About Me

     I grew up in Jacksonville, Illinois, 4 hours south of Chicago for those of you that only know Illinois that way. In fact, Jacksonville is only 30 minutes west from the state's capital of Springfield. I was an only child who spent many hours imagining fantastic stories that I would write and illustrate whenever I could. I was an voracious reader and still remain that way. Only now, I spend my days at school trying to show middle schoolers the awesomeness of reading and writing.
     Teaching, like most things in my life, didn't come as an easy decision. It wasn't the first major I picked...or the second...or the third...It wasn't even my first degree. I never could (and still don't) do things the easy way. If there is a tougher way, I always manage to find it...much to the chagrin of those who love me. It took me awhile to find my way into teaching. I always think of it as I had to try on lots of different socks until I found the perfect pair that fit just right. Kinda like Cinderella and her famous glass slipper or Goldilocks trying to find the "Just Right" bed. But once I found my Just Right, I knew it through to my core.
     I'm not known for taking the easiest of paths to a goal, not by choice, but just the way I'm made I guess. I spent four glorious years at a state university majoring in a variety of majors. At the end of those years, I have made some good friends and last memories but hadn't managed to graduate with a degree. The following years saw me in and out of other colleges and working in many different jobs. Always looking for that "Just Right" feeling was the anthem of my next ten years. Then it happened. In the midst of feeling "Just Wrong" again, I took a leap of faith or a leap of fear and took a chance on a crazy idea that had begun to fester. Teaching. So like everything else in my life, I jumped in with both feet and landed finally on something "Just Right" and it was... amazing. From then on, I never questioned my decision and I wake up every morning enjoying what I do each day. It's not cliche. It's my truth. Whether I was student teaching third graders, packing up and moving to Florida to teach at a charter school, or moving back to teach in a junior high of less than 50 students, it's always felt "Just Right."

The favorite things in my life are (not in any order, of course):

1. Spending time with my four Yorkies: Lola, Charlie, Magnolia, and Ruby. Curling up with a fur baby is one of life's special things.

2. My Mom--hands down my best friend, my rock, my greatest mentor. My dad died many years ago and it's been she and I against the world ever since.

3. My addiction to all things Apple. It's become an obsession really. My Dad started the obsession back in the 80's when he put me in front of my first computer (an Apple IIe) and sent me away to computer camp for a week to learn programming and other cool stuff. That Apple IIe has been replaced with iPads, iPhones, iPods, iMacs, and MacBooks over the years. And recently added an Apple Watch to the ridiculous collection. 

4. The Walking Dead--Team Daryl all the way. I am also known to be a binge watcher of just about anything interesting. I'm an 80's kid and never grew out of the TV fascination.

5. Jane Austen and dystopian literature...not combined. Although that would be pretty fantastic! Future book idea?
   

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