Blueberries and Sunshine

Last week my phone fell to it’s death. On it’s way down I tried to catch it and instead, slammed it down to the floor even harder. I’ve never claimed to be graceful. I murdered my phone; an open and close case of phoneslaughter. Since then, I’ve taken more photos with my camera. My real camera. While I’m no stranger to lugging that thing around, it’s just not always practical. But last Friday morning, it was beautiful outside, the kids and I were heading back to Ratliff’s Blueberry Farm and the combination of those two things just sounded too cute to leave my camera at home. This was our second attempt at blueberry picking. The first time we tried, they were all picked out before I finished my morning coffee! We woke up early enough to get there before the masses and we weren’t the only early (wise) birds. Our goal was to get enough to make a big batch of blueberry pancakes for Sunday brunch for our friends. With buckets hanging around their necks, the kids moved from bush to bush, picking the bluest ones they could find. At the checkout tent, we transferred our berries to the jars we brought along and the kind ladies told me the blueberries would taste best if I set them out on the counter for a couple of days. I trusted them and they were right. Those pancakes were the best I’ve ever made…and I’ve made a lot of pancakes. Go pick for yourself…soon they’ll all be gone and you’ll be heading home with a Christmas tree instead (same farm, different season).Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8428Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8424Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8421Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8415Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8390Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8410Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8414Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8418Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8400Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8392Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8391Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8399Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8417Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8411Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8423Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8425Ratliff's Blueberry_IMG_8759 Ratliff's Blueberry_IMG_8757 Ratliff's Blueberry_IMG_8766 Ratliff's Blueberry_IMG_8768

This was the last shot I took before the pancakes were made and soon after – gobbled right up. Ah well.

 

took a hike, took a camera: Bearfence Mountain

One time when I was a little girl, living with my Nanny, she made a quick run to the grocery store. Nanny left me home alone watching He-Man and She-Ra, coloring innocently at the coffee table. She walked out the door and a beacon of light shined down onto a bowl filled with mini Snickers, placed just out of my reach, on top of the microwave. I tossed my crayon and tugged a chair across the thick carpet. Wobbly legs and tippy-toes. The dog, Fluffy, gave me a sideways stare. That bowl was mine. I tore into those Snickers like a boss. I probably threw back 15 of those suckers! One after another into my little tummy. I heard Nanny’s car pull up so I quickly put the bowl back (empty wrappers and all), returned the chair and resumed my coloring. Within the hour I was in full regret mode. I felt gross….then, I yakked. And if you’ve ever yakked a candy bar, you know exactly the terrifying alienesque blob that was staring back at me from the toilet. I didn’t eat a Snickers bar for 10 years after that day.

Ben and I woke up one Sunday a couple of weeks ago and realized that, for the first time in a long time, we were kid-free and obligation-free onthesameday! A beacon of light shined on our day and we were eager to get out. I was so pumped I skipped a shower and threw my hair up in a tangled knot, put on some week old shorts and grabbed my backpack. We decided to hit a trail that a co-worker had recently told me about with beautiful 360 views called Bearfence on Skyline Drive. The trail was rugged and included some rock scrambling that will put your ego in check. As promised, the views were amazing. The layered gray clouds hovering over layered blue mountains were perfect. The kind of perfect you see in magazines and wish you could visit one day. I showed off a yoga pose (which is really dang hard to do when you’re on top of the world!), Ben ate a bagel, we took some selfies and then we hiked back to the car. We filled the rest of our day with a stop at two vineyards: Kilaurwen where we got to go on a property hike and Moss where we watched a rainband move in over several sets of hills before heading home to watch a movie.

When I was a little girl, that day of over-indulging in mini Snickers taught me a very valuable lesson. Mainly: the good things in life are best when savored, not indulged. There aren’t many free hours in my life these days and that makes those rare gems of unplanned days better than any candy bar, mini or deluxe, that I can imagine. I truly savored our time on the mountain and every drop of wine that followed….and I did not yak up an alien blob of remorse that day.

