[I made] Strawberry Pie

Growing up, my mother never made me a 'traditional' birthday cake. Instead, I'd wake up to this, my Oma's Strawberry pie. For the longest time I was too intimidated to attempt to make it myself because cooking/baking always felt a little daunting (particularly anything that didn't come from a box). But I finally tried it for the first time last year and surprised myself with how simple it actually was! Since then, I bake frequently throughout the summer. It stays refrigerated once the gelatin cools so it's the perfect summer time treat, and the balance between fruit and pie is great for filling you up but not weighing you down. I'll post the recipe soon!

Can we talk about food for a second?

Let's get something out there right off the bat: Food and I have had a weird relationship from the very beginning. For one, I used to be an incredibly picky eater. I still am, but not the degree I used to be. And for the longest time, if there had been the option, I would have rather taken a daily pill than bothered with food at all. But I'm happy to say that over the years, I've slowly opened myself up to trying new things and found that my palate isn't as sensitive as it used to be. Many of the things I'd despised growing up, I find myself enjoying now. And what's more, cooking has started to become a stress-relieving hobby of mine. I've decided to make one of my blogging goals to write twice weekly about my favorite dishes and then, at one point, to turn it into a small family cookbook. First recipe is hinted above! It's one of my summer favorites!

My Bucket List (as of 2017)

I've kept a bucket list for a very long time and it's steadily grown over the years. Now that I'm 30, I've realized it's time I start checking off things from list instead of adding to it every so often. J (husband) and I have talked a lot about making an earnest effort toward living a more active lifestyle and a lot of  these things are steps toward that. So, to kick of my personal life documentation journey, here is my bucket list (in no particular order)!

1. Get a tattoo (don't kill me, mom!)
2. Make a list of National Parks and visit at least one a year
3. Visit Powell's City of Books in Portland, Oregon
4. Visit Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington D.C.
5. Rent a cabin in the woods /mountains for a week and go exploring
6. Hike part of the Appalachian Trail
7. Hike part of the Pacific Crest Trail
8. Se the Northern Lights
9. See a Shuttle launch at Cape Canaveral
10. See the Webb Telescope launch
11. Travel all of Europe
12. Learn how to drive stick shift
13. Find the darkest spot in my state for a meteor shower
14. Play with wolves
15. Swim with dolphins
16. Take a photo of the milky way
17. Play an instrument semi-decently
18. Learn to dance
19. Skinny dip
20. See an eclipse
21. Make a book of pressed flowers
22. Make a family recipe book to pass down to my son
23. Live in Germany for a couple years
24. Go to Def Con
25. Complete Harvard's CS50 class
26. Build my own app
27. Teach Hunter programming
28. Gain an appreciation for food
29. See a symphony
30. See a Circ de Soleil show
31. See Lord of the Dance
32. See a ballet (in a fancy theater!)
33. Go to really fancy restaurant
34. Complete another 30 Day Photo Challenge

Switching Gears

I've been debating for a long time whether or not to shut this blog down for good. I just can't seem to stay consistent with it. Posts were getting few and far between and I've been struggling for content ever since we moved away from San Angelo. Even though I know hardly anyone reads this anymore, I still felt pressure to deliver something.

And that something got me thinking. Since 2011 this blog has mainly revolved around documenting other people's stories. I'd get personal here or there but for the most part, I was always talking about someone else. I'm going to try something new. This time around, I'm going to start talking about me. Writing has always been an outlet for me and so I think this time around, instead of removing 6 years of memories, I'm going to breath new life into this thing and gear this little blog in a lifestyle direction.

Maybe one day I'll get back to doing conceptual shoots but for now, I'm going to start documenting the things I really want to remember.


Becoming a parent changes your life. I know that may seem a little very obvious, but I've learned over the past two plus years that it can drastically change every aspect of your life. I thought that once my baby got a little older, I'd begin to retain a little of who I was pre-parenthood and I've found it's harder than it looks. To those that have found the balance, I am envious. I am still trying to find it. But I've started taking baby steps (ha!) back to where I want to be, with a camera in my hands and a story to tell.

These pictures won't mean anything to you, and thats ok.

I struggle a little this time of year. On the one hand, it's my my favorite part because I love Hallows-giving-mas. Those three months generally fly by for me and everything feels a little more magical and festive. Its when I finally can break out hot chocolate and fuzzy socks. And maybe catch a snow flurry or two. On the other hand, the beginning of November is rough. Really rough. Because 3 years ago, my Opa died.

The first thing you should know is he was one of my favorite people. Ever. He's the reason I got into photography in the first place. The second thing you should know is that he was very much liked and respected in his community. He was a good man in a way that you don't see very often anymore. Modest, hardworking, and loyal to a fault. The last thing you should know is that he left exactly the way he wanted to: instantly and doing something he loved.

Of course, the thing about leaving this world instantly is that your family doesn't really get time to process what happened, the grieving part comes full force. It was hard, one of the hardest experiences of my life. Due to family circumstances, I ended up flying by myself to Germany to assist my Oma with funeral arrangements and I remember the whole journey there I was on complete autopilot.

So below are some of the most personal photos I will ever share. I wish I could share the stories behind them but I don't think my words could do those moments justice.

Conceptual Shoot || Germany