A lot of people have  A S K E D  where in the world I came up with the name #Fly. So many, in fact, that I felt it deserved it’s own post.

One day, a day that was filled with an uncomfortable amount of pain, I was sitting at my computer editing away. I decided to take a break for a second and jumped on Facebook. As I was scrolling quickly through the feed there was a Q U O T E  that caught my eye.

I’ll preface this next paragraph with saying I am not a quote  K I N D  of person. Or, at least I wasn’t at the time. I didn’t get the feel good mushy  F E E L I N G S  when I read them; until that moment. The moment I read a quote by Erin Hanson. A woman I know nothing about except that she changed my life forever.


“What if I fall? Oh, buy my darling, what if you fly?”


I couldn’t  B R E A T H. My heart was racing and my palms started to sweat. I read it over and over a gain.

I was afraid to fall. I was terrified to fall. Flat on my face. I had experienced so many hard things that year but knew I was C A P A B L E  of being more than I was.

From that moment on, whenever I would post something to social media of me doing something B R A V E , scary, independent, or something that pushed me out of my comfort zone thus creating growth, I would put #Fly under the image quietly documenting my growth.

As I was working on this P R O J E C T  and the decision was made to continue on it needed a name.

How fitting, in my mind, to call it #Fly.

And now I ask you…what if  Y O U fly?

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“So, they aren’t hurt like they have a broken arm, but they are hurt in their  H E A R T S ? And you try and help them feel better?”


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H O N E S T Y  is something I value and try to teach my children.


So, when my seven year old daughter asks questions, I try my best to answer them…honestly.


“Mom, what do you do for #Fly? When you go to the mountains for 2 days for work, what do you do there?”


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I have thought long and hard about whether or not to share this. This was an  I N T I M A T E  conversation that I had with my child and I want to make sure I don’t cause her to feel uncomfortable by sharing our conversations as I am a  S A F E  place to her.


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It keeps coming to mind that I should…so I am.


“Remember how we have talked about how  O U R  body is special? And how  W E  are in charge of our body? And…remember how we talked about how we have special places on O U R body that we should keep special and  S A V E  them for their  B E A U T I F U L  purpose? Well, sometimes there are people in this world that don’t listen when someone says ‘No.’ And, sometimes there are tricky people who decide to touch other people’s beautiful private areas when they shouldn’t. When that happens it can hurt people and make them feel bad. I get to go help them not feel bad anymore and show them how beautiful they are. Sometimes bad and hard things happen but that doesn’t mean that we are bad. Do you understand that?”


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“So, they aren’t hurt like they have a broken arm, but they are hurt in their hearts? And you try and  H E L P  them feel better?”


I hate that these conversations need to happen. I hate that I have to teach my children about the ugly in this world.  My hope is that even though she knows of the ugly she can choose live beautifully amongst the chaos. Knowledge is power and I’d love for her to be                       P O W E R F U L. 




Special  T H A N K S  to Mikki Vandermyde (photographer), Brooke Gibbons with Brooke Gibbons Photography, and Amy Blood with Signature Brides for helping  S E V E N  women #Fly.


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#Fly had the O P P O R T U N I T Y to go to the Younique Foundation retreat again this week.



Many have asked to see our set up for when we go. Here it is! It all came together so nicely. We’ve got picture frames with quotes spread out around the room, also. The natural L I G H T is amazing creating the perfect spot for what we do. 

IMG_9764pinimageWe were able to give out 10 more necklaces this week. 10! I LOVE how these necklaces instantly connect us all together. Dogeared graciously D O N A T E D the necklaces for this past retreat.


The C R E W:

Brittany Sawatzki with Tanglez Hair and Makeup, April Benincosa Francom with Image Studios 360, and Me…Annie Vandermyde with #Fly. These ladies are talented. Getting to hang out with them? Even more A M A Z I N G. It is important to be able to go with the flow and work together. These gals were absolute gems. Turns out they have worked together for ages. Who knew?IMG_5686pinimageYF Sep 28-29_1766pinimageYF Sep 28-29_1760pinimageYF Sep 28-29_1759pinimageThis little P I N K square has quickly become one of my favorite things. One of the photographers brought one along last retreat and it was a hit! Giving these brave souls an instant image of their fresh new look is priceless.
YF Sep 28-29_1757pinimageDuring this retreat the women go through many different types of T H E R A P Y. The one I find most intriguing is art journaling. I, too, have started a type of art journal and it is so beneficial to my sanity. This painting caught my eye and it didn’t take long for me to figure out who’s it was. The gal who painted this is just as bold and bright as this piece.
YF Sep 28-29_2513pinimageAs I was walking around the cabin I was soaking in all of the details of this S A F E  H A V E N. To some this may just be a gathering place for reunions, parties, etc. But to 10 women each week during these retreats, this is a place of healing. A safe place to be vulnerable. Women in different stages of their healing who come to connect, progress, and find themselves again.