Bear_Fence_01Bear_Fence_03Bear_Fence_02Bear_Fence_04Bear_Fence_05Bear_Fence_06Bear_Fence_07Bear_Fence_10Bear_Fence_11Bear_Fence_16Bear_Fence_18Bear_Fence_13Bear_Fence_17Bear_Fence_21Bear_Fence_22Cell phone summary: Bearfence_Wine_Tour

took a hike, took a camera: Doyles River Falls

I was the first one awake on Mother’s Day morning. My son returned home after midnight the previous night because of a band trip to Busch Garden’s. He was exhausted and my daughter likes to savor the morning so the house was quiet that Sunday at 7:15am. I filled a small pot with water and scooped some rich grounds into my french press, hearing the grounds hit the glass for maybe the first time ever. Light poured in the window as my coffee steeped, the house still and quiet. I tidied and swept the main floor carefully then tippy-toed the trash and recycling to the bin outside. The kids woke up one by one and greeted me with a hug and a “What’s for breakfast?” They ate sleepy-eyed and I packed our bag for the hike. We arrived at the Doyles River Falls lot around 11am and it felt a little like my house that morning. It was calm and still, as if our presence alone would wake up the residents. Not far onto the trail we rounded a turn and met a deer. Then, one after another, we saw lots of life on our hike: flowers, snails, millepedes (so many millepedes), gnats (so many gnats) and a snake (which I did not get close enough to photograph). We even passed our Harrisonburg friend Danielle and her boyfriend Cody on this trail! Doyles has two falls: upper and lower. The trail guide I have says “two waterfalls with different personalities.” I didn’t know what that meant until I saw the second waterfall. They were equally beautiful but so very different. And, they’re close to each other so you get two falls in one hike which is sweet. On our way back we passed a group of hikers that let us know there was a black bear ahead, peacefully turning over rocks, looking for food. I had a little tinge of fear, I’ll be honest. But it was way helpful to know it was up ahead and that the people who told us about it lived to tell us so… We saw it, I took a blurry photo of it and then we hauled it up the path. On the last leg of the climb, Ben and Blake raced to the parking lot. They each met their match…neither wanted to keep going and neither of them would quit. It was a fun sight for me and Ella, casually lagging behind. The day ended with one more pull-off along the Drive to take in the rolling mountains under gray skies followed by a Mother’s Day barbecue courtesy of my little sister, Brook. It was the perfect gift from her and a delicious post-hike meal for all.

Doyles_River_Falls_01Doyles_River_Falls_02Doyles_River_Falls_04Doyles_River_Falls_03Doyles_River_Falls_06Doyles_River_Falls_14Doyles_River_Falls_07Doyles_River_Falls_05Doyles_River_Falls_13Doyles_River_Falls_09Doyles_River_Falls_10Doyles_River_Falls_12Doyles_River_Falls_11Doyles_River_Falls_15

Bonus mini-waterfall on the hike.
Doyles_River_Falls_16Doyles_River_Falls_18Doyles_River_Falls_17

Upper Doyles
Doyles_River_Falls_19Doyles_River_Falls_20Doyles_River_Falls_22Doyles_River_Falls_23Doyles_River_Falls_24Doyles_River_Falls_30Doyles_River_Falls_34

Lower DoylesDoyles_River_Falls_25Doyles_River_Falls_28Doyles_River_Falls_29Doyles_River_Falls_26Doyles_River_Falls_27Doyles_River_Falls_33Doyles_River_Falls_31Doyles_River_Falls_36Doyles_River_Falls_35Doyles_River_Falls_37Doyles_River_Falls_38Doyles_River_Falls_39Doyles_River_Falls_40Doyles_River_Falls_41Doyles_River_Falls_43Cell phone summary:DoylesFalls_VA_1 Skyline Drive_VA_2Skyline Drive_VA_4 Skyline Drive_VA_3

 

Red Wing Roots II: Day 3

It felt a lot like a Sunday when I parked my car on the third and final day of the second annual Red Wing Roots Music Festival. Time moves differently on Sundays. It ticks away and reminds us to notice the smells and colors and faces and light, to slow ourselves down and enjoy one last little morsel of, in this case, a mid-summer musical dessert. When I shut my car door, there were no echoes on this third day…no soft melodies or harmonicas bouncing off the Chimney’s. There was quiet. A little alarming, I admit, for a music festival…but I proceeded anyway, with curiosity and camera. As I moved towards the back of the seated, silent crowd, I heard Trent Wagler wailing out a line from his gospel set. It was an experience to be there in that moment, watching this community church under overcast skies, surrounded by beauty and bodies who needed this healing sound. People napped and recovered and carried themselves to the stage to wake up. Dang good way to start a day.
bsomeIMG_0054bsomeIMG_9432bsomeIMG_9403bsomeIMG_9420bsomeIMG_9450cbsomeIMG_9426bsomeIMG_9445bsomeIMG_9428bwbsomeIMG_9440bwbsomeIMG_9459bsomeIMG_9454bsomeIMG_9463bsomeIMG_9465bsomeIMG_9495

