Tag Archives: travel

vegas bound!

20 Feb

This is where I’m going for a couple of days this week!!

Woo hoo! Jason and I are heading to Las Vegas for WPPI which is a huge convention that happens annually for photographers. We are STOKED to be able to make it this year! So we packed up and headed out! And YES. The boys are going with us! We love traveling with them and bringing them with us whenever we can. And we are blessed this trip to have my mom on board to help watch them when we are at the convention. I’m so thrilled that she was willing to come. We rented an awesome house in Las Vegas from Home Away.com so we all have room to spread out. It’s SUCH a great alternative to renting a hotel. We’ve stayed in multiple homes from this site and we haven’t been disappointed yet.

The boys actually travel pretty well. So long as the snacks don’t run out and the DVD player doesn’t die. And I’m so grateful they do because I LOVE to travel. Traveling with kiddos might be hard sometimes, but it’s always worth the experience. We never wanted having the boys to slow us down too much. I think kids join your life and go where you go and do what you do. So while it DOES take a lot of planning to head out of town with kids, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

We’ll take lots of photos! Can’t wait to share them!

* Image found on Pinterest.

Advertisements

they’re on vacation

17 Aug

While we were at Disneyland, I hardly had time to really focus on all the people watching I love to do. I love to just stare at people sometimes. Seriously.

Don’t even pretend like you don’t do it too.

Anyways. I didn’t have time for that. Did you know that there is only like, TWO PLACES IN ALL OF DISNEYLAND THAT SELL CHICKEN NUGGETS??? Ok, there might be more than that but I had a hard time finding them. I’m not sure why. And when you can’t get your kid to eat anything BUT chicken nuggets, you will search high and low for places that sell them.

(Don’t roll your eyes. I’ve tried the approach of feeding him what we are eating and my kid can go almost an entire week without eating what I present before him. SO. I search for the nuggets while we are on vacation. When we are home, I’ll take a stricter approach.)

So, I’m searching for nuggets. At one particular point on Day 2 that we are in the park, I am scurrying through the one and only chicken nugget line to make sure my little man has a full belly. I’m picking it up and bringing it back to where the rest of my family is eating. We picked a place to meet and we were all grabbing our own thing. But no one else wanted chicken nuggets.

I don’t blame them.

So I’m leaving the line and I’m grabbing packets of ketchup when I overhear two Disney workers chatting as they were emptying trashcans. Ok, I like eavesdropping too apparently. You know you’d do it too. Don’t pretend like we ALL don’t do it. Actually, I didn’t mean to eavesdrop this time BUT I did manage to hear one worker saying to another that they were frustrated about all the people that were in Disneyland. He said and I quote,

“Man, they don’t care about trash. They’re on vacation! They don’t care that other people here are working. And aren’t on vacation. And are tired and working hard to clean up after them.”

It sort of stopped me in my tracks. And made me think. And I felt really sad about his comment. I’m not even sure why I’m blogging this. Other than to say, I had been respectively enjoying my own vacation. I wasn’t NOT thinking about others. But I wasn’t exactly thinking about all the people it took to make my vacation a success. It’s so easy to NOT think about others sometimes, huh? Easy to be wrapped up in your own agenda. Your own situation. My own chicken nuggets for my own children.

I wondered what had maybe happened. Had this worker had an interaction with a visitor that was rude? Probably. Had he already been working a long day and was ready to go home? Most likely. But it still made me think. Because it’s odd- I actually HADN’T thought about my vacation through this lens. So it made me really aware from this point on how I was treating and viewing all the workers there that I came into contact with. How unfortunate to be having fun but forgetting that there are a lot of people around me who are NOT on vacation. And just want to go home to rest.

Vacation is fun. But I’ll always approach it in a slightly different way from now on. It wasn’t a huge deal. I know this post might not impact you greatly. But it was sort of a defining moment for me. Why? I’m not sure yet. But it really hit home. So I share it here.

Because that is what I do.

bisbee trip 2011

14 Jun

This past weekend we were able to travel South to Bisbee, AZ for a rad photo shoot that we can’t wait to reveal. We went with some clients/friends of ours who were busting at the seams to do a 50’s inspired photo shoot at The Shady Dell. Have you ever been there?? Oh my gosh. It’s the coolest place ever. We stayed in a trailer that looked like this:

Rad. Seriously rad. They have a wide assortment of trailers, all of which are authentically decked out to the max to fit the 50’s perfectly. It’s seriously like a time warp as soon as you get there. I had NO IDEA this place was there until our friends asked us if we’d be open to traveling for the shoot.

UM YES.

So we ventured down there for a night and snapped our little cameras away! It was a blast. It was my first night EVER away from Rider AND the first time Jay and I have gone on a mini vacation/getaway with NO KIDS since we HAD kids.

Sad moment, huh? We’ve totally made a mental note to do that every once in awhile because it was great for us to have a break together. And while we were working the whole time we were there, it didn’t really feel like work. So that was nice. Up until now I’ve been spending 8-10+ hours a day behind my computer and can’t complain because I love what I do. But it was nice to leave the computers behind for at least 24 hours.

