It was 2:30AM, I was up brushing my teeth and trying to put on a little blush. It always happens when I travel – I have these thoughts that I will curl my hair and look fabulous on arrival but then the alarm goes off and I question if yoga pants are appropriate travel attire paired with sneakers. Drew was half awake (I am not the most quiet human ever – sorry babe) and I was excited but exhausted. As I lugged my nearly overweight bag out the door and kissed him goodbye, I realized that this was it, I was finally heading to California – in the most roundabout series of flights ever. Let’s just say I dragged my feet a bit when booking this trip, I waited too long and therefore had the pleasure of two layovers, three flights, and what felt like a million hours traveling to reach Santa Barbara.
I landed and immediately noticed a girl with a tripod – surely she had to be part of this epic group that would be camping in the canyons for the weekend. Sure enough, she was. We said hello and waited for our bags. I watched the worker unload one bag at a time, waiting for my huge gray suitcase to show it’s weary face… suddenly, the cart was empty. I quickly and assuredly asked the guy if more were coming – the answer? No. My bag was officially lost and there I stood in the only clothes I had (which were so unglamorously awesome, I laughed.) I had always heard to pack a change of clothes – at least extra underwear in your carry on bag, but I had deemed my gear bag as only that and totally ignored the warning signs. No worries, I am sure it was just one stop behind me and would be coming soon.
Well, long story short, it was actually lost – in Chicago. I was the idiot who wore the cute ankle boots to camp that was suddenly filled with mud due to the rainstorms that wouldn’t let up. I had one of those “rock bottom” moments when I got to my cabin that was empty and there I sat with a camera and not an ounce of clothing. I sat on the bed, wondering what the heck I had gotten myself into and laughing at the irony that my blog post for the day was about how the adventures always work out. How was this one going to play out when I literally had one pair of underwear for a long weekend? One sweet instagram follower, Emily, offered to bring me shoes and sweats (my request, of course – the glam factor was officially gone.)
After over four hours spent on the phone with two different airlines with multiple representatives, a few tears and a million raindrops, I felt like I would never see my bag filled with my favorite bracelets, my new Sam Edelman booties, and my brand new tripod. Surely, it was gone and I would have to wear the same jeans and sweatshirt for the remainder of the trip. I reminded myself that it was all part of the adventure and pinky promised that I would never not pack a change of clothes in my carry on – lesson learned, airlines. Two days into the trip I got a call in the middle of a class – I ran out the front door barefoot and straight into the mud due to the excitement! My bag had been found and was being delivered to me. I had never hugged 50 lbs of canvas tighter, changing into clean clothes was heavenly and it left me with a story to tell… today me and my $5 St. Vinny’s suitcase (the replacement for my poor bag who ended it’s journey on the carousel in Milwaukee covered in duct tape due to a broken zipper) are heading home to Wisconsin and staying put for quite sometime…
Why head out? There’s a lot more to read, feast your eyes on these:
Jumping into puddles with over 300 photographers from all over the world is one of those out of body experiences where you kind of feel like you met your long lost twin and that life would somehow never be the same. You see, the whole idea of putting a bunch of people who usually work from home, alone, in solidarity into a heap of fun and tents and mud is a little overwhelming in an awesome way. It’s like being surrounded by a mass of humans who “get it.” There were so many incredible people in one little camp in California, it was kind of mind blowing to try and comprehend what was happening.
One common theme throughout the weekend was keeping your head down to what other people are doing. Comparison is the thief of joy, I’ve written about this on so many levels but it still rings so true in our lives. In a hyper social world that shares everything from vacation to what they ate for lunch, we are constantly bombarded with the idea that everyone else is living these crazy amazing, adventure filled lives while we are sitting in bed blogging. (Guilty.) We put out all of this energy that we have it all together and figured out when in reality we are wondering what the heck is interesting enough in our life to post on Instagram.
I am starting a mini series on comparison because it’s something that our lives are constantly bombarded with and yet we never seem to find the cure (hint: there isn’t one.) Instead of curing it, let’s take a step back and see where we, as humans, are at with ourselves. Chin up, head down is something I want to incorporate in my life a little more. To not allow people to make me feel inferior while not caring what the heck is going on in this world and instead focusing my energy on what makes my heart beat. You wouldn’t believe the amount of conversation that surrounded this very subject, people who you would think felt on top of the world admitted to the struggle of the comparison game, so let’s remove the veil and get real, like reallllyyy real. Let’s take about how we ward off this nasty bug and create for ourselves and our clients, shall we?
Let’s get real, I mean really real. Let’s talk life, click a link below.
I have no words for what happened on Sunday – I sit here in bed with a lump in my throat and question if all of that really was real. After a lunch filled with coffee and biscuits, we hiked up two miles to a peak that would take your breath away. At the top of the mountain, two people promised to spend forever together – laughing, protecting, and watching cat videos when they needed a laugh. Joyce and Serkan will be celebrating their love among family and friends in Mexico in just a few short days, but before they left, they had to make it official and that was something that meant a lot to them.