Next up was Willie Watson, who I found to be a pleasant surprise. I love watching passion pour from a face with each lyric…eye wrinkles forming in the delivery of a verse, veins bulging with blood pounding from an aching heart and a shaky esophagus to distract from a tear. I got to see this in Willie’s performance of Rock Salt and Nails, among others. I feel you man. But before I let myself get stuck in my own head, I wandered around to mingle and grab images of smiling faces. It was a good move, the sun joined us and the rest of the day came with a smooth, steady beat as each new band took the stage.
bsomeIMG_9516bsomeIMG_9502bsomeIMG_9498bsomeIMG_9531bsomeIMG_9535bsomeIMG_9505cbsomeIMG_9506bwbsomeIMG_9538bsomeIMG_9540bwbsomeIMG_9528bsomeIMG_9488bsomeIMG_9836bsomeIMG_9487bsomeIMG_9485bsomeIMG_9473bsomeIMG_9470

bsomeIMG_9686bsomeIMG_9699Above: Lucas Roasting Company saved the day for a lot of folks. Below: Year-old swag…we missed you this year Caleb!

bsomeIMG_9838bsomeIMG_9467bsomeIMG_9683bsomeIMG_9711bsomeIMG_9707bsomeIMG_9554bsomeIMG_9563bsomeIMG_9576bsomeIMG_9579bsomeIMG_9544

Above: Blackfeather Furniture made taking a break look goooood.bsomeIMG_9632

JP Harris & The Touch ChoicesbsomeIMG_9603bsomeIMG_9626bsomeIMG_9645bsomeIMG_9636bsomeIMG_9602bsomeIMG_9612bsomeIMG_9646bwbsomeIMG_9623bwbsomeIMG_9655bsomeIMG_9613bsomeIMG_9677bsomeIMG_9678bsomeIMG_9671bsomeIMG_9668bwbsomeIMG_9667bwbsomeIMG_9582bwbsomeIMG_9477bwbsomeIMG_9480bwbsomeIMG_9482bwbsomeIMG_9719

Bourbon Barrel CongressbsomeIMG_9727bwbsomeIMG_9730bsomeIMG_9726bsomeIMG_9722cbsomeIMG_9733bsomeIMG_9755bw

Bryan Elijah Smith & the Wild HeartsbsomeIMG_9874bwbsomeIMG_9864bwbsomeIMG_9889bwbsomeIMG_9941bwbsomeIMG_9915bwbsomeIMG_9893bsomeIMG_9894bsomeIMG_9903bsomeIMG_9896bwFCLIMG_9688bsomeIMG_9713bsomeIMG_9716bsomeIMG_9759

The Revelers

bsomeIMG_9761bsomeIMG_9789bsomeIMG_9781bsomeIMG_9776cbsomeIMG_9774c

Love CanonbsomeIMG_9807bsomeIMG_9804bwbsomeIMG_9812bsomeIMG_9802

It was time to fill our tanks with some Hanks.bsomeIMG_0030 bsomeIMG_0027 bsomeIMG_0034cbsomeIMG_9578bsomeIMG_0212

Peter Rowan’s Bluegrass Band
bsomeIMG_0013bsomeIMG_9977bsomeIMG_9973bsomeIMG_9969bsomeIMG_9975bsomeIMG_9986cbsomeIMG_9993bsomeIMG_0010

Townes Van Zandt Tribute Set packed the stage with a smorgasbord or festival talent.bsomeIMG_0171 bsomeIMG_0136 bsomeIMG_0116bsomeIMG_0060bw bsomeIMG_0132 bsomeIMG_0135 bsomeIMG_0162 bsomeIMG_0064bsomeIMG_0106bsomeIMG_0065 bsomeIMG_0056

Hayes Carll wrapped up the evening and the festival for the year.bsomeIMG_0291 bsomeIMG_0251 bsomeIMG_0216 bsomeIMG_0228 bsomeIMG_0219c bsomeIMG_0247bw

See you next year, friends!bsomeIMG_0050

Didya miss Day 1? Click here to get caught up! What about Day 2?

