My husband Brad and I met at Edgewater High, just a few years ago! After graduation, he went to Virginia Tech for landscape architecture and I went to SMU in Dallas to study journalism and Spanish. We got married after college, and shortly after, we moved to rural Guatemala with the Peace Corps. It was there that I fell in love with tea and vegetarian cooking, and hatched my dream to open Infusion Tea in our hometown when we returned to the US. Sixteen years later, we are immensely grateful for the community support our teahouse has been gifted!
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your family.
We have seven wonderful children — ranging from a high-school freshman, 6th grader and 3rd grader down to a five-year-old, a one year old, and two beautiful foster daughters who are 1 and 2. We are fortunate to have our parents living here in the neighborhood as well.
Q: Please tell us about your current, past, or future career. What do you love most about what you do?
What I love most about what I do is the fantastic people I encounter every day. I absolutely love being behind the tea bar and having a small part in brightening their day by extending kindness and showing a genuine curiosity in getting to know folks in our community. I can’t believe I get to work with an awesome team to develop recipes — and then taste test them — and call it my job! I love working with our awesome tea manager Karis to choose new teas for our tea catalog, which contains over 100 teas. One of my biggest joys is to share Infusion and College Park with our amazing team — our manager Darcyne keeps so many balls in the air and we are immensely thankful to our talented staff. As a family owned business, one of our biggest gifts is to have had our oldest daughter join our staff. She has literally been coming to Infusion since she was two days old, so we are so glad she wanted to officially join the team.
Q: What are a couple of your favorite restaurants in our community?
Christo’s, Cafe Linger, Rusteak
Q: How long have you lived or worked in our community?
Since high school. Once upon a time, I worked at the College Park Publix!
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in our community?
College Park is full of so many amazing people, it’s hard to narrow this down. Marguerite McNeill, director of Monarch Learning Academy, has the most amazing vision for the purity and simplicity of childhood and whole-child development. She has been enormously influential in our parenting and family life.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
Guatemala! This past summer is the first summer in 15 years that we have not lead mission trips to rural Guatemala with our nonprofit, faith project international. Fingers crossed for summer 2021.
Q: What is one of your favorite movies? TV shows?
I’m hopeless for TV and movies because I get bored. I love to read — I always have one fiction and one nonfiction book going.
Q: What advice would you give to people?
Don’t wait until you’ve got it all figured out to get started! If you’ve got the itch or the call to do something; don’t wait too long to take that first step.
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
Learn to play guitar beyond the three basic chords that I currently know!
Q: What is your go to band when you cant decide what to listen to?
Ooh. So many. The Eagles, Indigo Girls, Hall & Oates, Ricardo Arjona, Mana.
Q: What current or former local business makes you the most nostalgic about our community?
Good Crowd, because when I met Sarah all those years ago when she and Ben first moved to College Park, she had the dream of opening the shop. And now she has done it, with so much grace and finesse, and I’m so so happy for her!
Q: If you could choose anyone that is alive today and not a relative; with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? And where locally would y’all meet for this lunch?
My husband. With seven kids, we don’t talk to each other too often without an audience and some pretty loud surrounding volume, but I always love to hear what he has to say, and he indulges my ramblings as well. For this lunch I would meet him at Hillstone, because nothing makes him happier than their artichokes and the ice cream sundae.
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about our community?
I love that there is such a small town feel. Everyone knows everyone, and kids grow up and then they come back, and I love that there is such a feeling of supporting small businesses and protecting one another here.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
Recently we started training a service dog for my son, and I love it even more than I thought I would. So I could see myself getting more involved in that. Also, as foster parents, our eyes have been open to the tremendous need that there is to take in teenagers. That may be in our future.
Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
My hobby is flying Trapeze. I love jumping off of high things, I always have. In my 20s I loved to skydive, and I can if I could find a skydiving buddy, I would love to do it again.
Q: What is the most beautiful place you have ever been?
Larkspur, Colorado. I’ve never seen anything like that landscape before, and I would love to go back. Well, maybe at ties with Yalaha, Florida, which is my happy place.
Q: Favorite month? favorite holiday? and best single day on the calendar?
December! I love Christmas and all the hoopla leading up to it. Best single day on the calendar is Saint Patrick’s day, because both of my sons were born on Saint Patrick’s day, seven years apart.
Q: What would you rate a 10 out of 10?
Sunsets over Lake Ivanhoe
Q: Who inspires you to be better?
My mom. She has a fantastic sense of humor, is gracious and forgiving, and as always up for a game of croquet.
Q: What is one or two of your favorite smells?
Q: Finally, what 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
Safe loving and loud