Life Behind the Highlight Real

Ep 43: The Long Winding Path to Seminary School with Victoria Bell

August 28, 2022 Sarah Huffman & William Huffman Season 1 Episode 43
Ep 43: The Long Winding Path to Seminary School with Victoria Bell
Life Behind the Highlight Real
More Info
Life Behind the Highlight Real
Ep 43: The Long Winding Path to Seminary School with Victoria Bell
Aug 28, 2022 Season 1 Episode 43
Sarah Huffman & William Huffman

Victoria and Sarah met while working at JC Penny in Coon Rapids and have been friends ever since. 

Born in California and stayed there for a whole six weeks before moving to Minnesota. 

After her dad got arrested (details in the podcast) at the University of Minnesota, the family was forced to regroup which included sneaking out of Minnesota in the middle of the night. 

Later in life, Victoria's dream was to become a doctor, which leads to a lovely story about the college she chose. Not to be missed. 

Shortly after starting college, she decided med school would not be in her future, so she began a search for a purpose. A search that landed on helping families going through childbirth.  

She became a doula which provides physical, emotional, and spiritual support during the birthing process. 

As fulfilling as that was, she missed family and made a move back to Minnesota. 

And that's where her real story begins. A car ride message from God changed her path.

Show Notes Transcript

Victoria and Sarah met while working at JC Penny in Coon Rapids and have been friends ever since. 

Born in California and stayed there for a whole six weeks before moving to Minnesota. 

After her dad got arrested (details in the podcast) at the University of Minnesota, the family was forced to regroup which included sneaking out of Minnesota in the middle of the night. 

Later in life, Victoria's dream was to become a doctor, which leads to a lovely story about the college she chose. Not to be missed. 

Shortly after starting college, she decided med school would not be in her future, so she began a search for a purpose. A search that landed on helping families going through childbirth.  

She became a doula which provides physical, emotional, and spiritual support during the birthing process. 

As fulfilling as that was, she missed family and made a move back to Minnesota. 

And that's where her real story begins. A car ride message from God changed her path.

William Huffman  0:00  
Hey everybody, William here and Sarah and we just need to let you know that we are licensed real estate agents in the state of Minnesota with REMAX results of Good Life Group and that's our legal disclaimer. Everybody stay here with Victoria and Okay, from the Cardinals of Cooper rapids to the gathers to. I'm just gonna leave it at that. Talk to you soon.

Victoria Bell  0:25  
2018 I'm getting a guy. It's going well, ish, I think. And then the weekend my birthday things that van again. I fed six breakups the weekend of my birthday since high school.

William Huffman  0:38  
Wow. Well, you can plan around it. Right? How weird is it? Find the

Accouncer  0:49  
positive Welcome to Life behind the highlight reel. The podcast that takes things beyond the curated life we all see online. Join hosts Sarah and William Huffman as they dive in with their friends to talk about the good and the hard things that come with a real not perfect life behind the highlight reel.

William Huffman  1:08  
Everybody, William here and Sarah and Victoria. Yay.

Sarah Huffman  1:15  
Today we have Victoria on. And we are super excited. Victoria and I met long ago. Well, you know, a few years ago at JC Penney in Coon Rapids. And that was just the intro since then. We've seen Victoria graduate finish. Like meet her husband.

William Huffman  1:35  
Let's just stop. Oh,

Sarah Huffman  1:37  
my God has story what that we're literally

William Huffman  1:39  
here to talk about, like all of that. And here's looking at Disney. And here's here's a spoiler alert. Here is

Sarah Huffman  1:45  

Victoria Bell  1:46  
Sarah is just giving like the highlight reel of content. Yeah, like, you know, when you look at a book and you're like, This is what the books gonna be about.

William Huffman  1:53  
Nobody reads that. Oh, I do. normal person reads that I'm not normal. That's

Sarah Huffman  2:00  
how we know Victoria.

William Huffman  2:02  
There we go. All right. So we want to bring it way back when to where you were born, where you grew up. Any siblings, you know what high school do you go to? All that good stuff?

Victoria Bell  2:13  
Yeah. So I was born in Escondido, California. Back in the early 90s. Nice. And then when I was six weeks old, my parents are like, we're moving to Minnesota. Where are they? Family? Yeah, okay. Um, kind of so my mom was born in Iowa. And so like very Midwest family and my biological dad was from Oklahoma. And they worked in health care. Okay, and so they moved back here to be like, closer to family and work for the University of Minnesota.

Sarah Huffman  2:49  
Okay, cuz I was like, why would you go from California? to Minnesota?

William Huffman  2:54  
Fornia. No doubt about it, girls. Probably California. Sounds good name. Probably a part right. Anyway, this is about Victorians. Moving on.

Victoria Bell  3:06  
Now, now we'll be thinking about California Girls. Yeah. Canva fornitori men. No one. Let's say you made a song. Okay. It's totally, I just might have the right tune. I was cut from choir.

William Huffman  3:20  
Okay, so they're they were traditionally Midwestern type folk. Yeah. And then they're out in the California and then there you are. Or six weeks later. Yeah. Like Psych. Yeah, coming back to the soda.

Victoria Bell  3:33  
Yeah. So they came back here and then lived in kind of like the St. Paul ish area. And then let's see, I have a little brother who was born in the mid 90s. And then we moved to Roseville that happened to be Oh, that would be my little brother Zeke. That would happen to be CL NS Yeah. Also, no,

William Huffman  3:57  
he's not little he's a big dude. Yeah, he's, yeah. Like, with that name? I mean, okay, first of all that name alright. Z. It's a very unique name, right? Yeah, but he could totally be in the hills of Kentucky making moonshine

Victoria Bell  4:12  
Oh, yeah. So one of the shows that Zeke and I used to watch together, I won't say when we were little, but like, when we were like, in our college years was who was like on Discovery Channel and like, the people who live like off the land. Yeah. But I can't remember what it was called. Because there's a couple of them but those are the show. People not like the duck, but like the people who are like off totally after it, like making their own like cabin sort of thing. Naked and Afraid.

William Huffman  4:40  
Sarah, no, stop. Do you know what the Discovery Channel is? It's going horribly.

Victoria Bell  4:49  
That is like that. For anyone who doesn't know my brother's eat. That is like him. He's, we both have red hair. And he's like, I don't know six one and half As long dreadlocks like down to his mid back, yeah. makes his own jewelry. Yeah, it makes his own jewelry.

William Huffman  5:06  
Yeah. fits the definition of the name Zeke very well. Oh, yeah. Love it. Okay, we skipped a bunch there. Okay, so how much younger is your brother than you? Um, he's just about three years. Okay, so from zero to three, tell me your life story.

Victoria Bell  5:21  
Oh, gosh. Ah,

William Huffman  5:22  
well is this three years? Come on? Okay.

Victoria Bell  5:27  
We so we like lived in St. Paul ish area and like, kind of moved round and then my brother was born and riveting. Super riveting. Yes. But we my biological dad made some not great life choices

William Huffman  5:46  
night was

Victoria Bell  5:49  
just, we'll say an unsafe person, okay to reframe people from that bad and good, but like safe and unsafe. All right, he made choices that made him an unsafe person to be around for many people. And that probably started before my parents got married, but you're like, you marry someone. And then things kind of like, happened. And you're like, Oh, shoot. That was

Sarah Huffman  6:11  
like the signs were there. Yeah, but sometimes, I can just go from my past experience. Not with you will.

William Huffman  6:18  
Oh, I'll go say yesterday morning when you were mad at me. Like, like,

Sarah Huffman  6:21  
with previous relationships. Like the signs are always there. Yeah. It's Do you want to admit that that as a sign? Yeah. It's like, No, I can overlook that. Because I want this person in my life.

Victoria Bell  6:33  
Yeah, yeah. So I think like, that's kind of what was going on for my parents. So there's like some stuff happening in the background. And how old are you? And this is going on? Oh, like preschool age.

William Huffman  6:42  
Okay. Like zero to three. Like, here's your life story. Okay, so like, here's like, four to five. Yeah. And so

Victoria Bell  6:46  
then. thing things like really hit the fan when my dad gets arrested at work for stealing drugs from patients. Oh, okay. He is a, I think was like a radiology tech or something. And so he was stealing narcotics from the patients. And my mom also worked at the hospital, and the University of police because it's University of Minnesota can do and they're like, we've arrested your husband.