It was weird to have been away from Rider since he’s only 9 months old. I think Cruz was over one the first time I ever left him over night. But it wasn’t as hard as I thought since we had a blast! It’s always refreshing to get a break as a mom and to allow yourself to sleep in until 8:30 am once in awhile, uninterrupted. Yes, 8:30 is BIG TIME sleeping in for me. But it rocked.

Bisbee is SUCH a cool place! Have you ever been there?? I had NO IDEA the gem it was until we got there. The downtown area is kind of to die for and we ran into ALL SORTS of interesting things. To say the least.

Cool place that I never really paid much attention to. It was great to get away for work and I CAN’T WAIT to go back. You should take a road trip and stay at The Shady Dell and eat at Cafe Roka. OMG Amazing.

We’ll be revealing the two photo shoots we did with The Blackwell’s soon! I’m so excited to share them. We all had such a great time!

home again

16 May

I’m home again and very thankful to be here! Although, I had a BLAST in Cali and the Boudoir shoot I did went amazingly well!! Girls weekend away is definitely a MUST and I really should try to do it more often. This time I was away from Cruz for two nights, which is the longest I’ve ever made it away from him. It wasn’t hard, but I did miss him terribly.

Seeing him and Jay are the reason’s I’m thankful to be home.

So today I head out to photograph a wedding with Jay as Session Nine Photography! I’m stoked about it, it’s going to be a beautiful wedding! Let’s hope Rider allows me to work and doesn’t sit so high up that he causes my back to KILL. Like he’s been doing lately. Doesn’t he know by now that mamma’s gotta work?? Ha!

So I’m glad to be home, grateful for the trip I just had and ready to embark on the next two weeks which are going to be CRAZY. The packing has begun and wow. We have a lot of stuff.

But I’m grateful always to come home to this face. I love this picture- taken last October.

I’m not sure that it gets any cuter. I mean, really.

number 9- check!

24 Feb

Jason and I made a list several months back- you might remember it. It’s our 101 Things in 1001 Days list. I need to update the list again, because there are several things I can check off. But our most recent one is #9- Visit the Strehles! I’m so thrilled to say we can check this one off, because I didn’t think we’d be checking it off any time soon. I hoped we would but didn’t see it happening for a little bit.

Jason and I met Zach and Amber Strehle through the church we used to go to. I was on staff with the 5th and 6th grade program there and Amber and Zach were volunteers. They have 4 kids (FOUR!), two of which (TWINS!) were in the 5th and 6th grade program. Amber and I became fast friends and we had a blast spending time together. Then we discovered that we lived in the same neighborhood! We got to know them even better while we went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University to get our spending habits and budgeting under control. I’d tell you what Amber used to call it but it’s not appropriate. HA! (Just kidding Amber… sort of.) They are the sort of people that you can be real with. And I’ve pretty much said it all to her and she still loves me! Ha!

Then they decided to move back to Washington, which is where they were from to begin with. Talk about a bummer! But ever since they’ve moved, Amber and I have actually kept in pretty good touch. We both started our photography businesses about the same time and we have a lot to celebrate together as friends and as artists. I so wish she lived closer.

Well, we DID have the chance to live closer since they live in Washington. So while we were visiting Seattle, we set aside a night to catch up with these two. It was nuts- they were getting ready to get on a plane to head to Arizona the very next day! I think they timed it. But whatever.

So we still haven’t been to their home or to check out the town that they live in yet, but that will have to be for another trip. A trip that we can take to Seattle and really get the chance to explore and do all the touristy things! But we can scratch it off the list since we did in fact visit them in their state. And Amber, we are both photographers- how did neither of us get a picture of us to document?? We were all just too excited to catch up and chat about life. And we were there interviewing and they were trying to leave town. So it was a little nuts.

But it’s always great to see good friends. And so we can successfully check off good ol’ #9!

endless energy & exhaustion

8 Feb

These are my thoughts exactly.

What an incredibly long day. What a long weekend.

Cruz traveled home a little better. It was still rough, but the airplane ride was way more tolerating than it was the way there. We had two flights today- the first was from Seattle to Sacramento. The second was from Sacramento to Phoenix. I think it helped Cruz that it was a little more broken up and that he was able to stretch his legs between flights. But the last stretch was kinda rough.

We are exhausted. It was a great weekend (exhausting and long, but still great!) and we are feeling pretty positive that we’ve made some decisions. No, I’m not ready to share them yet. We need to tell a few people what we’re thinking first before we go announcing a decision. Sorry! It will be soon, I promise. It feels good that we are at the beginning of moving into our decisions. I’m ready to make something happen rather than to just wonder about it and hope and think. We finally did get some clarity this weekend and so that feels good too. But it’s been exhausting.

