[#1] Share with us a snippet of your story.
My story...wow, it's so long. As a teen I had a bit of a rebellious spirit (in some ways I still do) due to that I ended up pregnant at sixteen. My parents were all over the place with what I should do...abort, put the baby up for adoption and keep the baby. After counseling with an amazing Christian organization in my home town, I decided to keep the baby which I had at seventeen years old. All my parents (my mom and dad are divorced and have both remarried) were very supportive of my decision. I had a baby, finished school, got a job, moved out on my own at nineteen and after much pushing by a dear friend and co worker, went to church to hear her sing. I was raised in a Christian home but never really knew what it meant to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. At nineteen I was saved by grace and gave my life over to The Lord. I went to Israel with my college group which changed my life. I worked at my church where I made some very wonderful friends. Through one of those friends, I was set up on a blind date with my now husband, Daniel. Dan and I were inseparable aside from his three week surf trip to the Mentawai Islands. He proposed six months after dating and we were married nine months after that. Dan became daddy to my son, Tyler, who was five when we married. Just a short six months after our wedding, I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, a degenerative back disease. And right after that, I found out we were pregnant which was quite a shock to our new little family.
In 2004 Tannyn was born and we had a rough first year with her...rough for our marriage and on my body. After a few years we decided to try for another and had Tayli in 2007. Also in 2007, Dan legally adopted Tyler. In 2008 Dan lost his job, we moved to Orange County where dan got extremely sick and was hospitalized six times in less than a year. Another hard time in our marriage. We found out it was due to black mold in our house so we up and moved to Laguna Niguel in 2010. We loved it there. Ty and Dan were surfing every day, the girls were doing well and I loved my house. Our world came crashing down just eight months after. Dan was better by now but he got let go by his company. We lost our cars, couldn't afford our home and had .69 cents to our name at one point. Amazing friends and family rallied behind us and all our needs were met. But we knew we had to come up with a plan so we moved in with my mom and step dad who live on the central coast. Dan was constantly looking for jobs in Santa Barbara but ultimately took a job offered to him in Houston, Tx. He was away from us for four months before moving us out.
In 2012, not even a year after moving, we found out we were pregnant with our fourth baby. I was so excited as I had been praying for another baby for a year. At our twenty week gender ultrasound we found out, not only were we having our fourth...but our fifth too! The twins, Tavvi and Trax were born in October of 2012. Shortly after, we found out Trax had a genetic disease, Cystic Fibrosis. We were shocked, sad and scared. We were now raising a child with a terminal disease but again our faith was our firm foundation and still is, as we learn, treat and adjust our lives to insure Trax is getting the best medical attention possible. Now we live on Galveston Island in Texas, Tyler is 16 and a junior in high school, Tannyn is nine and in fourth grade, Tayli is six and in first grade and the twins are nineteen months. As of now, we are finding ourselves in the position of being homeless come June 15th since our landlord sold the house we are renting. We spend our nights looking at houses, praying about next steps and yearning that one day we will be back home in California. God has been ever present and always faithful in our lives and I have no doubt He will provide!
[#2] What is your favorite part of the day with your little one[s]?
My favorite part of my day is watching the twins learn, laugh and interact with one another. They put a smile on my face daily and always make me laugh.
[#3] Name Three Instagram MOMS who inspire you.
Gosh, I have so many moms on Instagram that I love... It's hard to narrow it down to three...there are really so many that I have connected with.
Lauren, @ladynoel, is an amazing artist and mother who inspires me with her talent (I used to want to go to art school and still love to draw) plus she's funny and so real.
My sister, @mrsmann, has one of the prettiest feeds out there...mostly of her gorgeous home that she is always making better, rearranging and doing home projects on.
Paulie, @mrs_paulie_, is a gem of a person who has rallied around our little Trax and has raised so much money with the #pray4trax necklaces she sells where all the proceeds go to our gofundme account to pay for medical needs, hospital visits and the such. I really hope and pray that both our families can meet one day.
[#4] What challenges have you faced in balancing motherhood and your passion for creativity?
Before the twins, I was very creative... I would draw, sew, dapple in jewelry making but now I just have absolutely no time or motivation...or quite frankly, the desire right now. I look forward to the day when I will have time to be creative again. Instagram is my one creative outlet that I have.
[#5] What is a family tradition that you love sharing with your kids?
We don't really have many...aside from praying with our kids nightly as our main one. Decorating for Christmas would have to be the one I love the most. We buy sparkling cider, chocolate covered cherries, put on Christmas music and go to town on the tree and house. It's always fun.
[#6] If you could give us a peek inside your home, what image would you share and why?
[#7] Share a photo you wouldn't typically post on Instagram but depicts real life happenings.
Dinnertime where it's chaotic, a lot of talking, screaming, getting up to use the bathroom...all that normal stuff when you have a big family. But for some reason I love it and I think our kids will have (mostly) fond memories of us all around the table sharing our favorite parts of our day.