Save Your Date


your destination wedding photographer!

Aloha Hawai'i!

What I’ve Learned in 30 Years |Virginia Beach Photographer |Vanessa Hicks Photography

Hi, I'm Vanessa!
Aloha and welcome to the blog! If you are a believer in Disney magic, waiting for your Hogwarts letter, or watches The Office on repeat, you my friend, are in the right place! Take a look around, get to know me and my work, and then, let's plan your special day!
Learn more

Happy Friday!! AHHHH! Today is the last day of my 20’s!! I am refusing to accept that I will be 30 tomorrow! Nope, not happening!

As I sit here, I reflect on the past 30 years. I reflect on what I’ve been through, how my life has drastically changed. The good, the bad, and the ugly. How, through all of this, I still came out of it all okay. 

I think sometimes we forget to reflect on how far we’ve come. We focus on our current situations.  We don’t think we will ever make it through whatever situation it is. But, when you reflect on the past, you realize, that no matter what it is, life does go on. You will make it.

So, I wanted to just write down a few things I would tell my younger self about what to expect in the first 30 years. 

Me at 3 or 4 living the life in Hawaii!

Me at 3 or 4 living the life in Hawaii!

    You won’t become a statistic. For whatever reason, you will always know that you are more than your childhood surroundings. You will make it out of that life and create a pretty good one on your own. 

    Joining the Navy at 17 will be the best thing that you will do for your life. You will grow up, you will learn responsibility, you will get away from that life, you will honorably serve your country. I know its scary, but it truly will save your life. 

First Deployment onboard USS Enterprise 2003

First Deployment onboard USS Enterprise 2003

    Watching your dad take his last breath will be the hardest thing you will ever face. But, instead of keeping it bottled up inside, let it out. Accept it. Deal with it. Don’t hold it in, because it will cause you more issues later on in life. And yes, he had to know you loved him.

My father and I the day I left for bootcamp. He would pass away a year later.

My father and I the day I left for bootcamp. He would pass away a year later.

    You will fall in love more than once. Love hurts. Love sometimes doesn’t even last. You will get married at the wrong time and that will shatter you. But guess what, through your struggles of being a single mom, you will find strength, independence you never had, and will. Then, and this is the best part, the man of your dreams will be right in front of you. You will be ready for him. You will find out what true love means, and how nothing worked out, just so you could find him. And even then, love won’t be easy, but you will be with someone who wants to work at it, day in and day out. He, well, he will change your whole life.

    Don’t be afraid of becoming a mother! While you are scared from not having the proper guidance, I think you will do a great job. You will have two beautiful daughters, and you will never love anything more than them. They will be the best things you will ever do in this life.

    Accept that you are not perfect. Far from it. But you are a pretty perfect Vanessa, and that’s all that matters. 

    Learn to forgive. 

    You are worth it. Always, and never forget that.

    Start running! It will help with anxiety, patience, and you will actually love it! 

My Running BFF and I at Princess Half Marathon at Disneyworld this year!

My Running BFF and I at Princess Half Marathon at Disneyworld this year!

           Know that no matter what plans you have in your head about life, it will NEVER go the way you want it to go. Life changes in an instance. Every decision you make today will affect your tomorrow. But guess what, if today’s decision is wrong, don’t dwell on it. Use tomorrow to fix it. 

           Find your passion early (fyi, its photography!). It will change your life! And guess what, your photo may even make the news 😉

And finally, Live life to the fullest. Your motto will always be, that tomorrow isn’t promised to anybody. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. So live TODAY, the best way you can! Have no regrets.  Be a good person. Have a good heart. Love deeply and passionately. Don’t change for no one. 

Here’s to the next 30 years!!!

<3 Vanessa

  1. Stacie says:

    You were a beautiful baby, and you are a beautiful woman! Happy Birthday!

  2. Tony S. says:

    Thirty’s a piece o’ cake! It won’t hurt @ all!
    You’ve already come far, but there’s a whole lot more you can achieve. Just believe…
    Happy B’Day!


welome to my blog

I'm Jessica and I'm so happy you're here. This blog a journal about our lives, travels, fashion, and style. Stay a while and say hello!

Learn more



colorado BASED | available WORLDWIDE