Meet Amanda Parks

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photo credit :: Waldorf Photographic Art
photo credit :: Waldorf Photographic Art

Hi! My name is Amanda and I’ve never not lived in Tennessee. And I’ve never lived in the same city for longer than 6 years. In fact, I believe Memphis is where I’ve lived the longest, despite being born and raised in East Tennessee. Consequently, I don’t have an answer for the common question, “where are you from?” It’s easiest to just say East Tennessee.

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Merely days after my 18th birthday, I moved yet again, to a small college in Greeneville, TN where I was a cheerleader and an English major. Craving something deeper than football games and dorm parties, I got plugged into a local church. When I decided to go on a mission trip to Arizona the summer after my freshman year, I definitely did not expect to meet my future husband. Our group stayed on a Navajo Indian reservation, slept in tents (mine had an air mattress, naturally. I never claimed to be the outdoorsy type!), bathed with a water hose, and used the restroom in a hole in the ground. It was nothing short of disgusting. Luckily, I became distracted from those conditions by this hot guy with a beard and guitar and somehow, even with my dirty topknot and bare face, he noticed me too. God worked in many amazing ways that week in June 2007. When we returned to Greeneville, Tyler went back to college an hour away at UT, and we found ourselves in a long-distance relationship.

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After we both graduated college, we moved to Memphis and finally lived in the same city for the first time. Tyler studied law and I kept myself occupied with graduate school and my spoiled rotten cockapoo puppy, Bella. On a chilly day in November 2010, a day I regretfully decided a shower was unnecessary, Tyler proposed. We had a long engagement due to our continued education but finally, on July 7, 2012, we were married by a beautiful lake on the hottest day in Knoxville’s history. Seriously, it set a record. My dad performed our ceremony and sweat poured from his head onto his Bible. Our family and friends still hate us.

photo credit :: Waldorf Photographic Art
photo credit :: Waldorf Photographic Art

I can’t leave this next part out, lest our middle child develop a complex: On our wedding day, our second child- a cavachon puppy named Bentley- was born and he joined our family the following fall. Tyler started his first job as a lawyer, but I was unable to find work in my field of professional writing. Because we enjoyed nourishment and our downtown apartment, and because I had no idea what I was getting myself into, I began working as a legal assistant. I quickly realized I needed an outlet to write, and my style blog, The Sequined Spaniel, was born. I frequently forced Tyler to take pictures of me wearing carefully selected outfits and documented our life along the way. I had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people who I’m still in contact with today, even though I’m no longer active on my blog.

photo credit :: Kelly Ginn Photography
photo credit :: Kelly Ginn Photography

Now… Here’s the part of my story that makes me eligible to contribute to MMB: Madison Kate! She began her worldly life very punctually on the afternoon of her due date on February 9, 2015. When the nurse announced her weight, it was shockingly evident why it took me 3 hours of continued pushing: 9lbs 6oz. The postpartum pain and utter exhaustion eventually wore off, but the indescribable joy and unconditional love remains and grows with each passing day. I quit my job to stay home with her and while some days are challenging, I couldn’t imagine any other life for myself. Because my mother stayed home with my brother and me, I’ve known from an early age that I wanted to do the same with my children. I feel so blessed to be living my dream!

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A few more things you should know about me:
•I could eat Mexican food every day of my life.
•We’re members of Island Community Church. Come visit! We’re friendly.
•Dogs are my favorite creatures on this earth.
•I loved being pregnant and can’t wait to have a belly again! Tyler says that won’t happen anytime soon, though.
•I love shopping for everything, but my obsession is designer handbags.
•I’ve always loved reading, and my parents used to threaten grounding to make me stop reading and go to sleep each night. I also wore glasses and braces at the same time and all of that combined made me a pretty big nerd.
•I went skydiving a few years ago and would jump again in a heartbeat if it wouldn’t make me an irresponsible mother.
•Muddy’s Bake Shop is a magical place that I visit with alarming frequency.

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photo credit :: Emily B. Photography
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Amanda is a 20-something stay-at-home-mom to 2 canine children (Bella and Bentley) and 1 human child (Madison) who arrived punctually on her due date: February 9, 2015. Amanda is a Tennesseean from birth and became a transplant Memphian in 2010 when she and her husband (Tyler) moved from East Tennessee for continued education. After living in downtown and midtown, the Parks family now calls East Memphis home. Amanda could easily eat Mexican food every day-- best case scenario also includes a sunny day, a patio, and a margarita. She enjoys reading suspense novels and any book about a dog, but topping the list is shopping-- Amanda is constantly on the hunt for bargains and always feels her best in pink lipstick and killer shoes.