Sarah Huffman  7:17  
April Fool's. And he like caught off guard.

Victoria Bell  7:19  
Oh, yeah. Totally. So and you remember this. So like, I remember, I've heard the story down there. But like, I remember her coming home and like things being like, Oh, something happened. Daddy did some bad things.

Sarah Huffman  7:36  
Again, speak. Yeah. Yeah. Because I

Victoria Bell  7:39  
hadn't started kindergarten yet. Yep. So things kinda like really got messy and we suddenly moved from Minnesota to Galesburg, Illinois, in the middle of the night.

Unknown Speaker  7:51  

William Huffman  7:52  
scandalous. Yeah, okay. Oh.

Victoria Bell  7:56  
I don't know like exactly what the impetus was. So Zig Ziglar. Baby, maybe at this time Zeke is like little so I'm just about to start. I'm, it's in the summer, we're going into kindergarten. So I've received five or six. So Zika is like two. Okay. And I don't remember exactly what happened. But I remember like, my mom waking me up and me like we have to go to grandma and grandpa's. So we went to my grandparents house. And they were like in Coon Rapids. And I remember there was like some frantic phone calls. And it's like, for me, I remember being late at night, which I don't know how late that was because I was five. And then we all packed up in a van and drove from Minnesota to Galesburg, Illinois, and moved in with my great aunt and uncle. And I ended up starting kindergarten there. Okay, so we were there for a couple of months. Coincidentally, also broke my arm at the same time.

William Huffman  8:47  
How did you break your arm?

Victoria Bell  8:48  
I fell off a trampoline.

Sarah Huffman  8:50  
Oh, I was gonna say was it a swing accident? Oh, no. trampoline? trampoline?

William Huffman  8:54  
I was in this case. schoolyard brawl. No. Okay. Those kindergartens that you mean, dangerous?

Victoria Bell  9:01  
No. So it was like, a week before school started. So I started kindergarten with this giant red

William Huffman  9:06  
cast. At least it was red. I mean, did you choose to color?

Victoria Bell  9:09  
Well, they only had like red and white to choose from. And I thought Red was cooler. Yes,

William Huffman  9:12  
totally. Definitely. Good choice.

Victoria Bell  9:15  
So then, things were like happening. And my mom had to keep traveling back to Minnesota because I think this is like when the divorce was like, but like, yeah, working through it were Yeah, she's like, we're not gonna be married anymore. This is not gonna work out. And then finally, whatever happened, and then they're like, Okay, we can move back to Minnesota.

William Huffman  9:37  
So how long were you there? Um,

Victoria Bell  9:39  
we probably lived in Galesburg for I'd guess like three to four months. Oh, so it was short term. Yeah. It was like in like it was like a week this needed to happen to like, get us out of the area

William Huffman  9:50  
for a little bit, get some ducks in a row and then moving back.

Victoria Bell  9:54  
Yeah, because I remember going back to school I started school back in Minnesota. In like Oh, like winter? Well, not even like, I think it was like right around Halloween because I still had my cast on. And I was a princess. But my mom had to change my costume so that I could fit over my cast.

William Huffman  10:13  
And what type

Victoria Bell  10:14  
of was there a certain princess? You were announcing? No, I just had a purple dress. And then it had these like, streamers almost that then had? Like, the jewels. Yes, glued to the end. So when I spun around, they like anything whacked.

William Huffman  10:30  
Are you with people with

Victoria Bell  10:33  
except for what they weren't that long?

Sarah Huffman  10:35  
Safety first. Okay, so now you're back? Yeah. And do you see like, how does that work? Like, do you see your bio Dad Do you know, like,

Victoria Bell  10:44  
there was some visitation stuff that happened, which I think is normal in until they like decide what is going to happen. But then there's like court ordered therapy. And like all of this stuff. There's a ton That's like going on, because like through everything. They're like, Whoa, dude is really unsafe. So like, I remember that, like, we would have visits but they hadn't be supervised visits. And so like, all this stuff, and so that was just like part of it. And then I don't remember, like, when exactly the last time we saw him was but like, I remember there was a conversation of like, okay, we're not gonna see him anymore until he makes better choices. And he like puts in the work. And like it never happened. So the last time I saw him was definitely kindergarten. So like, what, five or six years? We'll say six years old, probably. Yeah. And now I'm 29.

Sarah Huffman  11:41  
So that is the last time you ever saw him? Yeah. And I don't mean to go fast forwarding. No, we got 23 years to cover. Hold on. But can I ever quite heat has passed?

Victoria Bell  11:52  
Yeah. So he died on Christmas of this past year? Yeah. Just died. Recently ish.

Victoria Bell  11:59  
Yeah, yeah. Wow. That's I didn't realize like, I knew that there were things right. Yeah. But I didn't realize it was a gap from like, kindergarten until like, oh, yeah, like huge. So like, that was the last time I saw him. But like, we would talk sporadically, like he would call.

Victoria Bell  12:17  
And so there was like conversations, maybe like, a couple times a year. But like, no, there was like a restraining order in place. So like, no visitation like them. None of that stuff.

Sarah Huffman  12:28  
Allow that they'd like as an adult. Sorry, Will's gonna like take over because he's gonna say I'm skipping, but that's okay. I'll ask my question. Do you see that face? Yeah.

William Huffman  12:39  
My legal father text me last night. What was the second time this year?

Sarah Huffman  12:45  
super random. And that comes out of the podcast?

William Huffman  12:48  
Yeah. I haven't. I mean, I have seen once and I don't know, eight 910 years. Yeah. What's your question?

Sarah Huffman  12:55  
Okay. My question is as an adult, and especially like, as you're going into motherhood soon, yeah. How do you even how do you process that as an adult knowing like, abandonment happened when you were six for safety reasons or not?

Victoria Bell  13:11  
Yeah. It's like, super hard. And it's something I have worked on on therapy. A lot over the years, I've done a lot of therapy.

William Huffman  13:21  
Nothing wrong with that. No, you got to keep that brain, right. And so

Victoria Bell  13:25  
it's something that has, like, come up, especially now that I'm pregnant. And I like can't fathom someone making those choices. Like, we'll get to the part of the story about like, the journey to becoming a mother. But like, knowing everything that we've gone through, I'm like, Oh, my gosh, like, I can't ever imagine someone making choices that are so like, terrible. detrimental. Yeah. Yeah, it's,

William Huffman  13:51  
I'm gonna bring us way back. Okay, we're going back. We're not even in first grade yet. Okay. All right. Where are you living now?

Victoria Bell  13:58  
So, by first grade, we had moved in with my grandparents, who lived in the Coon Rapids in the Coon Rapids. Alright. Oh,

William Huffman  14:12  
what's, what's the crap are the Cardinals? It is indeed the Cardinals. Yeah. The flight and cardinals?

Victoria Bell  14:17  
Yeah. All right. So I'm living in Coon Rapids with my grandparents and like, life is probably as normal as it can be when you're a kid who's like, gone through all of that other stuff. Up until, like that point. So yeah, state of the same elementary school then for all of everything went to cool rapids Middle School. Let's see anything exciting that happened in elementary school. I was in third grade when 911 happened. Oh, wow.

William Huffman  14:51  
Okay, I mean, I'm glad you remember that. But it's depressing that you were in third grade because I was we were 21. Yeah, yeah. Moving on. Please leave.

Sarah Huffman  15:02  
About how was that as a student?

Victoria Bell  15:05  
It was Yeah. So like it happened before I went to school. Like, I remember sitting in the kitchen, and we had a little TV and I was watching PBS. And so I could swear that we were probably watching Dragon Tails.

William Huffman  15:18  
Great show. So good. Oh, man, such a good show.

Victoria Bell  15:21  
I wonder if I can bring it back for my children? Yes. So

William Huffman  15:25  
I mean, never heard of it. I've never heard it was a great show,

Unknown Speaker  15:30  
or watched it.

Victoria Bell  15:32  
So I remember like going to school, or we got a phone call from my great aunt, who saw my mom's cousin worked in New York City, and she normally took the subway that when under the towers, but like she hadn't gotten to work that day, or like something happened there. I remember like, my grandma got a phone call from my great aunt. And that was like, Oh my gosh, whatever. Like, yeah. And so then, like the whole school day, just remember being like weird, because, like, what do you do? Like, how do you explain that to children?

