My new gig and the very best new parenting resource on the web.

by Lesley on July 7, 2014 · 9 comments

in work,writing


I’ve made the announcement on various other places like Facebook and LinkedIn, but I forgot to tell you all some BIG news in my writing career. In mid-April I became the editor of Kidaround Magazine, a local lifestyle magazine for Sacramento families.

Yes, you read that correctly. I’m editing a magazine based in Sacramento while living in Santa Barbara. How did that happen, you ask? It’s a crazy story.

Last fall, soon after I had Owen, my friend Josh e-mailed me. I met Josh about six years ago, at a Tweetup of all places. At the time he was running a social network for moms, MomFaves, and while I wasn’t a mom (yet!) the concept struck me as ingenious. He’d graduated from a Christian school similar to Westmont, and he was a family man with strong values. We exchanged information and decided to keep in touch. Eventually he decided to pursue a new career path, shutting down MomFaves and starting his own marketing agency. I planned to work for him somewhat regularly after having Anna but once Jonathan got his cancer diagnosis I decided to hunker down at home to concentrate on family.

Over the past several years, Josh and I made a point to stay in touch. He invited me to his new offices last year for a tour, and he has checked-in occasionally with freelance opportunities, most of which I turned down. I’ve been busy pursuing my book and the timing to work for him didn’t seem right. He graciously understood.

Last fall, Josh reached out to me again and asked to talk about MomFaves. He’d been approached by a local parenting publication, Kidaround, and wanted to pick my brain about the potential of integrating MomFaves into the publication.  I’ve always loved Kidaround–it’s a beautifully designed bi-monthly magazine I’ve read for years, and over the course of our phone call both of us became very excited about the potential for MomFaves 2.0.  Josh asked if I’d like to be involved somehow and initially I said no. I was writing a book, and the baby cried a lot, and I wasn’t showering enough. But Josh was persistent. For some reason, I agreed to volunteer an hour every Friday to talk with him about the social network. Something about MomFaves made me excited. I liked using my brain in a different way, and I couldn’t ignore a nagging feeling that I needed to be involved, at least for the time being.

From October through February, Josh and I planned and brainstormed and dreamed. All along the way, I kept telling Jonathan: “I have no time for this, and I’m not sure what it will lead to, and I’m not even sure I want it to lead to something. I just know I’m supposed to be part of this right now.”

In February, when Jonathan got his job news and we decided to move, Josh and I were in the early stages of negotiating a partnership with Kidaround Magazine and MomFaves. I showed up at his office for a meeting and said, “Um, our family is suddenly moving to Santa Barbara and I’d love to take on about 10 hours of freelance work each week to help us afford the very expensive city we’re moving to.”  

Josh laughed and said, “I was going to ask you if you’d be interested in working about 10 hours a week for us. I have a new client who wants a female Christian copywriter to help with their blog.”

By the end of March, when we moved to Santa Barbara, I’d already lined up childcare for my kids and begun work for Josh. The money he agreed to pay me each month was exactly what we needed to cover the big jump in monthly rent for our home in Santa Barbara. My job was just one more light on the runway during our very quick move.

But, you’re probably still wondering how I became Kidaround’s editor. Just a few weeks after we moved, Kidaround’s current publisher decided to pursue a new career opportunity and she backed out on our partnership. Instead, she offered the publication to Josh and his wife. He called me one weekend and asked to take the editor role. At first I resisted, because, hello, I now live in Santa Barbara plus the job seemed like it needed more than 10 hours a week. But, after some convincing and prayer, I decided to take the opportunity.

I’ve been working on the publication since mid-April, and I helped with much of the May/June issue. While I’m really proud of our camping issue, I’m even more excited to show you our July/August back-to-school issue which is the first issue I’ve worked on from start to finish. Our feature story–parties for moms on the first day of school–was styled by a friend I met at Mom’s Connection, Tegan. I love that our cover photo is real moms, not models, and it’s taken right in the heart of midtown. If you read the piece you’ll notice we try to focus on creating ideas and encouragement for all types of moms, regardless of whether you work inside or outside the home, or the ages of your children.

We’re also debuting a new regular feature called MomFaves, allowing real moms to share their favorite products and ideas, plus a column called Heart-to-Heart where two moms tackle a subject they feel differently about but do so in a respectful and loving manner.

I can’t wait to keep you updated on what I’m learning as an editor. It’s a new job I’ve never done before and so far I’m finding it wonderfully fun and challenging. I hope, regardless of where you live, you’ll find Kidaround to be a great parenting resource. You can read our latest issue by clicking here.

Thanks for sticking with me through this long post. I hope, if anything, you’ll find delight in how God knows our path and future long before we do. I never, ever, in a million years thought a little phone conversation last fall would lead to an editing gig. I’m thankful that God just kept telling me to trust and obey, because I’m thrilled with where I’ve landed.

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