I love to scrapbook. When I saw how another author had created a “photo biography” on her website to provide readers a sneak peek into her life, I knew I wanted to share a similar story in my own online layout.
I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. In this photo, I’m wearing an outfit first worn by my dad in 1941. We have a picture of my brother and my two daughters in this outfit. Around 3rd grade, I told my parents I wanted to be an author. By 8th grade, I knew a career in sports medicine was the path for me. Decades later, I’m finally pursuing my lifelong dream.
I have one brother. Bryan is two years younger than me, and we now live in the same city, which allows us to see much more of him and his wife Danielle. This picture was taken while on a white water rafting trip with our church youth group in high school.
I played competitive soccer through high school and continued to play on rec and indoor teams up until age 25.
Travis and I met the summer before our senior years of high school. We both attended Miami University and graduated together.
After completing a Graduate Assistantship in Athletic Training and earning my master’s degree, Travis popped the question. We got married on October 20, 2001.
In 2002, I performed alongside my mom in a community theater production of The Sound of Music. We were nuns in the chorus.
For about six months in 2003, I competed as a powerlifter. If I had known before I registered that I had to wear a singlet during competitions, I might not have been as willing to give it a try.
When we were invited to a friend’s wedding in Hawaii, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Someday we hope to return to the Big Island with our daughters.
My goal was to finish, and the course almost beat me. After 26.2 miles, I was so relieved to see the finish line. Please don’t ask my time – I cropped the clock out of this picture on purpose. And I told Travis to never let me run again.
Sweet Baby #1 – 2005
Sweet Baby #2 – 2006
In 2008, our dear friends invited us to join them for a week in Grand Haven, Michigan. We have gone back every summer since then. It’s like a second home to us.
There was a time in my 20s when I took riding lessons with one of my best friends. When my daughters were young, I volunteered in the spring and fall of one year with an organization that taught underprivileged kids how to groom and ride horses.
For six years, I served as a Girl Scout Troop Leader. Depending on the year, we had between 5-10 girls who enjoyed camp, cookies, and crafts. But the most rewarding part of the job for me was their excitement when we served others in the community, which we did often.
In March 2013, I went on a mission trip to Cancun with a women’s group from my friend’s church. It’s true what they say – the trip was a life changer. I wrote more about it here.
In the fall of 2013, I was offered the opportunity to be Shelley Shepard Gray’s assistant. Read more about how we got connected here.
Life’s obstacles can be overwhelming at times, and our family values vacation and experiences as a way to recharge together. We love Walt Disney World, and Tinker Bell is my favorite character.
In February 2017, we had the chance to travel to Nicaragua to meet our sponsor child. This week proved to be one of the most challenging, most eye-opening, most fulfilling experiences of my life. Read more about our adventure here.
Here we are today. Not sure where God will lead us as individuals or as a family, but we’ve promised to follow.
From the pictures I chose to share, I see four common themes in my life: faith, family, challenge, and service. As I consider my new role as a writer and look ahead, down the path to publication, I pray God will continue to guide my way. I welcome the challenges in life because I know when I stretch myself, I improve and grow. Through my work I hope to accomplish the following:
serve as God’s hands and feet, bringing kids together with friends and family through my books
entertain readers with my stories
share Biblical truth with readers in a language they can understand and can apply today
inspire readers to serve others.
I’m glad you’re here!