I have this theory about bloggers.

I think that the ones with the most readers (girls like Dooce, Jasmine Star, Young House Love) are the ones who are the same type girls who would say to me in school “Want to see what’s in my purse?”. What they had in their purse always seemed infinitely more exciting than what was in my own. I would never ever randomly say that to someone, not even my best friend. Their lip gloss or chap stick and whatever else always seemed charmed while whatever I had in mine felt boring and worn out.

So it goes with writing. Those people who have a ton of followers seem to spill their guts or just talk about everyday stuff and we read it. It’s hard for me to think that anyone would care to read about my day to day life. I guess a little bit of mystery goes a long way with me too. So, I’m probably never going to be one of those girls. I’ll probably not list out what I had for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks on my blog and tell you every little thing. That’s just not me. However I am trying to find my voice here. A couple things I do know is that I want to be real. I want to be encouraging. I want to show you the beauty in everyday life that we so often miss. I want to mix up some practical stuff with some really beautiful stuff and some funny, clever stuff. Maybe I’ll tell you a couple secrets and maybe I’ll share my dinner or lunch some days or show you something cool I found. I hope you will want to see it. That’s the fear after all. You know what I mean? If I ask you if you want to see what’s in my purse…what if you say no?


It’s Monday again! Once again we are featuring someone who loves going to work even on Monday mornings … my dear friend Kara! There’s another post coming about her wedding and just why she is so dear to my heart but today we’ll just say she is one special lady who really loves her job. She’s one of those people who lights up a room with her smile and caring, warm personality. The moment I met her I felt like I’d known her forever, she just has that way of making you feel comfortable and at ease. Who better to work with children as a Nurse Practitioner? Meet Kara!

Kara Hartman
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at Mercy Well Child Pediatrics
33 years young/old (depending on the day)
I’ve been an NP for a little over a year

I really floundered around for the first several years out of undergrad. I taught high school, nannied in France, worked for a major engineering firm, at a dentist office, & at Battelle, a R&D company. I got brave & went back to school about 4 years ago after much soul searching & career counseling. This job is my first post grad school. I received an email about it from one of my professors & then did a little investigating. It’s a part of Catholic Health Charities in rural Ohio in an under-served area. When I interviewed with MWCP I was floored by the medical home approach they were using. They were by far the most comprehensive “whole person/family care” I’ve come across. I shadowed and then a couple days later got the job offer. I was delighted to accept! And am still delighted to be a part of this amazing team.

What I love most about my job …

is working with such an invested team at MWCP…we have caught hold of this vision for the children of this community & they tirelessly go after day after day after day. And we have fun doing it. We laugh a lot. The kids & families make it worthwhile, of course. But too, it is so incredibly energizing to be like-minded & “in the trenches” with this team.

The biggest challenges for me …

…the family situations & dynamics that are harmful to kids…abuse, poverty, the system letting them down, etc. I walk away many days knowing the only thing left to do is pray…which is powerful & effective but often feels inadequate.

My advice to someone interested in this field …

My advice would be to somehow figure out that delicate balance of leaving work at work, but never losing sight of the individuals you serve. It is an honor to play a role insuch a crucial & life influencing way…but in order to serve tirelessly, you’ve got to stay engaged with family, friends, church community, etc. Also, if possible it’s a good idea to practice in a town different from where you live to help that home/work distinction be a reality.

I work with lots of wonderful people that inspire me daily …

…from nurses Patti & Ashley who have such positive attitudes & are so good about anticipating needs, to Tracey who is a wonderful vision caster & leader in the psycho social realm, to Kelly who is my mentor and a wonderful nurse practitioner, to Brooke & Beth our administrative calms in the storm….Deb & Kathy have sacrificially served for decades…& several others truly giving of themselves beautifully…They inspire me to be more & serve more & laugh more…

As a kid what did I want to be when I grew up?

Well, I wanted to be everything at one point or another….that was part of the journey to medicine…so here I am. Maybe I’ll teach again in nursing or hopefully travel internationally again to serve medically…who knows. But I love where I am now & I plan to enjoy it while I’m here :)

This is Kara with one of the kids she serves. She loves these kids so much, if we lived in her area I’d be taking my little Byrdie to her without a doubt! Having a medical practitioner that cares makes all the difference in the world! Thank you Kara for sharing with us!

Do you love what you do? Have you met someone that obviously loves what they do so much it shows in their work? Share your stories in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!


