by LINDA FRABL | photos by Spark Photography

Taking Risks

Sara Abolt-McCartin cherishes opportunities that enable her two daughters, Lauren, 11, and Paige, 10, to gain new insights into the world around them. For example, this past summer both girls not only got to travel with their father, Thomas McCartin, to NYC and Philadelphia to encounter exciting urban living, but they also got to immerse themselves in the simple country life by visiting the same Iowa farm that Sara was raised on. Sara commented, “I encourage my children to take risks in life, put themselves out there, and live from the heart. It is important to have a perspective on how different people experience love and family values.”


As an RN for oncology patients in the Interventional Radiology at La Jolla’s UCSD Thornton, Sara regularly allows her girls to visit the hospital and even talk with end-of-life cancer patients. She revealed, “This gives them a perspective of gratitude and reverence for just how precious our health really is.” To ensure that Lauren and Paige will truly appreciate their time here on earth productively, the girls are raised without a television in their home (although they all still surf the net together). Sara proclaimed, “We have made a conscious choice to fill our time with conversations and seeing real life in action, not projected from a screen.”

“I encourage my children to take risks in life, put themselves out there, and live from the heart.”

The girls have certainly benefited academically from this approach. Both excel in science and math while attending Design39Campus, and they also take fun enrichment classes such as movie-making, puppeteering, and musical theatre. In addition, the girls, who are only 11 months apart in age, participate in many shared activities, such as gymnastics, volleyball, basketball, swimming, and snowboarding.


Even though Lauren has lupus – an autoimmune disease that causes daily joint pain and requires frequent blood draws and medications to prevent inflammation – she combats the stress through yoga, massage, clean eating, and, Sara added, “a lot of humor!” As for Paige, she sets herself apart by singing falsetto notes with her extraordinary voice which, Sara exclaimed, “can brighten anyone’s day!”


Sara originally moved to the Del Sur neighborhood from University City in 2007 so her daughters could be a part of the Poway Unified School District. Now the brood lives in the Gianni section of 4S Ranch. Sara admitted, “We enjoy the family-friendly neighborhood, and being within walking distance to the shops and restaurants.”

Parent: Sara Abolt-McCartin
Children: Lauren (11, sixth grade at Design39Campus)
Paige (10, fifth grade at Design39Campus)
Community: Gianni and Del Sur since 2007
Hometown: Sara – West Point, IA
Occupation: Sara – RN
Pets: A lot of fish angels
Favorite Places to Visit in 92127: Jamba Juice, Lantis Nails, Sushi on the Rock, the library, Starbucks, Chipotle

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