My Career Story Part 2

This is a 4-part series on my story of going into teaching to leaving teaching for a new, non-traditional job.  Read Part 1 here

After college, Cody and I got married and moved into our first place in St Paul. I took a job as a teacher’s aide in a Pre-K classroom, and really fell in love with teaching early elementary kiddos! The next year, a position opened up and I was able to move over into a role teaching music, library, and computer to all 3 levels of preschool. It was an ideal job for me, and I was PUMPED!

I loved jumping back into teaching music and having to really work to do a good job.  It was so rewarding!! I pulled out resources from my college years, planned like crazy, and really poured my heart and soul into everything we did in the classroom.

The good

There is SO much I loved about teaching. The kids, my coworkers, having my own classroom, creating content that helped every child learn to love music and learn to love books, flexible summer schedules and a long Christmas break. . . in a way, it was everything I had ever wanted out of a career.

The Bad

There were things that were super hard though. I’m an introvert, and so as much as I loved my students and my coworkers, a full day of teaching was incredibly draining.  I didn’t have the energy to do anything beyond finish my lesson plans and crash on the couch. From August to May, I had basically no social life. It was fine for a while, but after four years, it gets a little lonely.   

Every school year I would reach a little breaking point where I would look for another job.  Not many people know this, but I even actually applied for another job my second year of teaching.

And the other (ha, you thought I was going to say ugly, didn’t you?)

Another aspect of teaching that was hard for me is that it only used one area of my skill set.  All the other areas that were missing in my life needed some kind of outlet. It couldn’t happen in my (missing) social life, but it needed an outlet. This is where LuLaRoe came in.  It gave me some interaction with grownups, and outlet for my social media skills, and an opportunity for friendship and leadership. I was able to interact with people on an introvert’s schedule – I could take time to unwind and recharge when I needed to, but still had a great way to connect with others. It was SO MUCH FUN.  It also allowed us to have extra income to get out of debt faster, and a way that we could serve others.

I really started to think that a combination of teaching and LuLaRoe was going to fix all the problems. Both were a good fit for me and for our family, but it didn’t truly fix the issues.

LuLaRoe brought so many amazing people into my life (shoutout to my amazing community!). I will NEVER regret those new relationships and experiences that I got!  I actually met one of my now-dear friends mostly through LuLaRoe. But that’s where the story starts to take yet another major turn… 

Check out part 3! 

My Career Story Part 1

I’ve been asked more and more about how I ended up teaching.  My go to answer has always been that it was totally God’s plan for me. I know, that sounds a little mysterious and like a canned Christian-ese answer.

So let me tell the story – the WHOLE story, starting from the very beginning. You might want to grab a coffee, it’s gonna be a bit of a ride!

My Dream Career

I literally can NOT remember a single day that I didn’t want to teach. I always loved school, would go home and play school, and my favorite day in the summer would be when my 1st grade-teacher grandma would take us to the school she taught at.  

Here’s the part that feels weird for share. I was always good at school. I don’t say that to brag, it’s just that school came easy to me.  It was nice sometimes because I got to help my peers learn and, in a way, learn to teach. But it also got really boring, and I hated the attention it brought.  I was never celebrated for doing well (even when I had to really work for it) because it was just expected that I would do well “naturally”. I was tired of having my accomplishments written off just because some things came easy to me. Pair that with a hefty dose of perfectionism, and that was my perspective on school. A’s where just expected, and anything less was a disappointment and was criticized.

But Why Music?

Enter music.  Music was something I always had an interest in, but never really got to pursue as a kid. So when I had an opening in my schedule Sophomore year, a friend and I decided to join choir and fell in love with it! I had a little natural talent in music, but mostly I had to work at it. I had to learn and push myself and I definitely wasn’t the best. It was refreshing! That’s when I decided I wanted to major in music education instead of education.

I respect the crap out of teachers, and I KNOW how hard they work not just in college but every single day of their careers.  But I knew that if I went to school and majored in (and boy oh boy does it make me cringe to even type this) “just” education, that I would be told that I wasn’t living up to my potential. That I was taking the easy way out, and that my major wasn’t challenging me.

Pressure to choose something else

The outside pressures were something I knew would get to me.  I knew that I wouldn’t push MYSELF with people telling me that. But if I picked music, I knew things would be different because it wasn’t something I had much experience with, and it wasn’t one of the things I was naturally good at. I would want to push despite the crap people might say to me.

Looking back,  picking a major based mostly on the “screw you, I can work hard and be good at stuff too” mentality was probably not the best choice.  But I LOVED having to push myself to be noticed among my peers. I loved having to work towards something. I loved achieving based on my effort (and even the feeling of failing forward). There wasn’t the same expectation that I would be the best and anything less was failure. I finally was feeling accomplished, even when I was not at the top of the class!

Graduation and Beyond

I graduated college ready to take on the world, still with my passion for teaching music, and also for working with young children! I started applying for jobs, and planning for my future career. Have you ever felt like this though – just when you think you have the PERFECT plan in place, it starts to break apart at the seams? Well now I had the plan, and it was time for life to step in a give me a bit of a reality check…

Part 2 is up now! Check it out!

