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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME : 23 Things You Should Know


My mom always made birthdays special growing up. Especially on the actual day. Sometimes I’d have a party before or after but my parents always acknowledged that July 29th wasn’t just any other day of the year. And now, at twenty-three, today still feels a little extra special and my sentimental side kicks in full swing. 

I’m spending this birthday in Colorado (for the second year in a row) with this pretty cool guy. I managed to ruin one surprise by finding out that Stephen worked a double shift last week to be able to have today off after all. And while I am not allowed to know what’s planned, I can guess that it will be filled with meaningful moments, friends (both old and new), and probably some coffee. 

In celebration of being alive for twenty-three years, I thought I’d let you in on a few things that you might not already know or automatically assume about me just for fun!  In no particular order…

  1. I was given my first camera in 2007 for Christmas. And I sobbed.
  2. I shaved, bathed, and showed goats for 10 years. So yes, I know what it means to work on a farm – that is, my friend’s farm.
  3. I once helped hand cut a corn maze
  4. Sometimes I organize that which is already organized just for fun.
  5. When I was five I won a huge bubble maker machine from a newspaper coloring contest.
  6. I cannot stand to lick Popsicle sticks.
  7. I am left-handed
  8. I have incredibly vivid and memorable dreams almost every night.
  9. When someone tells me that I am kind it’s the best compliment they could give.
  10. I’ve played the piano for over 12 years
  11. I sold merch for my brothers’ heavy metal band and realized very quickly that cream/lacey shirts didn’t fit in
  12. I’m a cake with no icing type of girl.
  13. I forced myself to like tomatoes because I thought they were sophisticated.
  14. I’ve been to 41 states
  15. I like chasing sunsets
  16. I met Robert Griffin III in the airport, had no idea who he was, and made jokes about famous people
  17. I am an ESFJ
  18. My Hangry identity is Gollum/Smiegal
  19. I have a dream to one day be a motivational speaker
  20. I’ve kept a diary since I was 13
  21. I’m terrified of sink-holes and large drops (which go hand in hand)
  22. I love my freckles
  23. Jesus has proven Himself practical and faithful

Twenty-three things seems fitting. Now, let the day’s adventures begin! P.S. I’ll probably post on Insta at least once from today’s happenings – follow along – @PattengalePhoto! Oh, and shout out to Momma for having me – thanks! 😉


–Tara M.


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I’m Tara


As a young girl, I kept a journal and then when Stephen and I got married, we wrote our vows into a journal we shared as a couple. On this lil’ corner of the internet, I want to invite you into our virtual journal’s stories and musings.  I hope you’ll find encouragement and inspiration along the way. You can expect a mixture of our recent photography work & adventures, lifestyle tips, current obsessions, and personal stories of us behind the scenes too! I’m so glad you’re here!

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