Welcome to the New Year (just a little late)



I’ve been busy this new year and am just now getting around to posting here.  Fortunately for me, some of my busy status has involved my camera.  So I’ll share a few photos along with a few update facts.  Hope you enjoy.small-4305Spent the morning of the first day of the year on the Gallatin River – cold but beautiful!


Looking to a year of growth in professional life for both Andy and I – he as an attorney, me as a photographer.  This starting to identify myself as a photographer is hard – I envision a full schedule and a fully developed business is necessary, but the fact is those things will not come until first I identify myself as a photographer.  Sometimes I struggle to get things in the right order, but I’m working on it!


My “one little word” for this year is Photography.  Yep, trying to fully integrate this identity.  Plus, it just brings me great joy!  I have so many photography project ideas and I’m (well, really, Andy and I) am/are working on a way to get me the time to implement those ideas.


J has started back to karate team practice with a big goal/dream of going to nationals again this year.  His skills I think will qualify him.  What he really will be challenged by is raising the funds to get to the actual event, which is all the way in Florida, and he can’t go alone.  We placed the responsibility on him for that, and he’s thinking through what that might look like.  But right now he’s a bit distracted by the pending “final exams” which he will take for the first time in less than 10 days.  He’s growing into so much so quickly!


That is it for the updates today.  Hope to be back again soon!

Categories: Andy, Blessings, Daily life, Family photographer, Gallatin River, J, Karate, Montana, Montana weather, My Backyard, One Little Word, Outdoors, Photography, snow, Winter | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment



We got the star on the tree – Aunt Elizabeth knows it was missing for a long time.  It was set (poorly, but set) last night after 9 p.m.


But we never got the nativities sorted beyond the flash mob status.  A reflection of some of the unique characteristics of this particular season – good season but always on the go!


Even Miss Sophie needs a bit of a nap after all the rushing around.


Papa needs a nap because he got up early and plowed away the new fallen snow for us and the neighbors (Merry Christmas neighbors), and he went for a run – all before we were opening gifts at the crack of dawn.  Get rested up Papa we still have a movie to catch!


The goggles and flannel shirt are new, helmet is old.  But this seems to be the chosen attire for the day – threatening to go to Unbroken wearing this later this afternoon.  We’ll see.  I bet he selects this outfit instead:small-4032

New jacket is from Grandma and Grandpa – thank you!  He’s in love and I love the idea that I’ll be able to spot him on the ice flow or the ski hill.  He’s wearing it right now (flannel shirt under, helmet and goggles still on) while listening to music by Lecrae.

All this colorful fun to celebrate the best gift in history – birth of Jesus.  Can’t forget that without that best gift we just wouldn’t be the same – not the same at all!

Categories: Andy, Blessings, Christmas, Daily life, Faith, Family Fun, J, kids, snow, Thankful to God, Winter | 3 Comments



Not only is my husband a great attorney (if you ever need a criminal defense attorney in Montana or California, he’s your guy, but I hope you don’t need a criminal defense attorney), he also took up salvage art.  I don’t know if “salvage art” is a real term, but I’m going with it because it is the best way to describe this emerging talent.


He found this red and white door in the dumpster at our office (thus the term salvage art) and brought it home.  I was thrilled and began to ponder how we could use such a simple but cool item around the house.  Next thing I know, he’s tied it to the aspen trees with a piece of old dryer vent tubing. 

And there you have it.  My husband is a salvage artist.  I sometimes wonder what our neighbors think of us… but that is a whole other post someday.

Categories: Andy, Art, Daily life, doors, Outdoors, Photography, salvage art, snow, the house | Tags: , | 3 Comments


On our way home from Reed Point (yesterday’s post) we stopped in Big Timber and a couple of places along the highway to take some photos of the beautiful Crazy Mountains and surrounding farm land.


