Another chapter starts

Another chapter starts

At 6 a.m. I slowly crawled out of bed as my alarm woke me Monday. Pure excitement washed over me as I got ready for my first day as the new editor of the Sanibel-Captiva Islander.

I was leaving to go to work. I was heading to an office where I would be working with others. My streak of working only out of my home doing freelance work came to an end that morning.

The hardest part of Monday was saying goodbye to my little puppy who I have spent pretty much every day with since we adopted her in April 2014. The look she gave me as I closed the garage door made me smile as memories flooded of the time we have spent together. My heart broke a little knowing that she will now spend a good portion of the day alone.

The goodbye with Jason carried me through the jitters of my first day. He always knows the right thing to say at the right moment. His excitement shined through his sleepy words and his sweet smile as he looked into my eyes. For the first time in two years, I was the one who kissed Jason goodbye, wishing him a good day as I left and went to work.  As I walked out of our bedroom, a smile swept across my face.

It’s true I have the support of a beautiful man. A man that has continued to share how proud he is of me through my career changes over the past almost six years.

That morning reminded me of a day in September 2009. I moved back to Fort Myers from Arizona a few months prior and began a job search. After a few months, I found a listing for the Cape Coral Daily Breeze and went in for an interview. I was at Jason’s place when I got the phone call . . . I was hired as a new reporter for the paper. The excitement he shared with me that day was beyond supportive. A memory that still makes me smile.

The sky was blue with typical Florida temperatures engulfing the car as my drive to work began before 7 a.m. earlier this week. It was the most relaxing 40-minute drive. As soon as I crossed the toll for Sanibel my shoulders relaxed and my back hugged the seat a little more as I took in the view of the water. Cars were already parked along the causeway as another beautiful day unfolded. I stopped where no other cars were parked next to the water, took a picture and breathed in the salt water before continuing my trip to the office.

First day at Islander

I did it. I was offered a full-time position, a position that will allow my passion of writing to continue.

The same smile I had after walking out of our bedroom surfaced again as I opened the door to the office. It remained as I introduced myself to Craig who I am replacing.

We shared information about ourselves before diving into the responsibilities I will be taking over come Monday morning.

I honestly felt like I was home again. As I sat in his office, soon to be mine, the passion of my craft consumed me. I am faced with another challenge . . . well opportunity . . . of making another newspaper into a great weekly sharing the news and stories of the island.

One of the true beauties of this career is the endless opportunities it provides in getting to know, fully diving deep into the character of a community. Although I grew up in Southwest Florida and have spent time on Sanibel, I really do not know the community well. Now, working on the island I have the opportunity to really get to know what makes this area a destination for so many.

My first day sped by relatively fast. It was absolutely perfect. That smile remained throughout the entire day. I was introduced to people, got some leads on stories and had the opportunity to see some of the beautiful island.

That night Jason, Lucy and I went to Fort Myers Beach to embark on one of my favorite past times. We stopped at Publix and I ordered us subs before we headed to our destination. We used to eat dinner on the beach while watching the sunset before we left for Tennessee.

Before we left the house it started raining, but since we live in Florida we ran to the car and hoped for the best. It rained on and off the entire drive to the beach. We ended up eating dinner in the car waiting for the showers to finish.

Fortunately the rain stopped and an incredible sunset covered the night sky.


That night was the first time Lucy truly got to experience the beach. Although she was extremely hesitant of the water, Jason and I eventually encouraged her to get her feet wet.

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It was a perfect ending to a perfect day.

The next few days were just as successful as the first.

There is truly no better feeling than working in an office with others who have the same passion as mine. It’s nice to be surrounded by others, instead of being isolated in my home interviewing people over the phone.

Another perk of working on Sanibel came to fruition Thursday night on my way home. For the first time since Jason and I started dating we work in the same area. So, before I left the island I stopped by Jerry’s where he cooks and said hello.

With our hours, most of the time we only get to see each other at the end of the day, when I’m falling asleep on the couch waiting for him to come home.

Although it was a brief visit, it was great to see him.

With a smile on my face I began driving off the island when a rainbow caught my attention. The water began calling my name, so I decided to stop on the causeway and get out of the car. The weather was perfect at that moment as my hair started flying in every direction with the wind coming off the water. I stood there taking in the scenery, smelling the salt water and listening to the wave’s crash against the shore. I probably stood there for 15 to 20 minutes.





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As I climbed back into my car I was completely relaxed as I drove the rest of the way home. It was at that moment that I truly felt grateful for the life Jason and I have. At that moment I began thinking about my journalism career here in Southwest Florida.

Since September 2009, my editor Val has taken care of me. I have gained heaps of experience as my duties change as a new position opened.

When I shared I would be moving to NE Tennessee in 2013, she kept me on as a freelance reporter. A phone call sharing that Jason and I were moving back to Florida offered her word in keeping me busy with freelance work until something full-time popped up. Val kept to her word. My workload tripled for the Cape Coral Daily Breeze as a freelance reporter.

