On Friday, March 18, 2017 our oldest graduated with honors from Boot Camp at Fort Sill, OK. I couldn’t be more proud! Not only did she graduate the top 10% of her class but her platoon also graduated with honors. I have spent the last couple weeks trying to find the right words for this post but honestly there aren’t any. I am beyond words. For years my daughter has expressed her desire to join the service and she has made me and her family so proud with all she has accomplished these last few months.
Before saying our final goodbyes on graduation day, we wanted to take some family photos with our soldier. Sunsets in Oklahoma are absolutely beautiful and the field across from Geronimo’s grave made fore the perfect back drop.
Joining us for this special day was her grandfather who retired from the Air Force as Master Sargent after serving 24 years and her Uncle who will be retiring later this year from the Air Force as Technical Sargent.
I have to give a huge thank you to my brother in law for being my human tripod so we could get one family photo together.
And of course I can not forget my brother in law with his kids and their grandpa.
The night before my daughter left for basic training, I took a photo of my girls together and of course they wanted to take the same photo again on her special day.
Oh and my absolute favorite of my girls as they said their final goodbye
I’m going to close with my favorite photo. We are so incredibly proud of our daughter and can’t wait for her to come home.
Impromptu photoshoot with these 3 beautiful ladies. Once again weather man was wrong and we got some unexpected snow and it made for a perfect excuse to go out and play. Needless to say it was a tad bit cold in mid 30 degree weather. Girls were troopers and rocked their shoot. The frozen horseshoe shaped pond made the perfect backdrop.
After our session I asked the girls to pick out their favorites.
Right off the bat, this was in instant favorite for all 3 of them.
Big sister looking annoyed as little sisters are grinning ear to ear.
Sisterly love without a doubt is undeniable with these 3 and it shows.
Last but not least, a couple individual portraits to complete our day out.
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For those of us who grew up in the 80s, many of us remember the Goonies. Phrases like “Goonies never say die!”, “Down here is our time. It’s our time, down here!” and “Boodie Traps” are all it takes to bring us right back to the Goondocks and One Eyed Willie.
A couple weeks ago, my husband and I made a trip out west and took a road trip over to Cannon Beach and Astoria, Oregon with my dad. Up until then, I had no idea one day I’d get to visit some of the places where one of my favorite movies as a kid was filmed.
In typical Oregon Coast fashion, or so I am told, it began raining as we crossed the bridge into Astoria. At first glance, this coastal town reminded me of Marin County in the North Bay Area of California.
About 40 Minutes south from Astoria is Cannon Beach. At the start of the Goonies movie the car chase ends on the beach and later as the Goonies begin their search for One Eye Willie’s Treasure by lining up the two large rocks in the medallion found in the Goondocks attic. I only lasted about 10 minute on the beach before the wild wind and drizzle left me nearly soaked. The wind was so strong it blew wet sand across the coast.
On the way back to Astoria, Google Maps gave us directions back to the Goonies House. The only access is by foot with several signs long the neighborhood streets directing visitors to the Goondocks, the name of the house were the brothers lived. Standing in front of the house you can hear the seals barking down in the East Mooring Basin. The white Queen Anne-style house sits at 368 38th St on a tiny one way road at the edge of the cliff.
After taking the time to recall scenes from the movie, take photos of the house, noticing the Goondocks sign on the side of the house, my dad and I took a cell-phone selfie, the first photo together in over 8yrs.
Want to take a Goonies Road trip? Check out this great article.
A much long overdue post I will admit. On October 17 I got to see one of my favorite bands play at Mill City Nights in Minneapolis with my husband and brother-in-law. This by far ranks as one of my top 5 best shows I have been to of all time. Such a great night. These guys knew how to put on a show and did not disappoint.
Set list was awesome. Mix of the new with the old. All songs are linked to the videos so enjoy.
Growing up in Southern California I loved spending time at the beach and playing in the ocean every summer. While I have always thought the Pacific Coast was beautiful nothing compares to the white sand and emerald coast of Pensacola Beach, Florida. My family took a vacation down to my husband’s home town this summer and I couldn’t help but to fall in love. By far this is one of my favorite shots taken on our trip and one we are planning on hanging in our living room.
