Mom Next Door: Katie Anderson
More than a decade ago, Pinterest and Instagram didn’t exist and the blogosphere was just gaining steam. Katie Anderson, 33, one of the first to successfully spin blogging into a career, was settling into marriage with her husband Dave (they've now been married for 10 years) and launching her blog, Modern Eve.
“I didn’t even tell anyone I had a blog back then because it was so embarrassing,” says the Lake Highlands mom of two girls: Beckett, 3 and Palmer, 8 months. “I started to meet other bloggers across the country and on social media, and it just evolved.”
Blogging is a far departure from Anderson’s planned career path. After graduating from Southern Methodist University, she studied biblical counseling at Dallas Theological Seminary but never used the degree vocationally.
She opted instead to use her corner of the web to muse on everything from wellness and beauty to home decor and fashion. And she had a talent for it. Her voice resonated and her following grew.
“I love curating things and researching,” she says. “I love finding beauty in everything, whether it’s fashion or food.”
Eleven years later, Modern Eve's content has changed considerably.
Along with posts featuring tablescape inspirations and trend reports, you’ll find thoughts on motherhood and mommy-and-me style. In honor of World Down Syndrome Day this past March, Anderson wrote a tribute to other parents of children with Down syndrome.
“The hard stuff may chart our course, but I will not let it define our destination,” she wrote.
Anderson had little familiarity with Down syndrome just a year ago, but it’s a topic she’s come to know well since Palmer’s birth. Her pregnancy was typical and the birth went according to plan, but she realized quickly after that something was amiss.
Verbatim, the doctor’s words were: “There are signs that lead me to believe she has Down syndrome.”
Anderson’s response? “OK. We can handle that.”
“I instantly felt very protective of her,” Anderson says. “I couldn’t stop thinking about her relationships and imagining her being rejected because she was different. I worried she might not have the sister relationship with Beckett that I dreamed of. I was terrified that if other people believed she was less valuable because of Down syndrome she might believe it too.”
These feelings persist. But while Anderson admits there have been struggles, she says she “hasn’t dealt with anger or denial.” There was no mourning period.
“There are little things I’ll grieve about it her whole life,” she says. “But this is who she is — and she is valuable and worthy and I love her regardless.”
If anything, it’s been a catalyst for personal growth, shaping Anderson into the type of woman she aspires to be.
“My heart is more sensitive, empathetic and inclusive,” she says. “It’s helped me see value in all people in a way I didn’t even realize I needed. That has been a huge blessing.”
She’d like to use her experiences as fodder for her blog, which she hopes to evolve into a space that holds thoughts on faith, motherhood and day-to-day struggles.
But it can be hard to find time to write. Anderson works part-time with her husband, helping with the operations of his remodeling company.
Beckett goes to school three days a week (and Palmer will start at Rise School of Dallas in August), but most of this mom’s days are a blur: Work, playdate, naptime, therapy. Repeat.
“It’s a lot of juggling,” she says. “But that works for me. It’s kind of messy and I’m OK with that.”
As a family, the Andersons can often be found at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, where they’re members, the Dallas Museum of Art and Klyde Warren Park.
In Anderson’s precious free time, she likes to surf the web, search for inspiration on Pinterest, shop and read parenting articles.
She prioritizes time with girlfriends — dinner, brunch, sometimes just a quick drink. And she’s not afraid to try new things. She’s dabbled in weaving, watercolor painting and sewing. She loves yoga, though she isn’t able to practice as much as she’d like.
Anderson’s held tightly to her identity outside of mom, a decision she made before becoming pregnant with Beckett.
“I didn’t want my entire identity to become Mom,” she says. “And I didn’t want our whole life to revolve around our kids. I intentionally carve out time for Dave and I.”
A graduate student from Dallas Theological Seminary helps with the girls, so she and her husband can squeeze in the occasional date night. True Food Kitchen and AmberJax Fish Market Grille are favorite spots, but Anderson’s happiest when trying somewhere new.
“I could go to a new restaurant every Friday and Saturday night and be content,” she says.
But really, the destination is trivial. Wherever they end up, the couple’s focus is on reconnecting, something they’ve made a priority since Beckett was born and emphasized even more since Palmer’s arrival.
Having a child with special needs can undoubtedly put strain on a marriage, but Anderson says she and Dave are “on the same page.” They’re teammates.
“We’re very different,” she says. “He’s the silly guy and I’m the disciplinarian, but somehow it works.”
The couple hopes to grow their brood by at least one, if not more. Reflecting on motherhood, Anderson likens it to having a mirror on you at all times.
“It makes me think, ‘Am I prioritizing things in my life that are in line with what I want to be about?’” she says. “I don’t want my daughters to get caught up in comparisons. I want them to be confident in their own skin and bodies, to pursue their dreams and passions.”