Meet a Mom: Desiree' Melfi Bozzo, Director of Student Success & Advising and Life Out Loud Podcast - Greater Lansing Area Moms

It is Mon-YAY and the GLAMoms Meet a Mom is Desireé Melfi Bozzo.  Desireé is a mom (her son is A-DORABLE), she is the Director of Student Success & Advising for the Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Michigan State University and she is the host of Life Out Loud with Desireé Melfi Bozzo.  A podcast that is about to launch its third season this fall!

Learn more about this busy mom who lives by the idea it is not so much where you are but rather who you are with and do so while laughing and trying to have fun –  whether it be with her family, MSU students or Life Out Loud listeners.  And her ideas about mealtime are #spoton.  

Welcome to Greater Lansing Area Moms Desiree’, please introduce yourself!
I am Desireé Melfi Bozzo, Jesus Girl, Wife, Mama, Educator and Podcast Host… in that order. Anything out of that order and life just ends up slightly bananas and nothing short of a disaster. #realtalk

I was born in Florida and raised in the greater Lansing area. I am a Spartan twice over (Go Green!) I earned my bachelor’s degree in Fine Art (photography & graphic design) and headed out into the world. 10 years later, I earned my master’s degree in Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education.

My husband and I met at a local gym and have been together for 20 years and married for 15. We are both 100% Italian and love cooking and teaching our son all about our culture and traditions. Our free time is usually found spending time with family and friends. We enjoy a good round of golf, a competitive game of H-O-R-S-E (we have a lifelong competition going… I am getting smoked), and an occasional game of Connect-4 (also a lifelong competition… I am winning that one.)

Laughing is my favorite and I truly believe that there is always, always, always something to be grateful for.

Tell us about your son!  And aren’t kids just the absolute best thing in the world? 
Our son, Massimo Giannino is 5 1/2 and is 100% way cooler than I could ever hope to be. That little boy is proof that my heart can in fact beat outside of my chest – which is both terrifying and amazing all at once. He is a miracle from Heaven and we are so grateful for this gift of this boy… in the same breath, I like to fondly remember he is a miraculous gift in the middle of a tantrum to end all tantrums that only 5 year olds are capable of (Where are the Mom’s out there who feel me on this one!?) #FunTimes 🤣

We went through 19 months of an infertility journey before him and 24 months of an infertility journey after him (all of which you can read about on my blog). We lost 2 sweet babies along the way. For any Mama’s going through this right now – my heart aches for you. I fervently pray that you find ways to seek peace on the journey.

(If you are reading this shocked or mortified that I just shared this – because sometimes that reaction happens – please know that it’s a journey Hubbz and I wear on our sleeves because we believe in sharing we can come alongside others suffering and help them through a journey that, for lack of a better word, sucks.)

What do you think is one of the best parts about being a mom? 
There are so many amazing parts of being a Mama (also, not to sugar coat it… there are so many utterly bananas, what-in-the-world-is-happening-right-now moments too.) 😊 

For me, the best part – also the most humbling – is knowing that we have been given the responsibility of shaping a human soul. God entrusted this small human in our care and it’s the best gift we have ever been given. It’s absolutely mind blowing, watching this little boy develop and grow. I am so grateful we get to have a front-row seat to watch the man he will become.

I think one other amazing part of being a Mom is watching Hubbz be a Dad. He is an incredible Father to our boy. I love getting to see him as a Dad and have him as my bestie and partner as we raise our son.

What is a piece of advice for new moms you wish you would have known when you were a new mom?
My best advice for new moms is, you won’t break the baby. I had this awful fear that I was doing it wrong… but I promise, babies are resilient and you won’t break the baby! 

When our little guy was a newborn I remember standing over the bassinet fretting (which included tears) if I should let it rock or keep it still because I didn’t want him to be 40 and still need to be rocked to sleep – thankfully, he’s 5 and it appears to have worked itself out okay. 😂 (And this has also become a pretty laughable story all these years later!) So I say again, you won’t break the baby.

Please tell us more about Life Out Loud with Desireé Melfi Bozzo and being a Podcast host!
Ahhhh yes! I love being a podcast host. It’s my little space in the world where I get to mix life and mindset coaching with Jesus. It’s a place where I throw encouragement around like confetti and help people live wonderfully good lives based on biblical truth. 

The idea of a podcast kept showing up in different areas of life that weren’t connected. I knew I was being nudged in that direction and one day I decided, it’s time. I took the leap and here we are at the end of Season 2! Season 3 is being planned for a Fall 2022 launch. 