Let’s Talk About Our Love Sac…

One of our winter hobbies is walking around the Mall of America.  Yeah, it’s touristy, yeah, we don’t always love to be there, but we also hate winter and hate cold, so a place we can walk three indoor miles is super nice!  Our winter boredom turned into an awesome experience with Love Sac Furniture! 

With all the time spent walking the mall, we also spent time harshly judging checking out all the stores. One we passed a lot was the Love Sac store.  Sure, the couches looked comfy, and it was pretty cool that they were practically legos – you could build them to your specifications . . .but considering we had never purchased ANY furniture brand new, we balked at the price and figured we would never actually get to test them.

Stellar Love Sac Marketing

When we moved into our new house, we got a flier in the mail that said something about getting a free seat and side if we brought the flier in.  It was like a $500 (check this?) value. We knew there had to be a big catch, but on our next mall-walking adventure, we brought it in to check.

Turns out it really was for free!  We needed to buy covers, which were a little pricey, so we hesitated. Heck, the most expensive furniture we owned at this point was the table we bought at a second-hand store for $60! But we had been looking for a little reading chair in our bedroom, and the seat/side was the perfect size and was comfortable, so we went for it!

We LOVED that chair, and figured we would keep an eye out for a good deal to get more pieces to build our lego-couch with. The plan was to buy another seat and side when we got out of debt to make a little Loveseat.

Love Sac Adventures – Part 2

Fast forward about 5 months – Cody received an email that Love Sac was having a celebration event and doing awesome giveaways! Basically, everyone who walked in the store (which had been remodeled) would be handed an envelope. Inside the envelope, there would be some kind of discount or a freebie. We figured we might as well see, and if we got a decent discount we could look at getting something to add to our chair!

We walked in, sat down on a couch, and each of us were handed an envelope from the sales rep (shoutout to Alysha!).  Cody opened his first. It was about what we expected – 20% off any purchase bla bla bla… Not a bad deal.  It would be fine for the smaller accessories we were hopping to get. Alyssa went next and just stared at it for a hot second. She turned to the sales rep and said “This says we won a free sectional?” with a BIG ‘ol question mark at the end.


Yes. It took three of us reading this over and over to confirm. This wasn’t clear enough. . . 😉

Alysha looked just as shocked as Alyssa handed her the card.  After all 3 of us have spent what was probably a solid 30 seconds reading and confirming, we finally accepted that it was for real! We won a sectional, with 2 seats, 4 sides, and ALL the covers included! For FREE!


A few months Later. . .how we feel about Love Sac

We absolutely LOVE our Sactional! Right now, it’s arranged in a way so that  the seats are extra deep. It’s perfect for curling up in while working or eating dinner, and both of us can stretch out and relax while watching Big Bang Theory. Also, for us the cupholders we purchased are a definite must! They are nice and hefty, look amazing, and are perfect for throwing a drink in. The bonus is not having to worry about knocking it over, or having to get a coaster out!



Cody setting up our Sactional! So simple!

If you happen to have a Lovesac showroom near you, we would for sure recommend stopping by and trying out their furniture. We have been very impressed by the comfort and the look! Also, the build quality and durability seems to be well above most other furniture companies. Plus, shouldn’t ALL furniture be required to have removable, machine-washable covers? We sure think so.

If you have any LoveSac furniture, let us know! We’d love your advice on what to get next!

GIVING out of Business with LuLaRoe

LuLaRoe is a clothing company that really helped us out.  We were actively a part of the business for over a year. During that time, it met all of our goals.  We wanted an outlet outside of our professions, an outlet to be creative, a discount on cute clothes, a new community, and another job to help us get out of debt.  It did all of those things and more!

But then we reached a new stage in life

After time, LuLaRoe stopped fitting our needs and was no longer serving our mission as a family.  Our only hope at that point was that we could move on to things that would further our mission AND that would help us break even enough to get our LuLaRoe business out of our house!  So, a few months ago, we realized we needed to work the business enough to say goodbye.

Some of you saw that happen -Remember a few months ago when we made a “comeback” and then disappeared?  It wasn’t that we changed our minds about leaving LuLaRoe, but you guys, it just didn’t feel right to us.  Even though we just wanted to get all these awesome clothes out to you (AND say goodbye to our clothing business), it felt like since OUR heart wasn’t in it, it would feel like we just wanted your money, and that isn’t the case at all.

So we re-evaluated and found a plan that works to get you AMAZING clothing, part ways with LuLaRoe, and serves our mission. And you guys – we are SO PUMPED.


You’ve heard of “Going out of business” right? Of course you have, it seems like LuLaRoe retailers left and right are “Going out of Business” (It’s the natural rise and fall after a big boom in a new company).  Well we are going to be “Giving out of business”.

ALL of our profits (that’s right- 100% of our profits, and even some of our overhead cost) will be going to various charities and causes and we want your help!  Do you have a friend in need or a case near to your heart? Let’s host a fundraiser together!   We have so many great places in the works to help other people, and we can’t wait to partner with you to bless others!

To sum it all up:

You get cute, comfortable clothes.

We part ways with our business as our family goals have shifted.

Together, we get to help other people.

