I want to thank you all SO much for your kind response to my previous post, all about life after loss. I genuinely appreciate your kind words and heartfelt prayers. That said, many new people have discovered this blog through that post and through some link ups lately. I wanted to take a minute to introduce myself to those who might be new around these parts!
Here's the Basic Rundown of Me:
-I was born in Phoenix, raised in Utah. I have an awesome dad, mom, and sister, Libby, who is a junior at Arizona State. My parents live just about 15 minutes away from me now, love it!
-In 2005, I moved to Spokane, Washington to go to Gonzaga University. I loved it there! I made friendships to last a lifetime, spent a summer in Italy, lived with incredible women, and oh yeah, got a degree in history (english and religion minors because I am a nerd for basically all learning that's not math or science). At Gonzaga, I participated in two alternate spring break trips, one to Clarksdale, Mississippi and one to St Louis and these experiences opened my eyes to the possibility of becoming an elementary teacher.
-In 2009, I moved to Chicago to begin a graduate school program that placed me at a school on the south side of Chicago. I received my masters in education, taught 1st grade for a year, and then a 1st/2nd grade combo class my next year. I lived with other teachers in my program, made great friendships, got to explore the city, and spent the summers in Indiana for coursework. It was a wild time, full of adventure, and certainly trial by fire for a new teacher. It was challenging at the time, but looking back, I wouldn't change a thing.
-In 2011, I moved back to Utah and started work at a Catholic school. I moved into my own little apartment in Salt Lake City, and in the spring of 2012, I met AJ (a middle school social studies teacher). I started attending church again around this time and have enjoyed diving deeper into my personal faith journey. It's something I work on every day.
-AJ and I got engaged in 2013, moved to the 'burbs, and I began work at a new school closer to home. In 2014, we got married and started adventures as newlyweds. I began the blog around the time of our one year anniversary. We bought our first home together in the fall of 2015. AJ's family lives in Oregon and we love going there to visit. I married into an incredible family.
-About 3 weeks after we moved into our home, we found out we were expecting! I was due mid-August and we were over the moon. We spent the spring getting excited and putting together a nursery for our baby girl. In early June, my water broke unexpectedly and I was admitted to the hospital. Ten days into my hospital stay, Hadley was born via emergency C section. It was evident she was very sick and 4 days into her NICU stay, we knew her prognosis was fatal. She passed away 6 days after birth surrounded by her whole family.
-Now, we are 2 and a half years into marriage and working on building a new normal. I love my husband so very much and we look forward to becoming parents again someday. I am a huge fan of reality TV, Pinterest, cooking, reading, and making our house a home. I have been teaching 1st grade for 8 years and while it is challenging work, I enjoy making a difference and my students have brought me so much joy over the years. I value girlfriend time, thoughtfulness, and have discovered my passion for writing and sharing glimpses of the "sparkle" in everyday life.
I have recently gotten into "Boot Camp" workouts and it has become a daily part of my life. My perfect day would involve Starbucks, some solid writing time, a great day with my 1st graders, a hard core workout, and cooking together with my main man, followed by an evening involving a full DVR. Haha. AJ and I also love taking road trips together and I enjoy hitting the open road with my hubby. When I began this blog, I wrote that "I believe life depends on heaps of gratitude and a whole lotta grace," and I believe that with my whole heart. I am grateful you are here reading in this space, and I hope through our stories you discover a bit about the grace that exists in all of us. Thanks for being here, stay a while!
Savor Your Sparkle,