I’ve never been one to care about age.  Maybe when I was 19 and was trying to sneak into bars with my friends.  But as soon as I turned 21 I could have cared less if I was 22 or 42.  I read this business book once where the author said her career started in an elevator when she was 28.  I was so excited because I was 22 and had SO much time to find this magical elevator.  But as life went on I still never picked up that age gene.  I married a guy quite a bit older than me…which is nice because no matter what I always feel young.  :) I stopped caring about the should’s.  What I should be doing.  Or where I should be in life.  And just lived it.  I turned 30 in the magical land of Napa and can honestly say in that moment I was the happiest I’ve been at any age.  Sure my face looks a lot more tired than it did at 20.  And those extra 10 pounds are really clinging on for dear life.  But where I am as a human.  Just in life in general…I’m a happy camper.  That being said…there are still some undeniable signs that I am, in fact, 30.  Aging gracefully I hope…but aging nonetheless.  So here are 10 ways I know I am undeniably 30.


The couch tops any other activity on the planet.  

Dinner out?  I’m good.  Clubbing?  I’d rather die.  Wine on the couch?  Yes please.


Wine becomes your spirit animal.  

It’s literally this magic juice that can fix anything.  I mean I’ve always liked wine but nowadays it’s like part of my DNA.  I’ve made it 30 years….I deserve it!


Sleep is so exciting.

I’ll admit it…I still try to pretend I’m 21 sometimes and stay up waaaaay past my bedtime.  But the majority of time I am SO excited to go to sleep.  It’s like a prize I win at the end of the day.


Sh*t hurts.

Sometimes I feel like my body is going to snap in half.  Can a girl get a massage for pete’s sake!  (**ahem, Gary…ahem**)


Credit scores, sunscreen and paying attention in college.

All things I wish I would have cared more about in my 20’s.


You talk about babies how you used to talk about boys.

Girls nights used to consist of talking about every potential cute boy you’ve met that week.  Now they mostly consist of baby making…baby names…or actual babies.


You eat vegetables on purpose.

Gone are the days of “I’ll take fries with that.”  Not because I don’t really love fries…but because my hips love the more.


You like hanging out with your parents.

If you would have asked the 18 year old me if I would ever enjoy the company of my parents, I would thrown a righteous eye roll at you.  But what do you know…I actually like them now.


Hangovers last multiple days.

I mean…can I get an amen.  It’s like the 30 year old me is anti-fun.  I hope I live long enough to see the hangover cure invented.


Yoga pants.

The end.


30, you know you



In my profession you meet you a lot of amazing couples.  I have been truly lucky to work some incredible people but every once in a while someone comes along that just fits.  Jess is one of those people to me.  From the first time I met her I knew I didn’t only want to be her wedding photographer but her friend.  Because she has this way of lighting up the room and making you feel instantly better about anything.  She’s the kind of thoughtful that brings tears to your eyes and is not afraid to let you know just how grateful she is for you.  She has been such a source of happiness in my life and getting to know her has been truly amazing.  She is so kind, funny, loves country music, an amazing wife to Jake (who is also awesome!), genuine and just an overall solid human being.  Not to mention she basically made my photo brain explode at her wedding by giving us SO much time for sunset portraits.  This girl gets me. 😉  Jess is the epitome of #wcw and I can’t wait for you get to know her….





So Lauren came to me asking if I would like to be featured on her #WCW blog and my initial reaction was YES!!!  I was so excited and giddy because I always enjoy reading her blog posts so I couldn’t wait to be apart of it.  After that initial excitement, the thinking cap came on and I thought…okay now what?  What on earth am I going to write about??  Well that’s actually a lie, I first looked to see if the 25th fell on a Wednesday that was close so Lauren could post this on that date (we kind of have an obsession with the 25th – first date, engagement, wedding, the list goes on).  Any who… it didn’t work out so that’s why you’re reading this today and it’s not the 25th.  So here goes nothing.  :)


