Okay El, military spouses all over the world want to know all about your participation in Oprah’s Favorite Things! Since you can’t officially talk about it until the show airs… we’ve done this interview through a Q&A that you’ve filled out in advance. If you’re reading this, that means that live show has aired and we’re cleared to discuss! I do have to say that I loved seeing your reaction on the teaser commercial for the event!
- Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you were nominated and voted as the 2012 Army Wife of the Year? I’m an Army spouse of nine years, a teacher by profession, and a mommy to an amazingly adorable kindergartener. I was nominated for Army Spouse of the year because I founded KinderJam®. My company provides high-energy Music and Movement classes that emphasizes the kinesthetic and tactile learning of pre-academic skills and concepts. In addition to offering and fun and educational program for young children and their parents, KinderJam provides military spouses with a completely mobile career option.
- You obviously were on your way to attend something before you found out it was a Favorite Things episode. What was the story they duped you with? We were told we were going to be attending a screening of the new OWN show Married to the Army: Alaska.
- Where did this event take place? 8th and I at the Marine Corps Barracks, in Washington, D.C.
- Can you tell me how the event unfolded and what you were feeling/thinking? I honestly thought we were there for screen of a new show on OWN. When the producer said we were going to hear from the show’s creator, I assumed yet another one of the many producers we had seen that day was coming up. Then OPRAH walked in from the side of the room, I just about peed in my pants!!!!! I lost complete control of my body and reacted like a preteen girl at a Justin Bieber concert. That was just in seeing OPRAH…I didn’t know anything about the Favorite Things at the point. I could have left happy right then! When OPRAH burst back in later and said, “It’s Oprah’s Favorite Things!!!!”, I just couldn’t process it fully immediately. I feel blessed beyond measure for her generosity and platform that Military Spouse Magazine has developed to showcase the work of military spouse.
- I’ve heard each participant was given over $40,000 in gifts! Is this true? I am not sure. To be perfectly honest it was so much like a dream that I had difficulty processing it all. By the time I got over the shock of one gift, three more had been opened. So I am looking forward to seeing the show, so I can see exactly what we got.
- What was the best “favorite thing” that you received at the event? I was EXTREMELY excited about the elliptical.
- Are you planning on sharing any of your “favorite things” with family or friends? Of course!!! I don’t think I have a choice in the matter. I’m sure everyone will call dibs on one item or another.
- Everyone wants to know, HOW did you get invited to this event (and why wasn’t I included?) Ha ha. Oprah and her team reached out to Military Spouse Magazine to learn more about the Military Spouse of the Year (MSOY) award. Her team made their selection from the nominees and winners of the award from the past few years. In fact the day the show airs (November 18th), nomination will open for the 2013 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year from Military Spouse Magazine and can be submitted by clicking here. MSOY is truly a life changing experience!
- Who is the one person at this event you felt was most deserving to be there? I was so humble to be one of the 30 spouses selected because once the spouses started sharing their stories and causes; I knew I was in a room with greatness. Each spouse there was so deserving – I could never pick just one.
- I saw you had a photo with Oprah. Did you get a chance to speak with her for a while? If yes, what did you discuss and your thoughts on meeting her? OMG!!!!! Yes!!!! The best way I could describe her, my experience, and our interaction is that if you had walked in the room after the show’s taping and you did not know who Oprah was, you would not have been able to pick out the Mega-Star in the room. She was so comfortable and so human.
- Let’s talk about the show, Married to the Army. Did you see a preview of the show? No, we only saw the first few minutes.
- Do you feel that these spouses will portray real Army life to the viewers of America? I’m sure it will show real life for the spouses the show highlights.
- Do you have any hesitations about Married to the Army? Nope, I’m excited to watch!!!!
- What do you think about the show Army Wives in contrast? I’ve never missed and episode of Army Wives. I can’t compare the two because I have not seen Married to the Army: Alaska yet. But I can’t imagine Oprah would attach her name to any project that was less than stellar.
Congratulations on being selected as Army Wife of the Year, 2012! I completely believe in your company KinderJam and know that great things are in store for you! Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions for our viewers!