Life Lessons:
Genevieve West

*Are you happy at the moment?

I am totally content and happy. I feel like I’m on the verge of losing it most of the time, but I do love my life!

*If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?

Don’t have sex! Boys are a distraction until you’re ready to get hitched. Instead, keep writing, working on your craft, your dreams.

*What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?

I learned that community is essential when you’re trying to achieve crazy big goals, and that nay-sayers will come out of the woodwork when you try to leave “average” behind. I’m blessed to be part of a community created by author Jon Acuff, and without having these people around me, encouraging me and challenging me to do more than I believed I was capable of, I wouldn’t have been able write my book or take my business as far as I have. Without the support and love of my husband Eric, I would still be carrying around the shame of my past, instead of using my story to help others through theirs.

*What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?

I’d like to see our liquid nitrogen ice cream business, Mix ‘N’ Match Creamery, find amazing success, easily supporting our family, and totally blowing the minds of everyone who thought we couldn’t do it!

*What’s your secret to happiness?

My secret to happiness is being intentional in my relationships, especially with my husband and children, and controlling my expectations of others. I try to have an optimistic approach to life, trusting that things will work out the way they’re meant to.

*What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?

I’ve gotta go with prayer. No matter how hectic life gets, or how far we get from what I’d imagined, prayer helps me remember that it’s not all about me, that there’s a bigger picture, and that I can trust that we’ll be provided for, even if it doesn’t look the way I want it to.

*What’s your biggest regret?

My sister was taken from us over a decade ago. I most regret that she wasn’t able to meet my husband and her nieces.

*What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?

Get back up. Mistakes happen. Relationships will be strained. You’ll fail at goals. But always get back up. Eat that humble pie with grace and dignity, then fix what you have power over, and accept what you don’t have power over.

*What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?

Procrastination! I’d love to have the focus to take care of my obligations and goals right away, instead of sabotaging myself by leaving everything for the last minute panic.

*Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?

Achieving my lifelong goal of becoming a published author… and that my mom wasn’t the only one who bought my book!

*When were you happiest?

Living next to a cow pasture in Bozeman, Montana was probably the happiest time for me. Blazing our own way as a family, doing life with the people we met there, and how simple things were.

*What ten words best describe you?

Overwhelmed, friendly, candid, confident, irreverent, understanding, communicative, intuitive, unconventional, genuine.

Genevieve West is a wine-drinking, coffee-chugging, domestically-challenged Relationship and Dating Consultant, and writer, saved by grace. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband Eric, owner of Mix ‘N’ Match Creamery, and homeschools their three children. Find more of Genevieve’s insights and antics at and by following her on Twitter @GenevieveWest.