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



small-0422 My gratitude book/list is almost full – don’t worry, I’m already shopping for the next volume.  Giving thanks is such a meaningful and productive part of my life, I don’t think I’ll ever stop.  So, here is where I am this week:

3716.  Unexpected afternoon off with J.

3717.  Seeing ice climbers up on the ice falls in Hyalite Canyon – inspiring and encouraging.

3718.  Super nice ice climber who returned J’s dropped wallet at some significant effort.

3719.  Encouraging developments around photography business. 

3720.  Working with nice people at MCS fundraiser dinner.



3721.  J finding connections with classmates getting easier.

3722.  Quick check-in with Holly

3723.  Getting lots of photos processed

3724.  Inspiration for some photo projects.

3725.  Good discussion at Bible Study

3726.  Americana chicken laid a blue egg after two months off for molting – a beautiful blue egg!

small-04343727.  Ann Voskamp on the importance of Jesus’ family tree

3728.  Arrison sleeping at my feet.

3729.  Good mango for breakfast two days in a row!


3730.  Warmer weather – supposed to be 40 degrees today!

3731.  Needed reschedule granted

3732.  Andy’s kindness/generous heart for J and I

3733.  Good friends all around!

3734.  No wreck when swerving to avoid sudden obstacle in the road – and J impressed with my crisis driving.

Categories: Autumn, Barns, Blessings, chickens, Daily life, Faith, Fall, gratitude, Montana, Montana weather, Multitude on Mondays, Outdoors, Photography, snow, Thankful to God | 1 Comment



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



Photos from a drive around my neighborhood yesterday morning – cold and clear!


Poor cows must be very cold – wearing a blanket of snow doesn’t sound very warm to me.


It was negative something or another as I drove around, so most of these are shot out my car window – not the best, but you make do with what you have access to.  I just wasn’t ready to be walking.


Did go for a cold cold walk in the afternoon/evening with Andy.  We got a later start than intended and that really impacted our experience.  Started at 4 degrees, which is cold but okay if dressed properly and moving.  By the time we got back to the car it was -8, which is just too cold for me.  I was probably kind of whinny.  Yeah, so mature of me, I know.


Categories: Autumn, cows, Daily life, Fall, Light, Montana, Montana weather, My Backyard, Outdoors, Photography, snow, Weather, Winter | 2 Comments


small-0269  As expected, woke up to snow this morning and temps in the single digits.  Poor baby chickens aren’t going to know what hit them!  Should be even colder tomorrow.


Not that it would be all that interesting to you, but this morning did inspire me to replace my missing marmot hat.  I loved that hat.  I searched for it for days to no avail.  So a trip to REI brought a new favorite into my life.  If I get the nerve maybe I’ll do a selfie and show you the new acquisition later this week.


I was able to get these photos just barely.  Literally there was only about 20 minutes of break through sunshine.  I noticed it developing as I was coming down the high way from the bus stop for J, and I wished I had my camera with me to pull over and capture the magic.  But I didn’t, so prayed for it to last long enough to get home, run into the house, grab the camera and head out to the back (south) end of our property to capture the rays playing off the neighbor’s out buildings.

You know it is going to be a good day when such an adventure actually works out!


This last photo was taken from a few feet off my back deck, and just caught the tail end of the light.  A few minutes later the sky was socked in again and little wispy flakes were falling.  But it was beautiful while it lasted!

Categories: Autumn, Barns, Blessings, chickens, Daily life, Fall, Light, Montana, Montana weather, My Backyard, Outdoors, Photography, snow, Weather, Winter | 1 Comment


From a week ago or so!sm-9It didn’t last long – just into the mid morning.


I’m not so sure the farmer was all that excited about this.  sm-7

  But now this field is harvested.


The snow must not have done too much harm.


Made for a beautiful opportunity to pull over on the way into town and get a few shots.


Did get my shoes pretty muddy as I approached the field, but it was worth it.


Categories: Autumn, Daily life, Fall, Harvest, Montana, Montana weather, Outdoors, Photography, snow, Weather | Leave a comment



It is getting to be late summer here in Montana – and probably lots of other places too.  Hollyhocks are always a good sign that August is well on its way to being over.


