#MomLife: Who is Steph? 

Since 2020 you have seen 56 #MomLife columns. I have talked about anything and everything relating to my life as a mom and wife. But have I really taken the time to introduce you into the world of Steph Hightree and who I am? If you’re interested then keep reading. If you’re not, well then…*insert shoulder shrug emoji*. 

I am Steph. Born Stephanie, but once I became a teenager I was too lazy to write my whole name, so I started writing Steph instead to save some time. I am 38-years-old, the oldest of six children. Both of my parents are still alive and have been married for almost 40 years. Growing up in a large family was both fun and frustrating at the same time, but I feel like we all grew up to be some pretty cool adults. I have a husband, Leif, of almost 18 years, and two children, Cadence and Nathan, who are 15 and 12. I live in a house in Three Rivers with them and four annoyingly cute dogs, Sophie, Gracie, George, and Edward. I have two part-time jobs, one with Watershed Voice and one with Children’s Special Health Care Services of St. Joseph County. 

With the exception of a few years after I was born, and a small stint in Kalamazoo as a college student, I have lived in Three Rivers my whole life. I grew up wanting to be a lawyer and then a teacher but once I started college I realized I didn’t know what I wanted to do. So I eventually quit college, and started working full-time trying to figure it out. Have I figured that out yet you ask? The short answer is yes and no.  

I have held many hobbies I have turned into small businesses throughout the years. I made hair bows and tutus for babies and toddlers as CadyMayDesigns. I painted signs and sold other random crafts and helped my brother make furniture as Kipker Design Co. I have refurbished furniture, which is my favorite hobby, and currently operate as TreeHouse Designs. I have also been an Ordained Wedding Officiant since 2010 and have officiated 34 weddings. 

I also love garden gnomes. Gnomes, yes gnomes. I currently have over 350 of them from many different states and countries. I was featured in a local newspaper about my gnome collection when I had exactly 100 gnomes, and as you can see, my collection has grown since then. My husband calls it an obsession, I call it a lifestyle. lol. 

I love social media and reality TV. Like a lot. Most would say I love it too much. I believe if it makes you happy and is entertaining, no matter how crappy of a show it is, then you should watch it. You name it, I have probably watched at least one episode. Well, with the exception of the Kardashians…I just can’t. 

I have devoted my time as a mom to my children and trying to make sure they grow up to be kind humans. I have been involved in their schooling since my daughter started preschool, holding many positions on the PTO board of their elementary school. I have volunteered countless hours at the school helping in classrooms, putting on events, making snacks and going on field trips. I would like to think it made an impact on them.

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, I think if we are going to build a relationship through my column then it is good to know who you are listening to and talking with. Basically I just want you all to know that you are not alone, and if I can accomplish all of this while still being an unorganized, hot mess, who is constantly forgetting things and running around like a chicken with its head cut off, then there is hope for everyone. I also want to know more about my readers. Send me a message on Instagram @momlife2 and remind me that I am not the only hot mess mom around here. We all could use some encouragement. 

Steph Hightree is a hot mess mom who is fueled by stress and too much caffeine. She is a Three Rivers native who talks about the good, the bad, and well, everything else about parenthood.

Any views or opinions expressed in “#MomLife” are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Watershed Voice staff or its board of directors.