Let’s talk about me. 

It’s necessary, right? To talk about myself if I want to have a blog that embraces connection and being known. I don’t know why it’s so hard for me, I’ve just always resisted it. Sharing my life on social media, posting about my thoughts, the happenings of my day. But I’ve been convinced that there is a benefit to it that outweighs that sticky icky feeling that it gives me. So here goes guys: for anyone who cares, join me as I “join em”.

My name is Teena, spelled with two EE’s after my mom’s beautiful sister who passed away before I could meet her. My mom tells me she fought addiction with all her might. 

I grew up in a house of 6; boys outnumbering us by a factor of 2. Three older brothers are all a girl needs to learn how to make her voice heard, oh and throw a tight spiral, of course. 

I am currently 25, a proud resident of Phoenix, Az. My living situation is quite interesting, in a really great sort of way. My husband, Reese, of 6 years (yes, I was 19) and I moved in with 4 roommates after achieving the American Dream of owning a home at age 22 proved no more satisfying than successfully boiling eggs. Now, there is certainly an art to boiling eggs and it offers much sustenance, but beyond that…Let’s just say by the time that we finally furnished our guest room (2 years into living there) after searching endlessly for the best deals, I was over it. It’s not that any of it was bad per se...Anyways, back to the story.

It’s Spring of 2015, Reese and I are in the wake of the worst 6 months of our lives as we were forced to say goodbye to his mom who not even a year prior was the strongest, smartest, happiest and healthiest 45-year-old we knew. Lung Cancer. The next month, my grandma, Nanny, more accurately, our strong and stubborn invincible hero…Well her years of selfless service and sacrifice finally and suddenly overcame her. Winter ’15 was darkened by death and frozen with grief. This didn’t go away. Tears so quickly join me even now as I write.  But Spring ’15 was a time where the seeds of sober contemplation were bringing forth life change. What did we really value? In this one life that we’re given with no disclosed finish line, Reese and Teena: what are you going to choose to invest your time, energy and resources in?

We are still trying to give a proper answer to that question with the way we live our lives each day, but in Spring ’15, we started with what we knew was not adding value to our lives. Our stuff, our busyness, our accolades, what the world around us said was important in life. The change that we made in our living situation was representative of a new way of living that we wanted to take hold of. It was, in part, inspired by a movement called, minimalism (more to come on that!) We were spending time and money, buying, paying off, cleaning, thinking about, and “enjoying” the stuff in our home. We rarely had people over because the house wasn’t clean or we never really got around to it with our busy schedules, graduate degrees, full time jobs and the sort. So naturally, we sold 85% of our possessions, and enter...casita life.

Meet the 7th roommate, Bunji

Our little casita- 200-square-feet to be exact- is in an incredibly beautiful neighborhood just detached from a gorgeous home, separated only by fruit trees and a magnificent pool. All for less $ than any decent rental on the market. Best of all, we get to live daily life around 4 amazing people that have already become like family to us in many ways. It’s like living with my three brother’s all over again except I added in a sister (finally!) and there is a lot more talk of needles, scalpels, and bodily fluids. Before your mind wanders, Reese is one of four medical students in the house, then we’ve got a nurse and me…a soul doctor, I suppose? Ha, ok maybe not. But they still make me feel like I fit in. 

Well I feel like I’ve been talking long enough for now so I’m going to binge share a few more details about myself and then wrap this up. I love people and adventure, old buildings and coffee shops. I studied psychology and communications at Arizona State and theology, ministry, and counseling at Phoenix Seminary. I have worked in the restaurant industry for my whole adult life and at my most recent job fell in love with the craft of cocktails, bartending, and hospitality. I have a cat who has many names and a spastic tail. I have played fantasy football for five seasons. I’m undeniably quirky, have well exercised smile muscles and love to dance (more to come on that). As I write today, I’m rehabbing my ACL and exploring new opportunities. I have some exciting meetings and projects coming around the bend.

Comment below and share what is most powerfully shaping you right now. Looking forward to connecting more! Till next time, may you sip slowly and love well. 

The Limitations of Expectations

The Limitations of Expectations