You also might have a hint of late summer based on the fact that I posted no less than two photos of snow on them thar’ hills in the last week.


The Back-to-School photos might have been another hint too.


Well, the trend is continuing.  This morning the weather man told us to enjoy today because for the next six days (yes, just one day shy of a full week) we are going to “enjoy” temperatures at about 20 degrees cooler than normal for this time of year.


Hey folks, that means there is a real possibility of frost on the ground and more of that snow in the mountains.  And if it rains, hopefully enough sunshine to bring us another one (or two or three) of these:


Categories: Daily life, flowers, Hollyhocks, Montana, Montana summers, Montana weather, Outdoors, Photography, Rainbow, snow, Summer, Weather | 1 Comment


sm-3852The Beaten Path is a well used path from Cook City Montana (North East corner of Yellowstone) to East Rosebud Lake Montana through the Beartooth Mountains and the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness.  It is usually backpacked in a couple or three days.  But we felt up to the challenge of doing the whole thing in one day.

We got to the trail head at 6:20 a.m., took a few photos and started walking.  It was barely light outside.

sm-3855This hike was a jubilee – celebration of 7 x 7 years – but some of us were older than 49 (not me).

sm-3862Much of the trail was mucky from the rains the days before.

sm-3869There was morning mist on the meadows.






And above 8000 feet the wild flowers were still blooming on August 16th.



sm-3896The lakes were stunning and often dotted with the endless circles of fish jumping.

sm-3897But we didn’t have time to wet a fly, had to keep moving to get it all done in a day, since that was the challenge.


Sometimes it was hard to tell where the lake ended and the river began.


Sometimes I was ahead of others . . .


And sometimes I brought up the rear.








It was 10 miles up to the highest pass – where we had lunch at a little after noon.  Only 16 miles to go!



There was snow way up there at 10,000 feet.




One of us may have learned that snow in August is not particularly soft to plop down into, but a snow angel was made regardless of the hard landing.





It was all beautiful! And then . . .sm-4022

We ran into two of the ladies’ husbands who were hiking the whole thing in reverse.  It was a nice little short visit – we didn’t even sit down.  They still were headed up and we were about a mile into our downward trek.







Waterfalls were a theme on the 16 mile down hill section – I lost count, but I bet it was more than a dozen waterfalls, some of them so large that I couldn’t fit them into the view of my 50mm lens.  I selected this lens because it was the lightest weight one I have, and mounted on my camera it all fit into my fanny pack worn turned to the front for easy access.


Along with the waterfalls, the views on the down hill section continued to be breath-taking.  If we had more time I’m sure each of us would have jumped in a lake and/or river, and would have just sat on a rock and contemplated the beauty of God’s creation as it was being revealed to us.  But we were trying to be done by dark (which we were, but just barely).


The last 4 or 5 miles were pretty rocky on the down hill, and it was a bear to deal with as by that time the knees were hurting pretty bad.  Nothing 800 mg of ibuprofen couldn’t address, but the going was slow as the trail was steep (lots of stair-step type trail with uneven landings and rocks galore!)  With about 2 miles of this left my Andy met us on the

By the time we finished the sun was gone from the canon, but the peaks were still glowing.

When we were all done Andy had ice cream sandwiches waiting for us kept frozen with dry ice, and then he took us all out to a famous burger place called the Grizzly Bar in Roscoe Montana.  It was delicious.

Amazingly, not as sore as I expected the next day, and by 48 hours later, not sore at all.  Those knees recover quicker than I think they will.

So, this hike was the reason I hiked and hiked and hiked all summer long – I was in training.  Now just back to daily walks, and the 4 – 5 miles seems like such a small endeavor now.

Categories: Bear Tooth Mountains, Beaten Path, flowers, Hiking, Montana, Montana summers, Outdoors, Photography, River, snow, Summer, Travel | Leave a comment



It wasn’t at our house, but it was snow on the mountains we see from our back yard this morning.  Couldn’t tell you about the mountains we see out the front yard because those mountains were shrouded in fog all day long.  Fortunately it is supposed to warm up this coming week, so summer is not over, just took a three-day vacation with the snow as the climax of the cold front.

Categories: Daily life, Montana, Montana summers, Montana weather, Outdoors, Photography, snow, Summer | Leave a comment

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