THIRTY-THREE

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The end of 33. I crossed miles of desert to stand where I began. A California girl coming back home. My feet touched the waters edge, the golden sun lit up the sky and the breeze blew through me.

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What lies behind me is a story of perseverance, pain, destruction, and death, and what lies before me has always been and will always be hope.

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Mile after mile, day after day, I crawled, walked, ran and was carried through the dirt. All that has kept me going through this year was the hope that being deserted in a desert surely couldn’t be the end, and I wouldn’t let it be the end. I would rather die. And if I died, I my soul wouldn’t settle for that either. It would only be a door to more. I just knew it in my bones, and I was right.

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Resurrection was waiting for me on the other side of surrender. New life, new beauty, new perspective, new heart, new mind, new family, new dreams.

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Much was taken from me, but more was given back. This is holy ground.

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I have no formula for walking through divorce. It’s a different path for everyone. But I will tell you the only answer is surrender. You can’t white knuckle this and you can’t do it on your own. You can try like I did, but hope in your own power is a mirage that will fade.

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It was by falling face down that I stood up. What was meant for destruction God used for restoration. And not just replacing knowing I am a good wife and mom. Oh no! Wounds that go deep from childhood were healed. Anything that challenged the notion that I wasn’t worthy of love, beautiful, significant, sexy, wild, fun...All of it was redeemed.

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You are staring at a woman I have never seen before yet was made this way. You are seeing a heart that knows no darkness anymore only light.

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And the biggest gift of all was eliminating any doubt that God is for me not against me.

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This is no esoteric bullshit. There is no guy filling a void behind the scenes. I still wipe butts alone. I still work two jobs. Plenty of challenges to come, but any flames will only refine me further. That I am sure of.

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“But Alex if you only knew what happened...” Trust me, friend, I know. ❤️ But you will rise. 🔥Take these photos as proof. 33 you are my favorite year. 34, see you tomorrow. 

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**Amazing photography by Megan Nicole Photo. Book your resurrection shoot with her stat!**

EMPOWERED WITH UBER

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Uber has been doing an amazing job recently of focusing conversation and awareness on women's empowerment. They have asked me to share what it means to be an empowered woman. I couldn't be more excited about a campaign goal and message.

When I thought about what makes me feel empowered I had to think back to moments when I have felt powerless and why I felt that way. Times I felt powerless have been when I didn't feel heard, understood or felt ignorant.

And I think the origin of that powerlessness is in my childhood. I was told a lot that I was stupid and was ignored a lot. The way I would react to those things would be through yelling, talking back, or be over-dramatizing and exaggerating things to get my parents to listen. I think many times adults can do the same thing, but as I grew and realized that behavior wasn't effective at all, and, rather, backfired, I started channeling my frustration into music and writing. Ultimately, it was a focus on communication in college and in my career that has made me feel more empowered than ever.

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For me, what makes me feel empowered is having a voice in people’s lives as an influencer and giving other people voices to tell their stories as a content creator and account manager at an influencer agency. Communicating messages that are important to me and important to others breathes life into me. It’s like my Wheaties for this super power I have developed through hours of practice and years of learning. It has been what has spurred me on to become a leader in the influencer space, Pinterest marketing, social media strategy and content production. By day I’m an agency badass and by night I’m a storyteller of my life through imagery and writing on social media. It has been that way for over ten years, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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This past week, I flew to San Francisco, Fresno and San Diego for work. I spent my days in SF at Pinterest headquarters where I was a speaker for their first creator’s conference, In the Making. It was an amazing time helping people learn how to effectively partner with the brands they love to fuel their businesses. I also got to spend time with my peers and fellow creatives and learn from them.

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I then flew to Fresno and San Diego to produce a short video all about the farmers that devote their lives to organic farming of peaches and supplying the world with the tasty fruit for Ralphs. I produced the team, ran the art direction and messaging and styled some of the content. It was an epic week of empowerment and empowering others.

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I’d love to hear what makes you feel empowered most. Did you find you also devoted your line of work to your source of power?

TO BOTOX OR NOT TO BOTOX

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This posts is sponsored by Red Mountain Weight-loss.

I have thought about Botox for over a year. In fact, last year for my birthday I wanted to try it to help with the lines that have appeared in my forehead, but I was unable to because I was experiencing a lot of inflammation in my joints due to my autoimmune flare up. Not to mention this past year has been so nutty with the divorce that things like that just haven't been a priority. But now that the crazy has died down and my autoimmune stuff is under control, it was time to focus on feeling like the best version of myself. 

