How long have you been blogging?
Why did you move to Ireland and what do you do?
My husband Matt works for a US-based Christian non-profit, sending us to Ireland initially in 2008 to work with the local church, ministries and non-profit organisations. We lived in County Meath for two years, relocated back to the US and then reapplied to return to Ireland on a long-term basis. In 2013 we moved to back to Dublin, with a primary focus on discipleship through the arts and community service.
Did you choose Ireland or did Ireland choose you?
The truth is, Ireland has had a steady place in my heart since I was a young girl. I didn't know the reason why until adulthood, when Matt and I started dreaming of the possibility of moving overseas. At the time, with one baby in tow, we weren't sure if we could swing a lifetime in another country, so we narrowed down our destinations to English-speaking countries and searched organisations who were placing people on a short-term basis to work with young people, music and carpentry. In the end, it culminated in the perfect fit for us.
Where are you from originally? How did you and your husband meet?
I'm a Kansas girl, raised in the Kansas City metro area. Matt hails from the frozen tundra of Wisconsin. We met in college in Chicago before I dragged him back to KC and then across the ocean. You can read our story here. We root for the Jayhawks, Packers and Chiefs (when the Packers aren't playing), which keeps our home peaceful and happy.
What did you study?
I studied music and communications, graduating with a B.A. in Print Media.
Were your children born in Ireland? Do they like it there?
Jack and Ella were both born in America, but Asher was born here in Ireland. Though they experience fleeting moments of homesickness for family and friends, they all love it here, are making friends and enjoy our somewhat nontraditional family and work life.
Do you have dual citizenship?
No, not yet. We are in Ireland on a Stamp 3 visa, which we apply to renew yearly. You can read more about our misadventures in immigration here.
What kind of education do your children receive?
Our younger children attend a national primary school (public) in the Educate Together ethos, while our eldest attends an all-boys national secondary school.
How long will you live in Ireland? Will you ever move back to America?
Our commitment here is open-ended and we hope to remain in Ireland indefinitely! However, due to some US tax requirements, we must return to the States for a few months every five years. We see this as a good point to reevaluate and recommit when the time comes. Our plan right now is to return temporarily to the US for the 2018-2019 school year.
What's the best thing about living in Ireland? What's the hardest?
Probably the best thing about our life in Ireland is just that: life. We love the people here, Matt loves his work, and our children are receiving such a rich life-education. And, you know, it's unbelievably beautiful. The hardest thing is the obvious geographical distance from our families. There are no sleepovers with the grandparents, no after church family meals, no cheering section at school programs.
What is equally-shared parenting?
Because we essentially work from home, both Matt and I are able to share parenting and home responsibilities somewhat evenly. It comes and goes in waves and we readjust frequently, but for the most part we subscribe to Equally Shared Parenting, divvying up the workload (home, family, ministry) down the middle as much as possible. It isn't always perfectly even, but it is fair and we count ourselves enormously blessed to be so involved in our kids' lives (and to have them involved in our work!).
What do you write?
I've dabbled in writing some short fiction pieces, but my primary focus is non-fiction, faith-based journalism. You'll often find me reporting on faith issues online along with personal essays. I also write freelance articles on parenting, charities, cross-cultural living and other expat issues (for links to my work, visit the Elsewhere page). And when I'm in a mood, I write about growing up in the church as a child of divorce. This may or may not turn into a book.
What won't I see on this blog?
You will almost never see pictures of food. I cook only as a means of survival and will try to keep this blog as food-free as possible. I very, very rarely write about politics and while I'm learning every day about life in Ireland, I am not an expert on education, healthcare or the church here. I probably won't post pictures of my outfits, hairstyles, or any tutorials of any kind other than satirically. You will almost never see sponsored posts, and if you do, I will tell you straight up.
Got any other questions for me? Visit the contact page and drop me a note!