I’m Jolie Gray, wife to Josh and mama to Hays. I founded Purpose Box in 2014; it’s been quite the adventure. My husband and I have been together since high school–more than half our lives! We have been married just over 11 years, and we are patiently waiting to add to our family through domestic adoption. I love sunroof weather, coffee, and evening Jeep rides. We built our little country home a few years ago, and I love what God has done through fellowship and fun since He put us back in our hometown.
Confetti + Crumbs: How did you come up with your kids’ names?
Jolie: We had our girl’s name pretty solid, so of course, we found out we were expecting a boy. He was nameless for quite some time. For years before we were actually having a baby, we thought we might name a son after my husband’s grandfather and father. However, when the time came, we just weren’t sure. That was in our back pocket, but we weren’t sure it was the route we wanted to go. One night, as I was perusing the message boards, I saw the name, Hayes. I liked the way it sounded, but we weren’t fond of the way it looked. We played with a couple of spellings and ultimately decided on Hays. We live quite near Hays County in Texas, so we did a little digging on Jack C. Hays as well to be sure we were comfortable with that association, even though it wasn’t the direct way we got the name. Still, we couldn’t decide on a middle name. A few weeks later at my grandmother’s house, I was going through an annual from Texas A&M University and saw my great-great grandfather’s name fully written out, Archer Hutson. We were sold on Hutson immediately. We kept it on the down low (only our photographer knew) until he was born, just to be sure that was his name when we met him. It was! It’s a perfect fit!
Confetti + Crumbs: Any advice for future moms?
Jolie: Trust your gut. There are more than enough arm-chair commentators on how children *should* be parented. Only you know your child and their needs. If something is off, check into it. If something is working for you, go for it. We’re all just doing the best we can with what we have.
Confetti + Crumbs: Who’s the mom that you admire the most?
Jolie: I have to say my good friend Amber. She is absolutely full of the love of Jesus and it overflows so well into her parenting style. She pours grace out over her kids and loves them where they are. She is firm and disciplined while being fun and in the moment. I learn so much from her on a regular basis.
Confetti + Crumbs: How do you make time for yourself?
Jolie: Before I went back to work full-time, I made it a point to regularly scheduled days to myself and time away to just recharge. Now that I am back to work full-time, I try to optimize the time I do have to myself. I get out earlier than my son on Friday, so I use that time to be in the quiet with my coffee in the carwash. HA! But really. (I also enjoy time at the gym, date nights, and spa days.)
Confetti + Crumbs: 5 WORDS THAT DESCRIBE YOUR CHILDREN
Jolie: 1. Strong 2. Gifted 3. Loving 4. Big-Hearted (Yes, that’s one! HA!) 5. Graceful
Show and tell:
Let’s talk dirty laundry! Everyone’s got it, and no one wants to deal with it! Over a year ago, I started washing clothes every day. I know what you’re thinking. It sounds crazy, but it’s such a time saver. Everyone brings their dirty clothes to the laundry room as they take them off (we don’t even have hampers in our home anymore). Then in the morning, Let’s talk dirty laundry! Everyone’s got it, and no one wants to deal with it! Over a year ago, I started washing clothes every day. I know what you’re thinking. It sounds crazy, but it’s such a time saver. Everyone brings their dirty clothes to the laundry room as they take them off (we don’t even have hampers in our home anymore). Then in the morning, the last thing before we walk out the door, I turn on the washer. When we come home, I move stuff to the dryer or hang-dry what needs to be hung. Once it’s folded, everyone gets back what’s theirs and puts it away. Repeat! It has saved me so much time and there is no more last-minute washing of uniforms, etc. I throw in towels and sheets as needed, which sometimes leads to more than one load a day. However, I never spend my weekends with laundry anymore!
The Gray Matters
Thank you, Jolie, for sharing your story with us. Tune in next week for another round of Naptime with Confetti + Crumbs.