Owen“Life is full of bumps,”….”the roller coaster of life is bumpy,”…..”the road of life has many twists and turns, ups and downs,”

These words describe what happens in life and people say these anecdotes to one another sometimes to try to comprehend “what life has to offer us” or to dismiss the reality of what some people go through and live with on a daily basis.

I have been made aware of The Revay family, who have been on this roller coaster since June 28, 2012; the day Hudson and Owen were born. Life changed radically for this young couple that were already proud parents to Khloe (she’s now 3 years old) and now proud parents to two very small twin boys who were in need of assistance and medical intervention. The roller coaster went bump!

The twins were alive, they were in the NICU and unbeknownst to Joey and Jerrica this was just the start of their stay at the different intensive care units within the hospital. My words cannot tell a better version than those of Jerrica herself. I recommend reading her personal blog and it will describe in detail the events that follow. (more…)

by: Sylvie & Binky

Photography by Keren Lynn Photography

Binky is 6 ish :)

She was saved from a shelter and would probably not have been noticed by the rescuer if she had 4 legs.

She was about one when Jon ( my husband ) and I adopted her.

She was scooting on her chest at the time and Jon was determined to build wheels for her. So after a few trials and 4 sets of fancy rigs and the help of Cesar Millan (she was on 2 episodes) she finally enjoys running and smelling the bushes.

She has inspired me after I had to learn to walk again after brain surgery in 2012 .

She is a determined little girl who has found her voice and now barks orders when she wants to make a point. What a change from the scared little dog we once had!

She is also into acting LOL and will be on a Webseries “Moonbound 24″ shooting this month.

Every Halloween Binky gets dressed up and sometimes wins a Halloween contest , she is a good dog and has been known to give up her prize to a runner up.

Binky has visited her grand parents in Italy twice and has shown the world, well mostly Italians, that there is no disability that can stop a dog or a human.

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She wakes up with a smile on her face daily and makes me smile regardless of what the day brings.

Be well and have a happy day,
Love Sylvie and Binky

WTF Wigs Tattoos and Fun Is about Cancer and alternative ways of dealing with traditional cancer treatment

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♥ Thank you Sylvie and Binky – you are the “Super-hero team” without a doubt!

Life Happens – choose 2BePositive™

xo – kerenlynn

by: Christina Estrada

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CAFFEINE OVERLOAD!! Can’t Stop Shaking. Heart is POUNDING. Barely feeling like you’re able to breathe or speak. I wish what I’d felt was a caffeine overload. That is the best way I can explain to someone what an anxiety attack feels like, although the symptoms get worse. Trying to get up, but the feeling of almost passing out would overcome my body. The worst thoughts in my head would take over my brain, and I couldn’t help it. So many times I found myself lying on the floor at work feeling anxious and depressed not wanting to get up because I wanted this feeling to end. Lying there, I would call help lines because I literally wanted to go to sleep and not wake up. Or, at clinics asking people for help, but they did not want to take me in because I was not exactly “suicidal”… yet. This was not the Christina you would know, nor the person I knew. Sometimes life strikes you in ways you don’t expect, during an unforeseen time, for the good or the bad, but I truly believe people are placed in our life to help us through it all.

It’s tough being a female at times. We are slammed with our flows, baking a bun in our oven for 9 months, infections that make dough rise, and annual checkups for cancer in our coochie coo. Let’s not forget about “trich,” BV, HPV and well I’m sure there is one, two or three you may know of that I don’t know, but that’s okay! I was blessed with two of these very common issues that made my brain go KABOOM! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!

GOOGLE, GOOGLE, GOOGLE.: Cancer. GOOGLE, GOOGLE, GOOGLE.: Aids. GOOGLE, GOOGLE, GOOGLE.: Death. GOOGLE, GOOGLE, GOOGLE.: You should be dead by now. Is it me, or does anyone else find Google to be a scary place? (more…)

Chance this way

by Jenny G. Perry

I am often asked, “How can I learn to love myself?” Also, how can I believe in myself, have a better relationship with my body, stop beating myself up all the time, etc. It is all the same really. We do things until we get fed up enough to change them. Or there is a payoff for still doing what we are doing. It’s a hard truth to face, which I had to realize myself, that we have to take responsibility for our lives. This means our happiness, our thinking, our past, our supposed “flaws,” EVERYTHING. If you are willing to own your own life, you are free.

