“If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.” ― Martin Luther
I am about adventure and family and the outdoors and being Mom and nature and story and gathering people and community and Africa and friends and music and art and books and Germany and living all out and sharing meals and hospitality and belonging and loving God and loving others and being fully present right here, right now. . . . .
My family means the world to me and I am so grateful to God for His gift. I have been married for 31 years — I met my husband at the University of Portland — and we have 5 children who are between the ages of 15 and 28, including identical twin boys; our oldest two children are married, so I say I have 7 kids! I’m also an Omi to three Sweet Littles, which is such an honor. I still cannot believe it! I love my Omi time and my Mom life and my Adventure.
I absolutely love going on adventures with my children and friends and family, and savoring what I have called the everyday magic: the Extraordinary Ordinary. I have a heart for Sudan refugees, missions, and people who feel like outsiders because that is what I have felt and been for much of my life. I love nature and outdoors, any activities outside — hiking, running, walking, traveling, camping, power walking and bicycle riding; and I have completed eight marathons since 2001. I so enjoy traveling, especially to Germany, the country of my birth. You will often find me cooking meals and baking and having my family and friends around the table. Gathering people together for fellowship and connection is huge to me!
I have kept journals since I was in fifth grade and have always enjoyed books and reading and literature and movies. I was an English major in college and my Masters degree is in German literature and languages — I was born in Germany and raised speaking German – it was pretty serious around my house growing up- If you wanted to eat, you said it in German! I am a freelance journalist, photographer and editor, as well as a high school English teacher; I am also the author of two books: WriterMom Tales and Images of America: WEST LINN.
My pen often turns to writing about parenting and family life and community and faith. My freelance writing work can be found at Christianity Today, Today Show Parenting, the The Huffington Post Parents and The Oregonian Newspaper, where I have been a freelance journalist and photographer since 1996. In addition, my work has appeared in the West Linn Tidings, Travel Oregon, and Cultural Encounters among other publications. I have also been a newspaper special section editor, an adjunct professor, a faculty adviser for a college student publication, and a church youth director. I am grateful to be able to do so much of my work at home while raising my children and writing.
And, one of my greatest joys is to inspire and encourage other moms and dads to see parenting and family life as ADVENTURE! It’s all about the way we see things, about our attitude. We have been given this amazing gift to bring these little ones up in our world, and it is hard and it is crazy and it will drive us crazy and it is the most beautiful, chaotic, wonderful thing in the whole wide world. I love to share all that I’ve learned along the journey and all that I am still learning in the extraordinary ordinary.
Oh, one more hat: My other baby: the Faith & Culture Writers Conference! It’s all part of my love for gathering and connecting people to find community and share interests. So, we do not feel alone.