Photo byAnna Laero
Writing and taking pictures has been who I am since I was a tiny 4th grader with a disposable camera and a #2 pencil. My dream was to work in medicine so I could dedicate my life to the service of helping others. After 8 years of working in the hospital, I decided I wasn’t able to help people in the way I had hoped, and decided to chase a dream instead.
I packed up everything I owned and drove myself and my dog Rusty over 800 miles north to San Francisco, a city where I didn’t know a single soul-- in order to pursue a degree in fine art. I traveled and worked for companies like DELL, all the while enjoying everything that life had to offer.
I always thought that I’d be a life long wanderer, with no dreams of marriage or children of my own, but life had something else in mind for me. I’d met a boy named Nehemiah at a friends house when I was only 15 years old, that night was one I will never forget, we sat on a couch and talked for hours, never meeting again in person for 12 years, the only communication we had was the countless letters we wrote to one another. I ended up marrying that boy and became a mother to a beautiful baby girl named Eleanor. After a few months I quickly discovered just how lonely motherhood could truly be, and I decided to do something about it, so I created Gather The Village, an online and in person community and parenting magazine that contained real and honest stories of birth, motherhood, and beyond.
Photo byAnna Laero
My husband was born with a rare brain disorder called an AVM and in August of 2018, our lives were completely flipped upside-down. He became extremely ill, suffering from debilitating seizures, we quickly learned that in order to save his life we must find a neurosurgeon who could operate or begin radiation. We didn't make it to treatment before on July 17th, 2019 he suffered 3 aneurysms which landed him in the hospital for 33 days. The Dr.'s say it's not a matter of if it will rupture again but when, and in the meantime, while we wait for the radiation to hopefully shrink his AVM enough for surgery in two years, we are living our lives to the absolute fullest, seeking joy in every nook can cranny. Every day he’s still with us is a gift, and living a fulfilled life is more important to me now more than ever.
You know what lights me up? Making people feel seen and heard, therefore less alone in this journey called life. If I can help you find JOY every day, then I can consider my job well done.
It’s my hope to help you find Joy and happiness no matter what season of life you are in, I share our story in the hopes of inspiring others to do the same. It truly does take a Village to get through this thing called life, and I believe with all my heart that we are better together.