Photo Credit: Christina Maloney Photography and Hearts of Joy Photography
Christina was born and raised in East Texas with a brief stop-over in West Texas to earn a degree in Interior Design from Abilene Christian University. There, she met and married her husband, Chris, and by the time they graduated, the next member of their family, a daughter, was on the way! They spent a few years in Dallas before deciding that East Texas was where they wanted to raise a family, so they moved to Lindale where they lived for 9 years until last fall when they moved to Mineola. Christina homeschools their 3 daughters, ages 12, 8, and 5, and adores their 1 year old little boy. She is a portrait photographer at Christina Maloney Photography where she says “I love making you look good!” Christina blogs regularly at Martha Martha Blog, a site for women who are trying to do it all and occasionally need a reminder that “only one thing is needed”–Jesus! She loves baking and cooking, family movie nights, Motown music, organizing and learning new things.
Katherine and her husband, Justin, were both born and raised in Lindale. They were the best of friends in Junior High and High School. They started dating at 16 and married at 20. Right after High School they attended SFA together. After college, they were missionaries in Washington state for a year. When she got a call from her sister saying she was pregnant, she told her husband it was time to move back to Texas. Family is a big deal. She has been a teacher in Lindale for 8 years. After years of infertility they were blessed with a son, Dryver and she stayed home with him for 3 years. He is 9 now and totally awesome! Her husband is also a teacher and he coaches football and tennis. They are big fans of any sport! This month they will officially be opening their home to foster to adopt. They are looking forward to all that God has in store for them!
Katie grew up in Katy, TX and moved to Nacogdoches, TX in 2000 to attend business school at SFA. She met her husband, Preston, while in college and they married in 2005. Katie went to graduate school at SFA as well and earned an MBA. She worked at SFA as the Student Publications Coordinator for several years. Her son, Charlie, was born in 2012 and she decided to stay home with him. Her daughter, Emilie, was born this year, in June, the day after her birthday. Katie likes to be outdoors, travel with anyone that will go with her, read, write and sometimes sew. She also likes triathlons and is a swimmer at heart. Katie writes about her family and other stories at readmewithcoffee.com and blogs about travel adventures at itsatravelblog.com .
Not good with: Crowds and motion in tight spaces. Board games. Pretending of any sort. Ironing or sewing. Plants, animals or any living things other than people. Check out Katy’s blog here .
Alicia is a Longview native and proud wife to the amazing Michael Johnson, Jr. After four months of bedrest and a scary, week-long hospital stay, she and her husband were recently blessed with an adorably handsome son named Michael Lynn Johnson III. He is now four months old!She is graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University where she obtained her Bachelor’s in Radio and Television and her Master’s in Social Work. Alicia has at some points simultaneously served as a Radio Personality, Social Worker (LMSW), Youth Minister, and English Teacher and has enjoyed helping others. However, after the birth of her son, returning to the traditional workforce wasn’t feasible, as she realized she had a new purpose. She was Divinely instructed there was something else she needed to do in addition to raising this beautiful boy. So, with God’s direction and her husband’s push she began to pursue her once hobby and forever passion of writing in hopes of building a career. Her favorite writing style is poetry, however blogging is easily her number two. Currently, her blog www.simplyabeautifulmess.com produces new content weekly with the goal of inspiring, uplifting, and encouraging others to do and be all that they can. Alicia is a Christian who writes transparently about her struggles and growth in her faith as it pertains to everyday experiences. It is her belief that she was sent here to make God famous and that’s just what she plans to do.
A generalist of much and a master of little, Louellen gets her thrills learning new things. Born and raised in Nacogdoches, TX, Louellen, her husband Tim, and their precious little girls, Isabelle and Rena, now reside in Tyler. They keep it interesting with 2 dogs and 4 city chickens! Louellen left a full time career for part time work to spend more time as “Mom,” and less time as “Hey You,” a move she says she has not once regretted. With the extra time and energy, she takes more trips to the parks and pools, spends more time reading books to her littles, intervenes in more sibling squabbles, and stays a little less behind on laundry and dishes. What precious moments she has to herself, she enjoys reading, exercising, and watching West Wing episodes on repeat. She believes deeply in the freedom found in Christ that permeates every part of who we are and what we do, and desires to see women live in that same freedom.
Up until recently, Tiffany and her family called South Tyler home. When the farm next to her mom went up for sale, she and her handsome husband, Mike, and their two children, Michael (12) and Katelynn (10) decided to take a chance and learn how to live a small town farm life. The move has been an exciting and challenging adventure. You can read more about the family and farm adventures on her blog (www.lovelikebreathing.com). Tiffany works part-time for her family’s business and splits the rest of her time caring for children, chickens, church family, and community. She loves to tell a good story, read a good book, and enjoy a good conversation. Tiffany believes that loving people well at the place your life intersects with theirs, will heal our broken world one moment at a time.
