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Put YOURSELF out there

In 2023, I submitted this article to our local magazine publication. It gave me the opportunity to introduce myself to more people in my community in a genuine way. It feels good to let my guard down. 

The Scotts built their family in Liberty Lake

A match out of the gate . .  . 

Travis and Kyla Scott moved to Liberty Lake in 2016 from Issaquah. 

Travis grew up in Fairland, IN. Kyla grew up on a farm near Carpenter, SD. They met in Denver in the Spring of 2011. At the time, Travis worked for Microsoft so after only a few months of dating, they moved to Issaquah together. 

“It could have been a huge mistake to move across the country with some guy I barely knew. But I felt like I had known him forever so it didn’t feel like a big thing,” Kyla said. 

Travis agreed. “On our second date, I knew. After I met her family that first Thanksgiving, it was sealed,” he said. 

Travis and Kyla bonded over shared values, family, dogs, nature, good food, beer, wine, and black coffee. But rather than have everything in common, they complemented each other. Kyla says she is always the bad cop and Travis is always the good cop. She is more organized and efficient, but Travis is more competitive and self-disciplined. 

“I also like to talk about deep issues right out of the gate so we talked about religion, politics, money - all the scary stuff in the very beginning,” Kyla said. 

Making it work . . . 

Kyla worked as a child protection investigator in south Seattle and later as a daycare licensor and background check specialist in Bellevue. 

“I worked in child protection in South Dakota, Iowa, and Washington. I was an adoptions social worker, trained resource parents, wrote home studies - but my most fulfilling role was when I led Iowa’s statewide parent partner program. That experience became my beacon for true and real social work,” Kyla said.

Travis is owner and marketing consultant at Rainier Digital where he works with organizations to analyze and optimize their revenue operations or build out their demand generation programs. He is also a HubSpot partner. But his path was anything but linear.

“I went to Indiana University for public affairs and environmental science. Then, I got my MBA in marketing from CU-Denver. I did NEPA compliance at Rocky Flats in Golden CO, was in sales for Reliance Steel in Los Angeles, ran my own coffee subscription service before it was cool, did lots of recruiting, and then was the director of marketing for a medical component distribution company,” Travis said.

He also wrote a book about recruitment marketing (you can find it in the Liberty Lake library) and plans to keep creating. 

“I am definitely on a journey of continuous learning, changing perspectives, and creating happiness in my career. When I realized others felt the same way, I spun up The Winding Road podcast where I chat with people who have had fulfilling nonlinear careers, have taken risks, have failed, have learned along the way so that they can help others. I also do some resume reviews and career coaching,” Travis said.

When hurt hits . . . 

Kyla and Travis were married in June 2013. Three months later, they experienced their first pregnancy loss. Over the next five years, they would have seven more. It was a dark time for the couple. They should have been in the honeymoon phase, instead, they saw each other at their worst moments experiencing a rush of emotions that they couldn’t always understand or process individually, let alone articulate to one another. 

“We saw three different OBs, two naturopaths, an acupuncturist, and two specialists at two different fertility clinics. I took chinese herbs and supplements and oils. We had all the tests. My uterus was scraped and salined and the fetal tissue was tested - over and over again. The results - unexplained infertility. My chart said ‘habitual aborter’,” Kyla said. 

“One miscarriage started during the halftime show of the 2014 NFC championship. We were there. Kyla is in the bathroom. She tried to hold out for me, for the end of the game. But we had to go to the ER. It was awful. I was scared for her. She couldn’t walk. I was sad about the baby. I was happy the Seahawks won. I was angry I was missing it. I have never felt that range of emotions all simultaneously,” Travis said. 

“I went a little cuckoo during those five years - obviously. My hormones, my heart, my psyche - not to mention the physical pain of each loss. It was a lot. I needed to separate from my child protection work because it was too deeply tied to the trauma of my pregnancies and loss. I accepted a remote role with Microsoft doing recruiting administration which meant we could live anywhere,” Kyla said.

Finding home. . . 

Travis and Kyla wanted to stay in Washington, but if they were ever able to raise children, they knew they wanted to live in a place that was similar to their own childhoods. 

