Oh hi! I'm Melissa, and here's a little background.  Besides the obvious and most important aspects of my life, you know, being a mom and wifey and stuff, let me tell you what else fills my head besides dirty dishes and cleaning legos off the floor. I'm a creative. An entrepreneur. A photographer. A broadcaster. A journalist. A writer. Blah blah blah.  But let me tell you honestly what absolutely lights my fire. My absolute joy is helping others succeed. Period.   

as seen in

Co-Founder of Parachut.co ; the first club offering endless access to top of the line photo gear

Host of NIkon's Work. Live. Succeed. Watch here

Co-Founder of FramedNetwork.com: Behind the Scenes Videos with very talented artists

Editor of Photofocus.com: Educational blog and top podcast on iTunes

Co-Founder of FramedAwards.com: Over 400,000 voters nominated their favorite photographers of 2013

Color Commentator for Fox Sports Net

Marketing for Seattle Seahawks

BLOG POST FROM JUNE 2014

life was charming

I was the only girl of five boys. I was the daughter of a small-town mom and a federal judge-father that loved me.  I lived a very charmed life.  Now before you slap me in the face, I write this to give you context. And I tell you the following to help you understand where life took me just a short time ago.  

When I say "charming", I mean perfect, in every sense of the All-American lifestyle.  I worked hard for it, but for whatever reason, I was given many opportunities. Singing groups, performing, musical endeavors, a supportive family, high school state championships, drawers full of newspaper clippings, collegiate volleyball athlete, Sports Broadcaster, NBC, Fox Sports, Marketing for the Seahawks and then marriage.  I found a man that makes me breakfast every morning, massages my feet, loves our daughters, works hard and encourages me to be anything I strive to be.  

Since I can remember, I always had a goal, always worked hard for it and put everything I had into achieving it.    

But something happened just one year ago that shattered my gratitude.  

I quit work and stop growing my businesses that focused on helping others succeed.  I stopped creating and decided to become a stay-at-home mom and focus all efforts on raising good, strong young women.  I needed to do it.  And I know I will never regret that decision.  But while my girls were happy, I quietly had an identity crisis.  I became selfish.  I felt that my home suddenly wasn't good enough.  I wanted more money to shop. I felt more deserving.  I compared my life to the fabricated lives on social media. I started resenting my husband.  I became less and less patient with my children. I felt walls closing in on my talents and for the first time in my life started resenting and judging those around me that were fulfilled.

I did NOT need a job.  I did NOT need a hobby.  I needed a purpose.    

“From successful careers to a stay-at-home mom, I lost my purpose. I loved being home with my children but I lost my direction and became unfulfilled, lost and resentful. I quickly had to find out who I was and how to fulfill my gifts and talents that I was given.
 

a woman at war

I needed change...and fast.  I could see myself going down the road of an unhappy, materialistic, gossiping, social media-focused sleaze.  I expected too much of my husband, too much of my life, too much of my children and too much of myself.  This, I knew, could be the absolute cause of creating a life without soul, unfulfilled direction and a broken home. 

I believe that I was a woman at war.  Not with men, not with the world, but with myself.  The level of expectations I had on myself to be perfect, to be successful in the eyes of our culture, and the fears of myself and my loved ones not living up to those expectations was tainting my happiness and even worse, the happiness of those around me.  

 

“It wasn’t until I realized that in order to find myself, I once again had to lose my self in service, in purpose and in developing my talents for the sole divine reason they were given to me. To help others. Period.
 

 

a bigger purpose

I started realizing that many women around me were experiencing similar feelings of emotion.  They, too, felt that they were constantly comparing themselves to others.  They felt a downward spiral of needing more.  And this "woman at war" concern was and still is becoming absolutely more prevalent. This plague is a dark force of negativity forging forward, drowning individuals, splitting families and ruining marriages.    I noticed these women who were at war with themselves projected their anger towards men and towards our society's measures of " feministic equality".  

Women are equal, but we are equal because we hold different talents that make us unique.  Whether you hold a career, whether you're a mom, a student, a widow or a professional, my argument stays the same. We are mothers, sisters, partners, friends, nurturers, and givers.  We are strong, positive, powerful, influential, educated and purposeful.  And until we utilize the talents, passions and inner genius that is unique to us and for the purpose it was given, we will be trapped in a war with ourselves.  You, my friend, are here for a purpose.

And my purpose is to help you live it. 

xoxo