How many children do you have and what are their ages?
I have two amazing little ladies Josephine, “Josie” age 12 and Valentina “Valyn” age 9. These two are the lights of my life and their sweet spirits and strength inspire me to be a better human every single day. Being a Mom is a super tough job and I especially commend all the single Mommas out there.
How long have you lived in Pearland? What made you decide to live here?
I am a born and raised Pearland girl. It’s been really something extraordinary seeing this little town grow so much over the years. I grew up on the East end of town and came back as soon as I could. I worked on & off for years at my parents Electrical Contracting company in Pearland called Vinco Electric. I also put in a few years as a hostess turned bartender in this little restaurant you may have heard of, called Gringos, while I was getting my BA degree in Communications from U of H Clear Lake.
I then went on to plan events for the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau which is how I met my husband Richard Machowicz “Mack” at a Super Bowl event in 2004. After we got married in 2005, I did a quick two years from 2005 – 2007 in Los Angeles while Mack was teaching and training his martial art called Bukido – and hosting seminars while getting his entertainment business off the ground.
When we found out we had our Josie on the way, we agreed that while he was traveling with his television show FutureWeapons for The Discovery Channel, I would head back home to Pearland to raise the kiddos near my parents and family. I was super close to my parents and I was beyond blessed to build a home 5 minutes away from them and have their constant love and support while Mack traveled so much.
In 2008, Mack and I, started a motivational business called Not Dead Can’t Quit – which was originally a Navy SEAL’s mental approach to accomplishing their goals in life. I had this crazy blessed life, so for me, I had a hard time relating to this amazingly tough man, actually an elite trained soldier, with super-human powers. It amazed me though that he remarkably turned all of his hardships around into positives, and never chose to be a victim of any situation. Although, at the time, I never had experienced a real deep challenge in life, I naturally supported him. I would travel with him to speaking engagements and we built this little family business all from Pearland, Texas – which was always a topic of conversation in fact.
He’d always ask, “how am I supposed to build an empire from Pearland, Texas?” But Pearland grew on him and just a few short years later, we really thanked God we did move back.
In 2012, tragedy struck our world. My parents were both killed in a 100-car pileup on I-10 on Thanksgiving Day. Just saying this crushes my soul completely all over again and sends chills up my spine. My people, my biggest fans, my Mom & Dad who were everything to us – in one earth shattering moment – were gone forever.
This is when I first personally realized, Not Dead Can’t Quit, is special.
I truly believe Mack was brought into my life to teach me the tools to survive this catastrophe. I was so fortunate to have moved back home to Pearland when I did and have that time with my parents – my girls’ DeeDee & PawPaw.
From there, I picked myself up off the ground and decided to make it my mission to keep my parents’ amazing spirit alive in my two girls lives and let them continuously know how lucky they were to have had the best Grandparents on the planet for the short time they did. We then moved to an older home which we completely renovated in Green Tee. I actually have childhood memories in this house with my Mother which I love. When I was little, my mom took me to a Mother/Daughter tea at this house and I still have a photo of us together from that day – that photo was taken in my now Master Bedroom.
I loved the renovation process so much, I started buying and flipping homes on my own. I had to keep my mind occupied, so I didn’t think nonstop about my parents. Things were getting back to my new normal then BAM out of nowhere in 2015 we learned my husband, at the age of 50, had terminal brain cancer. He was my rock who helped me through the worst disaster in my life and now it was my turn to pay it forward to him. We tackled Stage 4 Glioblastoma Multiforme like champs for 17 months – after we were told he had 2 possibly 3 months to live.
Our Not Dead Can’t Quit attitudes got us through some genuinely special times and great memories with our girls. Much love, laughter and tears were shared during those 17 months and on January 2, 2017 we lost our Mack, the girl’s Daddy to brain cancer.
Life is full of turns and twists. Everyone’s path and story are different. For us, we were faced with an unimaginable reality and Mack and I had tons of conversations about what my life would possibly be like after he was gone. I made a vow to him that if the situation arose, I promised that I would choose a person who would be good to me and our two little ladies. Little did I know that I would move on and find love again with my PHS High School 1997 prom date, Clay Hensley! Clay is a retired MLB Baseball Pitcher and World Series Champion from Pearland by the way. We have actually known each other for over 20 years and we both love Pearland and are glad to be here with our roots. He splits time between Pearland and San Diego to spend time with his two kiddos. I find peace that I have ended up with someone I have childhood history with here in Pearland. Clay knew my amazing parents and I love that He and Mack got along very well too. We never know what life has in store for us, but I do believe good things can come from outrageous situations.
So, here in Pearland, I turned my love for home renovating & real estate investing into a business. I joined forces with the super special and talented designer, Jody Cornelius. We currently have a general contracting, home remodel and interior design company together called Inspired By JAM. JAM = Jody and Mandy.
