Cheryl Boisen worked in a myriad of interesting part time jobs while raising her children in Spokane Valley, but she never really had a career.
As an avid skier and sports enthusiast, she enjoyed working at Lulu’s Ski Shop for 12 years where her employer would work around her busy “mom” schedule. She also worked as a ski instructor while her kids hit the slopes or were at school. She coached softball at one point and worked at Carver Farms for a while. But raising her kids and supporting her husband in his career was always top priority – until all the kids left home 10 years ago.
Cheryl and her husband Erick, retired from the Spokane Valley Fire Department, raised their four kids in Spokane. Cheryl was born and raised in Southern California and moved here when she married her husband, a Spokane native, over 40 years ago. When their nest was finally empty, Cheryl missed the kids, but not for long.
Pictured: Cheryl Boisen. Submitted Photo.
She felt sad when that first football season started because she missed taking her girls to buy their homecoming dresses. She missed going to see the football games. “But then I got over it,” she said. “I knew this next phase of my life was going to be a great adventure for me and for my kids.”
By the time her youngest left for BYU-Idaho in 2000 they already had several grandkids and Cheryl had always been involved in skiing, boating and other activities so she never felt lost as some empty nester moms do. At some point she began to think about pursuing a real career. Since the 1980s she had an interest in real estate and thought she might someday become a Realtor. It took her a few years to study for the test because she was so busy “living” but she finally got serious in 2006 and became an agent.
Cheryl has worked at the Windermere Valley office on Indiana Avenue since 2006. She interviewed at several brokerages around town and found that Windermere was the best fit for her because of the family atmosphere she felt there. The people working in her office are friendly and they have a good time celebrating special occasions like birthdays and holidays.
“Other agents are willing to fill in for me when I’m out of town,” she said. “I really feel like we are a team.”
She also liked Windermere’s vision for improving and helping out in the community. A portion of the profits from every agent’s sale is donated to the Windermere Foundation, which benefits the community. Their office participates in a large community service project each year and they also collect and donate clothing and other supplies to local charities.
“It feels good to give back to the community,” Cheryl said.
With her bubbly, friendly personality, Cheryl finds her new career rewarding because of the people she gets to meet every day. She enjoys getting to know their needs and helping them find the perfect home. In some ways she still gets to act as “mom”, especially when guiding first-time homebuyers along the path of home ownership.
“I don’t care how many homes I have to show or hours I have to work, when I help someone find the best home for their needs at the best price possible I feel like I’ve really made a difference in their lives,” she said.
At times her job can be challenging. Learning how to use a computer and navigate through all the technical aspects of the job was difficult at first. She says she certainly could not have pursued a career in real estate while raising her children because of the extreme demands on her time.
“Sometimes I have to drop everything and go to work at odd hours,” she said. “I never could have done it while my kids were at home.”
While raising her kids Cheryl knew her family had to be her top priority. She felt the programs of the Church were divinely inspired and that she should follow the prophet’s council to be the primary nurturer of their children. Before taking any job or signing up for any activity she always questioned how her actions would influence her family. She prayed before making any decision.
“My ultimate goal was to make sure my kids were OK,” she said.
Even now that their kids have children of their own, family is still number one for Cheryl and Erick. They attend their grandchildren’s sports games, plays and church activities, sometimes splitting up so grandma can be at one child’s game and grandpa at another.
Even with her demanding new career and all the time she spends supporting her 13 grandchildren in their activities Cheryl finds the time to continue influencing young people through her calling as Girls Camp director in the Spokane 22nd Ward of the Spokane Valley Stake. Though she didn’t go to camp this year because of a recent knee surgery, she spent months helping all the girls prepare for camp through the pre-certification process.
“Life keeps handing me new adventures,” she said.
Cheryl advises young mothers missing a career while raising their kids to enjoy the years they have with their little ones because it goes by so fast. She enjoyed her own children so much and never wanted to miss a minute of their growing up.
“Enjoy those moments,” she said, “because pretty soon they’re off to college.”
Many women find the prospect of all their children leaving the nest a difficult and lonely one. When all you’ve been called for 30 years is “mom” it’s hard to re-adjust. Cheryl’s attitude for this phase in her life was optimistic. She would encourage women to ask themselves what they always wanted to do if only they had the time?
“Research what interests you,” she said. “Volunteers are needed all over the place: at the Temple, in the community…There is so much to do.”