When I feel helpless in scary times – I do the one thing I know how to do best. Spread infectious Love. Love that makes you feel. Love that makes you inspired. Love that makes you believe again. And most importantly, to spread love that gives you hope.

But finding love and heart it times of crisis can feel daunting or better yet conflicting. That’s probably the perfect word to express how I am feeling right now.  Conflicted.   It’s 30 days from my wedding.  The most exciting day of my life and I have been waiting 37 years for this special moment.  Yet a heavy weight sits on my shoulders as I watch our great nation rip apart at the seams.  There is so much going on around us that we must pay attention to.  From standing up against empowered hate in a public setting, to defending the helpless that are around us, to having courage to speak to our representatives and demand that they stand up for us, to having to let go of close friends or family over sides there is no middle ground on.  We are living in scary times and it all feels like it could crack in a split second.

Not what you’d expect me to say when I’m actually here to share you the visual story of me and my love.  It’s my engagement photoshoot reveal and I’ve been waiting for this day for for-EVER!  Like years… (HA!)  Our engagement photos mean so much to me, especially today.  They are the perfect reminder that no matter what is happening around us, there is true love in this world and we all deserve to have it in our lives.  For me, these photos reflect that incredible, wild, crazy, amazing, beautiful LOVE that is out there for us all to have.  And it’s a love energy that we all should spread out to our families, our communities and the world around us.

Yet it’s so easy to lose focus of the positives right in front of you, when the world feels stressed and out of control.  Your heart races, your blood boils, your palms sweat, your mind races and your hair stands on the back of your neck. Love and fear actually can generate the same bodily reactions. The difference is what you do with those feelings. Do you run and hide? Or do you fight with all your vigor?

What we all can do is put our emotions and feelings into actions. It could be as simple as loving harder the people in your own life, or it could be as extraordinary as protesting hate groups, racists and Neo-nazis face to face. Whatever feels right for you. Go with love. Don’t be afraid. Keep living and giving and loving. That is how we win. That is how we survive.

My method of survival? To defy.  One month from today, I will do the most defiant thing I can do in times where hate is on the rise. I will celebrate my love with a beautiful wedding, joined by my closest family and friends, and together we will celebrate true love. A love that holds no bounds. A love stronger than hate. A love that will create positive shockwaves.

Never in my life did I think I would find a love so great, it breaks down everything I knew and taught me more than I could imagine. Love is real. Share it, live it. Spread it.

One thing I’ve learned is that the world will always be crazy and the universe will always bombard us with challenges, curveballs, and unexpected surprises to try to throw us off our tracks.  The key is to maintain your strength, and grow stronger through your own resistance.  It’s also meant to strengthen your resolve.  Forcing you to dig deep down and ask yourself:  WHO AM I?  My answer?  I AM LAURIE.  Here me ROAR! (Cue Katy Perry please…)

We can all support the #resist cause in all different ways. Stay strong my friends, fight back with heart, celebrate the love in your life and make sure to spread that infectious love where ever you go. I know I am and I promise to always.

…. and with that…. Let’s continue the love fest.  (I’m so in love with my engagement photoshoot!)

And they ran off into the sunset.  THE END

Photography by Nicole Leever