When Toby and I got married in 2006, I didn’t even fully understand what that meant. Then in 2017, we made it through an almost two-year separation. The experience of something so life-changing taught me more about love, life, pain, sadness, acceptance, forgiveness, joy, and living forward than I could have ever learned without such a trial. I appreciate Toby and our marriage more than ever and our love has a depth that I can’t even explain. Healing is possible… and powerful.
My two kiddos are the absolute joy of my life. I can remember when I was growing up, all I ever wanted to be was a mom. These two have fulfilled that dream and then some. I know I’m biased, but I think Emma and Noah are the two coolest, kindest, smartest, most amazing kids that have ever walked the planet. I’m blessed beyond belief to be their mama.
Ever read The Shack by William P. Young or seen the movie? If you have, then you have a good idea of how I see God. If not, go read it or rent it – it will give you some amazing perspective on how you are loved by God and how we should all try to love each other. To me, faith is all about accepting people where they are with boundless love.
Although I had a pretty uneventful childhood, my adult life has been riddled with challenges. So far I’ve made it through cancer, battled with weight, gone through a separation, and lost my dad unexpectedly, and survived countless other losses and difficulties. Each mountain has been difficult to climb, but I feel confident that every hurdle has worked for a greater purpose.
My love of cooking started out as a way to spend time with my Mom and grew into a true passion. I love recreating recipes almost as much as I love totally winging it in the kitchen. Cooking itself is great, but what I love more is how food can transport you to the warm embrace of someone you love. For me, cooking is truly a Love Language. I make homemade sugar cookies like I did with my Mama, pierogi like my Grandma made in Poland, chili like my Dad made on game days, and so many foods that are tied to moments and people that I hold dear. It's profound that a bite of food can both nourish you and make you feel deeply loved.
Music speaks to my soul in a way that overwhelms me. A swell of violins, a soft harmony delicately layered over acoustic guitar, or a great set of lyrics… it all touches me so very deeply. I’ve been singing since I was a little girl and it brings me a joy that nothing else can, but I’m also happy to lay in the grass with headphones in as the sun kisses my face – just letting the music wash over me. Best artists of all time? Simon and Garfunkel, Gregory Alan Isakov, and Damien Rice.
I love capturing life with photography and writing. It’s crazy to think that photography has been my job for 14 years of my life. I've been writing even longer than that. After all this time, I’m still incredibly passionate about documenting everyday moments for people as well in my own life. Having the ability to look back on the defining moments is pure magic to me. Seriously... don’t even get me started on what it’s been like to document my children’s lives unless you want to see me melt into a teary mess.
Ever since my trip to Europe as a 15 year old, I’ve adored seeing the world. I want to get lost in strange places, take bike rides through forests, be intrigued by foreign customs, walk along beaches, hear people speak in languages I don’t understand, stand where people stood thousands of years ago, smell the aromas of early morning bread wafting through the streets of big cities and small towns, see the sky so black that the stars light the sky, and watch the sunset in a hundred places around the globe. The world isn’t to be seen via Google Images. I want to take it in with my own eyes and feel it with my heart.