took a hike, took a camera: Lewis Falls

Want to know what happens when I go on a hike with 6 kids: I don’t take many pictures. That’s what. Those kids had my attention directed and redirected all over the place! All six kids and four adults, including me, hit the trails to Lewis Falls. On the hike back to the car, my daughter and I led the pack. We sang songs and talked and laughed. I think it’s safe to say that we all had a great hike that ended with a much needed stop at Jack Brown’s Singlewide on our way off of Skyline Drive. We refueled and headed home. Also, there are no photos of the falls on this post. As mentioned, I was easily distracted and never got a shot. Wamp. But hey, go see it for yourself!

Lewis_Falls_0102 Lewis_Falls_0103 Lewis_Falls_0104 Lewis_Falls_0105 Lewis_Falls_0106 Lewis_Falls_0107 Lewis_Falls_0114 Lewis_Falls_0108 Lewis_Falls_0110 Lewis_Falls_0115 Lewis_Falls_0116 Lewis_Falls_0118 Lewis_Falls_0122 Lewis_Falls_0125Cell phone summary:

LewisRiverCellPhone

 

Advertisements

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

 

took a hike, took a camera: Dark Hollow Falls

It was me, three kids, a baby doll and enough snacks to survive a week in the wild. Snacks are essential. My kids are not cool when they’re hungry…and that says a whole lot because my kids are pretty cool.  So there we were, snacks and all, driving up Skyline Drive. The sun was shining, the windows cracked, the radio up. My daughter and niece wailing T. Swift in the backseat. My son riding shotgun and happy to be next to me. (sigh) Things were looking good…then I rolled the window up and my son did a silent breakdance in the passenger seat until I realized his hand was stuck and those Elvis-inspired hip thrusts were actually jolts of pain. Dang it. He recovered quickly and we were back on our way. Even after that, I wasn’t nervous about the solo hike with three kids because, well, I’m always surrounded by kids: my kids, their friends, my friend’s kids, my family’s kids. Plus, it’s my job. I’m surround by teenagers all day Monday-Friday and they’ve got me well trained to expect the unexpected.

We pulled into an overflowing parking lot at 10:30am. It was filled with cars from all over the U.S. The kids read the license plates aloud as I searched for parking and I found myself feeling very thankful that this gorgeous part of the world is right in the Valley’s backyard. For our hike, I chose Dark Hollow Falls because 1) I know it’s a popular hike, would be highly traveled and therefore help would be near should I encounter a human-eating animal. I kid. Sort of. 2) I’ve hiked this trail with my kids before and they loved it. And 3)  It’s a good workout but not a full day commitment. It’s a 1.4 mile hike with an optional .4 mile addition to the bottom of the falls (which we did). I read once that the Dark Hollow hike is .7 miles down and 7 miles back. That seems about right with the seemingly leisurely stroll down to the falls with a heck-of-a haul on the way back up. Shew. We passed lots of friendly hikers and everyone we saw that day greeted us with a smile. The kids enjoyed the day…and I think the baby doll did, too.

bsomeDark Hollow Falls03bsomeDark Hollow Falls02bsomeDark Hollow Falls01 bsomeDark Hollow Falls07 bsomeDark Hollow Falls05 bsomeDark Hollow Falls06 bsomeDark Hollow Falls04 bsomeDark Hollow Falls30 bsomeDark Hollow Falls41 bsomeDark Hollow Falls29 bsomeDark Hollow Falls24 bsomeDark Hollow Falls08

Dark Hollow Falls from above (top) and below (well, below).bsomeDark Hollow Falls10 bsomeDark Hollow Falls11 bsomeDark Hollow Falls13 bsomeDark Hollow Falls15 bsomeDark Hollow Falls22 bsomeDark Hollow Falls19 bsomeDark Hollow Falls18bsomeDark Hollow Falls27bsomeDark Hollow Falls32bsomeDark Hollow Falls31bsomeDark Hollow Falls25bsomeDark Hollow Falls33bsomeDark Hollow Falls35bsomeDark Hollow Falls37bsomeDark Hollow Falls39bsomeDark Hollow Falls36

Cell phone summary:

Dark Hollow Falls

took a hike, took a camera: South River Falls

My front door was a revolving door of family and friends all weekend, leaving my heart happy and full of the stuff: laughter, love, home-cooked meals, hugs, family. It made sense to keep the good vibes going and complete the weekend with a hike…this time, to South River Falls. Rather than being greeted with snow and ice-covered trails like in January and February, we were greeted with blue skies, dripping icicles and fresh mud. The mountains are thawing…specks of green reaching to the sun. We squelched our way along the trail enjoying this time of transition in nature. My friend, Howard Zehr, is working on a photography series for his upcoming show that compares leaves to human aging. I thought a lot about his series as I walked and watched my kids explore that day, their grandfather by their side. The kids, like fresh little green buds. I also thought a lot about bears. I mean, it is Spring…and they’re probably pretty hungry. As much time as I’ve spent in the woods, I’ve only seen a real live bear once…just outside of DC, of all places. No bears today though. Just a few falling icicles that I was certain would have me for lunch…until I realized they were icicles. And icicles don’t have teeth. Or stomachs.
SouthRiverFalls7566SouthRiverFalls7574SouthRiverFalls7579SouthRiverFalls7716SouthRiverFalls7571SouthRiverFalls7581SouthRiverFalls7572SouthRiverFalls7576SouthRiverFalls7611SouthRiverFalls7714SouthRiverFalls7584SouthRiverFalls7585SouthRiverFalls7589SouthRiverFalls7602SouthRiverFalls7598SouthRiverFalls7607SouthRiverFalls7615SouthRiverFalls7623SouthRiverFalls7629SouthRiverFalls7627SouthRiverFalls7685

South River Falls! I can’t wait to see it again surrounded by more green!SouthRiverFalls7688SouthRiverFalls7641SouthRiverFalls7645SouthRiverFalls7655SouthRiverFalls7657There’s always an injury. Next time, I will bring actual bandaids.
SouthRiverFalls7672SouthRiverFalls7697SouthRiverFalls7668SouthRiverFalls7678SouthRiverFalls7659SouthRiverFalls7692SouthRiverFalls7702SouthRiverFalls7705SouthRiverFalls7721SouthRiverFalls7712

cell phone summary:SouthRiverFalls CellShots

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.

 

The Tweet Life

In the shower and in my car… two places where multitasking is not worth the risk.  It’s in these two spaces my brain begins to twitch and convulse as it’s forced to relax and be there, in the moment. Gripping my steering wheel, having a staring contest with the dotted line or soaked with soap and water, that’s when most of my ideas drop in and say “oh haaaay girl, you gotta minute?”

August.
So there I was, in the shower….probably singing like I’m Neko-frickin’-Case or something because dangit that woman’s voice sounds like an echoey shower goddess! Anyway, so, in the shower, two ideas came to me:  1) I will hostess a solo art show next year and 2) I will start a year-long, lifestyle photography series called Celebrating Life.  The latter is what you’re reading now. (check) For me it’s enjoyable, fulfilling, goal-oriented and reasonably paced with one shoot & post a month. (check plus)

December.
Ate a lot of food. Did a lot of nothin’.
Made an outline of the holidays I was interested in photographing for this series.

February.
I found myself completely consumed with my solo show. For this exhibit, I decided to do a photographic review of my timeline which gave me a solid list of over 80 faces to photograph. I darted all over the East Coast filling each precious moment with reconnection, familiar faces, new memories and checks on my to-do list. (ch-ch-check!) Armed with inspirational travel time, this instagrammin’ fool found herself passing through Richmond with an idea of a way to celebrate April’s holiday: Draw a Bird Day (it’s real).

Part I: RVA puts a bird on it.
An instagram post by Richmond based artist and friend, Tim Skirven, grabbed my attention. He posted a photo that his fiancé/fellow artist, Ali Croft, shot of him hanging his art show at 821 Cafe on Cary Street in Richmond. The show was a simple yet bold collection of black birds on white square panels. They stood out nicely against the exposed brick walls of the cozy cafe. I shot these two love birds (haaa) a message and within moments, I had a bird drawing session to photograph inked into my calendar.

bsomeIMG_7589 bsomeIMG_7592 bsomeIMG_7590

It was a quiet, peaceful Richmond morning and something about walking up Tim and Ali’s creaky wooden steps prompted my slow-mo. I love that sound. I could smell freshly brewed coffee and the cats greeted me with a quick scamper and sideways glare. Light poured into the living space and Tim had already set out his bird reference books. It was a casual Saturday morning shoot…we’re talkin’ pjs and bedhead. The perfect kind.

