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Kristina, The 40 Over 40 Women’s Portrait Campaign

Kristina, 50

Kristina was born in Winchester, Virgina, USA on June 5th, 1971.
She has been photographed before, several times, as well as with her family…
Kristina is a professional portrait artist  / graphic designer/ interior designer / and #1 Best selling author/miracle mom of two miracle daughters.
I have been described by my friends and family as…
loyal, loving, genuine, committed, graceful, crazy ( I know that’s more than 4 words, but I actually asked my friends and it’s their fault. LOL)
I would say my best quality is empathy to others. I literally put myself in others’ shoes, I tend to feel their pain and burdens, and I will be the one crying the most at their hurt and pain and laughing and celebrating when someone is winning… It .makes me happiest to see others’ success and hard work being recognized. Serving others so that they can find their way and helping them achieve that is my happy place!
I am most proud of…
…my girls…being a miracle mom is my greatest achievement and they are my pride and joy! Although, I am excited about my recent book collaboration, Absolute Will – which has reached #1 Bestseller in seven countries worldwide! I’m also excited about my upcoming auto-biography with my dad about my own health journey from my miracle birth to my life as present-day (working title: My beautiful Miracle Scars”.    I’m so very grateful for the breath of life, given to me by my Father in Heaven…and it’s only through His amazing grace in my life, and the talents He gave me, that even when I was not able to finish college due to health reasons, I’ve managed to achieve getting my Masters in Portrait Art and having my work published in international magazines as an award-winning photographer and designer.  All Glory to God.
I love quotes…and I have many favorites
However, since I was able to work at Disney for a number of years, Walt Disney’s incredible tenacity for life had a profound effect on how I approach life.
One of my favorite quotes of his:
“ First, think, second: believe; Third: dream! And finally, DARE.” – Walt Disney
The advice I would give my 20-year old self… 
Is the same I give to my daughters, as they are in their 20’s now…dream big, never put limitations on yourself; use the talents God has given you, as you have them for a purpose. Use those talents to serve others, because that is where you will be happiest. Don’t ever let others’ opinions of you determine your choices and goals. Let criticism drive you to improve and fuel your inner willpower to achieve whatever you desire! But always be kind.
Winning isn’t everything, but your character and how you respond and treat others is more valuable than gold.
Entering my 40’s wasn’t really any different than my 30’s…
however, I knew that 50 would be special because I realized I had reached the age where I was considered
“Old” to youngsters, yet I feel younger than I ever felt! Because of my health journey, from surviving over 17 operations in my life, and overcoming 3 chronic illnesses,
I feel as if the age of 50 is MY new 30! I believe that I still have so much to offer, maybe even more so than when I was in my 30’s and 40’s….
and I’m excited to see what this next half-century has to offer and what I can offer in return!
My story
Born dying from a strange flu virus my mother contracted in her First trimester with me, I was born fighting to live and was considered my parent’s miracle child.
I was born with a diaphragmatic hernia, breathing on 1/10 of a lung, a hole in my heart, and had not responded to sound or cognitive tests till I was close to 2 months old.
After I had a series of three operations never performed on an infant before, my parents were told to institutionalize me, as the quality of my life would most likely be nothing more than a vegetative state.
I’m so thankful that my parents were God-fearing and believed in the power of prayer and heavenly miracles!
My life was still filled with hospital rooms, dealing with chronic illnesses and going through over 17 operations and procedures throughout my life, but here I am today,
celebrating my 50th year…so very more meaningful as according to my original diagnosis, they hadn’t even given me fifty days. In addition, motherhood for me was not “possible”,
however, I have two beautifully perfect miracle daughters that prove that wrong as well!  Proud Miracle baby to Mom here!
Age is just a number. And though that is so cliché to say, I feel it truly does embody my life and where I am today …in both my mindset and health.
I look forward to getting older because I never thought I would have the opportunity to do so…so bring it on!  I still have so much I want to accomplish,
with already having my story being written and becoming an internationally best-selling author;
I would love to still travel to more places: Venice, Florence, and Switzerland are just a couple of places I still haven’t seen yet.
But mostly I just want to live my life in such a way that I can serve others and maybe be an encouragement and a help to those
who simply need a friend to come alongside them…. Someone who understands a bit what they might be going through.
I have been living a more natural life, having done away with toxic products in my home, and have been using Young Living Essential Oils for many years.
I can say this with conviction…
“I see you. I know what you are feeling…I’ve been there, and if it has a pill, needle, or pain med attached to it, I’ve probably experienced it too in one form or another! 
Just stress alone can keep you from enjoying the quality of life you desire…non-toxic living and essential oils have literally given me my life back! 
If you are curious if what I’m doing could help you and your family as well, please reach out to me or click on the link HERE…I’d love to hold hands with you on your wellness journey! 
It’s my passion to serve, and I would love to serve you! let’s talk!”
I had the pleasure of spending the best part of the day doing Kristina’s 40 Over 40 Portrait shoot.  Kristina is a ray of light. Her energy is so beautiful she lights up a room the moment she enters!
When we connected again for the viewing session of her portraits (this is where I show a slideshow of the best portraits, and my clients select & purchase others they love),
we sat and chatted for almost 5 hours. I was gripped by her life story, and the miraculous journey she has been on since her birth. When Kristina left my apartment, I felt so energized and inspired.
I realize more and more, how powerful the 40 Over 40 campaign has been.
Not just for my clients, but for me.
It has opened up a whole new world to me. I’ve met wise, courageous women…all with an unshakeable strength, and deep-seated resilience.
The connections and friends I’ve made, the trust and vulnerability that has been shared within my studio…I am nothing but amazed and in awe.
It takes a brave and strong woman to step in front of the lens. Many arrive at my studio anxious and uncertain. But they know that despite the nerves, they will be seen. Really seen.
And then suddenly they come alive after the first few shots. The nerves seem to fall off their bodies like a heavy coat. And then…mirrored back to them, is the person they haven’t truly seen in a while.
The strong,  brave, empowered, confident, and gentle, woman.
There she is.
Hair and makeup: Donna Hay
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