How long have you been blogging?

I started a blog as a family journal in 2005 chronicling our journey overseas, which eventually evolved into The River Into Words in 2008. You can read my first post here.

Why did you move to Ireland and what do you do?

My husband Matt works for a US-based Christian ministry, sending us to Ireland initially in 2008 to work with the local church 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 arts ministry and community service. You can find out more about our work here.

 TRIM CASTLE, COUNTY MEATH, SEPTEMBER 2009

TRIM CASTLE, COUNTY MEATH, SEPTEMBER 2009

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 child. 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. We root for the Jayhawks, Packers and Chiefs (when the Packers aren't playing), which keeps our home peaceful and happy. You can read our story here.

What did you study?

I studied theology, music and communications, graduating with a B.A. in Print Media. Iā€™m currently attending Maynooth University just down the road for an M.A. in Literature.

Were your children born in Ireland? Do they like it there?

We have three children: J & E were both born in America, but A was born in Drogheda, County Louth. 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?

Yes! 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.

 LOOSE PARK / KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI USA / NOVEMBER 2012

LOOSE PARK / KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI USA / NOVEMBER 2012

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.

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 big holiday gatherings, no cheering section at school programs.

What do you write?

Currently, I work part-time from home as a freelance copywriter and graphics editor for online businesses and non-profits. But my passion is for creative non-fiction and the personal essay and reporting on international faith issues (church, religion, or lack thereof). I also write freelance articles on parenting, charities, cross-cultural living and other expat issues.

For links to my work, visit the Elsewhere page. 

 LENEXA, KS USA / JANUARY 2017

LENEXA, KS USA / JANUARY 2017