Personal Biography

Let me tell you a little about myself. I grew up in several cities, but Denver is the main one. In high school I had interest in academics, choir, musical theater and rock climbing/ropes courses. After, I went to Brigham Young University where I married (a boy I started crushing on at 16) and got a BS in Psychology. I worked in Youth Corrections and at a group home for girls. Josh and I then moved to Denver where I worked at a jeweler's while he applied to medical school.
Josh was accepted to school in his home state of Wisconsin, so we moved to Milwaukee. Here is when my health got complicated. Back in Utah I chose to work for a season as a ski instructor. Soon after I discover I had damaged a disc in my lower back. Years later, I had chronic stomach problems and other abdominal pain that was difficult to figure out. Eventually, we discovered that the pelvic floor muscle was tense and spastic--probably because the spine was weakened. I ended up getting a surgical implant that acts like a pacemaker for that muscle.
From around the time I damaged my back, I started having more anxiety and symptoms of depression. With my background in Psych I believed in not having shame about these issues and getting therapy and medication to deal with it. From living in three states, continuity of care was not possible and I had to advocate for myself. Not long after the implant surgeries, we discovered that Fibromyalgia was another cause of pain for me.
While in Wisconsin and figuring myself out, I had to keep myself busy. Josh was gone most of the time with school and study. I started playing with art a bit by cutting up photos and turning them into large mosaics. I was really interested in beautiful art from traveling in Europe before I married. I also traveled with my parents and Josh after I married. However, early attempts at painting and pastels were not pretty. So, I went to the local technical college and got an Associate's degree in American Sign Language interpreting. It got me on a schedule and out of bed three days a week.
In 2006 I had a baby. Just before he was born I went to my fellow Med school wives who were Scrapbookers and got help making my son's birth announcements. Paper crafting and card making became my side obsession when I had a newborn baby and was living in a new city again. At an Archiver's crop I met a Scrapbooker with extra art skills. I took Copic classes from her and eventually she recommended I take an online class from a teacher who was at the same website she was. The teacher was Dina Wakley, and I was particularly interested because Dina mentioned to my friend that art helped with her depression. I saw Dina published in Art Journaling, so I submitted my work and my world has never been the same.