The Interstate follows the rail road tracks along this stretch, so when we got out in Big Timber we had to cross them to get the view I wanted (see above).  Andy got out and joined me.  Next thing I knew, along came a train:Ellie-128


After it was gone I saw Andy fussing around on the tracks.  Then he showed me this:


which he got by putting a quarter along the tracks before the train came – something I didn’t notice as I was busy setting up my tripod near the farmers fence well away from the dangers of the tracks.Ellie-156

Felt like a couple of kids playing along the tracks.Ellie-155

The clouds that day were fairly dramatic making big shadows across the land.Ellie-159



Categories: Andy, Crazy Mountains, Family Fun, Montana, Montana summers, Montana weather, Outdoors, Photography, Railroad Tracks, Reed Point, Trains, Travel | Leave a comment




































































Categories: Andy, Andy's Family, Cottonwood Canyon, Daily life, Family Fun, flowers, Hiking, Hyalite, J, Karate, kids, Montana, Outdoors, Photography, Summer, Tahoe, Travel, Vacation | Leave a comment


It took three years plus a little, but I’m at 3000 items on my gratitude list.  What a blessing the list has been!  A chance to showcase God’s work in the little details of my life and to remind myself to give credit where credit is due.  So, at the risk of being redundant, Thank You God!IMG_3044sm2961.  S able to help J out in a bind

2962.  Turning a disappointment into a chance to problem solve and remember strengths

2963.  Lunch with Andy at Sola

2964.  Unique flowers at fusion to photograph

2965.  Client who is grateful

2966.  Color for June is purple at 2 peas photo challenge

2967.  Pat’s kind comment about my lilac photo

2968.  Getting a blog posted two days in a row

IMG_3045sm2969.  Positive feedback spontaneously given for a project I did when the person didn’t know it was my project.

2970.  Bambi Cantrell video on-line – so educational and free!

2971.  Living close to camping opportunities

2972.  Walking up Yonder Road

2973.  Lupine beginning to bloom at Spire Rock camp ground

2974.  Feeling strong after walking 11 miles.

2975.  Figuring out karate tournament registration

2976.  J safely off to Washington DC

IMG_3050sm2977.  Friendly chat with our neighbor

2978.  Good long walk with Denise

2979.  Views five miles up Cottonwood Canyon

2980.  J seems to be doing well on trip

2981.  Getting a model opportunity set-up

2982.  Walking before the rain hit in the morning

2983.  Many opportunities to view wild flowers this spring/summer

2984.  J remembered to call Andy on Father’s Day

2985.  Inspiring photography website

IMG_3072sm2986.  Rain for all the local crops after a dry May

2987.  Tank able to run with Andy again

2988.  Able to walk at the mall on a rainy day – still getting the walk in and not getting all wet

2989.  Satisfaction with the result of the Kirby family photos

2990.  Yummy pork chop dinner cooked the way my mom did them

2991.  Getting through a “To Do List” relatively early in the day

2992.  Bright green of different shades on the shrubs all around our office building

2993.  Reliable friends for J in both S and N.

IMG_3076sm2994.  Wisdom from others rattles in my head when I need it most

2995.  Drops of water shinning on all the leaves after a spring rain

2996.  Arnika and Arrison playfully chasing each other around the house

2997.  Getting the bank and quicken to communicate over the internet for hope of easier bookkeeping work


2998.  Interesting rows and rows of low hanging clouds over the fields on Gooch Hill

sm-32372999.  Having enough of what we need.

3000.  Getting to 3000 and the consistent uplifting feeling that comes from keeping this list.


Categories: Andy, Arnika, Arrison, Daily life, Faith, flowers, gratitude, Montana, Outdoors, Photography, poppies, Spring, Thankful to God | 1 Comment



J is out-of-town – on a trip to the East Coast with a group from his school, so Andy and I were alone (except for Paul, who lives in the basement).  Anyway, part of my training for a big hike in August is to do long hikes on Saturdays.  This week was scheduled for a 12 miler, so Andy joined me.  It was very fun!


We actually joined up with some friends by accident – the wife of that couple is doing the same training I am, but we thought they were going at the crack of dawn, so when we saw their car at the trailhead around 9 a.m. we assumed we’d see them hiking down while we were still on our way up.  So we had some company almost the whole way because we saw them just past a mile into the hike (we caught up with them, which suggests we were at a faster pace? Oh wait, it’s not a competition).

These two photos were taken about five miles in.  If you look closely you will see a dog (our friends’) chasing an elk at the edge of the meadow.  But the view in that meadow was just breath-taking! 

IMG_3021smOther than that big hike there were some hours at the office, some house keeping, gardening, photographing of flowers, bbqing and other cooking, and general relaxing.  Nice to have a start on the weeding done. 

