On This Day 2 Years Ago

On this day last year, my ❤ proposed!

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He waited until the sun was almost all the way down before popping the question – the suspense was insane! I had a really good feeling this was coming, just like I did 2 days before when we went on a helicopter tour of Kansas City. The entire time we were circling KC, I could hardly breathe from excitement, thinking this is it!. Nope! When I told him this after he proposed, his response was “gotta keep you on your toes”. I gotta say, it worked 🙂

My life changed for the better 2 years ago and I’m so happy it did!

Happy Monday

A new dawn, a new day, a fresh chance to follow your dreams.

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Magic Hour

Ahh, our first clouds here in Sierra Vista in almost a week! I’m not complaining; the sunshine has been wonderful, but our sunsets have been a bit bland until tonight. The skies here remind me of Kansas – so incredibly wide, a complete 180* view uninterrupted by trees and mountains. That effect also makes the clouds look close enough to reach out and grab.

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Magic hour is incredible in the desert.

Road Trip: Leg 2

Reno dawned bright, clear and freezing cold. Nothing like 26* to wake you up! We hit the road at about 9, ready for the 7 hour drive to Vegas. Once again, I took the first half of the drive so I could navigate for my ma when we hit Vegas.

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This was by far the loneliest stretch of road we saw. Miles and miles and miles passed before seeing another car. We switched drivers and filled up my car about halfway, in a small town called Tonopah.

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The highway is mostly 2 lanes the entire drive, making semi trucks obvious obstacles – or so you would think. It was so flat and clear that I could see past the 9 semis backed up in front of me, and was able to safely pass them all, in a row. Talk about an adrenaline rush! I think that may have pushed me past my fear of big rigs.

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We saw countless old, dilapidated mining towns along the way. Nothing about them had changed except the effects that time had on their seemingly ancient buildings.

Time also did a number on the geography of Nevada, slowly eroding the countless little mountain ranges we passed along the way.

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I totally nerded out over the layers of rock that glaciers, wind and rain cut through to expose the beautiful colors embedded in the rock. Shoutout to my high school geology teacher, Mr. Reaney!

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These mini-mountains were the most interesting things on this leg. Every once in a while, we would see a tiny little cluster of mobile homes and shacks, backed up against these mountains and wonder “how?”. Where do they get gas, or groceries? Do they have water or electricity?

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For those of you who don’t know, prostitution is legal in many parts of Nevada. It was no surprise when we passed this lovely run-down brothel in the middle of literal no-where. It seems business isn’t so hot with no towns around for miles and miles (shocker..). Kudos to the realtor who placed the for-sale sign over the E in “nude” –  Nud Girls sound so much more interesting. 😂

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I couldn’t believe how many of these mini-mountain ranges there were and how different they all looked! It seemed like every single one was made up of a different kind of rock.

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The closer we got to Sin City, the warmer the temps got, finally reaching 67* when we rolled into town shortly before sunset. Obviously the warmth didn’t last long.. We were disappointed to walk the strip in Vegas with jackets on – it sure didn’t feel like the desert!

I didn’t feel like lugging my camera around the strip, so the rest of the photos I took were on my phone, which I uploaded to Instagram.

Click here to see more photos and videos from my road trip, along with lots of other glimpses into how I live my life through a lens.

After walking the strip, we were in bed and watching Antiques Roadshow by 9pm. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas – even if that means watching someone discover that Grandma’s buttons are worth thousands. 😂

Road Trip: Leg 1

Our first leg was from Portland, OR to Reno, NV – the longest of the three legs: a 9 hour drive.

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I drove from Portland all the way down to Weed, CA, where my mom took over the driving and I got to shoot Mt. Shasta and the beautiful forests of Northern California, not to mention the incredible mountains off Interstate 395.

These are in the same order that they were taken so you can feel as though you were there too 🙂

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Mt. Shasta was beautiful off in the distance, as seen from the city of Weed, but even more impressive up close.

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Highway 89 in Northern Cali was lined with the most perfect, picturesque evergreens I’d ever seen, and topped with a sky so rich in blue I couldn’t believe my eyes.

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As we headed into Lassen National Forest, the elevation rose quickly and mountains loomed all around.

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The scenery changed pretty quickly from summery forests covered in sunshine to mountain peaks and evergreens topped with snow.

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We’d crest the top of one peak and descend into the valley below, usually filled with cows munching on cud.

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The highway wound around tons of beautiful little town nestled into the forest – McCloud was my favorite.

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The farther south-east we went, the more snow we saw.

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This is one of my favorite shots from the entire 24 hours we spent in the car:

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The road was almost completely empty, aside from a semi here and there. It was incredibly peaceful and serene.

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After finally descending out of the forest, we passed through another sweet little town called Susanville. The sun setting over the mountains surrounding it only added to the town’s charm.

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I’m such a sucker for a sunset. If you look close, you can see wisps of fog at the base of the mountain and cows in the pasture. I was starved and wanted to eat one for dinner, but we snacked on Sour Patch Kids instead – much healthier 😉

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This was the last photo I took that day, and I’m bummed that it doesn’t do the view justice. The entire sky was painted in pastel pink and orange, and was beautiful when offset by the bright white of the mountains.

We rolled into Reno at about 6, checked into our hotel, had dinner and passed out shortly after. We woke up to blue skies and 26* temps. BRRRR!

After waking up early to get a kick start on the traffic, we started our trip to Las Vegas!

Stay tuned for leg #2! 🙂

Road Trip!

Ahhh, I finally made it to my ❤ in Sierra Vista, AZ friday night! After a wonderful weekend full of snuggles and catching up on sleep, I have finally had the time and energy to edit the photos I took during my drive from Portland to Sierra Vista. Woo!

Before I share photos of the beautiful landscapes from Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona, I want to share this one:

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Without this beautiful woman I call my ma, this trip would have been a thousand times more stressful and I’d have certainly ended up in a ditch somewhere, having gone insane from loneliness. I wouldn’t trade the hours of chatting about literally everything, laughing at dear memories (and making even more), road trip games, walking the strip in Vegas, and peaceful silences for the world. It was wonderful seeing our beautiful country with an even more beautiful soul.

Thank you thank you thank you for being my biggest fan and support system, and for joining me on this journey to the next chapter in my life! Love love ❤

The many skies of Kansas

Without a doubt, my favorite thing about Kansas is the sky.

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Kansas is very flat, especially compared to Oregon. The “hills” are all the same height, rolling on forever like the ridges that oceans leave in the sand. Never have I seen so far or so wide.

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I saw every color of the rainbow, just looking up at the sky.

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I first fell in love with the skies of Kansas during this incredible sunset on the evening Bobby proposed.

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It changes daily and even looks magnificent at night.

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Sometimes it’s moody and spits fire.

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No matter the time or the day, it never fails to impress.

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Water Drops

My wonderful friend and favorite model came up to Portland to help me celebrate my birthday weekend, so I obviously took advantage of her presence and we had an impromptu photo shoot down on the Columbia! The weather was super moody – sunny when we arrived and threatening storms by the time we left. Thankfully we made it home just in time for it to start pouring! I missed Oregon’s diversity and unpredictability, along with Hailey’s thirst for life.

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Water is extremely fun to photograph. A very fast shutter speed can capture amazing detail in water drops.

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It can also stop time so we can see one single, fleeting moment.

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I love the precision in the water splash – it’s unique like a thumb print.

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Check back soon, there’s much more of Hailey to come!