My family comes first, because…well, they come first. My work, my creativity, all of it orbits my family life. This is partly because my family life demands a lot from me, more than I expected, but even more than that, it’s because I love this little family of mine more than anything (I know it’s a bit cliche, but it’s true).
My husband and I grew up together. Our mom’s were close friends when we were toddlers. Then our families moved to different sides of the country and we rarely saw each other. Until college. In college we reconnected, and fell in love. And we lived happily ever after... well, not exactly. But, we are still very much in love.
Early in our marriage we spent four years living in the Czech Republic and that time shaped us in substantial ways. In fact, the book I’m currently working on takes place in Prague.
Less than a year after we moved back to the states, and just months before my 30th birthday, my husband, Bryan, was diagnosed with melanoma. It quickly spread and progressed to stage 4 — a terminal diagnosis. That was seven years ago now. Bryan’s done natural treatments, chemo, radiation, immunotherapy, TIL cell treatments, and every trial we could get him into — he was even patient 1 on a trial! Miraculously, graciously, he’s still alive. I’m thankful for that every day.
Around the same time as Bryan was diagnosed, we learned that our daughter, Sage, has bilateral polymicrogyria, which falls under the umbrella of cerebral palsy. She is pure sunshine and one of the best things that ever happened to me, but also one of the most difficult.
This year, just before my son’s tenth birthday, a psychologist told us that our son, Thaddeus, is gifted and in the top 1% for his intelligence and vocabulary. They also told us he has ADHD and is delayed in some areas, particularly in his social development. He’s an incredible kid and I’m honored to get to be his mom. I absolutely love this stage of life with him, but he constantly challenges me outside of my comfort zone — he has ever since he was born.
I can’t talk about my family without talking about these things. I wouldn’t be who I am without them. I wouldn’t be who I am without any of these steps in our journey. There’s a lot that’s gone wrong in our lives, but there’s also a lot that’s gone right — namely each other, and the incredible community that surrounds us.
My personal writing, and even my client work, is informed and influenced by my husband, my children, and each diagnosis that has been handed to us. These things aren’t who we are, but they do effect and shape who we are in profound ways. This is us.
And I want anyone reading my books, or working with me, to know these parts of my life.
If you’d like to know more about me (and us) you can see my old About page here. It didn’t feel like it entirely fit anymore, but it’s still one of my favorite things I’ve ever written.