Happy Tuesday! As I write there is snow falling from the sky, which is one of my favorite things. But it's quite the change from the last two warm weekends I had. This last weekend I went on a trip to Moab! It was amazing. 

While there, I visited Arches National Park, Canyonlands, and Dead Horse Point State Park. All were amazing.  

We are excited to head back to that general area this weekend with the kids to do some more hiking and exploring in Goblin Valley.  

I love being outside, enjoying nature and I think I might be addicted! 


Returning Home: The process

Today we ended our road trip. It was really, really fun and quite non-stop! Toward the end, I began thinking thoughts like, "I miss my bedroom. More specifically, I miss the bedroom door. That has a lock on it. To keep the kids out. So they can't be in my face all the time. Talking. Incessantly. Yeah, I'm ready to be home." Hahah!

Seriously though, the kids were great and easy. Just verrrrrrrry talkative, which is great! I am so glad they feel welcome to share SO MANY OPINIONS AND THOUGHTS. Oh so many! And the questions?! SO MANY QUESTIONS! You guys would not believe it. Unless you have talkative preteens yourself. Then you hear me. Let's e-hug in solidarity.

Now that we are home, it's time to de-tox, unpack, and catch up with work and homework. Are you the kind of person that unpacks immediately? I am. It annoys my family. 

Truthfully, we rolled into town and didn't even go straight home. We went to the park so the wild animals (children) could work out their wiggles and I could work out my EXTREME SCIATIC PAIN that is back in full force. (Not to whine or anything, but do you pity me yet?) Then we went to the library for new books. And now it's time to go home, unpack and lock my bedroom door! 


Have a great Wednesday, everyone. 

Images from Alpine Loop, Utah.

BLUE LILY | Lifestyle Photographer | Salt Lake City, Utah

Road trip!

With work going on this weekend in Orange County and Los Angeles, CA, I took the opportunity to take the kids out of school and have a fun road trip down to our old stomping grounds. On the drive from Utah to California, we visited a couple of awesome locations! 

First up, we pulled off in St. George and headed to Snow Canyon State Park. This place was amazingly beautiful and easy to access; the kids absolutely loved it.  We had enough time to visit the petrified dunes, the sand dunes, and had plans to do Jenny's canyon. Unfortunately a bee sting on Izzy's poor finger put a quick ending to the visit.  

I highly recommend this place for anyone driving through- we will probably stop by again on the way back!  


The second stop was called Seven Magic Mountains, just south of Las Vegas. It's a really cool art installation in the middle of the desert. This stop took us off the road about 5 minutes, and we only spent around 5 minutes. Nice little stop!  


Pictures below of our adventures. It really was such a good day.  



Living in one place

We have now been living in Salt Lake City for two and a half years. That's incredible, how time flies! During sessions, one thing we get asked a lot is, "How is your family handling the adjustment? Do you like living in one place after being so mobile and seeing so many places and people?" 

I have to say that for me, personally, the answer is that I once again love living in one place. If you were to ask me ten years ago before this all began, "Do you like living and working in one city like a normal person?" I would have said YES! I would have also expressed an interest in selling everything and taking our family on a year long exploration of the world while working. Which as you know, is what we did. Times 5. 

This is what a lot of the population wants to do. Travel, minimize belongings, see different cultures and lifestyles, widen their horizons. We have heard this from clients time and time again. Our family was lucky enough to be able to do that. It was so amazing after one year, we couldn't imagine not doing it again, and again, and then twice more. And now, looking at those experiences from the other side- it's hard not to look at it with awe and amazement that we pulled it off for so long. 

It wasn't easy, but while we were doing it, it mostly felt easy. Definitely, there were hurdles to jump and problems to figure out. I think one thing I can attribute that "ease" to was that during this time, Tyler and I were both super easy going in the sense that we didn't feel like we needed a firm plan ahead of time. (Besides the very, very firm work schedule of course.) We felt like could just wing it as we went, allowing for work and time to travel from place to place. But for the most part, we were flying by the seat of our pants and that was exciting! Planning was not our forte and many times we were rewarded for this. We would often not get hotel rooms in foreign cities until the very day we needed them (way less expensive than if we had arranged ahead), and often times we would set out with the kids on a day's adventure with no itinerary at all, no plans to speak of. IT WAS AWESOME. Our kids were so small at first, they never asked the schedule for the day because there was no pressure to have a schedule- we just saw what we saw and experienced things as we went. Again- so awesome and it felt so freeing. 

So, flash forward to after all these adventures. We moved to Salt Lake City and tossed those cute kids into an actual school after they had been homeschooled for 5 years. We loved it here immediately. SLC has so much to do outside, and we landed in a home with an amazing school two blocks away. Putting your kids in a school, watching them learn the ropes of how to make permanent friends, watching them learn team sports and be able to go to birthday parties and see the same kids every day... that was all so adorable and exciting! In many ways, just as exciting as seeing the Eiffel Tower or experiencing a Japanese tea ceremony.

I remember a few months after moving to Utah, I kept thinking, every day life in one city can hold just as much excitement as traveling to a different place every week. It's a different type of excitement for sure. Maybe I only felt like it was exciting because I had already traveled and experienced some of what was out there? I'll never know. To me, the excitement of living in one city or traveling through fifty a year was different- very different- but equal. 

While traveling I would often experience something very cool and memorable and think, "This is exactly why I wanted to do this. This is the eye-opening type of experience that I wanted. This is life affirming!" I can still feel what I felt in those times. However, I have feelings here in SLC watching my kids do every-day-life events that feel similar to those I felt traveling. I would call these moments eye-opening and life affirming. I have really enjoyed watching Isaac and Isabelle experience making true friends, learn from other adults who care for them, and grow into independent, responsible beings. I can look back at the last two and a half years and think of these times they grew or achieved a milestone, and still feel what I felt in those moments. 

I love living in one city again. Granted, I am very spoiled, because I still get the chance to travel worldwide, albeit alone for work, and so does Tyler. The kids mostly stay behind with one parent and don't say a whole lot about not going. Isn't that interesting? To me it says they are content. They have a lot of travel under their belts and are happy in their current lifestyle. 

When I look back on our travel, I cannot even imagine or comprehend how we did it. How did we do it? There were challenges all over the place, looking back on it. I can't imagine doing that again. Living in close quarters with 3 other people, constantly, with no alone time, is a challenge on it's own. A challenge very well worth it. But man, do I ever appreciate my space now. 

Isaac is about to be 13 and Isabelle will be 11 next month. This blows my mind. I can't imagine doing what we did then, now that they are almost teenagers. Nowadays they need to know EVERY plan we have each day and EVERY thought I'm thinking and EVERY detail of life must be planned and managed and involve at least one of their friends, because that's how they like it these days.

So, do we like living in one place? Yes. Yes we do. 



Images from San Francisco, CA

BLUE LILY | Lifestyle Photographer | Salt Lake City, Utah