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It's crazy to think that it's been one month since my friend Melissa passed away. Grief as a way of coming in moments not expected, where all of sudden, I find myself crying. I think of her often, and how so many miss her too, especially her family and husband. If you don't know anything about Melissa, she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer a few years ago, after treatment she started a shop called Hope 25. Her dream was to grow her photography business, and continue to inspire the cancer community through her inspirational t-shirt designs, and then her Breast Cancer Metastasized rather quickly taking her independence.

Our friendship started at the time of her first diagnosis. We first connected through Facebook, and then started getting together for coffee dates, and if not coffee then it was tacos. We talked about photography, family/marriage, Jesus, and how we wanted to impact the world. We were also accountability partners at the beginning of 2017 for our businesses, and would text each other often. Needless to say, while we weren't  friends for lots of years, she was a very dear friend to me and greatly impacted my life. I'm grateful that she allowed me to walk along side her as she battled Breast Cancer. As a way to celebrate her life, I wanted to write a blog post on how Melissa left an everlasting fingerprint on me.

So, here's 6 things she taught me.


This was her mantra. When she was first diagnosed, she told me that this was her season of punching fear in the face. I saw this girl use her story to help and inspire so many. She didn't allow her insecurities, or fears to stop her. While she may have been soft spoken when meeting new people, she was bold and courageous on social media. Now punching fear in the face didn't mean she didn't have fears, because she did. It was through her vulnerability that encouraged so many to know that it's okay to have fears, but to stand in truth, and to overcome those fears.



I went through a major loss of friendships before Melissa entered my life. Her friendship helped me to open up my heart, and allow myself to befriended, and loved.


Melissa was a great listener. Sometimes she'd let me just talk, while she listened. One thing she didn't want was to constantly talk about her cancer and treatments. She wanted to feel normal, and did that by wanting to know what was going on with me, which was extremely hard for me, but wanted to honor her wishes. Other times, we just watched random TV shows together, like CatFish.



When Melissa shared her shop idea with me, she was a little hesitant in how to do it and make it all work, and then I kid you not, a week later she launched her website, and Insta. I was like "whoa".....She just went for it. She may have not had it all figured out, but she was going to, and that determination led her selling over 1,000 t-shirts.


Melissa had the sweetest laugh, she did this thing with her nose where she would scrunch it and giggle. She taught me to laugh and be silly. I also loved watching her IG stories when she would laugh and dance with her husband. It was so inspiring to watch the love she had for him, and for her family.



Melissa had this amazing connection with her family. She loved spending time with her mom, and sometimes when we went to events together, her mom would come along. I loved it! Their bond was truly special, but this wasn't just with her mom, she had this bond with her brother too. As a matter of fact they did their photography business together. I loved watching how her family loved each other so well and deep.

I'm sure I could write a ton more, but I end with this! Melissa, I miss you friend. But I can imagine you dancing and laughing with Jesus right now, and that gives me peace, knowing that I'll get to see you again.



You guys we are 11 days into the new year, and I felt this strong sense that before I start sharing, and digging deep into our life, and all that we hope for in 2018, that I should take a moment to celebrate our wins from 2017. Right?!?  So as I have taken time to sit, and write, I'm so excited to share all that we accomplished in 2017.

Now, I confess, we weren't the best at goal setting then, and I don't have record of what ALL our goals were. But I do know which goals we achieved and wanted to share them with you, and maybe do a little victory dance for them....hmmm....that sounds like fun?!? :)

I'm also sharing them, so I can sit in the reality that while we weren't good at goal setting we accomplished some pretty BIG goals last year, and for that, it's something worth celebrating!!!

1. Go on a couples trip.

This was a goal I never thought we'd accomplish, but Jeremy made it happen sooner than any of our other goals. For my birthday, which happens to be in Jan., he surprised me with a trip to LA. So for 5 days we got to just have fun, not work, and be together. It was definitely a great way start of the year for our marriage.

2. Find a therapist. (Jasmine's personal goal)

In April of 2017, I hit my darkest most hardest depression. Mental illness is something I've always wrestled with, but hadn't done any work on talking through my past, or start the healing process. I have known that I should be talking with someone, but finding that trusted person was hard. Well, through my small group, a friend shared her therapist's info. with me. I'll admit, after my friend texted me the therapists contact info., it took me a few more weeks to reach out, and then a few more weeks to officially get a session scheduled. It's been over 6 months now that I started my healing journey, and I couldn't be more grateful to my therapist and to God for all the healing that I've experienced in such a short amount of time.

3. Go on a family vacation.

Going on a family vacation is something we had always wanted to do, but knew we would need a big budget in order to make it happen. Especially since the kids were asking to go to Orlando. So we crunched the numbers mid-summer and asked ourselves if this was something we could really do. While Jeremy and I had 2 different opinions on this, I felt I should follow his lead, which isn't always easy for me. He believed that somehow extra money, not a part of our budget, would become available, and that's how we would pay for our vacation, coupled with finding great deals. Well I kid you not in less than 48hrs later, Jeremy was hired for a design project, and to lead worship at a church. Between both of those gigs it covered most of the cost for our trip. I promise I'll share more in detail on how we did our vacation at a super affordable cost in another post. But yay, in November 2017, we took our very first family vacation.

4. Buy a 2nd Vintage Trailer of our Photo Booth Business.

This was a business goal of ours, well maybe more mine than Jeremy's. With the craziness of our schedules we just knew we had to outsource most of the work, and leave painting, and decor to me. In July we picked it up, and in less than one week, we celebrated our new trailer at the most beautiful backyard wedding we had ever been at. Her name is Faye. You can see what it looks like here:

5. Pay off our Car.

This goal took lots of determination.....why?!? Well, because my income fluctuates so much, and to intentionally set a big chunk of money each month in our budget to pay off the car was extremely scary. There were months were we didn't have enough, and the average $ amount per month just continued to increase. But God! Through determination, and staying focused on the goal, in Dec. 2017 we paid it off. Yay!!! We are one step closer to being a debt free family! Next is our's to dreaming right?!?

What were some of your goals in 2017 that you accomplished?!?!? I love to celebrate those wins with you!!!