Fun fact – this was what we posted when we were announcing we were starting with LuLaRoe. Service has ALWAYS been our truest mission.

We LOVE LuLaRoe and are sad that it doesn’t fit into our lives any more. But, we are THRILLED to be able to say goodbye in a way that will brighten other’s lives! PLEASE shoot us a message or comment below if you have someone in mind that you would like to help!  If you weren’t a part of our LuLaRoe group, join us for cute clothes and serving others!

A new chapter in my career (why I’m retiring from teaching at age 25)

Growing up, I always had two main ambitions: I wanted to teach and I wanted to have an amazing family.  Those were my goals. Now, here I am at 25 – leaving my teaching job and with no immediate plans to start a family.  Yet, I’m perfectly content.

Don’t worry, I’m not abandoning these lifelong goals, it’s just that they have grown and changed over the years! When I started college, my world changed, along with my goals. I especially wanted to travel. When Cody and I met, I realized that one of my new goals was to prioritize time together as much as possible. On top of all of that, I’ve always found joy in volunteering and helping, so I’ve wanted to make time for that.

Born to teach

All in all, teaching was a perfect fit for me and for my goals.  It was something I clearly had a gift for.   I had summers “off” where I could travel.  I was done working by 4 (often by 1 as a part time employee) , so I had more time with my husband.  Helping and teaching are practically synonymous in a preschool classroom.  Teaching checked all the boxes.  Or so I thought.

The toll of teaching

As an introvert, teaching is exhausting. August through May, I finish up at school and feel too tired to do anything but recharge.  I don’t explore my hobbies, I don’t spend quality time with my husband, and I’m always bordering on physical and mental exhaustion.  Starting in my first year teaching I explored other career options, even though I KNEW I was born to teach.

God has been showing me that there are other situations outside of the classroom that truly allow me to pursue my goals and dreams, and use the gifts He’s given me.  Once I began to understand that, I knew what I needed to do.  I announced that I would not be returning to teaching in the fall.

Well, what’s the plan?

I will be taking on my current side gig as an Executive Assistant for an incredible health and fitness coach/blogger/all around amazing friend  as my main gig.  This job has been a perfect fit for me since day one.  I get to help people and teach people in new ways.  It is something that I could potentially do when we have kids someday (and still have energy for them and for my husband).   It already allows me to travel and explore. I get to go to conferences in the area, will be going to Indianapolis in the summer, and have other trips on the horizon as well!  Beyond that, Cody and I get to go to Phoenix for a training, and we will have the flexibility to go on an anniversary getaway as well!

My new chapter

The most important part is that I already feel like a new person.  Throughout March and April of this year I was EXHAUSTED.  I was sleeping 8-10 hours every night and still feeling too tired to do anything (including workout, which did not help my anxious, overwhelmed self). I would work 12 hours most days and fill the rest of my time with de-stressing baths and Netflix.

Since I finished my lesson plans and big obligations for the year, I am sleeping only 6-8 hours a night, but wake up feeling recharged.  I’ve had time to start thinking about my hobbies again.  Cody and I get to spend actual quality time together that isn’t me just trying to survive.  My new job isn’t necessarily always within the “normal” business hours, but I don’t feel the stress of work following me home the same way I did with teaching.

I still believe God is calling me to teach, and I will continue to do so at church and hopefully in some aspects of my new job as well.  This is a direction I never saw my life going, but I am SO thankful that I’m right here, right now!

A party so good, I forgot the pictures

Today, we had roughly 15-20 people over at our place.  If you know me, you know I’m a planner to the MAX. Heck, I made spreadsheets (Yup, PLURAL) for our trip to DISNEYLAND for Pete’s sake. Planning and organizing is in my blood. Naturally this means that I had every detail for this birthday bash planned months in advance, right?

False. We decided to throw this shindig six days ago, and didn’t even have everything purchased for the party until just a couple hours before. I’m pretty proud though – because I didn’t even freak out once. In fact, I’d say it was one of the most special times we’ve had.

What made this party different?

  1. Like I said, I didn’t panic. Not even once.
  2. It was the first time we’ve had a party with different groups of people – friends from life, bible study, high school pals, family, etc
  3. I’m a introvert, but I didn’t feel drained after hours of people time.
  4. It was so fun I forgot to take a single picture to prove it happened.

Error: Party Pictures not found

I think I know why today was so unlike any other gathering we’ve had as a married couple. It’s because these are our people. For the three years we’ve lived here, I’ve never really felt like we had found our people. I had this picture in my head that we would have the elusive “tribe” of people just like us who we just happened to befriend. People who were exactly our age and loved everything we loved and were married and childless just like us.

I realized today that our tribe isn’t just one group. Our tribe is all the people who make us the people we are. The people we love like crazy and who love us back. Family, friends with kids, single friends, friends from bible study, high school friends, kiddos we love like they’re our own. . .

None of these people had met, and I doubt that we could make one regular “tribe” out of them, but that didn’t matter today. Today they were all my people, and I love them dearly.

(ps. Happy birthday, Cody.  I’m sorry there is no proof of today. Hopefully you’ll remember it, even in your old age of 26.)