Happy Monday everybody! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. We sure did! I made a turkey with all the trimmings and we had family down to visit from Ohio. On Mondays like this after a big weekend full of going nonstop it’s always a little bit harder to get going. Here’s a little something to hopefully help cushion your Monday morning and get you motivated.

This morning I have the privilege of introducing you to my dear friend Gail. She’s a very talented lady and knows how to get the job done with style and grace and she truly loves what she does. We used to work together and she was one of those people who had a way of stopping by to say hello just when you needed to see a friendly smile. A ray of sunshine on a cloudy day! Never underestimate the power of a friendly smile and kind word, it may be just what someone needs to get them through the day.

Name: Gail Sech

Occupation: Business Development and Marketing

Years in current job or field: 8 in digital marketing. Over 20 in marketing, sales, sales support.

Five Questions

What brought you to this job?

I had spent more than six years working for a large digital agency and had tired of the politics. Once on the outside, I realized how many really cool things were happening locally in marketing and technology and how many really smart people were making a difference. I was working on doing my own agency when Adept stepped in made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. In my old job, we worked with big, established companies. Today I work with much more exciting, entrepreneurial brands.

What do you love most about your job?

I love talking to new people all the time and learning about what they are doing or trying to do. I have a lot responsibility in this position, but also a lot more respect. :)

What’s the biggest challenge?

Getting all the work done! Only so many hours in a day.

What one piece of advice you would give someone wanting to work in your field/industry/position?

You have like to a fast pace and be open to things to change quickly.

Who inspires you? (in your field or otherwise)

I think my parents both inspired me the most with their hard work ethic and the belief that we are all responsible to work hard, do our best and contribute to society.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I think that as a kid, I always wanted to work in business, so in a way, I guess this is it. One of my friends tells me that I am the only person she knows who actually still works in her college major. I have a marketing degree :)

Thank you Gail for sharing with us! Do you love your job? What gets you going on a Monday morning? Leave a comment and tell us more!


This week I’m very excited to bring you an interview with my beautiful cousin Jessica! She was one of the first to respond when I put out the call for folks who are passionate about what they do. She’s as lovely on the inside as she is on the outside and I only wish that we lived closer so she could be my little Byrdie’s Kindergarten teacher in a few years! I come from a family of teachers and I am married to one also, to be a teacher you must truly love your job, it’s one of the hardest and most rewarding careers in the world.

Name: Jessica Lyons
Occupation: Kindergarten Teacher
Age: 24
Years Teaching: 2

How did you get this job?

After graduating from Auburn University in December (a difficult time to find a teaching job), I was offered a part-time Reading Intervention position. I pulled small groups of children for reading, and even math, and we worked on specific skills that the children were struggling with. I split my time between two schools- an elementary school and a middle school. After the school year ended, I applied for jobs all over and was offered a temporary job teaching Kindergarten that later turned into a full-time position after the teacher decided to retire early. I have been teaching Kindergarten ever since.

What do you love most about your job?

What I love most about my job is spending my day with precious 5 and 6 year olds and watching them learn. When they succeed at something, it just brightens my day.

What is the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge of my job is trying to split my time between actually teaching my students and doing all the required paperwork, attending the many meetings, and other things that teachers are asked to do. Sometimes I feel like I get bogged down with things that can take away from my teaching. Another challenging part of my job is trying to keep with the changing curriculum and standards that are required by the state.

What 1 piece of advice would you give someone wanting to work in your field/study?

I would always encourage upcoming teachers to go and shadow a teacher for several days or a week to see what the job really entails. Some people think teaching is just playing with children all day, but there is much, much more involved.

Who inspires you?

There are several people who inspire me. Most of them are teachers I had as a student growing up. Throughout the past few years, I have been able to work with other teachers on a variety of things and I really enjoy being able to watch them and see their ideas and methods.

When you were a kid what do you want to be when you grew up?

A teacher!!

Thank you so much for sharing Jessica! Don’t you love seeing her room at the school? We will be back with another job lover next Monday!


I have something I am so happy to share with you today! For a long time now (years!) I have wanted to start this series called “I Love My Job” featuring interviews with people who (as the name implies) genuinely love to get up on Monday mornings and go to work. Some may work a traditional 9-5, some may not but they all are passionate about what they do and excited to share it with you.

