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Posts Tagged ‘Celebrity Mom’

Aimee Marcoux Spurlock & Michelle-Marie Heinemann

Opera Star and Reporter legend, Aimee Marcoux Spurlock, who was honored by The Royal Television Society, is deliciously down to earth and funny. I first met Aimee at an intimate birthday dinner that a dear friend of ours was having. We bonded immediately and delighted in sharing stories about our children. I love her ease at being completely un-filtered but thoughtful when it comes to discussing her family.

We here at Old Fashioned Mom are proud to introduce Aimee Marcoux Spurlock as our second Celebrity Mother!

Aimee Spurlock and Michelle-Marie Heinemann

1. How would I describe myself?

I am a bright, funny, caring, fiercely loyal woman who is blessed every day with the gift of the Holy Spirit. I find humor in the fact that while writing this, I asked myself this question out loud and my daughter, Hadley, said virtually the same list except she said, “pretty, too”. She’s so observant.

I am also a Clergy Spouse, which means I am married to a Clergyman. My husband of seventeen years is an Episcopal priest at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York City. Most of my spare time away from the family is given to the many jobs of a Clergy Spouse at the church. Ministering, comforting the sick and hospitality are just some of things that I feel blessed to be able to do.

I find humor in almost every facet of my life. I am a wife, mother, singer, actor, watercolor painter, writer and award winning journalist. My singing resume boasts over fifty world-wide operatic, and musical theater roles to my credit , but my most challenging and rewarding project to date has been Motherhood. I love it. Some days more than others.

Aimee Marcoux Spurlock

2. Please tell us about your children?

How long is this article? Okay, I’ll keep it short. My son, Atticus, who was born in New York City, was named after Atticus Finch in, “To Kill a Mockingbird”. My husband, before Holy Orders, was in publishing at Harper Collins and I was in television at the time. We both had a love for American Literature and would take turns reading to one another. One of our choices was ,”To Kill a Mockingbird”. Michael read “Atticus”, and I said, “Wow, what a great name for a boy”! And that was it!

Atticus has truly lived up to the big name which we gave him. He is a brilliant young man. He is 15 years old and a Freshman in High school. He is a budding classicist with amazing strength in History and Latin. He is kind, handsome and extremely good to his younger sister. He was in a major motion picture with Catherine-Zeta Jones last year and is saving his money to go to Oxford University in Great Britain.

Hadley is my gift from God. I had quite a few miscarriages (actually Atticus was a twin) and had given up on having another child. I remember the day of 9/11 as I was running from the toppling Trade Center, the police screaming for me to,”move”, and, “run for your life”. As I was running down the street, I remember verbally praying, “Lord, please don’t let me die, because I want to have another baby”. It was Hadley’s face I saw in that vision.

She was born during my husband’s last year of Seminary in Wisconsin. She was a blessing from the start. Hadley is sweet, bright, beautiful, funny, charming and full of energy. She is 7 and in the Second grade. Her passion is ballet. She is just finishing her first year with The Joffrey Ballet and will be in their production of “The Nutcracker”.

They both attend private schools in Manhattan.

My Mother has always said to me, “Aimee, you rear children and you raise cattle”. I never really fully understood that until I became a parent. Being a full time Mom is more than a commitment, it is an opportunity for greatness.

Cattle don’t require much work…you just feed and water them. Child-rearing, on the other hand, takes finesse. Cattle don’t ask for help with homework, or have a broken heart but children do.

Having children who have different interests is challenging sometimes, but that is the “art form” called parenting. We,as mothers are called to be in three places at once and be interested in everything. To do
that requires grace!

Atticus & Hadley Spurlock

3. What makes you an Old Fashioned Mom?

I’ve always felt as if I were a salmon swimming upstream with regard to my choice of lifestyle. It is a difficult choice to be “old-fashioned” in this ego-centric culture we have today.

I secretly always wanted to be an Old Fashioned Mom-even when I was globe-hopping as an opera singer, I knew that one day I would trade my sequined gowns for my vintage, ruffled aprons!

Cooking, baking,cleaning and making house are only a small part of what makes me traditional.
It’s an attitude. An attitude of putting the family first.

I love being “there” for my husband and children. The most important time of the day for the kids is right after school. I like to sit with them over a hot cocoa and a snack whilst homework gets done. They are happy that I am there to listen about the day at school and if I’m lucky, I’ll hear the latest gossip from the second grade.

4. What rules are you adamant about with your children?

Good Manners, clean underwear and thank you notes.

Seriously, Good manners are more than just, “Please and Thank you, Yes Ma’am and no, Sir”. Etiquette is also about good social conscience. We need to care for those people who make up our day… the bus-driver, the teacher, the students at school, the homeless man. Everyone deserves respect. In the eyes of Christ, we are all equal.

For the last five years, I have encouraged my children to serve with me every Saturday morning at our church’s Soup kitchen. We make over 300 meals and distribute them to the Homeless throughout Manhattan.
This act of service awakens their senses and encourages and attitude of gratitude which they share with others.

5. Describe for us your Family traditions.

We as a family all gear up towards the highlight of the day which is Family Dinnertime.
I begin dinner preparations early in the day and try my best to make something everyone will like! Sometimes I fail completely, like the one night I made “Frito Pie”. It was awful.

