Waco Moms Blog is Growing | Meet Valerie Kocel
My name is Valerie Kocel, and I can’t wait to share my crazy life stories with you through the Waco Moms Blog!
I was born and raised in Amarillo, TX and graduated from West Texas A&M University with a bachelor of music in music therapy. Don’t get excited, Aggies. I’m a proud buffalo. I completed my internship in Cleveland, OH and kind of met this guy at church. I say kind of because I never REALLY talked to him. Then I returned back to Texas, and when I visited Ohio again, he had a party for me. Yep. He had a welcome back party for a girl he didn’t know. That made an impression on me.
One thing led to another, and in 2005 I married my long distance Ohioan boyfriend, Paul, who was an officer in the Air Force at the time. He now owns and runs a production company with mobile staging, professional sound and lighting called Summit Group Event Services. We went on many fun adventures together while living in Ohio, Florida, Colorado and now Texas. We moved to Waco just 11 months ago!
I believe the best adventure we have enjoyed as a couple is being parents. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean this parenting adventure is perfect and always amazing. It’s far from it. What is “best” about it is how we get to do it together and what we have learned about each other along the way:
- Years of sleepless nights taught us to be content
- The first time we got poop on us taught us to not let it happen again
- Watching fireworks through the wide eyes of a toddler reminded us to live in the moment
- Feeling bone tired by the end of the day showed us how to have compassion
- Reconnecting as a couple when we finally found a sitter was just awesome and still is
- Watching each other be a parent has been fun
- This stuff is the BEST stuff of life.
Speaking of the best stuff, our daughter is almost 7, but according to her, she is “six and three quarters”. She is the most outgoing, friendly, goofy and talented little girl I know. We are so proud of her. I homeschool her part-time, and I am loving it so much. We also have 3 dogs who love running around on our little Kocel Farm and 2 little kittens who haven’t been accepted by the dogs just yet and are already plotting their revenge. Coming soon: the chickens, the goats and the cow just because I want a cow. If Paul will let me.
Besides living in a zoo, I am a board certified music therapist. If you haven’t heard of music therapy, it is a fascinating career. Music therapists use music to accomplish non-musical (and sometimes musical) goals, and the results can be quite remarkable. My focus is working with children who have a variety of disabilities or diagnoses and working in the hospital with patients of all ages. I also own a Music Together® center called Tiny Treble Makers where I teach music to littles and their grown-ups with a play-based curriculum that is phenomenal. I have a passion for bringing community to young moms through the classes I teach. Having young children can be a difficult time, and I do my best to help them feel supported while singing, dancing and having a blast! In addition, I just recently accepted a position as a part-time music teacher at a local private school. Things are crazy here around the Kocel household!
In a nutshell, I love eating healthy, finding unique ways to bake without using refined sugar, singing and playing piano, teaching, hiking, New York City, all things Disney, musicals, Trader Joes (why aren’t you HERE?), scrapbooking, ministering to moms, coffee and lots of it, dessert, and listening to jazz, the Gaithers, and Michael Jackson. And last but not least, I love being a wife, a mom and an animal mom!