Meet Amy

1374286_10203394932259836_780398353_n (1)Aloha! I’m Amy, and at the ripe old age of 40, I’m the “senior” member of the gang. I was born and raised in Hawaii, and moved to the mainland to attend college, first at the University of Arkansas (WPS!!), then at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. I met my future husband there (in a bar, natch) and we settled down on the Surface of the Sun in Chandler, AZ outside of Phoenix where we’ve lived ever since, except for a 6-year stay in Thornton, CO where my family and I became HUGE Denver Broncos fans.

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My boys (my husband and my sons) are the loves of my life, but they’re not without their challenges. My youngest, Sam, struggles with ADHD, ODD, anxiety and other depression. My older son, Jack, is brilliant, but is impacted by ADD and anxiety. You’ll hear me often discussing some of the specific issues we have with their conditions. I go to counseling too, to better cope with mothering special needs kids as well as to deal with my own shit. Believe it or not, I’m not perfect. I know — take a moment to let it soak in. 😉

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When I’m not competing for Mother/Wife of the Year, I love to cook, eat, run (because I like to eat), hike, and TRAVEL. I caught the travel bug at a very young age and have been lucky enough to see some of the great sights of the US, Europe, and Asia. I believe that life should be about creating memories, not collecting things, and am trying to pass on my wanderlust to my kids.

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I’ve always been blessed with the girlfriends in my life, and I literally have no idea what I would do without them. That’s not to say I haven’t had the wool pulled over my eyes a couple times, or decided that I was over the drama associated with certain people, but I’m fortunate that probably 90% of my friend choices have been well made. I always felt bad for women who considered other women to be “competition”, and I was always just a little suspicious of women who didn’t have at least a couple of close, true girlfriends. The Girlfriends that we’ve started this community with have literally been with me at some of my absolute lowest periods, and have shared some of my happiest times. I know you’ll grow to love them as much as I do!

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And without further ado, a bit about me:

Name: Amy F.

Hometown: Hilo, Hawaii

Family: I was adopted at birth by my parents Bob and Jo Ann and was raised with a younger sister, Ann, who was also adopted. When I was 18, I petitioned the state to open my adoption records and was connected with my birthfather Fred and his daughters (my younger half-sisters) Aleah and Nicole, and with my birthmother Sandy.

Relationship status: Married to Matt for almost 17 years, together for almost 20.

Kids: Jack is 14, almost 15 and a gentle (somewhat absent-minded) giant. Sam is 9, almost 10, and has ADHD and anxiety, something for which we’ve been seeing a counselor and a psychiatrist for several years.

Occupation: Currently I’m a Senior Customer Manager for a global healthcare company, but most of my professional career has been spent in accounting and finance.

Dream job: Travel consultant/Travel writer

Astrological sign: Capricorn

Turn-ons: Smiling eyes; the sound of rain on a tin roof; thunderstorms; the smell and sound of the ocean; the feel of the crisp Hawaii upcountry air.

Turn-offs: Closed-minded people; the word “panties”; pictures of cells (I swear that’s true – I freaked out in high school biology because looking at cells under the microscope grossed me the hell out!)

Favorite cocktail: Depends on my mood. Red wine is my go-to, but I do love a good vodka cocktail and craft brews.

Favorite food: It’s probably easier for me to tell you what kind of food I DON’T like. If I had to choose a favorite, it would be Italian. Or Hawaiian. Or Korean. Or Chinese (my favorite restaurant in the world is a Chinese restaurant in my hometown that I grew up loving).

Favorite sports teams: I love most sports, but I’m most passionate about football and am a huge Denver Broncos fan.

Best vacation: Tough to say – I’ve had many great vacations – but it would likely be a 2013 17-day trip to Rome, Florence, Venice, Paris and London that Matt and I took to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary.

Dream vacation destination: I have so many! I would like my next “big” vacation to be Carribean island trip with my whole family.

Best advice ever given to you, and by whom?: It sounds so cliché, but my dad always drilled into us that we were to treat EVERYONE – regardless of social status, race, income level, religion, and the like – with the same respect that we would want granted to us. I can still remember some of the VERY public tongue lashings I received when he caught me being rude and disrespectful.

Guilty pleasure: Trashy romance novels. I’m always so embarrassed when people ask “What are you reading?” because telling them that I’m almost done with The Secret of the Sheik’s New Bride isn’t exactly something to brag about.

Beach or mountains?: Both. I was raised in Hawaii and was always a beach baby, but we lived in Denver for almost 6 years and I LOVED being in the mountains.

Morning or night person?: Afternoon. Morning is too early and Night is too late.

Describe something about yourself that not a lot of people know: I’m pretty much an open book, so it’s difficult to come up with something new that people don’t know. It would probably have to be that growing up in Hawaii is not necessarily as idyllic as it sounds. I’m “hapa” (half-Asian, half-Caucasian), and was raised by “haole” (Caucasian, mainlanders) parents, so it was difficult finding my identity. As a child, there was often cultural bullying because of my haole side, but when I moved to Arkansas, tapping into my Asian side was equally difficult. When people ask, “Why don’t you live in Hawaii?!” it’s difficult to explain that I don’t want my haole kids to grow up with the same pressures that I often felt.

What is your favorite thing about yourself?: My sense of humor. I consider myself pretty quick-witted, but what I like most about my sense of humor is my ability to tap into it during dark times.

Three people you’d like to have a drink with: Princess Grace, Chris Pratt, and my dad (he passed away in 2000)

Do you believe in ghosts?: Absolutely, and I believe that I’ve been visited and had brushes with them before. I believe my father has visited me and my boys many times.

I’m looking forward to sharing more about myself, my family, and my friends with you, and hope you’ll do the same!

XOXO, Amy

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