Photo Contests!

Do you know a mom Running on Empty? Sacramento here we come!

Me Ra Koh

We’re looking for one deserving mom who would LOVE a seat in the SACRAMENTO CONFIDENCE! WORKSHOP September 24-25!

Do you know a mom who needs this kind of group and weekend getaway? Her own ‘play group’? A woman Running on Empty?  Nominate her today. Let’s turn life around and put a BIG SMILE on her face and lift her spirit!

If you know a MOM who is;

A. Running on Empty

B. Lives near the Sacramento area or has mileage to spend

C. Can arrange for a sitter and get the weekend free, starting Friday, September 23th 7-9pm, for Meet & Greet through Sunday evening, September 25th, about 7pm.

D. Most importantly, has a PASSION for photography

Nominate her TODAY! Nominations must be in by Thursday night, August 18th at 6pm PST.

We will announce the winner in time for her to jump in and make all the arrangements. So make sure your nominations are all in by Thursday at 6pm PST. If you are not familiar with this contest, read Me Ra’s description below and see what it’s all about! Moms are one of the most beautiful parts of creation. This contest is all about acknowledging their beauty, even when they are Running on Empty and they sometimes know it least of all.

Running on Empty

“Here’s how it works!

In honor of how wonderful moms are and all that they do and give, Brian and I keep one spot reserved in every workshop for a special mom like YOU! That’s right, you (or she) will get a free pass to the upcoming CONFIDENCE Workshop in the Sacramento area! (Please note, we don’t provide room/board and travel.)

To nominate a mom, you must post a comment telling us about the mom who you think deserves a big break in life! If you are a mom, you’re probably laughing because we ALL deserve a serious break. But the moms we’re looking for are the ones who have had a ridiculous amount of stress in their life whether from trauma or things just not going her way this year. She is a mom in your life that needs a serious blessing to come her way. She needs a serious surprise that gives her empty tank some fuel. If she is a woman that has miscarried, she is still a mom in my mind b/c I know her heart became a mother’s heart the moment she found out she was pregnant. Don’t hesitate to nominate her too.

I’m proud to say that some of our previous winners stepped out on a limb and nominated themselves. Take courage in them and feel free to nominate yourself if you know you need a serious break. Who knows, you may have your house remodeled by Oprah!”

We’ll collect all the nominees, have a committee of wonderful moms vote, and then announce the winner in the next week! Being as wonderful as they are, it’s not an easy job. As one said recently, “After reading each story I’d say, ‘I’m voting for HER’.”  Each one of you is so deserving.

Nominate her today and turn her day around!  Oh, wait!  Don’t forget to let her know you’ve nominated her too! If I was a mom nominated I’d love to know my friends were thinking of me whether I won or not! Deadline for ALL nominations is Thursday 8/18 at 6pm PST. Nominations MUST be posted as a comment on this blog post.  Nominations emailed or posted on other blog posts may be overlooked. Please post all nominees here. Thanks! (A tip: write in Word or other program first, then cut and paste over – just in case.:))

What do past attendees say about the CONFIDENCE Workshops?  Wow, the best place to send you is Me Ra’s birthday post where over 100 women shared what a difference this workshop has made in their life.  CLICK HERE to read their comments!


*Three Fall Workshops remain:  Seattle, Washington DC and Dallas!  They are ALMOST FULL, so click the city below for more details on how to grab your spot!!  If confidence is your goal and photography your passion, it’s an amazing pool to jump in.  You never know what may open up!

Seattle, September 10-11 SOLD OUT!

Washington DC, October 8-9  CLICK HERE! Four spots left!

Dallas, November 12-13 CLICK HERE! Five spots left!

Remember to post those nominations by this Thursday at 6pm!

Having a fun summer? 😀 Genie



  1. Sara A says:

    The Running on Empty contest is such a great thing you do for women. I’ll be praying the perfect person receives this blessing at the perfect time for her.

