photography

Whirlwind Road Trip

Whirlwind Road Trip

Photo recap of a whirlwind weekend road trip to Seattle, Washington, with a ton of natural beauty along the way.

A Winter's Day In "Through the Lens"

A Winter's Day In "Through the Lens"

Today, I had a break from writing. So it was kind of a look-at-life-through-the-lens sort of day. Here are a few things my camera and I saw. Also, I was so honoured to be featured on Mary DeMuth's podcast the Restory Show.

Goodbye, Washington

Only two days before we needed to head home, we finally started to get our energy back and feel a little more human. We took advantage of that by hitting yarn stores (as mentioned before), but also driving around the area to take in the sights.

One such sight was Snoqualmie Falls. At only a short walk away from the parking area, and very near the highway, it was a low-energy-commitment way to see an amazing natural wonder. The sun did not shine on the falls themselves, but we did find a nice location near the falls to get a few group shots of us (which we had been waiting to take until our noses weren't all chapped from blowing them). Well, we got shots of the adults, anyway--Levi had WAY too much energy to sit still for a photo. Yep, he was pretty much back to normal. :-)

Snoqualmie Falls, Washington. I was having fun with a slow shutter speed on my camera to get a smooth, silky look. This was the slowest I could go before the whole thing went blurry, since I was just hand-holding the camera.

This gorgeous shot had all the effects provided by nature--no post-editing required! This was looking toward the tourist walkway by the river, with all the mist rising from the falls.

Here are a few other shots from the trip that I absolutely love. Apparently, I was quite fascinated with the greenery. I really loved all the interesting textures and the way the light played with the moss and ferns on the trees.

This tree looked so interesting to me, like it was going to start waving its branches around like arms.

I just loved all this lush texture!

Most of the tree shots were taken on a walk we took. Levi pushed his own stroller for almost the entire 2-mile jaunt!

On our way home, we stopped over at the Burdicks' once again, but unfortunately with very little time to visit. However, we were comfy and cozy in their little guest cabin, and got an early start home the next day for the long, final stretch of our journey. (Since the snow had melted, no sand required to exit the driveway this time!)

Besides The Cold (which still lingers), and the yarn we gathered, and the photos, we have memories that are so precious, and will last a lifetime. And even though I still have a great deal on my plate, this break was just what I needed to do a mental "reset" and come home ready to tackle my responsibilities with new zest.

How has your February been so far, friends?

Home, Sweet Bachelor's Home

My brother purchased his first home last year, and since I hadn't been to visit him in Washington since 2009, this was the first time I got to see it.

It is so, so adorable. (Sorry, Logan, it just is.) The yard completely surrounds the squarish two-story house with green and grass and loveliness. The house has a partial wrap-around deck/patio. It was built with large windows on all sides that let in the light and take advantage of the beautiful landscaping, but said landscaping makes the property almost completely private.

I'm sure constant rain would get old fast if you lived here, but for us, it was a nice break from snow and cold.

A bench and some dormant flowers on one edge of the patio on a grey, rainy day.

Sometimes the sun would break through, and the results were spectacular!

One of the few places one can see the access road from the house.

View through a kitchen window.

This "stump chair" sits by the driveway.

There is a little play set in the yard, which Levi made good use of once he was feeling better!

Some of the neighbourhood dogs--they were pretty cute!!

By the time we left, spring had arrived in Logan's yard, and some of the flower bushes were blooming.

At night, the frogs would sing a loud neighbourhood chorus. Levi thought they were a little scary at first, but I think he got over it eventually.

Also, his newly-redone kitchen made me seriously green. (All the mess on the counters in the photos was brought by us. The kitchen was beautiful and clean when we arrived.)

Cooking lesson: instructing my brother on the art of soup, perfect for treating The Cold.

It felt like we had gone on vacation to a cabin in the woods, and it was so peaceful and relaxing, it was hard to want to leave. I don't think he is planning to start a B&B anytime soon, though! Sorry to disappoint. ;-)

And so it starts...

I am very thankful to say that 2015 has started with some family time, some fun time, and some rest time for me.

December felt especially frantic, and I was very much looking forward to some "down time" over the last couple of weeks while Jason and the kids were on holidays. Unfortunately, that didn't really happen. I got the flu bug from Levi and had to have Jason take an extra day off of work to help with the kids, as I couldn't really function. However, as soon as I could move again, it felt like I was pushing through water the rest of the week to accomplish the things that needed to be done--cleaning, cooking for the family, last night of Hanukkah, a family dinner, working on my store, working on patterns, working on a worship service, working, working, working...

I had intended to have my "days off" the following week (the one just past), but life threw a few extra curves at me that precluded that. That's okay--life is like that. But it just meant that by Friday of this week, I was ex.haus.ted. So I very firmly decided that this weekend would be a complete "off" weekend for me, especially as none of us had any responsibilities at church (which is a welcome breather).

Last Saturday, I was asked to photograph a sleigh ride at Mom and Mike's for a group whose other photographer had cancelled at the last minute. I was a little stressed out about it, as I have never taken pictures in a professional capacity before (other than for my pattern photos--and the only one to answer to there is me, so I can just keep snapping and tweaking until I am satisfied). Also, I have had a notoriously difficult time taking photos in SNOW that I was happy with. And thanks to the month of fog that we have experienced in the north, plus a little snow on Christmas Day, the trees were all crusted with an inch-thick layer of hoar frost. It was beautiful. And very, very white.

