It was about six months into motherhood. Our adoption had just finalized two months earlier and I was trying to navigate my new sense of self. I found myself online looking for conversation, interaction. It wasn’t that I was lonely exactly, but rather that I felt isolated in my “new mom-ness”. On a whim, I signed up with a direct sales company under another mom that I felt connected to through her live videos. It felt a little ridiculous, to decide to sell makeup, to run a little corner of social media about beauty. I had no idea what I was doing and admittedly, saying I was apart of a direct sales company selling a product made me feel like I had something to be ashamed of. But I truly loved the products and something about it just called to me. I remember thinking late one night I need to do this. Yes it was out of the box. Yes it was fun. Yes it was something just for me. Yes it gave me extra spending money for all those late night amazon purchases with a baby crying at 3am. But it wasn’t until I received a comment that I realized what it was I truly wanted to do and why I felt I needed to do this.

“…it’s worried me a bit to see how some of my mom friends are turning to social media because they’re lonely…”

I read it over and over. I felt like I was doing something wrong and immediately started to settle into a feeling of guilt and shame. As I began my usual cycle of searching within for what am I doing wrong, I must be wrong, I need to fix something, I suddenly stopped in my tracks. Why do I turn to social media? It was a question that ran laps around my brain for a long time. Admittedly, I turn to social media for one of two things: 1. because I have a reason for being there: to post, to record stories, to respond to a dm and 2. because I’m lonely, craving interaction, conversation or relationship. If I’m feeling this way, other moms, other women, other girls are feeling this way…are we all wrong?

“The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him.” My loneliness is a lie. I am not alone. Your loneliness is a lie. You are not alone. You and I have a wonderful loving Creator God who longs for us and desires to make us whole. Finding my hope in Christ, in His word, turning to Him first erases the lie of loneliness.

So if our loneliness is a lie, why do we lack connection, we crave relationship, we desire to be know, long to be heard? Because my dear one we were created for relationship! We were made to have the most amazing, heart shattering sort of loving relationship with the God who made us. And He gave us a wonderful gift of relationship, friendship and community with others.

“…the path of the just is like the shining sun that shines ever brighter until the perfect day…” I want to be that! I want to be like a sunrise that begins with the faint glow, the flickering of colors and the warmth of dawn as it rises into the splendor of a full bright and shining sun. I want to be like the beautiful women at Dear Mushka and Risen Motherhood who beautifully and boldly present the love of Christ and the love story of the gospel through their social media on a regular basis.

My idea for being on social media changed that day. When I turn to social media it MUST be to shine light, to create community full of warmth and joy and wonder. It MUST be to show others the love of Christ that shatters loneliness and brings an unquenchable joy. The sad truth is that women feel lonely. The world is noisy and everything is vying for our attention and many of us have settled into feelings of loneliness and isolation. But for the women reaching out, the ones looking for something, who have turned to social media, I’m here with you! I have struggled as you are. And I want to offer you a place to be heard, a place to find connection and community. I pray that you’ll find rest here, I pray that together we can find the joy our souls need most in Jesus Christ, that together we can walk the path that is like the shining sun, shining brighter and brighter even on the worst of days.


Insecurity. It’s a word that I feel could sadly dominate a great deal of my life. In a world full of self-love, body-positive, self-care declarations, I’m sure a lot of what I’m about to say is common. But common or not, it’s part of my story.

Don’t hug me don’t hug me, please don’t hug me…Dang it. I accepted the awkward side hug that dominated the church youth group of my middle school and high school years. I hated hugs. You see, if I was hugged, I almost ALWAYS left a makeup transfer on someones clothes. It was embarrassing. It drew attention to how much makeup I had caked on to cover my acne. I desperately used thick amounts of makeup to achieve a smooth complexion. I didn’t care about blush or fun eyeshadows or lipstick, I just didn’t want my acne to show. Most girls my age were playing with thick eyeliner, glittering blush, bright cherry lips and I? Well, I was just trying to not be noticed.

The day I said I do I chose to do my own makeup. I said it was to save money but really I just didn’t want someone looking that closely at my skin. I covered the zits that were on my chest and shoulders, praying the photographer would be nice enough to photoshop them away. I took a step back and felt pretty. Insecurity tickled at the back of my mind but all I wanted was to get to Andrew, to get down that aisle and be in his arms because there, my insecurities were quieter. After our ceremony, after the photos were complete, we stood together ready to depart for our reception. It was a quiet moment together and my new husband put his arm around my shoulders and pulled me in tight. With a smile and a kiss we started towards the door and I saw it. There, on his rented suit jacket was part of my shield, part of my mask. There, smeared for all the world to see was my makeup. I panicked. I was embarrassed. I was exposed. I would have to explain why I had makeup on my shoulders. But that man, that wonderful loving man just shrugged, kissed me and away we went towards our happily ever after.

