*How Does She Do It is a recurring feature where I interview fabulous women I know.*
Today I’m sharing a little bit about my friend Brooke Yoder. If her name sounds familiar it’s because her husband is a Congressman running for re-election. Many of you know I have a background in politics, which has afforded me a peek behind the curtain at what running for office is like for candidates’ families. Often they are judged harshly and unfairly. I actually met Brooke at the NFL 101 Awards about 7 years ago before her husband won Dennis Moore’s old seat. She instantly struck me as an elegant, timeless, independent woman with a quiet self-assurance that hints that she is always gracious by choice, but she notices everything. Over the years I’ve seen her at fundraisers, baby showers, and parties, and I think the Brooke I love the most is the one in her KU T-shirt holding a beer bottle and lighting up when she sees her friends walk into the room so she can embrace them in a big hug. So politics aside: if you’ve ever been curious what it’s like to be a Congressman’s wife, here’s a little background you might find interesting.
EK: You’ve always had a lil Southern Belle vibe I love. Where are you from originally?
BY: I was born and raised in western Kentucky near a town called Morganfield, located in Union County. (Every place in rural Kentucky is known by its county.) I attended the University of Kentucky and graduated with a degree in Agriculture.
EK: How did you meet your hubby (Congressman) Kevin Yoder?
BY: Kevin and I met in Washington DC. He was a law clerk at the Pentagon and I was working in the US Senate.
EK: What are the best and worst things about being a campaign wife?
BY: Best is all of the interesting people you meet along the way. Our country is full of amazing people with great stories to tell. The worst is the judgment you receive from people who don’t know you. I also fear for my children as they are exposed to all of the negative attention.
EK: Yes. I think the mom thing would be the hardest part. Speaking of that, I hate to sound sexist because people never ask men this, but you’re a hot mom, so I’m curious, how do you stay in shape/practice self care?
BY (laughing): I have NEVER been called that. I wish I could say I worked out and ate the way I should. I do the best I can. I eat lots of vegetables and clean protein. I do enjoy working out, especially spinning and yoga, but I never make the time for it anymore.
EK: Who’s your favorite character from Scandal?
BY: ALL OF THEM! I am obsessed with this show right now. I just started watching it this summer as a recommendation for something to keep my mind off the campaign. The show is completely unrealistic, but I love every second of it. Is it just me or does every Shonda Rhimes show make you want to drink wine?
EK: How have you JUST NOW STARTED SCANDAL?? *remembers you’re way busier than me, then changes subject before launching into ode to Kerry Washington and accidentally telling a million spoilers while contemplating pouring a glass of red wine. PS Crate and Barrel has Olivia Pope wine glasses and they are on sale right now.* Do you want your daughters to go into public service someday?
BY: Sure. I want my girls to be gracious and care about their community. Public service can take many forms so whatever path they choose, I want them to take pride in making the world a better place.
EK: Do you ever have moments where you feel like people define you by your husband’s job? As an accomplished woman in your own right, how does this make you feel?
BY: I came to terms with my husband’s success years ago, but when we were first married, I would get jealous when people didn’t recognize my success. It took me a lot of time to figure out that his successes are mine as well and our marriage isn’t a competition. Also, my husband is the most supportive partner anyone could ask for, so I am pretty lucky.
EK: Favorite mom/life-hack?
BY: Red lipstick when you feel crappy!
EK: Yesss. Mine is extra eyeliner, but same principle. Most comfortable pumps you own?
BY: For me, you cannot beat LK Bennett! I can wear those all day every day. And I do most days right now.
EK: *Immediately googles LK Bennett. Drools over Fern Grey Glitter Closed Courts.* What are you most proud of about yourself?
BY: I am the first person in my family to go to college. The law degree I earned from the University of Kansas is one of my proudest achievements. At the risk of sounding completely cheesy, I’m proud of the parents Kevin and I are. I never knew how incredibly difficult and rewarding parenting can be. On the days you “get it right” there is no better feeling in the world.
EK: Even though you’re name isn’t on the ballot, you have an integral role and unique position to influence politics in our state and country at a time where a lot of us feel like we are walking on eggshells. Do you have any aspirations to have “Brooke Yoder” on the ballot?
BY: There is 0% chance I would ever run for office. I admire the women who do run, but that isn’t me.
EK: Ending on a light note, what’s a little tidbit people wouldn’t expect about you and Kevin?
BY: Kevin and I are total nerds and we geek out over the silliest things. One of our favorite date night is to sitting at a bar during March madness, eating wings and competing at Trivia. (I’m better, but he’s funnier.) Actually what attracted to me about him in the first place is how smart his sense of humor is. What’s not to love!