A birth story, the birth of my first child in 1991

This is the first in a series of five of my own personal birth stories I will be telling.  Ultimately, my goal is to begin a dialogue on post traumatic stress disorder from birth, how that can affect future births, and ways care providers can work to help women recognize past birth trauma in order to heal.  I would also like to acknowledge all of the women (and men) out there who have experienced birth trauma.  I see and hear you.

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That is what these images are to me. It does not matter to me that I felt fat when these photos were taken, or that I really don’t like the outfit I am wearing. What matters to me most is that in these photos, you can see how our family used to be. My children have documentation that there was a point when we were happy, and that their daddy loved them very much.

People often question how much they are willing to spend on great photography. Great photography and timeless images do not come cheap. But I can assure you that they are worth every single penny. These beautiful images and this canvas collage were created by the amazingly talented Anna Mayer http://www.annamayer.com

Thank you Anna, for creating priceless memories of our family together.

My entry way

when life gives you lemons …

go to Mexico! My family spent the entire month of November traveling around Mexico. We experienced Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, and all points in between…because we drove…yes, drove! We then flew from Mexico City to Merida and once again…drove…the three hour drive to Tulum. At the end of our trip we decided to play tourists for a couple of days in Cancun, just for the heck of it. After a month all over Mexico, Cancun seemed ridiculously cheesy 😉

For the entire month, we spent only 3 nights in a hotel. During our time we rented two homes on the beach as well as an apartment in the Historic District of Mexico City. It was absolutely fabulous! These images are from beautiful Tulum. We hung out on the beach, body surfed (well my kids attempted), snorkeled, built sand castles, ate fantastic seafood, and just basically enjoyed each other’s company. At first my kids were a little culture shocked by the fact that we had no television, our home was powered by a wind generator, and internet was spotty, to say the least. But they came around and got used to it. They even learned how to play with one another without arguing (novel).

(and no, driving in Mexico was not scary in the least….even getting lost in Guadalajara and taking a 3 hour tour through the mountains at 2 am)


peace and much love ♥anya

I’m back …

It seems almost too much, to explain where I have been. To explain why my blog has been so barren for so long. Many of you already know the story. Some only know parts. People have regularly given me the gift of documenting some of the most intimate moments of their lives. The moments that have changed their lives forever. The moment in time that this blog ended, my life was forever changed. I will explain.

One week and one day after the McFarland Cafe session, my loving husband of 16 years decided to end his life. He had been struggling with a manic/depressive episode of his bipolar illness for almost a year prior. Although there were many external forces affecting his ability to cope with his illness, ultimately his illness overtook him. The moment I found him time shifted. Everything in my life changed forever. In that instant…that nanosecond, I knew nothing would ever be the same again.

While I do not claim to understand why this happened, I do not blame him. So many forces inside him were beyond his control. Beyond his ability to cope. I know now that he is not in pain. And that he will always be with us, in our hearts and in our memories. I have chosen, albeit painful, to remember the happy times. There were so many happy times. And remember his love for me, his love for his children, and his dedication and love of taking care of people in their times of need.

We will always love you, daddy! ♥

Before it all ended

a couple ‘o my wee peeps …

We had the pleasure of having dinner with some wonderful Wisconsin doc’s this past week… Their home was a kid paradise…with none other than a pony and a beautiful horse! Annika was insistent that she be able to hop on the pony. Mommy was insistent (of course) that she get some pictures. Mommy was also thrilled to discover that young child on pony = no running away from photos. YAY!

This pose was all Annika’s idea …


My little Annika

Annika loves Ponies!!!


My Annika

all this crazy dude would let me get of him…little nut! 🙂
My little Rowan

peace, and much (pony) love ♥ anya


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P: (608) 347 – 6672

Serving Madison, Wisconsin & the surrounding areas.


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