BE Project – Fighter and Survivor – Melissa

In a World Where You Can BE Anything… What will you choose?

Melissa chooses Fighter and Survivor

Why does the words Fighter and Survivor resonate with you?

“I have had to fight my entire life.  For myself, for my family, for my kid… for me to even learn how to function on a daily basis.  Time makes the fight easier.  The older I have gotten has made me a little more humble and less fight I have to have within me.  I have people surrounding me that help me fight.  My “core” is made up of my 6 kids and my wife. They help me fight.  My second word survivor will always stay with me because I have survived physical and emotional abuse… to it’s fullest extent.  There were days that I never thought I would make it out alive.  I have been free since 2002.  However even up until 4.5 years ago I was still overcome with a sense of terror just seeing this person in a courtroom.  My life has changed in so many ways since 2002.  I’ve allowed that part of my story to no longer be a crutch… it is now a push to no longer fall under the same situations.  To allow myself to stand up for myself and say no.  I’ve used it to understand better what I want in a relationship.  Whether that is with my mom, my spouse or even with my friends.”

If you could give a piece of wisdom to your step-daughter, what would it be?

“My hope for her is that she never allows someone to take up space when they aren’t worth it.  She finally waited for her prince charming and it has been a dream come true for her and for us as her parents.  Know that you deserve the utmost respect and honesty.  You are worthy of all of those things.”

If you could give a piece of wisdom to your birth son, what would it be?

“My biggest fear with him is that he will not be able to process and get thru the things and situations he has had to deal with in his life.  He still has so much anger and he is still trying to find his place in this world.  Every day I tell him that he is worthy of love and goodness.  My hope is that he becomes the opposite of what he grew up with.  I hope that he treats all women with the utmost respect, that he has manners, that he is humble.  Just because life knocks you down, doesn’t mean that you have to hate the world in the process.  Use those moments to be a stepping stone to his next mistake to grow from, instead of being resentful and angry.”

When was the moment that you realized you were worthy of a greater life?

“It is a work in progress.  I think enduring the things that you do in life and overcoming tumultuous situations, you begin to believe that you are alone in the fight. My wife is someone that has been with me through my own personal journey of realizing that I deserve better.  Every day gets better.  The older I get, the softer and kinder I become.  The more I realize that it’s ok for me to have good in my life and it’s ok to push away they things and people that serve nothing good.”

What do you hope your impact is on the world?

To help others be kinder.  It has taken me a long time to learn how to let my guard down and to not harbor ill will and resentfulness towards people that have hurt me in any capacity.  It’s taken me a long time to forgive people.. the world needs kinder people.  I may not always be proud of how I have treated people in the past, but I am thankful every day that I get to wake up every day and grow and be a better person.”


Want to read more stories from women in our community?  Head over to the BE Project Page.

The BE Necklace Line – created by Woolard’s Custom Jewelers

In 2016, I partnered with a good friend of mine and Woolard’s Custom Jewelers in Burleson, TX  to create a necklace line.  The idea and intent behind these necklaces was to be a gentle reminder of you we are striving to be, day in and day out.  We often forget that beyond all of that, all of the day to day responsibilities and challenges… we are strong, beautiful, inspiring and so many other things.  We are greater than what we feel every day. To remember that you are capable of great things. If you could BE anything… what would you BE?  The stories you are reading here on the blog are to celebrate women and learn more about why they have chosen the words that resonate with them.

For more information on purchasing a necklace, please visit Woolard’s Custom Jewelers online store.

For more information on Beautiful Evolutions Photography and the different types of sessions we offer, please visit our main website Beautiful Evolutions Photography.

The BE Project with Beautiful Evolutions Photography

The BE Project was created in 2016.  Two crazy girls had an idea and it came to life on a napkin at lunch one day. They partnered with a local jeweler, Woolards Custom Jewelry and a beautiful necklace was created.  What began as a marketing campaign turned in to an annual photo project that has allowed people to share a word that is important to them and why that word guides them.  Each year, in January, the project opens back up for registrations.  One week is dedicated to photographing the incredible people that want to join us.  All images are black and white to keep from any distractions.  Just the human and their word.

Head over to THE BE Project page read some of the incredible stories that have been shared with us. 

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out via email at or give us a call at 817-564-3068. 


Please joing the waitlist for this next years project by clicking here: BE Project Waitlist