livelovesimple.comDena (Mama) — I am the keeper of this little blog. I am currently thirty-years-old and my birthday is the fifth of May. I am a Taurus. I am a full-time stay-at-home mom and a part-time photographer & blogger. You can check out my little photography business at Firefly Jar Photography. My life has been an incredible journey so far. I grew up in a sweet little town in northern New Jersey. I have great parents and a younger (by two years) sister.

My life took a turn when I was around fifteen-years-old. While dealing with childhood/teenage obesity and teenage hormones, I became depressed and severely anxious. My depression and anxiety would haunt me for many years. I tried various medications and forms of therapy from ages 15-21. Finally, when I was twenty-one, I met a therapist who introduced me to a therapy that would change my life — Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). With the tools that CBT gave me, my life quickly transformed. Within a few years, I lost sixty pounds, found happiness, and began to live the life that I had always wanted. You can read my entire journey in my e-book, Beat Depression: The Journey from Darkness to Light.

Today — after many years of struggling to “find myself” — I am finally living the life that I have always dreamed of living. In 2012 I married Roman’s papa and eleven months later I gave birth to the sweetest little boy this side of heaven. We live in a little house on a little mountain in northern New Jersey. There are hiking trails all around us. We have lots of hard times just like everybody else but I always work to find the light in every darkness. I am grateful for my beautiful & blessed life.

livelovesimple.comMatthew (Papa) — My husband has had many incredible adventures throughout his life, too, but Matthew is much more private than me and I respect that. Maybe one day I’ll get him to agree to an interview. 😉 Roman James — Oh, my little love. What can I say? This boy is the moon and the stars and the sky and the sun and the sea. He is our everything, our whole world. We spent nine beautiful months awaiting his arrival, dreaming about his sweet little face, and then on May 7th, 2013 he joined us. It was the most wonderful day of our lives. We still cannot get over him. We often stop and marvel at what a treasure he is. We are convinced that he is the cutest, the smartest, and the sweetest little guy that there ever was. We adore him and cannot wait to watch him grow. Bella — Bella is our sweet girl. We got Bella when she was just a tiny puppy from a local rescue. She is almost five-years-old and she fills our lives with so much joy. She has always been our little girl and she is just the sweetest. She loves to hike, chase squirrels, and sleep in our bedroom. She will jump into anything that is wet — streams, lakes, puddles — you name it! She loves to have her belly scratched and to rub her back on warm grass. She’s not great with “new” friends but we’re working on that.

Comments (4)

  • Amy Weisse

    September 27, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    I am so grateful stumbled across your site. Thank you for sharing. ~me

    1. denabotbyl

      October 3, 2013 at 9:48 am

      Thank you, Amy! I’m so happy you’ve found us. XOXO

  • LeAnne Enderle

    October 2, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Dear Dena,
    My daughter and I are followers of your Pinterest choices, and through that found your website. Your suggestion led her to look into the CBT, which has helped her tremendously. She is so grateful for the information she gleaned from your experiences. We have both noticed your love of foxes, baby elephants , baby puppies, kitties, giraffes, and WHALES!! My daughter, also a Deana, treasures your information and the help you gave her. She mentioned to me that she would love so much to give you one of the wooden whales that her husband carpenter has made, in appreciation for your help. She is wondering if you would accept such a gift from a stranger, who lives in Ohio and is 44 years old. Of course, it would involve sharing your address, which can be scary. If you feel comfy about this, please email me and I will pass the letter on to her. Either way , thank you so very much for the joy and pleasure that reading your blog and following your Pinterest account has brought us. Sincerely, Le Enderle, mother of Deana Enderle

    1. denabotbyl

      October 3, 2013 at 9:50 am

      LeAnne — This is the most wonderful comment that I have received in a very long time. I am so grateful to know that my writing has had a positive impact on your family. I am humbled by your kind words. I would be so honored to cherish one of your son-in-law’s beautiful whales carvings! I am going to email you now! xoxo

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