I’m Monica and I am SO happy you’re here!
This is where I get to tell you a little about me…though, after nearly 8 years of blogging, this is still one of the hardest parts for me! I’d much prefer to have this conversation over a cup of coffee (or in a beach chair with a cool drink in hand), but we’ll make do for now.
*And, by the way — It would make things a lot less awkward for me if at the end you’d leave a comment – or shoot me an email — and tell me a little about you, too!
Where to begin?…
My husband Dave and I have been living in Hawaii for nearly 18 years. We arrived on the island with one son, and have had 3 more since. We moved to Oahu for my husband’s (3-year) medical residency training, and never left. (That seems to happen a lot around here.) We live on the North Shore on a hill in the country overlooking the “7 Mile miracle” — 7 miles of some of the best surfing beaches in the world. We grow tropical fruits, and in between surf sessions, I homeschool my 4 boys. Actually just 3 now — our oldest just took the long-dreaded-but-obviously-healthy-launch to Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Ca. I’m thrilled to report that he is very happy and adjusting well. We’re all trying to do the same. 🙂
I’m crazy about my boys and if I could freeze time — (last year )– I would.
Here they are — left to right….Josiah (19), Jonah (17), Luke (14) and Levi (8)
I have fallen head-over-heels in love with writing, speaking, and everything related. My greatest calling will always be to be a great mom and wife, so I try to set boundaries to keep my priorities straight. I do a lot of my writing in the fringe hours, or when my husband offers to home school the kids (which often leads to more surfing than schooling…) and I get the chance to dive into my work. Most days, I am juggling deadlines with laundry, school work, and a whole lot of time in the kitchen (which is my favorite!)
My husband Dave is a hospital doctor, and when he isn’t working he is usually either on his tractor, or at the beach coaching our 2 younger sons who are competitive surfers. He is a humble and kind man who I am so honored to share life with. Occasionally, he’ll sit down with me in front of a video camera to talk about doctor things or family things, but most of the time he opts for staying low-profile.
We think that marriage is as good as you make it, and we are big believers in investing time into the one relationship that will still be here when the kids are grown and gone. (because, as we recently discovered, that day really comes.) We pray together, play together, and try to keep a sense of humor in the midst of the crazy.
You’ll get to know all of us quickly if you read a few posts here, and even more when my book comes out next summer.
(pause for Christmas card family photo…)
Wait, what did I just say?! BOOK!? Yep! I signed my first publishing deal last year with Waterbrook (the Christian division of Penguin Randomhouse) and my book, BOY MOM is set to launch in the summer of 2019! I’m so excited!! I’ve worked really hard on it and I pray it is a huge encouragement to all of the boy moms who read it.
Other stuff about me? Here’s a quick list…
- The best thing I ever did was give my life to Jesus in my mid-20’s. His amazing grace changed me and sustains me. Any wisdom or encouragement you find in my writing is all from Him. I believe the Bible is the handbook for life, the greatest love story ever told, and holds the answers to our greatest questions.
- My husband and I are both from the Pacific Northwest. I grew up in Gig Harbor Washington, and still love to visit when I can. Fall is my very favorite. (Sometimes you’ll hear me
whinemention my disappointment that there is no fall in Hawaii.) Dave is from McMinnville, Oregon. (There is fall there, too.) We both have amazing families which is the biggest blessing on earth. We try to visit them each year, and I’ll bet you can guess what time of year I try to go…
- I studied Sports Medicine in College (Pepperdine University in Malibu, Ca….yes I’ve lived in some beautiful places!) Then I started a Physical Therapy graduate degree in Oregon, but quit when my husband decided to go to Medical School. Since then I got certified as a health/PE teacher, but have spent most of my adult life working on the side as a professional fitness instructor and personal trainer. However, none of that helped me overcome my food/body image hangups, so you can read about what I ended up doing, HERE. (It has a happy ending.) 🙂 I love to encourage others in this area! PS: I no longer teach group fitness, but in my dreams I will one day bring Step Aerobics back because it’s just the most fun workout.
- I started blogging 8 years ago, just after I turned 40 (you don’t have to do the math do you?) mostly because I knew I needed something “for me” outside of homeschooling and baby-wearing. (Side note: I’ve never been good at baby wearing, I’m not sure why I said that. Its humid in Hawaii, ya know? But I think it’s really cool when women do that.) Anyways, writing became my passion so quickly, and I was ready to do it forever, even if no one read what I wrote. (because for a while pretty much no one did.) Somehow, by the grace of God, a few of my posts got noticed and shared…and shared and shared, and next thing you know there are actual people reading my writing. And then an actual publishing company paying me to write a book. And I would have never believed this stuff even ten years ago.
Seriously guys; If there’s something you’re passionate about, please just go for it. Whether you’re 20 or 40, or 80. Just go for it.
- I’m a 3 on the Enneagram Personality profile. I love the Enneagram and could talk about it all day long. In fact, if you want to get me in a conversation you can bring up God or the Enneagram and I’m yours. If you don’t know what that is, here’s a post about it. I really think it has helped my family understand ourselves and each other better.
- My husband and I are both mostly Swedish, and my husband has a (kind of cute) bit of Swedish pride. Except we took the Ancestry DNA test and were disappointed to find out we were not as Swedish as we had thought. I’m still glad we did it because now I know I am .5% African. Which may forever be a mystery.
- We have a dog named Thor and a cat named Coconut. You’ll see them around as they are definitely part of the family. We love animals. (Our two previous Australian Shepherds died over the past couple years and that was hard.) True story: When my husband was in elementary school, a local newspaper did one of those things where they interview kids and ask them where they imagine they’ll be in 20 years. Dave’s mom saved the article, where as a little Oregonian, Dave said: “I’ll be living on a tropical island surrounded by animals.” ….And there ya go.
- Other random stuff: Like any true Mom, I drink a lot of coffee (sorry tea drinkers — or, I have this one friend — she drinks lemon water! I’m not sure how we became friends–) and I love a few quiet hours at Starbucks. I grew up with only brothers and now with only boys at home I rely on awesome girlfriends (and blog readers) to keep me up on girl things. (Have you heard about eyelash extensions? Seriously.) There are way too many shows about Alaska or spear fishing, and endless episodes of Star Wars on my television, so I will not turn down a chick flick if someone is kind enough to invite me. I snort-laugh at teenage boy humor and I still call my mom for help in the kitchen way too often. If this isn’t enough, I once I wrote a just-for-fun birthday blog post with all kinds of crazy “confessions”, so that might fill you in on other embarrassing things about me.
ENOUGH. Your turn! Thanks so much for being here and I truly hope you are blessed, encouraged, entertained (or maybe all three) by your time here!
ALSO: I HOPE you will subscribe to this blog so we can keep up with each other over time! This community is such a rad group of positive and inspiring humans…I hope you’ll join the club. 🙂
PS I wil be gathering a little gallery of photos here of things I left out, like the dog Thor (he’s a little hurt by that) and cat Coco (she could care less.) Also our home, and some fruit and…well, just check back and see. 🙂