When the workday is done, Meredith McDowell has a choice to make: "Do I want clean dishes or do I want to spend time with my daughter?"
Of course, she does both, but McDowell said she looks at things differently since she and her husband, Jim, welcomed baby Avery in late 2013.
"Before you have kids everyone talks about how it will change your life. Having Avery be a part of our lives has been an amazing experience. It has made me realize what is important in life," she said. "Spending time with her is the better choice."
Their time together involves baby firsts like waiting for Avery to crawl. "We put her in the floor and just watch to see if she is going to do it. She is so close to crawling," McDowell said. It also includes passing on the couple's love of sports.
McDowell, who received her undergraduate degree at the University of Tennessee and MBA at Cumberland University, is the Assistant Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator and Director of Athletic Fundraising at Cumberland University and her husband is the Boys Basketball Coach at Lebanon High School.
The couple was set up through a mutual friend and introduced at a state soccer tournament in Murfreesboro. They have been married for three years.
"We would love for Avery to be involved in sports as she grows up. With Jim coaching basketball and me being involved in athletics at Cumberland, we do spend a lot of time at the gym or watching other sports," McDowell said. "Avery attended her first LHS basketball game at the age of 3 weeks, so my guess would be she will learn to love sports."
When their family isn't "constantly on the go," McDowell enjoys running and reading.
A woman she admires is her mother, Sherrie Thomas. "She is the most selfless person I know. She is constantly working hard for our family and I know she would do anything and everything to help us if we needed her," she said. "She is a great mom and an even better 'Nannie' to her grandkids."