Domestic Abuse is Real

Every family, at some point, battles a dark cloud. I thought my family had battled & overcome that dark cloud about six years ago after the car accident in Bennington – I was wrong.

In March 2017, my sister decided she would explore the world as an “adult,” away from her family. In non sugar-coated words, she ran away. No note. No known location. No point of contact. For more than 24 hours, we did not know where she went, just who she went with.

My sister is in a domestically abusive relationship.

My family has been battling the darkest cloud for 10 months now. After countless texts & phone calls reaching out, offers to help in any way, and continued validation of her worth, I’ve come to realize she just doesn’t want to be helped right now.

My sister is in a domestically abusive relationship. And chances are, someone you know (a co-worker, distant relative, close friend) is in one, too. So since we can’t help her yet, I’m making an effort to help others like her.

This is what abuse looks like…

  • Prevents or discourages you from going to work or school or seeing family members or friends.
  • Threatens to kill themselves.
  • Having a partner who constantly puts you down or calls you names.
  • Destroys your property.
  • Pressures you to use drugs or alcohol.
  • Gaslighting: a form of emotional abuse that causes the victim to question their own feelings, instincts & sanity, which gives the abuser all the power.

This is how you can help…

  • Be patient. Abrupt movement of any kind can trigger the victim to remain quiet or close themselves off.
  • Be confidential. If the victim reaches out & is not in immediate danger, don’t make a big deal about it. You never know how you can hurt the situation if that contact is noticed by the abuser.
  • Offer information, not advice.
  • Tell the family. If only we knew what others knew before it happened.

If you see something, hear something, or sense something, please don’t stay quiet.

If you think someone is in a domestically abusive relationship, please click the links below, educate yourself & learn how to show support.

What is gaslighting?
Recognize the patterns & seek help.

Who to call…

  • The Bridge (local) 24 hour crisis line: 1-888-721-4340
  • The National Domestic Violence hotline: 1−800−799−7233

Domestic abuse is real. And it can happen to the smartest, prettiest, funniest people. Please, don’t stay quiet.

Information above was adapted from the following websites:

Adoption Day

Today our hearts grow four times in size. Kathy, Carlos, Jose + Lucy have been a part of the Goertz family for a while, but today we make the official promise to love them forever as our own. Today is adoption day.

For those of you who don't know, Jesus, Kathy, Carlos, Jose + Lucy came into our lives through the foster care system. I want to share the full story, but for now I'll just say what we've been saying for years – it is hard to share shampoo + parents.

Fast forward to today. Kathy, Carlos, Jose + Lucy are legally a part of our loud, chaotic, unconditional loving family. Their talents, humor, hugs + resilience are what makes our family complete.

In a courtroom full of caseworkers, attorneys and others who have helped to get us to this point, my parents promised to love + care for Kathy, Carlos, Jose + Lucy as their own – like they have been for what feels like a lifetime. Hearing a promise like that solidifies the fact I've known for 24 years… My parents are the most amazing people.

So here's to adoption + family + unconditional love.


Foundation Photo Shoot

Before we sold our first home, we asked a good friend to take a series of photos for us that best describes our life currently. If you missed the first session, you can view it here

Below is the second session in our series of three + we are absolutely thrilled with what she captured. Building a home is stressful but so fun as you can see. 💛

Photos courtesy of Maria Smal Photography

Home Update

We’re on day 94 (but who’s counting!) of living with family while we build our forever home + time is just flying by. Our building process is moving along – next stop, framing!

Lately I’ve been obsessed with everything on Wayfair. It’s just so much fun to pick out lighting and window dressings + to dream about the endless decorating possibilities. So I’ve had to limit myself to ordering one thing a month (you’re welcome, Matty).

We’re going for a modern-farmhouse look, so everything with barn wood, neutral color and simplicity just gives me goosebumps – and gives Matt’s wallet a heart attack.

When we were in the planning process, I loved looking at other people’s homes for inspiration. So below I’ve put a couple of the things we’ve picked out this far.




white black house
gray house

Stay tuned, because the next post will feature our session with Maria Smal Photography. But for now, here’s a little sneak-peek. 💛


Photo credit: Maria Smal Photography


You’ll Want to Read This Now

Yesterday I saw an Instagram post of a quote that said,

“Set some goals. Stay quiet about them. Smash the sh*t out of them. Clap for your {dang} self.”

And I have to say, I completely disagree with this. Why wouldn’t you want to share your goals with people? Getting them out into the world pushes you harder to achieve them and surpass your expectations. Sharing your dreams and goals allows you to be vulnerable + sometimes that’s the best thing to be. Which is what I’m about to do with you…

I’m hosting a pop-up fitness studio this summer!

Thanks to Dana at Ruby Blue Dance Studio in Bennington, I’m pursuing my passion: to help others become the best versions of themselves.

So here’s the scoop:

For four weeks starting June 14, I’ll be teaching three classes a week at Ruby Blue in Bennington.


Wednesday’s @ 7pm | BarreMix (a mix of Barre technique + Pilate moves)

Thursday’s @ 8pm | HIIT (a High Intensity Interval Training station workout)

Saturday’s @ 8am | Sweat + Tone (moves to bust your booty + activate those abs + make you SWEAT)


Drop-in Class | $10

Unlimited Classes | $100

I want to share my love of movement, feeling empowered, and sense of community with YOU.

So if you’re in the Bennington area this summer (or want to make the short drive from Omaha) + are up for the challenge, join me. 

Simply email me at, message me on Facebook, reach out on here. However you want to do it, just do it. 

Take time for YOU this summer with me.

Here’s to talking about our goals + smashing the sh*t out of them. 💪🏻

xo . t

“Push Pause”

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A wise man once told me that “sometimes you just need to push pause and head to Mexico.” So that’s what we did. And in case you’re wondering, that ‘wise man’ was my husband.

You may have noticed I’ve been a little MIA on here lately. I promise there is a good excuse for that (there always is, isn’t there?!) but that’s another story at another time.

For now, here are a few stories from our time in Puerto Vallarta this past weekend. We stayed at this beautiful resort, had a room that overlooked the ocean and enjoyed exchanging our cell phone use for sunburns + bottomless mojitos.

♥ You’d be surprised how “at home” you can feel in Mexico when almost every couple you talk to is from the Midwest. Seriously, no exaggeration.

♥ On our last full day, my macho hubby stubbed his toe on a rock in the ocean, which prevented us from going into the water for the remainder of our time. Yes – I pretended like it was no problemo. No – he doesn’t know I was secretly upset (until now).

♥ We definitely realized how much of an “old married couple” we are. The resort had parties every night + we honestly intended on going to them all. But by 9pm we called it a night + fell asleep to cable movies with Spanish subtitles.

We made a goal to “travel more” within the next couple of years. So if you have suggestions on where our next stop should be, let us know!

It’s good to be back. Thanks for reading ♥

xo . t


Lifestyle Shoot

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I just love this little gallery wall we created.

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This photo makes me laugh! As you can see…there’s nothing in those cups! #posers


I believe in giving credit where credit is due. Before we sold our home, I wanted to do a short lifestyle shoot to help remember the spaces that created wonderful memories for us. We absolutely love the work of Maria Smal Photography + can’t wait to work with her again!