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Emily Foreman Babineaux

Dec 01, 2015 03:50PM ● By Nicole LaCour
Sure, she was homecoming queen, prom queen and president of her senior class. And yes, this beautiful, quick-witted young woman was also a cheerleader and a star athlete, involved in every club, a natural leader to her peers. Given to another soul, these qualities might have resulted in a classic “mean girl” — but Emily Foreman Babineaux is the anti-Regina George. She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. “Driven, humble and fun,” her mom Debbie Foreman called her. And it’s the humble part that both defines her character and generates the praise and affection she inspires in her family, friends, colleagues, clients and her 

“There’s nothing special about me,” she claimed, “I don’t have this “wow” factor. I’m not super talented. I’m boring, just normal,” Emily said. Try telling that to her family and friends. “How do you even do this?” her friend Monica Dupuis asked her after witnessing a day in her life. “I can’t even deal with your life.” 

“She makes life look easy,” her mom said. And she makes life easier and fun for others as often as she can. She will be the last to tell you, but the people who know her best tell stories of acts of generosity, kindness and even silliness not often witnessed in peers who match her ambition and abilities. “She scrubbed the bathrooms at school as part of a service club,” her father Randy Foreman remembered. “She always wanted to pitch in.” She’s quietly and gracefully helped friends when they needed her — at times sharing her own good fortune but mostly by giving her friendship and time. 

 Emily is a fourth generation realtor, mother of two small children, wife to Charlie Babineaux and a dedicated member of her community. She is the second of four children, raised in a fun, loving household where she was taught the values of kindness from her mother and self-deprecating silliness from her father, a notorious comedian who Emily’s friends always wanted to hang out with. “I’m lucky,” Emily said, “I had good role models.” Luck, good fortune and sincere gratitude carry Emily through her busy days. “I came into life easy,” she happily concedes, “Life is fun. I don’t sweat the small stuff or get worked up about things that are not important. I just take a deep breath and try to stay present, in the moment.” 

At 33, Emily has already been in real estate for a decade. She is the youngest person to be named Realtor of the Year by the Realtor Association of Acadiana. Every year she is more successful and she has a secret weapon: She listens and cares about her clients. “It’s not just about the sale,” Emily said. “It’s about finding the right fit. Sometimes I talk people out of a house rather than into one.” Emily learned from her mother, a long time realtor herself, the importance of relationships. “I inherited from her more than I ever thought I would,” Emily admitted with a laugh. 

 “People choose a realtor based on reputation. Ultimately they come back to you,” Emily said. “It’s important to find the right fit.” Emily said she enjoys the excitement of watching clients buy a house. “It’s a big deal. It might be the biggest purchase a person makes.” She thrives on the odd schedule, the different personalities and the varied situations people come to her in. She’s sold everything from a sixty thousand dollar home to a 1.8 million dollar house. “Some people need hand holding and some know exactly what they want. You want to do a good job for everyone,” she said. “It’s fun. It’s been good to me,” says Babineaux.

Emily followed in her mother’s footsteps after years of watching her, listening to her phone conversations and seeing first hand the personal care she gave her clients. But she didn’t always want to be a realtor. Emily was determined to move to New York. When she was in high school, she and some friends took a trip there and Emily, of course, ended up on “Total Request Live,” when she was picked out of a crowd to introduce a video on the live show. “She wanted to be the next Oprah,” Monica said. Emily earned a scholarship to a liberal and performing arts school in New York. But even with the scholarship, it was more than the Foremans could afford, facing four children in college. Her parents convinced her to begin with some core courses at LSU. “I had to drag her there,” Debbie said. “She thought I was going to give in. After a week at LSU, she was like, ‘Go Tigers.’” She loved it there and formed friendships that remain with her today. Majoring in mass communication, as she approached graduation she was pulled again to real estate. She took a few courses and told her mom, “I really want to do this.” She had her first real estate job at 23. 

Today, she begins her days with the kids waking her up. Then it’s “get them dressed, fed, hair, teeth, lunchbox…all that good stuff.” Charlie brings Evangeline, (4) to school and Emily starts working. “I start answering e-mails and scheduling appointments. I do my makeup with the speakerphone on and try to keep Deano, (2) occupied. When I hear silence, I know something’s wrong. I’ve got my hands full with him.” At the end of the day, Emily tows the kids to extracurricular activities, enjoying the precious in-the-car conversations. “You can’t get that time back,” she said. Not much of a cook, Emily prefers to grab a healthy meal and take it to a friend’s house. The kids eat and play together and Emily spends time with friends who are also juggling family and career. “They get it,” she said. 

“I’m sorry I have nothing exciting or crazy,” Emily laughed. She really does think she’s normal, doesn’t she? Emily Foreman Babineaux is far from the norm. What she is, is happy. We all know that being born into relative good fortune and a stable family, being blonde, beautiful, smart, talented and even driven, does not intrinsically guarantee a happy person or a happy life. Happiness is a state of being that comes from your heart, from your soul. Its ingredients are compassion, empathy, love, fun, peace and gratitude. It’s a state that takes practice. Emily practices it every day, when she plays with her kids on the floor, serves her community, helps strangers and friends, patiently works with her clients and shares her contagious silliness with the world. She is not the norm, she is exceptional. 

KIDS to keep coming home for Christmas?
When Debbie and Randy Foreman realized their adult children, each living in a different city, might not always want to come home for the holidays, Randy, the mastermind, came up with an idea. They were tired of spending money on gifts their kids didn’t like or returned. So, step one of Operation Keep the Kids Home, was: Switch to all cash. But that wasn’t enough. They  weren’t going to merely hand out envelopes with Christmas bonuses in them. No, that’s not how Debbie and Randy Foreman roll. The four siblings, Michelle, Emily, Randy and Miles would have to earn the money by playing intricate, goofy and sometimes physical games.

It starts with a theme or a costume, though Emily claims photographs or video are forbidden. One year Randy dressed as an elf, another time a cowboy. And he makes up riddles. “I might put in a bag, an alarm clock, plastic worms and a little bird. And the answer is ‘the early bird gets the worm.’ I can do hundreds of these.” One year, everyone had to wear snuggies. another year, Foreman Family Olympics was added to the repertoire and four adult children competed to see who could push toy ducks across a pool with water guns as they navigated
an obstacle course. 

“My wife and I live for family.” Randy said. “It’s all about the spirit of the holiday. Just goofy, silly fun to keep them occupied and keep them coming back.” In ten years there has only been one Christmas when one sibling couldn’t make it. I guess the fun and family bonding is working. Or maybe it’s the cash. “I like to sit and watch them count their prize money,” Randy said. Emily is the only married sibling and she and Charlie plan Christmas time around the Foreman games. I feel sorry for future in-laws who are hoping to have their kids and grand-kids home for the holidays. Randy and Debbie Foreman are hard to compete with. 


Story by: Nicole LaCour
Photo's by Penny Moore Photography
Copyright FACE Magazine 2015. All rights reserved.

December Issue