They wanted adventure, promises documented, and a day that was unforgettable. They got just that (along with two new friends who feel like we are forever connected over biscuits and hiking.) There will be plenty more of this event, an explanation when the words flow a bit better. For now, I want you to see a preview of the adventure we were on yesterday in Seattle when Serkan and Joyce eloped in the mountains of the Rattlesnake Ledge.
Don’t go just yet, there’s so much more for your pretty eyes to see:
We all remember those goofy “No Fear” shirts that we proudly wore as children… because let’s be honest, at that stage of our lives we were more afraid of the monsters under the bed than most rational fears that follow us into our adult lives. Just thinking about those shirts makes me smile because at the time, we probably didn’t comprehend what they even meant. A sweet blogger, Lara, once said “To name your fears is to destroy them.” A bold sentiment, but something I believe to be true.
These type of posts usually hang out in the queue for awhile never getting published because it’s way easier to talk about the fluff of life: goals, dreams, naps, and pups… but fear? Well, that’s getting down to the root of one’s soul and that is a lot scarier than fluff. (Speaking of fluff, I am now craving marshmallows… mmm, s’mores.) But let’s get down to the real stuff: fear.
We all have them whether they be personal, work related, relationship based, or life challenges – fear is a real and prominent piece of our lives daily. Whether it’s feeling held back in the workplace or being to afraid to forgive someone who has hurt you, maybe you are scared to ask for the promotion or fearful about telling someone you love them. Fear casts a shadow that can follow us through each and every day and if we allow it, it can create a void in our lives. Sometimes they are easier to put our fingers on but sometimes they are so deeply rooted in our souls that we couldn’t put it into words, even if we tried.
I am afraid of a lot of things: being alone, being criticized by someone I respect, being respected in the industry, being liked…. the list goes on but the thing that is within each and every fear is failure. For me, fear and failure go hand in hand. I hate strongly dislike the word failure. It makes me sick to my stomach to breathe to word. Failing in business, failing in marriage, failing in inspiring, failing the industry – all real fears that work their way through my life. I gauge success not on accomplishments but on failures and that is something that is terrifying and real. The first step to getting past fear is to acknowledge them, to know that they are there and exist but then to take action and to let go. Guys, just let.it.go.
We aren’t going to move anywhere if we stay in the shadow of fear, we must pull ourselves into the light and put ourselves out there. Life changes when you finally take hold of those fears and send them packing, whether it’s taking just a small step towards something you want or refocusing on the accomplishment over the fear. Acknowledge the accomplishments, celebrate them, and overcome. I challenge you to write three things in your life that are centered around fear, got it? (You might feel sick to your stomach, it’s okay… fear is a real thing.) Now, what steps can you take (even baby ones) to move in the direction of your dreams? Is it making the phone call, scheduling a meeting, praying for forgiveness, sending a letter? Don’t allow your life to get lost in fear. What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail? Now get out and do that…. so what if you fail? I’d like to bet the fear was gone with the simple act of doing.
Stick around, there’s a lot of cool things for you to read. Click below:
THANK YOU. No, really, thank you. Earlier this year I posted a little blog about five things I wanted more of in my life (beyond more naps - because let’s be honest, I really want more naps.) It was merely a wish list that I was throwing out there for you to either accept or dismiss. I shared my dreams for the off-season and the adventures that I hoped would come my way. Three of those five included: shooting more video, capturing an elopement, and shooting in the mountains. Well, guess what? I am off to shoot photos and video of an elopement in the mountains near Seattle. What’s even more amazing is the people I am shooting for and with… this couple, oh this couple. They have the sweetest of stories, a focus on love, and a sense of adventure. They want to discover, adventure, enjoy the world together and they want that all to begin atop a mountain with only the two of them and someone who can legally marry them… Yes, we get to be official witnesses to this marriage.
When I say the word we, I am referring to myself and my dear friend Tami, who I met in Seattle a little over a year ago. We both participated in a CreativeLIVE course together and there our friendship began! When she caught wind that I was returning to our city, she was all in and wanted to join the adventure. We will be flying out and spending five days among the city that not only brought us together as friends, but captured our heart through our two visits to the rainy city last year. Even better than that, we will be staying with a couple who I absolutely adore and just met in Costa Rica when Drew and I were there a month ago. They happily opened their home to us and have been nothing short of amazing in our planning process…. Talk about worlds colliding?
Well, Universe. Thank you. Thank you for not throwing my dreams back in my face, for allowing me to dream out loud and for somehow getting everything to fall into place just as it should. Also, thank you for Dan from GoDaddy who helped me fix my broken blog. I lost sleep last night thinking that a years worth of posts and life were gone, Dan, I would kiss you if I was next to you. (Sorry Drew!) It’s off to Seattle for the third time in a year, I am forever giddy at this opportunity. Life is so good. Grabbing the umbrella and packing my St. Vinny’s suitcase, here we come!
Oh hey, it’s Friday – stick around and waste some time…. seriously.
I am a hopeless romantic who lives for telling love stories. I am addicted to hot lattes, yoga pants, and macaroni and cheese. I am a wife to my beloved and a devoted puppy mom. I am a wedding blogger, a fashion fanatic, and a woman who seeks adventure. I’m just a Midwest gal who loves the north woods and wants to travel the world.
I am in this to tell stories.
Love stories, about couples just like you.