William Huffman  16:02  
Like, do they have they have a TV's on? Or do they try and I feel like I remember that the

Victoria Bell  16:07  
TV was on for like a little bit like you had something was going. But it was kind of just like this really somber day, because obviously, the adults know what's happening. And the kids are like, Yeah, I love playing him.

Sarah Huffman  16:23  
And as an adult in his school that day, like him. Yeah, you were teaching. I remember student teaching, but it's like one of those things where it's like, you are literally fearful inside. Yeah, but you can't put that onto the kids. You can't get that under the children because as an adult, look how hard it was to process. Yeah, like I was student teaching first grade at that point. Like, I couldn't bring that to the six and six year olds. Yeah. Like no. Plus, they

William Huffman  16:51  
can't really comprehend No, man, I woke up that morning in May, was 21. In all we did back then was party and somebody had left the TV on. And normally was like the History Channel. Yeah, just watch random stuff at night and History Channel. And all sudden, I see something on a TV. So I gotta change the channel. Kinda like in a movie, you got to change the channel. It was the same thing. Every on the next channel. And I was freaking out because I had to go to the mall and open up trade home shoes in Redwing. And I'm like, What is going on? Like, I couldn't really comprehend what was going on. Got to the mall. And not wanting to one person came in. But we had we had found a TV like an old like an AV cart from school. Yeah, and we build it into the middle. And we have them all employees. And there wasn't a big mall. There was like, 10 to all of us. We were just watching TV and somebody walked in, like what's going on? I'm like, Are you dumb? Like, have you not like seen the news? And they watched it with us. And then they freaked out and went went home? That was really days that happened? It was crazy.

Sarah Huffman  17:56  
It's crazy. All right. Okay, so that was third grade.

Victoria Bell  17:59  
That was Yeah, so that was third grade. And that was like, you know, probably like the defining moment, right? Of Elementary School of this like a thing that happened

Sarah Huffman  18:07  
before 911. And after 911. Yeah.

Victoria Bell  18:11  
Yeah. So like, that was elementary school, went to middle school and was super awkward. Like most middle schoolers.

William Huffman  18:17  
Yeah. Yeah. It's the worst, such

Victoria Bell  18:21  
a, like, necessary time in life. But also like, you look back, you're like, gosh, I never want to do that again. And I feel so sorry for everyone else who has to go through. Yeah, it's a nightmare. Yep. Yep. Yeah. And so I joined the swim team, the high school swim team. And that was kind of what I did in high school was I was an academic person. And I was on the swim team.

William Huffman  18:44  
What do you mean by academics to AP classes?

Victoria Bell  18:46  
I did like all the AP classes, the like college and the schools, classes, all of that sort of

William Huffman  18:52  
stuff. Word me so smart. Wow. Well,

Sarah Huffman  18:56  
you are just a little sassy. I

William Huffman  18:57  
am saucy today. Yeah. Oh, yeah. I slept really well.

Sarah Huffman  19:00  
I actually think that's quite like super cool. It's amazing. It's yeah, I just went did not exert myself that hard. And it was more like, oh,

William Huffman  19:10  
I made it. As

Victoria Bell  19:12  
someone who has been diagnosed with ADHD as an adult. I realized that like, I got super bored in regular classes, because the pace wasn't fast enough. And I'm like, I it was like pulling nails. And so I chose like, the honors and AP stuff because I was like, oh, at least this is like, fast enough for my brain.

Sarah Huffman  19:33  
Yep. It's gonna be a different challenge. Yep,

William Huffman  19:35  
yep. And swim. Why? Yeah, swimming. That sounds horrible. Like, I mean, like, did you do like the lungs you're doing all the things I would never do like my daughter in class is swimming.

Victoria Bell  19:47  
No. So my uncle was the coach of the kidnappers high school girls swim team. Yes, the fighting Cardinals.

Victoria Bell  19:58  
Ah, is that what occurred? I know sounds like

William Huffman  20:01  
No, but I can't make a cardinal noise but they're very specific.

Victoria Bell  20:04  
Yeah, huh, I can't make money there. Yeah. Um, so yeah, it was like kind of just natural. I don't really have any athletic ability be on swimming anymore. There was kind of like this decision of like, I wanted to do an activity but pretty much everything else was out. There was nothing else to do that was I tried

Victoria Bell  20:29  
out for volleyball. I'm like, right yeah, that's a Cardinal. Cardinal. I wouldn't want to mess around with that car. No. Riveting Yeah, so like, Oh, it's

William Huffman  20:46  
30 minutes of that. I mean, really? It's a 30 minute and three second YouTube video. I don't know how many

Sarah Huffman  20:51  
views is that video? Have?

William Huffman  20:54  
We put video 436,000

Victoria Bell  20:57  
We put videos on like that for our cat. Do you relate make your videos oh my gosh, it's so funny to watch him like

William Huffman  21:04  
this seat. This is this. This is where this is next level. This is awesome. I love this Francine

Sarah Huffman  21:09  
and Gertie are going to be like, where's my YouTube video? Okay, so you've graduated

Victoria Bell  21:16  
high school and I went to Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, okay. And it's a small liberal arts college really obscure, mostly students from the Chicagoland area. And I ended up there because I, for my whole life, said I was going to be a doctor Oh, and chose the school because it's one of the only undergrad schools in the country that has a cadaver lab really shot off. So I was no super stoked that you could take anatomy with a cadaver as an undergrad student,

William Huffman  21:50  
we're talking about the same type of cadaver, right? Yeah, men. Dead bodies. Yeah,

Victoria Bell  21:54  
human looked up. And you were excited about this. So excited. Because there's a lot of undergrad like a lot of Do you love Halloween? Not in like the creepy way.

William Huffman  22:05  
Okay, because you could have said yes, in a creepy way. And we'd be like, Yeah, that makes sense. No.

Victoria Bell  22:09  
So because my reasoning was a lot of people who go to med school, like don't even have an opportunity to like, see the like internal mechanics of a body until they like get

William Huffman  22:20  
the practicing on the real thing. Yeah. Okay, so I see what I'm picking up what you're putting down that a logical step. But

Victoria Bell  22:26  
weird. I was like, it's, that'll be so cool. And like, especially if you're thinking about like, like, I was thinking ahead about, like, applying for med school, and they're like, What experience do you have any can be like, I've already done cadaver.

Victoria Bell  22:37  
Okay. How do you like how was this a search for you back when you regret? How does this come up? Yeah. Like,

William Huffman  22:47  
you know, in high school, did you do one of those guidance counselors? Yeah, it's good. It's closer. And you're like, hey, I want to I want to mess around with some dead bodies.

Victoria Bell  22:55  
No. So I, there was a website, which probably still exist, but I can't like college Springboard or something. There was like, it was a list of like, all the accredited colleges in the United States. And you could put in what you wanted. Did you want a small campus? So like, student size of x, or like if it was in a more urban or like girl setting, you know, it just can't

William Huffman  23:22  
be 1000 students what happened the other day?

Sarah Huffman  23:28  
This explains so much Victoria, does it. I don't know.

William Huffman  23:32  
Way more questions at anything. Way more questions. So I

Victoria Bell  23:35  
like August, and I came up as a school that was really good for like biology and pre med and so like, then in looking into their program, that's how I found out about the cadaver. Okay, it wasn't like a

William Huffman  23:44  
so you didn't go searching it out? No. Okay, but

Sarah Huffman  23:46  
you found it and you're like, this is cool. They're Augustana isn't there an Augustana in Sioux Falls? Yes. Is it like a family of colleges?

Victoria Bell  23:54  
So they're considered like sister colleges. They were founded in the same year by kind of like the same like cousin Swedish immigrants. Okay. They have the same colors and the same mascot.

William Huffman  24:06  
What's the mascot of Viking Viking. Oh, the fight and Vikings. Ma school.

Victoria Bell  24:12  
Everything is fighting for Well, every fighting. Fighting but yeah,

William Huffman  24:15  
absolutely. Yeah. It's a thing. It's the fight.

Sarah Huffman  24:20  
Stick. Okay, so now you're in the cadaver lab. What was that like on day one?

Victoria Bell  24:25  
Except for him? Not? i

William Huffman  24:28  
Sorry. Did you don't just walk right into the cadaver. For the dead bodies. There's some things you have to go through.

