About me: the extended version

In case you’re curious–and that’s a wonderful quality, in my book–here’s a little bit about me. Some of it I’ll include on my “About Me” page, but I feel like I owe it to anyone reading to tell you more about the source of these words.

I like to say that I’m a Jane of many trades. 

Although I haven’t practiced or played in many years, I was once a skilled musician, with training in piano from age seven and training in oboe from 6th grade through a four-year college degree, earning a Bachelor of Music from Baylor University in 1996. Music is in me and definitely colors my experience in the world.

I also hold a Master of Divinity from Baylor’s Truett Seminary, where I graduated in 1999. I served as an Associate Pastor for four years in San Antonio, TX, and as a Pastoral Resident (through a grant from the Lilly Endowment) for two years in Dallas, TX. I was ordained in 2001. Though I no longer serve as a congregational minister, I remain a dedicated Christian and am currently an active member of an Episcopal Church in the Houston area.

I am a romantic at heart, a four on the Enneagram (the “designer”) if you’re familiar with that kind of thing. When I married my husband, Todd, and moved to Chicago in 2005, I left behind most of what I’d done before to design a new life. (I’m not saying that’s the way it needs to be done, just saying that’s what I did.) It was an adventure, to be sure, and a time in life I will always remember and be grateful for having. It was also the beginning of a long transition to finding myself in a new, dynamic stage of life, from single to married, then wife to mother, first of one then of two, and the changes never seemed to stop. That’s where many of my newer interests came into play.

No doubt many posts on this blog will draw from the biggest plot twist in my life thus far, the birth of my son and the advent of more change and challenge than I ever expected. It was his insurmountable intensity, even as a preschooler, that led me to discover the Nurtured Heart Approach® (NHA). I will reference NHA often (and Children’s Success Foundation, which stewards the approach), as it has had a tremendous impact on my entire family. 

After a couple years of using NHA in our home and seeing the transformation in my children (not to mention in myself), I was inspired to write a series of storybooks based on Nurtured Heart Approach that would both entertain children and model the techniques for adult readers. I like to call them “hybrid” storybooks. To date, I have published two books in what will ultimately be a series of four. Both books, Saturday Surprise and Playtime Pickle, are available through my Square store, Wild Poppy Productions, and Amazon

In the summer of 2015, before the publication of my first book, I became a Certified Trainer in Nurtured Heart Approach. At the time of this writing, I am an Advanced Trainer, and I was recently elected to serve as Vice President on the Children’s Success Foundation Board of Directors.

My newest venture is the discovery of Scout and Cellar clean-crafted wine. For anyone who loves wine or believes in clean eating (or both), Scout and Cellar wine is a game changer. I first learned about it in August 2018 through a friend’s Facebook post, and I was immediately interested. I bought two bottles, loved them both, and decided to join the clean-crafted wine movement by becoming a Scout and Cellar consultant. For the full story, read My Scout and Cellar Story.

So you see why I like the title, Jane of many trades. I am a rarely-home stay-at home mom of two highly intense kids, Isaac (10) and Gillian (7), married to my husband, Todd, who still makes my heart flutter after almost 14 years of marriage. I am a children’s book author, I teach a parenting method, and I sell wine. My life is rich and full, if not always rosy. And I’m finally ready to share it, through Gray Colored Glasses.