In third grade, I wrote that “My big dream is to have children and live in a pretty house.” So much has changed over the decades, but I’m still building my dream of a beautiful family and home.

I was born in Finland, and raised in the States, first in Virginia and then Utah for high school and college. I moved between Utah and Minnesota for a few years, but I’ve been settled in the Twin Cities of Minnesota since 2012.

My daughter was born in 2010, and my son in 2013. Their deeply contrasting and nuanced natures are the greatest fascinations of my life. In a way, the songs I sing them at bedtime are the soundtrack to the greatest joys of my life. I loved being primary caregiver to them for several years, while working part-time as a copywriter and in children’s fashion sales.

I have always been introspective, but growth is still hard sometimes. I left the faith of my parents (Mormon Christianity) and years later, I’m developing a platform for others’ and my own thoughts and feelings on life as a former (or unconventional) Mormon on a podcast: FOMO: Dating and Relating as a Former Mormon. I dove deeper than ever into emotional healing and holistic wellness when a 10-year marriage overwhelmed with heartache ended. I became a minor expert in self-knowledge and self-improvement. I eventually reconnected to my intuitive nature and it led me to hobbies such as yoga and tarot card reading.

In 2020, I married my love, Yogesh Mali. We “eloped” with just the kids and two of my close friends as witnesses, and then had a traditional Hindu wedding in India with his family, followed by a garden wedding at our home with my family and our Minnesota friends. Yogesh works as a software engineer and writer, endlessly driven and curious with a passion for tennis, science and philosophy. We’re consciously and lovingly deepening the roots of our multicultural and blended family. As Bruce Lee advised, he is “like water”, staying the same in essence but adapting gracefully to new circumstances, opportunities, challenges and perspectives. I am like earth, resilient and steady. He’s from India and his mother tongue is Marathi, and I speak exclusively Finnish with the kids, so we’re a trilingual (English dominant) household.

In a whirlwind weekend of January 2020, we had our civil ceremony at Minneapolis Central Library, then moved into our home, an 1892 house just outside Minneapolis. I’m slowly giving the house my personal touch. I never tire of analyzing paint colors or scouting for rugs and plants.