Hello, and welcome to my blog! I’m am so thrilled that you’re here, and I can’t wait to get to know you! How about I go first?
I grew up in Kansas City, Missouri with my parents and younger brother (as well as a multitude of different pets). When I finished high school, I went off to college in Lamoni, IA at Graceland University (sadly, no association to Elvis). It was a small liberal arts school in a podunk little Iowa town, and I had an absolutely amazing college experience. After graduating with my BA, I moved back to the Kansas City area to start a masters degree at Central Missouri State University (now the University of Central Missouri). Finally, after receiving my MA, I moved to Austin, TX to start a doctorate at the University of Texas. This is where I met my awesome husband. We dated for about 11 months, were engaged for 8 months, and tied the knot in May 2008.
Shortly thereafter, we moved to Memphis because my husband had landed a job at the University of Memphis. Memphis often gets a bad rep, especially from those who live here, but we have absolutely loved it. There is so much history, culture, arts, and entertainment in this city. It’s really fantastic. Plus, we have Graceland – the one that IS associated with Elvis. 🙂
We have two crazy cats, Max and Elfie. My husband was a self-proclaimed cat-hater when we first met, but it didn’t take me any time at all to convert him. hehe
And in February of 2015, we welcomed our adorable, and hilarious, little girl into the world. Here are some pictures of us.
When my daughter was born, I stopped working in order to be at home with her. Long before we were even considering starting a family, I had a dream to start a blog. I have always loved being creative – music, crafts, home decor, renovating, etc. While I loved being able to be home with my daughter, and I really had no desire to return to work, I did feel a need to have something to call my own. I decided to finally get a blog up and running. I knew that it would fulfill my need to have my own “thing”, and allow me the creative outlet that has always been an essential part of who I am.
Being a mom is hard, and if my blog can encourage other moms, or help foster creativity within their lives, then I will consider this little blog of mine a success. (Quite frankly, I already consider it a success because I have been having so much fun with it.)
The name of my blog encompasses all of the things that I am passionate about. I believe in trying to live as healthy a life as possible. Without going into too much detail, I will just say that I had a bit of a health scare a few years ago. Everything is perfectly fine now, but it really prompted me to start being more conscientious about how I am living – the foods that I am eating, the products that I am using, etc. I have also always had a love of organization and decorating. I certainly can’t claim to be an expert in either, but I love playing around with them both. My husband can attest to the fact that I am frequently (re)organizing closets, cabinets, drawers (anything I can, really), and he is no longer surprised if he comes home to find a room in the house completely rearranged (ha!). Finally, I’m a mom, and, whether I want to admit it or not, that has consumed a lot of my identity. It’s amazing how much your heart changes after having a child. So, these are all the things that you will find me rambling about here.
Are you intrigued yet? Yes? No? Maybe?
How about a few things that may surprise you about me.
1. I used to be a professional pianist. It’s true! Both of my degrees are in piano performance. I never actually finished the doctorate I mentioned earlier. I started it with the intention to teach university after graduation. I quickly realized, though, that my passion lay in performing, not teaching. So, I didn’t finish that degree. Upon moving to Memphis, I decided to start finding work around the city as a professional musician. Having a husband in music at the university definitely helped me begin making connections, and before I knew it, I was completely swamped with work. Though I loved the job for the 6.5 years that I did it, it is not something that I wish to return to right now. Being a performer requires working a lot of nights and weekends. It also involves a constantly changing schedule, not to mention the countless hours of practice that must go in behind the scenes. I do still play occasionally, and may someday return to more regular performing, but for the time being, I am happy to set it aside.
2. I hate the cold. I absolutely hate the cold. My hate goes a little beyond pure sentiment though, as I actually have Raynaud’s phenomenon. This basically means my body’s natural response to cold is hypersensitive. I can experience discoloration and numbness in my fingers and toes during the sweltering heat of July if I am in a building that is blasting the air conditioner. Fortunately, I have what is known as primary Raynaud’s, which means it is not associated with any other medical issues. So, I simply have to do my best to keep myself warm. This means I rarely go anywhere without a sweater, I always have gloves in the winter, and I have a portable space heater in nearly every room of my house.
3. I used to compete in pageants. I can’t believe I actually told you that. I rarely mention it to new people, because there is such a stereotype surrounding it. I am about as far from the stereotypical “pageant girl” that you can get though. While in college, I had a professor encourage me to get involved because of how much scholarship money was available. I believe I actually laughed at him when he mentioned it, although I never forgot his encouragement. A couple of years later, for various reasons, I decided to give it a try, and for the most part, I really enjoyed the experience. I made some great friends, truly had a lot of fun, and I did win a fair amount of scholarship.
4. I have run 3 half-marathons. I’ve always been a fairly active person. I swam competitively in high school, was on the dance team in college, and took up running shortly after I got married. I don’t consider myself a true “runner” though. My motivation comes in fits and bursts, and I sometimes go through long droughts where I don’t run at all. Though my running has been a bit on-and-off, I have loved the 3 half-marathons that I have done. It feels amazing to get to the point where you are able to run 7/8/9 miles and beyond. There is something so freeing about it. I also love being outdoors, and running is a fantastic way to get out and just enjoy everything around you.
5. I can’t watch horror or gore, but I love reading true crime. Weird, huh? I have always been an avid reader. I loved reading as a child, and even now, as an adult, I read every night before I go to bed. Sometimes it’s only for five minutes, but since it’s often the only ‘me’ time I get during the day, I make a point to at least read a few pages. My mom actually got me hooked on true crime when I was younger (as in high school/college, not elementary school). I think I am fascinated by the investigation part of the story, but I absolutely cannot watch blood or gore. I have, however, become much more selective in what I read (and watch), since having my daughter. I have always been a bit of a sensitive person, but the sensitivity has really reached new heights now that I’m a mom. I never used to be a crier, but good grief, I can’t hardly seem to control it anymore.
6. My husband thinks that I secretly work for the CIA. Speaking of enjoying investigations, my husband is always joking about how I should work for the CIA. 1) I have a pretty impressive memory, although it’s far from photographic. (I think it comes from years of memorizing large quantities of piano music for recitals.) 2) I have a particular gift for remembering numbers – phone numbers, account numbers, credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc. – even if I’ve only heard or seen them once. Unlike my husband, who literally didn’t have my phone number memorized for about the first 4 years we were married. 3) I have a knack for noticing lots of small details around me that others may not pay attention to. (Paranoia probably.) So, I guess if the blog thing doesn’t work out, I’ll always have a back up with the CIA.
So, there you have it. That’s a little about me. I would love to know more about you! Please feel free to leave me a comment or get in touch with me however you’d like. I look forward to hearing from you!