I am so excited to post as our first Meet A Mom interview for our Meet A Mom series! Our parent company, The Local Moms Network, has posted about so many amazing women all over the United States and highlighted the work they are doing. I love the community they’ve created and how they have celebrated motherhood and each Mom’s unique journey! We have some fantastic moms that are going to be featured, typically on Mondays. We try to keep the questions consistent from interview to interview (with some changes possible), so I am going to maintain the same format for mine. I hope you enjoy this series!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Houston?
My name is Ana Montesano! I grew up and lived in Connecticut most of my life. I was born in Guatemala and moved to Stamford, CT with my parents when I was 7. Though I went away to College in Rhode Island and later NYC , I returned to Connecticut and settled down there once I finished college. My husband, Joe, and I picked a small town in Fairfield County (Trumbull CT) to start our family.
We moved from Connecticut to Northwest Houston in August 2018 and I have really been loving the Houston Community and everything this city has to offer! Each area of Houston is so different and it is amazing to explore and learn something new each week. When we moved to this area, I had to build a network for my kids, a group of mom friends, great resources and basically, a new life. What I quickly found was the most welcoming city, full of family-friendly everything right in our backyard. As a mother of three, it didn’t take long to see that the Cypress area is a mom (and dad’s) dream.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
We have a full house! It’s never a dull moment at home but I wouldn’t trade our energetic crew for anything, they are my whole heart.
Joseph (7), Noah (5), Isabella (2) plus 2 dogs (our fur babies) – Baxter (11 yr old malti-poo) and Luc (1 year old Lab) – an active duo that keep us on our toes!
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I was an extra in a Ryan Gosling movie, All Good Things. I was in my mid-twenties and it was really exciting for me at the time (though it probably would be today too!). I took the day off from work and was hoping to meet him. The scene was a 70’s night club, Studio 54, the hair and make-up people made my hair look like a horrible beehive so I never worked up the courage to say hi to him. Luckily for my husband this helped our happily ever after story ;).
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
There are so many people I feel extremely grateful for, they all have helped in my motherhood journey. Picking one is hard because it really does take a village!
Though faith was always an important part of my life, once I became a Mom my faith definitely took an even more significant role. Having God and my faith as a center-point certainly has been the key that continues to guide me as I go through my journey in motherhood. I really don’t know what I did to deserve these little ones but I thank God daily for picking me to be their Mommy, though not all days are “a walk in the park” (as we all know!).
My husband, Joe, has really been my biggest supporter. From our first baby, he has always made me feel like we are in it together. Though raising kids is hard, we really are a joint team with our decisions. I love that he has the ability to make me laugh even when times get tough.
I have been very fortunate to have some incredible Mom friends and older cousins that became Moms before me. They really were so instrumental in showing me what healthy parenting looks like, how to create healthy habits even while parenting – others showed me many mom tricks – from having our kids sleeping through the night, to potty training, and everything in between. Also, equally important my best friend who made sure to remain a huge part of my life and made sure she was so present in my kids’ life as well.
Our Moms, Gigi, and my sister – It was so great when we lived closer to them, because they were a constant in so many aspects of our lives. They were there from the first day I became a Mom and continued to be there for so much (many more times than I can list!) – From staying with us when we came home with our firstborn and helping with dishes, laundry, cooking, so I could recover from a c-section; to staying with my 2 sons when my daughter was born (I would’ve never felt at peace leaving two young kids at home while I recovered from a c-section without that reassurance that my sons were so happy and well cared for!) ; to having our little ones spend a few days with them (more than once!) so my husband and I could get a trip away alone! ; To being my biggest supporter – whether it was reassuring me that I was a good mom for trying to juggle it all or always reminding me how proud they were of me for making the choices I made with their food or in how I was choosing to raise them! They were each unique in how they helped – but boy how they all rallied and helped in their own way without missing a beat! I feel EXTREMELY fortunate to have had that strong support group of women as I juggled my career and motherhood. Moving away from that support group was challenging at first but connecting with women and other Moms in the NW Houston and Cypress area has been very refreshing, empowering, and rewarding. I’ve heard the term “Mom Tribe” a lot lately and it really is so important to connect with other Moms and encourage one another through this hard yet amazing journey.
Favorite things to do with your kids around town (Cypress/Copperfield/Jersey Village/Cyfair)?
During the week I love our routine of mixing up our local parks and story times at the library.