Victoria Bell  24:39  
I never made it into the cadaver lab. I only ever walked past it. Probably several 100 times. Did it smell weird? I mean, it smelled like formaldehyde. Yeah.

William Huffman  24:49  
How do you know it's familiar to him? How do you know formaldehyde smells like how

Sarah Huffman  24:52  
because I had to cut into like a frog in like 10th grade.

Victoria Bell  24:57  
I dissected a cat and I School in anatomy, you just skipped

William Huffman  25:02  
right over that. What?

Victoria Bell  25:04  
Yeah, so I like right thinking for my whole life, I was going to be a doctor. And so like I took classes in high school that would like, you know, lend to that you're on the path. Well, yeah, I took anatomy and physiology at our high school and it Yeah, we dissected a cat. Also, I think a rat. What about the pig? We never did the pig. Okay.

Sarah Huffman  25:28  
I skipped the pig. I had surgery then. I left my biology partner Sarah on her own to do the pig. I still feel bad. Sorry. 20 Some years later. Yeah.

Victoria Bell  25:39  
I did a frog in middle school. Yes. Yeah,

William Huffman  25:43  
I could handle the frog bows. Those actually horribly felt bad. The worm. I was like, this is still weird in the frog. I was like, well, then I was done after that. I mean, this is horrible.

Sarah Huffman  25:54  
Okay, so what do you mean, you never got into the cadaver lab?

Victoria Bell  25:58  
So like, two weeks before, I'd already registered for all my classes for my first term of college. And between that time, which was like six weeks before school started, and when I moved into college, I decided I don't want to be a doctor. No way. Yeah. So for, you know, 15 years of my life for

William Huffman  26:21  
a head for so long. You're like, you know, this six weeks? I'm just gonna literally say that fit and I'm gonna total What did you want to do? Like what happened? Oh, yeah. What happened? Is that Yeah, yeah.

Victoria Bell  26:33  
So I wanted to be a doctor specifically I wanted to be an OBGYN. Also known as an OBGYN. Yes, an option will intern or or an OB GYN,

William Huffman  26:46  
OB GYN Oh, behinds take your Take your pick. So that was what I

Victoria Bell  26:50  
wanted to be. Still a doctor. Yeah. And I realized, and so a lot of my family is in medicine and healthcare. And the more I like talk to them, I realized that healthcare wasn't what I thought it was. And that there's kind of like, when you go into teaching, and you're like, oh, Teaching isn't exactly what I thought it was. There's so many careers that are not what you think that they are.

Sarah Huffman  27:14  
Yep. And I think all we do is open up doors much more,

Victoria Bell  27:19  
just a little bit. So like all these things that I was like, I just want to like care for patients. I don't want to deal with like all of this hospital bureaucratic crap. And like all Shermer work and the internet and all that stuff, like I realized that that was a thing. And eternal me was like, a no, not interested. Yeah. And so then I was like, I don't know what I want to do. I'm just gonna go to college to like, I got into this college. That's great. The campus is beautiful, all these things. And so just like, took gen ed classes for the first year until I figured out what I wanted to do. So you

William Huffman  27:55  
just, you know, the first 18 years your life, threw it away? You know what? Yeah, it was a walker by the dead bodies. I'll figure this out. So

Sarah Huffman  28:02  
what did you graduate in?

Victoria Bell  28:03  
I finished with a degree in double majored in political science and sociology with a concentration in social welfare, and a minor in gender studies.

Sarah Huffman  28:14  
And there we go.

William Huffman  28:16  
What the hell is poli science?

Victoria Bell  28:18  
like political science? Yeah,

William Huffman  28:19  
what really? Is it like a poli sci degree? What does it mean? I mean,

Victoria Bell  28:23  
it can mean a lot of things. So like, right at Augustana, there are different concentrations. And so my concentration was in comparative politics. And so I did a lot of studying of like, other political systems around the world, and like, kind of comparing them to like, democracy and what we have in the United States, and like that sort of thing. But there are people who majored more in, like, law type things to like, set them up for going to law school, law school, and then

William Huffman  28:51  
they change their mind and want to be a musician. Yeah, probably, you know, okay.

Sarah Huffman  28:55  
So when you graduate from college, what do you think at that point, your career is going to be?

Victoria Bell  29:02  
Well, so

William Huffman  29:04  
I think I know the answer this, I think I remember this part. My junior

Victoria Bell  29:07  
year, I was all set in the works to join the Peace Corps. Okay. And I was I was like, ready I started to do the paperwork and like, got my volunteer hours I'll document exactly

William Huffman  29:21  
does the Peace Corps do?

Victoria Bell  29:25  
Well, they travel around the world and they work in places that are deemed to be underserved.

William Huffman  29:34  
Doing what

Victoria Bell  29:37  
it kind of depends on your background. Okay. So it can be wide so like for me, I probably would have ended up doing something like teaching related because I had like I would have been going in with a bachelor's degree even though I wasn't a teacher, but like, I you know, like, knew English and can provide that and like could do that sort of support but like people join in if they have worked in health care or have like our actual day doctors and they can do kind of like actual medical work. Yeah,

William Huffman  30:03  
I think in Florida right now not to get off subject. If you were in the military, they'll take you as a teacher or if you're related to somebody in the military, they'll take you as a teacher

Victoria Bell  30:14  
kare 11 prove that wrong with one of their fact checking. Did they Okay. On the news last week,

William Huffman  30:19  
the Lord because I was like, this cannot be right. This cannot be right. Yeah,

Victoria Bell  30:23  
no. Okay, so when did you graduate? So I graduated in. I walked in 2015. I guess I graduated in February 2015. Okay. I graduated a trimester early. Yep. In an effort to save money. I don't know how to work.

Victoria Bell  30:40  
Well, you know, when? When you are going to a private liberal arts school? Yeah, but like, it wasn't cheap. It matters. Yep. Yeah. So

Victoria Bell  30:50  
it wasn't

William Huffman  30:51  
real money than though it was his lungs. Yeah, yeah. That was that was real money. Yeah. Moving on. To get some of your poli sci friends to talk about that.

Victoria Bell  31:03  
Yeah, yeah. So, junior year, I'm all set up. I'm like, I'm gonna join the Peace Corps. And then I have another one of these moments where I'm like, crap. My nieces and nephews who are back in Minnesota already, like don't recognize who I am because I go months without being able to go home because I'm working 30 plus hours a week while being a full time plus student. And I was like, if I joined the Peace Corps, I'm going to be totally out of the country for two years. You're gonna have no idea who I am. So then I was like, I can't do that.

Victoria Bell  31:36  
Shocking I see that there's a trend now. There was a trend in college.

William Huffman  31:42  
Colleges for though it kind of Yeah, your test?

Sarah Huffman  31:46  
Oh, absolutely. Yeah, test it out. So

Victoria Bell  31:48  
um, I am at this time. I'm not 11th grade junior year of college third year working in residential life. So I am a Community Advisor. I have several campus owned houses that have students living in them that I am like in charge of and my boss type person. Alicia was trained as a doula and she was telling me about it and I was like that that's what I want to do.

William Huffman  32:21  
So what the hell is a doula because I here Do I like medulla oblongata. New crocodiles smile. Is that from my Billy Madison or something from we're on the right theme, but yeah, yeah, I can

Victoria Bell  32:35  
think of the movie but like, yeah, yeah. So a doula is

William Huffman  32:40  
a doula, our doula or how do you spell it?

Victoria Bell  32:44  
Do you LA?

William Huffman  32:46  
So a person that does this is called doula. Yeah, so their doula? Yeah, like your real estate agent? Yeah. Okay. Girl, that I was serious. I don't have what's called a doula or a doula. Oh, yeah. No, like,

Unknown Speaker  33:02  
okay, doula,

William Huffman  33:03  
because if you say quickly, it's a doula. A doula. A doula? Yeah, no, it's

Sarah Huffman  33:09  
okay. Well, so what part of the doula like what was the minimum make sense with an OB GYN? Yes.

Victoria Bell  33:15  
Like that. So like, I use waterboy, by the always the same one, I gotten that sorry. The poll was kind of like I always had this interest and like, childbirth and helping families and like, that was like the pull to being an OB GYN and I was like, Oh, my gosh, I can do that. Without all the insurance BS. Yes. And like paperwork. In a similar manner of like, still helping families, but like, not in the medical side. Yeah. So

William Huffman  33:44  
yeah. What is this, what you're up to what the role is what they do? Yeah. Okay, cool.

