I grew up on a farm in Idaho and loved being a farm girl. My parents were there for all of our activities and supported all five of us. We were taught young to work hard for what we want. Usually it was on the sports field, but it worked into other aspects of life.
Reading and writing have been a huge part of my life since I was little. The schools held Young Author's contests and I was always sad when my story wasn't picked. Instead of making me give up, I was just more determined to get better.
My senior year, I started writing children's stories for fun while I was a library aide. I would pick a name and an animal and start writing. That poured over into my adult life. I can't write outlines for my books!
I met my husband, Steve, at BYU in 1999. I knew the first time we held hands that he was 'the one.' We were married in April 2000. We now have six children ages 12 down to four. They keep us busy with their many sports and church events.
We love to stay adventurous. I don't mean going camping or skydiving (although I love camping). I mean doing things in a big way. In 2009, when a job didn't work out for us to move to New York, I suddenly decided to open a bookstore. That's the same as moving to New York, right? No? Well, it might not be, but for me, it was a dream come true.
I had author signings at least once a month, activities for kids, and tons of fun things to buy. It also allowed me plenty of writing time—and even better, reading time. Someone had to know what the books were about for recommendations, right? Unfortunately, the funding we'd received in the beginning wasn't enough to get our store through the slower times and we had to close it. But that didn't stop our adventures.
My husband was offered a position in Australia. I told him to go for it, not thinking it would happen in a million years. After all, the New York job had fallen through. He got the job. We had a month to clean up the store and then suddenly it was time to go. I had eleven days to pack up our house, decide where everything was going, and sell a car before we took off for Australia. That was three years ago this Saturday.
We took twenty-six bags (including backpacks, laptop bag, video camera, suitcases, and 6 fifty pound duffel bags), two carseats, and six kids and headed off the airport. The kids were amazing on the flights — even though my youngest had just gotten antibiotics for an ear infection only three days before.
That was just the beginning of a Chevy Chase/Steve Martinesque adventure. Anything that could go wrong, did go wrong. It was difficult to find a house, we'd miss buses or have buses purposely not pick us up. In the four and a half months we were gone, we moved eleven times, flew seven times, and lugged around those twenty six bags and any other items we picked up along the way. On the way home, we did leave out the carseats and downsized as much as possible.
In Fiji we lined to up to check in at the airport and they laughed at our luggage. They told us no one should ever put that much on the plane. We went to talk to another lady and were told the same thing. Using my mama bear skills (aided by the six children standing around), I told them we were moving home, it was everything we owned, and there was nothing we could do about it. They looked at me, at each other, and then told us to check everything. Feeling much better—and lighter—we climbed on the plane. Standing on American soil was the happiest experience of my life. Even if that was followed by driving from LA to St. George afterward. We had to take two cars just to fit all our stuff.
Fast forward three years, and we continue to be adventurous. We're waiting for a loan to go through on a new home, where we'll get to raise chickens, ducks, turtles, and anything else the kids come up with.
Being the mom of six kids keeps me very busy. Adding writing into that just makes it crazier. Thankfully I can write well when I'm sitting on the couch with my kids surrounding me. Instead of bogging me down, writing has allowed me to release creative energy and keep going. Having the happy, crazy kids I have has given me plenty of writing material.