May Freelensing

One late spring evening, my husband took us walk to show us this little hidden spot I’d never been to before. I couldn’t believe these cliffs are so close to town and I’ve never known of them before! They are beautiful sandstone cliffs with birds nesting in the their carved out caves. Their orange color is startling against the surrounding brown landscape, just beginning its yearly process of rebirth.


Kyler rescued this old jacket of mine from the thrift pile and became Sherlock Holmes with it. He wore it everywhere for a few days. DSC_3791DSC_3796He was very ready to be done and go get his typical bedtime snack. DSC_3800-Edit-2DSC_3800-EditDSC_3807These pussy willows hang over my neighbor’s yard and give me a beautiful view through my kitchen window. Although this year the tree is taller and I had to stand on a stool to get up to the lowest buds. I love their fuzzy softness and how they burst into yellow.


If you couldn’t tell from the previous pictures, this little one is Moody!! His emotions are big and he feels everything. I’m ready to capture more of our real life with the kids at home all summer, so here’s some real life for ya.

DSC_5154DSC_5155DSC_5160DSC_5163DSC_5164DSC_5165 There we go, that’s better.DSC_4486DSC_4487DSC_4493

Follow the blog around the blog circle by visiting April’s post next!

March Freelensing

This month I am  participating in a project through March to freelens every day for all 31 days. So for my blog share today, I am sharing the first half of the month so far. Once you’re done here, be sure to follow the blog circle around to see the other ladies amazing freelensing from the Free 52 group!

Day 1    Science Projects

DSC_3128 DSC_3135Day 2

Day 3 The spaceship and the space termites.

Day 4


Day 5

DSC_3256Day 6

I showed him how to hold the camera and lens to freelens and told him to just start snapping, I’m impressed that he got the puppy’s eye in focus on the first one.


Day 7

DSC_3290Kyler was in a program for school all about Lewis and Clark, here’s his costume as a Native American, he was so beyond excited about this program and he did great! The outfit is authentic pieces that my husband collected while living on the Flathead Reservation in Northern Montana as a boy. DSC_3314

Day 8

Day 9

I have to give credit for this flower idea to Jana Butman, I saw her do this cut rose image years ago and it popped into my head to try it.

Day 10 From the upstairs bathroom window. I don’t think the puppy liked the tramp much.

Day 11 On a walk with my sister and her puppy. Our goldens are 6 weeks apart and play hard! They run all over this hill at full speed, trying to snap at each other and wrestle the whole time. Add some boys into the mix and it gets really fun.DSC_3433


DSC_3496Day 12

This time I gave my oldest the camera and showed him how to freelens. He only got one in focus, but I actually like the out of focus ones. I like how they feel more like a watercolor painting and show the simple lines of my face rather than the details.


Follow the loop around to see Sonia’s beautiful work!!


Disney and Harry Potter

DSC_1653-PanoDisney was wonderful and so much moremagical going back there with my children for the first time. I didn’t take very many pictures while we were actually in Disneyland. It seemed we were always rushing from one place to the next in an attempt to see and do everything. I was grateful to not have toddlers anymore and that my kids, at ages 10 and 7, could ride on all of the rides. However, they were in an in between stage, where they still wanted to experience most of the kiddie rides. So we did our best, and over three days did almost everything there is to ride in both parks with time to repeat our favorite rides a few times.

A sweet friend sent me the book The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2019, which was so helpful and I highly recommend it if your are planning a trip. My best advice from the trip was to definitely get the Max Passes!!!!!!!! They were $10 extra per person per day, and extremely worth it!! It’s like using Fast Passes, but instead of walking to the entrance of the ride to get them and reserving a time to come back later, it can all be done on your phone via the Disneyland app. The app also allows you to see current wait times for each ride. It was fantastic and I wouldn’t want to do it any other way. It saved us a ton of waiting time and we were able to get through many more rides in a day because of it.




Hogsmeade at Universal Studios was just like stepping into the books. I loved how it felt like total immersion, from the beautifully themed decor and construction of each of the shops, Ollivander’s, Honeydukes, The Three Broomsticks where we ate lunch, Hagrid’s hut, to the details inside the castle such as Dumbledore’s office. It was all exactly like what you would imagine the world of Harry Potter to be. We spent the whole day just in this area of the park and stopped at one other ride on the way out before close. I felt much more inspired to photograph this experience, as you can see by how many more pictures I took. It was also much less rushing around and more perusing and taking in every detail of every corner and shop.

DSC_1844    Selecting a wand at Ollivander’s was a pretty magical experience!



Trying butterbeer for the first time.


DSC_1834-PanoMeeting the conductor of the Hogwart’s Express and getting their “tickets.”





DSC_1805-PanoI love that I got both boys in this picture with my oldest’s reflection in the window.DSC_1796DSC_1790





DSC_1840Lunch at The Three BroomsticksDSC_1754


DSC_1748-Pano DSC_1767Hagrid’s Hut



The wands have sensors in them that interact with certain areas around the town. There are markers on the ground that show them how to wave their wand and what spell to say and then something in the shop window will move to show the magic they’ve done.



