Your Victory

I’ve been reading some really motivating blog posts from my fellow photographers lately and I wanted to share a little but about what’s going on here with us too! The winter is a time for a lot of photographers to regroup and reevaluate after the crazy busy season of shooting weddings.¬†My friends are having more time to sit down and talk about what is going on behind the scenes so here is a little glimpse from me.

Dan and I are settled in at the Outer Banks for some Snowbird winter time escape. When the dust finally settled, we took some time yesterday to sit down and talk about some changes we wanted to make personally to better our lives and our marriage. It’s funny that when you sit down intentionally to talk about the things you want to change in your life, you really already know what those things are before you even start. Our lists were pretty short and unchanged from what we have been wanting to change for years now. Thats the hard part: the things you want to change are usually things you have wanted to change always but just cant make yourself do it. I wonder why that is?

One of my things I want to begin doing is a daily yoga practice. I have always admired yogi’s and the idea of loving your body and taking care of it. Oddly enough, I DONT do that. Not at all. I have a lot of self loathing and body image issues and have never really loved myself enough to give myself the gift of yoga. Sure Ive been to many yoga classes and tried to start this many time but I’ve never stuck to it. Its like I don’t think I really deserve to enjoy my body or my bones or my muscles or my breath. It sounds ridiculous writing it out here but thats the nature of things like this. We lie to ourselves and tell ourselves we are not worth the things that we really do deserve and the things we have been given as gifts! So…. today I did a yoga session. It’s funny that something so small and simple can feel like such a victory. That’s what it feels like to me.

What can be your victory today?

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Alaska Trip 2014

We went to Alaska.

Here’s the story behind it:

Dan and James have been best friends forever and ever. James is in the Army and his family has been all over the country at different bases and he is currently stationed in Anchorage. We had some flyer miles and time to visit AND James was on leave so we just went for it. We didn’t have huge grand plans or a list of things to see because our sole reason for going was to visit them. If we went in the summer I think we would have MUCH busier doing every single thing we could think of while we were there, but this trip was about as relaxing as they come, hanging out, eating good food, going on long drives, and watching movies at home. It was exactly what we needed at the end of a long wedding season and we got to be around people we love whole heartedly. They just happen to live in a GORGEOUS PLACE!!!

So let me tell ya about it:Del and Matt 0028.JPG

The following two photos we taken at 4:00 pm and 10:00am. It was dark a lot there.iPhone Alaska 2014 0173.JPG2014-12-04 16.02.45-1.JPG

Here are James and Lauren fawning over their little girl. It was so fun to meet her ourselves!!! She is the first baby that I have ever met that made me think, “Hmm…. maybe I could do this baby thing!”Alaska 2014 0005.JPG

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Alaska still has Blockbusters!! We decided to pay homage to the good old days and go as a group to walk around and pick it out. Then we ordered Papa John’s and had it delivered. So 1997 eh?
iPhone Alaska 2014 0197.JPGWe did A LOT of ¬†“STOP THE CAR I NEED TO TAKE A PHOTO.” Im sure you can image that.
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Alaska 2014 0017.JPGUs being cute. Obviously.
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We got to do a few portrait sessions while we were there because really… we could NOT go there and not photograph people in love in that environment. Luckily we have TWO couples who we are friends with who live in Anchorage so we made it happen. You’ll see them soon on the blog so stay tuned.
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One of my favorite things we did while we were there was go to a movie at a theater that served delicious pizza and some of the best beer I have ever had. I wish I could have all three of those things again right this moment.

Here are the details for your trip: Bear Tooth Theaterpub serving the Moose’s Tooth Pizza and Broken Tooth Brewing beer, (I loved the Hard Apple Ale omg omg omg omg omg). So now you know and now you must go.
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2014-12-05 10.26.17.JPGAnother stellar experience was the Anchorage Museum. I loved the design of the building. I loved the special exhibit. I loved the kids science area. I loved learning about Alaskan Culture and History. I loved the art. I loved the view. It ruled.
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iPhone Alaska 2014 0288.JPGOne of the best things about being in Alaska is that literally everywhere you go, and everywhere you look, IT IS BEAUTIFUL! We spent a lot of our time gasping and looking around wide eyed. To give you an example, this is a photo of the Target parking lot.
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iPhone Alaska 2014 0295.JPGThe most adventurous part of the trip was the hike that Dan went on with James, and a few of James’ lieutenants. ¬†Since I didn’t go, I’ll pass it over to Dan to tell you about it: James and I¬†had the idea of doing a hike up Crow Pass but had no motivation, on the last day we finally decided to go for it. Arriving at the road up to the trail head, we realized it was to icy to make it up by car – add another mile. By the time we made it to the trail head I was already tired! The hike is about 3 miles straight up (or it feels like it) a mountain. Once above tree line the snow got really deep and we switched to snowshoes. I have never hiked in snow that deep or in Mountains that large, it was incredible! We finally made it to our stop at a cabin to try to warm up. It was a welcome rest. We only had about 30 minutes to break before we had to return to try to make it back down before dark. We started in the dark and ended in the dark. The trip was one of the more tiring adventures I have done in my life…
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The Hike Alaska 0009.JPG The Hike Alaska 0044.JPGThe Hike Alaska 0014.JPG2014-12-10 16.28.47.JPGThe Hike Alaska 0021.JPG The Hike Alaska 0040.JPGAnd then we flew home, packed up our apartment, and headed south for the winter.
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Tracy

I miss you friend. I hope wherever you are, you are standing in good light surrounded by a few rainbows and shooting stars!

