International Women’s Day & Throwback Shoot

Did you know that yesterday was #internationalwomensday ? Me neither. Of course once someone told me all about it, I started seeing more and more about it pop up in the news and my feed. It stuck with me. I was inspired to learn and to read more about this day.

Maybe it’s because we don’t take it as seriously here (in US) as we should? I don’t know.  I know that I take for granted my upbringing, and that I was fortunate enough to grow up in an environment where I was encouraged to do or BE whatever I wanted. I was taught that hard work and keeping a good head on my shoulder was all I needed to succeed. My gender NEVER played a role in that. And now my daughters are getting that same privilege.

I can’t imagine being born into an environment where women, young girls, still have ZERO rights or opportunities in this world. But there are still places like this. It’s hard to imagine, it’s sad and true. Take some time today to read more about why this is so important and take time to try and do ONE thing to make a difference.

1. Sign a petition. There is a link below.
2. Teach your daughter about one amazing woman in the world.
3. Donate to your favorite women’s charity.

The theme this year is #makeithappen .

Let’s get to it.

A throwback photo shoot from 2 years ago. Completely untouched and unedited except for one photo.

It’s fun going back into time or maybe I should say–it’s about time I got around to editing these. 😉



Connections and the Blue Lily Tribe

There are many elements to life that equate to happiness. My children, family, experiences, accomplishments, friends, food, sleep.  The list goes on. But my favorite kind of happiness is simply a truly bonfiable genuine connection with another human being. Your kids come with it built in, you meet it in your future husband for the first time, and sometimes if you are lucky, you will find it in other friends or colleagues.  Not just a trivial, networking–on the surface connection. But something much more than that. I value a true and meaningful connection more than most things on my happiness radar. It’s not easy to do and very hard to find.

This group, or rather as one member said it best, this TRIBE is so FULL of connections and on so many levels that is sends my personal happiness radar off the map. I won’t bore anyone of our stories of laughter, randomness, epic think tanks, classes taught by one (all) of our own, amazing photo opportunities, or just plain old inappropriate–good for the soul—discussions. I won’t bore you with that at all.

BUT, if you are a photographer (like me 4 years ago) on the verge of deciding vs hobby or pro….you must I repeat MUST attend a Blue Lily Go Pro Seminar. It really will change your life. And we might even let you into the tribe when you are done. 🙂

Here is a look back at my 4th workshop with the Lilies. This year was in Las Vegas, NV.


Thanks to my friends for capturing my perpetual smirk that doesn’t seem to change much. I should work on that. I also have perpetual fly aways, my harness upside down (my apologies to hold fast gear) and my inability to recognize spatial awareness (aka the bandaid photos).  Good times.

Thanks to Wendy of Blue Lily, Miranda Stratford of M. Shanti Photo,Kelly of Pear Tree Photography, and Alicia of Gray Wren Photography—- for making me feel awesome and enjoying 2nd of our shoot!






Costa Rica: Round 3

It’s hard to imagine that I would love Costa Rica anymore and any better than each of my previous destinations here and here but in true Costa Rican style, our last and final stop in Guanacaste didn’t disappoint. It was pretty much pure perfection. We ended our journey wanting to relax, not do too much and that is exactly what we did. We were happy though that we took the advice of a great friend of mine and headed to a local beach town of Tamarindo where met up with a few locals, surfed in the soft warm ocean and dined in a hidden spot along the river. I can’t go into details about all of it but lets just stay that when one asks me to picture myself on a beach somewhere—this is my go to meditative picture.






















Adios, Costa Rica! We will be back.

Bonus video: Surfing quickly became on of our FAVE activities!




Costa Rica: Round 2

We really didn’t want to leave our first spot in Costa Rica, it was the perfect spot. So in typical (our family) fashion we pushed ourselves a bit on timing–soaking up more beach and more sun until we came to the conclusion that we better hit the road.  We were CLEARLY told many times not to drive at night but we thought why not right up until sunset? Only timing never works out so smoothly. With many stops—bathroom, snacks, dinner, mommy meltdown (cough), and a few other incidents we were well on our way to being 2-3 hrs PAST sunset on our drive. Oh well, we thought—we wanted an adventure! Or did we?

The drive to our next spot, Arenal, was windy and longer than we planned. And we enjoyed it right up until we got into the height of the mountains and then all of a sudden—major dense fog. For you Cali folks in my life, picture the road up to Fish Camp near Yosemite National Park PLUS the dense California Valley Fog. Luckily the road was illuminated by reflectors along the middle and the sides…..for a bit….. and then BOOM—they were totally gone. It was like we froze completely. There were a LOT of swear words coming out of my mouth along the lines of “WTF?, we can’t do this, oh SH&&, we are going to die”! We are convinced that in that hour of driving in that condition (luckily it cleared the rest of the way) we lost a good year off of our lives and I will need to get in to my colorist to get the gray out. Sigh. Again, we remind ourselves we wanted adventure. We are just grateful that we lived through this one.

But 4.5 hrs after we left Manuel Antonio, we arrived at our 2nd spot–Hotel Arenal Manoa in Arenal. Home to a beautiful picturesque volcano, rolling hills, warm rain, and lots of sunshine. Again, I won’t bore you with details but rather share in the photo goodness. This leg has been a little bit more relaxation with some fun adventures squeezed in between. And by fun I mean—an amazing and AUTHENTIC horseback ride through some of the most scenic land I have ever laid eyes on that led us to a crazy big waterfall. Mixed in with a rain storm on our way back. Seriously, my girls have been non stop writing in their journals.  And on day 2–we enjoyed another resort near us—rock climbing wall, followed by a visit to an animal rescue center, and then a river tubing excursion that should land DYPHUS in our lap when they see the video of our kids plummeting down this river, HAPPILY, by tube IN the rain!

Seriously though, this climate suits me and I am pretty sure I am never coming home.




Bonus Video: No harm came to any children in the making of this video.

If you missed Round 1 of our trip–click here.

We leave today for our last adventure and spot—where we are pretty sure we plan on doing nothing. Wish us luck with that.