I have camped in the mountains enough years to know that it’s never the same trip.
Even if you camp at the same site.
In the same mountains.
With the same people.
Even if you bring the same food and drink the same beer…
It’s different every time.
The last time that we went, (gosh, that was about six weeks ago now), I gave myself a challenge.
My challenge was to use a lens that I rarely bring out and to take photos while I was camping, of the little things.
The kids were in the camper trying to catch a nap and the hubby could tell that I was itching to take a walk by myself. So he offered to stay with the kids while I meandered around the area.
I saw some really neat things that day. That’s not to say that I haven’t seen a pine cone or an old rusty nail before. But I did see the smallest pine cone I had ever seen in my life. And, I crouched in and around an old rusted vehicle from the 30’s that was abandoned next to a swollen creek – surrounded by overgrown forest.
Had I not taken that walk, I wouldn’t have even known that all those little things existed just a short jaunt from where we set up camp for three days.
To me, its really eye opening to look at those photos and think that 99% of the people that have or will camp right where I did – won’t take the time to look closely at their surroundings. It’s too bad too, cause if I have learned anything about life, it’s to take in all the little things while they’re still there to enjoy.
A Day in The Life…
The smallest pine cone I have ever seen. It was the size of the tip of my pinkie finger!
This is just magical to me. I am pretty sure I will frame this one (above) in the studio.
And to think, this could be a massive tree someday.
Last, but not least. ❤
I don’t even know how to start a post like this. So I guess I better just do my best and see how it goes.
When I bought my first camera, I am almost positive that it was WEEKS before I took my first photograph of a person. I walked around my small home on Lynn Ave. every chance I had, and took photos of things that people wouldn’t even think to look for.
I took pictures of the rings in an old tree stump in our backyard.
I would lay on the grass and get as close as I could to our pansies to capture what it would be like to look at the world from the height of a pansy.
I know it probably doesn’t seem that important to you reading this, but I was looking for beauty in anything at this point. ANYTHING.
I had just lost my Dad and my brother and had a completely different perspective looking at the world all of a sudden. I felt like someone had taken a 2×4 and slammed me in the head as hard as they could, leaving me alone, stunned and hurting – and knowing that I had to figure out how to get my ass up on my own.
Eight years later (tomorrow), to see how far I have come since owning my first camera and finding the beauty in the smallest things, I feel an incredible sense of strength, but I still feel lost.
I have a family that I love with all I have. I have a husband who is my best friend, and sometimes the only person that I seem to have nowadays that knows what I am going through. I have a home that makes me feel whole when I need it most. But you know what? I still feel lost.
I took a passion (photography) and turned it into something I never would have imagined. Owning my own business and trying my best to help support my family is sometimes the most rewarding yet exhausting venture I have ever taken on. But do you know what I miss?
I miss capturing the little things.
I miss the dew on a blade of grass.
I miss capturing a bumble-bee covered in pollen.
I miss taking a photo of the inside of a tulip.
I miss the beauty of a mountain range, and how it can make you feel so small.
I miss doing what I used to do.
So I guess what I’m trying to say, is that from here on out, this blog is going to look a lot different. This is still a place for my clients to come and sneak a peek at their latest session, and a place for people to come and get to know me a little better. But also, it is going to be an outlet and way for me to try and focus on what really brought me to photography in the first place.
The little things.
When I woke up this morning at 6:40 to the sounds of my daughter and son needing my full attention, I was a little less than thrilled. And I know there are some Moms out there that jump right up at the crack of dawn and can’t wait to hold their little ones.
I, on the other hand, cherish my sleep. Big time. After I have my first cup of coffee in me, I am all hugs, trust me! But 6:40am is not my brightest time of the day. 🙂
So, I opened up the blinds after getting cups and bottles filled to find that the entire valley was covered in a thick mist. It’s a rare occurance here, and I didn’t even take any photos of it, but it made me want to get outside and take a few photographs.
Once the Bunn (Coffee maker) had dripped enough for my first cup of the morning, I grabbed my trusty Nikon and slipped out on the porch to capture a few shots.
That’s the thing. I was only outside for five minutes, took only a few swigs of my joe, and by the time I came inside – I was ready to be “Mom” again. Sometimes it just takes a few moments to remember what you love and who you are, so that you can return to reality and be your best self for the ones that depend on you. 🙂
Ahhhh…A Day In The Life.
I can’t even really remember when I was at Chico last. All I know is that it was when my Dad and brother were still alive and it was well before I turned into a lovely form of “teenager.” 🙂 So really, I am thinking, it must have been in 1997-1998. 14 YEARS AGO. Wow!
We kind of planned this trip to Chico out of the blue, and I am so glad we did. The Hubby and I went with our friends Tony and Donna Smith for a *much needed* overnight of rest, relaxation, laughs, and of course – AMAZING food!
After a drive complete with snow, sleet, and icy roads, we arrived at our little bungalow more than ready for a drink or two. We met with Tony and Donna and headed down to the dining room where I had the BEST (Seriously, the BEST) Bruschetta I have ever had. Ever. Of course the rest of the meal was absolutely divine, but I swear I can still taste those roasted tomatoes at this very moment. 🙂
Really, people go to Chico for all sorts of reasons.
But most of all…for the pool.
After eating myself silly at dinner, we all dawned our suits and sat in the 96 degree water where we laughed and talked shop. When my skin was wrinkled like a raisin, I got dressed and walked the same hall to the same lobby as I had so many years ago.
