I'm Amy! Take a peek around, get to know me a bit, then read below if you want to go deeper and learn more about my story.
authoring multiple books • hosting retreats
empowering women to unearth
& embrace their story
stage iv metastatic uveal melanoma • chronic bleeding
burnout • job loss • lice • lung transplant
panic attacks • addiction • schizoaffective disorder
(myself & alongside others)
north bend • washington
photography • gardening • hiking • walking
watching movies • reading • listening to music
traveling • cruising • going on mission trips
widow • mom of three
writer • photographer • speech therapist
christian • advocate • infj
complicated than it seems on the surface. If we're going to swap stories, it's only fair that I tell you mine. So sit down. Relax. And enjoy the short, but sweet and condensed version of my first 44 years.
I'm the first-born of two public school teachers, with one younger sister and one younger brother. We lived in a small town in Minnesota and did fun family things like take bike rides, fly kites, and go for picnics at the park two blocks from our house. Sure, tough things happened to us like my dad getting diagnosed with skin cancer and my grandma passing away when I was 10, but for the most part, life was simple and good.
Looking back, I can say with certainty that I thrived in a small-town environment. Life was predictable and comfortable. I was involved in ALL the extra curriculars and got along with everyone so much so that I was named Homecoming Queen my senior year of high school. I often look back at that girl with awe. Was that really me? So social. So involved. So fun, carefree, and all she could be.
I began taking photographs when I received my first camera at age 10 and began writing when I received my first diary at age 12. Photography and writing were unrealistic careers I considered amongst an assortment of more traditional career paths including nursing, medicine, psychology, ministry, teaching, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. In the fall of 1994, I began college with a major in speech-language pathology.
It was there, in my first year of college, that I met my college sweetheart and soon-to-be-husband, Seth. I graduated in May of 1998 and we were married just one month later!
I'm honored you decided to go deeper and read more about my story. My story is like yours, long and much more
received my graduate degree and we moved back to Minnesota in an effort to be closer to family. We found a nice apartment in the suburbs of Minneapolis, and I landed a job doing speech-language therapy home visits with families and children. Seven years later, I resigned and opened a private practice where I continued to provide therapy in the comfort of families' homes.
For 14 1/2 years, I gave my ALL to my patients and their families. It was good work, and I'm honored to have impacted their lives in such meaningful ways. But looking back, I see God at work, molding me and preparing me for my future work as a writer and photographer. Doing home visits taught me how to develop a quick rapport and deep, meaningful relationships with people I'd never met. Working with families and children with special needs provided me with a hearty dose of reality. Does joy come quick and easy? For some, but not all. Are struggles, pain, and hardships overcome with a snap of the fingers? Most often not. Life is a journey. Our stories are continuously unfolding. We wake up day after day, only to begin again. Yes, those 14 1/2 years of speech and language therapy created in me a love of STORY, an ability to enter into peoples' most intimate spaces, understand where they'd been, where they wanted to go, and relate right where they were.
Over the course of those years when I was actively practicing speech-language therapy, Seth and I had three children, Cooper, Elsa, and Maisie. We moved into a house, then another house. Seth worked, then worked even more.
Life was unfolding so perfectly, so precisely. But the truth is, after we landed the jobs, after we moved into the houses, after we had kids, life started unraveling and quickly became complicated.
My dad got laid off from his job as a band director two years before retirement. A propane tank fell on my mom's hand and broke her finger. My sister moved to Los Angeles, dealt with SIX YEARS of significant addiction and mental health issues, and gave birth to two children, one who had a serious medical problem requiring surgery three days after birth. My brother got in a major accident. My dad had a heart attack. My husband got eye cancer. My dad was diagnosed with a rare lung disease which lead to a lung transplant. My mother-in-law had a heart attack. I experienced 6 1/2 years of chronic bleeding before I got answers. Our kids had lice four times, and I experienced ten days of panic attacks in December 2016 because it was all just too much to handle. My husband lost his job due to a massive corporate reorganization, our family made a cross-country move from Minneapolis to Seattle, and just six months later, my husband received a diagnosis of metastatic uveal melanoma with multiple tumors in his liver, ultimately leading to his passing at 46 years of age in March 2020.
In the middle of the mess, I sensed a call to write for an audience beyond myself and began dreaming about becoming a published author. The call began in early 2003 and peristed until I launched my first blog, Divine in the Daily, in 2012. I wrote faithfully in that space from July 2012 to December 2016. During those four years, I left my career to pursue writing and professional photography. And in March 2017, I launched this website, a space where I can merge my love of writing and photography for the long haul.
So here we are.
As you can imagine, there are a million details I neglected to mention in this retelling of my story. But I'm pretty sure you understand because you've lived quite the story yourself.
Today I thank God for His story, the story He's writing through each one of us. I'm hoping, believing, and trusting that my experiences, my life, MY STORY will help me tell YOUR STORY with more heart, greater authenticity, and deeper understanding.
Thank you for visiting. Thank you for listening. Thank you for giving me the great honor, privilege, and opportunity to hear and tell YOUR STORY with words and with photographs.
May we leave a legacy. May we listen, be attentive and alert. May we see with eyes bright and clear. May we be truth tellers, never discounting our pain and our past for the sake of putting on a good face. May we live wild and free in the awkward tension of reality and redemption. May we know without a doubt that our story matters.
Your story matters.
See the significance of your story.
we moved to Indiana where my husband worked full-time and I attended graduate school full-time. Two years later, I