Victoria Bell  33:47  
A doula is a professional support person. People also kind of like know them as a birth coach, maybe or a labor coach. Okay. So their role is to provide physical, emotional, and, like psychological or spiritual or whatever support for the birthing person and their partner if they have one.

William Huffman  34:08  
That sounds like a really big job. Yeah. Because when you say birthing coach, I'm like, no, and then you say, more than that, and then you say emotional and spiritual and like all this other stuff. Okay. That's a huge part of it. And not just for the person who actually has the human inside of them for their partner as well. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. No big deal. Nbd easy. Yeah, it sounds sounds so it

Victoria Bell  34:35  
looks like your psychology. No, your sociology. Yeah. Okay. But like similar. So, yeah, that was like kind of my thing and also maybe worth noting, my senior project in college was writing about parental leave policies. Oh, and the need for better ones. Yeah, basically,

William Huffman  34:53  
have a USB we could really go on for hours on that. So like,

Victoria Bell  34:57  
that's been like my like, this is long back. And like my passion, my interest in life. So I find out about doulas and I was like, yes. Spoiler, you don't need a college degree to be a doula. And I have just spent years at a private liberal arts college. And I'm like, Well, I don't want to give up now. And also, I'm supposed to go to Brazil in the fall on a study abroad trip. So like, I'm just going to graduate. So I do keep going until I graduate, and I started working as a nanny, and I had moved back in with my parents and I just kind of funneled all my money into savings, so that I could save up for these doula certification courses. And this is incredible. That's what I did. So I became trained and certified to be a labor doula or birth doula a postpartum doula and a placenta? encapsulator.

William Huffman  35:58  
Yeah, okay. Don't just, we're coming to that one. Yeah, I knew about that one. I was waiting.

Victoria Bell  36:04  
Yeah. And I taught childbirth education classes. So I took all these classes. This is when I was living in Minnesota and then had an offer to join a doula agency in Iowa. And so I moved to Iowa. And worked as a doula for two years there.

William Huffman  36:25  
Okay. And did you hold that? No. Okay. That's good. I'm glad you loved it. What encapsulator

Victoria Bell  36:33  

William Huffman  36:35  
Tell me more.

Victoria Bell  36:36  
Okay. So the short Spiel is that anecdotally, they believe that can invade means like, broader generations of people consuming the placenta can help the birthing person kind of balance out their hormones after birth, because it's a huge hormonal swing of being pregnant. And then you have the baby. And then like, all of these things are happening. And if you're breastfeeding, then like, that's a whole hormone depletion. There's just so much going on. And so there's this belief that the placenta could contain hormones, and that if you kind of like take, consume the placenta over time after the baby's born, you're not having just like a sudden drop off. You're kind of like, tapering down.

William Huffman  37:28  
Okay, you say consume? Yeah, like fork and knife, right? Like kind of were like my brain? Well,

Victoria Bell  37:35  
there are different ways that people choose. I was trained to steam and then dehydrate and then grind down. And then like, put into capsules, the placenta. So like, you would take it as a pill. Now, there are people who, like, just take a chunk that's frozen and like put it in a smoothie, or just like, eat it like liver.

William Huffman  38:00  
Okay, I know this is a thing. And my face is just because to me, it is so foreign. I don't want I know what the thing because when I heard you, it's

Sarah Huffman  38:12  
just a picture

William Huffman  38:13  
when, when when you announced this is something you were doing? Yeah. I'm like, Sarah, what in the EFF is she talking about? And says like, I won't go on it. I knowledge is one of my core values. So I start going down these rabbit holes. And I'm like, Well, there's a segment of the population that find this very helpful and beneficial and fantastic. It doesn't hurt anybody. So yeah, there you go. And then there's me like, that just seems really out of my comfort zone to put it nicely. Yeah. Yeah. But that's okay. But that's okay.

Victoria Bell  38:45  
Yeah. And out of the clients that I had. The clients who chose this, we're in the minority for sure. Like, it's not a majority thing.

Sarah Huffman  38:56  
I actually had. She worked at a college in South Dakota when I was there. And it was the first time I had heard about it. This is when I was living in South Dakota when I was working for target. And we were out for lunch. And she was a doula as well. I don't think she was a midwife. She was a doula. And she'd be like, Oh, I was up all night, I had to go get the placenta. And I'm like, yeah, just walk it out in a bucket. Like, yeah,

Victoria Bell  39:18  
so the way that we did it, and the way that I was trained, was that we would only process in the client's home because that's where like, their own microbiome is, you're not introducing it to your own home and like whatever you have, so we would give clients a cooler, like the little red and white ones, and instructions on how to keep it on ice and transport it back home and then we would meet you at home when you came home from having your baby. And we would do the things.

Sarah Huffman  39:49  
Wow. Yeah. Yeah. Okay, let's talk about Dragon Can I just can we just keep this rolling. So I have way more questions on this. apart, but I want to make sure we get

William Huffman  40:01  
absolutely, absolutely. Well, that's very fascinating that that's a hell of a career choice. And I mean, I know the clients are probably extremely grateful because that's what they were choosing, and that they feel supported and to have somebody there to support them and to help them with their choices is really cool. It's just such a, it's actually perfectly in line with the story. Because I mean, just I mean, it's just moving on.

Sarah Huffman  40:26  
So do you still do doula work?

Victoria Bell  40:29  
No. So I stopped doing doula work. So I've been in Iowa for about a year and a half. And, in that time, missed. So I do have two step brothers missed my middle step brother getting engaged, and my oldest brother and his wife having their third child. And that was really hard for me, I'm very family oriented person. And I was like, I want to be back closer to home. The problem is, I needed to make consistent money. And even as a doula like you're not making consistent money when you work on a when you don't have a hourly job, or kind of like that sort of thing. Like, you don't know how much your next paycheck is going to be, where it's going to come from, and when it's going to come and like all these things, and I'm paying off private student loans. Yep. Which are not cheap. So I decide I'm gonna move back to the Twin Cities, I'm gonna get a job that has some suitability, and then I'm going to decide if I want to, like kind of go back into doula work or like teaching childbirth education, from there so that I'm still connected. never ended up going back into it, for several reasons, but loved it still. Absolutely. Believe in the profession, you just kind of have to have you have to have great boundaries, and a great support system to make it work.

William Huffman  41:55  
Make sense? Yeah. Okay, we're back here. We don't have a job. What are we doing?

Victoria Bell  42:01  
We are back here, we get a job working for the University of Minnesota kind of full circle, working for M health Fairview, okay, which is attached, you know, to the university, and working for the Center for sexual health. And it's a, primarily a mental health clinic. And it is attached to a university and that all of the therapists are also associate professors at the university. And so there's like all this research component and like, kind of all this going on. And the Center for sexual health, which now has a new name, but I can't remember what it is. primarily serves, I would say 60% of the clientele is LGBTQ? Okay. We do have a psychiatrist on staff. And we also have a primary care doctor on staff who does hormone therapy for people who are choosing the transition physician transitioning like, who does that instead of needing to like, find someone else like you can kind of get, you can do therapy, you can have a psychiatrist, you could kind of have it all. In one place.

William Huffman  43:17  
There's a lot of there's a, there's a lot of emotions, and trauma and decisions that go into making that type of change in your world.

Victoria Bell  43:27  
So there's a ton going on. So Senator for sexual health, I'm working there. I'm a patient representative, which basically means I do all sorts of things. I answered the phone, and I check people, people in and I get people registered, and I help try to figure out prescription and insurance issues and like all sorts of things.

William Huffman  43:45  
Sounds like a lot of the stuff that you never wanted to do while being a doctor.

Victoria Bell  43:50  
Just so are you calling. Funny? Well? Are you still doing that job?

Victoria Bell  43:59  
No. No, I very quickly realized and I knew ahead of time that this wasn't what I wanted to write long term, but like, I needed a job that made money and this is the most money in my life that I've ever made. So because this was this bit the ticket, yeah, I finally had a job that paid well above minimum wage. So realize that this is not what I want to do. Life is like kind of coming along. I've been there for like, probably less than six months. And I am participating in a Bible study at church. And the people that I'm with, I was part of a really judgmental conversation on that Sunday night, and kind of just like, really processing like, what that meant and like, how that ties into the beliefs that we say that we had and like all these things, and so the next day, I'm driving to work, and so

William Huffman  44:57  
you know, you can say whatever you want on this on this episode. sorta on this podcast like you, this is your platform, so it's all good.

