Monday, June 30, 2014

day 181

we bought the kids a bounce house. holy moly, kiddos are in bouncy heaven!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

day 180

maternity shoot on this glorious afternoon. gorgeous mama and location, location, location!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

day 179

irises in bloom! perfect purple addition to the hayflats. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

day 178

new reality.

i come home from a solo grocery shopping trip (ummm, heaven!) and i find all this in the front yard. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

day 177

hatcher pass - june 26th, and it's snowing up there...

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

day 176

we're playing pirates, mom! don't worry.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

day 175

gorgeous day to hike the butte.

how cute are these big kids?!

Monday, June 23, 2014


from my desk, i look out into our backyard. as i was busy, editing away, jb came over to smooch me, then pointed out that the bulldogs were snuggling and urged me to take a picture. 

they're so cute, mama.

they're best buddies. pretty dang cute, too. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

day 173

can't. get. enough.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

day 172

bagged the half-marathon because of all that was going on. i really struggled with this decision because when i say i'm going to do something, i do it and do it to my best ability. 

but, as my dear friend pointed out, there's a time to be prideful and there's a time to listen to God. so with my arm in pain, a 4-hour shoot the day before, two sessions the next morning, and LIFE in general, i listened to my heart and decided to run the 4-miler instead. 

great run, great time, lousy, rainy weather but a smiling face at the finish line. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

day 171

never be too busy to look up and all around. there's beauty everywhere.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

day 170


forever making me giggle with her unique dances,  funny gestures and the personality of her darling father.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

day 169


nana lynn called him robin thicke!

he wanted it "long on top so i can spike it real high."

mission: accomplished.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

day 168

time in the studio with my big little man! 

the water colors in the background are ones he created throughout his kindergarten school year. they are so beautiful, and i thought would be a great drop for an end of the year shoot. we played for 30 minutes; silly faces, serious faces, looking out the window, and well, trying not to look at all. 

i adore this kid. amazing spirit and kind, loving heart.

Monday, June 16, 2014

day 167

blooming beauties. 

i LOVE spring!

the fragrance when i walk out my front door... ahhh

Sunday, June 15, 2014

day 166

father's day.

we spent the day in the backyard - finishing up our playground.

i am thankful for so many "fathers" in my life. my own, my husband, grandfathers long gone, uncles, my brother, dear friends who are now called dada by their little humans. i'm overwhelmed on days like this.

thank you, benji, for spending your father's day, showing your children how much you love them. they will enjoy this gift well into adulthood, i'm sure - we do!

i now have a picture of each of my babies, with their dada operating equipment.
 kinda warms my heart!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

day 165

oh, man. so behind. how do 3 weeks go by in a flash?!

i hurt my arm and was seeing my lovely PT for a two-week period. as quickly as my symptoms came on, they were gone. but during that time, i couldn't do much. hurt to hold my camera, my youngest daughter, wash dishes, drive, blow-dry my hair... really, any regular activities caused near-tears. i felt like a sally many times throughout the day - once spilling a few tears from the simple motion of tightening a zippy cup! what?!

but, i'm back to good and ready for catch up! i managed to capture moments from daily life but haven't had the extra time to show some love to blogger.

here we go...

cheater post - i simply took a screen shot of these "notes" as i came across them on this late evening.

it's hard to imagine i even had a boy list going, but back then, i was sure i was carrying a boy!

love looking back on these names. we were still coming up with name combinations a day later, as you see the post was updated 3/21, 9:29 pm - she was born 3/20, 8:13 pm.

Friday, June 13, 2014

day 164

we're finishing up the playground! 

today, we had 3 loads of pea gravel dumped. i think the kids would be happy with the mounds, as late into the evening, jack was jumping off the tire swing, onto the tops of the gravel. every time, he'd flash us a thumbs-up and get right back on the tire to do it again.


we're back to that dangerous stage with him. he climbs trees, high enough that i think to myself, ok, we'll be at the emergency room if he falls from way up there! but so far, he's careful and methodical, and i pray that continues well into his young adulthood!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

day 163

had a play date scheduled for today. wouldn't you know it - the big kids came down with fevers. so it was a movie & relax day. since they always want me close by - but never watching their movies with them - i pulled out this 500 piece puzzle. 

i've never been able to complete this thing! 

so. much. BLUE!

i managed to get the border pieces and the entire doggy. then of course, my family needed to eat dinner. at our kitchen table. so, into the box it went.

until the next round of boredom... 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

day 162

it's always funny when someone presses their face against some glass. but, even funnier when the 1-year old does it!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

day 161

sisters. watching the muppets on this drizzly morning. tess with a snack; dyl with her thumb.