Jody is not only my best friend, neighbor and business partner – she has now also joined forces with me to take Not Dead Can’t Quit to a new level. We both believe that you do not have to be an elite trained soldier to have a Not Dead Can’t Quit mentality. It applies to every single individual in some way or another – at some point in your life. So, we are extremely enthusiastic to get fresh new printed material and a new podcast out to the masses in 2020 and build our little NDCQ Empire right here from Pearland, Texas! Check out our gear at ndcq.com. We want those who join Team NDCQ to look and feel good while they are hitting their targets in life!
Where’s your favorite place to eat and/or shop in your Pearland?
I seem to stay mostly within my little 5-mile radius these days. I love my old stomping grounds at Gringos of course and the convenience of having Golfcrest Country Club in the neighborhood has perks. Golfcrest is a great place to host meetings in the boardroom and an even better place for the kiddos to get out and run and play with no worries when I need to knock out some work in the grill or out on the patio.
Shopping usually takes place at the sweet Mother Daughter Duo Donna & Alex Rich’s Rich Girl’s Boutique, or my childhood friend’s boutique Stacy Stark’s Queen Bling and I also love to visit Tracy Gottfried at Mainstream Boutique. I truly love to have these shopping options so close to home. Each gal mentioned here is always so welcoming and helpful. They are all dear friends I love to support locally.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I love to be outside. Fishing and hunting make me happy. I also love to play poker. All of these sports bring back great memories with my parents. I was a Daddy’s girl growing up and I loved making unforgettable memories with him out on the boat or in a deer blind. I love that Clay loves the outdoors as well as all of our kids.
A family tradition Clay and I are building is to grab the kids, disconnect from the phones and gadgets and get outside with a rod and reel or a crossbow!
Poker, that’s a tradition that runs deep in my blood. It’s what we liked to do on the weekends with my two brothers, parents and our close friends.
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
Well, I only had my parents around until my girls were ages 2 & 4, but the love and skills they instilled in me have certainly made me the parent I am today. The wholehearted love and support they gave me will be passed down for sure and always be treasured. I feel blessed that my husband trained me to take a step back and assess the situation when I feel like I’m in a bind. To slow down until I see what is really happening in front of me and make the best decision for myself and my kiddos in that moment – no matter how minimal the circumstance.
I also feel that I learn more and more every day about who I am based on what I’ve been through. Every up and down in this life I am somewhat thankful for because right now we have gotten through so much heartache together, and still find a way to find the silver lining and to be positive as best we can. I can attest I truly have experienced how short life is and it simply helps me face each day with gratitude and grace as best I can.
Before Mack passed, he and I Co-Founded a nonprofit charity called Texas Team Foundation with some highly decorated gentleman which I have the pleasure of now serving as President.
This charity does just as much good for me and the girls as it does for the families, we provide support for. Our mission is to provide aid to any Military Branch and/or First Responder’s families in need in a tragic situation. This could be a loss of life of their hero, a flood, a house fire, etc. We’ve also recently joined forces with a local Retired Police Officer’s Union to contribute to a Plaque Program and provide personalized blankets to the family of Texas Police Officers or Troopers who have lost their life in the line of duty.
In fact, last Christmas, we learned of a State Trooper whose house burned down to the ground in Waco. Texas TEAM Foundation loaded up 4 vehicles with a new Christmas tree and décor and showed up on their temporary doorstep with gifts personally delivered by Santa Clause to their three children and a $5,000 check for the family.
It’s times like these – watching my children hand out gifts to these three sweet kids who had no idea whom each other were before that day. The three kids had no idea how much loss my children had been through and it didn’t matter. My kids had so much fun giving and making others smile. These, I believe, are the parenting times that help shape kids into being good humans. Any chance I can, I love to include the girls in our foundation work.
How has the Pearland community been instrumental in getting you where you are now?
Since I was a little girl the Pearland Community supported our family’s Electrical Contracting Business Vinco Electric, which to this day my two brothers VJ & Richard own and operate.
My church, St. Helen Catholic Church, especially my amazing Priest, Father Jim Courville who has been with me and supported my family though some unimaginable circumstances have been incredible.
The schools have been remarkable. I love that my girls have gone to the same Elementary School I went to and it just feels like home – and each teacher and administrator at Shadycrest has been so loving and kind to our little family.
The Pearland Community also supports Jody and me. We have had so much success already with all of our endeavors together in business here and I am so super excited to see what this fresh new decade has in store for us.
Where do you go locally for pampering or a Moms night out?
Well, for pampering I usually go to my Aunt & Uncle’s Salon in Pasadena called TnT Hair Salon. The girls and I are pretty on top of our manis and pedis close to home when we can make the time. I love Citrus Nails and Unique Nails.
Mom’s nights out are usually at home these days. And that is just fine by me.
Please share with us about your business and foundation:
TEAM NDCQ benefiting the Texas TEAM Foundation will be hosting it’s 3rd annual 5K at “The Rig” at Pearland High School on Sunday, May 17th at 8am. We Invite all Pearland Families to Join Us for a Fun filled Family Event with entertainment, raffles and awards.
We are so blessed to have an amazing Run Committee made-up mostly of Pearland Mommas who are leaders in this Community and know how to get things done!
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