Hiking the Buffalo

Let's do a bit of time travel, shall we? Back in early autumn we took a day to go on a hike, near the Buffalo.  We feel like the luckiest people because we live fairly close to so many beautiful spots.  It takes us a bit over an hour to reach the Buffalo River and the hiking is superb in our opinion. 

Hiking is something we've done as a family since the girls were babies.  We've graduated from a fairly smooth path with the stroller, to this.  Both the girls climbed up and down this steep path with help from Brett and I.  They really had to be brave, but wore the most triumphant, confident look after they'd made it.  "We can do hard things girls", that's what I keep telling them. 
The leaves here were warm and glorious! 
I typically carry my camera and sometimes my camera bag, when we hike.  You can see that sometimes the girls think they need to carry their cameras like their mama, too.  Other than that we don't typically take anything with us if it's a short hike.  On the longer hikes I'll sometimes wear a backpack with kleenex, water, and a few snacks inside.  

My kiddos are never, ever bored on hikes and one of the reasons being that we keep our eyes out looking for the interesting, the lovely, the different, the colorful.  One of them spotted this beautiful snail!  Sometimes our hikes can take a while because they want to stop and admire almost everything.  Especially Betsy! She is like her mama, she sees hearts everywhere and what looks like abstract art to everyone else, looks like shapes and pictures and stories to her. 

Near the steep parts of the trail Brett and I walk nearest the edge and make the girls hold onto our hands the whole time.  

One of the best parts about hiking the Buffalo is that after you're done you can sit by the river and have a picnic! I am most definitely a water girl, as a close friend pointed out to me one day recently.  Whether it be the river, the lake, or even our farm creek, the gurgles and soothing sounds of water running over rocks is simply my favorite.  

This was such a plain day, but certainly one of our favorites.  Although we love the city and fancy places just as much as the next person, we are really most at home in nature.  Give me a pile of rocks to sit on, the company of my family, a few birds soaring, and the happy gurgling of water running past and I am a happy gal. 

Hello. Is it me you're looking for?

Sorry, bad blog title I know, but we saw Trolls this week and that was a line from the movie and it stuck.  You might not be looking for me around here, but I am! I have deeply missed this space.  The girls started pre-school again, way back in August.  We quickly fell into our normal school routine and as each week filled up and the next one stood waiting it felt as if someone took a globe (or our world itself) and gave it a good spin.  The kind of spin that gets you to almost December and you're smiling, but trying to catch your breath and wondering where all the time went. 
As I shared in my last post, my photography calendar has been full to the brim also this fall.  It wasn't a dream I was actively pounding the pavement for but instead has come about rather naturally. I have looked at Brett dozens of times and said "What a surprise! What a treat! What an honor!".  You really cannot even imagine the thrill I get from tenderly taking people and their stories and telling them well with photographs and film.  It isn't something I take lightly at all.  I am so very honored and astounded that I have had the privilege of spending time with so many of you and capturing your season of life.  I have some really fun ways I'd like to continue improving my photography and keeping my inspiration fresh over the Christmas break and then I'm excited to start booking spring shoots! 

I've also been asked several times if I'd teach a photography class and have plans to do so.  Please stay tuned! 
In the meantime, besides spending time taking photos and editing them, we have thoroughly enjoyed our Arkansas version of fall.  Here on the farm the trees get "so-so"....meaning pretty, but for a fairly short amount of time.  We are so lacking in rain this year which I assume makes a difference.  The girls and I have spent time in town around the square, where the maple trees are aplenty.  Certainly a feast for our eyes, indeed!  With it being so warm we have spent plenty of days outside, until that winter darkness shoves us back in for the night.  
I keep thinking and saying I should be reading, as I am typically an avid reader.  This year though, it's been mostly cookbooks or magazines or watching shows.  Yes, I too am a true and true Gilmore Girls fan.  Have you watched?  I can't say I have loved the new episodes near as much as I expected.  Anyway, we have enjoyed Anne of Green Gables on PBS, the Macy's Thanksgiving parade, and videos from the library.  

But back to the reading-what do you recommend for me? 

One of the reasons I've been reading cookbooks and recipes so much (besides the fact I just plain adore them) is that I've been working on some minor health issues and trying to heal through food, vitamins, and weekly visits to the chiropractor.  And you know what? So far, so good. Very, very good.  A little further down the road I'll share more, but for now I need to own this story as just my own.  

So many of you have kindly asked about our foster care journey, which will actually begin Monday, December 5th with our first meeting! We are going through The Call, which is a local organization/ministry that comes alongside families and helps them work with DCFS to become a certified foster family.  Our agency work on our adoption is closed, it doesn't transfer to any of our foster care journey.  So we are essentially starting at square one. 

I also plan to write more about this journey as well and shed some light on the misconceptions people have about foster care because there are many.  I will start by saying this, you can specify which age you are interested in and how many children at a time.  So if you're like we were and picturing a group of 5 teenagers coming to your house and you don't currently feel ready for that, that's actually not a good excuse to not help.  At least for us it wasn't.  I remember the day so clearly someone told me we could foster babies, and just one at a time if we wanted. 

An instant "Yes! I'm in" went off in my head. Every single one of my selfish excuses I'd been tossing around had light shed on them and I saw them as they were-mostly wrong and pretty silly. 
With that said, I'm not sure when we'll finish all of our training (it's 30 hours worth) but boy are we excited to have a baby in the house again! It will feel like a whole new world. 

Betsy had a birthday last weekend and turned FOUR! 

See? I told you, spinning world for sure.  I am so grateful for all this life buzzing around me.  My camera is the instrument in which I make it slow down, even if just a bit.  
Art, music I'm loving, Christmas decorations, Advent....
there is so much more to share with you my friends. 
For today though I've got one last sip of tea and then it's 
"see you later" 'till tomorrow! 

Busy with photo sessions! SO grateful.

A little surprise has come my way this year-photo sessions. 
In the past I've advertised sessions and have had a handful here and there.  But this year, very organically and naturally, my photo sessions have filled right up! 
 I am honored beyond words and belief.  What an amazing privilege to be able to capture someone's story through photographs and film.  I have truly enjoyed the many laughs and giggles, memories made, and moments captured on camera. 
 So if you've wondered where I've been, it's here.  Capturing and editing away! 

Of course, life has also been full with my girls, cooking, some new health habits for me, painting and crafting, and the goodness that fills our routine with rosy.  I'm excited to be sharing more regularly on the blog, now that I'm getting caught up on my photo sessions. 
 For today, please enjoy this collection of photos and families that I've captured on the farm! 
(I have a fun "in town" shoot I'll share later too!) 

Thank-you for coming along with me on this journey. 
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Let's chat soon. 

The rosy in my real life!

Hello friends! I'm here for another edition of "rosy in my real life!"  I tried to number these and do one for every week o...