Our Story

Don’t let our wedding photo fool you–we aren’t usually so fancy. Tiaras and tuxes, though encouraged, are optional in our home.

When we were 5 and 10 , we attended the same small town fish fry. But we didn’t meet.

When we were 12 and 17, I watched him play football. He was the quarterback. But we didn’t meet.

Our grandfathers hunted together. But we didn’t meet.

His uncle took watermelons to my grandparents’ house every summer. But we didn’t meet.

My grandma taught some of his family members in elementary school. We weren’t born yet, so obviously…we didn’t meet.

My mom taught one of his nieces and one of his nephews in kindergarten. But we didn’t meet.

And so on and so forth.

Similar upbringings. Paths crossed.  But it wasn’t the right time.

Johnny was the quarterback for the Newport Greyhounds…Annalisa was a cheerleader for the McCrory Jaguars. Orange and Black were both of their team colors.

We both grew up and left our small towns.

I lived in big cities and traveled the world. My goal was to get as far away from small town life as possible. I succeeded. Until I got a wild hair in 2011 and bought a house and some acreage just outside the city limits of my tiny Arkansas hometown.

My friends called me crazy. There is no Starbucks, Target, or Whole Foods nearby. Even the nearest Wal-Mart is a good 40 minutes away.

I prayed that God would show me why He led me back home. Because I had no doubt I was led there. No doubt that’s where I was supposed to be.

For the next 2 years, I continued my life–working from home for the National Foundation for Transplants and writing. After the release of my 11th book, I decided it was time for a break from working around the clock. As my grandma said–it was time to start living life instead of just writing about it.

Along about that time, I met Johnny. His sister set us up thanks to Facebook.

I was skeptical. 37 years of singlehood will do that. I had literally been dating for more than half of my life.

But he eventually won me over. We did simple things, like driving around back roads and watching fireflies. We went fishing. He convinced me to at least look inside the chicken house that had been sitting empty on my property. I’d never even looked inside.

Over the summer, we decided to buy a few chickens. I embraced my rural roots and learned the art of chicken farming.

Then we researched Nigerian Dwarf Goats. Soon after we bought our first 3 goats, Johnny proposed.

Wedding plans and construction on a barn began simultaneously.

We were married in October 2013, in what can only be described as a fairy tale kind of day.

Since the wedding, we’ve had a lot of fun–planning for the future and working on our little homestead.

My solitary life has grown by leaps and bounds. There are 3 kids (his) ranging from age 8 to almost 18. There are 3 dogs (mine) all rescues and spoiled. There are now 5 goats, happily living in their new barn. There are 11 chickens, with 20 more chicks coming in April. There is 1 duck (2 more arriving in June) and a lone (thankfully) bunny.

Our life together is filled with love and laughter as we navigate life on a fledgling farm. Check out our blog as we recap some of our adventures.

My books can be found on Amazon and in stores nationwide. Look for a new series from me very soon–possibly farm-themed!

4 thoughts on “Our Story”

  1. You are still a fantastic writer and true stories are the best, I enjoyed reading this and love seeing you so happy.

  2. Great advise from your Grandmother. Loved your story! I hope you both have many wonderful, happy years together.

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