Best birthday gift ever was the birth of my daughter. She has been a spit fire since before she was born and hasn’t stopped since. Always on the run and this year she asked for anything that she could play with outside. How cool is that? I love how much personality and unique each of my daughter are.
A couple months ago my girl got her first pair of glasses. When it came time to pick out her glasses she picked these because they were just like dad’
I love how her personality really showed through in the outtakes.
Its amazing how quickly children grow up. I have been blessed with 3 beautiful and awesome daughters. They have taught me so much over the last decade and a half. I have learned to love unconditionally from the first second they came into my life and they have given me courage to do things I might not have been able to do otherwise. My girls are my life.
I have heard children will change your life forever. I can say with a warm heart that is so very true. If you don’t take the time to pause to just sit back to watch and listen to what they are doing you will miss out on some of the funniest and silliest stuff they do.
Over the weekend the weather decided to cooperate long enough to take my girls out for a mini session. Its been almost 2 years since I updated the photos on my wall and long overdue. As a photographer let me tell you it can be quite difficult picking photos for yourself when there are so many cute ones to choose from for various reasons. I can’t help it, I love the shots that show off their personality just as much as I love the others that in my humble opinion are simply perfect.
The winter here in Minnesota has been crazy cold this year. We have had days on end with temps well below zero, some days never getting out of the negative temps. Its been pure insanity. As a result the great lakes are all frozen, the most its ever been in a few decades.
Finally the weather has warmed up a bit. Crazy to say it but having temps in the 40s felt absolutely wonderful. I have been anxious to check out the frozen lake so we took a day trip up to Duluth, MN. It was a ton a fun. Wind was a little bit cold.
On our way back we stopped at the Museum by the lift bridge and the girls had a blast checking out all the cool stuff and the history. Right before heading home we finally got a chance to walk on the lake itself and my two youngest could help but to run and play on the ice.
I didn’t get much objection when I gave my birthday girl an ice cream cone in the middle of the day and told her “lets go play outside cuz its snowing” She was puzzled to say the least and the other kids were a bit jealous but I couldn’t help myself. All day long it had been snow drizzling. Not much after I mentioned how I wished we would get big snow flakes did Mother Nature grant my wish so I scrambled to gather up my gear, my Valentine and of course a very pink ice cream cone.
I have been anxiously waiting to play outside since I had seen a photo online a few weeks ago taken when the snow was falling. It didn’t take long to realize it was a tad bit colder than we thought.
Not that my little birthday girl was complaining much. After all she had ice cream in her hand.
Granted she was a bit cold and made sure to let me know how much after I asked her to take a bite LOL
♥ LOVE ♥ I have always loved the drive through the Napa Valley. Growing up it was something I looked forward to every summer when my family would come up to visit and then again every July when I make a trip over the mountain for my birthday.
When my best friend came out from Minnesota for a visit, we made a trip out to the Napa Valley for lunch in St. Helena at my favorite Deli right in the heart of downtown, a place I grew up with and LOVE!!! Driving down from St. Helena to Napa my Best Friend and I stopped on the side of the road where she found this heart. This was just the start of an amazing 3 days she was here to visit and much too short of time together.
While my Best Friend was visiting for the weekend we did a lot of low cost yet typical NorCal type stuff. Even though I lived there for over 7 years and traveled or lived in the Wine Country my whole life, I have never gone a tour of a winery. We decided to tour Robert Mondovi Winery in the beautiful Napa Valley since its one of my favorites.
Best time to visit would definitely be in October. During the crush you can see the process of making wine from the time the grapes are growing on the vines through to the end result. We started out tour in the vineyards and even got to taste some of the grapes.
Inside the winery we got a topside view of the grapes in the crush.
One of the stops was the room filled with barrels waiting to be filled with red wine.
My instinct took this shot without giving it much thought other than how I would love to have this framed in my office. At the end of the tour I saw this same shot on sale for $178. Pretty cool huh? One day I will get this one framed in my house. For now its my wall paper background on my computer and phone.
At the end of our tour we got to taste two red and one white wine along with a tasty treat.