Fillauer Lake House Barn, December 2007
Photo Credit: Sara Renee Photography
That's right. You read that right. My amazing husband was first my brother's amazing best friend. And to make that detail even juicier, the best friend life started for them about 24 years ago. Yep. We have known each other for 24 years. We've been married for almost 12 of those years. Anyone out there have a really REALLY long "awkward stage"? Me. I did. Any here's the truest test of a relationship: if they marry you in spite of being there for the awkward years (the bangs I cut myself that were about one inch long in middle school, the years before I figured out how to feed by body so it could be it's best, the ruffled lace Sunday morning socks and baby dolls until I was 12 years old), you've got a keeper. And that's exactly what he is: a keeper. He sees the best in me every single day and calls that best version out in the most loving, encouraging ways possible. I am who I am because he's who he is...and he's one of the greatest gifts God ever gave me. And...he was my brother's best childhood friend. Way too cool.
Number Two: I was born of Friday the 13th
On April the 13th in Farmington, New Mexico...I was born. And it was a Friday. I like to think that I debunk all the things people assume about Friday the 13th. That I'm the evidence that good things can happen on that day...but I guess everyone can have their own opinion about that! I think my Mom would agree with me, though.
Number Three: I used to want 20 kids!
Yep. Twenty. And I was going to live on a prairie somewhere and raise them as far from civilization as possible with my husband. We're talking a farm and a barn and an old farmhouse. I giggle when I remember those little girl dreams. They actually stayed with me well into my teen years. The truth is, I love the life God gave me. He knew best. I have my one sweet boy (and it's in God's hands if there's ever more where he came from) and my amazing husband and...I've kind of created my own little farmhouse in the middle of the city I love. Albuquerque. And you know what else? Target and Trader Joe's and Whole Foods are all within 10 minutes of my "farmhouse". I couldn't ask for more!
Number Four: I have a Master's Degree in Social Work
NMHU Graduation, Spring 2014...me and my amazing Mom.
I will always be a Social Worker at heart. To loose that part of me would be like cutting off a limb. It would radically impact how I operate in the world. I still see through that lens and thank God every single day that I have the knowledge and background I have. And nothing is wasted. I daily use skills and tools that I gained from that season of life and I'm certain this will only continue as life unfolds. I have big dreams of doing big things for my community and families that live here. That day will come and I'll stand solid on the foundation that was built as I poured myself into my degree and the lives I touched in my Social Work career. No one can take that away from me.
Number Five: I got married in a barn on a historic property in Tennessee...barefoot.
And there it is again. My dream of 20 children on a farm in the middle of nowhere. I may not live that life, but there are traces of that dream in just about every life event I've had. This barn was stunning! The Fillauer Lake House and Barn are absolutely stunning. We knew instantly this would be our spot to promise our futures to one another. It was a chilly December day and the barn was colder than we had expected. But I had planned to walk down the aisle barefoot and when I make my mind up about something- look out. Tom surely knew even back then that life with me would never be dull. So I did it. I walked down the aisle to my future without shoes one. My feet connected to the wood below us and my soul rooted in an unwavering certainty that this was it...this was the decision I was purposed to make. Oh, and Tom's sweet Dalmatian, Hoss, was our ring bearer. It was a magical day.
Fillauer Lake House Barn, December 20007
Photo Cred: Sara Renee Photography
Number Six: I love to run.
Los Rachos de Albuquerque Half Marathon
I ran my first half marathon several years ago and was hooked. The funny thing is, I was a terrible runner in high school. In fact, I pretended to have sports-induced asthma (is that even a real thing??) on running days in PE so I could sit out. Really breaks my heart because I had no clue what I was missing and how much it would feed my soul. Motherhood and building a business have made the goal of running harder to reach. But I'm currently training for another half marathon and deeply grateful for the days when I tighten my shoe laces and hit the trail. It's so healing.
Number Seven: I prefer the natural option. In everything.
I'm a natural kinda girl. I'm seeing a theme here...that little prairie life child inside of me gets her way more than maybe I even realized! Anyways...we don't use over-the-counter medications in our home. Even before I knew there was a movement in the natural direction, I was avoiding taking medications and wishing I had other options. I gave birth naturally in a modern hospital and the nurses and doctors gathered in the room and down the halls like their lives depended on it. I truly didn't realize how out-of-the-ordinary it was. It seems so natural (pun not intended) to me, it was kind of a no-brainer. So, when I learned about the world of essential oils and doTERRA...I felt like I was finally coming home. And it's been a beautiful 2 years incorporating these natural tools into our daily lives. And I've found my people! I'm so grateful!
Number Eight: I love to work.
It's true. When I think about the perfect day, it's a tie between a long hike in the most breathtaking forest on earth...or a full day of uninterrupted focus on my "job". A cup of hot tea...great music playing the background, the diffuser going with the best blend imaginable...yep. Probably because it doesn't feel like a job. I have to be intentional about shutting it off, unplugging and being with my family. That's why we have a weekly family day and we get to the mountains as often as possible. Truth be told, that's probably the best thing I can do for my "job" and myself. Fresh mountain air and the giggles of my son on the trail. Priceless.
Number Nine: I backpacked to the base of the Grand Canyon and back out again.
A few years ago, we joined some dear friends of ours and hiked into the base of the Grand Canyon. We camped in Havasupi. It's like an oasis in the wilderness. The stuff dreams are made of. We carried everything in on our backs and explored the canyon for a couple days. We camped at the top of a massive waterfall and swam in aqua blue waters. We had a close encounter with a turantula and trekked through a Native American Reservation. It was epic. I hiked every step of the 12 miles in and the 12 miles back out on my own. And that single memory has gotten me through some of the hardest moments that have come since then. If I can do THAT, I can do anything.
Number Ten: I love Jesus.
Our pastor recently said this in the best way I've ever heard it said. Ask me if Jesus is real...I don't know about him I know Him. It's a personal, intimate, transforming and inspiring relationship that's new and exhilarating and constant every day. Every single thing in my life that means anything at all is from Him. And I'm committed to living a life that far exceeds my potential...because of Him.
My Family. Fall 2018. Photo Credit: Amy Luna Photography