The stunning transformation of Karen Pence

From Indiana mom of three to the second lady of the United States of America, Karen Pence's life has taken some interesting twists and turns. She counts now-grown children Michael Jr., Charlotte, and Audrey among her brood. According to Town & Country, Pence and her husband, Vice President Mike Pence, sat the kids down to talk to them about moving from their home state to Washington, D.C so their dad could become a congressman. The outlet reports the Pences have always made big decisions as a family. 

It's a family that was hard won, according to Mrs. Pence. "It took us six years before we were able to get pregnant with our first child," she admitted to The Federalist about struggling with infertility. "We were ready to start our family, and it just didn't happen." But she admits that struggle helped her be a better mom. "Because there are days in motherhood where you just want to pull your hair out, and we ended up having three children in three years, so we had three under the age of three for three months. And I've got to tell you, those days, really I was like, I don't even know if I'm even going to be able to get a shower in today!" Pence added, "And I think the fact that I realized I might be someone who never could have children, that I cherished the fact that I was able to have children and really valued that a lot more."

Karen Pence is a teacher and art therapy advocate

Art therapy has long been a passion of Pence's (via WhiteHouse.gov). Today, she runs Healing with the HeART, an initiative aimed at elevating art therapy so people understand it's not just arts and crafts. "Everywhere I go I see new uses for art therapy. From cancer, anxiety, PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, eating disorders, autism, end of life issues, abuse, and much more. In fact, anyone can benefit from art therapy," Pence shares about her initiative. She is also on the board for an organization called Tracy's Kids that brings art therapy to children with cancer.

Long before she chose to bring the issue of how art therapy can help with mental health to a national stage given her platform as second lady, Pence was an elementary school teacher for 25 years in Indiana. She still teaches art two days a week at a Christian school in Virginia, according to the New York Post. In an Instagram post, Vice President Pence recently praised his wife's dedication to teaching, writing, "During these challenging times where many teachers are teaching from home, like my favorite teacher, @karen.pence, thank you to America's educators for continuing to shape the minds of students across the Country and for giving them a place to learn, grow, and thrive!"

Karen Pence had to rise to the occasion on the national stage

After serving as a congressman, Mike Pence went on to be elected Governor of Indiana. From there of course, Donald Trump would choose him to be his running mate in the 2016 election (via WhiteHouse.gov). It was at the inaugural ball that Americans first saw Karen Pence steal the stage, by some estimates. 

According toYahoo Finance, many people felt she shined the most brightly that night in a bold-hued gown created by dressmakers in her home state. Of course, the look was not exempt from criticism — because there's always that! But Pence was proud to show off her Hoosier style. Dressmakers from Something Wonderful described how the look came together to WTHR: "Almost 40 yards of cobalt blue silk chiffon was used to create this softly flowing gown. Sewing together 13 half-circles created a dress that gently floats across the floor, but ripples when twirled on the dance floor. The hem measures 57 yards around. The bodice is ruched with very narrow spaghetti straps and draped chiffon over the arms."

Karen Pence has focused on getting fit and fashionable in 2020

Vanity Fair notes that Pence has completely changed her look of late. Her formerly business casual clothing has been "traded up" for sleeker, more sophisticated pant suits and dresses, according to the outlet. What's more, Second Lady Karen Pence changed her hair — she now sports a grown-out bob sans bangs. There has even been rampant speculation that the mom of three lost weight. "She really has had a total makeover, she looks great. She looks like she's happy, she radiates confidence," a family friend noted to VF. It's worth noting Pence's spokeswoman Kara Brooks has not publicly commented on her client's new look, or that there even is one.

That hasn't stopped social media from commenting. "Second lady Karen Pence has been looking GREAT, too. Obvious weight loss, hair style, younger look," tweeted one fan. "You look beautiful," an Instagram follower said. Despite the focus on her appearance, Pence continues to keep her mind on serious issues, including veteran suicide prevention (via WBTV).