I was raised in the very small town of Filer, Idaho. Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money, and I had no idea. My parents would laugh at me describing my childhood as without a lot of money, given that they were both raised on a farm and had very little. They both know true hardship, and raised my little sis, little brother, and I to value what we had and the fruits of our labor. I’ve never been without a job, getting my first one at age 14 – roguing peas for Rogers Brothers.

I love to dance. And I was pretty good at it, too. When I was 4 years old, I started taking jazz and tap dance classes, not stopping until I went to college. I still remember some of the routines from high school…scary. A lot of Paula Abdul and Michael Jackson. I would love to take an adult tap class now. That’s about all my adult body could handle. Tap dancing is ridiculously fun.

I love creating, making things with my own two hands. Sewing is my true passion, but I also love mosaics and gardening. I’ve even dabbled in woodwork. Yes, the tablesaw, miter saw, and router in the garage are MINE. There’s just something so satisfying about taking raw materials (fabric, glass, seeds, wood) and making them into something functional and beautiful, based on my efforts.

I lived with a debilitating disease for 20 years. A condition only we girls could have, endometriosis. It was basically excruciating cramps and extreme pelvic pain. For six days of the month I could barely walk. Every single month. Over the years I’ve missed a ton of school, work, family events, and more. I got to where I didn’t want to make plans or get excited about events, because I would undoubtedly not be able to go. Vacations? Forget about it. I’m still angry about the time I missed No Doubt’s concert in Boise. I’m cured now (hysterectomy), and today my tolerance for pain is incredible. I look back on that time and wonder if it was all a nightmare. I wonder where I would be in my life without endometriosis. It has certainly held me back.

I’m a wife. I remember meeting my husband at a frat party at a place called The Time Tunnel, when I was a student at Idaho State University. We were both in serious relationships (seriously bad, too) with other people. I know that we saved each other. I cannot imagine loving someone more than I love him. He is my everything.

I almost died because of a surgeon’s mistake. When I was 24, I was living alone in Seattle while my newlywed husband was out to sea on a 6-month U.S. Navy deployment. My doctor told me about a minor outpatient procedure that would fix my pelvic pain, called a laparoscopy. I decided to get it done while my husband was gone, so I would be all better by the time he got home. After the surgery, as I was being wheeled out of the hospital, I passed out. When I woke up, I was in a hospital bed and the lab guy told me I had a colostomy. Turns out my surgeon unknowingly tore my bowel during surgery – a half-inch tear. So my bowel contents had spilled into my abdominal cavity, causing massive infection. I spent a few weeks in the hospital. And for a few more weeks, my husband administered my IV antibiotics at home. I will never forget how he took care of me during that time. I ended up going back for another surgery, putting my healed innards back together (thank God). After all that, I have a true appreciation for life. And I will ALWAYS appreciate the good workings of my digestive system!

I’m a mom. I have never been more proud than when I gave birth to our son. After all my medical issues, it’s probably a miracle he was born. We tried for a very long time to conceive another child, but no can do. We were blessed with our daughter nine years later, finding her in Oregon and adopting her. She completes our family in every way.

My “work” is redefined. In early 2012, I quit my corporate job. For the first time, I am not working for someone else. I spent most of the last 25 years working in business, finance, policy, marketing, and content management.  My new focus is to do what I love – making things with my own two hands, while enjoying the crossroads of  business, technology, and productivity.  This is quite a change for me, and I am loving every minute of it.  My “product” or “value” is based on my natural talents:

  • I can share personalized guides for people to apply smart plans to their creative passions.
  • I can give people meaningful ways to create something truly unique, beautiful, and functional.
  • I can help people organize their creative side.
  • I can relate business concepts to the DIY creative.

One of my favorite people in the world has Down syndrome. My older cousin Justin has Down syndrome and he is the most genuine person I know. He LOVES what he loves and is not afraid to tell anyone and everyone about it. Rock music and football! Specifically Bon Jovi, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Boise State Broncos. Justin reminds me to step back and appreciate the things you truly enjoy. Knowing him has allowed me to understand that we are all unique people, born different from any other person, through no choice of our own. We have different skin color, live in different countries, and have different physical and mental abilities. What really matters is how we treat each other, with all our differences.

I get an incredible amount of satisfaction from helping people. It’s almost selfish, it feels so good to give. And I can’t help but to be drawn to others that give.

I can’t stand being late or unprepared. For anything.

I am Catholic, but I haven’t attended church for a long while. I was baptized, confirmed, and married at St. Edward’s Catholic Church in Twin Falls, Idaho. I have strong faith in God, of which I don’t believe attending church is a prerequisite. I believe that God has given a unique gift to each of us, and that it’s up to us to discover and fully utilize that gift. I have my beliefs, but I don’t judge others based on theirs. I can’t stand it when other people do.

I hate it when people act as though they’re better than others. And a condescending tone? Ew. Self-imposed superiority is extremely ugly to me.

I am much more comfortable listening than talking. I wish more people were.

I am enamored by the sky. Seriously, the art that is our sky is breathtaking . Take a minute to enjoy the glorious colors when our sun rises and sets, when the sun’s rays streak through the clouds, when the lightning flashes, and when those beautiful white puffy clouds litter the sky.

A few other random things: I collect angel Barbies, I dig skydiving, and my favorite dessert is a hand-made Oreo milkshake. I’m deathly afraid of moths, I can’t stand my toes being squished by tight tucked-in bedsheets, and I detest being called Angie. And I enjoy MMA. Really.