This post is part of my year long series Celebrating Life.

Check out my photos from last year: Red Wing Roots Music Festival 2013! Day 1Day 2, & Day 3.

Red Wing Roots II: Day 2

It took two showers to wash away Day 1. Fragments of nostalgia broke away from my muddy footprints on the shower floor. Pieces of Mt. Solon dirt and blades of surely the greenest-grass-in-all-the-land sang sweet harmonies as they swirled to their watery death. I assured my lonely pores that their sweat buddies would return soon. Red Wing Roots Music Festival II, Day 2, started at noon with two bands I did not want to miss: Loves It and Smokey and the MirrorbsomeIMG_8553bsomeIMG_8554

Loves it.bsomeIMG_8564bsomeIMG_8569bsomeIMG_8570bwbsomeIMG_8594bsomeIMG_8600

Above: Red Wing shirts printed by The Mark-it.
bsomeIMG_8951

Lucas Roasting Company (above) keeping folks energized and Wholistic Wisdom (below) keeping folks relaxed.bsomeIMG_8558bsomeIMG_8782

Smokey and the MirrorbsomeIMG_8618 bsomeIMG_8625 bsomeIMG_8636

Above and below: So sweet to see their daughter watching the performance from backstage.bsomeIMG_8644 bsomeIMG_8642bw bsomeIMG_8622bw bsomeIMG_8631bsomeIMG_8739

Above: remnants of Pokey LaFarge’s performance.
bsomeIMG_8658 bsomeIMG_8656 bsomeIMG_8616

Above: One cute little Blue Mountain supporter. Below: One cute little Red Wing supporter.bsomeIMG_8606bsomeIMG_8674bw

Mandolin OrangebsomeIMG_8662bsomeIMG_8687bwbsomeIMG_8679bwbsomeIMG_8666bwbsomeIMG_8693

Below: Artery kicked off on Day 2. Hundreds of children and adults came to help work on this community painting.bsomeIMG_7494absomeIMG_8585bsomeIMG_8579bsomeIMG_8705bsomeIMG_9030

Eric Brace and Peter CooperbsomeIMG_8753bwbsomeIMG_8732bsomeIMG_8746bsomeIMG_8589bsomeIMG_8961bsomeIMG_8654bsomeIMG_8766bsomeIMG_8614bsomeIMG_8970bsomeIMG_8712bwbsomeIMG_8760bwbsomeIMG_9136bwbsomeIMG_8617bsomeIMG_8825

bsomeIMG_9134

Above: Grilled Cheese Mania. Below: Jack Browns Beer and Burger JointbsomeIMG_8832bsomeIMG_8896

The Stray BirdsbsomeIMG_8814bsomeIMG_8789bsomeIMG_8817bw

Brothers Comatose
bsomeIMG_8837bsomeIMG_8842bsomeIMG_8846bwbsomeIMG_8854bsomeIMG_8871bsomeIMG_8848bsomeIMG_8880

Miss Tess and the TalkbacksbsomeIMG_8933bsomeIMG_8924bsomeIMG_8932bsomeIMG_8661bwbsomeIMG_8938bsomeIMG_8906

The Judy ChopsbsomeIMG_9025bsomeIMG_9017bsomeIMG_9004bsomeIMG_8983bsomeIMG_9008bsomeIMG_9012bsomeIMG_8986bwbsomeIMG_9045bwbsomeIMG_9042bwbsomeIMG_8974bsomeIMG_9036bsomeIMG_8950bsomeIMG_8899

Sarah JaroszbsomeIMG_9117bsomeIMG_9068bsomeIMG_9073bwbsomeIMG_9061bsomeIMG_9122bsomeIMG_9095bsomeIMG_9100bwbsomeIMG_9115

One really awesome thing about photographing this festival, is that I get to work with other photographers who I know and love. I admire each of them in very different ways and I’m truly a fan of their work. I feel we have a great network and support system of creatives here in the Valley and I simply can’t imagine it being any other way. I’ll introduce my photog friends below. I encourage you to check out their work!

