Meet my oldest sister, Marni K Winkel,
or as our family likes to call her, "Marni Cakes."
Marni is the oldest sister in my family of nine and very much a mother figure in my life. My two brothers, Ryan and Darin, were born first. Dad thought that the basketball team he had always dreamed of was on it's way. But then seven daughters like pretty maids all in a row came in surprising succession. (Oh, and by the way, most of us ended up playing basketball).
When I was a baby and my mother was doing her best to manage her other seven children, Marni would often care for me, change me and rock me to sleep. But of course, whenever she laid me down in the crib, I would awaken and cry for her, so she would just remain holding me while I slumbered. As a toddler, I slept with her in her bed. Her warm, creamy voice would sing lullabies in my ear while we nestled under the covers. No doubt, Marni's singing voice is the one I first learned to model mine after.
I think I can speak for all of my siblings when I say that Marni was and still is a very maternal figure for all of us. She is the magnet and we all gravitate toward her. In fact, I'm pretty sure that all of the girls in my family have lived under her roof at one point. Her generosity is her trademark. You have to be careful when complimenting Marni on anything from her clothes to her furniture because she will say, "Here! Take it home with you. I don't need it!"
Being the artist and nurturer that she is, it seems natural that Marni has gone into psychotherapy and the arts. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Human Development from the University of Utah and attended the College of Notre Dame in California, earning a Master's degree in both Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy. She has worked as a Kindergarten teacher, a pediatric Art Therapist, and as a Marriage and Family Therapist to teenagers and their families. She is currently enrolled as a doctoral student at Pacifica Graduate Institute, studying Depth Psychology with an emphasis in Jungian and Archetypal Studies. Her preliminary dissertation work focuses on the soulful lives of children as expressed through literature and the visual arts. Marni is also one of two Art Therapists in the state of Utah who is both registered and board certified as an Art Therapist (ATR-BC).
Marni has always been my best sounding board and one of the first people I go to for advice with all of my burning life questions. I'll be the first to recommend her if you're looking for a therapist for you, your marriage or your children! Click here to visit her web site: marnikwinkel.com.
Happy Mother's Day, Marni! I love you so much.
These beautiful photographs were taken by the ever-talented Justin Hackworth. Many thanks to him. There's only one thing amiss: Our humor.
Ah, there it is.