This means that you can kick everyone else out of your head. What anyone else did, said, thought, etc. does NOT matter anymore. If you have to hold onto it, you are not ready to change. The victim story is sometimes really strong in us. It brings us comfort. I can’t love myself because my father/mother/friend/lover/teacher said… WRONG! Nope, not true. It is your belief in what they said that holds you back. Just because they said something, yesterday or twenty years ago doesn’t make it your truth unless you let it. We have an amazing power to let go when we really decide it. It’s like taking out the garbage when you’ve cleaned out the garage. It’s trash, it’s garbage. It serves no purpose and you would not bring it back into your home. It is for the curb now. You don’t feel like it’s your stuff anymore. You have no attachment to it. It’s junk. But yesterday, before you cleaned out the garage, it was your stuff. Sounds too easy? (more…)

NAMI 2013

Last week I had the opportunity to photograph NAMIWalks Los Angeles for the 2nd time.    This week is Mental Illness Awareness Week and I am sharing several links which take our society one step closer to breaking stigmas, educating, and helping others. I hope you will take the time to share this too, and help raise awareness. Thank you :)

1. I’m so proud of my friend Randi Silverman.  Please watch the movie Illness to understand what those of us who raise families with Mental Illnesses go through, and perhaps the next time a negative thought or judgement passes through your mind, you might be quicker to replace it with compassion and understanding.

2. Mental Illness is an issue to which NFL Brandon Marshall is personally connected. He was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder in 2010. Click here for the full story By Brendan Mclean, NAMI Communications Manager

3. National Depression Screening Day – take this anonymous self screening test through Help Yourself. Help Others. Each year depression affects 5-8 percent of adults in the United States. This means that about 25 million Americans will have an episode of major depression this year alone. You are not alone.

4.  Kevin, 20, an aspiring comic explains how he felt he was leading a double life, explains his depression, and his video Standing up to Stigma goes viral! Click here to see the video.

5. 140 organizations, including the World Health Organization, have partnered to spark a worldwide discussion on global mental health. Join the Facebook page (bit.ly/hidpicfilm). To learn more about partner organizations, visit hiddenpicturesfilm.com

NAMI

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NAMI

NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI is changing how Americans view people with mental illness, and ensuring that help and hope are available to those in need by providing free education, resources and support.

When you realize the startling FACTS that mental illness affects 1 in 4 or 60 million Americans every year (everyone knows someone), organizations like NAMI become increasingly important as one can’t help but realize it’s time to take action as said in Jennifer Hudson’s PSA.  Worth Magazine recently ranked NAMI in its “Top 100 charities most likely to change the world”. NAMIWalks is the largest and most successful mental health awareness and fundraising event in the county.

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When I volunteered to photograph the NAMIWalk Los Angeles (more…)

Strength~ written by Steven

Strength is such an interesting word. It’s interpreted in so many different ways. When I was a kid, I would probably think of a movie like 300 that I wasn’t supposed to see yet because the Spartans were strong. But I don’t recall asking myself why I thought they were strong. Thinking back on it, the obvious answer was that they can fight an entire army with 300 men, but that isn’t why they were strong. The Spartans were strong because they overcame any obstacle in their way. No matter what happened to them, they would never, ever, stop fighting. This is why I chose the word strength.

When my hand was cut, it hurt, a lot. But I survived. I struggled and fought and I won. I had the strength to overcome the many hurdles thrown at me. This doesn’t just define what happened to my arm, this defines my life. My scar is just one more thing that I have overcome and it serves as a reminder of my strength every day.

Now, I will tell you how it all happened. It wasn’t some crazy street fight or an injury from climbing a mountain; it was a result of my inability to control myself. I have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and it was something I struggled with every day of my life. During an episode one day, I punched a window which promptly shattered and proceeded to give me this scar.

