Hello Austin Moms, I’m Julia Marie Reyes! I’m so honored and excited to be a contributor to this platform. I’ve been using Austin Moms for five years now so getting the privilege to give back is my jam!

Julia Marie Reyes

I love all Good things: God, Food, People, Advice, and Deals!

I have been an Austinite since 2008. I first lived in South ATX, but now I enjoy the suburbs of Round Rock. I was born in Corpus Christi and raised near South Padre Island, so to say I’m a Beach Lover is an understatement. The sand between my toes, the sound of waves crashing, the heat of the sun, and an ice-cold beverage are just some of my favorite things.

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I grew up faster than I even realized when it was happening. Even though I don’t recommend doing life that young, it has molded me into who I’ve become. It wasn’t easy, but I still live, learn, and share my story.

I got married at 18, became a young mom at the age of 19, to Nichole Gabriella two days before 9/11, let’s talk about an experience with motherhood.

Unfortunately, I also divorced early and became a single mom. Again, I don’t recommend it, but I did what I needed to as a Mom. I Thank God for my village that helped me raise Nichole.

I am now a proud wife to my husband, Joel. We attended the same high school, but we didn’t cross paths until 2010, we quickly moved in together, and he has been by my side through thick and thin.

I was a single mom, so I was overwhelmed by the love and support Joel naturally brought into my life that it was an easy Yes for us to start our little family.

Nichole got her Bonus Dad, and I found my knight in shining armor after dating men dressed in tin foil.

Our first date was a Monday Night Football game, so it was fitting when we got engaged on Super Bowl Sunday 2013, planned our wedding ASAP, and saved the date for 10/13/2013! God had other plans for us, and we welcomed our Rainbow Baby, Jessa Monique, in October of 2013. We married on December 5, 2014. Why not have a baby first, then get married? That’s how I roll, very untraditional.

Together we raised our daughter Nichole, supporting her in all she did. We became proud Dance Parents, “cool” teenage parents, the best chauffeurs in town, and organized fundraisers to keep up with the finances that come with an active teenager.

Sure enough, though, the early morning drop-offs, mid-day lunch requests, late-night dance studio pickups, and everything in between, all with a baby in tow, weren’t the easiest; we I wouldn’t change it or the world.

I would do anything to relive those moments, mainly because they all happened quickly, and I didn’t embrace them all the way I should have.

As Nichole was entering her high school years, we were navigating the beginning of an Autism diagnosis for Jessa. Jessa was diagnosed with Severe Non-Verbal Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder at the young age of 3.

These days tested us as a family, parents, friends, faith, patience, and fight.

I can say that this killed me as a Mom; not being able to help your child is the worst feeling a Mom could ever feel.

Nichole was a huge part of helping us on this journey; she was Jessa’s voice for years. She has always been so patient and understanding of her Sassy Lil’ Sissy. Nichole recently married Logan, a U.S. Army Soldier, and is about to be stationed in Germany. (Say a prayer for this Momma) We’re happy for her and continue to support her in all she does!

Stay tuned for all the things that come with this parenting adventure.

I discovered my passion for writing when I needed an outlet to express my feelings about our lives as a special needs family member and found purpose in advocating for my daughter.

So I started Joy of Jessa, a Blog (if you want to call it that :)) I quickly realized I wanted to share the joy that’s come out of being Jessa’s Mom and how fascinating she is. Even though it’s not always easy, I’ve learned to find joy in the journey.

I also took classes to help me understand how I can be a voice for my daughter’s public education, so I proudly have the title of Master I.E.P. Coach.

Even though it took me a couple of years to understand and allow myself to accept and enjoy what God had given me, I now take it day by day, and I’m grateful, and I learn from Jessa.

I admit it while being a Mom. I somehow became broken as a person. I struggled with so many different life variables, and I wasn’t the best person I could have been. I am lucky that I have learned how to accept that I need help and how to ask for help. I now enjoy volunteering my time helping families connect and inspire others to share their stories.

It’s great to have people in your life that get it and don’t make you feel like you need to change or aren’t valued. So if you need help finding an outlet, community, or vent, I’m your Mom!!

Julia Marie Reyes and family

To all those just beginning the parenting journey, remember to take deep breaths, enjoy the moments, take pictures, and enjoy them while you can!


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