20 Questions with ACM Team Member Kristen Raaberg

How do you like to start and end your day?

I start my day stretching in bed. It sounds funny, but this old body can’t get up without a few snaps and pops. I end my day zoning out to some yachties on Bravo, maybe with some wine or a sweet treat.

What part of parenting drains you? What part of parenting energizes you?

The parts of parenting I was not prepared for are the 12+ hour shifts day in and day out. There is no break, ever. Even when they’re in school, there’s so much to catch up on between school events and the next call from the school nurse. If it weren’t for family getaways, I’m not sure anything would energize me about parenting, ha!

What’s one thing you’re learning now or learned recently?

It seems a little too late after my kids are finally over toddler meltdowns, but mindfulness has really been making a difference in my life these days.

What’s your favorite game to play?

Spoons is the passing card game that I never lose. If you’re a multi-tasking pro, this is a fun family game you can dominate with pride. When I lose to my kids all day, every day, sometimes it feels so good to win.

What’s one thing you’re currently trying to make a habit?

Going to bed earlier would change my life, but how to make it a habit? Too much Bravo and too little time.

What’s your favorite story to tell about your past?

The boat-tent weekend in college, but tequila is required to hear this one, sorry…

What book, movie, music, etc., changed your outlook on life?

The Eight Master Lessons of Nature: What Nature Teaches Us About Living Well in the World by Gary Ferguson was an incredibly informative read.

Is there any experience you think everyone should be required to have? What is it?

I think the world could find a whole lot more peace these days if we all learned more about each other. Spend a day with someone of a different religion, background, political party— anything outside your comfort zone. When you disagree with someone, challenge each other to have a peaceful conversation about your differing views. A dear friend of mine did this with me recently and it was wonderful.

What’s one song you have completely memorized?

I’m betting I know more Tom Petty lyrics than most folks in my generation.

What’s one hobby you’d love to get into?

I’m not sure if it’s a hobby, but my retirement plan is to become a yachtie. As a parent, isn’t that what we do for our kids all day? Plan their schedules, vacations, etc. My husband and I would be excellent yachties and it would be a fun way to travel and keep seeing the world.

What’s one item you can’t leave home without or is always in your bag?

Honestly, nothing but my keys. These days it is a welcome break to just be where I need to be and stay present. It also makes me drive a lot safer because I don’t want to be stuck without a phone. But remember, people used to drive without cell phones all the time.

What’s one thing you wish you’d known when becoming a mom or what advice would you give to a new mom?

Sleep now. Just sleep. Your sleep will never be the same.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? How’d that work out? What do you do now that fills your days with ‘work’?

I wanted to be an engineer. During and after college, I learned that actually meant sitting at a desk all day and repeating other engineers’ work. So I’ve taught for some time and explored a lot of nontraditional jobs that allow me to raise our family. If you really think about it, our society makes it pretty difficult to pursue a typical career while still being there 100% for your children. It doesn’t compute in my brain, picking up crayons and catching a glimpse of my two engineering degrees on the wall. But maybe by the time my children figure out their dreams, I can help them achieve them!

What one ‘life hack’ changed how you do something?

I’m not a big hacker. I think discipline goes a lot further than shortcuts. But I’ll doctor a box of macaroni and cheese with the best of them. You have to let the milk sit out so it’s not super cold, underboil the noodles a bit, melt the butter into the noodles all the way, then add the cheese and finish cooking as the sauce soaks in. 

What’s your ideal way to spend your weekends?

The best weekends are filled with live music, some sort of water to float in, and family all around.  

What is something you’re doing as a mom/parent you never anticipated doing?

I’m not sure I had too many anticipations, but I remember thinking four or five kids would be doable. Yeah right, having three children is nearly impossible for this mama.

If you grew up in San Antonio, what’s one thing that you loved about your childhood here? One thing you love that your children are getting to know? If you didn’t, tell me where you grew up, how you got to SAT, and one thing you love that your children get to do/see/experience here?

I went to middle and high school here, but before that, we moved so much with the military. What I love seeing in my SA children is their taco eating skills, properly pronouncing concha/buñuelo/etc., and their genuine love of their city.

What is your favorite place in San Antonio?

Our beautiful neighborhood, with all the trees and families and summer swim league and crazy neighbors who really make me feel less crazy!

What is your favorite restaurant?

I’m partial to Austin eateries, so I love all the transplants down I-35 like Torchy’s, P.Terry’s, and now Kerbey Lane! Oh, to be young and in college again…

Another thing I love about San Antonio is…

San Antonio is truly the biggest small town in Texas. There are so many bubbles, everyone can find their own little haven. And there’s always a new area to discover with the family.

What is something near San Antonio, but technically out of the city limits, that you love being close to or enjoy going to or WANT to go explore? 

The two- to three-hour car ride down to the beach proves we really have everything here in South Texas. I couldn’t ask for more, except maybe some more rain!

Born in Germany to two true Southerners traveling the world thanks to the USAF, she went to 5 different elementary schools before calling Texas home. She was an NCAA Student Athlete, before transferring and graduating from UT Austin, BSME'08 TEXAS FIGHT! She took a victory lap for her Master's in engineering education with her ChemE husband (aka OSHA Dad) before traveling again for consulting. Missing TX and a teaching job brought her back to family in San Antone before three little longhorns were born! Kristen loves to travel, teach, and feed her family. Together with her loud and crazy family, she has two rescue kitties, one aussie, and a beta fish. Fav SA Restaurant: Panaderia Fav SA Tradition: Chispas Fav SA Landmark: Landbridge