"Quit hanging on to the handrails... Let go. Surrender. Go for the ride of your life. Do it everyday"

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 In Pictures

I hardly ever write down New Year's resolutions, mostly because by about February they've all been blown.  I prefer to have New Year's goals - something to strive for but not get so caught up in having to do them.  On that note I did not have any resolutions for 2012, but went with the flow and ended up with some fun times this year.  Below is my list of Top 10 for 2012(in no particular order) and then my year in pictures and some "goals" for 2013.  At my heart I am a photographer and a traveler, so a year in pictures works a lot better for me then a huge blog post of words.  I hope you enjoy it and I hope that you will continue to join with me in 2013.

Top 10 for 2012
1.  Seeing the giant sequoia trees in California
2.  La Jolla and the Pacific Ocean - so beautiful
3.  The weddings that I was able to photograph(stressful but oh so fun)
4.  Hanging out with my husband on the shores of Lake Michigan
5.  Bike riding and seeing the beautiful fall colors with my son
6.  Spending time at the Omaha Zoo with my mom and son
7.  The gorgeous spring flowers that we had in March due to our lack of winter and early spring
8.  Being able to work with local youth at my church and to teach them about God
9.  Hanging out with new friends that became like family and welcoming a new little girl into that family
10.  The love of my family and friends
My Year in Pictures!
was about my son's birthday and eagles!

Such beautiful birds.
This was as close as we could get to wild eagles this year.  The people from St. Louis' World Bird Sanctuary did a great job talking to us about these beautiful birds.  Unfortunately because of our mild winter, eagle watching was not very good this year.  Even so we enjoyed our day trip to Eagle Days in Clarksville MO.
I had no pictures from February that I could post.  Apparently February was a go nowhere, do nothing, chill at home month haha.

 was all about the flowers and our early spring.
I love the mood of this picture.
Magnolia tree at a local park by us.  I loved being able to get out and capture the flowers.

Close up of a magnolia blossom.  So pretty!

was our trip to the Omaha Zoo and bridges 
The non-colored pencil shot of the bridge.
We stopped in Winterset Iowa to see the Bridges of Madison County and where John Wayne was born.  It was a beautiful spring day.
This was a cool looking jellyfish we saw at the zoo and aquarium

My son and I had some fun playing in the exhibits at the zoo, very hands on and fun for the kids

California here we come, Pacific Ocean and beaches!  And giant sequoias!
 I think I'm going to take a picture like this at all beaches I go to haha.  This was at La Jolla Beach close to Children's beach

 One of my absolute FAVORITE pictures of the year.  My son took it and I just love how he captured the waves crashing up behind me.  So Pacific Ocean and just awesome!

My son and I on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.  A kind stranger took this picture of us.  We had such fun climbing along the rocks and peering over the edge into the ocean.  I also just love the sea lions behind us.

Look at the size of those sequoia trees!  Such an amazing thing that God made for us to enjoy.  These are some of the largest and oldest trees in the entire world!!  We had a great stop at both Sequoia and King's Canyon National Parks.  So excited to be able to add those to my list of National Parks that I want to visit!  It was so great that my dad could come with us.

I just love how this kind of shows you just how big these trees can get!  And the fact that they can grow and get enough nutrition in these groves is a testament to God as well.

was a stay at home month, VBS and local hanging out
The kids were collecting seashells(yes we have seashells haha) on the Mississippi River for our VBS science experiments.

A local, small waterfall at a cute little town park in Iowa

my husband and I got lost on the Michigan shoreline and fireworks!!

4th of July Fireworks over the Mississippi River

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore-Michigan.  The dunes were so huge and the water just so blue.  You could run down the dunes and then peer over the edge into the lake, just don't run too fast or you will end up in the lake haha.

Ludington Michigan sunset and lighthouse.  Just gorgeous colors!
was a return to school and a semi normal schedule
A pretty butterfly I spotted at a local butterfly garden

This was at the Villages of Van Buren in Iowa, which are a grouping of several cute small towns of German descent along the shores of the Missouri River

was a rodeo and walks through the park

Ok so call me crazy but I just like this picture with the way the sunlight is shining down.  I do.  My family has a tradition of log walking in the woods and that is what my brother, my son and myself were doing this day.

Just a cool looking spiderweb I took for a Photo Scavenger Hunt I was doing.

Rodeo time!  I enjoy watching the cowboys handle those broncs and bulls or get thrown haha.  Fun!
fall colors galore, a trip up Great River Road and a wedding
Minehaha State Park in Minneapolis, MN
Minehaha State Park in Minneapolis Minnesota.  We had a great time bike riding around the park and taking pictures with all the gorgeous fall colors that we saw.  But it was quite the experience, let me tell you.
Pikes Peak State Park in Iowa, a beautiful park and a fun hiking trail

A wedding that I did in October.  Beautiful! 
some weddings and the last of the fall colors
wedding decorations

last of the fall colors

more wedding decorations
all about the Christmas lights!
I like to go to different places to see Christmas lights, this year it was in East Peoria.  Very cool light drive thru

This was the Enchanted Forest in Iowa, a walk thru light display in a town park
So there you have it, my 2012 in pictures!  We had some great times this year and got to do some neat things.  I'm hoping our next year will be even better!!  A quick list of "goals" for next year.
2013 Goals List
 - I want to be a traveler each month to a new spot, even if it's just around town
- To spend more quality time with my husband and son
- Learn a little self defense
- Take my first solo road trip(I have this goal every year and still haven't done it yet)  I go places with just my son and I, but never by myself(at least not any kind of distance - driving up to visit family in the city doesn't count :)!)
- I have a few trips in mind that I want to go on
- Continue refining and practicing my photography
- Try to get more involved in blogging and meeting new people through that
- More weddings and professional photography!!
Have a safe New Year and a blessed 2013!! 
This post is linked to Photo Friday on Delicious Baby

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Road Trip Tale: Meeting a Fellow Great River Road Traveler

I think I will say this everytime I have one of these tales.  I absolutely LOVE the great people I meet while traveling solo or semi-solo.  So many people that make my life richer and of which I would be less blessed had I not met them.  This tale goes back to my October Fall Colors trip up Great River Road. 

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