As a young girl, I had big dreams and many things that I was passionate about. A few of those dreams consisted of being a mommy, an artist, and an author.
The older I grew and the more my life changed, the further back I pushed some of the dreams that I had for myself. Life happened. Until one day a couple of years ago, laying in a hot bath and a pool of my own tears, I realized that if you want something bad enough, you will figure out a way to make it happen. So, I started setting goals; paint again, start writing, find that little girl you once were. I began looking for her, and I found her. The little girl inside me that I had stopped loving and caring about…. she was there all along.
I picked up a paint brush and I painted…it was freeing.
I started writing. Having absolutely no idea what I was doing, I started a blog. I was terrified that no one would ever read it…and then I accepted that it was OK if no one ever did. Because, I did it. I never thought I would be courageous enough to put my thoughts and feelings out there for the world to see…but I did it.
And then there was a pipe dream, something that I thought I could never achieve. Become an author. Write that children’s book you have dreamed of writing since high school. Share the pieces of you that you value the most with the world…
God blessed me with two amazing little boys, but I was still missing the little girl that I had always dreamed of…Izzy Grace. I always loved the name Izzy, and my grandma’s middle name was Grace…so no doubt if we ever brought a little girl into this world her name would be Izzy Grace. I always envisioned her with red hair, full of grace, passion, adventure and quirkiness. I wanted her to be strong and have the ability to take on the world, radiating kindness wherever she went. I wanted her to leave a mark, to teach a lesson, to show the world that love and kindness are always possible.
It’s amazing, when we stop and analyze the possibilities that are out there…where our mind can take us. I trusted myself, and one day it just came to me, I could put all the pieces together and have that little girl. I could write a children’s book and she could come to life, exactly the way I had always envisioned her. Red hair, full of spunk, and always ready for an adventure.
I wrote the book, and it set in my journal for a year before I had enough courage to believe that if I tried hard enough, it could become a reality. I then consulted with my beautiful niece, Kinsley who is a very talented little artist. I explained to her what Izzy looked like and the kind of person she was. She created the original sketch that brought Izzy to life! Thanks to her, Izzy became who I had always pictured her to be!
A few sweet souls gave me a publisher lead and encouraged me to meet with Julie Casey, with Amazing Things Press. I set up a time to meet with her. As I sat in the parking lot of the coffee shop that afternoon awaiting her arrival, I was terrified. I wanted to cry and vomit, multiple times I thought to myself, “What in the hell are you doing here?” I almost put the car in reverse and left, I ran through the stories I could tell her in my mind as to why I couldn’t meet today.
Instead, I prayed. I prayed that God would give me the courage to walk inside and fulfill my dream. I prayed that she would have as much passion about the message I was trying to send to children as I did. I prayed that she would give me a chance. I prayed that her heart was like mine. I prayed that I could be good enough, just this once.
And he answered my prayers…all of them.
Julie was so kind to believe in my story and agreed to publish it… she transformed my words, illustrations, and dreams into something tangible.
I wanted to bring Izzy to life, but I also wanted to have the book published for my boys and my nieces, they are my world…and I wanted them to know that all they need is a little bit of courage and they can pursue every dream that they could ever imagine.
Although, I will never change her diapers, I can now hold Izzy Grace in my hands and share her with the world.