L U C K Y would be an appropriate word to describe how we feel at #Fly to have these experiences now imbedded in our hearts.

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“I think there comes a time in each of our lives and maybe even a specific moment when we become so painfully aware of a problem, that we can no longer dismiss it…” -Shelain Maxfield

This week we helped T E N woman #Fly. It was an incredible experience. The saying “Words won’t do it justice” would be fitting to use here. It was simply incredible.

Have you heard of the Younique Foundation? Go now and educate yourself on what they do. It is incredible. Their mission is to inspire hope in women who were sexually abused as children or adolescents by hosting them at a retreat, where they are uplifted by each other and learn skills that can help them find individual healing.



As our “about” video spread on Facebook the director of the Younique Foundation, Chris Yadon, came upon it. He reached out shortly after to see if we could figure out how to collaborate our efforts as we have the same gaol; to help woman who have fallen victim to abuse find hope and healing.

We are extremely humbled to be connected to such a beautiful and inspired organization. Seeing how brave these woman are to face this trauma head on is so inspiring.

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This is the crew of volunteers for our first Younique Foundation retreat. To say we felt lucky to have the talent we did is an absolute understatement.

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From left to right: Rebecca Johnson with Nhiya Kaye Photography, Annie Vandermyde CEO of #Fly, Morgan Sheer with Tulips Hair and Makeup, Tara Winsor with Winsor Photography, and Brittany Sawatzki with Tanlez Hair and Makeup.

Thank you for the support we continuously receive. It has moved us to tears on many occasions.

These retreats are being held 3 times a month. If you are an experienced photographer, or hair and makeup artist and would like to get involved feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to spread the joy of changing lives!


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I recently posed this question to my Facebook world:


“If you were given the challenge to make a difference with $500 what would you do with it? It could be used in your own life or to benefit the life of another.”


About a year ago I was given this challenge when my oldest brother, Adam, handed me $500. I had no idea what to do with it. I wanted to do good with this money and reach outside myself, but couldn’t think of anything that would make a lasting difference… until now.


I present to you #fly. The beginning of a non profit organization who takes women who have had a span of bad luck, women who need a reminder of just how beautiful they are, women who need to feel free, women who are willing to work hard to be independent and happy, and freeze time for them through a lens. My lens.



As I approached my 30th birthday, life as I knew it was drastically changing. In many ways it was good, and in many more ways it was hard.  To some 30 is a dreaded number. To me, it was welcomed with open arms. Some people go all crazy on their 30th birthday. I chose to do something different for myself. For a moment I reconsidered my long thought birthday wish, a simple yet monumental gift I had provided to others so many times. Could I sit on the other side of the lens and actually smile?  Could I feel beautiful?


This time was different for me. I put on my confident hat and embraced myself. I purchased some new clothes, shoes, and jewelry. I had a hair and makeup artist work her magic on me.  This photo session was a freeing experience for me in so many ways. Feel free to check out my entire session here.




What did I learn? That I am beautiful. That I can jump pretty high. That it’s ok to have the attention on you sometimes. That I should put on my confident hat on more often. Life is way more enjoyable.


When I look back at those pictures I remember feeling free. I remember feeling happy.


A few months ago I read a quote that stopped me in my tracks. It’s simple, but to me it is profound. “What if I fall? Oh, my darling, what if you fly?” I want to help women #fly.





I approached an amazing local foundation who focuses on transitional housing for woman who have left an abusive relationship and are working their way in to healing and recovery. As some of the woman approach graduating from their program they will be given the opportunity to #fly.


How far can $500 go? We’ll see! My goal is to provide new clothing and accessories, complete hair and makeup, and a full family photo session for 5 families.


I know what you are thinking. “Then what?” Exactly. I am in the beginning stages of networking and connecting with people who can either make a monetary donation, or deeply discount new clothing. I’d love to help as many woman as I can #fly.


1 down, 4 to go.


I recently worked with my first family. She bravely gave me permission to share her images. I really cant wait to show you more! Yes, she is stunning on the outside. But she is much more than that. She is strong. She is a fighter. She is something fierce; a mother to 2 amazing kids.

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