A little bit about Dani
I grew up in the outskirts of Detroit, Michigan, where I fell in love with water, family, and cooking. It is where I learned that family is important, that telling the truth earns you respect, that hard work is good for you, and that no matter what, God has unconditional love that never ceases to pour out over you.
I now live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where my husband and I try to pass along the same important values to our children. I was never the girl that dreamed of being a mom. I had too many other things that I loved doing so it just didn't seem important. But now?
Now, having three little ones, I have come to understand that the greatest legacy I can leave here on earth is how I raise these children and love my husband. I have the opportunity to teach them about what it means to love and value the human race; to show them what God meant when he said, "I have loved you so that you too can love one another." No matter what they do in life, as parents, we have the responsibility to pour our best into our children; to model struggles and forgiveness, grace and redemption, health and joy, with a whole lot of hugs and snuggles and laughs thrown in. I have fallen in love with being a mom, and having these three in my life has taught me so much about myself, my values, my faith, and my strength.
Even though these kids and my husband are a huge piece of everything I am, I still remain me. I am the gal who loves music, growing her own food, reading cookbooks, running, sewing, rejoicing, painting, making pots out of clay, and creating get-togethers where the atmosphere draws people in and relationships are built and strengthened. I love tradition and taking the extra step to create a memory or experience that inspires the creativity in other people. People who feel valued, loved, and inspired lead healthy lives that in turn allows them to move past their own lives, and see how they fit in the bigger picture of mankind. Being healthy gives people more energy and focus to pour out into helping and caring for others.
This became very clear to me when my oldest son was five. Through a series of events, we discovered that he had health issues that we didn't know how to fix. Our choice was medication for ADD/ADHD and antidepressants or to change his diet. We had lived for years with a child who raged at all different moments, and our lives became consumed with anger management. We had nothing left to give to anyone, or even to each other. Just weeks after changing our son's diet, we saw God healing his body with whole and natural food. My love for cooking and creating meals has only increased as my knowledge of how food affects our bodies has grown. We were hesitant at first, feeling like we joining a diet fad against gluten and dairy. But seeing the difference, not just in our son, but in our whole family, I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is what our bodies need. Eating real and natural food is what our bodies need to not just survive, but thrive.
Before children though, and even before meeting my husband, I took my first mission trip to Haiti when I was 18. That trip served to change my life and my commitment to global issues of poverty, food management, and international policies. It has changed the way I parent and what I share at moms' and young adult conferences. People who live on the fringe, or that are lost in a world of corruption, need our awareness and compassion simply because their lives have value, and also because God cares deeply for them. Women and children who live as legitimate slaves or even in cultural slavery silently cry out needing to be heard, and when they can't fight for themselves, they need us. I have the honor of helping to serve as a founding member of the Haiti Mission Project whose aim is to help Haitians serve other Haitians; to help create opportunity for them to have a voice and serve their own people the way they know how.
Beyond having a passion for our urban garden/farm and our mission work in Haiti, I love creating. I am not sure I would call myself an artist, but I do love to create. I love to create my own antique homespun space, my own ideas, and my own way of doing things. This is who I am- creating art in life with love and humor and memories. At any given time, you can count on the simple truth that I have at least three projects in the works. Sewing, cooking, jewelry, painting, writing, embroidery, you name it. I love traditional handcrafted items and the skills it takes to master them. I am sure I will never master anything, but I want to keep trying. I desire to spend my life learning and trying and never giving up.
Thanks for checking out the website. I hope you feel like you got to know me a little more. I value relationships above all else, so don't hesitate to contact me with questions, inquiries, or ideas.
Be blessed my friends!