There is something that I always seem to get from people… “You are always so happy!” … “You always have a smile on your face!” “You are always so positive!”  Well I will be the first to admit that, while I always try to live my life by seeing the glass half full, I too have my days and moments where I feel like my world is crumbling down.  I have learned that it is okay to not always have everything under control, because life is not always controllable.  I have my good days, my bad days, my “I don’t want to get out of bed days.”  The funny thing is, when I read all of these #WCW blogs, I find myself smiling because there are so many things I can relate to from every single post; so I hope mine can do the same for others.  I hope by the end of this, you will not feel alone.  One of my favorites is Lauren’s “I throw away Tupperware when the food inside is too gross.”  That one still makes me chuckle because I do the exact same thing!  So here is my best attempt at my “real life” …


I hate doing laundry… I don’t mind putting the clothes in.  It’s the folding and hanging up.  So most of the time, I leave it in the dryer and take out what I need day-by-day.  My husband hates it and then I get frustrated because my clothes get wrinkly.


I once destroyed my car because I “forgot” to get my oil changed and a hole burned through my engine… That sure was an expensive lesson and a day full of tears.  Make sure to get your oil changed on time!


I stress about everything and everyone.


Sometimes I do NEED to eat that whole bag of chocolate chip cookies.


I freak out when I have to go to the doctor or dentist.  I once went to the dentist and came out with 10 cavities… how does that even happen???  Then I regret eating that whole bag of cookies.


I’m constantly asking myself if I am in the right profession.  Still trying to figure out where I really fit in, in life.


My worst fear in life is not being able to become a mom.


I am sometimes late on paying bills… whoops.


Jake and I are STILL learning things about each other daily.  Even after dating for 10 years before getting married, we don’t have each other all figured out!


My best friend and I are the queens of complaining.  I think complaining to each other is sort of like our therapy.


I am in constant fear of failing and doubt myself a lot.


I am an auntie to not only my precious nephew Joey… but also to my two perfect angel nephews who I know are looking down on and watching over me everyday.  I would be lying if I said I didn’t still struggle with that hurt in my heart but learning that time does help heal.


I hate when Jake snores… and its gotten worse over the years.  Refer back up to where I said that we are still learning things about each other.


Marriage is NOT easy!!  Sometimes we disagree but at the end of the day… we always love each other and he truly is my best friend and someone I am so proud to call my hubby!


I’m still trying to figure out how we are STILL broke.


I do not wash my hands with my wedding rings on…. I’m convinced it will ruin them.  #noitwont


The city of Chicago hates me… When I lived there during school, I got ticketed, booted and towed all in the same day.  Once again, that day ended in LOTS of tears.


Even at the age of 26… I STILL need my mom.


I have issues with anxiety.  It is something that I am continuously working on.


I get jealous.


I Google everything… Any sort of pain quickly turns into me convincing myself that I’m dying.


I can’t go a week without eating Chipotle.  ECOLI will not stop me.


I miss being a kid sometimes – Some days I wish I didn’t have the responsibilities and stresses that you gain when becoming an adult.  If only I knew this when I was little instead of always wishing I could “grow up!”


I am obsessed with being an aunt/god mommy…. My nephew is the light in my life and a great reminder to what life is all about.  His smile, laugh and love can turn my horrible day around instantly and I think that is incredibly powerful.


I have horrible grammar skills… so I apologize for all the grammatical errors in this post.


I am always wishing I had more time to just relax and not do anything.  But when I finally get that time, I get bored and have to do something.


I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.


I could go on and on… But I think that paints a good picture of the crazy and imperfect life I call my own.  People say your life completely changes when you get married…. We’re still trying to figure that one out but what I do know is that our wedding was the happiest, most perfect day of our life.  Then you go home and reality sinks back in… You’re no longer living that fairytale that you got to experience for a few days while on a newlywed high and I’m realizing that it’s OKAY.  If life were so perfect all the time, we wouldn’t know what true happiness was because we wouldn’t know of struggle and hurt and all the things that make happiness real.  I think life works in mysterious ways and I continue to hear a certain song on the radio after a really bad day and it makes me take a step back and remind myself that I am truly blessed in life.  So it is with that that I will end my blog post… “It’s where I hit my knees and thank the lord for this life of mine. Man I love this life”… Yes it’s a country song. (“I Love this Life” – LoCash).


