I was on the train on my way to the shoot the other day. It was very early in the morning and I was listening to my favourite tunes to stay awake. I like times like train journeys like that, it's quiet, most of the people on a carriage are asleep, and I have time to think about things that normally would not come to my mind. So that day I started thinking about my parents. I was thinking about myself and my character, how my parents influenced me and brought me up to be the person I am today. 
When I was little, I didn't like a lot of things mum and dad made me do. I didn't like that I was forced to learn English since I was 7. All the other kids were outside running wild and free, while I had to sit with a book for an hour to learn new words and phrases, before I could go out. I hated it. English is my second native language now. It helped me travel the world and meet a lot of people, who in one way or another influenced my life experiences. It helped me travel to the USA and meet my husband there (we've recently celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary). When I was little, I didn't realise these things could happen to me. But my parents did. I'm pretty sure that it must have been hard for them when I was rebelling, because I didn't understand. They stuck by it, and I am so grateful for that! 
My father always said: "If you are asked a question and you don't know the answer, never say 'I don't know'. Say I don't know/I'm not sure, but I will look into that for you.". At first I just didn't get it. For me it was like black and white, you either knew the answer to the question, or you didn't. For years that advice has been in my memory, and I realise now, that it has taught me to be inquisitive, and made me learn about a lot of things, as well as develop common sense. That encouraged me to have my own opinion on things (my husband says I'm too opinionated, but that's a different story ;-) ), which helped me in life a loooot. 
My parents brought me up to be a strong, but sensitive and kind person, and I'm so so grateful for everything they'd done for me, even though I didn't like it or understand it at first. I can see how little things work together as a puzzle now and make me a person I am today.
And that's my family together with my husband and your truly on New Year's night in 2008. I miss them))