Welcome to Grow Gators

Lily’s first Gator game, November 2013

Grow Gators began in November 2013 when as a new mom, I was on the search for all things Gator-related for my daughter Lily. As we approached her first Gator game at the Swamp, I was surprised at how hard it was to find info about bringing a baby to their first Gator game. Thus, this blog was born!

My husband, Jesse, and I are both Gator alumni. I graduated in 2002 with a B.S. in journalism and went back to earn my masters in advertising in 2007. We both worked at UF at some point or another as well!

We currently live in Orlando somewhere between Hogwarts and Cinderella’s castle. I met my hubby my freshman year outside Mallory Hall and we lived 10 years in Gainesville before moving to Central Florida. I am a marketing professional and have worked in several industries including hospitality, healthcare, horticulture, finance and education. In 2013, I became a part-time adjunct professor for the College of Journalism and Communications’ new online graduate program in social media.

2007 UF graduation

UF Graduation in 2007 with my masters.

After ten+ years of working in an office environment, I decided to explore other areas in my life including blogging, social media, teaching, and most importantly, being a Mama. In between diaper changing, feedings, and giving too many kisses to count, I love, in no particular order: spending time with family and friends, visiting Orlando’s theme parks, scrapbooking, social media, watching Gator sports, cheering on all the Boston pro teams, baking, planning parties, and shopping (for some reason, more so for Lily now, than for me)!

I also love to travel and am usually on the go with my little family. In the fall, you’ll find me in the Swamp cheering on the Gator football team. I am also my family’s self-appointed historian, taking photos, updating online albums and compiling printed photo albums.

‘Neath the orange and blue’ of this blog, I hope you find some good tidbits to help you grow your own lil’ Gators into proud members of the awesome Gator Nation.

~Jaclyn Rhoads

5 Comments on About

  1. Laurie
    December 13, 2013 at 8:40 am (10 years ago)

    Hi Jaclyn,

    Congrats on being a mom and this new website!! Love what you wrote especially about cheering on the Boston Pro Teams, as I am a fellow New Englander and love all of our sports teams up there. We miss you, but there have been lots of changes at Hammock Beach as well as the Reunion Resort.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New year to you and your family!!

    Laurie Mazzola
    Hammock Beach Resort

    • Jaclyn Rhoads
      December 13, 2013 at 10:37 am (10 years ago)

      Thanks Laurie! I am loving life – it’s been an amazing year! AND the Red Sox won 😉 Hope to see you in the spring/summer when we take a family beach trip to Hammock!

  2. cheryl abrahamson
    January 29, 2014 at 5:47 pm (10 years ago)

    I would love to advertise on Grow Gators with you. You purchased two dresses from me at the O”connel center in December. Please let me know how to do so via email. Thank you, Cheryl……..Avyanne Originals!!!

    • Jaclyn Rhoads
      January 29, 2014 at 7:49 pm (10 years ago)

      Hi Cheryl! Thanks for your inquiry. I will send you an email and we can discuss a customized advertising option for you.
      P.S. Your dresses got so many oohs and aahs from family when we opened them up during the holidays!

  3. Amy Hammond
    November 19, 2014 at 1:55 pm (9 years ago)

    I’d love it if you feature my book When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a Gator on your site; what a perfect fit!


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