I am a parent and music teacher, a teacher of parents, a child development speaker and lifelong learner, a singer, and a writer/ blogger! I am also the Director of Children and Family Ministries at NorthPark Presbyterian Church in Dallas where I get to share love and lessons with lots of little children, and educate, support, and encourage their parents along the way. This blog is a combination of valuable ideas and experience, funny stories from my own parenting adventures, and hopefully, thoughtful reflections that will speak to YOU as a hard-working parent, because we’re all in this together! As a teacher, my mission is helping families to MAKE CONNECTIONS: connections in little growing brains and emotional connections that will last a lifetime, giving young children the foundations they need to achieve their full potential, even while creating more meaningful moments for parents with their kids. I created “Parent with PURPOSE” seminars to share practical and inspirational ideas with fellow sojourners on this important path. Since I am also a musician, I believe that music is the most powerful tool for making these connections (and research proves it), so, of course, my own parenting style is pretty much Maria VonTrapp meets Mr. Rogers, but never quite as patient and loving!
My mission for this blog is to help you (and frankly, myself) to feel CONNECTED – to other like-minded mommies who are just trying to survive and make a difference in their little corners of the world, and to that best part of yourself that holds all the love and vision you need to be a great parent. My whole life, I’ve wanted to be a Mommy, and I am so fortunate to have two healthy children, Michael James (8) and Ellie (6). But….NEWS FLASH…parenting is not as easy as it looked from the outside. I was a teacher before I was a mommy, and I used to think I had all the answers. (Oh, I’ll know just what to do in that situation… When I have children, I will never let them get away with that! …I’m sure our children will never behave that way.) But now, I’m immersed in the yelling, whining, sippy-cup-throwing reality that I always dreamed of, and am shocked to find that being with other people’s children is often so much easier (and more pleasant) than being with your own! Along with this realization that I’m not always the perfect or happy mommy I expected to be, come feelings of guilt and disappointment, resentment and frustration. But, I believe that reflective parenting offers us the chance to become not only better parents, but better people. I also believe that if I am honest with myself and with you, then I will find forgiveness, acceptance, support, and camrederie to succeed in this most important endeavor, and perhaps offer you some much-needed encouragement along the way. This blog documents my day-to-day struggles trying to practice what I preach, trying to actually be the parent that I encourage other parents to be, the parent that I have envisioned for myself and my kids. It will be a record for my family and myself of the “good things” along the way. And it will be a forum for sharing inspiration, tips, and ideas that help me to grow as a parent and person. Come join the journey!
I was raised here in Dallas by loving parents with my little brother Jake, now a Kindergarten teacher here in Dallas. I went to Arts Magnet High School, then a scholarship took me to University of Oklahoma where I majored in music and liberal arts. I met my husband freshman year in the Honors dorm, and we were “best friends” for 4 years before we started dating. (Awww!) I got a Masters of Sacred Music from Perkins Seminary at SMU, and worked as a church musician for several years, then as a music and chapel teacher for young children. I love to get parents talking in an open, judgement-free zone in my “Parent with PURPOSE” Meetup group. I love to lead children and parents in musical outreach projects through “Wee Volunteer” of Dallas. I have had extensive training, study, and experience in child development along the way, and I feel passionate about making this information relevant and simple for busy parents. I have always loved writing, and have kept a journal since the 5th grade, so the blogging is a natural form of therapy, joy, and meaning for me in my busy life. I hope you enjoy!