Spring has Finally Arrived!

Spring has Finally Arrived!

Out here in the Midwest, we've been staring at the rest of the country with envious eyes. (Well, maybe not the entire country—looking at you Northeast.) As friends and family posted photos of their beautifully blooming trees and flowers, we continued to watch the snow fall, inch by inch. We took bets on whether or not we'd get a spring and prayed that Mother Nature wouldn't take a violent leap into summer. The weather gods were kind; we've had a blissful last few weeks with high 70s for temps. With a lightning storm earlier this week, it seems as if everything just exploded with life. Birds, trees, flowers... they're all here and ready to party.  

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Rejuvinated and Inspired

Lately, as a few of my friends and family can attest to, I haven’t been feeling quite myself. I usually find a lot of joy in photography and being around nature, but these last few days (almost weeks) I found myself not wanting to leave the house unless going to work. The weather has been beautiful, if not a bit on the humid side, but I couldn’t bring myself to do anything. It all culminated into a very not-so-good day on Thursday where, as I’m fortunate enough to have, I needed many of my friends to lift me up. One in particular was so incredibly kind to me and allowed me to talk out some of my biggest fears. My true emotions are not something that I talk about often—I  try to stay positive for myself and others—but I was in a pretty deep hole worried I wouldn’t be getting out any time soon. I’m still not comfortable with sharing extra details, but I will say that if it wasn’t for my amazing, kind, compassionate support group, I would probably still be in that hole, digging deeper.

But enough about that for now. I wanted to express my happiness about photography and generally, the positive vibes and feelings having a creative outlet can give you.

There’s an area close to our house where the river sort of banks out for a bit, a little alcove if you will, where people fish and there are ducks and geese aplenty. I took Louie for a walk down there yesterday and the quiet, the calming sense of peace, washed over me. It was nice to be out in the sun again. As it started setting and we were driving home, the last rays hit this field and I swear it glowed. I absolutely love golden hour so of course, I had to stop and snap a few (or several dozen) shots. There’s just something about the warmth of a sunset, the way it brightens the shadows and illuminates every detail that makes it my favorite part of the day.

When we finally got home I was feeling rejuvenated and at peace. Editing them brought me so much joy. Sharing them on social media and seeing other people responding just as I felt brought me happiness.

I’m so grateful that things are back where they are. I’m so blessed to have my family and friends around me. I hope you have place where you can feel safe expressing yourself in whatever way that is. I hope you too get to feeling re-inspired and alive.

A Day at Devil's Lake

Still failing at posting on time, but at least it's consistently, right? Moving on.

Autumn here in the Midwest is just on the cusp of leaving us. The northern part of the state has transitioned from emerald greens to glowing oranges and fiery reds in a matter of weeks and now, here in the southern half, that transition is passing through. The humidity here in the summer is, to be blunt, awful. Stepping out into the sun and feeling like you never left your shower is a bit of a bummer, but as the temperatures cool and the colors change, it's suddenly worth the pain of the last three and a half months.

A few weekends ago I wrangled my dad in for a hike. We drove a few hours north of us to a place I had been wanting to visit since last year: Devil's Lake State Park.

The further we drove, the more magical the landscape became. On the southern Wisconsin border, where I currently live, there are beautiful patches of woods and winding creeks, but for the most part, at least to my undiscovered mind, we're surrounded by vast corn and soy bean fields. Gorgeous, mind you, but for a girl who grew up in the sprawling forests and mountains of the Pacific Northwest, not quiet enough to get me excited.

However, I was proved wrong as we finally entered a magical, colorful forest encircling a beautiful and crisp lake.

Trees hugged the slowly driven roads and families gathered in huddled groups taking portraits. The leaves fell almost as if in slow motion and every winding turn lead to something even more beautiful.

After finding a place to park, the toughest part of the day, we harnessed up Parker and took off into a golden wonderland. It was so lovely and nice to walk through the woods listening to chatter of families and friends, swapping comments with other hikers, and just basking in the beauty of a midwest autumn.

A Day at the Dog Park

Autumn is here in full swing now with windy afternoons and stormy clouds. Of course, the heat hasn't fully disappeared yet, but it looks like it's cooling down. My hope is for a long, beautiful autumn before the snow comes. Fingers crossed!

Today I took the three pups out to a county dog park. Our streets at home are lovely, but they've started to bore with the same paths and smells. I figured it was a good day to load them up and give them a little excitement. A half-an-hours drive found us in a gorgeous patch of Southern Wisconsin with rolling hills, flitting leafs, and blue skies.

It was a great afternoon to let them run wild and free. The dog park was set up in four sections: two for larger breeds and two for smaller. As my brood sits somewhere in the medium range (a Border/Aussie mix, and two Terrier mutts) I figured the smaller fields were a better start. We found the one without another single soul and once in, the leashes were off and so were they.

It was a wonderful day of fresh air and wagging tails.

Moody Days in Chicago

I haven't used this blog in quite awhile. In fact, while I was in Europe, I totally thought I would. (Joke's on me.) But now that I'm back in the States, I'm debating whether to retroactively blog about my au pair experience or let bygones be bygones. For now, I'll be in the present. 

My brother came out from Idaho to spend a week with us and of course, being as I love the city, I dragged his poor self to Chicago for mostly selfish reasons. We spent almost four hours in the Museum of Science and Industry and then worked our way over to the Willis Tower because glass box suspended over the city! As the sun was setting on our day, I fell in love with the warm sunset on the last days of summer. A bit far from my normal editing style, I wanted to capture the glow and shadows on the crip architecture of Chitown. 

I'm a girl of the countryside at heart, but there's something so beautiful about walking down streets full of strangers and noise. The bustle of dozens of stares and people briskly making their way home; it's almost welcoming.