February 28th

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

Today was a powerful one.

The point of this impromptu trip to DC was to attend Billy Graham’s Lying in Honor celebration. Paul actually had days off, and the timing worked out, so we decided why not.

Well, today was the day. We only knew that it was happening at some point today, we had a hard time finding out any specific information, so we were going on a whim. Well, in a stroke of luck we turned on the news this morning to them stating that Billy Graham’s motorcade would arrive at 10, the President’s at 10:30, and that the casket would be carried up to the rotunda at 10:45 for the service at 11. Public viewing would begin at 1.

After breakfast, we made our way down towards the Capitol. We stopped at Union Station to check it out, as it was on the way, and it was beautiful! Inside (right) and out (left).

02.28 Union Station 2

After departing the station, after much deliberation and strategizing, we found our “spot.” North of the Capitol, where the motorcades would enter the Capitol grounds. At 9:30, three coach buses were escorted onto the grounds, so that was a taste of what the actual motorcade would look like. We were as high up on the Senate steps as they’d allow us to go, and only the press was allowed across the street, so we figured we couldn’t see any better, anywhere else.

Ten o’clock came and went, and no motorcade. 10:15, still nothing. Then, as 10:30 crept up on us, we heard the sirens. The motorcycles came wheeling around the corner at the base of the hill, followed by a line of dark sedans and suburbans.

FINALLY! We were so excited!

Police blocked most of the street, so we didn’t have a great view until they turned the corner into the Capitol. If you look close, across the street, you can see the hearse. Turns out, they had combined the motorcades – so President Trump could be in this picture too (who knows what vehicle they had him in). Regardless of how you feel about him as a President, you have to admit that it’s pretty neat to be in DC for 48 hours and see the Presidential motorcade.

After the motorcade came through, we dashed around the corner to the East side, and we caught the tail end of the color guard carrying the casket up the steps.


This is the closest the public could be at this point – see the silver barricades? That’s where we stood in line after we went to grab lunch.

We stood in line for three hours today to walk through the rotunda. two hours outside of the building (in the silver barricades), one hour inside of the building after going through security. Three tiers of lines; One really long one outside, than luckily each line inside was shorter than the last. This was line #2:


Evidently, Franklin Graham was in the rotunda shaking every single person’s hand as they walked through which is why the line moved so slowly. By the time we got there he had departed the premises, but still a neat sentiment.

Once we finally got into the rotunda, we could’ve stayed for as long as we wanted, but we took our moment and kept moving. Many people were praying (some on their knees), many people were crying.

An interesting fact – we were told to not sing, sit, or lie down in the rotunda, as we could be arrested under the assumption of protesting. CSPAN also recorded the entire procession of the public, so I’d like to go back through and see if we can find us. If you find a link, shoot it to me!

It was a neat piece of history to be a part of. I was glad we went. On our way home early tomorrow  morning, back to the tundra!

February 27th

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

We made it!

An early morning flight out of MSP got us into D.C. mid-morning today, leaving us all afternoon to explore and enjoy the crazy sunshine! Seriously, what person goes to DC in February and gets a more-than-decent sunburn? This girl – yes, really – but I’m embracing it!

From our hotel, we walked to the Capitol (where we stopped to watch the color guard practice for carrying Billy Graham’s casket up the front steps!), we saw the Library of Congress, and looped back around to walk the mall. There are so many museums! I had absolutely no idea. If you wanted to see them all, you’d have to visit for at least 5 days, more if you wanted to spend time in each one.

Another tip for if you ever visit: Things look like they’re close, but you could walk for blocks (and blocks, and blocks…). Take the buses, it’ll save your feet. The Circulator was a hop on/hop off bus system where it cost $1 per person each time you got on. Not necessary between all locations, but good for the longer stretches.

For time’s sake, we skipped the Jefferson, MLK, and FDR Memorials and went straight to the Lincoln Memorial. If you’ve seen a picture of the Lincoln Memorial, that’s all there is to it. However, there is a sign at the front of the memorial that asks for quiet out of respect, so although there were probably a hundred people around, the subdued atmosphere was really impactful. A large group of people quietly reflecting on a large piece of US history. I thought it was neat. And to stand over the inlaid stone of where MLK did his “I Have a Dream” speech, looking out toward the Washington Monument over the reflecting pool, was also very powerful. I like history, though, so that kind of stuff lights my fire.


Also, did you know that one of Lincoln’s hands is closed to represent power, and the other is open to represent compassion? I didn’t until today (thanks, Paul!).

And the ceiling? Beautiful. My small capture of it doesn’t do it justice.

From here, we walked past the Vietnam Memorial. Another one I was looking forward to seeing. We dedicated a large chunk of time in my college art history course to talking about the artist and design of this memorial. Initially, there was a lot of political turmoil over the choice of artist, as she was a young Vietnamese woman herself, but her design was thought through well, and hers was chosen in the end. Her main objective was to have the Memorial be about the people, the names, not the size or look of the Memorial itself. Hence the simple design, without any statue or depiction of war. The other main idea was to have the surface polished so that the viewer, while reflecting on the names, saw the reflection of themselves, creating a powerful visual.