J comes home on Tuesday (late) and we can’t wait.  It is a busy week at the office, but I hope to post some more flower photos. 

Gotta find a real live person willing to model for some photos – got some ideas to try!

Categories: Andy, Daily life, flowers, Hiking, J, Montana, Outdoors, Photography, Spring, Summer | Leave a comment



Last weekend Andy and I took a road trip together.  J was at Expedition Yellowstone and we had a few days to ourselves.  All the photos posted tonight are from the first evening of our trip.  Some were taken from the moving vehicle with the window rolled down, others through the windshield, and still others we actually stopped along the side of the road and I got out.  Bet you can tell which are which.


As beautiful as the country we saw is, what was most impressive to me was that Andy and I were doing this trip at all.  It is the first time in 14 years that we went on a trip without J that was for pure pleasure. 


Sure, we’ve been to two church retreats, and to L.A. to get his hip surgery, but to just go for the fun of it and for the fun of being together?  That hasn’t happened since J was born.


We spent most of this trip in the car.  First, it was intended to be a car trip exploring part of Montana that I had not been to before.  We went from the Gallatin Valley to Lewistown to Denton to Stanford, down the Little Belt Mountains (past Showdown) to White Sulphur Springs, over to Townsend and back to the Gallatin Valley.  I don’t know how many miles that was – should probably calculate, but too lazy to do it tonight.


The other reason we spent most of the time in the car was because it was COLD!  Like we never saw anything above 8 degrees the entire drive, and often it was hovering around 2, with winds blowing like crazy.  Those heated seats in our car were very welcome, believe me.


Besides, time in the car is time to talk, and we did do that.  And believe it or not, very little of what we talked about was work related or stressful.  Just chatting about observations and general thoughts.  That’s what we often did when we were dating, so it was familiar territory for us, and good.

IMG_5690-2We stayed that first night in Lewistown, and this is the court-house that was just down the road from our hotel.  It was a nice hotel and I would recommend it to anyone – affordable, personality, history, clean, and nice staff.

I’ll post the photos from Saturday and Sunday later this week.

Categories: Andy, Daily life, Family Fun, J, Montana, Outdoors, Photography, snow, Travel, Winter | 2 Comments




The loss of Leo had a big impact on all of us, including out other animals.  But it is nice to see that all species can come together and enjoy each other.  This is Andy (back) Tank (middle) and Arrison (front) sleeping on the couch in front of the fire.  I think Tank was a little unsure about having Arrison curl up with him at first, but he got used to it quickly.

Categories: Andy, Daily life, dog, Family Fun, kittens, Photography, Tank, Winter | Leave a comment


IMG_1648smIt has been too cold to really get out and take photos. 

Let’s face it, it has been too cold to do much of anything.  Just the daily activities of surviving are exhausting.  I don’t normally get impacted by the cold like this, but the past 7 days of extreme cold have kicked my tail.  The hardest part is that our home heating is not functioning at optimum due to one of our stoves being out of commission – so it is always chilly in the living area of the house and we wear lots of layers.  But that is countered by the fact that both our vehicles, which we park out doors, have started up problem free every time.  We even had to loan our 16-year-old truck to a friend whose fancy-shmancy by comparison and much newer truck wouldn’t start and their business required some hauling.  Of course we were glad to help and I note that they have helped us with the loan of a car when we’ve had one in the shop before.  Like I said above, getting through this cold has really become about survival.

TRIAL UPDATE:  The trial is going on despite the cold.  Andy is working hard.  Attorneys who are there with him tell me the jury is responding very well to him, leaning in to listen to what he has to say.  But a couple of jurors are sleeping during the time that the prosecution is presenting.  That doesn’t mean anything regarding the outcome of the case, but it sure does speak well for Andy’s general skills.IMG_7550sm

LEO UPDATE:  Leo is not doing particularly well and we are preparing ourselves for a fast approaching sad day.  He can’t get comfortable at night and is up 9 – 10 times and he has been avoiding eating for the last couple of days.  It breaks all our hearts and the tears will flow, but right now we are seeing if something will change.  But we are thankful for the 10 years we’ve had with him.


Categories: Andy, Daily life, Leo, Outdoors, Photography, the house, Winter | Leave a comment

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