Howdy and welcome! I’m Stevie. Thanks for your interest in my story.
I grew up in Skiatook, Oklahoma. My family lived in a little house in the country. I am the oldest of three girls. I had a beloved pony, Trigger, to ride bareback and do “circus” tricks on his back. There were always critters drifting through our house on a catch and release basis. We often had frogs, snakes, lizards, or tarantulas around besides the standard dogs, horses, cows, pigs, chickens, and rabbits. Even an injured hawk found reprieve with us once upon a time. Besides leading the way on chores, I enjoyed making mud pies, swimming in the creek, tumbling in the grass, running the trotline with dad, and climbing trees.
As a teenager, I was a lifeguard and swim instructor at the city pool year after year. I met my husband-to-be when he asked me to dance at the school dance when I was a freshman in high school and he was a senior. We started going steady shortly after we first met and we’ve been a couple since.
I loved school right from the start and couldn’t get enough. I participated in every activity I could until dad put his foot down regarding playing on the softball team during the summer fishing season. I did student council and several sports including basketball, volleyball, tennis, and soccer. I was a cheerleader. I made Academic All-State for basketball (6-on-6). I was also a Salutatorian for my high school graduating class of 100 or so people (a B in a semester of Geometry as a freshman kept me from a three-way tie for Valedictorian…boo!).
I am the first in my extended family to graduate from college which I attended on scholarships, grants, and loans all on my own. I completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Science from Oklahoma State University in three and a half years. I played on OSU’s burgeoning women’s soccer team for a season during my last year. This was before scholarships were given for Women’s soccer at OSU. I was also on the President’s Leadership Council as a freshman and I served as Wentz Scholar throughout my time as an undergrad.
My graduate education was odd.
I earned a Master of Art in Counseling from Seton Hall University eventually and a career counseling certificate from the University of California at San Diego. The weird part was what happened before that. I always thought I wanted to be in medicine. During my travels, I found my way into the highly esteemed Physician Assistant program at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. I completed 65 graduate credit hours (some a couple of times) before quitting. You see, I flunked the final pharmacology exam (after being targeted and bullied by a professor who was once my advisor) and was told to take the whole second year over if I wanted to continue in the Master of Science Degree program. I think they wanted me to quit at that point yet I was stubborn and determined. I retook all the second-year courses again and passed all of them again plus pharmacology that time. Then, while in my first weeks on my first rotation on the Men’s Prison Floor at Trenton Hospital (might have had something to do with it), I had the realization that medicine just wasn’t for me. They finally convinced me. So I quit. Silly me, I thought if I paid thousands of dollars for an education, that it would get me some mentoring and important OJT and learning. What a jip. But, I digress…
I wish I would have listened to my intuition the day I received the acceptance letter in the first place. I was elated to get accepted because it felt like a spectacular culmination of all my plans since high school, but I didn’t feel excited to go and I didn’t stop to check in with my heart about why. Mostly I just wanted to keep my word. I had ego wrapped up in being in medicine and doing what I set out to do when I was setting life goals at age 15 like a dork. I was about 28 (Saturn Return anyone?) when I started that program and a lot had changed since I first thought to be in medicine but I was too stubborn and afraid to let go and change course in order become who I really was. I know better now though.
Back to the happy parts of my story.
When I was almost done with undergrad, I married my high school sweetheart. Shortly after graduation, we left Oklahoma and set off for his career with the Air Force which spanned 20 years and a plethora of homes across the country including California, Wyoming, Texas, New Jersey, Georgia, Nevada, and Virginia. We now live in Las Vegas with our two kids who we homeschool (Unschool actually, heard of it? Definite recommend!).
It turns out I’m a gypsy at heart, and I might never have known it if I wasn’t dragged kicking and screaming from Oklahoma. Where are we going next? Who knows…and that’s half the fun for me!
Along the way, I’ve worked a variety of jobs including executive assistant and various clerical temporary positions, recreation center facilities manager, sports league director, medical office coordinator, workforce development program manager, career consultant, and adjunct faculty among other gigs.
Eventually, I came to understand (and prefer) that my husband and I would not be settling down anywhere so about 12 years ago, I formed my own LLC called SparksPress and began my internet marketing and digital publishing adventure where I now focus on audiobook narration, production, and marketing.
For fun, I love to get outside with a purpose. I love road trips and RVing. I’ve taken up mountain biking with my son who is a great teacher for me. I still love to whack at a tennis ball. I play with my daughter. She has had formal coaching and so is not a hacker like me. I’m hoping to get back into golf with my husband soon too. I just love to be out on the course taking a walk with a purpose with him.
The kids also introduced me to Minecraft, which I love. I like to play a version where I don’t stay two nights in the same spot…imagine that. I like to pitch a mushroom tent and go find pirate ship and desert temple treasure.
That’s so much more than I ever tell anyone about myself but I thought you might like to know who you were “talking” to here. I can’t believe you read the whole thing!