I grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, MN. I come from a large family with 7 siblings and a saintly pair of parents who are somehow still sane. My parents are big believers in the power of reading- we grew up with pre-nap time and bedtime stories. This beginning blossomed into a full blown love of reading and writing as I grew older.
I went to college at Winona State University, situated in the bluffs of southern Minnesota. While I was passionate about literature, I majored in a field that offered job security and endless good stories: nursing. During my junior and senior years of college I worked as a research assistant in a small research department focused mainly on respiratory disorders.
After graduating college, I worked at Mayo in Rochester, MN on their thoracic progressive care unit (post lung surgery patients- mostly cancer related). During this time, I met Chad online- thank you, E-harmony. He was living in Minneapolis, MN and would come visit me in Rochester almost every weekend. As our relationship gained traction, we realized living 2 hours apart was going to be tricky. I moved back to Minneapolis and worked as a floor nurse on the intermediate care unit at Fairview hospital.
I quickly realized that floor nursing was not the best fit. The hours were wonky, severely messing up my sleep schedule. We were understaffed and overworked; I could never provide the amount of care that our patient’s deserved and needed. After I found myself in a heap, sobbing on the cold locker room floor after a particularly stressful and sad day of work, I vowed to find a job I loved.
I knew I loved research from my position in my college days, so I returned to my roots. I took a job in cardiology research, and spent the next 4 years of my career working in preventative cardiology (think: drugs that help prevent heart attacks). I fell in love with the position- I loved being able spend as much time needed with our patients- on education, fielding questions, and providing support. I loved the consistent schedule, getting paid to learn about new things, and my coworkers.
During these 4 years, my personal life exponentially changed. I was married, we bought a house, and had two babies. I was oh so sleep deprived but oh so happy.
After 4 years in cardiology, I decided to try a position in oncology research. I quickly became passionate about oncology. The biology of cancer and is fascinating, the drugs used to treat it are complex and the research field of oncology is fast paced. The drugs we researched had the potential to add months if not years to our patient’s lives.
Watching patients go through the process of cancer- diagnosis, treatment, outcome is simultaneously heart wrenching and inspiring. It is a process that not only impacts the patient, but their whole family and friend circle. We get to witness the best and the worst.
This job highlighted the fact that life is short. I never heard a patient say “I wish I had lived a more boring life. I wish I had taken less risks. I wish I had worked more and spent less time doing things I enjoyed. I wish I spent less time with my family.” And that is ultimately what led to me being okay with something Chad had been begging for ever since he experienced a Minnesota winter- a move to a warmer climate.
I started this blog to capture what life looks like while moving across country with small kids. I’m not one to put a falsely positive lens on life and I try to describe things honestly and with some humor. My life is not perfect but it does have a lot of fun moments.
Due to the chaos of the move, I am currently trying my hand at the position of stay at home mom, which is easily the toughest job I’ve held. I’ve learned that “stay at home mom” is a term describing the following combination of careers: judge, lawyer, terrorist negotiator, police officer, therapist, teacher, chef, maid, kisser of owies (approximately 5 million per day, all which require a band aid), nurse, and money tree. My hours are 24/7 and the pay sucks. Good thing the kids are cute.
We currently have a 4 year old, Avery, and a 2 year old, Alice. Both girls. Both dramatic. Both got it from their father.
I’m looking forward to sharing snapshots of our life with you through this blog! Thanks for reading,