Hello, my name is Marty and I am the founder and owner of Welcome Home. Welcome to my little world.
I created Welcome Home on Facebook and within a year it went viral. Now four years later, over a half a million friends follow my journey of cooking and honoring my Mom's memory. People come from all over the world to join my Save A Life Program....my mission to help the homeless and save the lives of dogs and cats that are being killed in Shelters when no one gets there in time.
It seems I work non-stop. I am also the president and CEO of a Communications Consulting firm here in Maryland, just outside of Baltimore. So I don't have a lot of free time on my hands. But in my spare time, I obviously enjoy cooking and blogging, but I also love gardening, reading and writing.
I am a novice writer that has published 8 cookbooks. I am proud of the fact that proceeds from the sale of all my books go to the homeless and under privileged and to support animal rights. Over 6 million dogs and cats are killed every year and I feel we can change that. I want to make a difference and bring change.
I very much believe in God but I respect those who have chosen not to. I have watched him perform miracles in my own life, and so I am certain he is real. At this point in my life, I pretty much sit back and allow God to write my life story without any interference on my part. I believe he has planned my life well in advance since the day I came here to start this journey and I just go along for the ride. I believe that every single person and every single event in my life was put there for a reason.
I sometimes review past chapters that God has written and I find them to be quite interesting, very funny and sometimes terribly sad, but all the while inspiring. Reading back on what he has written so far makes perfect sense, even though it didn't seem so at the time. I am always looking forward to the next chapter in God's story of my life and where it will take me. And sometimes when my life gets scary or worrisome, I know that there is a lesson there for me to learn and God has put it there to see how I will handle it. I know that he will never give more than I can bear and no matter how much I wonder and worry about whatever comes next, I know that God knows full well what he is doing and he is in control. My mother taught me many years ago that "Faith is not believing God can.....it's knowing that God WILL."
Welcome Home is dedicated to my Mom who passed away suddenly 14 years ago. I loved my Mother with all my heart. She was the love of my life. She believed I could do anything and she was the truest friend I've ever had. I always say that God sent me to the arms of an angel and her arms were always open when I needed a hug. Her heart always understood when I needed a friend. Her gentle eyes were stern when I needed a lesson. Her strength and love guided me and gave me wings to fly. All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my Mom. No one has ever loved me as much as she did, and I will miss her everyday for the rest of my life.
Why did I create Why Welcome Home?
|One of my Mom's old recipe boxes|
This blog was created to share my Mom's recipes and preserve and share my memories of the great relationship we had. I wanted to create a place where I could inspire and touch the hearts of others with my stories and her recipes in hopes that it might bring back memories for them too.
I believe with all my heart that my Mom's hand is in this creation in that the growth of people joining my Welcome Home Facebook page is phenomenal... actually it's unexplained. In only a year it grew to quarter million followers and at times we saw increases of as many as a 1000 each day. I can almost see my Mom at work...sending messages and thoughts to people out there who need comfort and love in their lives and making sure our paths meet.
If this page touches one heart or warms one soul or impacts just one person's life in some way, then it is all worthwhile and I feel I have found meaning in my life and a way to leave my legacy. I am a very modest person and some say I am far too humble, but I am not doing any of this for attention or credit. I will get my credit later when I meet up with my Mom again.
The page pretty much sums up who I am in life. I live a simple life with very few complications. I am a homebody and a little on the old fashioned side. I am so much like my Mother in that I love to cook and tend to my garden and I love all the comforts of home. I continue to see my mother in everything I say and do as I get older and understand the lessons of life.
I have shared my life with my best friend Randy for the last 22 years. He is my sous chef and he is my food taster. He is passionate about food and so I made him my taste tester many years ago. I try out all sorts of new recipes on him and he is my biggest and best critic. I make all the recipes you see here that are marked with the Welcome Home name on them. I cook the food and then arrange the plates so that I can capture the perfect image of that dish.
I am a novice photographer and take all my own photos at Welcome Home of my food and garden and other odds and ends so that I can share them all with you. On rare occasions you will see photos and recipes from bloggers who have given me permission to share them with you.
I could never have human children but I do have fur babies. I have two dogs that I adore and one of my favorite things to do is to take them to the park and watch them run and play for hours. Cooper and Katie are my dog babies. I write a lot about both of them on Facebook and on the blog. Katie, is my canine soul mate and my true love and my life changed drastically when she came into it.
UPDATE: In July of 2016, I lost my baby girl to heart disease. I can honestly say that my life will be forever changed by her. I struggle every single day with the loss of my best friend and my soul mate. She was my life and my everything. She was my entire world. And when she left, I felt my life crashing all around me. But I am gradually coming to grips with her loss.
This is Cooper. He is my clown and feels his job is to entertain and make me laugh whenever I'm not laughing. He is the forever puppy and at five years old has shown no signs of maturity. If I could sum Cooper up in one word it would be "Happy."
Meet Lucy and Libby
Meet Lucy and Libby. These two little girls came into my life this past summer after I lost my Katie. A breeder didn't feel they were good enough to represent her kennel and so they were probably going to have a short life. But somehow it was meant to be that I found out about them and I went to save them. They actually saved me. They have brought me joy beyond measure and I believe with all my heart they are Heaven sent. Without them I could not have survived.
Where do I get the recipes?
Many of my recipes are from my Mother, who was a wonderful cook and taught me quite a bit when I was growing up. Others are made up in my head when I go out to dinner and order something from the menu and then imagine what I could do to make the dish different and better. Some are from friends over the years, some are from old magazine clippings, and so many are just things I throw together! I get that from my Mom who was a fearless cook!
I love getting feedback on my recipes and enjoy reading your comments. I read every single one. I am getting to know many of you and consider all of you my new friends. I look forward to a long and lasting friendship!
So, Welcome Home everybody! Sit back and relax and enjoy the good things in life. May you always find comfort here.