This is Keesha of Ruby Sky Photography. <–If you click on that link, I have a feeling you’ll enjoy her music selection. In fact, feel free to let it play as you continue to look through the rest of this post…you’ll find it quite relevant. Keesha can usually be found with three little assistants. In the photo below, the third assistant is playing hide-and-seek.bsomeIMG_9103

This. Ha. Well, this is Pat Jarrett. He likely rode in on his motorcycle that morning after shooting in Newport News. He’s a busy dude and if you’re a Stauntonian, you’ve probably seen him walking to and from his downtown studio.bsomeIMG_8977

These girls are my studio neighbors at Spitzer Art Center and are an inspiration to me. They own and operate The Pinwheel Collective. It’s great how well they not only work together but also how nicely their work compliments each others. They do cool stuff. And sometimes funny stuff, too.bsomeIMG_8158c

Oh hay. That’s me. You’re looking at my work now…but I do some  other stuff to. Like weddings and portraits and I photograph for a blog I do with my friend Katie about Harrisonburg. I also plan this really cool community portrait show with my friend Denise Allen every year called Art Lotto.bsomeIMG_9131

Trent Wagler and the Steel WheelsbsomeIMG_9147bwbsomeIMG_9148bsomeIMG_9155bsomeIMG_9174bwbsomeIMG_9164bwbsomeIMG_9221bwbsomeIMG_9389bwbsomeIMG_9216bsomeIMG_9182bsomeIMG_9226bsomeIMG_9158bsomeIMG_9266bsomeIMG_9235bsomeIMG_9314bwbsomeIMG_9331bw

Didya miss Day 1? Click here to get caught up!

Check out this writeup and MORE of my photos from Red Wing Roots 2014 Day 2 on ilovemyburg!

bsomeIMG_9394c

This post is part of my year long series Celebrating Life.

Check out my photos from last year: Red Wing Roots Music Festival 2013! Day 1Day 2, & Day 3.

Today is not National Macaron Day.

This post is a testament to one of the most delicious mistakes I’ve ever made. May is home of National Macaroon Day. May 31st, to be exact. There it was, jotted into my planner, making it fact. For this month’s Celebrating Life post I wanted to photograph a macaroon maker, working his or her macaroon magic at home in their kitchen. With some word-of-mouth references I quickly landed a sweet, willing candidate…and cute to boot! When I arrived at Amelia’s house to invade her space for the afternoon, she greeted me at the front door with a big smile, warmly welcomed me into her home, offered me a glass of water…then straight up schooled me. “People always confuse macarons with macaroons,” she explained as she showed those eggs who was boss. Wait, what? Ah geez. That’s me. I’m the people.

MacaronSmall35MacaronSmall01 MacaronSmall03 MacaronSmall04 MacaronSmall05 MacaronSmall06

MacarOONS are chewy and made with coconut. MacarONS are made with almond meal and resemble a cookie-like sandwich. They basically share the same list of other ingredients, but let’s face it: as delicious as they both are, macarons are the Homecoming Queens and macaroons are sitting at home in their sweatpants, eating a pint of Kline’s peanut-butter-cookies-n-cream, watching reruns of Girls. After some brief research, I learned that they both started in Italy but the recipe branched into the two directions where macarOONS became more popular with the European Jewish folks and macarONS became a thing of France. Which is why you may know them as French macarons rather than just plain ol’ macarons. Went to foodiversity; servin’ up some knowledge. Aw sookie! Seriously though, you have no reason to trust me. I just used high school, Hollywood and binge eating to prove a point.

As I photographed Amelia in her kitchen, her daughter and the two boys she was babysitting that day played contently in the room around us. Crawling in and out of the sliding door, tossing sippy cups for more water, piecing together giant puzzles on the floor, tugging at her apron and coming in for leg hugs. All the while, Amelia mixed batter, refilled their water, cleaned her work surface, translated the child-grunts, carried on conversation with me, babbled with the kids and distributed about four rounds of gold fish crackers. What a sweet juggler-of-the-daily-circus she is.