Last week my world changed when I received an email from Val asking me to call her. That phone call, which led to a meeting in her office, was another promise kept.

I love what the beginning of this new chapter has offered so far. I’m excited to fully dig in next week when I no longer have to shadow the editor who is here now.

I firmly believe that our move back to Southwest Florida was meant to be. I continue to feel myself relax while the stress diminishes.

This week, although has worn me out, has been one of the best week’s I have had in a long time. I’ve met some really nice people, have seen some beautiful places and have contributed articles to a newspaper that will soon be filled with my byline.

Lost in another world …

imageThere is nothing better than coming home from a day at work and cuddling under the blankets with a great book.

Last week I received an email from the library telling me a book I put on hold was available. An author that I follow – Jodi Piccoult – sent an email last year stating a new release “The Storyteller,” would be released in March. Well, being an avid reader, I instantly put it on hold.

The best part about that email is I completely forgot about the book since it was put on hold last year. Needless to say I was pretty excited to go to the library that day.

This author has an incredible way of grabbing a hold of you and making you think of tough scenarios that you may not have thought about before. Each chapter is dedicated to a different character, giving you more glimpses into that persons thoughts; therefore providing an opportunity to understand their personality more.

Since there are only so many television shows to watch, many repeat episodes that I have seen a bazillion times, the book is opened for endless hours at a time. Well, until I either fall asleep or my boyfriend comes home.

I absolutely love getting lost in another world while getting to know the books characters. On that note, I’m ready to get lost in time, in another world other than my own.

Another best time

I am so excited to have shaved another 15 seconds off my run this morning.

It’s amazing what you can accomplish once you have a positive attitude and the right music to keep you moving.

Throughout school and gym class I hated to run … I always tried to get myself out of the cardio workout. That mentality finally changed a few years back when I decided to give it another try. The past year and a half my love for running has intensified.

Although I would love to enter a 5k, the joy of running by or for myself is more gratifying.

It’s true when you start to exercise it becomes a part of your life. Guilt overcomes me on those days when I cannot get myself out of bed early enough in the morning before work.

You know your hooked when the highlight of your day was buying new running shoes.

I cannot wait to go running tomorrow morning and see what kind of new personal record I can accomplish. Two new records of best times back to back, let’s see if I can shave more time off for a third day in a row.

I love the natural high running gives me, what an incredible feeling.

Personal record

I walked in the gym determined to run my fastest time today … mission accomplished.

It’s an incredible feeling to set new personal records when running, even if it was only a second erased off my time.

I keep record of each run – thanks to a great app – with my time, distance and calories. Although it’s great to see how many calories I shed each run, the most enjoyment comes from watching my time slowly get faster over time.

Cardio gives me such a natural high, even if my legs are screaming at me.

A little time for me

The alarm sends music through the air as it wakes me early in the morning encouraging me to get out of bed, so I can make a little time for myself before the day unfolds.

That time spent first thing in the morning by myself is therapeutic.

As I walk to the gym the endurance  starts to pump through my body preparing me for the run that lays before me.

As the time and miles slowly increase the cleansing begins as my worries are erased preparing me for yet another day.

When I add music to the mix the therapy continues as a certain tune reminds of a particular moment or provides a positive message making my legs move a little faster.

The best part of the run is meeting goals that I have set for myself or achieving a new best time.

There is nothing more fulfilling then setting aside time for yourself doing something you love. Not only do you benefit from the exercise, but those around you do as well.


The past 14 months have gone by in a blink of an eye providing a tremendous amount of experience with many new friendships made along the way.

I was almost immediately welcomed into this community with open arms when I became the editor of the Pine Island Eagle in 2011. With hundreds of articles behind me, I have met a great deal of full-time and part-time residents of the island who have impacted my life in one way or another.

Although the amount of appreciation I receive from the community is overwhelming at times, it is always rewarding to hear great things about the newspaper that I work so hard to produce every week. The numerous hours put in week after week all becomes worthwhile because I know the community is reading my articles and enjoying their paper.

A meeting that I covered last night summed everything up for me once again as soon as I walked through the door. I instantly received a hug, as a woman shared her excitement of a project she has been working on for the last few months. After the story concluded, she shared that someone purchased a ticket for me to join a celebration the organization is having for the completion of the project, which made me feel incredible.

The hugs did not stop there as I walked further into the restaurant and saw many more ladies who I have worked with since I started working at the Eagle.

As I stood up and took a picture of a check presentation that was taking place, almost every time I turned around I was waving to someone I met along this journey or smiling at another. Once the picture was snapped another hug was given from a sweet woman who claims she is my number one fan.

As I left that meeting, I realized how very fortunate I am to have found a career in which I truly am passionate about. It’s wonderful to go to work and know that I have a community that supports my efforts and enjoys the product I produce every week.