Insecurity has plagued my mind for as long as I can remember. Oh it’s changed shape over the years, morphing into pride for a “fun” change of pace, but by in large, fighting insecurity, self criticism and a negative monologue has been a part of my day to day. I have spent endless hours at makeup counters trying to hide. So many brands of concealers and foundations and powders emptied and with each empty container thrown to the trash, my insecurity never went with it. I’ve endured the harshest of anti-acne washes and creams and pills all in the hopes to not be noticed. Monthly blood draws to confirm my kidneys were still functioning, my hair thinning and my lips peeling, the side effects seemed worth it; I wouldn’t have to hide my skin. And yet, months later, I was still hiding behind makeup.

I remember hearing the promises “smudge proof, budge proof, long lasting, non comedogenic, anti-aging”. Weary from the constant defeat of makeup failing me and smearing onto the clothes of many a hug, I figured I would try it and prove that it was in fact too good to be true. After all, it was cheaper than my current department store counter makeup; what did I have to lose?

Let me be very clear here: makeup will not fix the underlying lies and fears creating your insecurities. I still struggle with insecurity. Flawless skin is NOT the fix all. But I would be lying if I said that feeling beautiful in your skin isn’t helped by having confidence in your makeup.

For a girl who was constantly double checking my makeup and constantly touching up my powder and constantly adding concealer, now knowing that my makeup will look the same at the end of the day as it did when I first applied has brought so much freedom. It’s been three years since I tried the “magic” makeup I now offer to others at Cassie O Beauty and I will never use another brand. Makeup is no longer something I use to hide behind. Now makeup is used to enhance who I am. And on days when I’m feeling particularly fun, it’s an artistic expression. Getting ready is full of more joy than shame. Throughout the day my mind is occupied by my life and the lives of those around me, not by worrying about my skin. Oh, and hugs? I’ve been missing out because hugs are kind of amazing.

I grew up with stories of wonder; stories of make believe and fairytale. As an adult, I still see the world through rose colored glasses of wonder. I long to find it in people’s stories, in their journey through life. It fuels my soul and sparks something deep within me to see how intricately God has crafted each story and placed so much wonder within it. I’ve always felt that writing was one of the ways that I could share how I see the world, to share that wonder. As a wedding and portrait photographer, I’ve grown accustomed to showing the wonder of a love story, the wonder of a family, of those people you love and hold dear through the lens of my camera. And for awhile, I did write about those stories and share a bit of my own along the way. And then, in the spring of 2014 I lost my voice. In the spring of 2014 my husband and I discovered that we were likely to never have biological children. Becoming one of the one in six who journey through life with infertility was one of the benchmark events of my life and the hardest thing my husband and I had to face at that point in our marriage. During that time, I retreated my writing. I pulled back. I was grieving. I was processing. I was listening for the voice of the Lord and being comforted by Him and His word. I wasn’t ready to share and when I did want to share, I was unsure of how much to hold back. I so longed to protect my heart and the heart of my husband that I grew silent. My platforms online stilled as we waited on the Lord to show us what was next.

Now, nearly four years later, my husband and I have journeyed through our infertility to adoption. We now have the most precious gift and provision from our Father above in the form of our son. Those years have changed us…have changed me. I’ve grown. And now, as distance has provided a bit more emotional stability, I’ve found my voice. I suppose it was never really gone in the first place but rather scared. Scared to say something wrong. Scared to admit an emotion aloud. Scared to be vulnerable. Scared of reactions. Scared of input. Scared of being known. And while some of those fears still ring true, I know my voice is meant to be heard. Maybe just by one person. Maybe by twenty. Maybe by thousands. Someone out there is going through the very same stage of life my husband I were in years ago. Someone out there may be experiencing the same emotions I feel today and haven’t been able to voice them or find a safe place to shelter them. If that’s you, know that this can be that place for you. Reach out to me if you wish…I know that at times, our journey has felt extremely isolating. And if someone had said the words I wish to share to me along the way, I know my heart would have welcomed the reprieve, the permission, and the compassion. I so longed for a sense of community and understanding and relationship and now, I wish to create that others.

So here we are. The beginning of starting something new. Welcome to A place full of the musings of a follower of Jesus Christ. A wife. A mother. Someone who has walked through infertility and into adoption. Someone who struggles to balance a love of all things food and drink with fitness of body, heart and mind. A believer in naps, yoga pants and a great glass of wine. I so hope that you find rest here. That you find community. That you find joy and hope. And above all, I hope you find the light of Jesus Christ here as we walk through life together. Welcome.