All About Amanda - By Amanda

Hiking along the beautiful coast in Guadeloupe

So, here is my life in a nutshell: I was born and raised in Las Vegas - yes it is true, there are people actually from Las Vegas. (In fact, my mom was also born and raised there and my dad was born just a couple hours away and moved there a few years later.) I lived in the same house from the time I was one until I graduated from high school. For college I went to BYU where I majored in Biology Teaching and minored in English. After doing my student teaching I graduated and then a couple months later I started an 18 month mission for my church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). After I returned from my mission I had a year before I could start graduate school so I decided to go back to BYU to take some classes that I hadn't had time for before that would be helpful for graduate school. Ryan and I started dating right away, got engaged 7 months later, and married 3 months after that. We moved to the Ft. Worth area the day after our honeymoon where he began working for BNSF Railway and I started graduate school at Baylor studying neuroscience (which is just a fancy way of saying I study the nervous system, which is mostly the brain - I study memory). After completing graduate school I did a three year post-doctorate fellowship studying memory at the University of Texas at Dallas. Following that I spent a year teaching in the Psychology Department and Texas Christian University (TCU). About a month before the end of the last semester at TCU we were able to adopt Abby. With that I made a radical career change and became a stay-at-home mom. I always wanted to be a mom, and I always wanted to stay home with my kids. I enjoyed both doing research and teaching but I wouldn't trade the opportunity I have to be with Abby to go to work. And that's it - the Cliff's Notes version of my life. I love my life! I have had a lot of fun, and am still having fun.

I would describe myself as faithful (both to family and friends and to my beliefs), kind - hmm, well, I guess I don't really like describing myself, better just to get to know me and then you can decide for yourself.

Let's move on to things I enjoy - a lot, it doesn't take much to keep me happy. I love dancing, both watching and doing (I was on a ballroom team in high school - loved it). Dancing is probably my favorite physical activity, but I also love swimming, hiking, scuba diving and snorkeling, kayaking (pretty much anything water related), and yoga and pilates. I love animals, the outdoors, going new places, kids (really people in general), reading, my bed, my pillows (they have been all around the world with me), math, science, creative writing, teaching, learning new things (I may be a little bit of a nerd), gardening, cooking new recipes, photography, blogging, camping, my family, my friends, and my faith. I LOVE spending time with Ryan and Abby.

I can't think of anything else of interest so if you have questions ask.

Taking Abby swimming for the first time

Kayaking in Santa Elena Canyon, Big Bend National Park, Texas

Holding a sled dog (puppy) in Denali National Park, Alaska

A quick picnic in Mammoth Caves National Park, Kentucky

Our nephew Jack likes to scrunch up his face and blow air through his nose, so sometimes I do it back at him

Playing around with some of my sisters on the trampoline one Thanksgiving

Some of my friends from growing up - I like to get together with them when I am in Las Vegas (most of them still live there, lucky)

Having fun on the swings up at the family cabin

Three generations

My first Mother's Day as a mom

Being Abby's mom is the best job ever!