Melissa lives with her husband, two young daughters, and parents out in the country just north of her fellow pamphleteers. They may add a dog to that mix when everyone is out of diapers. Melissa taught high school students for 10 years and then moved to Eastern Europe to work as an education consultant for over five years.  Now she works part-time as executive director of a professional association for education consultants. She teaches online courses for the organization and as an adjunct professor, all in the area of education. In her free time (ah – free time!), she enjoys home decorating projects, gardening, baking, entertaining, and hanging out with her husband, who is a reservoir of pop culture facts, rock and roll history, and theological knowledge.

Susan writes:

Melissa is one I remember very well meeting for the first time through Amy. I knew her only as Amy’s friend who had spent six months in Romania, a place that would one day be my home for two years. The next time I met her, I was staying in her flat in Budapest while on a visit back to Romania and Hungary. We clicked — perhaps bonding over Eastern Europe and being an expat initially, but she is now one of my dearest, most cherished friends.

You will quickly see that Melissa is honest, strong, wise and unpretentious. If she’s feeling insecure, she says she’s feeling insecure. If she doesn’t understand something, she says she doesn’t understand. I always walk away from Melissa feeling refreshed and thinking if I tried to be more honest and less pretentious, that might make me stronger and wiser.

Melissa is ambitious and smart and inspires me to aim high, while knowing I am covered in grace at the same time. She is the one I go to when I want to share my Life Goals – categorized, numbered, and sometimes attainable. I can count on her for a perspective that will likely be different from my own and very much needed. Melissa once told me a certain personality test labeled her as “concrete abstract.” I still don’t know what that means, but if she’s any indication, we could all use more Concrete Abstracts in our lives. I know you’ll enjoy having Melissa in yours.

Amy adds:

Melissa and I met in college and bonded in concert choir while rehearsing Handel’s Messiah. We found ourselves giggling over the implied question, “Do you like sheep?” and singing the answer, “All we like sheep!” She is creative and musical and fun. I have so many memories with Melissa that I hardly remember not knowing her. We have supported each other through tragedies and major life changes.

I greatly appreciated when she moved to Prague and Budapest because it gave me the opportunity to travel there two different summers to visit. We have traveled together throughout Eastern Europe and I am forever grateful for the adventures we shared. I am also very glad she is home now.

Melissa is a great listener and I love to bounce ideas off of her. Melissa and I actually taught together at the same school for a couple years, so she is a great person with whom to talk through school stuff. We also dream together about decorating, cooking, and gardening.

Melissa and I can often be found bouncing ideas off each other in her kitchen or at the Lakewood Antiques Market.

Renee surmises:

Melissa is an awe-inspiring friend, daughter, wife, mother, and the all around Good Adult Person I hope someday to be.

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