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Linde Giddens

"It’s a wild ride,” Linde Giddens says of this thing called parenthood. Since going from a family of three to a family of four, the ride’s gotten even wilder for the 32-year-old designer and husband of six years Jeff, vice president of NextAfter, a company that optimizes fundraising for nonprofits. As owner of Linde Browning Design, the Lake Highlands mom stays busy designing custom furniture and whimsical nurseries for littles across Dallas-Fort Worth. But it’s her own little ones — Abbe Lee, 5 months, and Mack, 2 — who inspire her the most. 

You design nurseries for a living. Tell me about designing Abbe Lee's room.
Mack and Abbe Lee have the same nursery. It was so fun getting to imagine our baby in this space. The ceiling has a lot of detail on it around the light fixture. The thinking was: The first year of my children’s lives they’ll spend the majority of their time looking up at the ceiling. So I thought it would be fun for them to have something to engage with. I believe, even when they’re tiny, you can create that sense of wonder, excitement and curiosity. So that’s the focal point of that room.

You waited to discover the gender of both your babies. What was it like to find out she was a girl this time?
We hope to grow our family more, but we were really hoping for a boy and a girl. The umbilical cord was blocking my husband’s view, so he couldn’t see if she was a girl or boy. I saw and was screaming, “It’s a girl! It’s a girl baby!”

How does being a girl mom compare to being a boy mom?
There’s lots of headgear involved — lots of bows. The main thing we notice about her is she chatters constantly, even though she’s so tiny. Abbe Lee has more to say.

From a family of three to a family of four… What have been come of the challenges?
Having two close in age is interesting. Some days go how you plan, and some days it’s just crazy. But we definitely love it. She adds richness to our family. Our family feels full. There are times when everyone’s laughing really hard or everyone’s crying really hard.

Any surprises?
The thing that surprised me about motherhood overall was how deeply you can love, which sounds so cheesy. But that was the thing that I was most unprepared for as a mother. I think that’s the most surprising thing: that my love can continue to deepen beyond what I thought.

How has parenthood changed your marriage?
We have our challenging moments. But we also have moments where we’re pinching ourselves. Like how in the world did God give us these two beautiful kids that we get to keep? They’re ours.

Has it been a struggle to balance work with two little ones?
Certainly. I’m really lucky; I have a studio in the backside of my house, so I can paint from home a lot. I have really great sleepers, so my kids can sleep for a few hours during the day, and I can paint then. I like a fast pace; work hard, play hard. And I love the thought of our kids getting to see things transform and having that cultivated around them.

Is it important to you to cultivate creativity in them?
I made myself promise that I would not force art on the kids. I’ve been itching for Mack to want to do art projects with me, but for the most part he just wants to be free. Just the last couple of months he’ll ask to paint, and it’s so fun. I put a shower curtain over our dining room table and let him go to town. Of course, I would love it if we had kids who loved art.

Any words of advice for new moms?
I feel like Abbe Lee taught me something I didn’t learn with Mack, which is growing into motherhood. She’s taught me to be comfortable as a mom. I don’t have the same gifts that my sister has or a friend has,but I do have my own set of gifts. All I can do is use those to the best of my ability and believe that the gaps will be filled in with friends and family. I think that would be my piece of advice: Be confident with your gifts instead of worrying about where you’re lacking. 

Published April 2015