January 31st

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

Not much to say today. Went down to the barn to do chores and the  cupola’s shadow was in the exact right spot. I was lucky and caught it  before the sun snuck back behind a cloud. Timing was everything today 😊

One month down! Thanks for following along with me!

January 30th

Monday, January 30th, 2017

6am. Monday. Why I scheduled a doctors appointment for 8am on a Monday morning is beyond me.

So when I saw the small break in the clouds in this morning’s sunrise, I thought I’d take advantage of the low light and use a low shutter speed to emulate how I was feeling. A little groggy, still waking up.

January 28th

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

A trip to the cabin in Minnesota means lake time – no matter what time of the year it is. In summer, you have the obvious water/boating activities: swimming, tubing, skiing, surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, etc. Winter brings more clothes and less motor sports. Skating, hockey, fishing, cross country skiing, and walks across the ice on the lake.

With the warm temps last week, the top layer of ice had melted and now has refrozen with the back-to-normal temps this week. This made for very bumpy ice; not fun to skate on. So we settled for a walk.

On our walk we noticed many fisher-men and -women drive out to their fish houses, meaning the houses (at least on this lake) are moving from spot to spot quite often. As people move, their previously drilled holes refreeze, and with that comes discarded fish carcasses. No wonder there are so many eagles around!

January 27th

Friday, January 27th, 2017

“I cannot imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy.” -Charles R. Swindoll

She will more than likely kill me when she sees that I posted this image – when I asked yesterday if I could photograph her, she responded that she needed at least a half hour notice to shower. So naturally, while she was elbow deep on a work call this morning, I took advantage of her distraction and photographed her.

This woman is the most amazing friend. I was telling someone about her last week, and they said to me “I wish I had a friend like that.” Living long distance for the majority of our friendship, we’ve known our ups and downs, our droughts and floods.

Our beginning was rocky – “frien-ameies” we call it. Competeing for a royalty position in our saddle club as eight-year-olds put our competitive spirits to the test right from the get-go. After I won (😉), we parted ways, and somehow we reconvened at a later time (we don’t remember specifics), but we became the best of friends. From then on we shared confidences, life experiences, and a whole lotta love. Cabin trips, horse shows, and many many sleep overs, led to her leaving the state to go to college, and we only were able to see each other a couple of times a year. But that only made our friendship that much more special. When Paul and I got married, she was my maid of honor. She took time and money to fly back and forth and didn’t miss a single shower, party, or event that a wedding brings. She was my rock, and I could never thank her enough for how wonderful she made that time of my life.

I could write all day why I love her and truly treasure her as a friend, but I’ll let that lie. Bottom line: Kya, I love and treasure you and our friendship. Thank you for being my very best friend, and always being there. You are an amazing, beautiful soul and I am thankful for all of the light and joy you’ve brought to my life. I love you!

January 26th

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Over New Years we made plans with good friends to do a cabin weekend later in January. “There are so many bald eagles up there! Hopefully you could photograph some!” Well friends, we made the drive up this afternoon, and there were eagles EVERYWHERE. Not close to our car, but fun to see. Then we follow a bend in the road and there was one in the ditch munching on a dead deer! We wheeled back around and pulled over, but we spooked him away from the deer. But he flew a loop and came back to land right above me! I was losing it. They are SO beautiful! Definitely one of my favorite shooting moments so far this year!

January 25th

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Paul and I love garage sales. We love finding things that can repurposed, refinished, re-loved. Dressers turned into bookshelves, aquarium stands into sofa tables, etc. So this fall when Paul found a charcoal smoker at an estate sale for a steal, he snatched it up.

He spent this past fall cleaning it up, and pulled it out today to give it a try. To start the charcoal, he used a charcoal chimney to get them smoldering, and I saw the opportunity to play with my macro lens. The sparks and embers were beautiful! And the jerky turned out pretty good too 😉

January 24th

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

I’ve tried to get in the habit of bringing my camera everywhere with me. It helps me look for beauty and light in every situation, no matter where I’m at – even running simple errands. Today I was so happy that I’ve stuck with that mentality!

I started my morning assisting at a photo shoot for my good friend and mentor, Shelley. We went and grabbed lunch afterward, which then led to an adventure to the newly opened Fresh Thyme in town. As visual artists, when we both turned the corner and saw the apples, we both gasped. The display was beautiful! The colors, arrangement, the appeal. Two thumbs up, Fresh Thyme!

January 23rd

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

In early October, good friends of ours came over for supper. At some point during the evening they peeked at the calendar hanging in our fridge, and said “Oh good! Your Monday evenings are open! You should consider coming to our Bible study group that starts next week!” We had them shoot us the information, and they went home for the night.

Paul and I are both strong believers in God’s guidance. There have been so many instances in our relatively short marriage in which God has come through in such strong ways that it’s hard to brush it off as “coincidence.” Jake and Lauren coming over for dinner that night was one of those shining lights. At first our excuse was Paul working Monday nights. SkyWest called and said oh yeah, we need your flight for a trainee, enjoy the night off. Then we questioned the church the group was through, and wouldn’t you know a mailer for WestBridge was sitting on our counter – it had come in the mail two days earlier. It was like God was saying “Trust me on this one. How many more doors do I need to open?”

So we went. And we LOVED IT. These wonderful people we’ve come to know and consider friends are the highlight of our Mondays. We share a meal, praise God, and talk about life. We celebrate together, pray together, support each other in the tough times. They are such a blessing!

So how does this image play in? Jake and Lauren hosted tonight, and I brought my camera hoping for a chance to get a shot. While we were putting on our coats to leave, we were admiring the beautiful pallet American flag Lauren had made…so out came the camera!

January 22nd

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

This weather has been incredible for being out with the horses! Highs near 40 feels so motivating for this time of year. Not only do the temps make me want to be outside, but the low overcast with lots of haze and fog has made many opportunities for moody shots.

We’ve been able to take the boys out for rides everyday since Wednesday. Each day the snow had dwindled more and more, but the sheets of ice are also dwindling, making for much better footing for the horses.

After seeing the shots of Paul and Junior in my head on our ride yesterday, today I was feeling risky and brought my camera out today to try and capture some of the shots I pictured. I’m so glad I did!

January 21st

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

Not a highly technical photo for today, but a sweet moment from my day.

Snuggles were happening left and right between workouts today. Buck (left) is my horse, and Junior (right), is Paul’s. At just over 13 hands, Buck is our stoic, surefooted “grade” gelding – supposedly a quarter/mustang mix, and at just over 16 hands, Junior is our charming long-legged, clumsy appendix quarter. Despite the quite large size and personality difference, they’ve found best friends in one another. We could learn a lot from these big-hearted animals.

January 20th

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Its a big day in United States history. No matter what way you voted this fall, you can’t deny the awe-inspiring amount of pomp and circumstance associated with Inauguration Day. I have never watched an Inauguration before, so I am dumbfounded by the amount of organization and manpower it took to put everything together, the music, announcers, military, media. It goes on and on.

While watching, I caught President Obama and President-Elect Trump walking out of the White House together this morning on their way to the capitol. History is an amazing thing.