There was a time in my life when I hated my job. Let me rephrase that. I DESPISED my job with every bit of my being and had to figure out a way to make it work despite having a boss that created a hostile environment, panic attacks and working with the most stressed out people I’ve ever seen in my life. The only way I survived was by having a quiet time each morning, giving it all to God finding any small thing I could to be thankful for and relying on Him to get me through the day one hour at at time. On the other hand I have had jobs I have loved so much they didn’t feel like work at all and I’ve had some that were somewhere in between. My hope is that you will meet these people and be inspired and encouraged whether you love your job too or you just need some encouragement to make the best of where you at right now or if you want some inspiration to pursue a new career path.

This Monday morning I get to kick off this series by introducing you to a new friend of mine. Her work is beautiful and she inspires me!

Name: Danielle Magnuson

Occupation: Wedding & Portrait Photographer

Age: 23

Years current job or field: 2 years

How did you get this job?

Throughout High School I was always involved in the Arts. One specific area never really stood out and I found myself at a loss for where to begin. My senior year I decided to go to school for Fashion Design (with the nudging of family, friends and teachers who said it was perfect for me). About a month before school began, I backed out… I felt in my heart that this direction was not for me and prayed that the Lord would give me the right direction. By the grace of God I got into Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL packed up and moved to pursue a career in photography. Photography, it seemed, should have been the obvious choice all along. So I finished my A.S in photography after transferring to Daytona State College, then got a B.S in Visual Arts and Emerging Media Management from U.C.F. During that time I was working with another photographer who was a bit older than me. She showed me how she ran her business and I learned confidence in my shooting. Then she had to move out of state, and it was then, in my Senior year of my B.S that I decided to start out on my own and thus began Danielle Nichol Photography.

What do you love most about your job?

I love being able to set my own hours (usually a lot of hours, haha). This enables me to be involved in housework, dinner for my husband, and Church activities as well as our family. I also love getting to be surrounded by fun clients with a love for creativity.

What’s the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge is that I own my own business…It has it’s pros and cons. The hardest thing about that I run the business probably more than I actually shoot. I spend more time balancing checkbooks, updating my website, answering emails, and booking clients. This is necessary until I can have the income to hire an assistant. But that’s what makes my business so great, that I am my own boss!

What one piece of advice you would give someone wanting to work in your field/industry/position?

I think I would have to say, be prepared to work long hours and extend yourself really far to make things work and grow. Network, network, network, and don’t be shy!

Who inspires you?

I am inspired by other artists…even those that use other mediums, such as painting, and videography. I hope to develop my style as more of a fine art, rather than journalism, so surrounding myself with other artists in different mediums is really important to me.

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up, is this it?

This is going to sound totally rehearsed, but I truly wanted to be an astronaut. I was obsessed with outer space and memorized the order of the plants at a really young age. I even placed those glowing plantes and stars in the correct order on my wall in what seemed like exact ratios between them… hahah!

www.daniellenicholphotography.com

Thanks so much to Danielle for sharing with us! Check out more of her work and get more information about her services at the link above.


If you notice ALOT of yellow from me on Pinterest this week it’s because … (drum roll please) … I’m guest pinning for Alt Summit on the Color Lovin': Yellow board! I saw a post about it on Facebook, voluntered and I’m so happy, pleased and honored to join all the all guest pinners! What’s Alt Summit? It’s an amazing resource for bloggers and they have a couple of events each year that I someday hope to attend. If you are a blogger or want to be or just need some design inspiration, definitely check them out.

So here’s some yellow from my Instagram. A photo I took on the first day we moved here to sunny Florida in August. It represents new beginnings to me. Yellow is one of my favorite colors. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it’s sunny and after all those years of living in cloudy Ohio I craved sunshine like you wouldn’t believe. In our last apartment I had one wall painted a bright yellow called “cheerful” and there are plenty of splashes of it around our house.

So here’s to Alt Summit, the color yellow, sunshine and new beginnings for our family and this blog.


Our little Byrdie went Trick or Treating last year but being so young it was a short experience. This year she is almost 2 and a half. We dressed up her up as Ponyo because it’s her favorite movie. My friend sewed her an amazing costume from scratch and she LOVED the whole experience of dressing up and going out. She was a little shy but bravely marched up to each house and said “trick or treating!” instead of “trick or treat”. Heart melt. It was adorable. She said thank you to each person then “let’s get another treat!”.

