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Fresh Brewed Friday – My weekly “coffee date” with you all

Happenings: At exactly 2:01am on Friday, as I lay snuggled in my bed, I watched the Gilmore Girls revival! I didn’t know what to expect but I loved it all the same. Seeing all the familiar characters and the next chapter in their lives made me so happy! I lost count of how many times I cried tears of joy!

Took part in Small Business Saturday! As a co-owner of Dwell & Grace, it was fun to actually be in a shop on this awesome day, greeting and thanking customers. It was even more fun that I could spend the day working with my mom!

After a successful Small Business Saturday, my mom, my sister, and I packed up my car and headed to Door County for a girls getaway weekend to celebrate my birthday! We stayed at my favorite hotel, Edgewater Resort, drank lots of coffee, slept in, sat out by the water, explored our favorite shops, and ate as much delicious food as possible. I live for open, work-free weekends and spontaneous trips.

I finished half of my Christmas shopping all thanks to the amazing deals on Cyber Monday. Friends, family members, and clients – get ready because some awesome gifts are coming your way soon!

My birthday was this past Tuesday! I am now 26 years old and I had the best birthday ever. I celebrated with my closest friends and family members and that’s all I wanted. It never matters what I do on my birthday, as long as I’m surrounded by my loved ones.

New Favorite: All the sweet presents and thoughtful messages I received for my birthday! Thank you all SO much! You helped make my birthday so very special!

Thankful: This week, I’m beyond thankful that I had the privilege of celebrating another birthday. I don’t fear growing older, I embrace every part of it. I know not everyone is as lucky as me and I never want to let a day, let alone a year, go to waste. Thank you to everyone who participated in my birthday week! Here’s to another awesome year full of travel, fun, adventures, and new experiences!

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To say I love the Kussow Family would be an understatement. I absolutely adore them! I started photographing this beautiful little family FOUR years ago when Krystal was pregnant with their oldest daughter, Charlotte. From there, I watched them grow as we photographed Charlotte’s newborn session to her one year session. When I received the news that they were expecting baby number two, I was elated! Baby Amelia arrived and she was just as cute as her big sister!

Now, little Charlotte is already four years old and Amelia is two. They are still as adorable as can be! I’m so thrilled I had the chance to photograph the entire Kussow Family again this Fall and I cannot wait to watch their little girls continue to grow! I love watching them grow into their little personalities. I swear they get cuter every year!

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Today is my 26th birthday. On this day, I’m celebrating the fact that I’ve been blessed with another amazing year in my life. This past year was full of growth and rebuilding. After struggling with the hardest year of my life at 24 years old, I knew 25 would be a long, bumpy road full of high highs and low lows. But today, on my 26th birthday, I know I’ve made it through. I passed tests and grew in more ways than I ever thought were possible. I prevailed and found joy in life again.

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This past year was a whirlwind to say the least. Reflecting on the last twelve months, I’m amazed by all that has happened.

I traveled to dozens of new cities across the nation and even made it to Mexico and Canada this year.
• I worked on my house to make it feel more like a home and now I love waking up here every single day.
I photographed over 22 amazing weddings and tons of family sessions.
• I co-hosted not one but TWO photography workshops this year and fell in love with educating.
• I met photography idols and became friends with some amazing people.
• I attended awesome conferences and retreats like WPPI, Pursuit Conference, Creative at Heart, and The Rising Tide Society Leaders’ Retreat.
I hosted 12 more incredible Rising Tide Society meetups throughout the community and volunteered my time at my favorite local non-profit organizations.
• I worked on finding balance in my work life and my personal life and gave myself permission to say “No” sometimes.
• My work was featured in national magazines and blogs including The Knot and I was even recognized as a Woman to Know for my city.
I found time to actually be with my family and friends and not stress about all the work that needed to get done.
• I worked on strengthening my relationship with God and making time for Him everyday.
I launched a new business with my mom and I cannot wait to watch it grow into this new year.
• I hugged my family and friends closer and tried to love them more fiercely. I know what it’s like to lose people and I never want to go a day without showing love to those around me.
• I learned more about myself than I ever thought I could.

I welcome 26 with open arms and an open heart! I’m excited for the next chapter in my journey and I know it will lead me to unbelievable places and discoveries I never knew existed.

I’m grateful for all that has happened over this last year and I’m hopeful for this next year of my life. That’s what birthdays are all about for me. They represent possibilities for new opportunities, new growth, and new adventures. I never fear growing older because I know it’s a privilege not many can experience.

Thank you to all who celebrated this year with me. Thank you for being there in the tough times and the best times. Thank you for all your continued love and support along this journey. Here’s to another year full of fun, adventures, and new experiences. I hope you will all join me in creating new memories.

Cheers to 26!

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  • November 29, 2016 - 6:19 pm

    Martha - Happy birthday!! Thanks for sharing these milestones. Hope 26 is everything you wish for.ReplyCancel