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  • Barbra - February 3, 2016 - 2:13 pm

    Proud to be your Madre! Now don’t stress if there aren’t a lot of comments! ☺️ReplyCancel


Remember back in the school days when you had to write the date on everything?  Like it always had to be in the upper left hand corner of your paper.  I feel like now-a-days (especially during off season) I can go days not knowing what the actual date is.  If I don’t have to write it down or be somewhere…most of the time I have no clue.  So when I woke up today to see it was February 1st it gave me a little gut check.  For a lot of reasons but mostly because January has come and gone and I haven’t sat down and really hashed out what I’m hoping for this year.  Last year I changed the way I did my goals.  Instead of breaking them up into a personal and business list…I made one giant one.  Because it’s all my life.  And I vowed to not measure my success in a year by numbers or dollar signs…but by the way that year felt.  So this year I’m following suit and doing just that.  I think of all the years, 2016 feels the most unknown to me.  Like I just have absolutely no idea what to expect…but I’m at least going to try.


Hopes for 2016

Shoot weddings that make me feel something for couples that remind me how lucky I am to call this my job.

Photograph Giuliana Rancic…or at least get her to buy a pair of our shoes.  Or even just wear them…I’ll buy them for her.  😉  (This WILL happen one day!)

Continue to grow Healing Heels.

Get on Ellen!

Stay real.  Social media blows me away these days with how much fake “real” there is.  So it’s my goal to put it all out there…the good, bad and incredibly messy.

Move.  Gary and I are moving and it’s a GIANT ball of stress for me right now.  I’ve lived in this little condo for 9 years and it’s so sad to think off all the memories we’ll be leaving behind (not to mention all the stuff I’ve accumulated).  But I’m excited for the next phase of our life.  (Hellllllllo backyard!  More on the move coming soon…I promise.)

Be intentional with the people I surround myself with.

Be the best wife, friend, aunt, sister, daughter I can be.

Hire an intern for Healing Heels.  (I don’t know why this freaks me out so much…but it does.)

Continue to stay healthy.

Grow my hair out until I turn into one of those people they make TLC specials about.  I kid, I kid.  But seriously…can’t stop, won’t stop.

Get smarter with money.  This doesn’t mean save a certain amount or make a certain amount.  I just want to be smarter and more conscious with the money we do have.  (aka I have a shopping problem)

Get comfortable with confrontation.  I’ll be honest, I’m a wuss.  A big one.  Mostly because I care way too much about people “liking” me and making other people happy.  Which is why I would rather die than send something back at a restaurant.  But I am now running two businesses and I’m 30…it’s time to grow up.

Give myself way more breaks.  Perfection is not real and sometimes as healthy as that grilled fish is you just need to order a pizza.  And skip the gym.

Stay in my lane.  My success is mine.  And there is plenty of it to go around.  Something I hope to remember more in 2016.

Choose happy.


Feels for 2016

Content, inspired, inspiring, progress, happiness, laughter, peace, loved, driven, fun, relaxed, fulfilled, light, passionate, adventurous, interested, loving, curious


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Yesterday, I was a little more tired than usual.  Maybe it’s the winter…or the extremely hard workout I endured that day.  But I just felt sleepy all day.  Also I have been replacing my afternoon coffee with tea and let’s be real…it’s not even close to the same.  But anyways…it was that time of evening where the sky was getting darker so your mind thinks it’s basically time for bed.  I caved and crawled into my cozy spot on the couch for a little rest.  Goose whined at me until I got up and picked him up on the couch (more on that in a second)…and I quietly drifted off.  I had like seven blankets on me and goose snoring on my lap…I was good.  All the sudden Goose abruptly stood up.  Not to do anything, just to stand there and stare.  He’s an old man so I don’t even try to figure out what’s going through his head anymore.  Then all the sudden he spews all over my leg.  Like on my skin.  Needless to say…my lovely slumber came to a very quick and nasty end.  Goose my man…please don’t puke on me again.  Please.


