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Mom of the Month - Sarah Graves

What will never cease to amaze us is just how amazing, talented, thoughtful, and aspirational the members of our Village are. This month’s Mom of the Month is no exception; rather the rule. If you’ve sidled up your mat next to Sarah’s, you likely noticed her sense of humor and abounding kindness. But this is why we’re so thankful for these monthly features that allow you a deeper glimpse into who you’re actually next to - someone who is well-traveled, a crowned saladmaster, and had some big childhood ambitions. Sarah's journey with F4MLOU began with a Body Well mini session, and has progressed into multiple sessions (including Run Club coming up!) and a ONE membership.

Introducing Sarah Graves, our August Mom of the Month.

Hometown: I was born in South Korea and adopted as an infant, but Louisville is my hometown.

Tell us about your family: I’ve been married to Dietrich for six years. We have two boys who have hair and eyelashes for days, Miles, 4.5 and Taeson, 17 months. I am definitely a Boy Mom!

Current/Previous career: I am the Chief Development Officer for the Louisville Urban League, where I’m responsible for raising funding that allows us to serve people affected by the effects of racism, disinvestment, and lack of equitable access to resources. Prior to my current role I worked in Marketing and Sales at Brown-Forman, and before that I was an English Teacher in Spain.

What was your childhood ambition? I had several. I wanted to be a Lady Vol and play for Pat Summitt. (I also wanted to be 6’2, but that didn’t work either….I’m 5’3). The closest I came to that dream was attending her basketball camp the summer before 9th grade. We played games at 10pm at night and she yelled at us. I loved it! I also spent my freshman year at UT, so that counts too, right? After I retired from basketball, I wanted to be a criminal defense attorney. My political career as 4th and 5th grade Class President, along with my relationship with the First Lady of Kentucky, inspired me to want to become the first woman Senator from Kentucky. I planned to then use my position as Senator to remove the natural born citizen clause from The Constitution so I could run for President one day. I also wanted to move to Spain. Which I did.

What does motherhood mean to you? Motherhood means guiding little humans on the journey of life, and preparing them for their own journeys. Motherhood also means late nights, early mornings, and experiencing a love so profound that is hard to put into words.

What is the furthest you have been away from home? The furthest I’ve lived is Madrid, Spain. I was there for almost three years, teaching English in a school and finishing my undergraduate degree. The furthest I’ve been away from home on a trip is when Dietrich and I went to Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and the Seychelles. I guess you could technically call it our Honeymoon, but we had the trip planned before we “decided to get married”. Think Carrie and Big, except instead of being in the kitchen of our penthouse in Manhattan, we were in our 2nd floor apartment on top of a massage parlor, in the NYC burbs AKA New Jersey.

What is your favorite thing to do as a family? We enjoy taking trips, whether it’s to somewhere out of town, the zoo, or Costco! Now that everyone is vaccinated, we are looking forward to taking our first trip to Madrid as a family of four.

What is something about you that someone may not know? It took me 32 years to actually feel a connection to my Asian heritage. 2018 was a turning point for me thanks to the birth of my first child and the debut of Crazy Rich Asians. Both events gave me a sense of pride I didn’t know existed, as I had people who looked like me staring back at me. Since then, I’ve taken steps to increase my awareness of Asian identity, through food, books, and friends. I am much more aware of what it means to be the only person who looks like me in a room. Doing so has enabled me to begin having conversations with my own children about who they are, where they come from, and what they will go through. These experiences have made me want to advocate for Asian Americans more than ever, as I’ve also opened up over the last few years about my journey as a transracial adoptee.

What is your favorite healthy and unhealthy food? My favorite healthy food is a colorful salad with lots of veggies. My husband calls me the Salad Master. My favorite unhealthy food is Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream chips. I could eat an entire bag without blinking.

What is your favorite color? Orange

What is your favorite song or artist? Beyoncé Giselle Knowles Carter

What TV shows are you currently watching? My TV is occupied every night by my oldest - we watch the Cincinnati Reds play every single night. But, I’m trying to catch up on (read - start) Real Housewives of Dubai, Bling Empire, and Bridgerton.

Proudest moment: Besides holding my boys for the first time, I am most proud of moving halfway across the world, by myself.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us: I am an avid UofL fan….but my master’s degree is from UK!

How did you find FIT4MOM? A family friend is very active with F4M in a different location and I’ve seen her post for years. I was specifically introduced locally via my friend Melanie Parker, who asked me and another friend if we wanted to sign-up for the Spring Mini at Holy Family earlier this year. I said yes, thinking it’d be a great way to see my friends. My first class was March 1, 2022 with Carlee. I haven’t skipped a beat since then!

How has FIT4MOM changed your life? It has changed the way I look at so many things - my body, my mind, exercise, food, etc. I’ve learned that after years of physical unhappiness, the only person who can control that happiness is me. F4M has also changed the way I manage home routines. I never thought waking up at 5am for class would have its benefits!

Favorite exercise: I love a good plank, because there are so many different varieties and it’s a total body and mind workout.

Favorite virtual class: Believe it or not, I’ve only taken one virtual class! It was LI50 with Rebecca.

August questions:

  • It’s back to school time - favorite school supply to purchase? A planner and pens

  • What was your favorite subject in school? Spanish and Social Studies

  • Who was your favorite teacher and why? That is a four-way tie. Mrs. Emmons (1st-3rd grade), Mrs. Drucker (4th-5th grade), Mrs. Robertson (elementary computer teacher), and Señora Taylor (high school Spanish teacher). They all taught me so much. Thanks to email, Facebook, and phones, I’ve been able to keep in touch with all of them!

  • Best thing to have packed in your lunchbox? It’s all about the sides! A good chip, pretzel or salad.

Quick 5: Ask your kiddo(s) these questions:

  • How old is mommy? “I don’t know”

  • What is something mom always says to you? “Nos vamos” (Let’s go in Spanish)

  • What is mom really good at? “Coaching me in baseball. How to hit, how to throw, and how to play”

  • What is mom's favorite thing to do? “Teaching me”

  • What makes you proud of your mom? “Bringing me donuts after work out and making me smoothies” Mom’s note - the donuts only come home in between Body Well sessions