Want to know a little bit about me? When I visit a website, the first page I go to is the About page; I love reading the stories of people’s lives. If you are curious about my journey – read on!
Some basic info about me, the get-to-know you kind of info that you share when you meet someone at a party: I was born in Florida and raised in Tucson, AZ. We lived on 5 acres in the desert and I spent a lot of time hiking, exploring and riding horses with anyone I could befriend that owned a horse. I high-tailed it out of Tucson after graduating from the University of Arizona. I loved Tucson, but was ready for a CHANGE. With a B.S. degree, $200 in my pocket, a car and expectations that jobs would be handed to me as soon as I arrived, I moved to Fort Collins. Fortunately, I also had a BFF who lived in Fort Collins that I could live with while I figured out what was next.
Shortly after moving to Fort Collins, I met the love of my life, Steve and we married in 1990. We lived here and there for a few years, working, traveling and taking photos until we settled in Colorado Springs in 1993. We lived there for 23 years, raising 2 sons, working, playing and getting outside as much as we could.
Our sons fledged in 2013, within a month of each other. Our eldest son took his cats and moved in with friends in Colorado Springs. Our youngest left Colorado to go to college in California and we retained custody of his dog. Our house was suddenly very quiet! Just a few months after the boys left home, my mom was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia.
After a successful career in the high-tech industry, I was ready for a CHANGE (this is a theme for me!) I retired from HP in June 2016 and planned to take a year off. I needed to hit the reset button and I wanted to spend as much time with mom as I could. I turned in my badge on a Friday and flew to Costa Rica on Saturday and completed my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training. Steve and I moved permanently to Tucson and with more time on my hands and needing a haven and outlet for dealing with mom’s dementia, I played with whatever art form grabbed my attention. I had creative energy, passion and ideas bursting out of me and I played with art journaling, quilting, watercolor sketchbooking, art quilting, refinishing furniture, woodworking and photography. Mom left this life on earth in September of 2016, shortly after I retired and yoga, art and creativity provided a safe haven for expressing my grief and processing my loss. In June, my “year off” expired, and I am grateful for the opportunities that I’ve pursued during that time. I learned that I love teaching yoga, leading retreats, teaching art and helping people DO, CREATE and BE and plan to stay on this path (until it’s time for another CHANGE!)
Stephen was born and raised in Florida but moved to his heart’s home in Colorado as soon as he could. He grew up spending many hours on the water, water-skiing, boating, and surfing. His love of the water and marine animals had him on a course to study marine biology in college.
With that in mind, he enrolled in an advanced biology class his Junior year of high school. He was seriously disappointed when he picked up his books and learned the book for his biology class was “The Life of Birds”. He approached the instructor the moment he arrived to class the first day with a request to drop the course. “I have no interest in birds” he thought! As so often happens, the path we start down isn’t always the one we stay on. The teacher would not let him drop the class and so began Steve’s life long love affair with birds. The teacher for this course became a significant mentor and guide in Steve’s life and he is still in touch with him to this day.
As Steve spent more time in the field “birding” he wanted to capture these beautiful creatures on film and found the second passion of his life – bird photography. Steve moved to Fort Collins to attend Colorado State University where he swam for CSU and majored in Zoology / Ornithology. A short stint in North Carolina made him realize how much he loved the Rocky Mountains and he soon returned. His passion for birds and photography continued and he spent as many hours birding and photographing as he could. He also found that he was passionate about teaching and began teaching photography and birding classes.
He met Michele while in Fort Collins and married her in 1990. Soon after, Steve added to his birding and photography talents that of stay at home dad to 2 sons and home-schooled the boys for 4 years. And THEN digital cameras came out! And then he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Not one for working at the computer, and wanting to focus on staying as strong and healthy as possible given his new diagnosis, he found distance running and then triathlons. Our first marathon was in 2001 and for the next 13 years, Steve and Michele immersed themselves in the running and triathlon life. Michele’s last triathlon was Ironman Arizona in November of 2013 and Steve’s last one was Ironman St. Croix in April of 2014. After hanging up the triathlon gear and moving to Tucson, Steve’s passion for birding and photography returned. It seems the embers were smoldering and being in a birding and photography hot-spot re-ignited those passions. Steve has adopted Tucson as his home and is photographing and birding again. He is active with the Tucson Audubon Society and is teaching birding and photography classes and workshops. Ready to take a photo or birding workshop from Steve? Check out his schedule here.
Let’s do yoga together, create art together, or just be together.