An introduction.... Here we go.
Obviously, the family "all about me" information will be shared continuously on this platform as it is, after all, my/our blog. But, for starters -- Here are the quick-and-dirty details:
This is me.
Whitney Stohr. 36. I'm a Cancer. The crab of the zodiac. A mid-summer birthday.
I am a mom to one, a fur-mom to two. I'm a wife. I have two fabulous parents, a younger brother and sister ("Hi" to all my fellow first-borns out there!), and a sweet grandmother -- my mom's mom -- who now lives full-time with my parents. (We lost my grandfather to COVID-19 in Fall 2021. That was hard. Both of my dad's parents died years ago. We were very close with all of them. They were good people. I miss them.)
What else??? I was trained as a lawyer, though, I never practiced in the traditional sense. Itemizing billable hours and reactive problem solving are definitely not my jam. I actually have a lot of schooling under my belt, for which I am eternally grateful, as I use those skills daily. Over the past 13 months, I worked at a nonprofit organization near my home that supports and advocates for and with individuals with disabilities and their families. I enjoyed that work immensely as it afforded me the opportunity to do something I love: Engage with community leaders and advocate for new laws and policy changes benefiting everyday people. People like us, like my family.
I resigned recently from that role, however. It was a hard choice, but also, it was the right choice. I wanted to spend more time with my son and have the time and energy to really focus on his schooling, medical care and therapy needs without feeling the constant tug-of-war between a traditional work schedule and all of his "things" that just so happen to coincide with those regular business hours. Being a full-time working parent is extremely difficult (even when you work remotely from home as I had the privilege of doing) in part because all of the things happen at exactly the same time -- the time when you are supposed to be concentrating on work.
All the things.
I was done trying to keep all of the balls I was juggling in the air.
Plus, I also wanted more time to grow our own nonprofit community: Kids Rise Fund. (Much more on that later.) And I needed the ability to do that on my own time, on a schedule that worked for my family. So, there you have it....
Random things about me:
Favorite place: The beach. Specifically, northern beach communities. Either coast -- that doesn't really matter to me -- but, for sure, northern beaches. I grew up spending summer vacations in Lincoln City, on the Oregon Coast. I like how the air smells and how the sand feels in those more northern states. I also have a recurring daydream about packing up the car, ditching out on everything else and buying a home overlooking rocky waters in rural Maine. I definitely will *not* be doing that, but I sure do think about it a lot.
Favorite food: A good burger -- hands down. Again, more specifically, a good, house-made veggie burger at a local brewery that also happens to serve AMAZING garlic fries and has a good deal on flights. (I'm a vegetarian.)
Favorite color: A deep shade of red. I had my aura read once, though, and apparently, I am an orange with some interwoven saucy bits of red and violet. So, that's strange and interesting.
Personality type: If you're a Meyers-Briggs type of person -- I am an ENFP. If you lean more toward the Enneagram way of thinking -- I am an 8w7. I'm exuberant, vocal, opinionated, confident. I'm direct and excitable. I have the hyperactive type of ADHD, and neither my brain nor my body appreciates a lot of stillness. I like that about myself. I thrive while moving. I much prefer to be on-the-go. A homebody, I am not.
So, yeah -- that's me!
Jason was raised in the wide-open spaces of central Montana, on a beautiful tract of land that his dad operated as a cattle ranch. The ranch could be accessed miles down a gravel road, outside of a very small town at the bottom of ravine-type situation. Very wide-open spaces. The land itself was his family's homestead property going back several generations.
A fellow first-born, Jason has one younger brother. His mom is a massage therapist in Montana, and his dad continues to live on his family's ranch property.
Things about Jason:
Jason earned his bachelor's degree in journalism and interned at a movie production firm in LA.
He served in the Montana Army National Guard for eight years and completed tours in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iraq.
He is currently a National Vice President of Sales: E-Commerce at a company that manufactures ramps and other accessibility equipment for individuals with disabilities. He works full-time from home.
Jason and I met in college -- at the University of Montana in Missoula. (Check out that killer throwback photo!) We had mutual friends and were introduced in the college cafeteria halfway through our second year of school. We dated through college and were married a year after graduation. We just celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary in July 2022.
After college, Jason and I moved together to Spokane, Washington, where I went to law school and Jason shipped off to Kuwait to work as a military contractor for a stint. Three years later, with a law degree in hand, I took off for the East Coast. We planted ourselves in the Washington, DC, area, which I absolutely LOVED and miss dearly. I completed work toward a couple master's degrees, while Jason worked his way up the ranks of management in a heating and air conditioning company.
Five years later, we moved back to Washington state, settling in my hometown of Yakima. (I'm quite certain I will write a good deal more about Yakima in later posts. For now: Yakima is a mid-sized city in central Washington that, despite its smallish population, clocks in as a heavy weight in agricultural production. Think: Washington apples, wine grapes, and a large majority of the total hops grown in the US.)
A couple years after moving back to the West Coast, I found out I was pregnant with this guy.
Now, age 4.5, Malachi is an absolute phenom of a child. He is amazing. Funny and smart and devious in all the right ways. He is courageous and resilient and brimming with soul fire.
He had a difficult start to life, which is a big part of the backstory of this blog. (More on that as we go.)
Malachi was born with several disabilities and congenital health conditions that required significant medical intervention from the very moment of his birth. After a year of critical hospitalizations, I made the decision to move the two of us from our home in Yakima to the Seattle area. Malachi is seen at Seattle Children's Hospital and the major metropolitan area offered far more in terms of access to therapies and other supports that he required at that point in life.
Jason stayed behind in Yakima to work, while we settled into a high-rise apartment overlooking Main Street of a town just south of Seattle. It was a fantastic apartment and a really good move for us.
Jason was hired by his current employer in the early weeks of 2020 and made the move to join us in Western Washington. We purchased a home that May and moved again -- this time to our current hometown of Lynnwood, Washington.
So, that's us.
We have been busy these past two-and-a-half years renovating our home, managing our son's ongoing medical challenges, and coming into our own as family caregivers and work-from-home parent-professionals.