Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

This week’s photo challenge was the perfect excuse to scroll back over the events of the past year. Our family had a pretty nice 2012, and choosing a picture from each month was much harder than I would have expected. What I realized was that no matter how slow or boring a month may have seemed, none of them actually were. From remodeling the RV and getting ready to hit the road, trips to the park, camping and drives out to Freezeout Lake, everyday held something special for our family, although I may not have realized it at the time. So now, as we sit on the front porch of a brand-new year, full of endless possibilities and potential, I am reminded that every day counts. Not just the big ones when we are doing grand things. Every. Single. Day.

January 2012: In our house, we have a couple of kids who get really excited when January rolls around. They know that once the New Year hits, their birthday is just right around the corner. Of course that means that once again, the twins are excited about their birthday and turning eight. Last year, though, seven was pretty exciting.

DSC_0835

February 2012: After months of stress and worry, we finally sold our small Hobby Farm. No matter how much we were hoping things would work out, it was really hard to let it go. It was our choice to leave it, but I think for quite some time we felt as though we had made the wrong decision. We walked away from what we loved for a job in a place that never did feel like home. But if I am to be completely honest, we were restless on the farm as well. Now that it is all said and done, I can’t help but feel as though letting it go was a step in the right direction. Someday we may find the place that feels like home, but we have not come across it yet, and until we do, settling down is not a hight priority.

Can't help but look back...

Can’t help but look back…

March 2012: While we were in Great Falls, Freezeout Lake was one of our favorite places to visit. There was always such a variety of birds and the sunsets were beautiful. The back road was through a horse pasture, so the kids were able to get out for a walk. The (insert foul word here) wind was always there to keep us company as well. This is also where we came upon a sweet group of horses who surrounded the van and let us scratch and love on them. When we finally drove away, they followed us for a while, while the twins looked out the back window and cried… It is safe to say that every person in our family is hopelessly in love with horses. (Even Rob, although he may not be willing to admit it.) 

DSC_0625

April 2012: Our family suffered a great loss in April: our beloved black lab, Bailey B. He was such a wonderful companion, and losing him broke our hearts. His collar now hangs around the rear-view mirror of Waldo, so he always has a front row seat, just as he would have wanted. From time to time, we still hear him, or smell him. When we do, we spend some time remembering how wonderful he was, how bad he smelled (no matter how often he was bathed), or how much we missed tripping over him as he sprawled on the floor of the RV. We miss him dearly. Life is not the same without him, but we are extremely grateful to have had him as a part of our family.

HPIM0600 puppy face

May 2012: Goslings! With May came goslings galore. The river was lined with new families, some with only two new additions and others with a dozen. I loved to lie in the grass and take their pictures. Such a wonderful sign of spring.

DSC_0975 gosling 2

June 2012: June was an exciting month. The school year ended, summer began, Rob and I celebrated our 11th Anniversary, the kids and I ventured to Boise to visit my family and William turned nine. William had been asking for a new bike for his birthday, and I was pretty excited to find an orange one (his favorite color) for him. It is strange to think that this year William will enter his double digits. Time really does fly…

DSC_0510 family

July 2012: Glacier National Park!!! Rob’s sister and her husband were brave enough to meet us in G.N.P. for a few days. We hiked some beautiful trails and had a wonderful time. I am not sure when we will be back up there, but when we are, we will have to tackle some more trails. It is so incredibly peaceful and I had such a strong urge to wander into the woods and not come out.

IMG_3305 glacier

August 2012: The long-awaited Launch Date had arrived!! After months and months of planning our RV life, it was finally time to head out. We had a wonderful week as we headed from Great Falls, MT to Campbellsville, KY. Mount Rushmore has been on my to-see list forever, so it was neat to finally be able to see it in person.

DSC_0761 RMM

September 2012: On the first of September we pulled into Kentucky. I have always had a secret love affair with Kentucky, so arriving was thrilling. Since then, we have been exploring as much of the state as possible. The hiking trails are wonderful, and it is always fun to try to identify trees, plants and birds that we don’t have back in the Northwest. Every member of our family comes alive out in the woods. 

DSC_0118 trail 

October 2012: I have loved every minute we have spent exploring Kentucky, but one of my very favorite places has been Lexington. The horse farms are breathtaking, and seeing them in the fall with the beautiful setting-sun made it that much more beautiful. Kentucky is all that I hoped it would be. And so much more.

DSC_0300 sis

November 2012: As many of you know, our cat, Remington, travels with us. He does very well on the road and adjusts easily to pretty much everything. I am very grateful for this because not only do I want Remi to be with us, but I also need him. He is my therapy kitty. The simple act of petting him calms me. All my insecurities, all my anxieties, they melt away when I place my head against Remi’s warm, purring side. He is an amazing, well-traveled kitty, and I love him dearly.

IMG_0262 kitty 

December 2012: One of the great things about being in Kentucky is that we are really close to Tennessee. We had been so busy exploring Kentucky, though, that we had not made it down to Tennessee. That is, until we received a check and needed to go to the bank. Suddenly, a trip to Tennessee was at the top of the list. And we had the best time. An early barbecue dinner with live music, an over-dose at a candy store and rain made for an adventurous afternoon. We enjoyed Nashville so much that we plan to head that direction for a few days when we leave here in a few weeks.