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I know I am beautiful without any injectables, ounce of makeup or at any size because beauty starts with your heart. At the same time, I LOVE makeup, I love when my skin glows, and I love when I'm the size I want to be. Red Mountain Weight Loss wants men and women to look and feel like their best whatever that is to each individual. They offer so many services, and Botox is one. 

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So, I was SUPER excited to have the chance to try Botox with Red Mountain Weight-loss. Of course, the biggest fear I had was if my face was going to look weird or frozen. I wanted to feel and look like myself above all, and I didn't want to look like a woman who couldn't express herself. So, I went in for a consult and they answered every question I had. See some of my questions below. You can also watch the process over on my IG highlights, click here to see the before and after.

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TOP BOTOX QUESTIONS:

1. Does it hurt? It hurts less than getting your blood drawn.

2. Do you get a headache? You can get a little one the day of your injection, but just take some Advil if it bothers you. I experienced a small one, but it passed quickly.

3. When can you see it start to work? You won't see results until about 10 days after your procedure. That's why it's good to plan plenty of time before an event. I walked away with small welts on my forehead where the needle was, but it went away pretty fast.

4. Can you wear makeup? No, you can't wear makeup before or after the procedure.

5. Can you get your face wet? No, you can't get wet after for several hours. You also can't sweat a lot.

6. Can you do normal activities? You should keep your head upright for several hours after (make sure to do it in the morning). 

7. How many units did you need? Start small at first, and you can always go back to get more if you would like. I only needed 14 units. 

8. Did you have any restrictions to what you could do? If you have low eyebrows you might not be able to get all of your lines taken care of because it can also cause your eyebrows to droop if you're not careful. I'm still super happy with my results. 

9. How much does it cost? Red Mountain is really affordable. It's usually around $10 a unit. If you mentioned my name, Alex Evjen, when you book you will get 15% off any service there, which is incredible!

You can visit their website for more information and to book an appointment. 

Photos by Rennai Hoefer

REVIVED AT MOUNTAIN SHADOWS

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This year has been one long marathon of trying to be strong, rally and make it through grief. I've done it, but I am exhausted. In just a couple of weeks I will have reached a year of living alone. The end of firsts is almost in sight! A couple of weeks ago, I went through some of my last "firsts," with what would be 11th year wedding anniversary hitting. I knew I needed to change the meaning of that day for myself, so I went back to my favorite resort in all of Arizona, Mountain Shadows.  I decided to make May 19th a day of revival. 

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I went there last year to rejuvenate myself with some girlfriends (read last year's review). I knew it was the place I needed to go once again. From the beautiful grounds, to the tasty food, to the relaxing pool, to the stellar fitness classes...It was just what the doctor ordered.

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I created a highlight reel on my Instagram account of all of the moments I loved. Click here to watch. Rennai joined me for a day at the pool where we enjoyed cocktails and talked for hours. Then I enjoyed a nice long shower and my time on the patio drinking rose before I met a friend for dinner at Hearth.  There was live music, and the food was amazing as always. 

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I enjoyed an amazing sleep in my queen size bed, and then I took a full body fitness class in the morning. After that, I brunched with my friend Karolyn, and checked out fully refreshed. If you eat brunch there make sure to get the steak and eggs. OH MY GOSH! 

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There were definitely some tears and some sad moments in the day because the royal wedding was happening the day of my anniversary. But being at that hotel kept my mind at peace and focused on enjoying my surroundings instead of dwelling on all of the what-ifs. 

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I highly recommend Mountain Shadows for a place of peace and a good time. They have amazing staycation rates over the summer. Be sure to check out their website for more information. 

Summer Linen Style

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This posts is sponsored by Garnett Hill

Linen is probably my favorite fabric right now. You guys see me wear it all of the time, and I finally got linen sheets from Garnett Hill this year. It was the BEST thing I have done for my home this year. So, being a big lover of linen and a believe in Garnett Hill's linen collection, I got three new linen pieces to add to my wardrobe. 

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The first piece I got was a linen button down that I could wear with shorts, jeans or even as a pool cover up. I'm in LOVE. The blue goes with everything. (They are currently sold out of it, but this piece is similar). 

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I also got an a-line dress in the most beautiful terra-cotta color. I'm obsessed with this color lately, and so is the rest of the fashion world. The dress has pockets, a zipper in the back, and is so classic. It's the perfect piece to pack in your suitcase for summer adventures. You do need to wear a slip with it though. 

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I also bit the bullet and got white linen pants. It's definitely a risk being a mom of littles, but they are so beautiful and quality! Be sure to wear a thong with these pants though. ;)

Check out the rest of their linen collection, click here.

Photos by Rennai Hoefer