I was born in Metairie, a city just outside of New Orleans, but I grew up in suburban Atlanta. Besides a quick stint as a first-grade juvenile delinquent (I threw a rock at my teacher…GASP!), I mostly grew up a book-loving goody-goody. (Shout out to Ann M. Martin and R.L. Stine.)
I graduated from the University of Georgia (Gooooo Dawgs!) with a degree in education after which I made the life-changing decision to move to Austin for some “life experience.” With some starter money from my parents, a good-bye from my sister, and a place to live thanks to my brother and sister-in-law, I made the 945-mile trek to Central Texas in a broken down 1992 red Ford Taurus. Though I cried every day for the first month, it was the best decision I ever made.
The Love Story
Serendipitously, I met my husband Wade around the same time my tears dried up. Wade had been living, working, and playing music in Austin for a few years. On a Monday morning in early June, we met when I substituted at the school where he was working. We flirted for a couple of months until I asked him to go to a concert with me. He said, “Yes.” Three years later, Wade asked me to be his wife. I said, “Yes.” After all, it was my turn…
Fifteen months, and one visit to a convent later, Wade and I were married on a gorgeous Saturday in early October. We will celebrate our 10-year anniversary this year. Together, we are the proud parents of a precious Boston Terrier/Chihuahua mix named Wally (our dog) and a precocious Irish/Czech/German/Spanish mix named Bailey Ryan (our child).
Speaking of our child…Bailey is six going on sixteen. She loves unicorns, Teen Titans, animals, Steve Sanders, creating art, Taylor Swift, and complaining about how I have wronged her. She hates cleaning her room, going to bed, and eating her dinner. Obviously, she is a typical 6-year-old. In spite of her sass, but mostly because of it, she is my heart. Her belly laugh, clever wit, and genuine goodness bring such joy to my life. She really knows how to sparkle, and she loves to create things that sparkle, too.
Bailey started kindergarten this year at the school where I am a second-grade teacher. I teach the sweetest kiddos on the planet. For reals. Lesson planning and getting to share in the challenges and successes of my kiddos are my two favorite things about being a teacher. I love watching them grow as readers, writers, mathematicians, and scientists. It melts my heart when they have unique insights into what we’re learning or when they help each other out or when they share kind words.
When I am not working, I am…working. I kid. (Not really.) Okay, okay, when I can spare a moment from working, I am actively trying to improve my health. I’ve recently gone low-carb (so no-fun). I desperately miss Blue Bell ice cream and HEB’s tortillas. Aside from food, I enjoy reading. Dystopian fiction, mysteries, and Southern chick-lit are my go-to genres. And, if I’m really being honest, I LOVE to watch TV. I am a typical 30-something Netflix- and Hulu-binger, so I can hold my own in any conversation about Black Mirror, The Crown, Mindhunter, Younger, Stranger Things, and Fuller House.
Whether it’s a quick trip to New York for my husband’s birthday, a week-long girls trip to Los Angeles, or a family trip to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, I love going to new places, eating new foods, and experiencing new adventures. I took my first “real” trip when I was in 8th grade. Maybe it was the Ricola given to me by a real-deal German frau. Or maybe it was the pure beauty and awe of the Swiss Alps. Ever since, though, I have tried to make time for, and find the money to, travel.