I was born in Florida and my family lived in Pensacola until I was 10 years old because my mom was brought up in a Navy family. Then we moved to Wisconsin to be closer to my dad’s side. I remember thinking it was so cool to visit my grandma and grandpa’s farm in northern Wisconsin and my aunt and uncle lived right next door. We’d stay with them in the summers and do chores and take care of the cows. Grandma would even keep some snow in the freezer for when we visited, which was really just a chunk of ice by the time we got there.

We moved to Hortonville when we came up to Wisconsin and I went to Catholic school from fifth to eighth grades, then to Hortonville High School. After graduation, I went to culinary arts school, and during that time I met my husband Clint and we moved to the Milwaukee and Lake Geneva areas. Clint had a cousin I was really close with, and she was a nurse. That’s when I decided to go back to school to become a nurse at Milwaukee Area Technical College. I earned my RN degree 16 years ago, the same time we had our first daughter, Anna.

For six years I worked Fridays through Sundays at the Aurora hospital in Green bay, and Clint worked 10-hour days in construction on Mondays through Thursdays. This helped us take care of the girls (Naomi was born three years after Anna), but never being together just got too hard. For a while, I went to night school to become a nursing instructor because I enjoyed precepting (mentoring new nurses), but I put school on hold when I found a new job at ThedaCare that I liked a lot more. I joined the float team at ThedaCare for about six years and went wherever I was needed, from ICU to med-surg floors. I realized in a hospital setting, a lot of patients and families didn’t understand what was happening to their bodies or what their options were. We had so many tasks and protocols, and we had to get them ready to see the next specialist. I really wanted to slow down and just help them. I found my place when I joined ThedaCare At Home and Hospice. I had more stable hours outside of the float pool, and I really got to know people in their homes. They came to know what was going on with their bodies and what might happen next.

Since 2018, I have been a nurse consultant at Valley VNA, and all of my nursing experiences and adaptability come in handy. I know how to help hospice nurses who came in to care for our residents. I have experience with outpatient visits and insurance, and can help residents and families get ready for them. I talk to health care providers before and after appointments to keep the lines of communication open. I want to be a resource for residents and families, and give them the time and attention they deserve.

Our family still lives in Hortonville. Clint and I do a lot of activities related to Anna and Naomi. Anna plays softball and she is in tournaments year-round. Naomi plays basketball. I like hiking and running. In the fall, I love to do the Door County Fall 50, a daylong relay with my sister and girlfriends. A perfect day for me would be a morning hike and a nice lunch.