Victoria Bell  45:04  
So just like some really judgmental stuff that people were saying about people who aren't Christians and LGBTQ people, and like all these things that I'm like, none of this aligns with, like our values that we say that we have as Christians, like, feeling really like off about it. So the next day, I'm driving to work. And I have this like God moment in the car, and the radios on. And all of a sudden, like, everything goes silent. And I hear this Wiseman says, You should go to seminary. And I laughed out loud. Because like, that's hilarious. The voice is like, No, I'm serious. Like, this is, this is God. Yeah. And I was like, I can list like, 20 reasons why I do not belong at seminary. And God is like, what if those are the 20 reasons that you do belong at seven? Yeah.

William Huffman  46:00  

Victoria Bell  46:03  
Well, hard to argue with you there. Yeah. Yeah. So I like have this moment. And then everything, like kind of goes back to normal. And I'm like, well, shoot. What am I doing with my life? Yeah. Um, so I like kind of keep this to myself for a while, because I'm like, well, shucks, folks. Yeah, because I grew up being really involved in church. And then. So throughout high school in high school, I started working and worked on the weekends, so I didn't have as much time to go to church and then left some things out about college. In my freshman year of college, that's okay. I attended three funerals my freshman year of college. My mom's cousin died. Within the first couple of weeks of college. My stepdads dad died within the first couple of months, and then my mom's dad died in the spring,

Sarah Huffman  47:06  
those are like three really big things. Yeah. So

Victoria Bell  47:10  
I'm also was super sick all the time. We chalked it up to home sick Max. Because I was away from home, all of these things were happening. But then I started to develop super bad back pain, and I was diagnosed with degenerative degenerative disc disease. So I have no disc between my ELF three and l four vertebrae, and my disc between L four and l five is disintegrating. So like, that's why I was having back pain because I had nothing to cushion. It was like, yep. So freshman year of college super rough for all sorts of reasons. And I'm sick all the time. Well, the summer after, they're like, You need to be gluten free. And I was like, fun. Yeah.

William Huffman  47:54  
First of all good. Is that and then second of all, no,

Victoria Bell  47:57  
no, because this is like now you say gluten free and you have a ton of options, but probably back in like 2000 Whatever. Yeah, there weren't as many 2012 Yeah, you're like, alright, veggies and meat. It is. Yeah. Right. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Love it.

Victoria Bell  48:13  
So yeah, now it's old. Fast forward. It's 2018. I'm like living life. But through all of those things. After my first year of college, I like stopped going to church. I when my grandpa died. So my mom's dad, I got super mad at God. And I was like, Dude, what? Like, this was the man who raised me. He like, took me to swim practice. He taught me how to parallel park like all these things, and I was like, he was the father figure. Yeah. And I was like, What the hell? Yeah, this is terrible. And so I didn't get a great response from the church. I was going to I was like, I'm in pain. Like, I am grieving. And they're like, people die. Like Yeah. And also like, helped me

William Huffman  49:06  
like, right, yeah, helped me like, this is why I come here for community. Yeah, for support for love for understanding. And I need you right now. And they're just like, suck it up. Buttercup. Yeah, kind

Victoria Bell  49:16  
of Wow. Okay, like, well, at least like, you know, that he's not suffering and he's in heaven. And I'm like, Yeah, but like, doesn't help.

William Huffman  49:24  
Yeah, like, yeah, yeah, I hear like,

Victoria Bell  49:28  
it's been two weeks and like, that doesn't help me. So this, like, whole, you should go to seminary. I was like, I literally just started going back to church after like, years of not going. So I was like, I don't even know how this like would work. Like, whatever. So I like kind of keep it to myself. And then I start kind of telling people several months later, and they're like, Yeah, you should do it. And I'm like,

Sarah Huffman  49:53  
Okay. At this point, have you met James?

Victoria Bell  49:57  
So not quite yet. Okay. So Oh 2018 I'm getting a guy. It's going well, ish, I think. And then the weekend of my birthday. Things hit the fan again. I've had six breakups the weekend of my birthday since high school.

William Huffman  50:16  
Wow. Well, you can plan around it. Right? How weird is it? Find the positive. Let's find the positive in this.

Victoria Bell  50:27  
Okay, so he breaks up. I break. Oh, okay.

Victoria Bell  50:32  
He had been previously married. He had a child and his ex wife wanted to be super involved in our relationship. And we didn't really want that. But he didn't know how to set boundaries. Yep. And coincidentally, his ex wife and I had birthdays two days apart. So she called on her birthday wanting him to come over and make her breakfast. And he's like, No. And so she's like, I'm gonna tell her son that you don't love him then? Because I said that Daddy would come over and make mommy breakfast for her birthday. Because that's what we do as a family. And I was like, wow,

William Huffman  51:10  
there's a lot to unpack there. There's a lot happening.

Victoria Bell  51:12  
And so that could be its own episode. Yeah. So the day goes on. Basically, I was like, go do your thing. I have things any, like errands I need to do during the night. Yeah, always get back together in the afternoon. And it takes like, way longer for like, things to happen. Like to, like, get to the point that like we're back at his apartment. And I was like, what happened? He's like, I forgot about you. And I was like, what? So like, he had taken his son to like his and law's house and like, all these things. And he's like, yeah, like, I just got caught up in like doing that. And like, I forgot that, like, we had plans in that we were going to be back here at this time. That was like, Okay, I was like, here's the deal. I love you. And I hadn't told him that before. But I was like, but I can't be with someone who forgets about me. Like, I'm worth way more than that. I was like, so you got to do what you got to do. And I was like, but I'm done with this for now. Like I'm done. So that happens. Fast forward a few months. And I do meet James, who's now my husband. And we

Victoria Bell  52:27  
just we got me on a dating app. And it was unlikely because we had both set radiuses. But we were both working in Minneapolis and must have been swiping at work. So we matched to each other because otherwise we wouldn't have matched if we had been swiping at home.

William Huffman  52:48  
That is super cool. That's awesome.

Victoria Bell  52:51  
And so we started dating, and we went on three dates in one week. And then we're kind of like, Yep, this is it. This is it. And we've been together ever since. So when did you guys meet? We Our first date was June 29 2019.

William Huffman  53:08  
Awesome. And your women remember stuff like that. I remember I can tell you the day my first kiss. I cannot tell you the date of your first kiss. Or my. But the only reason I remember our first date is because you ingrained it in my brain. It's true. It's not true.

Sarah Huffman  53:30  
Okay, so you get you met

Victoria Bell  53:32  
in June and you got married in we got married in August of? Well, August of 2021. Okay, so about a year and a half. Two years of like being together. The pandemic surprise really put a screw hold on plans.

William Huffman  53:51  
Love March 2020.

Sarah Huffman  53:54  
Forever in history. Yeah, yeah. Okay. So I want to be conscientious of time, but I want to know, like, we've kind of dropped it in that you're pregnant. Yeah. And Baby is due.

William Huffman  54:06  
Okay. Yeah, but hold on. Let's wrap up the seminary thing.

Sarah Huffman  54:09  
Oh, shoot. Sorry.

Victoria Bell  54:11  
So basically, I meet James, I tell him that I like want to go to seminary. Because this has been like a weird point without people that I've talked to on the dating app. Like I've mentioned that I'm wanting to go back to school and people be like, what are you gonna go to school for? I'm like, seminary. Yeah. And James is like, Oh my God, that's so cool. And I was like, great, cuz you're hired. Lots of people are not on board.

William Huffman  54:37  
Yeah, that's, that's a scary thing. Like if you're not, I would say even if you do a follow of faith or in community of church or in religion, it's different when you're going to school to be an advocate and teacher in for that

Sarah Huffman  54:57  
and are you still working at the sexual health

Victoria Bell  55:00  
So I'm still working at the sexual health clinic at this time. Meet James. We are dating things are going well, that fall, I decide like, Yep, I'm going to apply to start school next year. We get to 2020 really puts a swing on things. I'm technically working in health care during the pandemic. Oh, yeah. We do a lot of like adjusting and pivoting and being like, alright, we got to figure out a different way to do therapy when you can't meet in person. Yeah, yeah. And my plan had been to quit in the spring ish, and then work part time for like, the YMCA during the summer to have something slower stress before starting school. Well, I still quit in the spring, kind of I quit in June of 2020. And then started school at the end of September 2020. So I will start my third year of seminary. Next month.