So, naturally, that was one of the first things I noticed. Take a look:


From there, we walked to the White House. Definitely neat to see, especially since the President was in town when we visited. Not that we saw him, but still neat to know that he was around. Lots of Capitol Police and Police Dogs.


Tomorrow we’ll be attending the Billy Graham celebration at the Capitol, I can’t wait!

February 26th

Monday, February 26th, 2018

Woah man, I’m tired.

Our concert was amazing last night, but it lasted until 11pm! We didn’t make it home until after midnight. For those of you who know me, I’m an old soul who is usually in bed by 8:30 (seriously), so I was up waaaaaay past my bedtime. But again, it was amazing and 100% worth it. Let’s just say my waterproof mascara did it’s job 😉


Obviously, I only had my phone, but this was one of my favorite shots from last night. The stage that they’re on is a little peninsula stage out near the center of the arena. We were really close to the main stage! Not on the floor, but 11 rows up the side. Close enough that I looked at the actual singers all night, and not the screens.

Early tomorrow morning we leave for Washington D.C., so we’ve spent the day doing laundry and packing. Add on top of that arranging critter care, and we’ve got our hands full today (I’m an anxious furbaby momma when it comes to leaving for trips).  But Paul and I did swing down to the barn this morning to get stalls done, and when we got there, our sweet boys were napping (hard!) outside in the sun. We walked in the barn, and I saw Bucky’s sweet shadow through the weather strips, and I could see that he was listening for his stall door to open (see his tipped head and alert ears?). I ran for my camera, as I thought it was a fun composition, and luckily he was so comfortable in the sun he hadn’t moved. I also love this shot because you can see his long wispy forelock hanging over his eyes.

But sure enough, I opened the door and in he came, looking for love. Both him and Junior are starting to lightly shed their winter coat, so I’m hoping this means spring is on the way! They did grow an early winter coat this year, so their bodies knew this winter was going to be a cold one. Hopefully they’re as perceptive/instinctual the other way around!

I won’t be updating my blog until we get home, so if you’re a daily visitor, stop back the end of the week!

February 25th

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

These are the kind of snowfalls I love!

Snow Saturday evening into Sunday morning, Paul is at home, no one has to go anywhere. The sun is shining this morning, full of God’s glory. I often think of a day of sunshine after a snow storm like the rainbow after the flood.

Especially on the farm. The horses love fresh snow, the pup can barely wade through it, but she’s enthralled and entranced. Paul and Dad are out plowing in the tractor (because we couldn’t go anywhere even if we wanted to).

It’s cozy, and I love it!

I’m extra excited this morning because the TobyMac concert is tonight!! Mandisa, Finding Favor, Danny Gokey, Ryan Stevenson – it is going to be AWESOME! If we’re being honest, I went out a couple of days ago and bought waterproof mascara for tonight because I could already feel God working in my heart. Preparing for an intense, heartfelt worship tonight.

I really like TobyMac, but Mandisa is who pushed me to buy tickets for this concert. She is by far my favorite female Christian artist, and I connect so much with her story, so that just adds to the appeal. She was a top ten finalist (I think, don’t quote me on the exact number) on a season of American Idol, and that’s where her music career started. A normal person, kind of thrown into the spotlight quickly. She’s very open about her journey with anxiety and depression, and she’s written many songs as an outlet and coping strategy for that. So, as you can imagine, a couple of her songs have really hit home for me.

So when all of these big names were coming together for one concert, I begged Paul (although he didn’t need much convincing) for us to buy tickets. I asked him what level tickets he would be willing to purchase, and he told me “The best we can get.”


So not only are we going to this concert tonight, but we are in the lower level, pretty close to the stage!! I think we’re row K, so that’s what – 11 rows back. SO PUMPED!

Some lyrics from songs I’m hoping to hear tonight:

So I can pick myself back up
And keep on telling me
No, my God’s not done
Making me a masterpiece
No, my God’s not done
-Unfinished // Mandisa

When love broke thru
You found me in the darkness
Wanderin’ thru the desert
I was a hopeless fool
Now I’m hopelessly devoted
My chains are broken
And it all began with You
When love broke thru
And it all began with You
When love broke thru
-Love Broke Thru // TobyMac

When fear feels bigger than my faith
And struggles steal my breath away

When my back’s pressed up against the wall
With the weight of my worries stacked up tall
You’re strong enough to hold it all

I will cast my cares on You
You’re the anchor of my hope
The only one who’s in control
I will cast my cares on You
I’ll trade the troubles of this world
For Your peace inside my soul
-Cast My Cares // Finding Favor

Mmm, when my hopes and dreams are far from me
And I’m runnin’ out of faith
I see the future I picture slowly fade away
And when the tears of pain and heartache
Are pouring down my face
I find my peace in Jesus’ name.
-Eye of the Storm // Ryan Stevenson

But something inside you can’t deny
You hear the call of your creator
I made you for more, unlocked the door
I wanna restore your glory
So rise
Breaking the dark, piercing the night
You’re made to shine
An army of hope
Bringing the world
A radiant light
A radiant light
You were made to rise, rise
-Rise // Danny Gokey

February 24th

Saturday, February, 24th, 2018

A full day led to a full heart.

