Happy Mother's Day!

Being a mom is no picnic. Well, except for when it is…

Photo by  Kendall Town

Photo by Kendall Town

Being a mom tests you in every way imaginable. And once you think you’ve finally mastered it, you end up realizing that this is only a stage, and now that it’s completed, the next phase of navigating uncharted territories begins. It’s like that kid of yours who still eats with his hands and can’t wipe his own butt is actually a wise, omniscient teacher that knows when you’ve learned your lesson and is on to teaching you the next one. He’s constantly ready to break you down and challenge everything you know about life. But then in the next moment, he throws his arms around your neck, tells you that he loves you and you slowly start to rebuild your parental confidence with a much stronger foundation and a clearer picture of what is really important in life.

Photo by  Kendall Town

Photo by Kendall Town

One of the biggest lessons I’ve been learning is that you have to put your own gas mask on first.

As contrary as it is to what society tells us about putting your kids first, you can’t pour from an empty cup. And as any mom can tell you, these kids demand a lot of full glasses of milk. Much easier said than done, I know, especially with all of our cultural pressures, but self-care is trending and for good reason. I notice that if I can get 20 minutes of yoga in in the morning, my patience for tantrums and pee getting everywhere in the bathroom except for in the damn toilet doubles.

Photo by  Kendall Town

Photo by Kendall Town

Second, you’re not going to do it perfectly.

You’re going to screw up. A LOT. And that’s ok. Just do your best—and perhaps set aside some extra money in the college fund for therapy.

Photo by  Kendall Town

Photo by Kendall Town

And last but not least, enjoy every damn minute of it. As cliché as it sounds, it really does go by so fast.

The last time I saw my own mom in the flesh was five and a half years ago. It seems like eons ago. The time passes quickly and reminds me to try to treasure every moment I can with my son and really everyone that I care about. We are never promised another day and should live accordingly: with grace, compassion and playfulness—never taking anything for granted.

Photo by  Kendall Town

Photo by Kendall Town

This Mother’s Day, love on your mom and kids for me, will ya?

And this year, as a way for me to love on all of you—mommas and offspring— please take advantage of a free professional portrait with your mom and fam graciously taken by Epics Photo Booth.

See, I didn’t take as many photos of my mom or with her as I wish I did. It just never occurred to me that one day she would be gone. To honor my mom, let me give you the gift of not making the same mistake as I did. I will never again capture a snapshot of that infectious laugh where she threw her head back and laughed so hard she couldn’t stop crying, but if your mom is still around, then you can. So please do. For me.

Sunday, May 12th, 12-3pm at The Nest.

David + Alexandra Wise // Vintage Wedding

When my friend and one of my favorite photographers Lauren Weissler said she wanted to collaborate on a bridal shoot for her portfolio, I said, “meh, no thanks.” HA! Just kidding! I said heck yes, and I have a beautiful couple who would be perfect!

Putting together styled shoots is exhausting. But when they come out like this, it’s worth every second of planning, pulling together outfits, hauling them around and the general franticness (is that a word?) of chasing the golden hour. Lately, I’ve been pretty blasé about styled shoots. Yes, they’re beautiful, but when they’re styled they sometimes tend to lack the presence and soul of something that is caught candidly.

That’s why I knew I had to have David and Alexandra as our subjects. They’re not two models posing together for a photo. They are a young couple who has survived more trials and tribulations than most mature couples, and because of it, they still look at each other with hearts in their eyes.

The Wises live just down the road from me and are great friends. I met them when I knocked on their door one day to see if they would let me do a photo shoot in the creepy, awesome deserted barn behind their house. Alexandra not only granted us permission, but she also offered to help us carry our gear. It was instantly apparent that she is as beautiful on the inside as the outside—and ever so humble as well.

They came over to dinner at our house one night, and after feeling like he was skirting the topic a bit, we pointedly asked David what he did. He casually responded, “I’m a professional skiier.” After quite a bit of prying he admitted that he wasn’t just any pro skiier, he was the 2014 Olympics Ski Halfpipe Gold Medalist. And now, of course, he is a 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist after his win in PyeongChang (a down-to-the-last-run performance that almost gave us all a panic attack might I add…) and the only man to win the event.

Creator: Ian MacNicol Credit: Getty Images Copyright: 2018 Ian MacNicol

Creator: Ian MacNicol Credit: Getty Images Copyright: 2018 Ian MacNicol

When I say that they have been through many trials and tribulations as a young couple, you must realize that being an Olympic gold medalist or being married to one is no cake walk. Aside from all of the glory of standing atop a podium, there are many sacrifices this family must make. Alexandra often spends long periods of time wrangling two rambunctious but absolutely adorable kids (Hi, Nayeli and Malachi!) by herself while he is away training and competing, and being away from a family that you adore for that amount of time must be very difficult as well.

Anyway, to bring it full circle, shortly after we met, they put together this super creative video as a wedding vow renewal, and I had the pleasure of lending a vintage Nest wedding dress for the occasion. I thought it very fitting to now have them on my turf for this wedding-inspired photo shoot.

So here they are gallivanting around our ol’ stomping grounds of Verdi, smooching under grand pines with the golden hour sun filtering through. We switched up locations and wedding dresses, but the same lovey dovey look in their eyes for one another remained. Read more about David and Alexandra’s journey, their wise-beyond-their-years musings on love and marriage as well as their wedding renewal vows here.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video worth? Check out the behind-the-scenes action of our photo shoot with the Wises…

Fantastically filmed by Eddie Vigil V

Our Western Shoot Makes The Cover of the Reno Tahoe Tonight

Reno Tahoe Tonight | The Nest

I've been writing on and off for the Reno Tahoe Tonight for a few years now, so I was super stoked when Oliver X offered me the cover story for the June issue of the magazine! It's Reno Rodeo time, and we could all use a little more yeehaw in our lives, ya reckon?

See the full feature any minute now here, and if you're really ambitious (boy howdy I hope you are!), then get caught up by reading my behind the scenes blog post. I have more coming down the pipeline so you can look forward to video, meeting our photographer and more. 

Gold stars to anyone who picks up a print copy of the RTT and comes in to get decked out for the Reno Rodeo, June 14-23. I've got your Daisy Dukes and cowboy boots. See you in the Jack Daniels tent?

Kirsten Poulsen for The Nest

What To Wear At Burning Man

It's almost that time, my dust + sparkle lovers! Add something new to your Burning Man costume trunk or start with the staples, you wide-eyed playa virgin! With the help of free-spirited fairy Malisa Anderson, we put together a collection of some fun + functional playa ready outfits. Faux fur coats to keep toasty on cold desert nights and plenty of sparkle with a hint of eccentricity for daytime exploration.

All of these items plus many more are available in store right now!

if you're out of town, give me a shout via email and I can set stuff aside for you to pickup once you cruise into Reno. 

Gold + Sequins

faux fur + other warm stuff

a pop of green

boots + hats

Special thanks to photographer Zach Donley and model Malisa Anderson for a last-minute, playful, free-spirited shoot!