The Weeeee Beastie

We have two squirrels that we think must be siblings. They chase each other around our backyard manically, coming close every time to nipping the other’s tail. David has taken to zip tying our bird feeders together in an effort to stop them from dumping all the seed to the ground, which is their other favorite past time.

I have a holly tree directly outside my office window . . . and a bird feeder underneath. This little guy spent the better part of the morning the other day leaping from the branches of the tree, balancing perilously on top of the shepherd’s crook holding the feeder and then, once balanced, peering into my window at me.

I took up my camera and peered right back.

Taken with my Nikon D5 & my 50mm f/1.4 lens, which lives more or less on my camera. 😉

Almost Twenty-Five

Meghan will turn twenty-five next week. I’m not quite sure where the years went to, but they have been filled with so much learning, so much laughter, so many long talks and so many quiet times, too. I read millions of words to her during her childhood and told stories upon stories about my family and David’s to her. Memories of growing up with her have been floating through my head lately.

So many life times in the span of twenty-five years have been lived.

I feel as though the tip of the iceberg has barely broken the surface

Just Write

I knew I couldn’t stay away for long. I’ve had words building up inside of me for the last few weeks and I need to let them out. I’m writing for myself only, no false fronts, no hiding behind cliched posts, just honest and true words.

That’s all.

I feel as though I lose a little control whenever I don’t write, a small part of me just feels off. Stringing letters into words into sentences into paragraphs into a post, a letter, a story is comforting and routine and structured, something that has been hard for me to achieve this year. With this being Joe’s gap year, David finishing up his first novel and taking a week off every month to put on the final touches, my daily routine has been horribly off kilter. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been an incredible year with my photography hobby slowly growing into a photography business and, as I mentioned above, David’s first book about to go public. The family has been healthy and happy, the kids each having found love and “really, really like” ‘s. My confidence has grown by leaps and bounds and outwardly, I appear calm, cool and collected, but inside I feel as though I could lose it at any given moment. A small storm seems to always be brewing inside me just beneath the surface. I pace around the house like a caged animal, feeling chaotic and frantic and so out of control. Running helps, walking the dog does, too. But it’s writing everything out that helps the most.

I don’t really like writing at a computer, I prefer writing long hand, something that David laughs about and, I’m afraid, is slowly going the way of the Dodo. That blinking cursor mocks me and my spelling goes all to hell, making me backspace and delete every other word, it seems. I’ve never been that great a typer to begin with, so when I’m having to delete all the time, it kinda makes it harder to free think and to free write, and then auto correct chimes in with suggestions which don’t make any sense, so it’s all rather frustrating.

But when the words flow freely from my mind and out through my finger tips, that’s when peace and calmness settle upon me like a light blanket. And the storm inside begins to subside.

As I near the small tunnel that goes underneath Rupple Road, I begin to look for my little family of deer that always leap out from the underbrush that lines the trail I run along every day. They’re a momma and two teenagers, just as curious about me as I am about them. They think they’re hidden by the dead bushes and leafless branches of the woods, and they almost are with their tawny colored coats and their statuesque stances. It’s only when they twitch their ears or the momma stamps her leg as a warning to me that I see them.

Today they stay hidden and I continue my trot down the pavement. Suddenly, a flurry of wings makes me whip my head up to the tall sycamore to my left just in time to see the great round face of an owl. I stop (I always stop when I see wildlife, marveling at the chance to witness such grace and beauty during my run) and exclaim out loud, “An owl!” His round face is white and his eyes, his eyes! Big, round, black as two bits of coal. He looks at me long and hard, just as I look at him long and hard, memorizing everything about him so I’ll never forget the morning I met an owl. The sky was overcast and wintery looking and breath fogged out of my mouth as I stood there panting, sweat beginning to seep into my eyes. There was no one else on the trail that quiet morning, just me, looking down the creek as the owl flew westward on his silent wings.

I look for him every day now, just as I look for my herd of deer, but all I know of him is just his lullaby he sings as the sun sinks in the evening sky.


the in between


A NICA race.

First trail run of the season.

Portraits and bread baking.

Little discoveries along the bike trails.

Spending time with my boys.

The in between moments of my life.

girls weekend

Two girls.

Hot Springs.

Lake Hamilton.

Stand up paddle boarding.

Browsing the shops downtown.

Underwater photoshoots irrupting into laughter.

Quiet mornings and peaceful sunsets.

Two days that ended all too quickly.


pictures of my life

Lunch with my best friend, the type of friend that will ask you if she has guacamole smeared on her forehead as you're trying to politely eat a really messy and a really drippy grilled cheese sandwich and not having much success, cheese smeared all over your hands and arms. You look at her and you both burst into laughter because she gets you and you get her and you both love each other for all your quirks and weirdness.

Playing with new lighting modifiers and losing track of time. Always a wonderful thing to happen, knowing that you're so immersed in learning new things that time stops and stands still.

Mountain biking and daisies blooming and locals cleaning out ponds and hanging out on street corners. A found feather, milk and cookies and a food shoot that went well, my first one.  

And decisions rolling around in my head as to where to take my photography next, as well as this space. 


his last day

I never thought that when I walked Meghan into George C. Round Elementary School in Manassas, Virginia in 1999 to begin her first day of kindergarten that our last day of school would take place here in Fayetteville, Arkansas with a son roaring off to his last full day of school at Fayetteville High School on the back of his motorcycle. 

Never in a million years. 

And yet, here we are at the finish line at last. 

It's going to take a few days for me to wrap my head around that.