This blog (started in 2006) first had its roots at MSN when MSN still hosted blogs.  Things have changed significantly since then.  Sometimes, I don't even know how to describe what, or how much, things have changed. 

Blessed be.

So what's the deal?  Isn't this blog a little personal for a professional?

Well, here's the professional:

I've graduated with a Master of Social Work from Portland State University.  Before that, however, I spent about 9 nine years in the field doing Bachelor's level social work.

I started as a domestic violence victim's advocate managing a safehouse.  That was followed by a stint as a contracted dv liaision with the county's child welfare office (meaning:  I spent my mornings at Child Welfare discussing the intersections and divergences of child protection issues and domestic violence advocacy and going on child welfare related go outs.  You don't know fun until Sammy from Sammyville in rural Eastern Oregon and his posse are at the entrance of their compound with shotguns asking you why you're there.)  Then I was a juvenile detention officer and learned the ins and outs of handcuffs, take downs, calming nightmares and Yo' Mama jokes.  As in, Yo' mama's so dumb she sat on the TV and watched the couch. This was all topped off with two years as a Guardian Ad  Litem Supervisor, supervising about 15 volunteer GALs who represented foster children in dependency cases.  We didn't tell Yo Mama jokes in that job.

And then, I went back to school.   (It really wasn't just like that.  No snap of the finger.  No hastilly made decision made suddenly or without thought.  If you go back in the posts far enough, you'll find out why.)

Now, I'm a family preservation therapist in Rural (RURAL) E. Washington (State).   There is so much I thought I knew before this.  Now, more than ever, I am acutely aware that I don't know.  I don't even know what I don't know.   I'm grateful for this journey.  I'm astounded by the bravery and grace of the people I have the privilege to work with.

My professional interests?   Examining my own microaggressions; allowing myself to be open to dialogue and discomfort as I work towards an anti-oppressive practice; working with families (specifically, children's mental health and the effects of trauma); and working towards the empowerment of underserved, underrepresented populations.  I find myself growing more and more interested in poverty and its complicated causes and effects.

Here's the personal:

I have this incredible partner who, when you ask him what he does, says only, "I'm in the public sector."  We met when I was doing dependency (civil) law things, he had the juvenile (criminal) caseload and our paths crossed at the Juvenile Justice Center staff meetings.  He's a private soul, so no pictures here.  I started calling him Shoes when I just posted pictures of our feet.  We married in August after a three year long distance relationship and it is still a super big deal to me that we simply live in the same town.

That same town also hosts a PAC 12 University, which Shoes, and many locals, are affiliated with.  Cougar Football is a staple in our home.  In all fairness, I think Shoes' love of Cougar Football was the 2nd thing he told me on our first date.

We have a Golden Retriever, Rosie, who shows up here often.  She is the worst, best, biggest, most destructive and loveable dog (and apparently I am prone to hyperbole?).  Ever.  (See?)

So.  To answer the question "Isn't this a little personal for a professional's blog?", I say:

According to this blog, Shoes and I never have serious disagreements. I'm never irritated at work.  My family and I always get along beautifully.  It's perfect.

Problem is,  we all have preferred selves and there's no such thing as perfect people.   I write this blog, I project a preferred sense of self.  It's all true, but it's just a snapshot.  All this to say, yes, of course it's personal.

But it's not entirely transparent.

In any case, welcome. I'm truly glad you're here.