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Katey Stimek

Disguised in a blue wig and mask and toting a bag of bedazzled shoes, Katey Stimek transformed into a muse the Thursday before Mardi Gras. She and her husband Chris had traveled to New Orleans, where Katey rode for the first time in the Muses Parade. From the “Bread Aisle” float (this year’s theme was Making Groceries – Muses’ Style), she tossed out high-heeled shoes decorated with beads and glitter. She remembers giving one to a woman holding a sign that read, “I’m 80 years old, and I’ve been married 60 years today. I need a shoe to celebrate.” Following an after-party and five days of eating at some of New Orleans’ beloved restaurants, Katey returned home to Benbrook and her 2-year-old son, William.
 
Her outgoing personality serves her well on the job too. A former attorney in the oil and gas industry, Katey is career services coordinator for Texas Wesleyan School of Law, where she also advises first-year law students and handles employer relations. She’s president-elect of the Texas Wesleyan School of Law alumni board, which hosts numerous events throughout the year including Alumni Weekend, happy hours and continuing legal education. And as a member of the Women’s Bar Association (and past board of directors member), Katey participates in continuing education and assists law students. “It is a great group of women that can actually relate to working and being a mom,” she says.
 
Through her work and outside activities, Katey meets a lot of new people. Many of her friends, in fact, praise her networking abilities and knack for connecting people. Networking is a skill many people need help with; Katey’s advice to stay-at-home moms who want to get back into the working world or 9-to-5 moms who want to switch careers is to use all of your connections. “Everyone you know knows someone else who can help you,” she says.
 
Next, carry business cards, but don’t hand them out like a job-seeking robot. Try to think of networking more as making friends. “I enjoy talking to people and learning about them, and that is all networking is. Join a group of something that interests you and make friends,” she says. And since LinkedIn is the more professional social media site, it’s OK to reach out to those new connections there, but Facebook is probably better left alone for these situations because it’s a more personal forum.
 
When Katey isn’t networking or rocking her day job, she makes sure she gets in plenty of time with William and Chris. Romantic comedy script writers couldn’t pen a better how-we-met story than the real-life beginning to her relationship with Chris. Chris’ roommate from the University of Texas graduated from Texas Wesleyan School of Law with Katey. The two had never met until the roommate invited them to a UT/University of Oklahoma party at Across the Street Bar in Dallas. Katey and Chris began to talk amidst the rivalry-charged event and soon found out that not only were they both from Louisiana but that they were living in the same apartment complex. The couple married in 2007.
 
The movie-ready love is still alive for the Stimeks, in part because they make time for each other. They meet for lunch at least once a week. “We do talk about William, because that is something that makes us both happy,” Katey says, “but we also talk about work, about trips that we want to go on, about what's for dinner that night – just about anything.”
 
Katey and Chris like Greek food, so Terra Mediterranean Grill in Fort Worth’s So7 district is a favorite spot for their lunch dates. They spend time together at night too, including bowling, a movie or hanging out with friends, sans kids. “We like to go to quiet places, because when we have William we go to loud places to drown out the noise,” Katey says. “It is so nice to have adult time.” The pair also unwind together every night by taking long walks or hanging out by the pool.
 
And in order to bring some balance to their busy routine, they often share chores. “We try to cook together every night, or if one of us cooks, the other cleans,” Katey says. Her downtime – when she can fit it in – is all about relaxing. She loves to read (John Grisham’s The Racketeer is what she’s reading now) and watch TV that doesn’t involve a lot of thought (think The Office). And in two years, she’ll be wearing a mask and throwing shoes in New Orleans again.
 
Katey has been taking William to weekly music class at Texas Christian University since he was a baby. “He loves it,” she says. “I was in church choir growing up, and my mom loves to sing, so music was a huge part of my life.” Mom and son can also be found playing at the neighborhood park, exploring the zoo or swimming. The Stimeks recently returned from Disney, and they’re soon headed back to Florida to enjoy the Pensacola beaches.
 
The biggest surprise about motherhood, Katey says, is just how much she can love someone, no matter how cliché it sounds. “William makes my day with his hugs and kisses,” she says. “He makes life so much more exciting. I no longer worry about my house being messy. There are cars and trains everywhere, and I love it.”
 
Like a lot of women, she found motherhood a bit challenging in the beginning. For the first three months after William was born, she stayed at home with him. William was a fussy baby, which at times was overwhelming. Thankfully, Katey has a good support system. Her mom stayed with the new parents for two weeks, and friends dropped by with food or excuses to get Katey out of the house for a bit.
 
When William turned 3 months old, he morphed into a happy baby, and things got easier. That’s not to say that life is always perfect. Typical of a 2-year-old, William isn’t fond of the word “no,” and he’s been known to throw a tantrum or two. Katey has found that it’s best if she steps out of his eyesight until he’s done, and then she redirects his attention to something more positive.
 
With those challenges under her belt, her advice to new moms is not to stress about the next phase of life. She’s excited about what’s to come and all of the new things William will learn next. Just a few weeks ago, he began counting to 20. “It’s amazing and so fun,” Katey says.