Freelensing Christmas and Umbrellas

I have hardly picked up my camera these past few months. Only a handful of times each month. But when I did pick it up, I happened to really love the images I was able to capture. These Christmas shots are some of my most treasured I’ve ever taken. DSC_1269DSC_1286


DSC_1468We surprised the boys midway through December with Christmas bedroom makeovers, new sheets, car pillow shams you see here, a nativity on their bedside table, the quilt I had finished for Jace, a few things I already had like plaid throw pillows and these wintery blankets, and we gave them these snow globes. DSC_1474DSC_1491DSC_1479DSC_1476-EditCan you see the two foxes? I’ve always called Kyler my fox because he’s wily and clever, and Jace my owl because of his big round beautiful eyes. But lately Jace has been wanting to be a fox too, so I loved gifting him this snow globe with two foxes. I believe it helps Jace feel more included and not so different, since he already sometimes feels like the different one, since he is adopted. So whatever we can do to combat that and reassure him he is one of us, we gladly will do.



DSC_1505DSC_1509-2I bought these mittens this year from Amazon and when they came in the mail I was pleasantly surprised to find out they were hand knit in Nepal by the Kumbeshwar Technical School, which provides free training in knitting to help women learn an income-generating trade. I love that and I want to share their group here. If you’d like to support this amazing group by purchasing their mittens, you can do that hereDSC_1527These next few are not freelensed, but I just had to include them with this set for journaling purposes. They have my heart and freelensing was just too hard with the puppy.DSC_1349DSC_1358DSC_1363DSC_1364DSC_1371DSC_1377February Rain

While other parts of the country are having a Polar Vortex, we are having non stop rain here in Idaho. It feels backwards, like we swapped weather with Seattle. We took the opportunity to snap some pictures with the clear umbrella I’ve had for a couple months and not used.

DSC_2646DSC_2648DSC_2650DSC_2651DSC_2652DSC_2663DSC_2658Follow the blog circle around to see each freelensing artists’ beautiful work! Next is Emma Collins!

September Freelensing

September is one of my favorite months, a beautiful blend of summer and fall, a time of transition between play and work, warmth and cool. Having a puppy feels nostalgic and has also helped ease my grieving heart after I miscarried last spring. My husband didn’t think we were ready for a puppy and I had to push hard to win him over to the idea. He was still against it up until we got her, and now he calls her his baby. I’m so very glad she is mine. I used all kinds of reasons on him, about how it would be good for the children, but really it was for me. She has been my buddy when the kids are gone, she has been another little one for me to take care of. She fills our home with a sweet presence, and I can’t help document her puppyhood like she was another baby of mine, I want to capture all her firsts.

Be sure to check out Gwen Athman’s post as soon as you’re done here, and follow the blog circle around until you get back here!DSC_7091






Thanks for stopping by! Please visit Gwen’s page and follow the blog circle around! Thanks!


Traveling Dress Collective – Champagne Skirt

My turn with the traveling champagne skirt finally came and my sister, my niece and I, (as well as their puppy), headed to the foothills at the edge of town where were could catch the sunset from atop a hill, which we hiked up with the skirt in tow in a sack. I loved the backlight filtering through the tule and how the champagne pink color of the skirt mimicked the subtle fading colors in the sky.

My niece is a natural beauty and has been since day one. She has been my muse ever since and I knew she had to be my model for the skirt. It was large on her tiny waist, but fitting for her stage in life between childhood and womanhood. While still young enough to thoroughly enjoy dressing up like a princess, she is growing into a young woman of wisdom, compassion and talent. Her light radiates and the skirt, with the light shining through, was the perfect complement to her beauty and light. The last picture with her looking out towards the sunset reminds me of this quote and is a message I want her to remember. “The future is as bright as your faith.” Thomas S. Monson.



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Check out the amazing April Christopher next in the blog circle! Follow the links in each blog around until you get back here.


July and August freelensing

Welcome to the Free 52 blog circle! After you scroll through mine, visit Leslie Shoen’s beautiful blog!

Summer went by way too fast and I felt like I didn’t pick up my camera enough, but looking back at what I did capture I realize I picked it up more that I thought I did. And that is another layer of why photography is important to me. It reminds me that I really did do those good things with my kids that I often beat myself up for not doing, or thinking I need to do more of. But here’s the evidence, we did do some fun stuff! The kids loved the slip n’ slide and we officially killed some sections of the grass that are still working on growing back, and it was totally worth it for them to have this fun experience in their childhood.

July 5thDSC_4775DSC_4788DSC_4811DSC_4817DSC_4827DSC_4831DSC_4832DSC_4838

July 21st

We visited my in-laws in Montana and I didn’t take very many pictures, but did capture these few with my mother-in-laws cute bowls and fruit she had on hand. I grabbed a gingham shirt from my suitcase to double as a dishcloth and then switched to a real dish cloth. I just love freelensing still life shots, I feel it adds so much interest to the scene.

July 25th We got a puppy! Basically for my birthday, but also because I had been feeling for a long time that we needed to add one to our family for our boys. She has been such a sweet presence in our home and we are absolutely loving having her.



August 6th- Trying to get a few more sprinkler fun days out of summer.

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August 19th, the kids have been sleeping next to Lottie’s kennel every chance they get. It’s so cute, I had to record it. She wakes up and snuggles with them after I bring her outside.

August 29th- I’m not a huge fair lover and don’t feel the nostalgia over it that some people feel. So I’ve noticed my images don’t have that romantic fair feel that I’ve seen in other’s work. So I decided to try freelensing and seeing if that helped. It did a little, but I still don’t love these. I did enjoy the photography experience better as I walked around though.


Follow the blog circle around my visiting Leslie’s page and viewing her amazing freelensing!