On the weekends there is a ton to do around here! Now that the kids are taking a short break from baseball and soccer we have more time to enjoy more of those events that our community offers! We also love taking them to the Boardwalk because they get so much energy out in the green and we love looking out at the view of the lake.
We love that there are so many family friendly restaurants with patios or fun for the kids. Our favorites are Lazy Dog, Cypress Trail Hideout, and Willie’s. I added a new spot to my list after a recent stop at Plum Coffee shop before Sunday mass. We had coffee while the kids played board games – I actually got to finish my coffee and the kids loved the selection of board games!
Favorite local things to do in the Cypress area (dates,etc.)?
Date nights were definitely a little easier when we lived near family. Though they aren’t as frequent as they were prior to us moving, whenever we are able to sneak in a date, we love taking strolls at the Towne Lake Boardwalk while enjoying views of the lake. I grew up near the beaches/ocean, being near water is one thing I do miss – luckily the Towne Lake Boardwalk has a nice view of a lake!
Aside from that – we are foodies and really love venturing into Houston to check out the food scene while grabbing drinks. Our favorite local spot and our go to is Edojin, the sushi is incredible and it’s BYOB so we bring our favorite wine and enjoy an amazing dinner! When we want a fun yet special night we venture a little further to Kata Robata. Postino is a recent favorite and a good one when we feel a little more laid back but still want a knock-out meal. We are still exploring a lot and can’t wait to find even more amazing date night places closer to the NW Houston and Cypress area.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
I’m the founder of Cypress Moms Network. Cypress Moms Network was founded to be the go-to resource for everything in and around the Cypress area – the network is comprised of Cypress, North West Houston, Copperfield, Jersey Village, and Tomball! Cypress Moms Network was founded with the very simple goal of giving moms the gift of time by providing a comprehensive collection of local events and resources, building our community, and creating an inspiring and encouraging place for all Moms. I’m excited to connect the Cypress Community with our local resources and events going on in our area. I’ve been running our social media sites since late-July while working on production for the website. The Cypress Area Moms website includes a calendar of events, a resource guide, and general information to help local families including many other topics highlighting the joyous chaos that comes along with being a mom. The community has been very supportive so far and I’m very excited for what the future holds!
Before moving to Houston, I was working full-time in a Finance role. I have worked in Finance roles ever since graduating from Pace University at companies such as Jetblue, The Economist, and most recently a leader in the aviation field. When we moved, I was able to stay on with my company but was able to change my role to part-time (working remotely) so that I could help my family with the transition. It’s been the best decision I’ve ever made, it’s really helped our family so much. I am really loving spending the extra time with our children and exploring our new city, it’s been an incredible blessing to be able to do that! The Northwest Houston and Cypress areas are very family friendly and there is always so much to do with the kids. Each area of Houston is different and it is great to explore and learn something new each week.
When we moved here I had to gather a ton of resources and realized there was not a central place for Moms to turn to – that is when I started looking into the idea of sharing all the information I had been gathering while continuing to explore our new city. I’m excited to share all my research about our amazing area with you, up until now I had been storing it all in Excel sheets! I have cumulated local resources, activities, and articles that I hope you find useful.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
My husband and I both come from large families that were a very huge part of our lives in the Northeast. He is Italian and I am spanish so Family was a huge part of both of our upbringing and continues to be so. Being away from family, it really helps to find a good supportive community. We were pretty lucky to be plugged into a very supportive network once we found our parish. Our priest welcomed us as family and made sure to connect us with families that he thought we could connect with. The community we were plugged into there really made my family feel like we were at home here in Texas.
Aside from that, we had our kids start sports right away and we have met some really great families there. I also joined the Moms Club of Northwest Houston and have been plugged in to tons of fun play dates/family gatherings and Moms going through similar transitions.
Connecting with women and other Moms in the NW Houston and Cypress area has been a true gift. There are so many amazing moms in this area who have been extremely supportive through our social media channels and who helped make the Cypress Moms Network -Moms Night Out event a true success. Seeing everyone rally together and mingle was the absolute best!
What I have found since moving here, is that there are a lot of transplants willing and ready to share their experiences. The Houston natives are also extremely supportive and welcoming. It’s because of this whole embracing community that we feel like we can really settle down here and that we picked a good spot to move to. We couldn’t be happier to be here in Northwest Houston!!