bsomeIMG_7397 bsomeIMG_7403 bsomeIMG_7405bw bsomeIMG_7420 bsomeIMG_7437

They quickly fell into their zone…or maybe they were already there. The cats slinked around, #2 pencils and Prismacolor pens scratched over the surface of their paper and the Black Keys played softly in the background. #chillestshootever? <—likely.bsomeIMG_7424collage bsomeIMG_7422collagebsomeIMG_7492 bsomeIMG_7483 bsomeIMG_7454collagebsomeIMG_7519bsomeIMG_7543bsomeIMG_7546bsomeIMG_7521bsomeIMG_7515bsomeIMG_7504bsomeIMG_7537bsomeIMG_7532bsomeIMG_7562bsomeIMG_7553collagebsomeIMG_7560bsomeIMG_7523

bsomeIMG_7578bsomeIMG_7580bsomeIMG_7586

Part II: Harrisonbird….Yeah? 
Feeling recharged and functioning on a higher frequency of busy, I returned home to Harrisonburg, VA, ready for round two. It’s no secret in these parts that Lynda Bostrom is BOSS when it comes to doing her artistic thang. I have to admit though, I chose Lynda based on instagram also. I swear I have real life connections with people but being a strong visual learner, seeing something burns it into my memory. When I had the idea to do this post, I immediately remembered some photos Lynda posted over a year ago. She was working on a series of birds that fondly reminded me of Charley Harper’s work. Simplified animals with blocks of bold color and modest, deliberate lines. So beautiful. I dropped by her place one evening and was pretty pumped when I walked into her window-walled apartment to see the pieces for her upcoming show sprawled out on the floor.

bsomeIMG_8527 bsomeIMG_8531bsomeIMG_8602bsomeIMG_8605bsomeIMG_8611bsomeIMG_8576bsomeIMG_8591 bsomeIMG_8571

Lynda referenced Google for some chubby, jolly birds and started doodling with her fude pen. We chatted as she drew bird after bird and the yellow evening sun filled her space. In compiling this post I noticed a lot of similarities in the two different bird sessions. Tim and Ali also had great natural light. Both had creaky steps and floors. All three of them hid behind their drawings when I asked them to hold them up for a photo. (ha!) Both artists have current and/or upcoming shows; they’re active, working artists. And while that may be a fulfilling and good-for-the-soul gig, it ain’t always easy. They’re doing it though and making it work. It’s admirable and I’m happy to know them.

After my confessional-esque intro, I was curious to know where their source of creative energy comes from. And you know what, they both said the same thing…that conversations inspire them. Stories and interactions with people give them a bank of art arsenal to carry them through. Lynda said she hopes that seeing her work “feels like a good conversation.” …Now isn’t that just lovely?

bsomeIMG_8550bw bsomeIMG_8553bsomeIMG_8558bsomeIMG_8543collagebsomeIMG_8565bsomeIMG_8580bsomeIMG_8581bsomeIMG_8560bwbsomeIMG_8595

I also noticed some things about myself through these photos. I guess I like photographing shoes? And plants. And pets. And feet? I like learning these things about myself. I guess in a way, my interactions with Lynda, Tim and Ali taught me a few things that had nothing to do with birds at all. So, thanks guys.

If you’re in Richmond in August, you can check out Tim’s work in person at Quirk Gallery.

Lynda has two upcoming shows this year (2014): Art Lotto (a collaborative portrait show at Larkin Arts in Harrisonburg, Va) & Axcess Art in Brooklyn, NY late this summer.

And the solo show I mentioned, titled “Some of My Parts“, will be opening April 11th at the Blue Nile in Harrisonburg, Va.

Now git off this box and go draw some birds! Happy Draw a Bird Day!

You can follow Tim on instagram @timskirven, Ali @alicroft, their joint design gig @504andahalf, Lynda @lyndaboss. Woo!

 

 

Dudes: Asheville, NC – Part II

My time in Asheville was short but day two was upon us and there was no time for wasting. Laura and I slept like heavenly angels in the massive king sized bed, awaking to the sounds of a disgruntled Billy on the porch…in a floaty. Before loading into the party van, I nabbed a group shot…which literally took 30 minutes to get everyone in the same room at the same time looking the same direction. It was early…those boys were mindless wandering drones. Yeesh! I left my camera behind for the day since we were going whitewater rafting on the French Broad River say whaaaat?! 13 people in a 15 passenger van at 8am after a long night of celebration…it was a quiet ride. The air reeked of booze and other ungodly smells. Not to mention, I was quite certain that I was heading towards my unavoidable death as I’ve said previously in my life (alone to myself): I have no desire to ever go white water rafting. Canoeing the Shenandoah is enough of an adventure for me…but here I was, sandwiched between 11 stinky men, heading straight for class 4 rapids. *cue the pre-hurl mouth water* We arrived at Blue Heron and most of my fears were put to rest by the experienced, calmness of everyone that worked there. “We’ve only had one death in our history of rafting.” mmmk. Gag. On the river, we used Laura’s Go-Pro camera and the Blue Heron photographer shared his images with us. After rafting we went into a feeding frenzy at a place right up the road from where we were staying: Nachos & Beer. Not only was this place close, but the title alluded to the fact that very little decision making would be involved in our visit. FCLIMG_6294 FCLIMG_6297cBWDCIM100MEDIA DCIM100MEDIADCIM100MEDIAFCLDSC_0995 FCLDSC_0999 FCLDSC_1017 FCLDSC_1055 FCLDSC_1064 FCLDSC_1069FCLDSC_0951 FCLDSC_0955DCIM100MEDIA DCIM100MEDIAFCLphoto-9

