I was born and raised in a suburb of Chicago called La Grange. I spent my childhood riding the train downtown with my friends, attending Lyons Township High School, and volunteering at a horseback riding program for children who were handicapped or had learning disabilities. My sister Sage and I were often found in the yard causing mischief or playing catch with our brother, Drake.

Then

Now

Some of my fondest memories from that time were playing video games with Drake, and I think that is probably why I am an avid video gamer today. I spent years playing Final Fantasy 11, World of Warcraft, and Final Fantasy 14. I no longer play online games like that, but most nights you can find me cozied up in my computer chair with my cat Cricket sitting on the back, purring contentedly as I play some Witcher 3 or Assassin’s Creed Origins.

One of our family rituals, while I was growing up, was attending Blackhawks games and eating cookies and cream ice cream while we watched. They used to do nothing but lose back then! Many years and three Stanley Cups later it now seems that every time I go they win! Living close to Detroit means that I mostly have to keep my allegiance on the down low, but you can bet I wear my Hawks sweater any chance I get.

After high school, I spent one year of college at Bradley University before transferring to Eastern Michigan University and finishing my teaching degree there. I taught for a year before I decided to pursue my Master’s at Michigan State University.

Outside of work, I have a few hobbies that take up my time:

  • I am the proud owner of Layla the American Quarter Horse. We compete in the Western discipline and go trail riding every chance we get.
  • I’d like to call myself a yogi, but I’m not sure I do it often enough!
  • I technically can snowboard, but I much prefer to ski.
  • Reading and hiking are also things I enjoy.

Animals Companions

Le Chat

Cricket is my constant companion, and is never found far from my lap.

Le Cheval

Layla pushes me to be my best self with every ride, and puts her whole heart into whatever I ask her to do.

Hobbies

Skiing

I started as a snowboarder, but got tired of falling! So now my sister does the boarding for both of us and I ski instead.

Reading

Some of my favorites are Pride & Prejudice and the Wheel of Time series. I could never pick just one favorite, though.

Gaming

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Talila Agathon, FFXIV

This was my character in Final Fantasy XIV, Talila. I no longer play, but made some great friends while I did.