Shout out to this girl, who after only two months of a push bike is demanding a "purple bike with petals."
We currently live 31 miles away from a volcano. Boom.
Mt. Baker is a part of the North Cascade range, which you can see on a clear day from just about anywhere in Bellingham. It's an active volcano, surrounded by several other large and incredibly beautiful mountains. Just an hour's drive from Bellingham is Artist Point, from which you can view these mountains or strike out on some very scenic trails. We took Bryan's parents there in August. The weather was fantastic, the sky was beautiful. Three or four hours passed without us even realizing.
^^Pssst...I'm a slide show! Just click the image^^
It's been a dream of ours to be in a place with BIG nature. Living here has been just as good as we'd hoped. For the next several months, this wilderness is right at our fingertips. Instead of being separated by 3 (expensive) plane tickets, and a ton of planning, we have easy access to these wild places (as long as the weather permits).
Now, responsibility doesn't allow us to just drop everything and head to the mountains whenever we feel like it. But those mountains, just knowing they exist so close to us, (even if it's only for a year) -this means freedom. That's enough.
Back in July we went on a "little adventure" in the field behind our house for some pictures. Charlotte wanted to wear one of her special occasion dresses, which was a great idea. She's growing fast, and I wanted to get photos before this particular moment in her life was past. The result was super sweet, and very much Charlotte. Outside exploring, but still in a dress.
We only spent maybe 15 minutes, but she really enjoyed herself. Kind of funny how that works. Some times I feel like I need to plan some huge thing, bursting with activities or "learning" projects, when in reality, the simplest things will do for this age. Like traipsing around in a field with a nice dress on.
Well it happened. My body finally gave it up and accepted a hardcore cold with warm and open arms. I have roots in daycare so normally my immune system is an impenetrable fortress. Not without sleep. I can count on one hand the number of *ok* sleep nights since arriving in Bellingham. My husband and I have burned the candle at both ends. We ran outta wax.
This week I've had to SLOW. DOWN. Leftovers. Ricolas. Kleenex. Lots of herbal woo-woo witchdoctor wellness tea. (this is not a paid endorsement of Kleenex or Ricola) It's been quite hard.
Today I woke up feeling a little bit better, and clearer, despite a very restless night. I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel, if we can all. just. sleep.
Maybe, just maybe, we'll all wake up tomorrow rested and well. If not, blogging is a very low-key thing. I'll just prep more posts in this down time. Silver linings :-)
In our short time here we've discovered that Bellingham boasts some of the most beautiful parks. Boulevard has become one of our favorites. It's a great place for a walk or picnic dinner. PLUS it's home to a Woods Coffee shop which overlooks Bellingham Bay. You can't go wrong with a great view and a damn fine cup of coffee. Woods is all over Bellingham, but the Boulevard Park location is our favorite. We've been there for sunsets..and sunrises. It was an absolute lifesaver one morning when we'd been up with our girls most of the night. A hard few hours turned into a beautiful morning for a couple caffeine-fueled, but content, adults.
So, chances are if you visit us, one of the things we'll do is pack a picnic dinner then head to Boulevard for the sunset and a delightful, warm cup of coffee.
Sorry for the silence the last month and a half. Things have changed drastically for our family in a short time, but no worries, it's a very positive change.
Around a month ago we decided to move to the Pacific Northwest. Over the last 8 years, we had traveled here often, made great friends, and fallen in love with the culture and environment of Washington. We talked often of moving out here, but the timing was never right. Finally, back in June, our stars aligned, and years of strategic decisions paid off. Very long story made embarrassingly short: WE MADE IT and we're trying out the PNW for a year.
I'm so excited to be here with my husband and our girls. Hoping to branch out and get some work in the city. However, I'll definitely be easing back into things. Our first is still getting settled, as best as a 3 year old can (putting pictures on her walls, visiting parks, getting our library card). Our second is still only 5 months and not sleeping through the night just yet. AND, there's still a lovely pile of boxes of stuff to deal with in our new dining room.
Also, we just moved to one of the most beautiful places in the country, full of mountains and water and great food and all the things... SO, you won't be seeing a crazy amount of "work" from me for a while. But I will try to keep our Bellingham journey updated. It's hard to take family shots these days. When I do, it's so hard to decide what to share and what to keep just for us. Stick around, though. A year in Bellingham, ready, set, GO!
I'd like to take a moment to shout out "THANKS" to our great friends in Olympia who let me and the girls stay with them while my husband, sister-in-law, and other friends drove the dog and our cars from Alabama. And "THANKS!!" to the people who helped my husband drive out. We couldn't have done any of this without you guys' help <3 <3 <3
Jake has a unique way of looking at things. His sense of humor is quirky, smart, fun. Be around him for any length of time, and you'll probably end up laughing. And it'll most definitely be at a joke or comment you've never heard before because it comes from the depths of this guy's ever-expanding imagination.
He's also an excellent musician. You can usually find him with a (beautiful) guitar in hand (notice there are 3 different stunning ones in his session), playing something that sounds really cool or catchy. He strums to the rhythm of his own guitar. Yes. I said that. However, if you know Jake, you know what I'm talking about, and you know this is a VERY good thing!
I've never quite met anybody like this kid. He's one of a kind.
Thanks for letting me take your photos, bro-in-law. Happy Graduation!
Our 2nd little lady, born at 12:12am on Feb 9th.
This first month, while a bit challenging, has been a good one. Overall, things are much easier the second go around, and we couldn't be more thankful for our girls.
I'll be back at things in a couple months, but in the meantime, I'm scheduling weddings for 2016. Check out my wedding package, spread the word, and save YOUR date!
Hayleigh is an artistic, old soul. She's a great subject for photographs.
She's quiet, but intentional, kind but hardworking. I had a fantastic time shooting her senior images and discussing all things photo. Hayleigh is growing her own photography business, with a focus on wedding, and potentially, fashion photography. Her work is full of darker tones and colors, which I love. She has a knack for evoking feeling into the images she produces. (View her instagram here)
Thanks for being my first session of 2016, Hayleigh!
One of my goals in 2016 is to put my best foot forward in photography. To say yes to more opportunities, thereby giving myself room to fail. It's kind of a scary goal, but that's what I'd like. Room to fail = room to grow, as hard as it is to accept.
I'd also like to change how many photos I share of each particular project. When it comes to portraits, I'm going to (try to) limit myself to 10-20 of my favorite shots from each session. This is going to be a challenge. Consolidating the images is always so difficult. I want the images to both have variety and flow, which feels harder to accomplish when presenting less.
2016 is going to be a personal transition year as well. As I've written before, we're waiting on the arrival of our newest member, a little girl coming in February. We are really looking forward to this little one. And our first is so ready to be a big sister, she can hardly stand the excitement when we talk about her. It's interesting to see a 3 year old be so involved in what's going on. Her face lights up, she points to my belly, and launches into a (sometimes non-comprehensible) monologue about how great the whole sister thing is. I know there will be new challenges with two instead of one. The dynamic will be different with our family. I don't want to be held back mentally by this by having too many expectations in either direction. The goal is to keep moving, keep loving, keep working..and do it all to the best of my ability.
So, mov-ing right along.. looking forward to sharing the first session of 2016 with you in the next couple hours (or even tomorrow, depending on how things go)! I need to go pick out those 10-20 images...