MacaronSmall09MacaronSmall08MacaronSmall10MacaronSmall11MacaronSmall12MacaronSmall13MacaronSmall41MacaronSmall30MacaronSmall16

When Amelia pulled the macarons out of the oven, she pointed out their feet. “They gotta have feet,” she explainedThat’s the raised up, crispy-looking bottom half of the cookie that is not as smooth and fluffy as the top half. She had lavender and buttercream ready for the first batch of decorating, followed by cocoa powdered macarons filled with a family recipe for caramel cream that she whipped up on the spot. The kids acted out my thoughts as they tried to snatch a filled macaron at each hint of her potential distraction. It was also hitting that weird hour of nap time when kids turn into zombies on the verge of self-destruction…fearless of consequence. Must. Eat. Coooo-kieeee.

MacaronSmall02MacaronSmall22MacaronSmall20MacaronSmall18MacaronSmall21MacaronSmall17MacaronSmall26MacaronSmall24MacaronSmall23MacaronSmall15MacaronSmall25MacaronSmall29MacaronSmall28MacaronSmall31MacaronSmall19MacaronSmall32

Even though this was intended to be a shoot to celebrate National Macaroon Day…it is not. I didn’t even shoot macaroons for cryin’ out loud. But I did learn something new and meet a pretty cool gal…and that’s really why I created this whole series to begin with. It was great spending the afternoon getting to know Amelia and taking a glimpse into another hardworkin’ mama’s life…and learning that I’m a culinary idiot, but I’m trying ova hea! I didn’t know anything about Amelia before knocking on her front door, other than she was kind enough to invite me into her home for baking and photos. And after checking out her work online, I’m thankful I knew very little because I would’ve been intimidated by her craftiness! Amelia does creative design/styling and has a growing portfolio of handmade details to make any event extra special and unique. 

MacaronSmall33MacaronSmall34

The most precious unintentional smear of flour on her face is a document of hard work in the kitchen…with a super sweet payoff.

The most precious unintentional smear of flour on her cheek is proof of her hard work in the kitchen…with a super sweet payoff.

MacaronSmall37MacaronSmall40

 As I drove home to my children with a packed plate full of freshly made macarons, I felt a wee bit smarter, a wee bit plumper and whole lotta happy.

Stop by your local bakery and taste a macaron today…then tomorrow, celebrate National Macaroon Day by trying one of those coconut goodies. You can feel smarter and plumper and happier, too.

MacaronSmall07Check out more from my Celebrating Life series by clicking here.

 

Tres-giving

I am not complaining about my bulging waistline. Really, I’m not. It was a labor of love that I would do all over again tomorrow. I am so so thankful that my day was filled with three separate events, each with amazing family and delicious friggin’ food. I paced myself. I did. But as you scroll…you’ll see why there is more of me here this evening than there was this morning.

#1: Harrisonburg: Lunch

fclIMG_1866 fclIMG_1872 fclIMG_1874 fclIMG_1865collagefclIMG_1914 fclIMG_1877 fclIMG_1878 fclIMG_1881collagefclIMG_1884 fclIMG_1889fclIMG_1937fclIMG_1902 fclIMG_1898bw fclIMG_1904 fclIMG_1910 fclIMG_1909fclIMG_1934 fclIMG_1941collage fclIMG_1944c fclIMG_1943bw fclIMG_1946bw fclIMG_1892fclIMG_1922fclIMG_1933 fclIMG_1925 fclIMG_1926fclIMG_1918 fclIMG_1931 fclIMG_1950 fclIMG_1954 fclIMG_1956bw fclIMG_1957fclIMG_1936

#2: Luray: DinnerfclIMG_1967fclIMG_1960 fclIMG_1962 fclIMG_1963fclIMG_1978 fclIMG_1964 fclIMG_1966fclIMG_1969fclIMG_1984 fclIMG_1979 fclIMG_1971 fclIMG_1972 fclIMG_1974bw fclIMG_1988 fclIMG_1990 fclIMG_1977fclIMG_1987fclIMG_1998 fclIMG_2000 fclIMG_2002fclIMG_2008 fclIMG_1993 fclIMG_2010fclIMG_2020fclIMG_2016

…love comes in droplets...