Its funny; returning to a place after so many years of being gone, and it still feels the same to me. It’s like my own private little sanctuary, which is odd because I have shared it with so many thousands upon thousands of people that I’m sure feel the same way that I do. But when I went to turn the door knob heading out to the pool for the first time in 14 years, I realized – that is the same door knob.
The same door knob that my Dad and little brother turned so many years ago on our little retreats to the mountain hideaway.
It really made me smile 🙂
So even though I returned later in life after a husband, two kids, and so many moons later – I am glad to have spent the time there again with the people that I did. I had a blast and felt like I had finally recharged my battery for a bit!
Here’s to making Chico a tradition in my life once again.
Ahhhh….A Day In The Life!
(Note: This trip took place in October 2011. I have only now had the time to sit down and blog about it!)
Fall is by far my absolute favorite season of the year.
When I woke up this morning…the entire valley was blanketed in a thick fog. The kind where it is so thick you can actually see the water float through the air. Not kidding.
Thankfully since I’ve been into getting my rear end into shape…I had a perfect opportunity to go on a walk with my neighbor and bring my camera with me. (Little did she know that I would be stopping every 3-1/2 minutes to take photographs…:-) )
The photos I did happen to capture though are…well…it is hard to believe that they were all taken within just a short mile from my home. THIS is why I live in the country. To experince this beauty that is completely overlooked…especially if you’re amongst Billings’ small high rises like the First Interstate Building. Or the Crowne Plaza. Or a Transwestern Building. Or a Wendy’s.
That’s the thing guys. The world was covered in an Autumn mist. Blanketed in a cool dew that grasped every particle in the air and every leaf and grass blade. Don’t forget that as you woke up and saw this fog, that there is beauty in it. Open your eyes and know that its there…
Ahhhh….A Day in the Life…
For the first time in six years, (Or nine years, depending on who you talk to) the Hubby and I actually celebrated our Anniversary!
We gave the kids to the grandparents and had only one plan.
Spend the night in Lewistown, MT.
So we left town…and on the open road we went! (Though I do have to admit, we stopped in Big Timber because we didn’t bring a map.)
We broke away from the Interstate as soon as we possibly could. We jumped on a road that dove in and over through hillsides, a local road no doubt – and I could hardly keep count of the Meadowlarks so casually sitting on fence posts. We drove that road for – I don’t even know how many miles – and never saw a home, much less people.
Montana is truly untouched.
Especially this part of Montana.
Never again did I want to return to the hustle and nightmare that Billings can be. I know, I know, in comparison to larger cities and metro areas…Billings is practically “small town.”
But the thing is…
That idea that you have about a small town in Montana, nestled between the mountains…
That idea still exists.
There are still ranchers, hauling ass on dirt roads, listening to old Country music with a Golden Retriever barely hanging on to the rear of a flat-bed pickup.
That’s what I saw.
That’s what I witnessed. I witnessed more rainfall than our state has seen in decades. I witnessed the result of that through hay fields that farmers can’t even keep up with. I saw the result through closed roads and destroyed bridges.
I almost crapped my pants in the Judith Mountains while driving down through the canyon. The road was completely washed out (COMPLETELY people)…and we just kind of drove on through. Talk about not seeing a soul! We drove right through the middle of a mountain and DID. NOT. SEE. A. SOUL.
Montana is truly untouched.
Before I close this novel up…I thought that I would share a few more things.
Over the course of this trip (And in less than 48 hours):
We spotted a Peacock at a Ghost Town
Walked amongst ruined buildings that are still standing, in the town of Kendall, MT
Talked up a bartender named “Candy” (no shit!) at the Mint Bar
Ate wild raspberries next to a waterfall
Laughed until we cried
Traveled 550 miles
Saw an archway that led into a trailer house that was made of stacked firewood (Dude…I have a picture to prove it)
Ate amazing sandwiches in White Sulfur Springs
Found where we want to retire
Had the worst Chinese food in history
Stopped or passed through thirty towns
Slept in past 6:00am
And most of all, we remembered why we got married.
We used to drive aimlessly when we first met, and it was driving aimlessly through Montana that brought us even closer together.
Here’s to 60 years from now Honey.
You…telling stories of how we used to do this…
And Me…showing pictures to prove that it’s true.
Ahhhh…A Day in The Life…
Yes, it is a full few weeks since the Fourth of July has passed, but I still decided I had to blog about it. 🙂
We were lucky enough to spend a few nights in Red Lodge with my family that Friday and Saturday.
I mean, seriously people, who wouldn’t want a few days in Red Lodge next to a goregous creek (that’s “crick” for all you non-locals) eating the likes of:
Stuffed burgers with pasta salad
Scones and fresh fruit
*Homemade* Muffaletta sandwhiches
Marinated Rib Eyes with loaded baked potatoes and Asparagus
Oh – and of course a dutch oven breakfast to send us off with
Not to mention the beers by the fire, etc…
All I have to say about it at this point, is that the hubby and I both needed it. And it was fabulous. 🙂
We came back to the Valley on Sunday, which gave us enough time to spend the next few days hanging out at the house. The kiddo was about the happiest I have ever seen him, and Little Miss was a champ like always. Kiddo even took to smoke bombs and fountains! Please, you have to realize, that last part is a huge accomplishment for us! The Fourth is our faaaavorite Holiday. And until the kids are old enough to really enjoy fireworks, we’re kind of lame around this place. Not like a few years ago…
But I digress.
So here are some photos from that weekend. The kids had a blast, we had time to relax and most importantly – we had fun doing it.
Ahhhh….A Day in the Life….