Fireworks, Fun, and Babies’ First 4th

Other than celebrating Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, the only other holidays we’ve had with Mari were Valentine’s Day. Which we spent in the hospital (since she was born the 12) and Easter, which was exciting, but she was still too little to get excited over her basket or goodies. I felt like the fourth of July was the first holiday that we’ve had with her, that made me realize what people mean when they say “having kids make holidays more fun”.

If you know me or have followed along here for a while, you know that I always have “fun” on holidays. ( 😉 ) so to be honest, I didn’t expect my holiday celebrations to drastically become more exciting once we had babies. However, I finally understand how much more special they are. Seeing Mari’s eyes light up watching her first firework show, and having a first of many 4th of July celebration with her cousin made me feel grateful, nostalgic for my childhood, and so excited for future holidays with her. So, I don’t know if you’d call this 4th of July more “fun” than what we’ve done previous years, but man it sure was the most special one yet.

I made this little video to remind my future self of many things:

  • Mari and Nico’s first 4th of July celebration. A BBQ and a driveway firework show at Meemaw and Papa’s, and their first with grandbabies.
  • How proud I was of Harvey. He gets bad anxiety around fireworks, but he sat in between Mari and I the majority of the time, and was so brave to protect his girls.
  • How strange times were in our country, but how thankful we felt to be able to publicly express our views and opinions, and be able to celebrate this beautiful country of ours with our family.
  • I also think back to the 4th of July last year, and how homesick I felt being in another country. I was so physically sick (I didn’t know I was pregnant yet) and all I wanted was to be home with family and friends, having a BBQ and watching fireworks. I remember telling myself “next year, I will have that again.” Just four days later, we found out that our Mari girl would be here to celebrate with us. That day seems like yesterday, and yet here we are.

As you all know, I love capturing memorable moments, no matter how big or mundane they seem. I love these simple times with family, and even if it feels divided and confusing at this time, I love this country that we are lucky to call ours, and I am so glad that we were “home” this year to celebrate it.

I hope you all had a happy 4th!

Onto the next adventure, Wren

Mari’s Birth Video- 2.12.2020

Yesterday, we hit the one month milestone with our Mari. It was probably the most bittersweet thing that has happened since bringing her home, and I was emotional about it all day. Somehow everyday is better than the last which makes me so excited for the future, but other days I just want time to stop and for her to stay this little forever. The joys of parenthood, right?


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In between reaching bittersweet milestones, adjusting to parenthood, and life feeling a little crazy at the moment, (and the world?!) I found some time to put together Mari’s birth video. Derek and I briefly talked about hiring a professional to capture these special moments, but eventually decided together that we would do our best to capture it ourselves and keep it an intimate moment between just us (and obviously the hospital staff). I am very happy that we made that decision. Especially after going through having an early baby, only 7 hours of labor, and having to have a C section.

This little video that Derek captured and I put together means more to me than any other video I’ve ever made. It’s not perfect, it’s not all clear, and at times it reminds me of my old home videos on my dad’s 1990 camcorder. But it takes me back to the moment our lives changed and our very first memories with our Mari girl, and I’ll forever be thankful that I have it all captured. I’ve watched it about 50 times now, and still can’t get through it without the water works. 😉

As always, Thanks for watching!

Onto the next adventure, Wren

2019 Highlights-Video

Like most, the beginning of a new year always leaves me feeling sentimental and reflective of the year that I just experienced. As a sensitive empath, I can’t help but feel emotional looking back on all of the adventures, memories, and growth that I conquered in just a year’s time and to be reflective of all of the changes that have happened since just this time last year.

2019 was all about “just figuring it out”. It brought so many new beautiful beginnings, and in turn, taught me to let go of certain little moments, connections, and chapters that I so badly never wanted to end. This year brought some of my hardest days, and so many of my brightest ones.

It forced me to be less selfish, more patient, and most of all trusting in the timing of things. I took a risk and lost my dream job position, but fulfilled my dream of being a beach bum and living by the ocean. I connected more deeply to myself than I ever have, but at times felt more distant from others and the most lonely I’ve ever been. Derek and I both took every opportunity that was handed to us just for the hell of it and often thought, “wait..what are we doing?”Together, we experienced so many life changing lessons and adventures including creating another beautiful life together, when we weren’t planning on having babies for another year or so.

My body and my mindset have gone through more changes this year than any other year I can remember, but I am happy to say that through all of the emotional and physical roller coasters I’ve been on, I completed my one goal that I made for myself a year ago, and I’ve continued to choose self love through each stage- even the most difficult ones.

As much as my nostalgic self hates to see another year pass, I can’t wait to see what the next one brings. Here’s to 2020! Bigger changes, greater adventures, more growth, continued deep genuine connections, and as always, self love.