We have just recently moved to Florida and are brand new to this community. We went over to the friends who invited us because their neighborhood goes ALL out for Halloween. There the residents get really into decorations (some a little too scary for my taste) and alot of the neighbors sit out with their fire pit on the driveway handing out candy and socializing. Our friends did that too so after walking around a bit we went back to their house for chili and apple crisp. l had been sitting outside with my little girl’s bucket beside me and my husband’s costume on top of it. I went inside with her because it got cold and shortly after the candy ran out and everyone else came in. We forgot the bucket was sitting there full of candy. Even though it was only outside at most for ten minutes, and despite the fact that it was covered up – someone stole it! We were so upset and just felt sick. It was our fault for leaving it there and we felt awful. As waves of regret swept over me I kept thinking how disappointed she would be. We weren’t worried about the candy. Who possibly needs that much candy anyway? She loved that green bucket. It was a big piece of the Ponyo costume and story and she was so proud of it. Not only that it was the whole experience. How could we explain such a cruel trick.

In the grand scheme of things it would be quickly forgotten and with a global perspective it really wasn’t a big deal. But we are parents and our hearts hurt at even the smallest things when it comes to our little ones. Fortunately my sweet girl was having fun playing and didn’t realize what was going on. My husband took off running down the street to try to catch the person but it was too dark and too late. We just felt awful and couldn’t bear the thought of telling her.

At first she didn’t even notice. When we left the our friend’s house they gave her the basket they had with all their leftover candy in it and their grandsons (young kids around 8-10) all reached in their bags and gave her candy from their own haul. We had to stop them because they were actually giving too much and we felt bad. They were so kind.

So we got in the car and realized we could go get her another bucket from the Dollar Tree store if we could hurry and get there before they closed. As we drove she picked up on the fact that her bucket was missing and we sort of fumbled over our words and told her that it was lost but we are going to find it. Fortunately we found another one just like it. The cashier overheard us talking and asked what happened sowe told him the story. He said “That’s awful!” and expressed the frustration most anyone would at the story of a little two year old’s bucket of candy being stolen. He rang us up and said “Wait just one second” and picked up his cell phone. We overheard him calling to ask his mom if she still had candy and told her the story and said he was going to send us there. He then proceeded to give us the address and told us to go there she would take care of us. Now I realize it may seem a little strange to take these directions and go to a strangers house, but on the other hand isn’t that what Trick or Treat is? For some reason, we felt ok about it. Perhaps it was our urgent desire to rectify the situation for our little girl.

In the car Marlo started asking questions about the bucket like “why did we have to buy it”. So we had to break down and tell her what happened. We told her we still had to go to one more house. She didn’t skip a beat and was just excited she got to go to one more house. So we went and the older lady who lived there was so nice. For some reason barely anyone had come to their door and she had a huge, huge bowl of candy left. She literally filled Marlo’s bucket to the brim with candy. That child wound up with more candy than she lost. Much more.

We told her we have to forgive the person (as we reminded ourselves) so it was turned out to be a learning opportunity for us all. We couldn’t help thinking of the scripture about the sparrow. God cares about the sparrows and even my little Byrdie’s bucket of candy. He gave her back so much more than she lost.

It’s a story we’ll never forget.

Luke 12:6-7
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.


P2P4meridith_scherer_abstractions

it’s been a whirlwind. in august i decided to go back to school. crazy. i must have been taking some kind of crazy pills that day. it really did all get decided in one day and then boom, after starting college …ahem… awhile ago i went back. i am taking digital photography and finally learning something i want to learn about. it’s every bit as hard as i thought it would be and more to take classes online and some in person, be a mom, be a wife, work part time from home and have a husband who is working two jobs and going to school full time.

it’s alot.

it’s just a season though and in march my husband starts student teaching and then he graduates in june. what a glorious day that will be. some kind of party is definitely in order i do believe. so we have a little girl now, no more baby, she’s a toddler 1 1/2 to be exact as of this week. she’s getting into everything. we found 5 gum wrappers on the floor yesterday after she had apparently decided to raid my purse and eat 5 pieces of sugar free gum. running around after her, doing my job and trying to squeeze in school and taking pictures whenever i can doesn’t leave room for much else like cleaning or writing here. i am doing some writing over here though, talking about going to school for photography and other stuff. i’m still here, i’m not giving up on this blog, i’m just trying to get through this season and learn all i can so we can go new places.