Feature Friday//Inspirational Kids- Hayden

Tell us why Hayden Inspires you: Hayden is an inspiration for her genuine servants heart. She has been in pageantry for nearly 4 years now, but this year especially, I have seen such growth in her and I can honestly say it has blossomed from pageantry. With competing in a new system that requires community service, we had a bit of a struggle in the beginning finding things she could participate it being so young. However we found one that became near and dear to her and her Nana. One that would bring their special bond even closer. Dress A Girl Around the world. 3 years ago she started walking in this charity fashion show that sews dresses for underprivileged kids around the world, but this year was special because her Nana helped teach her to sew and they made 4 dresses together to donate. Hayden also prayed over each dress that the little girl who received it would know that the girl who sent it loved her.


She is always asking how she can help people, cheer them up, or make them feel special. She loves helping others! Whether it’s asking to make a random batch of cookies to take to neighbors, volunteering at the food banks or even just waving at strangers she’s always on the hunt to try as she says “to spread positivity everywhere I go”! She has taught me that there are so many ways and things we can do each day to spread the love! She has taught me to slow down and find joy in the small things and for that she inspires me!!

Who does your child look up to?: Hayden looks up to Victoria D. she’s in the Navy. She says she’s her role model because she protects us and proves that girls can be tough and beautiful too. She also looks up to her Nana because she can fix anything!

How have other kids learned from your child?: Hayden has learned a lot about sportsmanship and has comforted many a friend when they’ve lost at pageant, dance, gymnastics etc. She is her friends biggest supporters and always the first to jump and clap when she hears her friends names called. She is so supportive and tells her friends to never give up.


What are your favorite strengths/ characteristics in your child: My favorite strengths are Hayden’s imaginative and independent spirit and her generosity. She is always finding some little “treasure” whether it’s a small toy, a drawing or a rock and making a note and wrapping it up to give to a friend/family member. She’s always looking for ways to make people happy. She’s very imaginative and great at story telling and can really paint a picture in your mind. And she is fiercely independent and always ready for what’s next.

Why Hayden inspires Nakupenda: This girl is TOUGH. We’ve loved watching her work and triumph in her life and cannot wait to see where life takes her!


Prepping for Family Photos//Tips and Tricks Part I

Fall is coming and with it comes fall family picture season! 

However, if you’re like me the idea of getting in front of the camera is a mixed bag, so every Sunday in September I’ll be sharing some tips and tricks to get you ready for that big moment in front of the camera.

Tip #1: Focus on what your body CAN do.

Yup, that’s right this first one is about loving your self right where you’re at. We talk about this a lot because, let’s face it, it’s a hard one.

I’ve never felt confident in front of the camera. Even at my fittest, healthiest, slimmest, strongest I hated my body for one stupid reason. I didn’t FIT into the brands that were popular. American Eagle and Abercrombie didn’t carry jeans that could fit over my athletic legs built up from the hours and hours and hours I spent riding horses with my friends. I couldn’t see my body for what it COULD do only for what it couldn’t do. Fit in those pants. 

I always look back at that healthy younger version of myself and laugh. There’s a meme that goes around Facebook that says I wish I was as skinny as I was when I first thought I was fat. It’s true for so me because it’s so easy to get caught up in what the world around you says.

So now when I’m about to get in front of the camera I choose to dwell on the things my body CAN do and has done. I can run, I can walk my dogs, I have energy to keep up with my family and friends. I carried a baby and my body continues to keep him alive. I can reach out and hug my husband and hold my baby. I can recover from surgery and illness and find so much more joy on the other side. And I want my son to know these things about me. I want to exist in his memories. I want there to be evidence of these things that I am proud of. 

So in spite of how I feel, I will do this and find joy in it. I will leave evidence of how much I loved my family and found joy in them everyday. 

And that is how I talked myself into these family pictures 7 weeks after having my son. In the moment I struggled to not hate them because of the way I looked. But he has already changed so much and I’m glad I exist in them. <3