Our time together is special. Even if the food isn’t so great.Dinner always starts with a Prayer from one of the children. We trade stories from the day, make plans for the week and come up with the most
ridiculous puns and jokes. We have fun.

A perfect ending of the evening would be to pile up in Mommy and Daddy’s bed for popcorn and a movie!

6. How do you find time to do it all…Or do you?

Do you remember the old-fashioned plate spinner from the circus? I often feel like that. Somedays I am pulled in five different directions with the possibility of breaking countless plates along the
way. On those days, I take a deep breath and think about what is best for the family as a whole.
I try to reschedule the things I can and if it is impossible, I just “punt” and do my best!

Those are the days I am so thankful for take-out food, school uniforms, taxi-cabs and the internet. Because even though I may be old-fashioned, I know a good thing when I see it!

*Aimee is currently collaborating on a recital of the Debussy Ariette’s Oubliees for performance in New York City and World Premiere of The Yellow Wallpaper at Duke University.


Sharon Bush and Michelle-Marie Heinemann

I met Sharon Bush seven years ago at The Light sharon-bush-michelle-marie-heinemann-featHouse International Gala. She had just moved to New York and we spoke at length about our lives, traveling and our children. I had just given birth to my first child and was eager as a new Mother to hear all that she had to say on Motherhood. She was open, honest and pure of heart with everything she spoke of.

We here at Old Fashioned Mom are proud to introduce Sharon Bush as our first Celebrity Mother!

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1. How would you describe yourself?

How would I describe myself – that is hard to do.

I love people and have a great eclectic group of friends from all walks of life. I love to learn new things. I love and participate in many different sports. On the work front – At the moment Lauren and I are working on children’s storybooks and trying to transpose them into a children’s tv series. I am also part of an exciting patent pending scientific group. We are using a plant based protein that we will be used to clean up the Everglades – and many other places around the world. I believe in leaving the world better than we found it.

I also believe in one true God.

I am blessed to have a deep, long friendship with pastor Joel Osteen and his amazing, and caring family.

Motherhood, of course, is my greatest and most important legacy.

2. Please tell us about your children?

I have 3 very precious, compassionate and brilliant children. And one very special and gifted son-in- law David. ( of course I am very prejudiced on all of them ) Lauren Bush Lauren, my oldest, (30) started her Feed bag project while she was a student at Princeton. To date – she has given over 85 million meals through the sale of her reusable feed, grocery bags

My son Pierce (28) lives in Houston. Pierce is Vice President of the Big Brothers Assoc in Houston tx. He is also in charge of their capital campaign. Pierce has also been a Big Brother to Jaylyn for the last 6 years.

My Ashley (25) graduated from Barnard 4 years ago. Since then – she has started her own film company called Walker Street Productions and she is in the process of filming a documentary. She is also currently in film grad school at USC. In her spare time Ashley was tutoring abused women in safe houses so they could take their GED ‘s.

3. How has Motherhood changed you as a person?

Motherhood changed me 30 years ago when Lauren was born. Looking at her sweet newborn face I knew that my children would always be my first and most important concern and priority. I also knew that I always wanted to be a part of their life – from the minute they were born. I brought my children with me on most trips . I did not give birth to my children to let others influence and raise them. I believe that children should be seen AND heard.

4. What was most important to you when raising your children?

Raising children is the most important job in the world. Giving them the consistent right guidelines, moral values, love, caring and compassion from the time they are born is critical. If babies grow up knowing they are cared for and loved then they will grow up to be confident and caring adults. It is also important to instill confidence in children at a young age.. Let them know that you believe in them, that you are there to help them and that they can accomplish their dreams, even at a young age they need to believe in themselves- and they need to believe that you are their biggest cheerleader.

I treasure the book The Alchemist that Lauren gave me when she was 18. In it she inscribed “thank you for believing in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself. And for believing bigger things for me than I could even imagine. ” That inscription proved to me that I had given her “Love and Wings” something that I have aspired to give all of my 3 children.

5. What advice would you give today’s generation of young Mothers?

The advice that I would give today’s young generation of mothers is to love their children unconditionally. Always listen to their feelings and opinions. Children are born with their own personalities and blue print. Listen to them and guide them. Look for their gifts and honor those gifts. Everyone has these. Do not focus on their weaknesses- everyone has these also.
Do not be a “helicopter” parent . That will cripple their self confidence. Children need time to daydream and play.

Also – always know your care giver and their background. When Lauren was a baby and I left her with a sitter – I would hide a tape recorder and push play when I left the house. I wanted to hear how the sitter was treating her when I was not there. We had secret service outside of our home but I needed to know what was going on inside. (this, of course, was before the day of the hidden video cameras)

I would also stress to parents that you need to teach your children compassion at a young age. I brought all of my children to soup kitchens and homeless shelters at a young age. We played games with the children there. I wanted my children to understand humanity and caring and that they could be helpful to others. I think this also teaches children to be less self centered and to grow up wanting to be helpful citizens of the world.

*Sharon Bush is the Founder and CEO of Teddy Share Bears, Founding Board Member for The UN Women for Peace and Committee Member for Princes Yasmin Aga Khan’s Alzheimer’s Research Benefit.


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