Strength

After the accident, my arm was in a cast and then a sling for quite a while as I cut a nerve and 2 tendons. Because of this, I was unable to feel my entire right hand and writing essays was more of a pain then they should be. Over the course of these last 5 years, I have slowly regained most of the feeling in my hand due to the expertise of the surgeons who performed my surgery, however, these were not a kind 5 years. Everything became a challenge, from getting dressed to doing schoolwork. I struggled a lot, but I never gave up. I had the strength to keep fighting no matter how much my hand hurt. No matter how hopeless it seemed, I never stopped fighting.

Today, I still can’t feel my fingertips, but I have full functionality of my hand. I also have not had a bipolar episode in many years. I am an A+ student with a thriving and successful life. I had the strength to get where I am today, and I have the strength to stay here. No matter what comes my way, I will overcome it. No matter what tries to bring me down, I will not be hindered. My life is my own and I will live it with strength. This is what my scar means to me.

Life happens – choose 2bepositive™

xo -kl

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Couldn’t wait to get off the plane for my pre-weekend interview with Josie, the energetic and divine sister, of the Golden Sisters, separate from her usual crew. The Golden Sisters rose to fame after filming their laugh-out-loud video of their perplexed, yet horrified reaction to North West’s mom venturing…south of the border.

I fell in love with Josie when she said she needed a brush-up lesson on ‘twerking’ prior to entering the limo on their way to a video shoot promoting the new Despicable Me movie. “This boy, THarell, wants US to be in his next video. He apparently is a BIG DEAL.” I looked at Keren and said, “does she mean who I think she means…??” We discovered, that yes, indeed the Golden Sisters were going to get their “twerk on” first with Jimmy Kimmel and then with my producer hero, PHarrell. I hope our parking lot step-by-step twerk session proved to be Dancing with the Stars worthy. (more…)

I am not what I have done but what I have overcome

Courtney Jones (23) was critically injured in a motorcycle accident in February. Due to an infection in her stomach, the Dr’s had to amputate both her legs in order to save her life. Courtney epitomizes COURAGE. I didn’t know Courtney until her best friend Caroline (a remarkable person herself) called me to ask if I could photograph the first fundraiser she was organizing. Courtney spent 5 months in ICU at UCLA (thank you to the incredible staff especially Dr. Cryer) and 1 month in rehab.

 Encourage Courtney

After the first time you photographed me, you helped me realize that I am still beautiful. Since I used to be so comfortable in front of the camera to begin with, it meant a whole lot to me that you made me feel ok again in front of one. After my accident, having my head shaved and of course having lost my legs, you can see how it would be hard to feel beautiful again. Honestly, you really did make a difference to making me feel good.

 

You have a beautiful personality and a beautiful spirit and you really are so positive! I’m glad that you were brought into my life and I know we will be friends for a very long time.

 

Hopefully we can do another photoshoot one day so you can capture me again and another beautiful moment in my life.

 

My family of course feels the same way about you. They’re more than grateful that I have met someone who can help keep me positive in such a horrible time in my life. We all thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Keep doing what you’re doing. You made an amazing difference in my life and I know you can and will do in many others.

Encourage Courtney

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Think happy thoughts! Think happy thoughts! Have you ever found yourself repeating this in your head over and over again? We’ve all that day where those thoughts are the only thing keeping us going. Well, at least I have. Whether I didn’t sleep the night before or I’m reeling from some news I received, think happy thoughts plays like a song on KISS.fm over and over again in my head.

Positive Thinking Day

Throughout my life, I was always told things like mind over matter or try to think positive, but only recently did I truly embrace this. Your thoughts have the power to completely change your day. Life is all about perspective and if you learn to think positively, nothing is ever that bad. Ever heard the phrase “focus on the positives”? Well there’s a reason it exists. It works. That’s the simplest way of putting it. There will always be positive and negative things happening in your life, we just have a tendency to focus on the negatives. If you don’t believe me try it for yourself. If you do believe me, then smile with me :D. Learning how to think positively will help you for the rest of your life, so why not start today! It is Positive Thinking Day, isn’t it?
~Steven Ryan

Life happens – choose 2bepositive™

xo -kl