Meet this week’s Meet-A-Mom, Stefanie Hilarczyk, a local mom who wears many hats! Stefanie is a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature and just recently published her first book, The Adventures of Tooth Fairy Tommy. The book is for children aged Pre-K- 3rd Grade and tells a story of a silly tooth fairy and his journey to learn empathy! Stefanie and her husband also run a family carpentry company together called Shoreline Specialties! They do various projects for commercial companies and even some small residential work.
When she isn’t busy with Shoreline, she is often writing other children books and currently working on her memoir- a story of their journey with their son who has a rare genetic disorder called Mosaic Trisomy 18. This busy mom also gives back to the community in multiple ways. She runs a Facebook group of 900+ women and each year they do an annual Christmas drive for Good Counsel Homes, a homeless shelter for pregnant mothers. When they aren’t busy with Good Counsel they also work with Elijah’s Promise, Kids in Need School supplies drives, and helping Foster Children. A truly remarkable mama, learn more about Stefanie’s life in our interview below!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
I was born and raised half of my childhood in New York! I moved to New Jersey when I was 10 years old and I’ve loved it ever since. I have always felt that New Jersey has everything you need just moments away from each other! You want the beach- we have it! Want the country- we have that too! We moved to Jackson nearly 15 years ago and still feel like we are too far away from the shore. A move in our future might be coming!
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
I have a 16 year old girl and a 12 year old boy!
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I met my husband on a blind date my mother set up!
My mom was working at a Chiropractor’s office and my husband’s brother was a patient there! One conversation led to another and somehow Tim and I were on a blind date months later!
Nearly 20 years later, and 17 years of marriage and it’s been the best decision he made! hahaha! Just joking! It really was love at first sight for him -with a little convincing for me! hahaha! I’m not kidding that time! But, for real, he’s my best friend, partner in crime and love of my life.
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
It would have to be my mom and grandmother. My mother taught me to keep moving! When I had my first baby at 22 years old, my mother said “have baby, will travel, “ is her saying. Those words really stuck to me. We never let having a child slow us down. We are still a lot like that. Every opportunity is made for making a well rounded child! My Grandmother for always saying that this too shall pass. Sometimes we get so caught up in the moments of life that we forget that they do pass. That goes for both good and bad things that might arise. Slow down and don’t forget to take it all in!
Favorite things to do with your kids?
We love being anywhere near the shore! Manasquan is our go to place for the beach and hanging out. My husband spent his summers as a child there. It’s the place my husband took me to tell me he loved me. Manasquan is a very special place to us.
You can find us everywhere along the shore.
Paddle boarding, fishing, and taking nature walks around Spring Lake are our faves!
When it’s not beach weather, you can find us in museums and art galleries. We love exploring the great history NJ has to offer!
If we are home – we love creating arts and crafts and tie dying anything we can get our hands on! Being that my husband is a carpenter- we always seem to be doing some type of project at home with the kids!
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
My husband and I run a family carpentry company together called Shoreline Specialties! We do various projects for commercial companies and even some small residential things.
When I am not busy with Shoreline, I am often writing children books and currently working on my memoir- a story of our journey with our son who has a rare genetic disorder called Mosaic Trisomy 18.
I am a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature, and also a Certified Mindfulness Coach.
I just released my first children’s book for ages preschool to 3rd grade! The Adventures of Tooth Fairy Tommy, tells a story of a silly tooth fairy and his journey to learn empathy! It has been my dream to write children books and now that my children are big and teenagers – I have some time to make my dreams happen now.
I plan on releasing another around Christmas time- Tooth fairy Tommy will be learning about Mindfulness and how having a healthy mind is important. I should be releasing the title of that book soon!
I also run a Facebook volunteer group with nearly 900 women who do various “Good Deed” projects throughout the state and beyond. Each year we do an annual Christmas drive for Good Counsel Homes. It’s a homeless shelter for pregnant mothers. When we aren’t busy with Good Counsel -we also work with Elijah’s Promise, various Kids in Need School supplies drives and helping Foster Children.
My daughter and I also run a Little Free Library outside of our home in Jackson that keeps us busy together too!
I am also a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Ocean County! Protecting the children without a voice is something I am extremely passionate about. I have been an advocate for special needs children for nearly a decade. Working as a CASA volunteer has now given me another way to serve another community of children who might be less heard. I encourage anyone who has the time to find out their local CASA organization.
I guess in not so many words; I wear many hats to many people!
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
The community often serves me more than I serve it. I have had a stressful life with lots of twists and turns and the one thing that always grounds me is my community and the ways I can serve it. Whether through volunteering or working- people who reach out to others usually are happier and healthier. We all might be different but being that way makes us such a special people! Learning to mesh that all together makes the world so much brighter! Psychologists say that often the best way to combat stress is by helping someone who cannot help you back. I have often used that technique all my life. Which is why I say the community means more to me that vise versa.
What is your favorite restaurant in Monmouth County?
This is a hard one! I’m going to have to say a few- I don’t think I can just say one! This is very hard. Squan Tavern is our family hangout for sure! Friday nights are usually at the Tavern.
We love Talulas in Asbury Park for brunch! For awesome sandwiches Speakeatry is to die for also in Asbury Park! Riverside in Manasquan for breakfast or a smoothie after the beach!
What is your favorite activity to do with your child(ren) in Monmouth County?
Beaching or hanging out at the Manasquan inlet with a good pork roll, egg and cheese sandwich and watching the boats go by! Paddle boarding on the glimmer glass or just strolling the streets of Asbury Park, Manasquan or Spring Lake are our go-tos! Unless it’s Sunday, then you can find me at my parents home for our weekly Sunday Dinner! I might have a polish last name but I’m still an old school Italian girl at heart!
What are your Mom Goals?
Mom goals for this year would have to sadly be covid related: One) to stop and pause more and be grounded in knowing that this too shall pass. Two) watching more old movies from the 80’s and 90’s with my kids! Three) Getting back to my daily yoga practice!
You can click the link to order Stef’s recently published book, The Adventures of Tooth Fairy Tommy.