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Overcoming a Cult Upbringing, Raising 5 kids & Creating My Own Identity

Oh hi there, welcome to my world! I am Renae, and I am thrilled that you’ve stumbled upon my blog. As a mother of five energetic children ranging from teens to toddlers, my life is never dull. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to my story.

Growing up in a cult is something that not many people can relate to, but it’s a significant part of who I am today. It was an interesting journey (not all bad, not all great), but I’m grateful for the strength and resilience it’s given me. Overcoming such a unique experience has inspired me to delve into topics that revolve around mindset, identity, parenting, and food – all things that have helped me to grow and heal.

When it comes to my writing, I don’t shy away from being vulnerable and sharing my personal experiences. My goal is to create a welcoming space for my readers to feel understood and empowered. As someone who has experienced firsthand the power of healing through self-reflection and personal growth, I am passionate about helping others on their journey towards a more fulfilling life.

I grew up in a small New England mill town, nestled into a valley between surrounding mountains. My adolescent landscape was pine trees, ice cold rivers that pirouetted lazily across the valley, corner stores with the best pizza I’ve ever tasted, and simple folk whose histories could be read by the hardness of the lines in their faces. I was always imaginative, probably on account of being a shy, introverted child (being raise in a cult likely played a part in the whole shyness thing).

Now, as a 40-something-year-old woman raising a wild bunch of children on the Maine coast, balancing the demands of my career as a Director of Engineering in the tech space, with the beautiful chaos of raising a family and pursuing the good stuff in life, I’m taking some time to slow down, reflect, and share some of the adventures, the knowledge, the recipes, the things I’m learning along the way.

Between the ongoing lessons I’m learning from my blended family of 7, the financial wisdom I’ve gleaned from my husband who has 20 years in the Finance Industry, my effort in creating nourishing meals for the people I love (even the tiny picky eaters in my life), and my obsession with creating meaningful, lasting happiness – there’s a whole lotta fun and messy stuff to share with you.

When people ask why I love living in Maine, the answer is simple: I love the juxtaposition of sea and land, sky and mountain, trees and earth. I can walk the rocky shore, humbled by the vast, unknowable sea, and 30 minutes later be strolling deep in the woods, sunlight glittering through the tall pines as I ruminate on life or recall the fairy tales of my childhood. It is the perfect setting for adventure, for any protagonist young or old, to make a beautiful story of a life. It is my hope that what I share with you here enriches your life in some small way.

So, whether you’re a parent looking for some inspiration, someone in search of personal growth, or just someone who loves good food, I invite you to join me on this journey. Let’s connect, share stories, and grow together!

Here are some photos of My Own Little Mess!

Welcome, adventurers, to my little mess.