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Nicole Jennings, wife of Minnesota Vikings wide receiver, Greg Jennings,is an inspiration. As a busy NFL wife, mother of 4 children, philanthropist and more, Nicole is grounded in her faith and balanced in her daily life. Learn more about Nicole, her family and her full life below!
Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
I am a mother of 4 beautiful children, a wife, business owner, and a philanthropy junkie. I love to stay busy, but at the same time spend time with my family. I love to help those in need, especially children who are under-served in the communities we are actively a part of. I think my longing to help others comes from growing up in a family that had a period in life when we had to rely on aid from others to make our ends meet.
How long have you and Greg been together?
Greg and I have been married 9 years on June 25th. But we are also “high school sweethearts”.
Where did you meet?
We technically met in middle school (7th grade) but he first saw me at a community band concert in the 6th grade.
Is it true? Did Greg propose to you on Mother’s Day? Spill the deets!
Yes, we got engaged on Mother’s Day. He told everyone the game plan going in, except me of course. We went to Sunday morning church service at his parent’s church, and went to his house for dinner afterward. All of our family was there, not too abnormal. They started playing a movie that had all of his siblings in it talking about their Mom and how great she was. Greg’s part was the last one on the movie. He was saying all these amazing things and come to find out he was talking about me!! When the movie ended he was on one knee, holding a ring. And then I turned on the tears and the rest is history.
Growing up did you play any sports?
I was a cheerleader. Greg always says that’s not a sport, but I trained and had practice so I’m calling it a sport. (smile)
What changes did you two experience once Greg was drafted in the NFL?
We experienced a lot of changes entering into the NFL. I think one of the major things that we experienced was the lack of privacy, and increased media attention. I think we knew it was part of the deal but never really understood how intense it would be until we got in the league.
What’s it like being a mother of 4 and an NFL wife? How have you found balance during the season?
Being a mother of 4 and an NFL wife is not only the most fulfilling thing in the world, but it also takes a lot of work. I think the one thing I have on my side is Greg is so hands on that when he is around I don’t feel totally overwhelmed. He is always asking what he can do to help, and I always have a list for him!
I am an organization fanatic, so I plan things months in advance. That’s the biggest thing that helps me out with such a busy home life.
Having been in the league for several years, what advice can you offer new wives? In the same breath, did any veteran NFL wives take you under their wing when coming into your first season?
Being in the NFL 9 years, I have learned A LOT. I cannot say I know it all, as I’m still learning everyday as well, but I think the most important thing that I have learned is how important it is to have God rooted in everything that you do. So often people come into the league and take things for granted or think they are there on their own accord, not giving any reverence to the One who blessed you to get to this level. Being in the league is an easy come, easy go business. The biggest advice I can give is to remain humble and take it all in while you can, because just as easy as you entered into the league, you will most certainly enter out.
Unfortunately I didn’t have any one person give me any sound advice on being an NFL wife when we entered into the NFL, but I thank God I have a little bit of wisdom and I was able to discern a few things out for myself that kept us out of any real issues.
As everyone knows, Vikings-Packers have quite the rivalry. What has it been like since Greg went from Green Bay to Minnesota?
That move was definitely hard for our entire family. We bought our first home in Green Bay, our children were all born there, we have friends, and relationships there we had to leave. But I truly believe that particular season in our life had come to an end and God had a different plan for us. I had to remember that change is good, especially when it’s part of God’s plan for your life. It may not feel the best at the moment but the end result will make everything you went through so worthwhile.
Being in Minnesota has really been a blessing. We found an amazing school for our children, we found a home we love, and everything has been seamless from an off-the-field standpoint. I think this past football season was definitely a humbling experience, but I believe in my heart that the best is yet to come.
What would you say is the best part about being an NFL wife? The worst?
The best part of being an NFL wife I would have to say is being able to use the sports platform to reach so many people when it comes to giving back. We are able to literally tell the world (via social media, interviews, etc) the things that we are most passionate about and people listen. We can promote our family foundation, get kids to come to our football camps, etc. just because people love football and want to know everything Greg is doing and is a part of.
One of the hardest parts of being an NFL wife is dealing with individuals who lack the concept of boundaries. I think that occasionally people can get a little too excited in one way or another, and they do or say something that may not be the best decision. But I have to take those things for what they are and not let it get under my skin. Sometimes that’s easier said than done.
You recently launched your site, ThePoshMommy.com, at the end of January. Tell us a little more about it. What was the inspiration behind the business?
My new website was launched to not only promote all the many hard working women associated with professional sports across the world, but to promote the charities that these women hold near and dear to their hearts. We always hear about the negative things that are affiliated with athletes and their families, but you rarely hear about the many lives that are changed by these professional athletes and their families through the various charities they are a part of and the many philanthropic efforts they support. I am using The Posh Mommy, to be a vehicle to drive attention to these charities as well as help clean out a few closets of women who have good taste. I’m connecting charity and fashion in a way that I personally have never seen done before.
A portion of proceeds collected on The Posh Mommy will be donated to nonprofits, correct?
Yes, The Posh Mommy company will be donating a portion of its proceeds to 3 of my favorite charities, as well as the women consigning their items on the site have the option to pledge a portion of their proceeds to any charity which they choose.
Both you and Greg are very active in the community, giving back whenever you can. What’s the most rewarding experience of being an NFL wife and having the ability to help the less fortunate? Greg Jennings Foundation helps the underprivileged children. What inspired Greg to start this charity?
Our charity is actually based on youth and education. We are trying to bridge the gap in the area of education because we know that knowledge is power. If you know better, then you will do better. So many children are not taking advantage of things because they lack the knowledge. We are aiming to host and support programs that assist in the area of educating our youth and empowering them to want and strive for more than what may be around them. We feel so strongly about it because we know that to whom much is given, much is required, and we have been blessed beyond measure, so it’s our duty to bless others along the way.
What are some things you and the family like to do during the offseason?
TRAVEL, TRAVEL, AND TRAVEL some more. During the season, we are literally stuck at home unless we are traveling to away games. So we try and take the kids away as much as possible during the off season. Living in Minnesota and Michigan things can get a little cold, so we typically aim for vacations with warmth and beaches.
Any words of encouragement for new NFL wives?
Absolutely, stay true to who you are, but most of all stay true to God and your family. Everyone will always say what you should have done, or what they would have done if they were you… but the reality is, no one knows what they would do until put in that very situation. Be the best mother, wife, or girlfriend you can be and leave the rest up to God to work out on your behalf. One thing I think is most important is that I believe you can’t make it on your own merit, you definitely need someone stronger than you to guide your footsteps. For anyone coming into the world of professional sports who doesn’t have an authentic relationship with God, I would encourage getting one, because the professional sports world can eat you alive if you’re not careful. When things are good, you’re great, but when things are bad…it can be really bad. And if you don’t have something in your life that is a constant, that never wavers, then your mind will be totally consumed by the things of the professional sports world.
NFL wives travel quite a bit… favorite city? Favorite stadium?
I do travel a lot. Especially to places with good shopping like NYC, Seattle, and San Francisco.
But my all time favorite stadium is the new Dallas stadium. Spacious seating – every seat is a good seat with that huge jumbotron – and they have the best stadium food I have ever tasted.
Having just come down from all the Super Bowl Weekend hype, what better time to reminisce. What was it like during your championship experience? Favorite memory from that game?
Our championship experience was amazing. We went with a great team, and we had our family there, so we will have memories that will last a lifetime. My favorite memory of the Super Bowl we were a part of would have had to be the post-game on-the-field time we had with our kids. Our oldest daughter was totally amazed by all the confetti and wondered who was going to clean up the big mess.