writer. speaker. consultant.
PHOTO: Alicia McDaniel Photography
More than your average mommy blogger, I’m a woman who’s lived a lot of life—some of it messy, most of it meaningful—and am eager to help other women find energy, engagement and excitement in their own stories.
My interests are wide-ranging—from sugar addiction and natural beauty to geocaching and debt-free living—but my sweet spot, the thing I love most, is working with churches and women of faith to find inspiration, develop confidence and build community.
I am a woman in my 40s who’s come to realize that red lipstick is meant for more than special occasions. I am happily married to my personal Prince Charming, John, and we are raising two darling and maddening girls who are 8 and 10 years old.
My professional history includes sales and customer service training and troubleshooting for businesses, but I love motivational speaking best. I lead church events for youth, singles and women, and have spoken for Chicago Apartment Association and other organizations throughout Indiana, including Women Business Owners, Rotary Club, and a wide array of churches from a variety of denominations. I am currently the Director of Connections at First United Methodist Church in Valparaiso, IN.
I live each day as if it were my last and do my best to live my love out loud.
What's My Vibe?
"Unmaking Your Mess"
How to make our crazy living space and life feel more manageable, better organized and why it will never be Pinterest perfect.
How to be aware of trading the best life for what is just good enough. Living on a budget while feeling wealthier.
A workshop talk to measure our daily life, where we might want to be, and how to get there. Includes a secret message from someone special.
How she went from never wanting children to REALLY wanting them including fears every parent has, growing a strong marriage, miscarriage and more.
Keynote address sourced in the Novak family motto and how to apply it to daily life.
"Curious Life: Messy Spirituality"
How my Unitarian Universalist upbringing shapes and informs my Christian faith.
It is not even 8:30 in the morning when she has stormed upstairs and I have slammed a door and bellowed that our fun plans for the day are cancelled. I sit in the bathroom where I am hiding from her, fuming. I am too mad to pray. I’m too mad to write. I’m too mad to think in any kind of a reasonable straight line.
Many of us have a bit of vanity and as we age and wrinkles show up we either give up and go with it (which I think is healthiest) or we start buying those $200 neck crèmes and trying botox. At my solid age of…‘marvelous’ …I am grateful to be a good ugly. I say good ugly because my face has had a Bell’s Palsy adventure I do not wish upon any of you. Being uglier has taught me many things I’d like to share.
Act my AGE? No thank you. At the breakfast table recently, I got corrected for using the word “Yo.” I don’t know if it was embarrassing for me to use it because I’m middle aged, or not hip, or if it is not hip to say “yo”… I’d listened to the Fresh Prince song “Parents Just Don’t Understand” by accident and “Yo” felt like the right choice at the time. Beastie Boys were also in rotation because I remember my wilder days and feel younger. It might feel a little mid life crisis, but I do not want to grow up and be the adult.
I have a question to ask you, friends…and all of you can answer this one, probably without too much embarrassment: How many coffee mugs are in your kitchen cabinet at this moment? When this sentence formed in my mind I realized I would have to answer it myself: I have eighteen mugs in the cabinet and one on the counter, dirty. I honestly do not know how my mug number reflects on me. What is the average number of mugs in other people’s cabinets? We have a tiny kitchen and there is truly not room for one more mug, but I am loathe to part with them. Each mug tells a story.
SOME OF MY ALL-TIME FAVORITES...