  2. I’ve tried numerous times to win/earn a seat as a mom running on empty and you know what they say if you don’t succeed the first time, just keep trying…
    So here I am wishing and hoping for a chance to earn a space in the Sacramento Confidence Workshop.
    This year has been interesting and pretty crazy not to mention stressful. For the past few years I have been balancing a full-time job and several side gigs, while managing a household and so many things have been left on the sidelines. At the beginning of the year I decided that I need to spend more time with the family so I took on more work in hopes to be able to quit my day job when we saved up enough money. But unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to build our nest egg before I was laid off in May. And I missed out truly enjoying my daughter’s first year of school.
    Her teacher said something to me that broke my heart, before school ended. She said,” it was amazing what a change she saw in her, while I was a stay at home mom. She said she seems so happy now.”
    Being a mom that has always had a full-time job, I felt guilty for not being there before and it has become my mission to find a job that will allow me to work from home. But this summer has been such a whirlwind. We not only had to deal with the stress of loss of income, we also had to move out our house and find a new residence so my daughter wouldn’t have to change schools.
    I haven’t had time to find a job that is suited for my family and fear that I’ll have to go back to commuting and missing out on those special moments. I’ve told my husband several times that I need a restart button because I’m running empty and need a boost. I need to regain focus before I lose it completely.
    I love photography and his been a growing passion since my father bought me my first SLR when I was in high school. I recently picked up the hobby again and would LOVE to attend the workshop. I’ve been on an emotional seesaw trying to determine if I have the talent to go into business and would love the experience of working with you MeRa Koh and learning all I can. And I would not be lying if I said my camera isn’t by my bedside every morning waiting for me.
    My parents live in Sacramento so it would be very easy for me to leave the kids at their house for some grandparent one-on-one time.
    I’m not huge on talking about myself or even airing my personal problems but this opportunity is one I have been hoping and dreaming for. I’ve applied a couple of times, and you know what they say, three times a charm, right?
    Hoping this is my charm.
    Wishing you all the best.

  3. Michelle says:

    I have been excitedly awaiting this announcement so I can nominate my dear friend and NEW mom, Teri Keyser! Teri is a woman that has beaten all odds to become a mom! 🙂

    Teri was born with a congenital heart defect. Ever since she was young, she had been told that she could not be a mother because of her heart condition and other medical issues. For a person that is a natural nurturer and amazing with children, it was heartbreaking to know that she was unable to have her own kids.

    Amazingly, through God’s will, last summer Teri’s cardiologist shocked Teri by asking her if she had considered having children because for the first time in 20+ years, her heart was at its healthiest and the doctor was confident that pregnancy would not affect her heart! Even with a pacemaker and other heart issues still present, the doctor believed her heart could withstand pregnancy.

    Last November, Teri shared the amazing news that she was pregnant!

    Though the pregnancy was planned and carefully watched by her cardiologist, it did not come without criticism by some in the medical profession. At one point, one doctor strongly encouraged a termination for fear that neither mother or baby might survive the pregnancy.

    I know the devastation that Teri and my brother went through with that news.

    Thankfully, other doctors were quick to defend her and were fully confident that the pregnancy would be a success.

    With an AMAZING team of doctors carefully monitoring for this pregnancy, my beautiful niece was born in July! She is TRULY a miracle baby!

    Teri’s pregnancy and birth are so miraculous that the doctors at Stanford are interested in writing an article about her medical journey to motherhood.

    As an exhausted mother to a newborn, Teri is literally someone running on empty. 🙂 She is now in the middle of sleepless nights, endless bottles and diapers, and all the beauty that comes with having a newborn. 🙂

    I would love for Teri to be the recipient of the Running on Empty contest because after all she went through to become a mother, I would love for her to not only have this weekend of “Teri” time, but also, I know she would appreciate gaining the photography skills to help chronicle the life of her little miracle.

  4. Geri Scalzi says:

    Dear Me Ra,

    I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when I went to your website today to view the “behind the scenes” video you recommend in your book, “Your Baby in Pictures” and discovered this gracious and generous weekend of learning with you.

    My daughter, Christine Young, attended Evo and met you there, telling me I should check out your website. I did and haven’t stopped wanting to meet you. Something of a kindredness I sense when I look at you!