Monday, June 9, 2014

day 160

alaskan girl through and through. 

sound asleep with her marten - i cringe and her dada swoons.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

day 159

the foods of youth.

fingers in the mouth.

the thumb and pointer finger, grabbing those yummies.

i adore this age.

and her.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

day 158

rainy days.

some things happen because it allows me to cook or clean or bake cookies and drink a pot cup of coffee.

so the big kids have diaper fights!

the cutest was seeing tessie help put them back into the box. she helped more than the big kids! love that tiny human!

Friday, June 6, 2014

day 157


Thursday, June 5, 2014

day 156

duey, please don't throw away that banana until you've finished all of it.

ok, mom!

found this at bedtime. guess she showed me.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

day 155

hatcher pass

gold mint trail

both boy & bulldog love this sunshiny spot

on this afternoon, my girls wouldn't give me attention, but i think their backsides are equally cute.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

day 154

playing at our friend's house. jack and ali were long gone, up ahead. i'm bringing up the rear with this cute puddle jumper.

Monday, June 2, 2014

day 153

more poofy cloud goodness. and the chugach. always the chugach.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

day 152 part 2


this is where the girls and i will stop to access our cabin during the non-snow-covered months.

here's the deal: the train tracks are about 5 miles in from the parks highway. during late spring, summer and fall months, we cannot access from the highway because it is located within denali national park limits; no four-wheelers allowed - it is walk-in access or float plane only.

it was pretty surreal to watch others with their "luggage" consisting of milk crates, duffle bags, a gun (or two) in their scabbard, frame packs, 50-gallon drums filled with who-knows-what, just to name a few... that will be us this winter! ben waiting at the track on a snowmachine, jb on his own. it's been overwhelming all these months prior, but now, seeing this - it's quite exciting and thrilling.

so to back up, ben came home after a long weekend away. excitedly, he began to tell me all about his weekend, and oh-by-the-way, do you know some lady named shannon cartworth or cart– and he couldn't even finish because i blurted out SHANNON CARTWRIGHT?!

ok, maybe you didn't grow up on her books, like i did. i have read her books. memorized her stories. read them some more. copied (at times, literally tracing) her illustrations. admired her illustrations. heck, i want to write my own children's books, likely because of her. i seem to buy her stories for my friends and family far away because that's how much i love them - i want you to love them, too!

maybe you've never had the privilege of meeting an idol of yours. i have faith that one day you will. because - i just did.

we had told the conductor we wanted to stop in chulitna. ben didn't even finish his sentence before the conductor interrupted him to say, oh, we all know shannon! and what would you know - the train comes to a halt and there she is, handing the conductor a rubber band-wrapped stack of letters for the mail.

we jump off and wave good-bye to the train (see ya in 2 hours!) and begin our walk to her place. she remembers ben - of course, how could you forget him! her significant other is a family friend of ben's. we were heading this way, anyway.

this is off-the-grid and living off the land, at its fullest. potatoes, carrots, peas, rhubarb, strawberries - rainwater nourishing it all. truly. i admire this way of life. it's motivation to get my own garden and greenhouse up and running.

shannon is not just an illustrator, she's an artist in its truest sense. she made this calendar (and one for every month) out of clay. carved the letters and numbers and then burned it for depth, color and texture. wow. this is also her outhouse. the box that holds her toilet seat is painted the bluest of blues. also, wind chimes keep you company as you do your duty.

 her backyard. her inspiration.
 our property is on the other side of those mountains. (so, we're neighbors!)

when ben first met her, she had given him two signed copies of her new book, ol' 556, one for his granddad, who once worked on this very railroad, and one for our family. it's become a favorite, obviously. 

hoping to see her out here, i packed my stack of books. she was completely tickled. one of her books, the loop train, isn't even in print anymore! and, she said my copy of alaska ABCs is one of the first editions. how dang cool. 

i bought 6 more books from her, most of them i had never even seen before. she signed them to the kiddos, even baby tess got her own train board book. ohmygoodness, can you tell i'm still reeling, still on cloud 9?! 

 railroad stuff.
hey, mom - it's a J!