About The Author

Hello! Welcome to The Homemade Creative!

My name is Alena, and The Homemade Creative is a family lifestyle blog that chronicles the adventures of my little family of three – myself, my husband Nick, and our four year old daughter, Serenity. We live in a small farming community in the greater Chicago area of northern Illinois, and will be welcoming a son into our family this fall!

I was born and raised in the majestic mountains of Montana. I sometimes miss the craggy, pine-covered heights of my home state, but I have learned to love the golden Illinois landscape, with its many rivers and marching bands. Nick is originally from Oregon, but his family moved to Montana when he was six years old. Serenity was born here in Illinois (her brother will be, too), and we are content to call our little community “home” for as long as God has us here.

Belleque Family

Nick and I have been happily married for nine years.

We met in Bible college right out of high school, but I was engaged to someone else, so we kept our friendship polite and distant until well after my relationship ended. We were married on the Oregon coast on March 25th, 2007, and returned to western Montana for a year, before moving to Wyoming in the aftermath of the economic crash of 2008. Nick and I moved to Illinois in 2011, to be closer to his family, and we’ve been here ever since.

Our daughter was born in April, 2012.

Serenity is our miracle baby! After two miscarriages in our first year of marriage, and four years of fertility issues related to my hypothyroidism, we had given up on ever having a baby biologically. Imagine our shock when we found out we were pregnant!! Serenity is a bright ball of sunshine and personality, and we can’t imagine life without her. Sadly, we lost our fourth baby to another miscarriage in 2013, and our fifth in 2015, but we are beyond thrilled to be expecting another little miracle in October 2016! He will be our sixth and last baby.

Serenity Belleque

I have been blogging for more than a decade.

I opened my first blog when I was fifteen – a password-protected Livejournal – after my father was removed from our home, as a way to work through the fallout of nine years of child abuse, and life as an awkward teenager with PTSD, depression, and a highly dysfunctional home life. I shared my journal with a close friend, and eventually found a lot of comfort and healing in sharing my thoughts and memories publicly, even under an pen name. I have always found writing to be very therapeutic, and writing in a “public” place has helped break the chains of silence imposed on me as a child and teenager. I write about my journey as an abuse survivor in order to help myself heal, but also as a way to hopefully lead other survivors out of darkness, to Hope.

Over the years I have authored several blogs, each a little different from the last as I have gone through various stages of healing and life. Until a few years ago, I wrote only for myself, a few select friends, and whoever might stumble across it through search results. Today, I use this space to write intentionally and transparently, in the hope that my experiences and journey may encourage and help someone else, and as a way to share our family’s life and adventures.

Because of the sensitive nature of many of my memories and stories, I decided to split my efforts into three different blogs. The Homemade Creative is a family lifestyle and review blog. Into The Library is my entertainment blog, where you’ll find reviews on books, movies, music, games, and more! And Sunshine & Bunny Rabbits is my new personal blog – a story of growing up.

Pig and Pumpkin

The Homemade Creative is a place for me to chat about my daily life, raising my daughter with character and (hopefully) a personal and vibrant love for Jesus, practicing “gentle parenting” in a traditional community, discovering the art of homemaking, my thoughts on faith and our Christian heritage in a changing world, photography and creative expression, and all things that make my little family of uber-nerds smile.

Want to get to know us better? You can follow our family’s adventures here on our blog, and on FacebookPinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. Got a question for me? You can shoot me an email anytime at alena@thehomemadecreative.com

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