Name: Kelly Andersen
Children: Emma Grace, 7; Jacob, 5
Occupation: First-grade teacher at Okatie Elementary School
Go-to dinner: "Salmon and green beans and risotto," Andersen said. "And that is prepared by my husband."
Biggest pet peeve: Bad manners
Hobbies: Working out, running, going to the beach and spending time with friends
Volunteer work: Andersen just moved back to the area a few months ago after spending years in New York. Before moving here, she was part of the PTO at her last school and volunteered whenever she could. She also likes to run for charity; she recently ran a race and raised $4,000 for cancer research for the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
Favorite mommy moment: "I love it when my kids say, 'Mommy, I just love you,' " she said. "It stops you in your tracks. ... Sometimes, as parents, we don't give ourselves enough credit. But when you look at your children and you see how sweet they are, you know you're doing a good job."
Most challenging moment: "I've been very blessed with my children," Andersen said. "They've both gone through their phases, Jacob a lot more than Emma Grace. Jacob started walking at 7 months. ... He broke his leg before he was 1. (He had) ear infections every time I turned around. He had his adenoids out, his tonsils out. ... (It's) just making sure you're doing the best every day to meet your child's needs. When they're having a temper tantrum, it's hard to always know what the right thing to do is. And sometimes you just have to walk away and let them throw that fit because nothing is going to solve that tantrum. It's just a phase.
"Now I think my biggest challenge with Emma Grace is getting her to focus on her reading and really promote that responsibility within her, that she's responsible for her own learning and her own work."
Stress reliever: Working out, running, getting a massage, talking to her best friend
Advice for other moms: "Be positive," she said. "Keep a smile on your face and a smile on your heart. And know that every day you are creating a legacy for your children. Know that you're their inspiration. And I like the quote, 'Children are like wet paint. Whatever falls on them makes an impression.' So just be mindful that you always have those little eyes on you. Your actions speak louder than words; that's for sure. ... Those simple things in life matter -- those hugs, those kisses, those 'I love you's,' those 'I'm so proud of you's.' ... Surround yourself with good people."
Follow Amy Coyne Bredeson at twitter.com/IPBG_Amy.