Just west of Marion, Adam and Carolina Faulman are living the good life.
Putting family first, and making the most of each and every day.
Whether it’s coaching T-Ball, or volunteering with the PTO, the Faulman family enjoys being out and about and supporting their community.
And their kids – Reagan, Mila, and Samuel – mean the world to them. These days, Mila and Samuel are fortunate enough to get to see their mom while at school. For the past year, Carolina has worked as a Title I Math Parapro at Marion Elementary School.
When they’re not working, the Faulman family enjoys living the country life, raising cows, and pigs, and chickens. Hunting, fishing, traveling, and taking advantage of everything the area has to offer.
We caught up with Adam and Carolina recently, where we learned just a little bit more about their story. We learned that these two are much more than just a couple of faces in the crowd.
Marion Press: Carolina, where were you born and raised?
Carolina: So I was born in Mexico, in Mexico City. We lived there through kindergarten. We lived in different areas in Mexico: Tijuana for a little bit… My dad had always been self-employed. His dad was passing away – he wasn’t doing well health wise – and [his dad] was from Indianapolis, Indiana. So we moved there, and I went to school there.
I think I did first and second grade there, and then I went to Bedford, Indiana. My dad was originally from Otsego, Michigan, and he wanted to get closer to where he was from, so my mom and dad rented a house in Allegan. So I went from third grade all the way through and graduated from high school in Allegan in 2004.
MP: What kept you busy growing up?
Carolina: I was a tomboy. I liked to rollerblade, play basketball. It was always me and the boys and my little sister. Climbing trees, fishing, catching frogs, and turtles. Since my dad was self-employed, we traveled a lot – we did a lot of fairs and stuff.
MP: And Adam, what about you? Did you grow up in Marion?
Adam: We had lived with my mother until I was about 13, and then we moved to my dad’s house in Marion here. But I had been in the area my whole life, and I graduated from Marion in ’02.
MP: What kept you busy as a kid?
Adam: Work. Work and school, that’s all I did. I started working at Peterson Dairy in Winterfield Township for Scott and Linda Peterson. That’s where I got my start when I was 15. I followed the diary industry down south, and ended up in Kalamazoo. I was down there for 18 years, and we just moved back 2 years ago.
MP: What are some of your best memories from going to school at Marion?
Adam: Everybody you went to school with was your friend. Maybe you didn’t hang out with one person more than another, but you knew everybody. And everyone was your friend at school. I think back sometimes, I played football a little bit, but I found myself working too much. I was working to pay for my truck, and all those things a 17-year-old likes to have. But I do remember some hot summer days in August, when all the guys would get done with practice, and drive over to the gravel pits. Jump in the water hole and play. [Jamie] Fancett, and [Justin] Krchmar, and [Trevor] Eising. Dirt bikes, and motorcycles. Just living the country life. Hunting and fishing. But as far as the Marion school system, it was really the only school that I fit into. It was a school where people didn’t judge you as hard as the bigger schools.
MP: And Carolina, what were your first impressions of Marion? Was it a big change?
Carolina: So Allegan is bigger, but it’s still a small-town, where everybody knows everybody. Everybody is related to everybody. So us coming there, we didn’t know anybody. We weren’t related to anybody. So it’s the same. The only thing that’s different is that you’re not close to anything. Other than that, I baled hay, tossed some bales, owned rabbits, did the snowmobile thing. A lot of the same things we do here.
MP: Tell us about your job as a parapro at Marion. What do you enjoy the most about working there?
Carolina: I do Title 1 Math. I enjoy the kids. Building relationships. When I see them outside of school, they’ll come up to me, “Mrs. Faulman!” and hug me. It’s fun. It’s rewarding. I taught 3rd through 6th, but this year it will be 3rd through 5th because they moved the 6th graders up.
Adam: Some of these kids had a hard time, especially with Covid. They’ll struggle with their basic math, and she’ll help them, and she’ll work, and work, and work, and the kid isn’t getting it. And then they’ll take an exam and ace it! And she’ll come home and tell me, “I think I’ve finally gotten through!” So I think it’s rewarding for her to make that little bit of a difference. And we’ll be out in town, and a kid will come up and say, “Hi, Mrs. Faulman!” And I think that makes her feel good too. Just to be that little bit of a positive influence with those kids.
MP: And Adam, you work with the railroad. Tell us a little bit about your job.
Adam: I went to the railroad when Carolina was pregnant with Mila. So it’s been 6 years now. Currently, I’m with the Great Lakes Central Railroad.
Here, I’m what they call a maintainer, or a signal technician. I specialize in railroad crossings, and train detection equipment, and train signaling. PTC – Positive Train Control, I’ve spent a lot of time installing those systems. And none of that is up here – this is like the last wild west railroad, it’s very primitive.
My main job here is railroad crossings. I maintain, and fix, and repair every railroad crossing from Shepherd, north. All around Traverse City, all the way up to Elmira. Fife Lake, Kalkaska, Mancelona, all through there. I’ll be in Manton and Cadillac tomorrow, and then Traverse City [later in the week]. I travel a lot, but I’m home every night.
MP: What do you guys enjoy the most about living in this area, and being a part of the Marion community?
Carolina: That it’s a small town. Everybody knows everybody. And it’s nice that everybody knows my kid. Except for the time my kid ran out on the basketball court during the varsity game – “Yeah, that’s Adam Faulman’s kid!” That was embarrassing. But it’s nice that everybody knows each other. I like that.
Adam: It’s a slower pace. It’s nice being home, seeing familiar faces. Cleaner air. Less traffic. I spent a long time in Detroit, and there’s nothing like being up in the country. We can raise our own food, we can hunt, and fish. [Carolina] got her first deer this year.
Carolina: I started hunting. I went a couple times down south – never with a gun though – and sat in the tree stand with my brother-in-law, but never really got into it. This year I did, and I had so much fun.
And somehow I keep getting more barn animals to take care of: Cows, pigs, chickens, and a bunny.
MP: That’s my next question, what keeps the Faulman family busy in your free time?
Carolina: Feeding the animals, chasing the animals – the kids do a lot of that. We do a lot of frog and turtle catching around the pond.
Adam: Like this weekend: We visited with some people, and then yesterday we spent all day at the beach in Lake City. We’re kind of foodies, so we like to try different restaurants – no matter where they are. We like to travel, we like the beaches.
Carolina: And I still don’t know everybody, so if I get invited to something, it’s like, “We’re going!”
MP: Who have been your role models? What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Carolina: My mom, Laura. She’s a really good mom. She puts her family first. She sacrificed a lot for us. She’s a good mom. I wish I was more like her. She just has it together. And she’s a very good Nana.
“Put your family first.” My mom always says that. And it’s always her kids.
Adam: That is good advice. Family first. I think maybe you and I have learned that over time. It’s not really worth everything else. When you’re younger, you’re chasing that dollar, but as you get older, things slow down. Put your family first. None of that other stuff really matters.
Just west of Marion, Adam and Carolina Faulman are living the good life.