Most of the time when I tell people what I do, they ask one of two questions: how do you make money blogging, or how did you get into that line of work? I never really blame them because being a career blogger is a totally curious and sort of bizarre thing. But I’ve been meaning forever to document the story of how we got here on the blog, so that I can connect the dots for you.
GRowing Up Country
I grew up on a farm – an almond ranch, to be exact. I spent lots of time outside in the dirt, climbing trees, riding horses, driving 4-wheelers, and generally being a farm kid. But once I got old enough to start showing an interest in my own hobbies, you could usually find me doing one of three things: crafting, making music, or organizing things.
Seriously. I would take out my toys and categorize them by size. I would arrange and re-arrange my room. I would clean my mom’s closets out for her, just for fun. Check out this photo of my stuffed animal lineup (arranged from my most to least favorite, of course).
In elementary school, my mom also let us start 4-H, and I took every arts or crafts class I could get my hands on. In those days, “crafting” was a lot of folk painting and that kind of stuff. But at home, even though we didn’t have a ton of money, my mom also always somehow managed to have craft materials for us to experiment with. She would give us a bunch of paper, glue, sequins, thread, pipe cleaners, and whatever else she could find, and let us go crazy. I attribute so much of my creativity to her.
Getting on Stage
Later on, towards junior high, I fell deeply in love with music and the performing arts. I started taking piano and flute lessons, and I joined every choir I could find. Throughout high school singing and theatre became my main pursuits. I was in every school play and musical, and also started learning how to be a conductor.
I had been lucky to have a string of female choir teachers who were incredibly influential and inspiring. They provided me so many opportunities at a young age to travel, participate in amazing arts programs, and learn a ton. So when I went to college, I was super focused on becoming a music major so that I could eventually teach music.
To me, it seemed like an extension of my very crafty youth — it all felt like “the arts,” and that I was able to be creative in lots of different ways.
Becoming a Teacher
While I was in college getting my degree in music education, I definitely still had the bug to perform and be onstage. I continued to do musicals, but there was one lifelong dream that I also wanted to fulfill — I wanted to be a performer at Disneyland. I went down one summer to audition for the parades and actually got in! So I spent the summer before my senior year dancing in Disneyland’s Electrical Parade. It was every bit as magical as you can imagine.
After I graduated, I got what was (in my world) a dream job — I took over for my mentor, teaching the choirs at the high school where I had graduated four years earlier. The choir program was incredibly prestigious and well-known throughout California. It was kind of a high-pressure position, but I was up for the challenge.
But. A few years into teaching, I found that I couldn’t sustain it. I adored my students and the music we made together. But the huge program was resting on my shoulders and I knew that I was already burning out. I didn’t want to stay to the point of resenting it. And I also still had this other dream in the back of my head, to be a performer.
So I up and quit, and moved across the country to New York City to try to make it as a musical theatre performer. It was truly the hardest decision I’ve ever made. You can read all about that right here.
Blogging, and a Cross-Country Move
And at that point, I learned about blogging. In those days (the mid-2000’s), blogging was pretty much just like writing in an online journal. And that’s what I did. It was a creative outlet that had nothing to do with my musical theatre pursuits, but that I found really fulfilling. I actually have all of my old posts living here on Lovely Indeed, if you dig through the archives! Here’s the very first one.
So after I moved to NYC, I got a job as a waitress and auditioned for every show that I could. And after about 8 months of auditioning, I booked my first legit professional show. It was a tour with Nickelodeon, a live stage version of Go, Diego, Go. I loved it. And that’s where I met Ryan.
I’ll tell you a little more about our meeting in a later post that I have planned, because it was hilarious. (I dare you to guess the cocktail he was drinking when I first met him.) But suffice it to say that after a few weeks I was head over heels and we pretty much knew we had each met our forever person.
Ryan and I lived in the city for another 5 years, each of us continuing to work in musical theatre on all kinds of different shows — sometimes together, and sometimes apart. We went on another U.S. tour together, did a show in Shanghai, China together, and had a ton more adventures. And one summer, after I returned back from an acting job in Alabama, he asked me to marry him. Here’s a photo of the day we got engaged (babies!).
The Blog World
We got engaged and I knew I wanted a very DIY wedding. And in my research online, I stumbled into the world of DIY blogs. It was like a whole universe opened up to me! I didn’t know that blogs could be that beautiful, that bloggers could create such amazing things, and that there was so much helpful, free information all over the internet.
I was so inspired that I started Lovely Indeed, to document all of the DIY projects that we made for our wedding. And that’s where it all started.
To say that I had a meandering path to where I am now is a major understatement. I was fully prepared to be a music teacher all my life. But to me, it all makes so much sense. And it truly feels like the path that led me here was predestined, like I was meant to meet Ryan and then meant to discover this whole blogging world. It has been the thing that has helped us create the life that we love so much, and I’m beyond grateful for it.
I’ll be sharing the rest of our story soon — all about how Lovely Indeed grew and how our family came together. Thanks for following along, friend, and I’m so excited about what’s in store for this year! xoxo