Today is Sunday, August 20, 2017

Woman of Wilson: Nicole McMillen

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Nicole McMillen with sons Gavin and Liam

When she was 18, Nicole McMillen, originally born in Rockford, Illinois, decided to make Tennessee her home.

Securing a job with the Nashville Airport, McMillen looked into residing in Wilson County - and "fell in love with Lebanon and its community." Thus - a Woman of Wilson was born.

McMillen also fell in love with her now-husband Jeff - though, admitted it didn't happen immediately. The couple, who met through mutual friends, spent a "wonderful summer getting to know each other" and "love found us."

"Jeff took me out for my first date to the comedy club, and we have been inseparable ever since," she said. They married in June 2006 and have two sons, Gavin, 8, and Liam, 6.

"Motherhood was all I ever dreamed about as a little girl. My boys have taught me a deeper love than I have ever known," she said.

McMillen's professional life also centers around kids. She is the Children's Fitness Coordinator at Sports Village in Lebanon, and also owns and operates The Village Camp - a day camp for children ages 3-12.

"The best part of my job is working with children, teaching healthy habits at a young age, building confidence and calling my work a job. I'm truly blessed to be able to do what I love. I believe I found what God sent me to do," she said. "If I can empower just one child to live a healthier, happier life through healthy habits, I have accomplished my goal in life."

A new hobby that McMillen enjoys in her spare time is soccer.

"Jeff introduced soccer to me this fall season, and we have enjoyed playing in the adult league with the Wilson United Soccer League," she said. She also enjoys exercising, reading and spending time with family and friends.

The woman McMillen most admires is her mother-in-law Peggy Keel.

"She and her family have opened their hearts to me in amazing ways. Peggy has not only welcomed me into her family, but has also given me opportunities and has encouraged me to start my own business," she said. "She is fiercely driven to make a difference. She is a woman who has accomplished so much and continues to inspire people to live healthy lives.

McMillen also admires author and activist Maya Angelou.

"Her courage to become something more than her raising or her life before she was able to make choices is something to admire. She chose to become an inspiration instead of a product of her environment and the uncontrollable actions of others," McMillen said. "She showed gracefulness, unconditional love towards others... I believe we should live a life for others, not for ourselves."

Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at sgarrett@wilsonpost.com.

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