Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Gratitude and The Buzbees & the Booths

I have lots of pictures of Bruce and Mike and Laurie and Sandy (of most of them are shots across from a restaurant table. Bruce and Mike are the real definition of mentors.  They have been there for us from the very beginning and we have learned SO much from them. I think they first mentored us because they didn't want to have to do their own chart printing-LOL-but I'm so glad they didn't. We have spent so many hours over the years talking about the genealogy industry, about how to run a business, and how to run a business in this crazy genealogy industry. I can credit them for so many of our business processes and marketing successes.  It was Bruce and Mike who first talked me into starting a blog. Yeah that. So this first photo is to show how far back we go with these old friends.  Yikes.  I don't want to think about how much we've aged.
4th of July 2008
Bruce and Mike have been the greatest of friends--even working for them doing phones for a while to help ease the pain of being a startup.  They have advocated for us and taught us.  Truly great mentors.  And always fun to talk to.  These are the guys who taught us to hit up two restaurants in a night. Talk about mentors!
Which brings us to doing triathlons.  More years ago than I want to admit, I got to spend lots of time with Laurie and some of their kids (Kristy here) doing triathlons.  I'd like to take credit for getting them into that--until my health issues slowed me down.  But they've kept going and they're freaking awesome. It was really lots of fun.
Laurie's surprise birthday party
Recently we've been having dinner together again regularly and we always look forward to talking with them.  I save up all of my analysis about the people and entities in the industry to bounce off Bruce and I'm always interested in his take on the situation. Figuring things out is always fun together and if everyone would just do what we think they should, we'd solve all the problems in the world.  It is so good to have a sounding board and now-- and after all these years, some really good old friends.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Gratitude and Maureen Taylor

One of the greatest blessings I have had in this career in genealogy is in the dear friendship I have with Maureen Taylor (  I have so many friends who are impressed that I even know this amazing lady--and they should be.  But I also get to call her a dear friend. She is so talented!  She can identify a family photograph from a mile away.  She's earned the respect of everyone throughout the industry as a hard worker and a brilliant historian. She is a wonderful speaker and a genuinely kind person.  I am just delighted every time I get to spend some time with her.  

When she came to stay with me a while ago, she brought me this cute little dish and I keep my curling pins in it on the vanity in my bathroom.  It makes me smile every morning when I think of Maureen. One of my love languages is gifts, and it takes me back every morning when I think that she may actually think that I make the world a better place.  

Maureen has been an awesome sounding board for the challenges I come up with in my career.  I'm always happy to hear from her over the phone and I know I can always turn to her when I need something. I am so thankful to have a confidant with such a wide range of experience in the industry who I can trust to be honest with and to understand what I'm feeling. We often run into the same challenges in our companies and I learn so much from her. You can't put a price on a girlfriend like that.  

Maureen and Erin in Malibu this summer
We've had many fun times at conferences throughout the years.  She's always silly and up for an adventure--in business and in life.  I've written before about how gracious she was to take care of me when I got to stay with her in Rhode Island.  We've had some delightful time together.  All of the ladies I work with love her too of course.  She's easy to get along with and good to hang out with anyone. We have fun! She has been a lovely addition to my life and my career.  And I can't wait to see what the next idea is that we cook up together.

And most recently, Maureen was incredibly sweet when I was having trauma over a big birthday.  She went out of her way to send these beautiful roses.  She said they reminded her of me because they were in a Victorian arrangement.  They were a beautiful welcome to the "half century" club.  But more than that, they were a great reminder of how blessed I am to have such a dear dear ally.  Thanks Maureen.  I treasure our friendship

Friday, November 9, 2018

Gratitude and Crista Cowan

Silly Crista (with Lorilee Wagner who is also a dear lady)
In this month of thankfulness, I'm feeling the need to express my gratitude for my dearest friend Crista Cowan ( Barefoot Genealogist).  I honestly think Crista and I are like Anne Shirley and Diana Berry-bosom friends and kindred spirits "to whom I can confide my inmost soul."  It is hard to put into words how much my friendship with Crista has meant to me.  She is one of the greatest blessings of my life. 

I'm not sure how I got so lucky as to be able to be close friends with her.  Well I am a little--I stalked her one year at SLIG and I love making healthy dinners for her (we've both been recently diagnosed as diabetic). But in return it is hard to quantify how much that has changed my life. But from the first night we had dinner together at SLIG, we clicked.  We have the same world view.  We care about the same things.  We usually have the same opinions on people and situations. We both want to save the world in the same way.  It's like we've known each other for much longer than just this lifetime.

I am privileged every time I get to spend time with her.  There are so many who clamor for Crista's attention.  I once called her "she who gets 10,000 likes with every sneeze and 12,000 comments with every cough." or something along those lines.  There are so many who clamor for her talents and skills.  She changes lives right and left with her storytelling skills and unbelievable research talents.  She uncovers family stories and finds adoptees' lineages like the rest of us blink.  She changes lives daily. She makes it look easy.  And what I love about Crista the most is that she understands the power that this family history holds.  She knows what we are doing in genealogy and finds it a sacred duty.  She is truly a woman of light and power like no one else on earth.