Victoria Bell  56:01  
How many years? Is it? Usually for

Unknown Speaker  56:05  
a lifetime?

Victoria Bell  56:06  
It feels like a lifetime.

Sarah Huffman  56:09  
And What school did you go to?

Victoria Bell  56:10  
So I'm going to Luther Seminary in St. Paul. Okay. And is a lot of it online right now, or how are classes. So the 2020 to 2021, school year was completely online. Last year, they did a lot of hybrid stuff. And this year, we're going back to like, kind of their regular schedule. So Luther has always offered online classes because they have a large distance learning community. So students from around the country, but students also from around the globe. And so they offer online classes for those students

Sarah Huffman  56:43  
and what has been like one of the key learning moments of seminary that maybe you thought it would be this way, but it's actually this way.

William Huffman  56:51  
Good question.

Victoria Bell  56:53  
Oh, um, I would say, Gosh, how do I like put this I don't know how exactly how I thought it was going to be. But I have met so many other people who have like, kind of deconstructed the Christianity that they grew up with it to be like, that's not what I want, what I'm preaching to be about. And I think I was just surprised, but like, the number of people that I've met, that I've been at, because like you're not alone, yeah. So because like, that's how I felt where I was, like, I've experienced, like, some of these things in the Church throughout, like all of my church going time where I'm like, I wish that it was different. And I'm like, and I want to go to seminary so I can make that experience different for other people. And was surprised that like, there were so many other people who were like, wow, what I was taught was bullshit. Like, that's not actually, like in line with things and like, I want to teach differently.

Victoria Bell  57:57  
That's really cool. So you have you found a community there? Yeah.

Victoria Bell  58:01  
I'm kind of it's hard, because like, the being online, yeah. For a lot of it. But yeah, like, it's once you're like, in a class with people, and you kind of like, get into a groove and like it just what's the male to female ratio? I think we're about 5050. Okay, pretty close.

Victoria Bell  58:18  
I'm just because growing up like people Oh, yeah. Like it was all men. Yeah.

William Huffman  58:23  
Well, I think that's a I will speak very kind of ignorantly on this. But the paradigm of who can be leading churches has significantly changed in our lifetime, to where it's, it was very uncommon growing up to see a female leader up there, and now we're seeing it quite more often. Yeah.

Victoria Bell  58:47  
And there's still lots of denominations that do not allow women to be part of church leadership.

William Huffman  58:53  
Yeah, that's interesting.

Victoria Bell  58:55  
Yeah, that's another episode. But yeah, okay, so you've married James. Yep.

Victoria Bell  59:02  
We got married in August 21. of last year. 2021.

Sarah Huffman  59:06  
Cuz she just had your like, two days ago. Yeah. Ah, had your anniversary. Had someone on your trip? Yeah. Or was that not an anniversary trip?

Victoria Bell  59:14  
It was like kind of both so we didn't do a honeymoon last year. So it was like kind of a honeymoon. One year anniversary baby Moon sort of every

Victoria Bell  59:22  
let's just do it. Yeah. Okay. Awesome. So now, baby, let's talk about baby. I wanted to be like, let's talk about the bean.

Victoria Bell  59:30  
Yes. That's what we call the baby. Yes. Been. Because we are waiting to find out if the sex of the baby until they're born. So been it is. Yeah, so my due date is December 27. Okay. And that's two weeks after the end of winter term. So we're hoping that being comes after December 13. Okay, that's finals day.

William Huffman  59:56  
Isn't it like more of a do month? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, people say due date like, Oh, I'm five days late and we've had other people in there like, it's actually just like the month ish. Oh, yeah. Of like two weeks before two weeks after and with your history with doula. Yeah. Will you have a doula? Yeah.

Victoria Bell  1:00:13  
So we hired a doula team that will be working with us.

Sarah Huffman  1:00:19  
Okay. And when you say you hired a doula team does, is that covered by insurance? Is that out of pocket? Like, how does that work?

Victoria Bell  1:00:25  
So some insurances will cover services, it kind of depends on your insurance provider. Some, a lot of people can use HSA or FSA dollars. Oh, that's word. Look here. It really depends on your insurance. Okay.

William Huffman  1:00:44  
It saves you 30% right there if you can use the HSA and stuff. Yeah, for

Sarah Huffman  1:00:47  
sure. So, so for when you say you've hired a doula team, like how many people are on a team.

Victoria Bell  1:00:52  
So there are two people the doulas that we hired are they're just a team of two, which I worked in a team model when I worked as a doula and basically it allows one person to be on call and one person and kind of be backup, because if one person was not on call all the time, time, right, and you can kind of do like a 5050

William Huffman  1:01:09  
Babies stick to a schedule. Yeah, for sure. Yeah.

Sarah Huffman  1:01:12  
And this, this baby is like this did not come

Victoria Bell  1:01:17  
easily. No. So um, I have had two miscarriages before this baby had a miscarriage in 2015. And then we had a miscarriage in March of this year. And it took us, let's see, 10 cycles, 11 cycles to conceive that first. The baby from earlier this year, we named Robin. And so was that a mistake there? We don't know. Okay, so we just I chose the name Robin. Because there were it was spring, there were so many Robins everywhere was like kind of all the time. And I was like this is like kind of what we're going with so almost a year and had this miscarriage and it was absolutely devastating. The months leading up to it were not easy with my biological dad dying, that was like an emotional roller coaster that I was super not expecting. Then we both got COVID in January. And then I started working as a chaplain intern at St. Cloud Hospital, where I was facing life and death. And like the reality of those things every day, and so like there was just like a lot of emotions kind of going on. And so like losing Robin was super difficult. Because it was just like another thing. And I was like I remember telling my classmates, I was like, I feel like the Angel of Death. Like, my baby died. I've been with these patients who are dying. My dad died like all of these things. So after the miscarriage, they're kind of like, they advise you to like, Wait, basically until your period comes back to like, try again. So that like mostly for accuracy of like dating, the next pregnancy. That did not happen. And we got pregnant. Right away. Like super surprised. So when we when I took the test, I was like, Is this possible? Like, is it like, Could I actually be pregnant? Or like is this leftover pregnancy hormones from my last pregnancy? Like what is happening here? And so I called the doctor and they're like, let's do some blood work to make sure and they're like, Yep, this is for sure. Like, this is a new pregnancy based on like, we've had to do blood work like otherwise. So like, total surprise, total overwhelm. Just like the journey of pregnancy after loss is like I don't even know how to describe it. It's so emotional. And when I already have anxiety and OCD, it's like this own thing. And like those just like feed into like all of those fears that you have, or they're like, let us know if you have like this, this or this and be like, Oh my gosh, I felt this twinge. Like does that mean is that bad? Or is that good? Yeah. How did you did you go to Dr. Google a lot? Or did you know I tried so hard not to okay, because there's a doctor Google expert. I normally am but I knew that that would just like totally mess with my OCD and like my anxiety and like the intrusive thoughts would just be like, totally unbearable. So I just like I had a trusted friend who is a nurse and has had her own journey into having her children and so I relied on her a lot to answer questions.

Sarah Huffman  1:04:51  
I really think it's quite beautiful. Like I know you've been on a path, right? You've had like, I'm going to go pre med. I'm going to do this. I'm going to I was at hula, by the way, I'm now at a sexual health clinic. Now I'm at seminary, but it's like, I feel like all of this is weaving experience for you. So when you are on the other side, and you are experiencing motherhood, like you are going to be able to share, and counsel people in a different way that I don't think is out there

William Huffman  1:05:22  
in a different way that's putting it, like, the experiences that you're going to bring to the table at a young age, like are pretty invaluable to, let's be honest, when when I'm talking to somebody and say, if they're significantly older than me, or significant younger than me, I don't know if they can, I don't, internally I don't know, I feel they can truly relate to who I am and what I'm going through just because of your age difference, then that's, that's a personal thing, right? But people feel that way. Like, when I go to a doctor, let's put it this way, when I go to a doctor, I do want the doctor to be a little older than me, right. But when I'm talking to somebody about something that is personal and traumatic, I probably want somebody who's more along with generational age than I am. Yeah. So you're going to be able to help people with with wisdom, well beyond your years. And that's just a beautiful gift to be able to bring to people. So that's super cool.