…love comes in droplets…

fclIMG_2013

#3: Woodstock: Dessert Drop-in (cakes made by a sweet lady named Peggy Keller)fclIMG_2039 fclIMG_2029 fclIMG_2057 fclIMG_2053 fclIMG_2022 fclIMG_2025 fclIMG_2026 fclIMG_2024fclIMG_2035fclIMG_2041bwfclIMG_2051 fclIMG_2048

Happy day everyone.

A lake named Anna

The sun was beaming as I packed the car with a cooler, the kids and a Ben and we headed over the mountain to enjoy a day at Lake Anna for a friend-reunion of sorts. As I was driving I realized that the last time I drove over that mountain to see Toff and Cara, I was using printed mapquest directions. And possibly listening to a cd burned from my napster downloads? Haaaaa. Ancient. It was also before they became parents of sweet little Trip and Meg. Time leaves us. Too too fast. We were welcomed at the Newcomb lake house to lots of open international arms but the hugs didn’t last long as the kids were ready to enjoy the water!

fclIMG_3278c

fclIMG_3280b fclIMG_3284c fclIMG_3283bw fclIMG_3282bwfclIMG_3317fclIMG_3426 fclIMG_3292 fclIMG_3285fclIMG_3372fclIMG_3358fclIMG_3368 fclIMG_3369fclIMG_3362bwfclIMG_3386fclIMG_3400fclIMG_3321fclIMG_3296bwfclIMG_3316bw fclIMG_3309 fclIMG_3319 fclIMG_3325fclIMG_3327fclIMG_3333fclIMG_3371fclIMG_3408 fclIMG_3410 fclIMG_3394 fclIMG_3388fclIMG_3300fclIMG_3339fclIMG_3416fclIMG_3311 fclIMG_3301fclIMG_3382 fclIMG_3377fclIMG_3341fclIMG_3449fclIMG_3435 fclIMG_3443 fclIMG_3442fclIMG_3424 fclIMG_3425fclIMG_3402 fclIMG_3455bw fclIMG_3462Day 2.  A slow, easy morning filled with lots of coffee, crossword puzzles, dogs and amazing food. The shrimp and grits that Sam and Elizabeth concocted were so good that I didn’t even get a chance to photograph them. After brunch we all waddled down to the lake to float like buoys until our food digested. Australia is a lifetime away, it seems, and any time with these guys feels like a ticking clock is dangling over us. I miss their faces already.

fclIMG_3469 fclIMG_3476 fclIMG_3467fclIMG_3478fclIMG_3486

…note the vanilla slice: Toff and Cara’s number 1 seller at their bakery (activate saliva)…
fclIMG_3487 fclIMG_3474 fclIMG_3475 fclIMG_3472

Blake took a moment to teach Trip an American greeting: The Fist Bump. Blake still giggles at Trip repeating “Pound it!” with his young Australian accent. fclIMG_3483 fclIMG_3501 fclIMG_3497fclIMG_3505bwfclIMG_3541 fclIMG_3508bwfclIMG_3542 fclIMG_3510fclIMG_3535 fclIMG_3534 fclIMG_3526 fclIMG_3521bw

Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · friendlycitylens.com & brandysomersphotography.com. This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting my creative property.

Red Wing Roots Music Festival: Day 3

The third and final day of Red Wing was upon us. We stopped caring about the mud under our toenails, the sweat beads on our forehead, and the mild stench that was totally-that-dude-beside-me and not me. Right? We were all friends now. Rained on, shined on, danced together – friends. I was a little sad finishing these photos. Nostalgic even. They reminded me of this pocket of happy that existed in my summer. A pocket I’ll dig into again next summer only to rediscover it all over…just like that wrinkled up five dollar bill that’s surely waiting for me in my winter coat.  ….winter….  Ah geez.

Robin & Linda WilliamsFCLIMG_1005 FCLIMG_1032FCLIMG_1016 FCLIMG_1011BWDanny Schmidt & Carrie ElkinFCLIMG_1042BW FCLIMG_1065 FCLIMG_1063CFCLIMG_1067BW FCLIMG_1075FCLIMG_1102C FCLIMG_1106BWFCLIMG_1082 FCLIMG_1083 FCLIMG_1109FCLIMG_1157 FCLIMG_1156Brian Patrick BandFCLIMG_1121 FCLIMG_1136BW FCLIMG_1130BWFCLIMG_1126BWFCLIMG_1143