Remember the baby shower I talked about a couple weeks ago? Well, that was today. So much love for (the completely radiant) mama to-be and the little babe!


And then the SNOW! It’s like a snow globe outside!

Perfect to attach the camera to the tripod and play a little. Here’s another one of my favorites:


February 23rd

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

Four inches of beautiful snow overnight, and 30 degree weather today.

I could be ok with that.

Paul and I don’t have gutters on the front of our house, so when the snow begins to melt, we get some massive icicles. Paul refers to them as “Widow Makers.” This particular one was over a foot and a half long, and it hangs right over our formal front door. Hence, “Widow Maker.”

Today the water was running off of it, and it was completely melted by the end of the day.

February 22nd

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

You just can’t make this stuff up.

I went to set up my tripod to attempt a self portrait with Henna, and when I looked up from attaching the tripod foot to my camera, Henna was perched like this – exactly where she needed to be, without me placing her.


She had even grabbed her most prized toy – her rope – and held it out, front and center.

You all may laugh, but this dog knows what the camera is.

February 21st

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

My old friend.

My sweet, sassy, sensitive friend.

At six and a half years old (65 rabbit years), he’s getting up there. His naps are longer, his energy diminishes faster. So far, I haven’t seen any signs of arthritis or other physical signs of aging. He passed his sight and hearing tests at the vet last month.

But I know my time may be limited. If we’re being honest, I think I’ve been a little guarded with him after losing Bandit.

So in an effort to fight that, I’ve been setting aside time at night just him and I (no cats) to snuggle.

I’ve also been allowing him into our office (usually he’s not allowed in there) to lay in the sun during the day, as it’s one of his favorite things to do. He often lays out like this, completely relaxed in the warmth. He has always laid on the sun on the stairs, but the office gets more exposure and a larger surface for him to stretch out on.

How is it that such a small little soul can have such hold on your heart?

February 20th

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

Isaiah 55:12 – You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.

There is something about fresh, powdery snow and long shadows that bring me peace.

The quiet, the calm. Lacking bright colors, but deep in guiding direction. The way your eyes move through images such as this is slow, methodical, patterned.

Asking for a deep breath, a private moment.

February 19th

Monday, February 19th, 2018

Self portraits and critters: Attempt #1.

After doing this image today, I’m adding onto my parameters for self portraits: I am allowed to do more than one try at getting just the right image. For example, I was running out of light suuuuper quick tonight, so I rushed this image. Low light, not great focus, lots and lots of noise (pixelation/graininess of sorts, for you non-photo loves) = not one that I’m satisfied with. Fine for today’s image, because it’s all a learning process that I’m going through and sharing with all of you, but not my perfect image of me and Burke.

The bun deserves more, ok? 😉

But he hasn’t been feeling totally like himself recently, and with the cats around, he doesn’t get the one-on-one love and attention he’s used to getting, so I wanted to try and capture our quick cuddle session tonight before I was off to other things.

My sweet old love.

February 18th

Sunday, February 18th, 2018

It’s Daytona day! Are any of you watching?

As I type this, they’re  on lap three with a massive 10+ car pileup. Pretty nuts – no thank you!

Before the race, Paul wanted to try out the Triple Tree/Flying W brand he made a couple of weeks ago. So outside he went, and he built himself a little fire and brought out some wood.

The brands turned out awesome! His handle was long enough, it got white hot, and it held up to the heat. Way to go, babe!

February 17th

Saturday, February 17th, 2018

I tackled Buck’s mane this morning.

I wish I had done a before and after, but hindsight is 20/20 right?

Anyway, Buck has a lot of hair. It’s everywhere and it’s thick. It’s gritty. It’s prone to tangles. It requires a lot of maintenance. But the fact remains that it is beautiful.

See proof of gorgeousness in photo below. He’s got so many highlights and different colors going on, it’s just silly.


That picture was taken last March, so he’s had almost an entire year’s worth of extra growth by now. Fortunately, we’ve had both him and Junior on Nutrena’s Empower Ration Balancer feed since early last year, and it has done wonders to the texture of Buck’s hair.

I used to not even be able to think about running a brush through it, and now with a little detangler, it only took me 20 minutes to tackle – and I haven’t brushed it out since October! It’s so soft and shiny, and right now for some reason, his highlights are a really rich gold color instead of blonde. I’m not sure if that’s the additional mane and tail supplement we’ve been feeding, but it’s vibrant and gorgeous.

I just can’t get enough.