    I was at her home yesterday for her son Noah’s 4th birthday party and she loaned me your book! I was telling her how I would love, love, love to attend your workshop and here I am asking for the opportunity! I am writing to nominate myself for the weekend, even though you may be looking for a younger mom, I will proceed with confidence anyway! I love that the Lord has taught me to ask and to trust in His Providence for my life knowing He directs my path!

    Christine is my oldest daughter. I had five children by the time I was twenty-six and have not stopped running!! Currently I have eleven grandchildren with another due in February! Ten grandsons and one granddaughter! I was a grandmother of twin boys at age 40! Blessings, blessings, blessings! We are delighted that they all live nearby and we see each other often. I could not even begin to count the number of photographs I have taken of my family over the years!

    Tom and I educated our children at home, starting in 1985, all through their high school years! What a joy and privilege that was for us. The Lord has richly blessed us. I was and continue to be a stay-at-home mom, though an empty nester. Currently I am caring for my aging mother two days a week, babysit often, tutor four of my grandchildren and operate our contracting business from home.

    Tom has faithfully relied on the Lord for our needs and works so physically hard. He is a fence contractor and well, retirement is not really in our future unless we do something different. We both have a passion for photography and I sincerely desire to help financially and feel this is a good time for me to start a new venture with his loving support and tireless help. I know your workshop will give me that added confidence to step out on my own.

    Thank you for considering me.

    Rejoicing in Jesus,
    Geri Scalzi

  5. I came by to nominate my mom – Geri Scalzi – for this weekend of encouragement. I have to say that I am a bit disappointed in myself for waiting until this morning, as it would appear that she beat me to it just last night! However, I believe she deserves yet another nomination.

    You see, everyone else has always come first for my mom. She was a very young mother and, making best of what could have been a horrible situation, dedicated her entire life to raising my siblings and me for the glory of God. Always thinking of herself last, my mom gave up so much, including much-needed time away to de-stress and rejuvenate.

    In addition to serving her immediate family, my mom has not ceased serving others. She has cared for elderly friends and now devotes much time and attention to my elderly grandmother. She has served at church, in our homeschool community, and in her neighborhood, with much joy. How I thank God for such an amazing example of servanthood and grace!

    I see in my mom a passion for photography and capturing in pictures the beauty that God has created. What my mom has in passion, however, she lacks in confidence. I know she would benefit greatly from your Sacramento Confidence Workshop and simply by just meeting you. In fact, I have no doubt that my mom would take from this experience, and what she gains from being filled up that weekend, to only fill others up.

    After all, that is how my mom lives. To serve others.

  6. Kennedy Petersen says:

    If any mom deserves a chance to attend this workshop, it’s definitely my mom. She got married young to my dad who had three kids already, and therefor had to pick a career that she could help support her family with, but no one that she necessarily liked. She has been a court reporter for going on 20 years now (the typical length of a court reporter’s career), and she is most definitely “running on empty.” Her job is incredibly stressful and on any given week she works about 50 to 60 hours. Sometimes up to 80 to 100. She has always had an incredible passion for photography and has been aspiring to be a photographer (and quit stenography) for awhile now. We certainly don’t have the funds to be spend on a course like this, but I know it would bless her so much. She does so much for our family and is in desperate need of a break. It would really help her start her future career and give her confidence she needs to go for it. Thank you….Kennedy Petersen

  7. Kennedy Petersen says:

    I submitted a paragraph, and I’m hoping it went through…my page just kind of went blank…ugh:(

  8. Kenned Petersen says:

    Oh, my goodness. I forgot that I didn’t say her name…Gina Petersen. Okay. I won’t bother you guys with another email:) Sorry about that.

  9. Tammy Smith says:

    I was so excited to open Facebook and see this opportunity this week! Then I worried about the appropriateness of nominating myself. I’ve thought about it the past couple of days and decided what the heck, I’ve got nothing to lose and something wonderful to gain!

    My name is Tammy and I live in Alaska. I’ve been eyeing these workshops since they were announced, hoping that I might figure out a way to attend one. Airfare from Alaska is quite expensive so being able to fly to a workshop and pay the admission is a bit out of my reach. But if I only had to do one, well what a blessing that would be!

    Where to start with my story… hmmm… I am a homeschool mother to ten beautiful children. I was a stay at home mom for many years until I decided to become a midwife. I believed that this would allow me to spend time with my family and help with our finances.