Journalism is an amazing career for the simple reason that I meet new people every day and learn about something new on a constant basis. It is hard to become bored in this career because it is ever changing.



Lost in time

A book often times provides one of the best outlets for you to become lost in time while entering another world that is not your own.

There is something relaxing about getting out of bed on the weekends, or on any day off for that matter, and diving straight into a book before you officially start the day. That same feeling goes at the end of the day when a few chapters are read as you are winding down and getting ready for bed.

That same relaxing feeling can be had on a gloomy day as you listen to the rain hit the ground outside your window.

When an author captures your attention within the first few pages, a few hours can pass by without you realizing. The pages continue to turn as the plot develops and the character(s) personalities are slowly revealed.

It’s fun to get lost in another world and live your life vicariously through the character(s) as the stresses of the day slowly unfold and disappear.


A rewarding journey

Seven years ago last month, I fulfilled a dream, which in turn opened endless doors that furthered my passion in a career that is perfect for me.

It’s hard to believe that journey began 17 years ago in a classroom after my mom encouraged me to pursue a talent she saw. The excitement I felt when I saw my byline printed in a newspaper for the first time was an amazing feeling because I found something that I truly enjoyed.

After I graduated from high school, I followed that career path at Arizona State University where I was hired as a freelance reporter for the school newspaper. Throughout college I had the opportunity to pitch my own story ideas, which ended up being published – another great feeling.

Shortly after I graduated, I attended my first meeting as a freelance reporter for a local newspaper. That meeting turned into my first full-time position at a weekly newspaper in Arizona, thanks to a reporter who asked if I was looking for more work.

After a successful lunch interview, I became a reporter in Apache Junction where I covered the school district, fire department and entertainment. Although I had seen my name printed in a newspaper before, a different feeling overtook me as I viewed my byline on the front page as a paid reporter.

As a journalist, I have the opportunity to talk to people I would not have otherwise met, learn information about various topics and educate the public about what is happening in their community, which are all reasons I love this profession.

The best part about the job is sitting down in front of a computer and making someone’s story come to life through one or multiple interviews.

It is incredibly rewarding to hear feedback from the community in which you work, as well as those you wrote the article about.

My career took an incredible turn in 2011 after I was offered an editor’s position at a weekly newspaper on Pine Island. This tiny little island has welcomed me with open arms and has provided me with nothing but positive feedback about their newspaper.

As a writer, you hope the article that is printed touches the lives of others and impacts them.

A moment that I will always remember occurred last year. A woman, who has become one of my good friends, called me and thanked me for an article I wrote about an organization her and her husband started to help wounded warriors in tears. I was incredibly touched that my writing had such a large impact on her because it again showed me that I chose the right career path.

Words are a powerful source of communication, one in which I hope to further perfect as I continue to report on what is happening.

An article from the Sept. 19, 2012 Pine Island Eagle.

An article from the Sept. 19, 2012 Pine Island Eagle. The article can be viewed at



A moment in time

To capture a moment in time with a simple click of a button has become a passion over the years.

The perfect subject matter for photographs lately have been the youngsters – more accurately my nephews – actively doing something without noticing I am there to capture their every movement. The intensity of the moment they are in, as well as their pure innocence, will always be worth photographing.

Although photography is always evolving, the up close and personal pictures have always been my favorite and most likely will remain that way. It is a rewarding feeling when a certain facial expression is forever captured in that brief moment, which will be viewed for years to come as that point in time is reminisced.

A good friend of mine has shown me how to capture candid shots of individuals as one and as a couple. Her photography continuously creates a story of my relationship, which I will always treasure.

Nature is another one of my favorite subjects to photograph because of its simple beauty. What you may not have seen with your bare eyes at first can be found in a still picture that was created with a camera. The ability to take a picture of an animal in its environment, a tree blowing in the wind or the endless colors of what nature presents is always worth clicking a few shots.

Photography is about documenting that particular occurrence at a certain place and time, which can be viewed from time to time.

Now that digital cameras are within reach, the cost of developing film is no longer an issue. Endless images can be captured and downloaded onto a computer, giving you the opportunity to choose a favorite to be printed.




Morning run

The clock ticks as the distance passes by, all while the beat of the music constantly provides encouragement to out run the previous day’s accomplishment. 

The option to hand select the music that will fill the air, or have Pandora choose the songs you may enjoy, only boosts the endurance you need to finish off the run. 

There is something about running first thing in the morning that provides a cleansing of any worries that were had yesterday. To kick off the morning with personal time, while improving your health, only enhances the mood of the moment, which typically carries on with you for the remainder of the day.

The capability to let your mind run wild as you strive to meet that goal – that specific time or distance – is therapeutic and good for the soul. 

Exercise in any form helps alleviate stress that you are faced with in a day, which is why it has become a part of my life and I imagine will remain. 

Early morning workouts also allow the opportunity to witness beautiful sunrises on a regular basis.