With full bellies, we returned to the house to clean up and laugh about the events that occurred that day on the river. I designed a tshirt using one of my favorite Lee-one-liners to commemorate the weekend. We all decided to wear them out on the town as we celebrated our friend Lee’s upcoming marriage. I can feel myself getting sentimental here so I’ll just leave you to the images now before I lose some of my well earned dude-points.
FCLIMG_6310 FCLIMG_6301 FCLIMG_6324FCLAphoto-8 FCLGrizzlyBears4 FCLGrizzlyBears3 FCLGrizzlyBears2 FCLGrizzlyBears1FCLIMG_6360

Lee's heart is covered in patchouli and dreadlocks...

Lee’s heart is covered in patchouli and dreadlocks…

FCLphoto-10

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.

Dudes: Asheville, NC

FCLIMG_6270collage

I’m gonna make this simple because quite frankly, I’m tired of explaining it. *not really, I love it* My long time bestie, Lee, popped the question to his girlfriend. And she said yes! *and she’s a looker!* He asked me and Laura to be grooms(wo)men. And we said yes. Laura put together a weekend to gather and celebrate Lee’s bachelorhood where there were 13 people under one roof: 2 girls and 11 guys. It seemed like a perfect storm in the making but we were all quite responsible and had one heck of a good time! I only stayed two of the three days (day two photos coming soon) but it didn’t take long for me to pick up on some pretty important Laws of the Man:

#1: Paper plates are versatile. “Veggie Trays….” are questionable. FCLphoto-6

#2: 3 days is a long time. Buy in bulk.
FCLIMG_6271
FCLIMG_6238

#3: Billy.    …that’s all. Just Billy.
FCLIMG_6248BW

#4: Ray reads. Let him. He has the ability to kill.FCLIMG_6249BWFCLIMG_6246

#5: Don’t guess names. It creates new nicknames. Sorry RayJay.FCLIMG_6256

#6: Laura wears many hats.FCLIMG_6240collagE

#7: Appreciate a good cigar.
FCLIMG_6259BW

#7.5: Or, like me, just learn how to hold it and pretend.FCLphoto-5 FCLIMG_6265

#8: Food is key.FCLIMG_6268

#9: Food Meat is key. FCLIMG_6280 FCLIMG_6262

#10: Dan is the grill master.  Be patient, it’s worth the wait.FCLIMG_6260 FCLIMG_6279

#11: If you talk while eating you are merely waisting time. Besides, no one is listening anyway.
FCLIMG_6278

#12: The more ridiculous the tshirt, the better.
FCLIMG_6286

#13: Weird things happen after 10 pm.FCLphoto-7 FCLIMG_6282 FCLIMG_6284FCLIMG_6272BW

#14: Man hugs are perfectly acceptable before bed.
FCLIMG_6291

Thanks for a great weekend fellers! And Laura.

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.

Meat Shmeat

A couple Saturdays ago, my friend Danielle invited me and the kids over for a vegan dinner. They were a little skeptical at first. I think it was the mere labeling of a meal as vegan. I mean, they eat fruit and veggies but if I called them vegan fruit and veggies…they may inspect twice before devouring. *kids* As Danielle and I chopped and stirred and chatted about life, the kids played Twister and hung out with her sweet dog Rascal. The aromas and laughter filled the air as they do in the presence of good friends and good food. When the meal was ready and it was time to eat, the kids scarfed down their mac ‘n cheese like it was nobody’s business.
FCLIMG_5827FCLIMG_5830BW FCLIMG_5821FCLIMG_5806 FCLIMG_5809 FCLIMG_5812 FCLIMG_5820FCLIMG_5843 FCLIMG_5847 FCLIMG_5848 FCLIMG_5849 FCLIMG_5840FCLIMG_5850BW FCLIMG_5835BWFCLIMG_5859 FCLIMG_5854C FCLIMG_5856 FCLIMG_5853BWFCLIMG_5863

It's pretty common for me to come with extra kids in tow. :)

It’s pretty common for me to come with extra kids in tow. 🙂

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.