Mission & Values
At The Heartful Parent, it is my mission to ensure that every parent gets the support they need on their parenting journey. I believe that every parent is the expert on their own family and that as a coach, it is not my job to tell you what works, but rather to help you discover it for yourself. I believe that every child needs—and deserves—a sense of belonging and significance and that it is my job to help parents provide that in the most authentic and heartful way possible. I believe that parenting can be difficult, but it can also be fun—either way, it’s worth the effort! When we show up and are present for ourselves and our children, everyone thrives. And most of all, I believe that parenting should come from the heart, and it is my mission to help your parenting do just that.
Wiper of tears, bedtime snuggler, and everyday superhero to two beautiful girls (aka Mom)
Certified Parent Coach®, Parent Coach Institute, credentialed through Seattle Pacific University
Certified Positive Discipline Educator, The Positive Discipline Association
Certified Educator, The Gottman Institute
Completion of Professionals Intensive for Hand in Hand Parenting
Six-time leader and regular guest speaker with The Program for Early Parent Support
Public speaker and group facilitator with 20+ years of experience
Wife and partner of 12+ years to an incredible guy
Bachelor of Arts, Anthropology, Colorado College
Juris Doctor, University of Colorado School of Law
Member in Good Standing, Washington State Bar Association
When my first daughter was born nearly a decade ago, life as I knew it crumbled. I had wanted nothing more than to be a mama to that baby, and had struggled to have her, but the reality was that becoming a parent felt a little bit like getting hit by a truck.
I loved my daughter madly and deeply, but I completely lost track of who I was.
My identity shifted. My career focus changed.
My marriage suffered.
Self-care became a thing of the past as I stopped exercising and taking care of my mental and physical health.
I felt lonely and confused. I became angry and moody.
I was in survival mode. Nothing felt the same and that made me resentful.
I felt lots of love, but not a lot of happiness. I sometimes wondered why I had become a parent in the first place.
Thanks to the loving support of my incredible husband, family, and some dear friends who recognized I was struggling, I came out on the other side. Once there, I found a deep and profound joy in parenting my daughter that left me fulfilled in the way I had always hoped, but had feared was not possible.
But in addition to joy, I also found a great deal of self-doubt and uncertainty. As my daughter grew, it seemed there were more decisions to make, but not a lot of guidance on how to make them.
I kept wanting to do it “right.”
Children are full of surprises: when we survive one challenge they throw our way, they seem all too eager to present yet another.
When my daughter was born, I quickly realized that parenting is hard. It took me a bit longer to wrap my head around the idea that there is no “right”—just what works for each of us and our unique families.
And that left me wondering: what would happen if parents just like me were better supported? What if it was easier to discover what works for us? What if parents had the support of a trained professional to help guide them through the startling transition into parenthood, to address challenging behavior, or put themselves back on the to-do list?
How might things have been different if I had had that? How might they be different for us all?
And that’s when I discovered parent coaching, and right along with it, the realization that my heart’s calling had shifted right along with my day-to-day life. But I wasn’t sure I was brave enough to change everything. I had worked long and hard for my career, and shifting focus seemed crazy and impossible.
You see, I am a licensed attorney, and spent nearly twenty years as a criminal prosecutor in one of the largest prosecutor’s offices in the country. I handled everything from DUIs to homicides and everything in between, eventually developing an expertise in sexually violent predator cases.
I loved my work. My identity was fully wrapped up in my work. But it was no longer serving me or my family as it once had.
So like all good things, I started small.
I began supporting parents by volunteering for a parent support group local to the Seattle area called Program for Early Parent Support, but soon realized I wanted to do more.
I learned all I could, read everything I could get my hands on, and attended every lecture offered. But it wasn’t enough.
My professional transformation took nearly nine years to realize, but finally culminated with the completion of a year-long graduate level certification program through the Parent Coach Institute and Seattle Pacific University.
I also became a Certified Gottman Educator in the Bringing Baby Home and Emotion Coaching curricula, and a Certified Positive Discipline Educator.
During all of this, my husband and I were struggling with secondary infertility, making for some of the hardest years of our lives full of crushed hopes and lots of heartbreak. But when our second daughter finally arrived, the experience could not have been more different than with my first:
It was joy-filled and peaceful. This time around I felt calm and confident in my parenting choices and more willing and able to “put my own oxygen mask on first.” Most importantly, it was fun!
I returned to my work as an attorney after baby #2’s birth, but the work I was doing as a coach on the side felt so inspiring and transformative, that I eventually decided to open The Heartful Parent and dedicate myself to it full-time.
Attorney to parent coach you wonder? I know…I wondered too. But my work as a litigator has translated to this work more beautifully than I could have imagined.
Having worked with many different people from all walks of life, I’m able to get a keen sense of my clients right from the start. I then use that to ask probing, enlightening and sometimes difficult questions, read between the lines, provide positive feedback, and hold my clients accountable when needed.
I encourage forward progress by helping my clients identify their challenges, guiding them in the creation of action steps to live into and through those challenges, providing them with resources, and helping them highlight and augment the positives in any situation.
I truly love the time I get to spend with each and every client helping them uncover the gifts their children and families have to offer them.
Seeing families go from frustrated to fearless, and from feelings of helplessness to hopefulness, has proven as rewarding as any work I’ve done in the past.
For some, the sense of overwhelm that comes with the arrival of a child and the shift in identity that accompanies it lasts a short while. For others, it sets in and doesn’t let go for years to come. And for others still, it comes and goes with the changing seasons of parenthood—each new phase bringing a fresh sense of uncertainty, challenge, fear, and frustration.
My coaching can help in any one of these stages of parenting—come join me and discover the transformative power of this process for yourself!
Story of our Logos
The ‘ensō’ is a sacred symbol that means circle, or circle of togetherness. Created in one fluid brush stroke, it is also called the ‘Circle of Enlightenment’. When left incomplete, as ours is, it symbolizes an ongoing journey, the beauty of imperfection, the art of letting go of expectations, the circle of life, wholeness, and connection. Its creation is considered a meditative practice requiring the acceptance of our innermost selves. It also represents strength, one-mindedness, the spirit of harmonious cooperation, as well as simplicity and perfect harmony. Some believe it represents the oneness of life and all things contained within, and so at the center of our ‘ensō’, I have placed a heart, to represent the idea that heart should always be at the center of our ongoing and imperfect parenting journey.
The Heartful Parent’s secondary logo, the cairn, is a human-made pile of stones, used for centuries to mark the trail for travelers. It also represents balance and creative problem solving, as it takes awareness and focus to balance the stones. Stones themselves have also been known to represent that which is eternal, or truth itself. Years ago, my first daughter and I began finding and collecting heart-shaped rocks wherever we went, so the symbolism of this spoke to me.
Together, these symbols represent the journey that is parenting. We all need a guide or trail markers along the way and if we accept ourselves, recognize that parenting is an ongoing and imperfect, but ultimately beautiful journey with heart at the center, we will find our own version of enlightenment.