I had something totally different that I had planned to write about for today. But, last night was, well, it wasn't a great night. It was a shitty night. I am an optimist, so before I finally fell asleep, I thanked God for all of the positives in my life (which are many). I still did not sleep well, so I was up before 5:00 a.m.

 Get SEEN Issue #7 at  seeninprint.co

Get SEEN Issue #7 at seeninprint.co

When I checked my email, I saw something I've been waiting for for a little while now; SEEN Magazine Issue #7 was just released. THE issue, the issue with my first print editorial featuring Kara. So many emotions came flooding through me that I couldn't even look at it yet. I actually put my phone down and got all welled up. In that moment, I thought about all of the times I've been put down in some way shape or form, many of them recently.

It wears on you to feel like you're not good enough, even when you KNOW you are trying so hard. I want my children to see success that they can model, the kind that will bring them not just financial freedom, but happiness. I want to give them the world.

When I was finally able to chill my emotions a bit, I read Kara's editorial. It is beautiful; she is beautiful; her words are inspiring and her images, MY work, is beautiful. I did that, and it's in a magazine. Her story lifted me up today: 

"Being told you can't become the person you want to be is both heartbreaking and demoralizing. I knew I had to become a stronger person in order to block out this part and do what I needed to do for myself, and not for anyone else."

That hit me in my WHY: "You are worth it. You are worth happiness, you are worth love and acceptance for who you are and who you strive to be." You should not feel like you have to prove your worth to friends, family, significant others or anyone else. Know who you are, find strength in yourself and you will be successful. Every time I get behind my lens, my focus is to show you how strong and beautiful you truly are, so that you never forget, even when you are tested. And you will be tested.

So, Thank you Kara Halpin for inspiring me today, there's a photo of you under "beautiful" in the dictionary, I swear - make shit happen. Thank you for my dear friend and amazingly talented Makeup Artist, Claudia Frustaci of Ciao Bella Spa. Thanks to Cassie for your lighting assistance. Thank you SEEN Magazine for this editorial (and for it showing up this morning in my inbox, it was more timely than you know), thank you to all of you who support me, always.

Today is International Women's Day and while different people are honoring that in different ways (that include taking the day off), I am here, working harder, next to my strong, beautiful daughter sharing my accomplishment. Because I want her to see a strong woman and I don't want her to know what a day without me would be like. YOU BE YOU.

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY.

Now, head on over to seeninprint.co and order your copy of SEEN Magazine Issue #7. Feel free to frame it if you'd like.