    The past six years have been a non-stop roller-coaster ride. I love helping women feel empowered as they take control of their pregnancies and deliver their newborns in an environment of their choosing with beauty and dignity but it has taken its toll on me and my family. Being on call 24/7 is tough on family outings, birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. I began having misgivings when my ninth child was born with a serious heart condition caused by VCFS, a chromosomal defect. I knew that her special needs would add a new dimension to our family dynamics; but, you know how us moms are – I just pushed my thoughts away and kept moving. The stress of doing this has been really hard on my body and I’ve suffered with anxiety and adrenal insufficiency. I was just tired and worn out. This year my oldest daughter came and told us she was pregnant – I’m going to be a grandma! I realized that I needed to make a change. I needed to put myself first and find a way to renew my body and spirit or I wouldn’t be the mother or grandma that longed to be. I needed to find something that would allow me true flexibility to earn an income and be with my family for the important moments.

    My sister has been a successful photographer for a number of years and suggested I try my hand at it. WOW! I love being able to capture the amazing moments that previously could only be played back in my mind. I’ve found a new way to serve others! To be able to take pictures of a young woman scarred by abuse and help her see that she’s still beautiful, to document the joy in a mother’s face as she nurses the baby she delivered after so many years of infertility, or capturing the joy of togetherness when a family is reunited after an extended absence. Previously I help women create moments they will remember forever, now I can capture those moments. So I’ve begun my transition and taken the plunge. I helped deliver my last baby as a midwife (yesterday as a matter of fact!) and I’ve started a photography business. BUT boy could I use some help! I trained for years to be a midwife and I know that I need more training to help my photography business succeed. I’m truly overwhelmed as I move forward with this project, wind down my midwifery practice, begin a new homeschooling year, and help my daughter negotiate the challenges of becoming a single mom. Attending a Confidence Workshop where I can associate with other women with similar hopes and dreams, learn from Me Ra, and leave with more knowledge and a fresh outlook would truly be the boost I need. I’m hoping that you’ll choose me as the recipient of a seat in Me Ra’s Sacramento workshop! Thanks for the opportunity Me Ra!

  10. Miranda Glaeser says:

    Hello Me Ra, Brian and the whole gang 🙂

    My name is Miranda Glaeser and I have been dying for you to make your way to Sacramento!   I have been stalking your blog for the past two years, entering each of the Soar contests, Tivo-ing you on Nate, and receiving FB updates.  I’ve dreamt about attending one of your workshops, though financially, it just hasn’t been possible.

    I am so blessed to be married to the perfect man (no offense Brian 😉 and together we are raising our insanely entertaining 18 month old.

    My hardworking husband leaves for work at 1:00 each day, and doesn’t return home until after midnight.  When there’s a teething and sick toddler at home (as there was this past week) it can be a bit overwhelming.

     I recognize how lucky I am to be a stay-at-home mom, and to spend each day with my little love bug.  I am blessed in many ways, and am so very lucky to not suffer in any serious way.  Which means, of course, that I am not your typical Running on Empty recipient.

    What I am, however, is a woman who is insanely obsessed with wanting to become a professional photographer. A woman whose husband has been unbelievably patient with, even though the bills are piling up.  Photography is all I have ever wanted to do, but it’s taking me soooooooo much longer than it should.   Why you ask?  Well… I have Social Anxiety Disorder (which is not something I tell many people…  surprise, surprise).  I’m great at putting on a “confident mask” but the reality is that I am terrified of new situations and of meeting new people.  

     I  have no doubt that attending your workshop would give me that confidence boost that I so despatetly need, and would allow me to meet other amazing women who share my interests.  I am exhausted of just “talking the talk”.   I want to earn the title of Photographer but I REALLY need a kick in the pants.  

    So, while there are so many wonderfully deserving women out there, I would be honored if you would consider me for the Running on Empty contest.

      Thank you!!!!

    Miranda Glaeser

  11. […] away your guilt and push that reset button for a new start. You can read Stephanie’s story here. Stephanie, we need you to send Genie an email of confirmation in the next 48 hrs! […]