If you are interested, go have a listen. It’s light-hearted and fun and you will definitely leave feeling encouraged to go be your best self!

Do you have another gig (aka day job)? 
I do! I spend my days as the Director of Student Success & Advising for the Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Michigan State University. It is a cool job and we have a really great team working together to push our mission forward.

I teach 2 entrepreneurship courses at MSU, I create and implement brand and mindset coaching for our student-athletes and I advise students as they persist toward graduation.

In addition to my day-job I also advise a student org called Future Leaders in Sports and Entertainment (FLISE). I help students with goals of working in sports to network and sharpen the skills to get them to where they are going. We build the bridge for them to get from MSU to the sports and entertainment industries.

Does your Podcast and being the Director of Student Success and Advising complement one another?  
The work does compliment each other. In both roles, it requires getting into the worlds of others. Helping people dial-in on their goals and navigating the way to get there. Illuminating what stops us and leveraging the strengths that push you forward.

What are you looking forward to this summer!  Any trips planned?
My husband’s family lives in Italy and we try to go back every year to visit them. It has been difficult to travel there the past 2 years but we are planning to head back “home” this summer. 

Beyond that, lots of time pool-side with friends because in the Mitten, during the summer, pool-side is our best side! LOL 

How do you balance being a mom with all the amazing you offer to others?
Full-disclosure, sometimes it’s a well thought out balance and sometimes it’s triage mode. The peaceful balance calls on things like planning and consistency but we all know even the best laid plans can go bananas. When that happens (because it will) it’s teamwork and a little improv from Hubbz and I.

Our son has seen the inside of my college classrooms because sometimes life requires him to come to class with me (also, he loves it… I have a sneaky suspicion he only loves it because he gets cool snacks and screen time – but he’s happy) 😊 Sometimes we have dinner with all the food groups and sometimes it’s Chick-Fil-A. No matter what though, I really believe that our kids won’t remember what they ate as much as the company they ate it with – the environment in our homes. I don’t have control of much in this life but I do have control of the climate in my home – and that is where the balance is.

Here are a couple questions to get to know you better 🙂  

What gets you up in the morning?  
My alarm – 5:29 am. I get up, grab my coffee and spend the first parts of my day in quiet time with the Lord. It’s a practice that I have cultivated over the years. It hasn’t always been an easy practice (because sleep and I are kinda besties) so I have an accountability partner who has the same goals as me. We text each other when we are up in the morning. It helps knowing there is another Mama out there walking the same walk as you. My morning quiet time centers me, puts the day into perspective and just feels good.

Last book you read? 
There are 2 that I literally finished within days of each other.
The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers (anything by her is good for the soul)
Fiber Fueled by Will Bulsiewicz (if any of you love nerding out over your gut microbiome, ohhhh man, you are my people and this book is totally for you!)

An honorable mention I am currently reading through with my sister is The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

If you watch television, what is your favorite show?
Unfortunately, we don’t watch a lot of television outside of sports. There is one show that Hubbz and I did like (become totally obsessed with) and that’s Ted Lasso.
“Be Curious, Not Judgemental” and “Be a Goldfish”

Strangest item in your work bag?
A box of spaghetti and a pack of marshmallows for an exercise on problem solving with our student-athletes.

The children’s book you most enjoy reading?
I have 2:
We Love One Another by Rosanne Tersigni (she is also my Mama and she’s magic and grace all in one.)
All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon

Mind sharing a mom trick another mom will be happy to learn? 
On a cold snowy day in the mitten, when the air hurts your face and you’re stuck inside, fill the bathtub up, cover the floor in towels, put them in their bathing suit and let them play. Optional: Bust out the hot wheels track and see which cars make the biggest splash!

Oh my goodness, Desireè – this is so good!  Thanks for joining GLAMoms this week! 😊

Learn more about Desiree’ Melfi Bozzo, visit her social media accounts, podcast links and website!

Photo credits: 
Amy Carroll Photography and MSU Football

The Meet a Mom featuring Desiree’ Melfi Bozzo was brought to you by Kristin Ray.

Kristin Ray is a mother, a wife, a writer, a speaker, an author (children’s book FEARLESS), a saleswoman, a daughter, a podcaster, an activist, a sports lover and so much more.  Learn more more about Kristin Ray and her Broken & Brave blog about Parenting Through Trauma HERE!

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