We are starting a new series – INTERVIEW WITH A MOM… interviewing local moms about themselves. With a goal of connecting us even more as people and a community!
I recently met with with Karin Swanson, local meteorologist, at a cozy coffee shop for a fun interview! Karin is a warm and friendly person who instantly puts you at ease. It was great talking with her and finding out more about her.
Me: What is a job (or career) you have had that was the most fun (not including motherhood)?
Karin: I actually used to nanny for a set of twins in high school and in college. That was the most fun. It was a boy and a girl, Sam and Jennie, they were super cute. I would plan out our week, we would take all these little day trips together…to places like crystal cave. Those were very fun summers, they live about a block from beach and so we would do our swim lessons… I loved it, you could play it by ear. You could be creative or laid back!
Me: What is your favorite treat or dessert to have when you’re “kid- free” and don’t have to share?
Karin: Maybe a lava cake or a creme brûlée. I mean if I go out to dinner and one of those is on the dessert menu my “being good and not eating dessert” will go to “ooh, I have to have that”, especially if there is a little raspberry on top to finish it off.
Me: When my husband and I were in Paris (many years ago) I remember ordering creme brûlée, because it was the only thing I could read on the menu and knew what it was and to this day I have never had anything as good as that.
Karin: I just love it. I made them once, only one time of course, because it’s so fussy, where you have to bake it a certain way.
Me: What did you use to broil the top, did you use the broiler?
Karin: I got a torch, special to do it and I lived in an apartment then and I was like “Jeff, how am I going to do this?” and so he said “well just go out there on the deck” and I said “well you’re not allowed to have grills on decks, do you think it’s okay?” So I was kind of bent down in the corner and was torching my stuff because I thought “oh the neighbors are going to see”…
Me: And be like “What is she doing? Oh… don’t worry I’m just making creme brûlée”
Karin: Torching my sugar.
Me: Did it turn out good?
Karin: It was really, really good but I haven’t made it since!
Me: What is your favorite music to listen to while in the car?
Karin: I actually just made myself a new mix last week because I had to drive to Minnesota, my kids are really good about listening to my music too, they’ll comment “ooh i love this song mommy” so it’s got a little of everything in it. It’s got Modest Mouse, some Big Data, Paul Simon…it is a total random assortment. I like a little of everything… Lindsey Stirling, which is violin, and Van Halen you know anything and everything and kind of eclectic when it comes to my music taste.
Me: What is your favorite most lived in outfit?
Karin: Probably this (pulling on jacket), I wear this all the time now… a fitness jacket.
Me: That’s very practical.
Karin: With a turtleneck or a t-shirt underneath and jeans or yoga pants.
Me: Yoga pants are good!
Karin: I try not to go out too often in yoga pants unless it’s to drop my kids off to school but I like to be comfortable.
Me: Who was your most influential role model and how did they help shape your life?
Karin: I would say, not just one, but both of my parents. I would assume a lot of people probably would think that. I guess with how they acted as a married couple and as parents and dedication to their careers but also dedication to their family. I think a lot of how I am with my kids today stems from how they were with my sister and me. My parents have been married 40+ years and for them family was always the most important thing and that is how I look at things as well. Someday when you’re on your death bed you’re not going to be thinking about your job or little things, you’re going to be remembering your family. Thinking about your family, I would guess. Yes, they [my parents] would be my biggest influence!
Me: What’s something you do (or strive to do) just for you?
Karin: Well, I do yoga, which I love AND I actually just started a class that I have been loving too… It’s a crocheting class.
Me: That sounds so fun, I have always wanted to learn.
Karin: It’s really fun, well I have only had three weeks so far… it’s a total mixture of ages… there are seventy year olds in the class but there are also… I think the youngest is maybe in her twenties so it’s a the total spectrum. I just finished my first project – it’s a pot holder… Now I move on to a scarf. You can make so many beautiful things with crocheting that I thought it would be fun!
Me: So what color was the pot holder?
Karin: It was kind of a turquoise mix, I actually have a picture of it. I took a picture of it yesterday because I thought well it’s my first official project. I don’t know how impressed you’re going to be.
Me: Ooh I like it, and that’s my favorite color. What are you going to make after the scarf?
Karin: I think I’m going to do a hat next. I am maybe a quarter of the way done with the scarf… I have a couple hat patterns that I found and I have a flower pattern that I found but I don’t know if I’m going to be adventurous enough to try that, we’ll have to see how that goes. It might look like, I don’t know… an artichoke or something.
Me: What is the best piece of parenting/ mothering advice you have received?
Karin: I would say just go with your own gut, because you have SO much advice coming at you from every angle, everyone has advice. When you go to the grocery store and someone says “how can you not have a hat on that child?”. There is advice from everyone whether you want it or not. When you walk around pregnant with your belly sticking out, already you’re getting advice. I don’t even remember who told me it, but a few people had said go with your gut, you do have your own mother’s intuition and you have to do what is right for you and for your family. That’s what is going to make you feel the best about how you are raising your kids.
Me: That’s great advice, I fully agree with that!
Karin: You know yourself and you know your child the best, you know how things need to work to make things happy in your home and in your family.
Karin Swanson is an Emmy nominated meteorologist with WISC-TV3 and WMSN FOX47 in Madison. She was born and raised in the Twin Cities, but has called Wisconsin her home since 1996. Karin graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in Atmospheric Science and Spanish. She lives in Madison with her husband, five year old son, and two year old daughter. Karin doesn’t get much free time, but when she does, she enjoys gardening, yoga, camping, crafting, reading, and trying new recipes. Her guilty pleasures are chocolate, musicals, and Bravo TV. You can follow Karin on Facebook or on Twitter.