Onto the next adventure,

the next year, the next decade, and the next chapter of this beautiful life I am living,



Our Summer in the Dominican Republic- Video

Here it is, Finally!

Our video of our most adventurous, most life changing, and most beautiful summer yet.

3 things about this 3.5 minute film:

It makes me so emotional to watch it. Like most videos I make, they make me nostalgic for the moments in them, and also so happy and thankful that I live this life that I do.

I can’t believe that at one point our days looked like that.

And…I really miss the ocean.

“Run with the feeling of being alive while we’re still young.”

Thanks for watching, xo

Onto the next adventure, Wren


First month in the DR- Video

Last week, we hit our one month mark here in the Dominican Republic. I know they say that time flies when you’re having fun, but now that we’re over the discomfort and excitement of change, it feels as if we’ve been here for years. (but in a good way!)

“I hope there are days when you fall in love with being alive” is one of my favorite quotes, and this month has been filled with them. I have felt things in the last 30 days that I haven’t felt in a really long time, and I know that I’ll look back on this month as being one of the most rewarding, most adventurous, and most exciting times of my life. I’ve constantly been reminded how beautiful life is, how beautiful this world is, how small the little inconveniences back home actually matter, and how much the bigger ones do.

In good ol’ Wren fashion, I made this little video to remind myself of this incredible chapter I am living in.

Bring on the next 2 months, DR life, I am ready for you!

Onto the next adventure, Wren



A Farewell to my Early 20’s

Whenever I hear an older person talk about their best time of their life, it is most of the time “without a doubt, their 20s.”  In our 20s, we’re young, we’re allowed to be selfish, we’re usually in the best shape of our life. We are learning who we are and what we want, and how we want to live out the rest of our lives. The world seems like a whole new place filled with new memories, experiences, close relationships, and celebrations. So it’s no question, why this is usually the answer.

I remember finally turning 20 years old and thinking to myself, I am going to make these next 10 years the best years of my entire life, and live every day like it is something to be celebrated. I learned to subconsciously teach myself that these are my “good old days” and that one day, I too, will be a much older person, talking about how great my 20s once were.

Now that I’ve officially reached the age of 25 (birthday blog post coming soon) and am the middle of this wonderful decade of my life, I understand what all of those people were talking about and why our 20s are usually “our best days”.

Here’s a little nostalgic farewell to my early 20s, with photos from my birthdays. (you know for me to look back on):


20 years old:

  • I traveled out of state alone for the first time without family, just with Derek.
  • I became friends with so many great people, who would eventually feel like family. (shout out to our continuing friendship!)
  • Derek got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him.


21 years old:

  • After 6 years, I finally made it official, had my dream wedding, and became Derek’s wife.
  • I found a lot of new passions such as teaching, yoga, and event planning.
  • Derek and I traveled out of country for our first time together.


22 years old:

  • Derek and I bought our first house, and renovated it for 3 months.
  • We adopted our Harvey boy, and became dog parents.
  • We took a 10 day road trip, and I fell in love with the Pacific Northwest.


23 years old:

  • Derek and I moved to the other side of the world for a semester, and crossed off two more countries together.
  • I rode on a total of 16 airplanes, and fell in love with this world.
  • I put my focus on accepting the person I was, and thought a lot about who I wanted to become.


24 years old:

  • I spent a week in my fifth country with some of my favorite people.
  • I got promoted at work, to my dream position, as an event coordinator.
  • I had a lot of growing pains, and struggled with mental health issues, but became genuinely happy, and found self love.

Every year seems to get better than the last. Obviously, this isn’t the case for everyone, but I do believe that the last 5 years of my life wouldn’t have been as great as they were, without the mind set I’ve taught myself to have. I’ve said yes to new opportunities, I’ve reached out to make my connections with people deeper, I’ve learned that my comfort zone only exists in my mind, I’ve dug deep, and got in tune with myself and my life. And I’ve lived every single day, and every single moment knowing that I am going to miss it one day.

So, farewell early 20’s!

25, and the next 5 years have a lot to live up to, but I am planning on continuing the rest of my life like I am currently living in my “good old days.”  And that alone, makes me so excited for the adventure, growth, and memories they will bring.


Onto the next adventure, Wren

2018 Highlights- Video

I know it’s already the 4th day of 2019, but I hope you all had a happy New Year! I’ve always loved this holiday, but is there a holiday that I don’t like?  😉

Some of us treat it like just another day, some of us set new goals for ourselves, some of us have the idea that this year will be better than last. However you decide to celebrate or think of this holiday, it is exciting to welcome a new year nonetheless. A new year means new beginnings, it marks significant milestones such as birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, births, deaths. It reminds us that time is precious and that we won’t all be here forever.

I love the new year, but as I get older I’ve learned to try to live every day like the beginning of a new year. Why wait until new year to set new goals and intentions for ourselves? Why not start today? Every single morning you wake up is a new beginning. It is a new chance to live the life you want and be the person you want to be.