Crista has made an immeasurable difference in my life and in our business.  I couldn't begin to list all of the things I have learned from her.  I bask in her passion for family history.  Even though we often talk late into the night, I often can't sleep afterward because I am so excited about the ideas she's brought me.  I am so grateful for how Crista's breadth of experience enriches my professional life, but I'm even more grateful for her influence in my personal life.  She is truly a great treasure and I honored to call her my friend.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Two New Employees-

We have two new employees that I'm excited to introduce to you.  

Stacy Wightman is our new associate designer. Stacy grew up in Spokane, Washington.  She obtained a math education/psychology degree from BYU and taught math for several years before starting her family.  She has always had a great interest in family history and enjoys the search for ancestors.  She also loves anything to do with computers and especially enjoys using the computer to do research and design/edit genealogy charts.  She is a great organizer and enjoys using her talents to assist in the work at Family Chartmasters.

Emily Park is our new Social Media director.  Emily worked for us previously while she was going to school but then took a hiatus while she finished her degree in art education and started her family.  She taught for five years at American Preparatory Academy where she received the "Builder of the Year" Teacher Award. She has a super cute two-year-old son and is expecting a daughter next spring.  Emily is just adorable and perfect for keeping our social media fun and engaging., with lots of new ideas about sharing your family history.

Both Stacy and Emily are going to be great assets and we're looking forward to utilizing their skills to serve you better.  They both understand how important your family history is and are dedicated to helping you share it and show it off.  Let us know what we can do to help you!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

DNA Chart Sale

Hey everyone, we've got a great sale for you for November.  We're giving you 50% off any of our DNA charts until the end of the month.  You can choose Canvas, Professional Paper, or instant PDF download--as little as $10 to show off your ethnicity.  

They come in three styles and you can create a chart with or without a photo.  Immediately preview your chart online before printing.  The new estimates are updated and you can print with MyHeritage estimates as well.  


Do you know someone who has had a DNA test taken recently?  This is the perfect gift to help them show off their exciting new discoveries.  And we're giving you 50% off the gift certificates too.  They make a super easy, and really meaningful gift.  The gift certificate arrives in your email with all of the instructions on how to redeem and receive your chart.
Gift Certificate
Just go to and enter the code "NOVDNA50" for great savings and a super easy way to display your heritage.

Thursday, November 1, 2018


For a couple of years now we've taken our team up to Park City for a weekend to relax, have fun, evaluate, and think through ideas about how we can better serve you.  These have been some of our most productive days, and have made a big difference in the efficiency of the company and the value we are able to bring you.  Everyone has worked so hard this year, we wanted to take care of them and treat them to something.
Our new designers group photo

This year, as part of the retreat, we also treated our designers to makeovers and a photo shoot for some new plans we have for the website.  I'm so excited to show you what we have in store there but that will have to wait for now.  What I can show you though, is how much fun we had. 
Erin having her makeup done

Doesn't Stacy look beautiful?

Waiting their turn at Seiren Salon

Beautiful Marti making us beautiful.

A stop for tea at the Grand America

Relaxing with tea and cakes.

Adorable Sassy Karli.  Isn't she the cutest?

Grub Steak in Park City

All the goodies

Putting our feet up

Hanging out.  Too Many laughs

Great-Grandmother's Cottage Chees Pancakes

Famous Legers sandwiches
So apparently I take more photos of food than of people.  But those were the only times we stopped to take a breath.  Rest assured--we came up with some mammoth new ideas about how to improve our services around here and I can't wait to put them into effect.  Just watch.  2019 is going to be our best yet!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

2018 Family History Gift Holiday Deadlines

It's that time of year again.  Working on family history projects for the holidays.  My family often gives family history gifts--what more meaningful gifts could there be?  And, it is a great way to give yourself a deadline to get that family history project done.  So if you are hoping to inspire your family this year with a beautiful chart to hang in their home, now is the time to start thinking about it.  

If you are ready to go, it's good to send it in right away.  Like I said earlier, October is a slower month for us so our designers have more time to work with you in perfecting your chart.  And, we have our annual Extra Copy Sale going on right now until the end of the month--perfect for gift giving.  

However, if you are still getting those last few pictures ready, here's the deadlines you need to keep in mind if you want to avoid extra rush fees or expedited shipping charges: 
  • Nov 26nd Charts that need International Shipping
  • Dec 7th Decorative charts shipped in the United States
  • Dec 14th Working charts (no preview) shipped in the United States
  • Dec 18th User-Designed charts (no preview) shipped in the United States
We're happy to work on charts for you after these dates, but there will be a $45 rush fee added and there may be expedited shipping charges.  Avoid the rush and let us help you get started today. 

Each order will receive the personalized attention that Family ChartMasters is famous for.  It's always an honor to help you create beautiful and meaningful gifts for those nearest and dearest to you. Feel free to send in your information to  We're excited to get to work on your one-of-a-kind masterpiece.