different chapters?
I have really been grateful for my styling know-how in terms of life skills and mothering. Wardrobe can be super intense, long hours, deadlines, etc. but basically it’s a crash course on making things happen. If I didn’t know how to do something- I figured it out. Things being hard or being tired?! Who cares!? Finish the job! Which is pretty much motherhood in a nutshell! Outside of the life skills- I totally use Stella’s wardrobe (and now Annie’s) as a creative outlet. Until she was about 3.5, we dressed in coordinating looks about 95% of the time. Ha!
The transition of a new city–L.A. to Dallas–that has been a little tougher than expected. I moved to L.A. out of college, and the city really became like a close friend. It really gives me that, “I’m home” feeling. Styling takes you all over the city as you hunt and gather. I had a guy or gal for everything, knew who stocked the best vintage Levis, the greatest flea markets (and when to go), which street vendor had the best taco, and where to get the tastiest salad or drink in every part of town. I missss that. But I also pride myself on living like a tourist, so I am finding my way in Dallas and bringing the babes along.
I mentioned this to you before that you’re my–and I actually kinda hate this expression but it does fit the sentiment perfectly–girl crush. From the moment I met you, I immediately picked up on the fact that you have this beautiful ability to make people feel super seen and super special. Thinking of that ability now, it must come in very handy when rearing tiny, uniquely different humans! As a mom to two, how are you able to apply this to each girl? And also so generously with your loved ones?
What a compliment! And you are a female inspiration to me! And don’t we all need those?! Other females, we can look to, learn from, and encourage us to do and be better! Being super engaged and interested in people is something I get from my grandma and mom. My grandma loved people. mom said she would always have a “pot of coffee on” for anyone stopping by for a chat. She was such a good listener and gave solid advice. She was never too busy for anyone needing to talk at her kitchen table. I want to be like that. With friends, strangers, and with my kids. A lover of people and love well. About the time I got married, I got really into this concept of “loving well” when I read Philippians in the message translation. it said: “This is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately.” This, more than maybe any other, has struck me and stuck with me through the years. Like -don’t just love people, love them how they can feel it. Do what it takes to show them, be there for them.
More than ever right now with the racial climate (and it’s been going on long before now!) we need to LOVE people in a way they can see, hear and FEEL. Coming alongside our Black community, lifting them up, using our lives and actions APPROPRIATELY, not just lip service. In terms of my girls and loved ones- I think just seeing them where they are, attempting to be selfless, and give them what they really NEED to thrive, feel seen, loved. Even if it’s not maybe what I would prefer, sometimes that looks like allowing your kid to wear that UGLY purple t-shirt from the aquarium, which is painful! But, It always reaps benefits.
The late, great comedian Gilda Radner once said: “[m]otherhood is the biggest gamble in the world. It is the glorious life force. It’s huge and scary — it’s an act of infinite optimism.” We hear about the late nights and the bathtub poops, but what has personally surprised you the most about motherhood that you didn’t expect?
Maybe that I can love my kids and not necessarily enjoy the work all the time. People act like having kids is the “best thing ever”, and it is- but it isn’t easy. I like to say: it isn’t always the most enjoyable but it is the most rewarding, and because I feel like this, I am blessed to have pretty minor mom guilt. From day one being pregnant with Stella, I didn’t feel “super-connected” but I didn’t doubt my ability to be a good mother. When she was born, I didn’t feel the way Facebook posts described, “now I know what love is!!” But I wasn’t deterred from showing her my love, nursing her, caring for her, etc; it took time for me. And that made sense- affection and deep love grew as we got to know one another more and more. My little companion and I were learning about one another. with the second baby, I knew that BIG love was possible and what was coming, so I was much more “into” Annie right off the bat. But she was also a cuter baby. Kidding! But seriously, she was.
What advice would you give yourself at a trying time in the past that you’ve since overcome?
My feelings aren’t unique. Sometimes you have the tendency to think- “no one understands” and that’s very isolating! But those are lies. I am not alone or messed up for feeling the way I feel. God gave me all of my strengths and weaknesses. everything I feel or go through isn’t in vain- there is a purpose to the path: to grow and help others going through something similar.
What traits do you value most in your circle of friends? What traits do you most value in yourself?
Consideration. As you get older, you realize just how wonderful it is to have considerate friends. Also- FUN! Life and friends should be enjoyable! I love my friends for bringing joy to the journey. For myself, maybe my hopefulness? I can find hope in almost every situation, idea, or person despite the circumstances. Because to me – hope is real and can change things in an instant!
And in The Modern Bee tradition, we wrap up with a few (hopefully fun) rapid-fire questions. Tell us where you stand on…
Cal-Mex or Tex-Mex? Cal! A new and beloved family tradition that grew out of quarantine? Sunday Church on the patio…with original songs by Stella (4). A movie you could watch on a monthly basis? Troop Beverly Hills A beloved item in your closet that you’ll never get rid of and why? My mom’s junior high prom dress, that I wear still; pair of OshKosh overall shorts with “momma cass” embroidered on them; My black leather jacket that Brad surprised me with on a favorite pre-baby trip…I can go on, I’m a clothes horse, for sure. What to do for a can’t beat date night with your (amazing) husband during non-quarantine times? Oh, it has to be a restaurant hop! Go to like 3-4 places and try a few small dishes/drinks at each. I LOVE trying new spots and testing the food so this is MY FAVE!!!
Cassie is a joy to keep up with on Instagram where you’ll be in for a solid dose of cute kiddies, a gem of a husband, the best outfits in real life (none of that mirror, stuff) and messages that make you giggle, think, or feel your heart burst a little. I mean, she also is a self-described full time child adventure director, so that alone should be enough to click over.