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Thanksgiving 2014 Road Trip: Wisconsin

After our day in Niagara Falls, we headed out to Wisconsin to spend Thanksgiving with my Best Friend Annie, and her parents, and her puppies! We drove through Flint Michigan to see where Dan went to school, and then around Lake Michigan, up through Chicago, and finally arrive at Annie’s apartment in Milwaukee. ¬†Whew!

Since we were there for a while, let me just break it down for you right here in bullet point form since thats easier to read and… write.

Tuesday: We made it to Annie’s, ate dinner out with Annie and Andrea, went to the Art Museum,¬†and spent the night.

Wednesday: We headed out to Annie’s parents house in Oshkosh, (yes B’gosh) and Dan and Annie went to the beauty salon. Yup. You read that right.

Thursday AKA Thanksgiving: We walked the turkey trot and cheated to finish early. ¬†We ate WAY more than our bodies were prepared for and then we laid around trying to recover from that. Thats what I call a perfect Thanksgiving. All the credit goes to Dennis, Annie’s dad, for making pretty much every single thing I ate, as well as for decorating the heck out of everything. The turkey shaped confetti took it to a whole other level of wonderful.

Friday: We had planned to head up to Door County but the weather stunk so we headed to Green Bay instead. We went to Lambeau and then to the botanical gardens where there was an awesome light tunnel for photos.

Saturday: We headed up to Door County and saw everything we could since it was the off season and nothing was really open. Annie and I got drunk at a mexican restaurant and Dan proceeded to tolerate us as we laughed our way through the Christmas shop. It was awesome. We also ordered some of the worst pizza I have ever had for dinner that night. This is second only to the pizza I had in San Juan Puerto Rico.

Sunday: We began our VERY long drive back home.

Annie’s family was so welcoming to us and I can’t even begin to thank them for having us with them for the holiday. The food was out of control good and the hospitality was somehow better than that. Well done Mid-west. Well done.

Also, these photos are a mix of photos from all of our iphones (Dan, Mine, and Annies) as well as some DSLR photos from Annie.

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Thanksgiving 2014 Road Trip: Niagara Falls

This Thanksgiving, Dan, Hattie and I packed up the Prius and drove over 2,500 miles from Portland Maine to Wisconsin and back. Along the way we stopped at Niagara Falls because Dan had never been!  I was really excited to take him there because Dan is obsessed with water. He has nearly killed me trying to get a better look at a waterfalls along the road from Maine to Hawaii to Puerto Rico. I thought what better waterfall to show him than the iconic Niagara Falls?? My great grandparents went to the falls for their honeymoon, and I went on a family road trip back in middle school.

If you have never been, you should probably stop by. Both of the bordering towns are a little rough around the edges however it’s nothing that you can’t handle. I get the sense that there was most definitely a heyday, and that time has passed. #sorryniagara

All that being said, it is amazing to see. We stayed on the Canadian side for the most part but we did venture over to the American side to do the Niagara Falls State Park and the Cave of the Winds. We also checked out the Observatory, where you can see both falls from the American Side. Impressive. While we were on the American side we took a photo for a couple who live in Florida, who are from India. They were asking about the best vantage point and I said to head over to the Canadian side. They told me that they couldn’t because of their green cards, and it struck me to realize that being able to see the falls from both countries was a privilege that I had not previously taken as that. It made me feel much more grateful when we headed back to Canada that day.

Near the end of the day, we hopped on the Hornblower Niagara Cruise, which is my number one recommendation for something to do while in the area. It. Was. So. Fun! You can ride a boat all the way up to the Canadian Falls and you get drenched in the mist. I loved being able to experience the power of nature in a relatively safe way. It was definitely something not to miss.

The next day we headed out to Wisconsin, where we would spend Thanksgiving. That’s tomorrow’s blogpost!

Everything you see here was taken on our iPhones.Thanksgiving Road Trip 2014 NY and WI 0014 Thanksgiving Road Trip 2014 NY and WI 0018 Thanksgiving Road Trip 2014 NY and WI 0024 Thanksgiving Road Trip 2014 NY and WI 0061 Thanksgiving Road Trip 2014 NY and WI 0076Thanksgiving Road Trip 2014 NY and WI 0042

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