“We didn’t realize how incredible of a community we fell into in Liberty Lake. We loved the mature trees, the bike paths, and our house - but we had no idea we would make such strong connections with our neighbors, the businesses, school and city staff. It has been exactly what we needed,” Kyla said.

“There was a sense of relief when we moved here and immediately relaxed knowing that we were no longer competing - competing for a place in line, a house, a job, a parking spot - here we could finally relax and plant our roots,” Travis said. 

After twelve total pregnancies, Kyla and Travis now have three healthy living children. Jake is five and will be in Kindergarten at Liberty Creek. He loves Wild Kratts, playing with friends, and going to Trailbreaker. Luke is three and will start preschool at Liberty Lake Children’s Academy. Luke is a great artist and storyteller. He loves spicy food and laughing in the face of authority. River will be one year old in September. He thinks everything is hilarious, loves to talk, and is a dance machine. 

“Sometimes I can’t even remember who that person was who was so depressed and in a fog of constant grief. I joined my first support group here, Parenting After Loss (PALS). It has been a way to heal so that I can be present for my living kids while still honoring those we lost. Before I joined PALS, I felt obligated to always show my sadness to prove to everyone how much I loved the children I lost. Now, I know I can better honor them by advocating for parents that don’t have the strength to advocate for themselves,” Kyla said.

Kyla and Travis both attribute some of that healing growth to where they live and the friendships they have made in Liberty Lake.

“It’s cliched, but we have made so many friends just by running into people around town. At Rocky Hill Park, I met Morgan who also has a son Jake. We call him ‘little Jake.’ We are regulars at library storytime and consider Miss Jandy and Miss Erin our friends. And we first met Miss Chelsea in 2019, when Jake and Clara were just babies. Liberty Lake Children’s Academy preschool created a strong group of friends for our whole family. We have a mom text thread where we send funny memes, make plans for night outs, or ask for recommendations. Last night my friend Lisa walked over and brought me farm fresh eggs. It felt like something out of Mayberry. She gave me eggs. She held the baby awhile. We had a beer. I didn’t even feel the urge to vacuum up any dog hair because she is a real friend. I have made a lot of real friends here,” Kyla said. 

Giving back . . . 

Finding their home and community in Liberty Lake has inspired Travis and Kyla to put more focus on philanthropy and giving back. They have a list of service and charity contributions that are important to them. They have even thought about creating their own nonprofit organization to do more good locally.

“In Issaquah, I served on the river and streams committee, and Kyla was on both the arts and the human services commissions. But here, it feels like we have more time to put into several different causes that we care about. I do marketing consulting for Team Jack - a Nebraska foundation that supports pediatric brain cancer research. Kyla and I met Bill Moos at their 2019 gala. He was the Nebraska AD at the time. His wife was super excited to see some Coug fans. I helped coach Jake’s tball team last spring which truly tested my cat herding skills. I do some pro bono work for The Union, a social action group, and I was in the master gardener program where I got to intern and volunteer at the plant clinic and plant sale,” Travis said.

“I immediately fell in love with the local buy nothing group. The admin and my friend, knows that I am always game for ‘using up’ something that someone else is finished with. I have tons of anxiety over the fashion industry’s environmental impact so I’m usually wearing something pre-owned. It is a small thing I can do for the environment. I want to get involved with the TAC at the Lake because I love that we have a cool theater group right here and I don’t want to ever lose it. My friend introduced me to Save the Children Action Network, and I am excited to start advocating for children and families and the social issues that impact them,” Kyla said.

Kyla also started her own business in April 2023, Rooted Sonshine which offers services to learn and practice building vibrant communities one connection at a time. She was inspired when she read the surgeon general’s advisory on loneliness. 

“Sometimes it seems like people make things more complicated than they need to be. People are what make the world go round. Our relationships are what make life meaningful. I hope I can shine a light on that,” Kyla said.

“As adults, it can be hard to make friends. I’m also an introvert so it isn’t my comfort zone, but living here makes it as easy as it can be,” Travis said.