Tanya is a California girl through and through. She has been married to her husband Bryan for almost 23 years. After they were told they would never be able to have children, God gave them two miracle babies, Caleb (20) and Myah (16) who bless her immensely and challenge her in the deepest ways all at the same time. About 5 years ago, Tanya and her family uprooted their lives to help with a local church transition in Tyler, and they have called East Texas home ever since. Tanya admits that mothering through the teenage years drives her to her knees and also that she would be a horrible parent without a whole lot of Jesus. She loves building, is obsessed with all things DIY and will forever be grateful to Bryan for putting up with all her crazy plans. Most days you can find Tanya at home spending time with her best friend Jesus and going down her endless list of to-dos to care for the family.
Born and raised behind the Pine Curtain, Beth S. was educated in a perfect blend of public, private and homeschooling. She graduated from LeTourneau University and began working in University Admissions – which was a great foundation for her career in corporate development (*a fancy way of saying “fundraising”). After working with several nationally known charities, she traded in her frequent flier miles and company car for a job where the commute was much shorter and the nights away from home infrequent – working as a minister in her local church. The most recent twist and turn in her story was the arrival of Callie in 2015 and Davis in 2017. So, she’s corralling #twokidsundertwo and mommin’ it up for the foreseeable future. She is married to Andrew, a corporate pilot.
She takes pride in rooting for the people and places that make East Texas unlike any other. She likes reminding folks that East Texans are quite diverse and open-minded. BC (before children) she did all.the.things. Now? it’s all about keeping everyone clean/fed/watered.
Jennifer was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. She and her husband, Chris, and their 3 kids Ian (11), Olivia (9), and Harper (4) are moving to the Tyler area in the summer of 2017! Jennifer has spent the better part of her adult life serving her local church. She and her husband have a passion for seeing the lost come to know Christ and have decided to dedicate their lives to this. In her down time, Jennifer enjoys being out and about with her family. Whether it’s checking out new restaurants, new shops, traveling to new cities, or just going to the park, she’s your girl. At the heart of it all, anywhere is fine, as long as family, friends, and coffee are there. You can catch all her family adventures at www.jenniferwhartonblog.com.
Mary Kathryn Tiller met her husband at Texas A&M University in 2005. She resisted his charms all freshman year, but his persistence and gorgeous grey eyes won out and in 2010 they were married. Because he had deep roots (and the only job between them) in East Texas, they promptly moved from the big city of Houston to the small town of Marshall, Texas. It was a difficult adjustment, but she has come to truly love the people and pace of East Texas. She serves as the Women’s Ministry Team Leader for Mobberly in Marshall and teaches online as an adjunct professor at LeTourneau University. She currently stays at home with her two babies (a 3-year-old daughter and a 10-month-old son).
She loves spending time on their family farm, indulging in a second (ok, third) cup of coffee, and nerding out over theology books. Her personal blog is www.FarmGirlGospel.com, where she writes about motherhood, ministry and encourages women to run with abandon as they pursue Christ.
Heather was born and raised in Ft. Worth Texas. She grew up playing sports, but it was golf that captured her heart and took her to Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas on a scholarship. It was at that tiny school in 2007 and in the middle of nowhere that she met her now husband of four years. Wade McCullin, who was there on a football scholarship, and Heather met on their first week of college and have been together ever since. Life changed and the two ended up in Tyler, Texas. Heather was attending The University of Texas at Tyler, where she graduated from in 2012 with a BFA in Fine Art with a focus in Sculpture and Drawing. The two were married shortly after in 2013. Heather is a high school art teacher teaching what she loves, sculpture, drawing, and graphic design. The two welcomed their first born, Jameson Rhys McCullin in April, 2016. Being a wife, working mom and teacher Heather is a very busy bee! But she makes time to get the gym everyday and attend her crossfit class that she loves along with making time at home each night to spend with her family. Heather‘s core values are God first, family second, work hard and play harder.
Nakia was born and raised in the Arkansas delta. She moved to Texas in the early 90s to attend college at Baylor University. She ended up moving to Tyler where she met her husband Nars, who was also a transplant to Texas from California. They have been married for 15 years and have 3 children: Maddux-13, Braxton-11, and Tharyn-10. Nakia loves to call those Hogs!
Nakia earned her B.B.A. from LeTourneau University, and is currently a manager with a local background music provider company. She started as a part-time employee working from home, and moved her way up to management.
After years of addiction, Nakia turned her focus to health and started running, which eventually turned to dipping her feet in to triathlon as well. Over a 2 year period, she completed a personal goal to do “40 races by her 40th birthday”, and kicked her many years of addiction to the curbside! She is a dedicated swim mom, and Nars transports she and the kids around nationwide to compete in athletic events. #thembuenaventuras travel a lot, and love to go to new places to experience new people and cultures.
In her spare time, Nakia likes to knit, read, watch football, and cheer on her kids at swim meets! She also owns her own business: Project Rising Tide, a custom apparel and pillow venture.
She is passionate about encouraging people to know who they are and whose they are, and to never give up on their goals in life!
Missy grew up in the Midwest, spent several years in the desert and has now landed in East Texas. She is wife to Lucas and mom to E (2014) and L (2015). Missy completed her Masters in Social Work at the University of Iowa and has over a decade of experience in nonprofit work. Her favorite jobs have been her years with Big Brothers Big Sisters and her experiences as a psychotherapist. She now spends her days at home in Tyler wrangling her two toddlers while trying to squeeze in her part-time job as a publication editor. Missy loves naps and exploring with her family.