I was thankful that when I was photographing my "Honey Tree" flip-top mittens, my model--the very accomplished photographer Amanda Monette, for whom I made them--also gave me some tips about photographing in snow. So, for the first time ever, I shot the day almost exclusively in Manual mode and put into practice the tips she shared. Here are some of the results:

Drew's team, ready and waiting

Drew's team again

Drew driving the team

Mike and his team of Belgians

Mike and his girls

Trish and Ariel

Then, on New Year's Day, our family and the Magnussons also got a hayride at the Eastons'. Unfortunately, it was much colder, and the hoar frost had all disappeared during some warmer weather we had earlier in the week. That's okay--the kids hooked up a couple of sleds to the back of the sleigh and had fun riding, piling on top of each other, pushing each other off, and racing to catch up the entire time--they were plenty warm!

There was much less of this...

... than this...

... or this...

... or this!

Good times had by all--especially the adults watching and laughing!

The photographer gets shot!

And since I wasn't the only photographer there, I got to be in front of the lens at least once this time. :-)

Happy January, friends! I hope yours is off to a great start, too! How did you bring in the new year?

Summertime, and the Living is... Busy!!

Is summer really almost over? And I haven't put up a single blog post outlining what has been filling up our time? (Okay, I guess a single one--which I copied from my husband's post about the Spartan Race.)

As per usual, there is never a dull moment around here. Thanks to the immensity of the list, I am going to keep it to point form.

  • Two days after school was out in June, we went to visit our families in central Alberta for about 8 days, the culmination of which was the Spartan Race in Edmonton on the way home. My brother, Logan, was also there for the week from Seattle area, and my mom also made the trip down for part of the week in order to see him. It was so awesome to see members of our extended  families, plus a few of our friends. I took over 750 photos on this trip! Needless to say, it's taken a while to slug through them all, and I confess that I am not finished yet. Here's one:

"Uncle" Logan and Jabin at the Go-Karts

  • While on holidays, I received notification that the eCommerce platform that I chose to build my store on will be closing down in February. So I have to migrate everything. I am not very happy about that, as you may have guessed. So... guess what I will be doing this fall?
  • This summer has been exceptionally hot and dry in the Peace Country. We are usually lucky to have a week where the temperatures hit the high twenties, but this year has seen a good six-week stretch where the average temperature is around 30 degrees C or higher. In that same six weeks, there has only been one rainy day, and I could probably count on one hand the number of times rain fell at all. Thank goodness that I can water my garden--the tomatoes and squash are loving the heat, and in general, the garden is looking really nice. The temperatures inside my thin-walled tin can of a house have been less nice, with average temperatures in the afternoon being well over thirty degrees. I have begun to think that "slicked with sweat" is the new normal.
  • Jason's red Ford Ranger has been dead since March or April, and the repairs too costly to be worthwhile for this little truck. It has served us well, but we knew it was time to move on. After several months of sharing a vehicle, a generous gift from a family member enable Jason to buy a new (to us) half-ton last week. I am VERY glad to have my freedom van back, and Jason is loving his new "baby."
  • Jude was sponsored to go to Riverside Bible Camp this week, and just got home this afternoon. Tales of exploits with his buddy (and cabin-mate) Ethan have been filling the air ever since. It was the longest he has ever been away from the family, but he doesn't seem any the worse for wear. His most excited exclamations were for the food. "I think I ate 80% of the Jell-O I've ever eaten in my life this week. They even had whipped cream." :-)
  • Today, while not a whole lot cooler in general, started off several degrees cooler than has been the norm of late. I took advantage of that fact to make blueberry jam*, cook up some of the copious amounts of zucchini being produced in my garden into a yummy, cheesy, soup, and grate the rest into freezer packets to be made into muffins and loaves at a later date.
 


  • I am loving the sunflowers that I planted under my office windows this summer--the first time I have had them so close to the house. They are almost all in bloom, and I had to take advantage of this little buzzy guest on one this morning.
  • Our orange female tabby, Angel, had kittens in June-ish, both of them little copies of their mom and creamy-orange tabby father Tigger. The cuties are almost ready to go out into the world--but they are nigh impossible to catch. Sigh.


  • My birthday on Sunday was also the date of the Supermoon--when the moon appeared largest of any full moon of the year. I did not take advantage of the photo op due to sheer exhaustion, but I DID take advantage of the one in July to play around with moon photography (though it was not quite as impressive as the sequel.)

Almost the Supermoon

  • In two weeks, I will have a child in Junior High! Oh me, oh my, where has the time gone? I hope your summer has been going well, friends. What was your favourite summer memory so far?

*This recipe turned out good, but too sweet--next time I plan to cut the sugar by almost a third. It might require a longer cook time if you do that, though.

Birdhouse Gallery Part 1

I have been slogging through the hundreds (closer to three-quarters of a thousand, actually!) of photos that I took on our 10-day trip to central Alberta in early July. Having that many photos is a bit daunting, so it's taken me a while to get through all of them (and this is pretty much just the first pass), but I spent a few hours working with them today.

Both my mother-in-law and my Aunty Joy have wonderful, whimsical birdhouse collections that complement truly stunning gardens. Today, I am featuring the photos I took in my Uncle Darrell and Aunty Joy's garden. I will feature Karen's in a later post.

Because of the whimsical nature of the decor, the post-processing I did tended to enhance that. It was really fun working with these photos, actually.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

My Amazing Boys

Lately, I have finally been getting to know the more advanced aspects of the fancy-pantsy camera I bought last year, so I have been experimenting with taking pictures. A LOT of pictures.

Here are a few photos I took of the boys in June--Jabin and Noah were home sick from school one day, but were still game for letting me play with my camera.

Here are some of my favourites from June:

Handsome Crew

I took these photos of the boys on Thanksgiving weekend--and am finally getting them posted! Yay!!

Jude, almost 11 yrs

Noah, 9.5 yrs

Jabin, almost 8 yrs

Levi, 18 mos