Speaking of exhaustion, this whole ‘extreme fatigue’ thing that happens in your first trimester is really hitting me hard. I think that was a huge factor as to why this weekend was super difficult for me- that on top of the normal stresses of a trip like that. It’s so hard that I can’t just lay down and sleep until I feel better. When I was pregnant with Cruz, I slept my first trimester away I’m pretty sure. But now that I have to take care of Cruz, I can’t just stop and sleep all day. I know everyone gets through it because everyone has more than one kid usually and everyone is working it out. But it’s just hard to feel completely exhausted but to have to run around with an almost 15 month old- who has more energy than any little kid I’ve ever known. I mean, seriously. Geez.

Before we left the bed and breakfast this morning to catch our flight, I looked out the window and saw this:

That is Cruz’s toy camera that he decided to throw out the window at some point during our stay. In case you weren’t aware, it rains a lot in Seattle. So after I spotted it, I had to bundle myself up and Cruz and head around the house to go retrieve the toy camera. Which was soaking wet and struggling to work. When I got there, I found three other toys that he had thrown outside the window when I wasn’t looking.

Endless energy. I’m laughing about it now, but there are times when his endless energy kinda drives me nuts! Ha!

exploring

6 Feb

We had the whole morning to ourselves yesterday. It gave me and Jay some time to sort of debrief everything we’ve taken in so far, which was nice. We’ve had little pockets of alone time where we’ve just looked at each other and said out loud, “Can we see ourselves here?”.

Like I said in the last post, we are staying in the most awesome little bed and breakfast. It’s so wonderful. The food here is magnificent! I can hardly wait for it to be breakfast every morning just so I can have the delicious homemade quiche, banana pancakes and yogurt parfaits. It’s a different breakfast every morning, but those are some of my favorites that have been served here so far.

Yesterday, Cruz started stirring at about 5:30 am. Which is way too early for me. But we all finally got up at about 7:00 am. Cruz’s schedule has been completely out of whack since we arrived, so he’s been a little more moody than you may know of him. Honestly. So that’s been weird to navigate. But we got up yesterday and I made him breakfast. We don’t have a highchair or booster seat, so I thought I’d just sit him at the table like an adult. It was pretty darn cute, and I even managed to snap a picture. Then I turned around for .001 seconds to set my camera down and within the time that I looked away and looked back, he had managed to fall off the chair! He fell pretty hard too and of course cried and cried and cried. He was ok, I think it scared him more. Needless to say, we’ll be eating breakfast at the coffee table from now on. But the picture is priceless.

After breakfast we headed to the park that is across the street, called Woodland Park. The parks are amazing here. And very green, which is something you don’t really see in Phoenix. This park is right next to the zoo and we’re told that if the wind’s blowing the right way, you can hear the monkey’s at night! We haven’t heard them yet, but I hope we do while we’re here! We might even continue with a tradition that we started with Cruz and go visit the zoo while we’re here. We’ll see! But here’s a few pictures that I snapped in our morning exploration at the park. Cruz loved it. He kept finding sticks to carry around, just like a typical boy! He had a blast!

In the afternoon we were blessed to have a tour of the entire city with a real estate agent who goes to the church we are looking at. He was amazing and was so full of information about Seattle. He really helped us to understand the city and gave us a lot of financial information as far as pricing goes for housing. It was a lot to take in and we must have driven through no less than 8 or 9 different cities/neighborhoods in Seattle. But it was great to get our bearings and to get a small feel for the area.

For dinner we went to this amazing little pizzeria in Queen Anne. I can’t remember the name of it for the life of me, but it was such great food! We had great conversation with the lead pastor and his wife. It’s been so amazing that they’ve taken time to get to know us and show a real interest in who we are and if we actually are going to be a good fit for this community. I don’t feel like we are unrealistically being ‘wined and dined’ at all. It’s real food, real conversation, with real people. And they fully get it that we might actually decide to stay in Phoenix. So that’s been a huge burden relief in the sense that they aren’t pressuring us to do anything either way.

The only reason I wasn’t relaxed during dinner is because Cruz was a terror. Seriously.

So we’ve been having a great time here. I knew I’d love Seattle. It’s such a cool city with so much character and a beautiful climate. I’ve always wanted to visit here and it’s just been great to come check out this opportunity. The people here are just awesome. Is it the right fit for us? We still aren’t sure at this point. We are waiting to check out the services on Sunday, which will be a huge deciding factor for us. But the conversations Jay and I are having are hard, honest and real conversations that completely take out the ‘glamorous’ side of moving up here. We are really trying to set aside how awesome the city is and really make the best decision for us. Because the truth of it is, the opportunity in Scottsdale is a pretty amazing one too. With really remarkable people in another fantastic city!

Thanks for letting me process through all of this. I think my posts might be sounding a little redundant, but I’m not sure what else to say or share. No matter what, this decision is going to be very tough. And we still haven’t had the moment of clarity that we were hoping for. But we’ll see. Right now, we’re open to anything and we are just trying to stay focused.