enjoying a stuffed croissant from Little Bread Co.
after a morning at the farmer's market!
Hi! Welcome to my blog, Life in its Natural State. Why did I decide to call it that? A nod to Arkansas: I was born and raised in Texarkana--I tried to skip on down to Louisiana once upon a time after a weird summer in Texas, but despite the delicious creole food, friendly people, and hypnotizing jazz, I somehow wound up 8.5 hours in the opposite direction only a month later. I now spend my days driving around the beautiful Ozarks in Northwest Arkansas, focused on my passion of helping youth and families stay out of the system by sharing the wealth of research on nurturing parenting. In between Southwest and Northwest Arkansas, there was Central Arkansas--a proud scholar of the Norbert O. Schedler Honors College at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway (home of Toad Suck Daze and birthplace of my brothers). It was there I earned my BA in Psychology, alongside minors in Creative Writing & Interdisciplinary Studies. Basically, I can't get enough of the Natural State!

Having said that, I go out of the Natural State when I can to explore the rest of Mother Earth and I'll be sharing that here as well. More than anything, this blog is merely about what its title says: LIFE - in the typical form it tends to come in these days, and my perspective of said life as it transpires in its natural state.

Things you might need to know about me:
  • I can't really ride a bike very well. Which feels better than flat out saying I can't ride a bike, which is what I used to say. I got really cocky when I the first time I stayed on my bike for 5 miles without falling (still stopping frequently), and then this happened near the end of the second attempt...
  • 9 times out of 10, if I'm writing about Kafka, it's my German Shepherd mutt and not the writer. He was acquired from a Walmart parking lot my last semester of undergrad. 
    [Birthday: 1/21/13] [Forever Home Day: 3/2/13]
  • I snap backwards, which means my thumb goes downward while yours goes upward. I didn't realize this for many years, until wondering why the artists drew some cartoons snapping backwards on a show I was watching. 
  • I really like salsa--I try to get a different jar everytime I go to the grocery store. I like spicy, flavorful food in general. And most other food too. 
  • I mentioned my older brothers--I have 3, and I've loved them dearly, as you can see, from a very young age. 
    from left to right: Jimmy, Jeremy, Chris
  • I also have two step-siblings but I don't claim them. Instead, I have lots of nephews I adore.
  • I have been on steroids multiple times and had ileum resection surgery right before my senior prom as I have Crohn's disease (and take Humira).
  • My biological father has both antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder, and my eldest brother died when he was 19 in a horrific accident - so there was a lot of somber atmospheres in my early, early childhood before my mom met my step-dad, Jim. 
  • I enjoy writing (obviously, as my minor was in Creative Writing), but I'm a bit rusty! I think all my words were drained from me when I wrote my thesis for college (a dystopian novel), so this is my first attempt at getting back to basics. Having said that, I never was much of the editing type--you get my stream of consciousness, apologies in advance. 
  • I'm an INFJ, and these are my Values in Action results from college (you can find out yours here):

Additionally: While I love receiving comments and supporting uncensored speech, I reserve the right to remove any comment for any reason, including general/self-promotional spam, disrespectful/inaccurate comments, arguments, or anything unrelated to the post. 

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