I was adopted as an infant and grew up on a cattle ranch in Northern California, just south of the Oregon border. I believe with all my heart that I was meant to be my parent's child... God just got me there a different way. I haven’t grown any taller since I was 12 and my imagination has always been the biggest thing about me. When I was little I dreamed of being an astronaut, idolized Sally Ride and went to Space Camp. Twice. Which will either make you really cool in some people’s books… or really really nerdy.
I’d choose the country over the city any day and camping over the beach every time. I love the energy of New York City, the cobble stone streets of Europe and the sun-kissed beaches of Hawaii; but the mountains, valleys, rivers and lakes of the Pacific Northwest whisper and tug at my soul, feel the most like home, and will always be my favorite destination.
I love quiet moments and cozy evenings at home with my family. My closet overflows with stripes, polka dots, dark blue jeans, ballet flats, soft sweaters and Fossil watches. I love red wine, cider beer, Downton Abbey, Anne of Green Gables and books I can hold in my hands. I own all seven seasons of The Golden Girls and watch them to fall asleep at night. I love our church, and listening to the Cageless Birds station on Pandora. It seems I hardly ever use my phone for talking but instead for Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, podcasts and Audible. I love to see family and friends face-to-face, but relish Skype calls in between real life hugs and Voxer conversations with my best friends.
I am a mix of classic and modern; a little of then and a bit of now. My heart sings for the things that last like large leather albums and small silver frames but I adore digital downloads and Netflix. I love vintage design and modern technology; all things Apple, Nike, Nikon, Banana Republic, JCrew and Pottery Barn. I love printed books I can turn the pages of and digital ones I can swipe through. I read To Kill a Mockingbird every summer and feel sad every January when I put away the Christmas decorations. Black and white movies are my favorite. If it stars Audrey Hepburn or Cary Grant I’ve seen it and adore it. I take more photos with my iPhone than my fancy expensive camera. I love bright happy colors, but black and white photographs leave an imprint on my soul. If words of inspiration, faith and knowledge were a cereal I would eat them every morning with my cup of Twinings English Breakfast tea.
I was a cheerleader at the University of Oregon, GO DUCKS! and graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism & Communication. My first job out of college was the same job I had during college… teaching cheerleading camps. My first job in the journalism world was at KTVK Channel 3 in Phoenix in the Marketing department. A couple years later I found myself working for a production company traveling the country as the Parts Producer on the reality television show NASCAR Angels. I know more about replacing the parts, especially the engines and air conditioners of old cars than I ever thought I would. Just before our daughter Lily was born I did what comes so naturally to an entrepreneur and quit my job to become self-employed full-time. I wanted to be home with her while she was little and not miss any of it. My business started with project management and evolved quickly into graphic design, web design and eventually wedding photography.
I spent five years as a wedding photographer documenting the engagements and weddings of so many wonderful, joyful brides and grooms. It was a blessing to be a part of their lives for short periods of time and I am so glad to have given them photos to remember the day their marriages began. But as much as I loved wedding photography I felt God calling my creativity in a different direction. I didn’t grow up with a camera in my hand like so many other photographers. I grew up with words and stories on my heart and a notebook in my hands. But I was scared. I was scared to go in the direction of my big dream. Scared of what failure might look like and feel like. And then I experienced failure; fabulous, life changing, all consuming, bottom of the barrel failure. I opened and closed a business in 9 months that failed so fabulously it made my head spin, my heart hurt and brought me to my knees. It was a collective creative space for photographers and creatives. It was the thing everyone said they wanted, but turned out no one wanted to pay for. It was humbling. It hurt a lot. But I learned a lot. I learned that we are not defined by our failures if we choose to be defined by something bigger than ourselves. Through it all God and my husband loved me, encouraged me and lifted me back to my feet. As a result my faith is deeper, our marriage is stronger and life will never look quite the same and I am so incredibly grateful for that.
In 2014 I took a full-time job with the website company I have been using since 2010. Being part of the Showit team was a wonderful opportunity and a blessing. While I never made it to outer space as an astronaut I did get to work in the Showit Mothership for almost two years. While at Showit I handled Community Relations and worked closely with our amazing Showiteer community and industry partners in the photography and creative world. When my husband and I decided we were ready to turn our lives upside down and inside out in order to chase the dream of a more intentional life and one free of credit card debit it meant leaving Arizona and that meant leaving the team at Showit. I will always look back on my time there fondly.
In June 2016 my husband and I gave away 75% of our personal possessions, sold our house and used the proceeds to pay off more than $60,000 in credit card debt. We went from living in a 3,600+ square foot home in a beautiful neighborhood in Gilbert, Arizona to sharing a 400 square foot room with our daughter on my family’s cattle ranch in far Northern California. We believe that God desires freedom not bondage for His Children and the freedom we’ve found being credit card debt free is worth far more than the lifestyle we enjoyed enslaved to debt.
Today I am a writer and speaker focused on encouraging Christian women to grow lives that grow God’s Kingdom. I am passionate about the right to life, contentment over consumption and sharing the Gospel. I am currently working on writing my first book and enjoying being a work-from-home mom. I put my faith in Jesus Christ and wait in joyful expectation of His second coming.
The reality is this: probably only my mom will ever read this whole thing.
So here you go mom (and mom's friends). A few details about me.