You guessed it…random story means it’s another installment of random thoughts of the day!


  • Dog puke is disgusting.  And I once again question how I will even successfully be a mother.  To a human.
  • Goose is in this new phase where he will not jump on the couch.  He’s destroyed the rug in our living room so his nails catch on it when he jumps.  It’s seriously the most annoying thing on the planet.   But I refuse to get a new rug because he’ll just mess that one up too.
  • Is anyone else obsessed with grapefruit juice?  Not the fake stuff…but the fresh squeezed.  I just want to drink it by the gallon.
  • I’ve been doing crossfit for a while now.  I promised myself I wouldn’t be one of those people that talks about it constantly…but as I sit here right now unable to walk without waddling…I really want to talk about it.
  • I go through these alcohol phases.  Chardonnay is always my jam but sometimes I get really into something else for a while.  And while I always love me some Champagne…I am just obsessed with it at the moment.  Life’s a celebration!
  • Gary hit his 20 years in the military.  We haven’t officially celebrated yet and his retirement isn’t totally official but that’s a big deal if you ask me so I just had to brag for a minute.
  • I’ve been doing some major cleaning out of my house and it’s ridiculous the things I convince myself I will one day need.  Like darkroom photo paper.  Or size 6 jeans.
  • The other day I dropped at 25# plate at the gym and it literally rolled in a circle and ran right into my ankle.  I mean how does that even happen?  My ankle has turned every color since and I’m convinced it’s broken.
  • Have you watched the Chelsea Handler series on Netflix?  (thanks Sara!)  It’s laugh out loud funny.  Especially the one on marriage.
  • I really want to hire an intern for Healing Heels but I’m too embarrassed at the state of my office.  That is legitimately the reason I have not.  (However, if anyone knows a shoe designing, aspiring entrepreneur, business savvy student that is also cool to hang out with, tell them to email me!)
  • I’m a little jealous the big blizzard didn’t hit Chicago.  I mean what good is it living in this city if we don’t get snowed in every once in a while??
  • And in conclusion…I will leave you with an adorable photo of Goose.  Even though he can be really disgusting sometimes…he’s still the cutest little snuggler around.


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I’ve been thinking a lot about success lately.  Remember those posters back in the day in elementary school?  They’d say S•U•C•C•E•S•S across the bottom and have like a picture of Tiger Woods on some magnificent golf course?  Or Mount Everest?  I’m still not sure how Mount Everest defines success.  Unless you’re some avid climber or something.  And we all know where Tiger Woods ended up.  But nonetheless….I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately.


The picture that would go on my SUCCESS poster.   It goes back and forth between sitting on my futuristic back deck, watching my kids play and sipping my Chardonnay under the market lights…running a company that can really make a big difference in this world…taking photos of people that fuel this passion inside me…and living life to the absolute fullest.  A lot of times I convince myself that all those pictures can’t fit together.  That I have to pick one and tuck the others away where no one will see them.  But here’s the thing…the kind of success I want can’t fit in a picture.  It can’t be wrapped up in a pretty bow.  Because it’s a feeling.  It’s the perfect combination of that fiery drive deep in the pit of my stomach and the peace and contentment of a fulfilling life.  I think it’s easy to fake it.  To put up pretty pictures and shout it from the rooftops.  To make sure everyone sees and hears just how successful you are.  But success is quiet.  It’s deep down in your gut.  It’s nothing that can’t be put into words because it’s the hustle and drive and unwillingness to accept anything less.  It’s not a caption on an instagram photo.  It’s not a number of likes.  It’s you.  Your life.  And what you choose to make of it.   And I say let’s make it count.


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