Life is a balancing act of many different roles. I am a wife to my high school sweetheart, Mark. We’ve been married for nearly 24 years and I wouldn’t want to be on this crazy adventure with anybody else. I am a mother to 4 teenagers (2 biological, 2 adopted) – Luke, Noah, Beza and Natalie – all within 3 years of age of each other. (Read our adoption story here.)
Mark and I are realizing how fast it is all going. The boys will be high school seniors next year and within 5 years all four kids will be at least on to college (and hopefully the first two have not moved back home after).
I am a book junkie, a television junkie and a travel junkie. In my lifetime I’ve managed to visit almost all of the 50 states (usually squashed between my brothers in the backseat of a Honda) plus quite a few countries (Canada, England, Scotland, Germany, France, Ireland, Ethiopia, Mexico, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Fiji and Australia). I was in Rome once too but I never got off the plane. Does that count?
Taking into account that usually 3 out of the 7 nights of the week I am attending some sort of school sports activity, if I do have free time I love to read, watch television or do something creative. I love projects around the house and in the last couple of years have built some pretty cool stuff – a loft bed (with the help of my BIL, a pipe and wood desk, and a computer desk). I love giving old furniture a new coat of paint and a fresh life and figuring out how to change up a room for the least amount of money possible.
When the weather is nice you might even find me getting up before 10 a.m. on a Saturday to hit the lake on my stand up paddle board!
Other than God and my family my passions are simple:
Orphans – There are 143 million orphans in the world, a number that is staggering and overwhelming. It can either make you freeze, or spur you to action. We chose action. Our adoption of Luke and Beza was just one step on a journey that has led Mark and I to advocate for orphans all over the world. No matter who you are, or where you are, there is SOMETHING you can do to help. Just ask us.
Financial Freedom – In 1999 Mark and I started on a journey to put our finances in order. Following Dave Ramsey’s steps we paid off all our debt – student loans, credit cards, car loans. The sense of freedom it gave us was incredible. And a little addictive. So we launched ourselves headlong into the last foothold and paid off our house in 2007. Without that freedom we would not have been able to do all the things we have done in the last several years, including seeing Mark go into full time ministry. We love to share our experience with others and help them find the same freedom. Most of all, it has given us the ability to generously give where God leads us too. THAT is my favorite part of being debt free. (Read more about our Debt Free Story.)
My Work Experience
Education – I have a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, a minor in business and a minor in graphic design. Somehow the design portion seems to be what I keep falling in to, but honestly it usually combines my love of writing and editing as well.
Career Experience – It is vast and varied, including: laying out educational books, designing web sites and managing web departments for a large company, working for Arizona State University, and working in communications for churches and non-profits (print design, web design, marketing, writing, etc.)
Writing – I am the author of “You Can Adopt Without Debt: Creative Ways to Cover the Cost of Adoption.” I love networking with other adoptive parents and speaking to groups on adoption, global orphan care and financial freedom.
Today – In 2014 we moved our family from sprawling Phoenix (where Mark and I were born and raised) to a quaint little town in Northwest Arkansas called Siloam Springs. I went to work for our alma mater, John Brown University, and now serve as the director of marketing communications. I absolutely love being surrounded by hills and GREEN (and not desert green – real green).