The Backstory

MeandCow 001You wanna know the backstory? Are you sure? Like, how much of it? Because I don’t really know where to start, and that, my friend, is a dangerous thing.

I was born in the Original Washington in 7 minutes flat, back in the early 80s. I excelled in preschool for my fingerpainting abilities, but by kindergarten was already being labelled as a child who talks excessively.

Maybe that’s too far back.

The adventure that started in the sweetest little town in Eastern North Carolina continued a half an hour up the road, where I picked up a couple of degrees (Broadcast Communications B.S., International Studies, M.A.) at East Carolina University. How magna cum laude ever found its way behind my name, the world may never know.

While studying, a three-month adventure to Mexico, a shorter one to South Africa and Zambia, and a third to Scotland convinced me that some more time abroad was a good next step.

From there I spent an exciting year learning the ropes at a Pawn Shop, before departing to be part of a church plant in the chilly British Isles, where four years in Edinburgh earned me a consistently improving attempt at a Scottish accent, a barrel-full of wonderful new friends, a Masters in Theological Ethics, and half a PhD.

While enjoying my bacon roll with brown sauce, and exploring Auld Reekie, I met a strapping South African lad who is not to be confused with the Croc Hunter. Ahem. We married less than two years later, and have a Scottish-African-American Bear, a sweet Baby Brother, our American girl on third, and another guarding home plate, and at least thirty-six thousand photos to show for our adventures together thus far.

We moved to South Africa two years later, and founded a local division of the international charity Samaritan’s Feet, called Samaritan’s Feet South Africa. Catchy, hey? After about two years of calling the Western Cape home, we moved back to that sweet little hometown of mine in Eastern North Carolina.

We’re now the husband and wife team behind Quiver Tree Photography, homeschooling the small people with the help of our Classical Conversations community, and we’re settled back in my hometown until the Lord says otherwise.

Though my mailing address has changed ten times and spanned three continents in the last seven years, I am ever so glad that stepping outside my door with passport in hand has led to the pie of adventure that has befallen this little ol’ gal from Eastern North Carolina.

So, I write with love, from here.


This is the wee Collie clan, at present!

{Photo Credit to the talented Dana Murph of Dana Jo Photography.}


  1. Gloris Young

    Hello, Caroline! I am a PROCRASTINATOR! I mentioned to my husband about your ministry, then let it drop. He wants me to research it before we jump on board. I’ve been busy, and…. So, thanks for contacting me on Gloriadelia. It was the bump I needed to get moving again. God bless your cute little South African family! Gloris (

  2. Kristin Taber

    A BEAUTIFUL Backstory!

  3. Nancy Poplin

    I came across your blog tonight while browsing through blogs of mutual friends. (I love it, btw!) So, after reading your “backstory,” I now am starting to wonder if I may have met you in Edinburgh, back in 2005. I was on the 10 day church plant to Scotland that summer with Every Nation. Yeah, I know that there were 90-something of us, but maybe we met? I am trying hard to remember. I was in one of the Glasgow groups, though. Anyway, I absolutely want to go back! Hope everything has gone well there with the church plant since then!

    God bless you! Thanks for being a blessing to others!

    • Caroline

      Hey Nancy — glad we’ve connected or reconnected! I am not sure if we met during your trip in 2005. I was just getting settled in when your team arrived, so I was a bit hands-off during those first mission trips because I was trying to find my feet in a new place! I hope you get the chance to go back. The church is doing well and I really miss the people that I grew so close to over those four years. Thanks for the encouragement!

  4. Christopher Teasdale

    Hello Caroline…

    ‘Great to be in touch with you.
    I am looking forward to getting to know you all
    and your work in CPT more.
    Please, contact me as soon as you get the opportunity.

    Thank you,
    In Christ…

  5. Nicci Crisp

    Hi C

    you have had me in hystrics reading ur blog… i am glad to see i am not the only one struggling with the baby naming thing…

    Have a God Blessed day


    • Caroline

      Thanks, Nicci! I’m glad you’re having a good giggle! I think boy names are way harder than girl names, don’t you? Here’s hoping we’ll figure it out before the little one arrives!! xCC

  6. Taryn

    Hi there. I saw your post on se7en’s celeb blog and came visiting here 🙂 lovely honest and interesting blog! I love it. 🙂 my husband recently returned from a business trip to NC (he works in security with G4S) – he loved it! What town in NC are you from/returning to? I lived in Michigan for a year and loved it. One day I hope to return with the six of us and experience life there for a bit. When another country becomes your home for a while, it gets under your skin and it’s hard to shake it off! I feel for you and your family as you make this emotional move! Adventures are fun – albeit hard on the emotions! Praying God’s peace and joy as you travel this road!

    • Caroline

      Thanks so much, Taryn! I just replied to your comment on Se7en’s blog as well — isn’t she great? And I visited your blog too — lovely!! We’ll be returning to my hometown, Washington, NC for a while, but my husband will be working in Greenville, about half an hour from there. (And where we plan to look for a place to live when we can!) I completely understand the feeling you’re speaking of — Scotland and South Africa are under my skin now and they sure are unshakeable! It hard to go, but knowing the Lord is leading the way is making it easier. Thanks for the prayers! Many blessings to you and your cute crew!!! So glad we’ve connected!

  7. Robbie Mattox

    I am a southern girl who has found herself in South Africa on two mission trips…albeit far from the cape. I love the country of South Africa and often think of the great friends I have made there.

    With 4 children adopted from China, my heart lives in China, too.

    Don’t know how I’ve come across your blog, but I look forward to learning more about your work!

    • Caroline

      Thanks so much for leaving a note, Robbie! It is such a wonderful country! I would love to hear more of your story — especially the adoption story, wow!! Blessings to you!!!

  8. Helen Reyneke

    Hi Caroline, your MIL Pat, and my MIL Constance, are neighbors in Bloemfontein South Africa. I live in Texas with my husband of 24 years, an 18 year and 8 year old sons. I also homeschool and love the Lord. I saw a blog you wrote in March about sowing seeds- precious truths and what a precious family you have! Yes, I too have been surprise what God teach me through my boys. Come say Hi if ever y’all are in Houston 🙂

    • Caroline

      Hi Helen! It is so very cool to hear from you! Thank you so much for reaching out! I will reply to your message on Facebook shortly — it is so cool to be in touch with you! Thank you for the encouragement — and wow, it would be lovely to meet up if we are in Houston! 🙂



  1. 10 Days – 10 Causes: Samaritan’s Feet South Africa | Shakyhands - [...] with a former student in our partnership of Campus Ministries back in North Carolina.  My friend Caroline and her…

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