Christie Vlk had no idea that a career in energy efficiency would be a training ground for the grind of raising children.
She stepped away from that work and focused on raising two young boys, Vincent (5) and Jacob (1), who are a constant challenge to keep up, redirect and entertain.
With them, there is no efficiency. Only energy.
The obvious primary goal is to love her boys and be a guiding influence on their young lives. The unofficial secondary goal is to simply be upright by day’s end.
“She had a choice and said she wanted to stay home and raise the kids,” her husband, Jeff, said. “She said, ‘I want to cherish these years with them and enjoy it and spend more time with them.’ She’s very caring and loving, and she showers them with affection.
“They’re two little boys, especially the 1-year-old. He’s a wild child, so he’s just always getting into stuff he’s not supposed to. She’s constantly chasing him around.”
That nonstop pursuit begins early, but Christie’s preparations to make the most of each day begin even earlier.
She likes to scour arts and crafts stores like Michael’s and pick up all the pieces she needs to give the boys constructive projects to do during their days together. That’s a commitment in and of itself because it means Christie isn’t taking the easy way out and throwing the kids in front of iPads.
Christie and Jeff have been married for four years, and they’ve been putting out fires with young kids from the very beginning. All the while, Christie has stood firmly in Jeff’s corner, supporting his business pursuits and helping him grow as a husband and father.
“She keeps me grounded and she’s definitely made me a better person,” he said. “She’s my rock. She helps me strive to do better. I started my own business, probably like four years ago. That can be stressful, but she was very supportive throughout it.”
Christie and Jeff worked together, which is where they met. Jeff admitted that he didn’t give off the most lovable vibe — “I was probably being a jerk,” he says — but the tide eventually turned for him to the point where Christie started pursuing him.
It wasn’t until Christie left the company that they finally made the connection for good.
Jeff couldn’t be more grateful that they did, and that Christie has done so much for him and especially for the kids on a daily basis ever since. She has put her own pursuits on hold for something bigger than herself, which is to take care of her family and do the Lord’s work by raising two rambunctious boys into men.
Jeff can think of no one better to play that role for their family.
“She’s the best mother my children could ever have,” he said. “I don’t say it enough, but I do appreciate it and everything else she does.”