Welcome to my online space where I write to inspire, to transform, and to help heal – both myself and others.

My name is Courtney, and I have been married to Evan since 2007. Our son, Connor, was born in 2009.

I began this blog in 2011 when our daughter Brenna was just four days old, after she had been diagnosed at birth with a very rare and severe skin disorder. I have been writing since I was young, and I hold a bachelor’s degree in journalism, so writing became the way I processed a whole new frightening and beautiful world as we learned how to care for Brenna…and as we learned how to truly celebrate this difficult and wonderful life.

My Christian nonfiction book called A Different Beautiful (Shiloh Run Press) was released August 2016, and my children’s book That’s How You Know was released in 2013.

My writing has appeared on:

As for me, who am I?

I’m an introvert who enjoys being around people but needs a lot of time to myself to think and dream. I love to be home. Community involvement is very important to me, and I am constantly trying to help meet needs when I see them. I believe that reading books is the gateway to a bigger and more beautiful life. Cool Ranch Doritos are my favorite. I love a good boat ride, and I can get up (for a short time) on one ski. I love things to be tidy and organized. I believe with all my heart that God is the co-author of our stories, and he’s ready to share all kinds of amazing, with us and through us.

If you’re new to my blog, I encourage you to start here.

Other popular posts you may like to read:

What I Wish Parents Would Do When Your Child Points at Mine

When Brenna Asks “Do I Look Pretty?”

And He Said He Didn’t Do Girl Hair…

Equipping My Daughter to Choose her Own Reactions to Stares

A Letter to Brenna on her 2nd Birthday

To the people who say “look at her!” about my daughter

You can connect with me online here: Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

Or Subscribe to my email list to download a list of my favorite children’s books about differences and disabilities.

9 thoughts on “About

  • April 23, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Thank you so much for your article on “What I wish parents would say”.
    It was very helpful on so many levels and can be applied to any differences among children.
    You have a beautiful family and I love the pics of Brenna looking at flowers and the one where she is sleeping – what a sweetie!
    Cheers to you and your family.

  • June 8, 2016 at 9:26 am

    hello Westlake family,

    I have been reading a parts in blog and I am moved by your family you all have taken what most people would consider a hardship and prove to everyone that it is not only a blessing it is a chance for a family to see where their heart is and show that together you can conquer all challenges that are put your way. your daughter has a very loving and strong family and by the pictures a very happy one at that. your daughter will grow up from the beautiful little girl that she is today to a gorgeous young woman and will be so happy she’s had an amazing family to stand by her. I wish all parents would teach their children about not pointing out everyone’s in differences that all children no matter what they look like, how tall they are, brown, white, black, green, or purple people you always be nice, lend a helping hand, be caring and be a friend. you never know who will walk in your life and change it forever.

  • September 13, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Lovely Brenna. Different but a beauty. Read about you and your family at fb.
    Take care and continue to be proud of your daughter

    Hugs from Sweden

  • September 23, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    I really want to say god bless your family

  • September 28, 2016 at 7:01 am

    Dear Westlakes.

    I read about you a few weeks ago on facebook. I now follow you on facebook and instagram and also reads the blog. Today I got assigned to write an essay about you all. I will do my very best and I also wonder if you want to read my essay before I send it in or even want to read it at all.

    Many hugs and blesses from Sofie, Sweden

  • September 30, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Your story is so inspiring. I’ve taken to heart your writing about your daughter choosing her own responses to questions and stares. Though my daughter is still little (only one), I dread the day talking to her about how she is different. She was born with Ectrodactyly (split hand syndrome) with only two fingers on each of her hands and two toes on each of her toes. She already has curious kids coming up and touching her hands asking why she only has two fingers. She will be brave, I know, but you want to always protect your child. Thank you and your beautiful little girl for being an inspiration.

  • May 10, 2017 at 9:25 am

    I read your book in ONE sitting last night! I so enjoyed it and felt inspired by your story. Thanks for writing! —mom of two in St. Louis

  • May 22, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Hello Courtney,
    I am from Germany and a friend of mine has the same fate as Brenna. In December he will be 28 years old. He has a lot of good friends and even plays the Main Character in a theatre! I just want so say, Never give up! Always stay strong.
    Wish you all the best!

    • May 30, 2017 at 8:57 pm

      Thank you so much!!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *