I’m a girl from the Midwest who was blessed to marry Andrew, the love of my life. I have two wonderful daughters, Lauren and Katherine, and they keep our household hopping! We laugh a lot, do many cartwheels in the grass, consume gobs of ice cream sundaes, and make plenty of messes together.
I am proud to say that I am still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Because of that, I have spent my life pursuing my many passions and through these adventures have gained wonderful friends and meaningful life experiences along the way.
At a young age, I developed a love of dance which led me into a career as a professional dancer. This was an exciting time in my life that gave me the opportunity to perform in a variety of outlets. One of these opportunities was the chance to work with a contemporary Christian artist dancing in his music videos and for his television show. This led to being a backup dancer for his national tour, which played in packed arenas all over the country. One of these shows was held in the Atlanta Georgia dome, and that evening we performed for 65,000 people.
Following the tour, I moved to one of my all time favorite places, New York City, to study, work, and continue pursuing my dream. I arrived carrying two suitcases, a key to an apartment I had never seen, and a roommate I had never met. I fell in love with the energy and heartbeat of New York, and immediately felt at home. I earned a dance scholarship at Steps on Broadway, and eventually performed for VH-1, Disney, 20th Century Fox, and with the New York City based dance company, The Mantis Dance Project.
After taking a bite out of the Big Apple, I moved to Los Angeles, CA and assisted a very talented fashion stylist and friend, Roni Burks. My time with her was "food for my fashion loving soul", and I helped her as she styled beautiful looks for many artists in the entertainment industry.
After a few years in L.A. I found myself feeling a pull to return to school to pursue a post-baccalaureate degree in Elementary Education at the University of Texas at Austin. After receiving my teaching license, I was placed in a second grade classroom in a low-socioeconomic area of Austin. I loved all of the ups, downs, and challenges that came with forming those sweet little minds. I also felt the weight of the incredible responsibility all teachers have, and I made every day a chance to love on "my kids" even on the days when it was beyond difficult.
The highlight of my teaching career came when took a group of second graders to Ballet Austin's performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream. These particular students had never experienced the arts and it was a dream come true to watch the awe and wonder in their eyes as the curtain rose, the orchestra started to play, and the beautiful dancers began to fill the stage.
After 14 years of spreading my wings, I decided to move back to my hometown and by the grace of God, met my husband. We began our lives together, and I became a full-time wife and mother which has been the best job on my resume so far. I am always learning, experiencing many wife and mom "fails", but loving the journey.
I currently enjoy a fulfilling career as a leader with Beautycounter. I consider myself an advocate for healthy living and love educating others on the importance of safer skincare.
My "resume" also reads, Breast Cancer Survivor. Not a title I ever dreamed of holding, but one that makes up a defining chapter of my story. I believe that God uses all of the chapters of our lives to create beautiful stories, and through this blog I’m excited to share mine with you!
The Dahlia Diaries
Uh...what’s with the name?
The name of my blog was birthed from me, a "non-tech savvy" child of the ‘80s, trying to get with the times and create an Instagram account. During this process I was finding that every version of "Jamie Dahl" was already taken. So, out of pure necessity I was forced to get a little creative. While working through many different combinations I ended up with @jamie.dahlia. At the time, I thought it was a decent choice for a few reasons. It was fairly close to my name, I love flowers, and truthfully, "dahlia" just sounded pretty. Then, I started doing a little research on the dahlia flower, and was pleasantly surprised by what I found.
I discovered that the dahlia has some beautiful symbolism:
- Staying graceful under pressure, especially in challenging situations
- Drawing upon inner strength to succeed
- Standing out from the crowd and following your own unique path
- Staying kind despite being tested by certain life events
- Finding a balance between adventure and relaxation
- Committing to another person or a certain ideal
Having overcome a battle with breast cancer, a lot of these meanings really resonated with me, and I think they are all good ideals to live by. They have become the foundation for this blog and a roadmap for both my family and me. All of these concepts are ones I love to explore, and share my experiences with, so it seemed only natural to mix it all together under this proverbial umbrella.
Truthfully, a lot of what you will read are things I try to teach and instill in my two daughters who may decide they don't want to listen to "Mom" a few years from now when they are full-blown teenagers. What?! Not listen to their mother?! Oh no! Mom's, we know this can be a reality, so this is my way of documenting my thoughts for them whether they are listening now or not. My hope is that someday they will enjoy reading my words and will learn from my little wins, and many mistakes.
So there you have it….
The Dahlia Diaries.