Birthplace: Canton, Ohio, at the same hospital where I'll have my baby in August
Place on the family tree: My parents have been married for forty years, and I’m the baby of four children. I have two brothers who are nine and seven years older than me and a sister who is three years older. All my siblings are married, and I have one six-year-old nephew and one niece and one nephew on the way! (Yes, there will be three new additions to our family this year, all within five months!)
What I wanted to be when I grew up: In grade school, I had plenty of ideas. I remember saying I wanted to be an artist. (But it would have helped if I had any artistic talent. I think I just really liked art class!) About third grade, I remember saying I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast (Hmm, taking some real lessons would have helped. I think I just loved watching gymnastics on TV, and I was pretty good at splits and cartwheels.) In fourth and fifth grade, I was sure I wanted to be a teacher. (I loved school, so why not?) But in junior high, God gave me a career dream that I never let go of—to work for a Christian publishing company. I’m not kidding, I really have said since about seventh grade that I wanted to work in Christian publishing. Praise God, here I am! I know He has guided all the steps to get me here.
Books I read as a kid: Anything I could get my hands on! The series I remember reading were The Laura Ingalls Wilder books, The Chronicles of Narnia (Dad read these to my sister and me), The Bobbsey Twins (these were Mom’s favorite to read to us), The Baby-sitters Club, The Mandie series, my mom’s old Cherry Ames books, Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books, and many more. In junior high I got into The Love Comes Softly series and anything by Janette Oke. Her books opened up a whole new world of Christian fiction for me!
Best family vacation: All our family vacations were taken as a road trip with a camper of some kind. I have so many fun memories of our travels around the Midwest and Southern U.S. One of the best trips was to Florida to visit my grandparents when I was in kindergarten, with a day trip to Disney World. Being five years old in the Magic Kingdom was quite a magical experience!
Treasured childhood memory: Anything to do with the many pets and animals we had on our hobby farm. For a while we raised jersey calves. I absolutely loved helping bottle-feed them! We always had cats and dogs around, too. Weather permitting, I could usually be found running around outside in my bare feet, playing with one of my beloved pets. And if I wasn’t doing that, I could be found somewhere with my nose in a book. I used to love to find “secret” places to read, like in an empty cupboard or under a bed with a flashlight. When I got older I used to sneak out my bedroom window and sit on the roof to read!
Favorite pet: I had so many pets growing up, but my favorite will always be the collie puppy I got my sophomore year of high school. We’d had three other collie dogs when I was younger, but Lad was the first dog that was completely mine to pick out, name, train, and take care of. I had so much fun with him. He was truly a friend, not just a pet. I wish Lad were still alive today, but he died of a rare disease about four years ago. I still miss him like crazy.
Favorite childhood recipe: I remember cooking with my Cricket doll. She had a cooking tape and would talk and sing while we made recipes from her cookbook. The only one I can remember right now was for salami and peanut butter roll-ups. They sounded so gross but were surprisingly tasty!
Favorite toy: Besides my pets and books, I loved to play with my Sylvanian families and play sets. A lot of people don’t even know what those were, so here’s a link.
Something I’ve held onto from childhood: I’ll never let go of being a child at heart! I still love so many of the things I did when I was little—reading, animals, being outside, and playing, especially with kids. I may have to act like an adult most of the time now, but deep down, I’ll always be a kid. :)