I went into 2018 with this idea in my mind, to live every day like the beginning of the new year. To have the idea that I don’t have to wait until Friday to be happy, that I don’t have to wait until I am older to be successful, that I don’t have to wait until next year to be the person I want to be.

My main goal was to set my energy and focus towards my own happiness and self love. I stopped depending on other people for happiness. I stopped putting energy into relationships that weren’t fulfilling my well being and surrounded myself with the people who appreciate the person I am. I stopped filtering my thoughts and spilled my heart out. I stopped looking to others for validation and approval. I stopped caring about impressing anyone other than myself. I read more and scrolled less. I learned to appreciate my body and my mind for everything they are, instead of what they’re not. I appreciated every single beautiful view and constantly found myself in awe of where I currently was. I danced more than I ever have and jumped head first into every body I saw. I found new talents and hobbies and took on every new opportunity that was given to me.

And eventually, I started to love the energetic, emotional, sensitive, vulnerable, caring person that I’ve always been. Nothing rewarding is ever easy. I had the highest highs and the lowest lows this last year, but my main goal for the new year is to continue to love myself and my life like it is the greatest it ever was.


Thank you 2018, for the growth, the adventures, the love, and all of the little moments that I felt 100% genuine happiness. Every year becomes more precious to me than the last, and every year I fall more in love with this life I am living. I can not wait to see what big adventures and happy little moments 2019 brings. ( and how much better the quality improves on my videos thanks to my new camera 🙂 )

A few other goals I have for myself this year:

Don’t take things too personal. Don’t overthink. Eat more vegetables, and less carbs. Do more yoga and push myself into new poses. Visit more beautiful places. Read more books. Document more. Create more. Write more. Let people know that I care about them more often. Say no. Continue to accept the person I’ve become, but keep progressing towards who I want to be.

Happy new year- new month, new week, new day, new hour. Let’s go burn brighter than the sun!

Onto the next adventure, Wren


You are not a sad story

Hi friends! It’s been a while since I posted. A WHOLE MONTH. That makes me sad, but it also makes me realize how busy I have been. Between wedding season, Derek being in school full time, the change of seasons, a few changes to family life, and our friend Jessica moving in with us, life has been a little crazy lately.

Somewhere in all of this craziness, I decided to sit down at my computer last week and make this little video as a little reminder of that life is so so good. Just this year, I’ve watched family and friends go through traumatic experiences, broken hearts, losing family members, drug and alcohol abuse, divorce, infertility, eating disorders, unemployment, sexual abuse, anxiety and depression.

Even though I haven’t personally experienced most of the things mentioned above, I still struggle. I’ve had more dark days in the last year than I have had in a very long time. Some of them caused by the growing pains of learning to love the person I am, some of them caused by accepting my sensitivity and emotions, but most of them caused by feeling helpless to my loved ones around me.

We all have dark days, and I wanted to make this little video to remind myself, and whoever else needs it, that life is beautiful. You are not a sad story. You are so much more than your body, your bad thoughts, your trauma, and your experiences. Your life is meant to be lived, to be beautiful, to make you happy and proud. Do whatever it takes to make it that way. And know that I am cheering you on!

Onto the next adventure, Wren


Highlights of Summer 2018- Video

To say this summer was the best one yet would be an understatement. I am a winter lover, and am usually stoked when the days get colder and the leaves change color, but this year I was actually sad to see the summer season come to an end.

It was filled with sun burnt skin, care free days, so much adventure, live music, starry nights, and the best people. If I was to think of the perfect summer, I think it would look just like the last few months.

Places I visited:

  • Jaco and La Fortuna, Costa Rica with the greatest travel group
  • Newport Beach, CA with my mom and sisters
  • Yellowstone National Park, Montana/Wyoming with my in laws
  • Preston, Idaho with my in laws
  • Salt Lake City, UT (twice) for the greatest concerts with my best friends
  • Huntington Beach, CA with my non blood related family

Things I accomplished:

  • Got promoted to my dream job position
  • Focused and progressed so much in self love
  • Stopped looking for validation in others
  • Cut off relationships that weren’t helping my self growth

Memories made:

  • There are way too many to list, but I am so glad I captured them all.

So long sweet summer. I’ll remember you forever.

Onto the next adventure, Wren


Road trippin’ to Yellowstone-Video

I wasn’t planning on making a video from our road trip to Yellowstone, but as I was going through my footage from this summer,  I realized I had a lot more videos from this trip than I thought I did. And I couldn’t help but want to relive it all. I mean, look at those beautiful views! (The best in laws in the whole world are jut a plus.)

We had so much fun on this trip enjoying each other’s company and making memories. I love this world, I love this country, and I love my Durstelers.

Thanks for watching!

ps- Summer video coming soon!!

Onto the next adventure, Wren