minneSNOWta

It’s not Minnesota without at least one big snowstorm! Gotta love it (as long as it’s not in April)…

SNOWSTORM-COLLAGE

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twenty-fifteen

Here I am, one month shy of an entire year since I’ve posted here. How sad is that! I love coming here, sharing my thoughts and photos, not only with you, but for myself and for my daughter to look back on years from now.

Being absent here for almost a year can only mean one thing — 2015 was complete craziness. Not only was I absent on my blog, but in a way, from my own life. My days were spent sitting at my desk in an office, working my full time job, and the majority of my evenings were a precise routine of picking up Finley from daycare, making dinner, being a mommy, and then parking my rear end on the couch to work again, this time on freelance projects, the minute Finley went to bed. It was all I could do to keep up. Nothing else mattered. It wasn’t unusual for me to have up to 20 ongoing projects at all times. Everything else seemed to had to  get pushed to the back burner. I would often tell myself that there would be no way I could maintain that lifestyle forever, especially as Finley got older and would have more “activities” in the evenings or when we, God-willingly, bring another child into this world. Plus, I just know there is so much more to life than only doing things to make extra cash.

Here’s the thing, I LOVE my freelance work, I really do. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t do so much of it. But it’s still work, and it’s still taking away from the other things that fill my heart with joy. Freelance work has slowly started to make even my passions feel like too much work — because doing something for “fun” would take up the precious time I had so little of to get my money-paying freelance work done. Even coloring (and I LOVE coloring!) seemed to cause anxiety because I couldn’t finish it fast enough and I’d always feel like I wasn’t using my time wisely enough. That is no way to live, my friends! We only have one life to do all the things that make us the happiest and bring us the most joy.

So, moving forward in 2016, it’s my goal to be more intentional about what work I add to my plate, to focus a whole lot more on me (hello, exercising and making time for eating clean!) and my family (hello, toddler swimming lessons+dance class and date nights with my hubby again!), and doing the fun things that don’t necessarily put money in my pocket. Expect to see more personal photo projects of my two favorite subjects this year too!

With that, before Finley’s third birthday in 19 days (howwwww!?), here’s what her second birthday looked like! Wait til you see how much she’s changed since then…!

2nd Birthday Theme: Vizslas+Sprinkles
“Colorful sprinkles, vizlsa kisses,  & a little girl’s wishes — Finley is turning two!”

2nd Birthday Collage

the days are long, but the years are short.

It’s hard to believe the first photo was taken two years ago, just a short 24 hours before I would see my sweet little baby’s face for the first time. Fast forward two years — her hair fits in piggies and that sweet little baby has become a little girl. In true vizsla fashion, Lucy is close by, making sure to live up to the trademark vizsla nickname — Velcro Dog™.

Remember, “the days are long, but the years are short.”… I still can’t believe I have a two year old daughter and that Lucy will turn nine this summer… My girls… ❤

DOOR SILHOUETTE 2013 LR BLOG

DOOR SILHOUETTE 2014 LR BLOG

DOOR SILHOUETTE 2015 LR BLOG

a magical forest

“Stop looking for the magic. You are in it.”

Whether you’re a little girl in the foggy woods, I mean, a “magical forest”, in Minnesota on a 47 degree November day, or the mommy to that little girl, take a look around — stop looking for the magic, because you are in it! Not every day with a toddler seems magical, especially the days when she tugs at your leg every minute and wants “uppia”, but only if you are standing, or when she fights a diaper change for ten minutes right before you were walking out the door in the morning for work, or when she demands “fishies” the entire 30 minute car ride, but you don’t have any left and can’t make her understand that. Just when you think you are at your wit’s end, you are overwhelmed with happiness when you go into her room in the morning and she greets you with a smile and sweetly says “in! in!” until you get into her crib with her for two minutes until “all done!” and she kicks you out, or when she points to the card on the fridge with a fox on the front and proudly blurts out her newly-learned word, except it doesn’t exactly sound like “fox”, but sounds more like the F-bomb, or when she answers with “Owwh-kayyyyy” (in a British accent) instead of “yes”, and what may be the sweetest thing to every mommy’s ears; hearing her say “lah-youuu, mommy” and puckering up her sweet little toddler lips for a kiss!

That is the magic.

This “forest” was pretty magical too, but I think that’s because she was in it… ❤

FOGGY-WOODS-BLOG

national geographic | please vote!

Today my photo was selected as one of National Geographic’s Daily Dozen and the photo with the most votes (by midnight) may be published in an edition of National Geographic! I would love your support and if you would vote for my photo!! Thank you thank you thank you!! 🙂 Just click the photo to be taken to the site to vote..

907Y9339_1_LR

“there’s no place like home”

This year for Halloween, my little lady dressed as the sweetest-ever-in-the-whole-wide-world, Dorothy, with her sidekick as the cowardly lion. As a photographer, it is completely necessary and required (by me) to do a photo shoot to document it. Our photo shoot took place at the pumpkin patch where we bought our “punkins” (as Finley and every other toddler in the world calls them). My favorite is the one that Lucy looks like a real-life ferocious lion protecting her cub (in this case, Dorothy). But, don’t be alarmed, she’s not really growling.. I just caught the exact hundredth of a second after a big, gentle vizsla yawn!

We had a Dorothy wig for Finley but trying to force a toddler to wear wig is next to impossible. Instead, a pretty blue ribbon in her hair kept her happy. The adorable dress was made by my talented, seamstress mom, the ruby slippers are from Babies ‘r Us, and the lion mane is from eBay. 🙂

WATERCOLOR