Born in Oklahoma, I moved to Tallahassee, Florida when I was just two. At 17, a new boy moved to town, charming me with his sparkling blue eyes and electric guitar, and we’ve been making music together ever since. My husband, Tom, and I have been married 43 years. We have three married daughters, ages 44,29 and 24, with five beautiful grand-animals.
My music career started when Tom and I met in a folk group shortly after he came to FSU in 1970. Our group went on to perform at Six Flags over Georgia one summer, where I got hooked on both Tom and performing.
Shortly after we got married, we landed a long-term job leading, singing and playing in Tallahassee’s hottest country club (Killearn Country Club) house band (Shamrock) for 13 years. Over time, we’ve had the privilege of entertaining all types of crowds, from celebrities and politicians, to wedding parties and life-long sweethearts rekindling their love over a romantic dinner at a five-diamond resort (Melhana Plantation).
My love for music didn’t stop at entertainment, but overflowed into leadership in several local churches, where my husband and I acted as Music Director and Praise Team Leaders. I enjoy using the gifts God has blessed me with in order to bring joy and encouragement to others through providing musical memories and special connections through meaningful lyrics.
In addition to continuing to entertaining at local venues, and leading worship at our church, I also currently hold a full-time position as the Event Director for a large trade association.
“It isn’t what happens to you that defines you, but your reaction to what happens to you that matters most”.
Even though I have had a wonderful life, I have also had my share of tragedy and trials. After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999, I am happy to say I am cancer free and now living life to the fullest. While cancer did change me (for the better) in many ways, helping me to be more compassionate and caring, it wasn’t my biggest battle. In many ways, my biggest challenge was my own fight against obesity.
When I finally decided to take full responsibility of my life, including my weight, my motto became “no more excuses”. Like my mom taught me, “it isn’t what happens to you that defines you, but your reaction to what happens to you that matters most”.
Although I couldn’t help some of life’s most difficult trials, like getting cancer and losing both my parents within a short period of time, I had a responsibility to take better care of my body. After years of struggling with my weight, I lost nearly 100 pounds, maintaining a regular healthy lifestyle and exercise program ever since.
Ten years ago, God really began to impress on my heart to do more to encourage other women. My success taught me it’s never too late to reinvent your self. In many ways, I’m healthier today than I have ever been. It has also given me the desire to share my own story to empower others who feel it’s too late to reach goals and to keep dreaming.
While I had never been in a pageant, and only did a little modeling as a teen, this pageant was a wonderful opportunity to support women and fulfill my purpose. Stepping out of my box, I took the leap and competed for the crown; winning Best Talent and was crowned Ms. Senior Florida 2014. What an honor and yes, really a surprise! The win was exciting; but even more exciting was being able to be an example to other senior women who think they ‘can’t do it’. Oh, yes you can! Our lives are what we make of it…..and I want to make it count! Not just for me, but for my purpose of being here on this earth, rubbing shoulders with so many other people and being an ambassador for Jesus Christ!