Hi, I’m Tara!
Thanks for stopping by our blog. Joe and I work on it together, but I do the writing. I’ve always loved words and reading and writing and ideas. My husband is actually a good writer too, but he doesn’t enjoy it as much, so me doing the writing and him doing most of the talking stuff is a good deal. (And mostly I spell better than he does. Spelling Bee School Champion 1989, for the record.)
My main gig is caring for my husband, our children, and our home. We have a daughter and three sons, ages 21-11. And I’m home educating them so that means I’m home a lot, and there are papers and books everywhere all the time and it’s rarely quiet. But that’s exactly how I always hoped my life would be. (Who am I kidding. I’ve been surrounded by books and papers and pens my whole life. Homeschooling just provides a good cover for my addiction.) My two oldest have graduated and are jumping head first into the path God has for them so I’m left with just two kids to teach. I’m enjoying this stage of my life yet also also feeling bittersweet as I say good-bye to being a mom of little kids. I think I’m working myself out of a job:)
In my free time I love to garage sale (definitely a verb) and find deals and I’ve learned if I wait long enough, whatever I’m looking for will show up for a dollar somewhere. And when it does, the victory is sweet. And asking me if my dress came from Goodwill is a huge compliment!
In previous years, I spent over ten years in lactation support, otherwise known as helping mommas breastfeed their babies. It was funny during those years when people asked me about my interests and hobbies and my answer was, breastfeeding. But that was a big part of my life, having been a nursing mom myself for over a dozen years, and I loved supporting new moms and learning about the amazing ways God designed mommas and babies. My other interest was natural birth, which led to me delivering our second baby at home, on purpose. No worries, I’ve discovered some less painful hobbies since then.
I love seeing truth in dichotomies: that Jesus’s love is grace and truth. We are sinners and saints. God is always good even in the face of evil. God works through His sovereignty and our own free will. The Bible is ancient and yet still completely true. I love beautiful ideas that make my mind spin and everything connect. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.
This is my husband Joe => =>
By day Joe is the Station Manager at WCIC in Peoria, IL. Before coming into this position, Joe spent over twenty-five years as an on-air personality and Music Director in WGSL/WQFL (Rockford) and WBGL (Champaign/Chicagoland). There couldn’t have been a more perfect job for a guy who loved investing in people and sharing music. In the 90’s he was the one who could make you the perfect mix tape! His listeners and co-workers know him as JoeB, the man with a ready smile and encouraging word. He is one of the kindest men you’ll ever meet.
He also spent a good part of the 90’s as a manager at record stores. Just saying that makes me chuckle. Remember record stores? In the end, all that time in retail is what God used to prepare him for the job he has today. It was what nurtured not just his love for music and people, but his love of music charts and liner notes. And in those first retail jobs was where he first began to develop as a leader. It is so neat to see God bring him full circle and back into management.
Besides music, he’s also really into baseball and has been rooting for the Chicago Cubs his whole life. No surprise that he would be a faithful and loyal husband. The story of Joe and the Cubs can be considered complicated, but things got quite uncomplicated in 2016 when they won it all and all was right in Joe’s world for those moments following Kris Bryant’s throw to first base. Now, he and the Cubs are back to being complicated.
Joe always considered himself to love movies way more than books, but he has recently gotten hooked on Audible and really loves listening to his books. He leans towards stories about outer space or with a sci-fi bent. And he’s into any story about brothers or with a strong redemption theme.
One of the best perks about being married to Joe is his mad skills with technology. He knows where all the cords in the cord drawer go and how to make computers behave themselves. He is my personal IT guy and he is so helpful at keeping all our devices and tech running top notch. Really these days, how do you get by without your own personal IT guy?
If you spend any time with Joe, you’ll quickly discover what makes him tick: a deep love for God and his family. His biggest desire is to show God’s love to others, especially for those who feel forgotten. He is a living testimony of how God can make beauty out of ashes. I love seeing God work through him as he serves and encourages whoever crosses his path!
Our daughter J.C. is 21 and is an avid reader and writer. From the time she was 5, she was set on writing a book and that determination led to her self-publishing two novels by the age of 14. In 2018 she released her third novel, Proof of Purple, and she blogs at jcbuchanan.com. Check out her dozens of book reviews for juvenile and YA audiences along with her other adventures in reading and writing!