DSC_0611 Nashville

Well, I guess that about sums up our year. I want to take a minute to personally thank all of you who have been a part of our journey. This game called Life goes fast, and it is easy to get caught up in the past, or dreams of the future, but it is important to live one day, one minute, one breath at a time. I am finally beginning to learn this. Happy New Year!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple

I used to love participating in the Weekly Photo Challenge, but when we changed our email I stopped receiving the weekly topic, even though I had updated my address with WordPress. Well, the other day I opted to “follow” The Daily Post and what appeared in my inbox? The topic for the Weekly Photo Challenge, of course. I guess that even though I had updated my email address, I had to re-follow The Daily Post. It took me long enough to figure that out…

Regardless, I am excited about participating again. I find it to be a fun and exciting challenge. This week’s topic: Purple.

For Mom

“Mother, the ribbons of your love are woven around my heart.’  ~Author Unknown

For loving me. For nurturing me. For healing my wounds with a kiss and a hug. For believing in me even when I did not have the courage to believe in myself. For your unending patience. For your laughter.   

For accepting me despite my million flaws. For saying No when I didn’t want to hear it. For teaching me what really matters in life. For your big heart and honest soul. For encouraging me to follow my dreams.  

For caring so much during the tough times, and sharing your laughter during the good. For your acceptance, even when we didn’t necessarily agree. For your tireless support through everything. 

For always being ready with a warm embrace. For being the best mom you could be. For worrying. For caring. For your unconditional love.

For everything.

Thank you. A million times thank you for all you have done and all that you do. I love you.

My favorite things to photograph

I was having a hard time coming up with a topic tonight, so I asked Plinky to help me out. Like always, Plinky was more than willing to oblige. Of all the questions to answer, the one that caught my eye was about my favorite thing to photograph. I couldn’t narrow it down to just one thing so, in no particular order, here are my Top 3. 

1. My Cat – I know, I know, you’ve seen him a million times already, but seriously, who can resist this adorable ball of fluff? The best part is that he has the personality to match. He is so sweet and loving, he doesn’t have any cattitude at all. He’s not moody or grumpy. He doesn’t hiss or growl. He spends his days sleeping, purring sweetly and asking politely (HA!) for his 2-course breakfast. What can I say? The camera loves him. I’m kinda fond of him, too.

2. My Family – This, of course, includes all members of my family. You may have noticed from past posts that there are very few photos of my husband and lots of the kids. This is due to the fact that my kids are so much easier to photograph. They are almost always willing to give me a smile or a funny face. Even when they are tired and grumpy, with three of them, at least one of them will cooperate. Rob on the other hand, is a totally different story. From time to time he will pose for me, but he is usually muttering something under his breath while giving me his “Are we done yet?” smile. I try not to torture him too often, so there are not nearly as many pictures of him as I would like for there to be. Kids on the other hand…

3. Pretty Scenery – Mountains and rivers and canyons and lakes, I just can’t get enough of them. Pictures of scenery are my way of going back to beautiful places long after we have returned home. Of course, looking at old pictures always makes me wish we were still there. Camping in the mountains. Fishing the river. Fixing a flat tire on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere. Going for drives and exploring new areas are among my favorite things to do. Taking pictures of the beautiful scenery is my way of bringing a piece of it home with me. 

The Official Crime Report

I was the victim of a hideous crime today. It still chokes me up when I think about it, but I will do my best to explain the events of this afternoon.

Location: The Big Dipper, Helena, MT

Time: Approximately 1:30 pm

Date: February 12, 2011

Victim’s Statement: It all started innocently enough. We took the family into an ice cream shop for a little treat. Once everyone was seated, I decided to snap a quick photo of everyone with their ice cream.

 

 After the snapshot, I excitedly returned to my seat to devour my own ice cream sundae.

I pulled out my cherry, only to find that there was nothing attached to the stem.

I was about to take my sundae back to the counter to tell them that there must have been some mistake, my stem was supposed to have a cherry attached. A very scrumptious maraschino cherry, in fact. The man sitting next to me, we will call him the Suspect, then admitted to eating the cherry. My cherry.

I couldn’t believe my ears. It couldn’t possibly be true. I must have misunderstood him. The cherry must have simply fallen off the stem and was somewhere inside my ice cream. So, I began to dig…

…but no matter how much I dug, there was no cherry to be found. I suddenly realized that it was true! The Suspect had in fact eaten my cherry

He then informed me that I not only watched him do it, but that I took a picture of him eating said cherry! Impossible! But, as I zoomed in on him in the first photograph taken…

I was appalled! There he was, plain as day, eating my cherry, while I took a picture of him doing so!

Do you see what I mean about being the victim of a crime? Officer, I would like to press charges. Here is the man you are looking for:

WANTED * WANTED * WANTED

If you look closely, you can still see a chunk of my cherry stuck in his teeth…