Sarah Huffman  1:06:14  
One sometimes it's like we when we think about like when bad things happen. Yeah, why did this happen to me? Like, on this side of it? And I don't want to put words in your mouth. But do you ever think like this, the experiences I've had have happened for me, so I can help others. There's been a

Victoria Bell  1:06:32  
lot of like, I don't like the whole, like, everything happens for a reason. Because like, it just feels icky. But I do believe that, like we can learn things out of what we've experienced, whether we wanted to experience those things are not like, you know, you would never wish some things on people. But like, the hope is that you're able to, like, come through that. And like, maybe it's with the help of therapy, because I've done like I said a lot of therapy, and I have no shame in, like how important that has been in my journey. And so yeah, definitely this feeling of like, man, some of that shit sucked, like it was bad. And also, I hope that from what I learned in that and like how people treated me that I can either treat them the same or that I can treat them differently. I can give them what I wish I had received in that time.

William Huffman  1:07:30  
And I would say you can draw from like, you can draw on from the positive and not so positive experiences as well. Like when when you were in community in Iowa, and you were at church, and you weren't getting the community you needed or the support you needed. Yeah, you can take that and make sure to the best of your ability that anybody in your parishioner I'm not sure what they say the Lutheran but anybody in your congregation might not have to go through that. So that's really cool.

Victoria Bell  1:07:59  
Yeah. And that's like, kind of what my like hope is that I'm able to bring to a congregation when I'm serving in that setting is that like, recognizing, like, where are we missing something? Where are things like? What we talked a lot about in seminary, like the longings and losses of a community and like, how can we fill those in? And if we can't fill them in as a pastor or as a church? How can we bring in other resources, because it shouldn't be all about, like, what we can do, but like we shouldn't be afraid to collaborate with other like, profession. I

William Huffman  1:08:33  
have a feeling that it's probably more of a new age type feeling at the church as

Sarah Huffman  1:08:37  
well as a new age and church of the same.

William Huffman  1:08:41  
Yeah, well, I mean, it is it's not about competition. It's not about like, no can fix this. We're here like we're gonna it's about collaboration. Yeah. And making sure we bring the best of everything in. Yeah, so that's really that's really cool. Yeah.

Sarah Huffman  1:08:53  
Well, I am so happy that you came in today. The way actually I'll have will wrap us up. But thank you for sharing your journey. Yeah, it has been one. And part of our podcast life behind the highlight reel is all the stuff that you don't see. Yep. And it's like you've had a lot on your journey that people haven't seen but I also have really appreciated with your pregnancy journey, how much you have shared, because what is your mantra at the end?

Victoria Bell  1:09:20  
The I Am Love Yes. Like I am here I can tell you. i At the end of every post I say I love you. You are loved and we are not alone. And love that. Alright, well.

William Huffman  1:09:46  
I just had to do that. Come on. Yeah. Did you not watch Dragon Tails? No. I've never even heard of as well as first of all was dragons. All right. Yeah. We like to wrap every show by asking somebody about their top five restaurants. Yeah, and you're ready. I see that. Yeah. Um, and you surprised that no party is prepared? No, no. So like I said can be for any reason anywhere. And we might ask you, what do you get at that restaurant? So let's go with number five.

Victoria Bell  1:10:11  
Okay. Well, I don't really have them in order, but we'll we'll say number five is pizza. loujain. Oh, yummy. Okay,

William Huffman  1:10:16  
tell me more. What do you get there? What are you like?

Victoria Bell  1:10:19  
Well, I like that they have gluten free pizza. So every place that I list is gonna have gluten free offerings. Hey, there we go. All right.

Sarah Huffman  1:10:27  
I love it. So

Victoria Bell  1:10:28  
what do I get? I don't know. I've tried a lot of different things from pizza Lu j, because I just like they have like so many fun variety donations. What I do love is that they have done a St. Patrick's Day Special. That has corned beef on it and it was

William Huffman  1:10:46  
delicious. Nice. All right, we'll go to number four.

Victoria Bell  1:10:50  
All right, number four, we'll say the gnome craft pub, which is in St. Paul.

Sarah Huffman  1:10:54  

William Huffman  1:10:55  
Okay. Tell me more. What do you get there?

Victoria Bell  1:10:57  
Um, well, before I was sober, I loved the selection of ciders that they usually had on tap, okay. And they also make some good kind of like craft type burgers. You know that have like, fun. frilly add on like the haystack on you,

William Huffman  1:11:15  
sir. The I'm sold. I'm hungry. All right, number three. Okay, number three.

Victoria Bell  1:11:21  
Let's go with brasa Oh, in St. Paul. Yeah.

Sarah Huffman  1:11:25  
Will and I have tried to go there. And of course the day we went there. They were closed.

Victoria Bell  1:11:28  
Yeah, it was awesome. Always works.

William Huffman  1:11:30  
Yeah, it was awesome. All right. Number two.

Victoria Bell  1:11:34  
Number two. Let's do big boy barbecue and Hannah. Oh, yeah. Okay.

William Huffman  1:11:39  
Yep. Ben, their owners. They go through 7000 pounds of meat a week. Yeah, that's insane. Seriously? Yeah. I gotta bring in some of our bots. I told him I'd bring him some brats. And he'd give me some beef scraps for making more

Sarah Huffman  1:11:53  

Victoria Bell  1:11:54  
pounds. Yeah, they go through an insane amount of food. Yep.

William Huffman  1:11:58  
Their tacos are really good. They just take their smoked meats. Put them on tacos. Yeah, the quality is super good. Super, super good. All right, number one.

Victoria Bell  1:12:06  
So number one, we're going to do Randy's pizza, which is in Oakdale and they and these are a completely gluten free establishment basically

William Huffman  1:12:17  
did not know that. Sarah is looking it up. I have to look it up.

Victoria Bell  1:12:20  
So the thing about gluten free pizza is that it's usually a super thin kind of like a cracker cross. Yeah. And at Randy's they have managed to make it at least more like a regular kind of really? Yeah. Okay, so good. And they often have events with the what does it Gradec a food truck with gluten free mini doughnuts. So really a great little you know, like you go get your gluten free pizza, which they're super loaded with things and like super messy because everything's like just so heavy. And then you're gluten free mini doughnuts. And it's actually Wow, this

Sarah Huffman  1:12:59  
is so great because it's made with dairy free. Organic options only we have what's cool

William Huffman  1:13:05  
there right now. No. See it Randy's kidding. Not kidding.

Sarah Huffman  1:13:10  
Legit. This is why I love asking this question. Yeah, top five because you never know what we

William Huffman  1:13:15  
should seriously go there today. Like we have one more podcast after this. We should go there because now I want that

Victoria Bell  1:13:20  
we'll see. And like I tried to choose places that were like gluten free because really what I was gonna list initially was five ice cream places but

Victoria Bell  1:13:29  
as ice cream Ben has ice cream Bennett craving?

Victoria Bell  1:13:32  
Not really. It's actually I'm normally super sweet tooth person. Chocolate is mostly a turnoff to me lately. I have really been more into like fruity candy. So like dots. Oh, yeah, can aches, that sort of thing. Which pairs really well with my orange juice craving?

Victoria Bell  1:13:53  
Well, you do live in Elk River and you do have one of the best ice cream sandwich places ever. And that is a Moray there is VCM never been so good.

William Huffman  1:14:02  
Well, they're closed. Most of the time. They're open like 15 minutes a day.

Victoria Bell  1:14:06  
So that's why we've never been Yeah. When When Will and I think it was a couple years ago. We were like let's go to a Moray drove all the way up there. I like it. Yeah. Monday at sourdough Sunday at noon. It was Hello. Yeah.

William Huffman  1:14:18  
And we weren't the only ones. Oh no, but they have the best ice cream sammies the best, the best. Alright everybody. Thank you so much for coming on today. We appreciate you and as always we out basis.

Accouncer  1:14:30  
tune in each week. For more in depth conversations about life behind the highlight reel. Follow us on your favorite podcast platform to make sure you never miss an episode. For today's show notes head over to LV