Thursday, May 21, 2015

Wessley Family Lifestyle Photo Session.

While back in Springfield, Missouri, I shot two photo sessions and both happened to be for families of girls I swam with while in college. This was the other shoot that happened out towards Willard on a family farm. Becca and I do photo sessions each time I pass through and it's been amazing to watch her family grow. When we first started out, she only hand her daughter and the first boy, Asher. Now they have five fabulous kiddos and have relocated to this awesome property outside of town. She had told me that they had purchased a farm house situated on some land and secretly I was hoping she was going to say, "let's do the photos at my house!" yay, cause that's exactly what she said! It was amazing. The sun, the land, the barn, the house, all of it... awesome! As you scroll through the images you'll see why it's gorgeous and the perfect place to raise a family. Chris and I love so much of a little bit of everything. We love the farm land with country life but we also love the hussle bussle of the city life. I guess that's why living in a tiny camper suites us just fine for now. However, I just can't get over the awesome views they have every morning when they awake and every evening when the the sun sets. These kids are free to run and play and just be kids. There are no screaming neighbors, they can explore their land and be who they want. Becca homeschools her kids as well and truthfully, I couldn't think of a better place to do so. 

Becca, you guys have an awesome family and I'm always honored to get to shoot your growing clan. See you again in the fall. :) 

"Family isn't an important thing. It's everything."

Monday, May 18, 2015

Making Colorado Home.

For the next four months, Buena Vista, Colorado will be our home. We've been through here before to stop and check out the shops, the river and the town but we have never stayed for a long period of time. The town itself is small, situated on the Arkansas River and is basically a tourist town for rafting and outdoor activities. The atmosphere is awesome, giving you that small town feel full of water fun. As you drive the streets, you'll see many cars with mountain bikes, kayaks and paddle boards. People will be walking around with sandals, river clothes and surf trunks. Think beach atompshere but stuck up in the mountains. Of course the temps are much cooler, but when the sun is out, it feels much warmer than it is. 

We're getting acquainted just fine. Chris' raft company that he's working for is only 2 miles outside of BV, so we're rather close to anything we may need. There are no chain stores of any kind besides a "Kroger" and a Subway. Other than that, everything is privately owned. We get to stay right on property and are nestled along the back with the river running behind us. We're super fortunate to get electric hook ups for our little camper. Before getting here, we had no idea what to expect. As for the bathrooms and showers, well that's another story. There are some restrooms in the building of course and there are port-a-potty's for after hours. Showers have to be taken in town at the Community Center where you pay $1.00 for 3 min. A 6 min. shower is perfect. A 3 minute shower is pushing it but it can be done. Fast and everything laid out is key. 

Our first few days here we celebrated Montana's 10th birthday by taking him to Manitou Springs to the Penny Arcades. The kids love it there. We go with enough quarters so that they can enjoy several games and rides. Even though it's called the Penny Arcade, nothing is a penny but more so 25-50 cents. The historic section of the town is where it's located and there are many cute shops and eateries. I'm sure this will always be a favorite for all of us. 

In the past three weeks of being here, we've had snow, sleet, hail, rain, wind and sun. Mother's Day was spent with 2-3 inches of snow on the ground and the kids building mini snowmen and having snowball fights with flip flops on. They hadn't seen snow in over a year so this was exciting to them. That one day was good enough for Chris and I though. We're both ready for the sun, warmth and time spent on the river. Other than that, our time has been spent skateboarding at the park, bouldering and taking walks by the river. 

We also took the kids to Florissant Fossil Beds which is about an hour outside of town. They did their very first Ranger Program, got sworn in and collected a patch for doing so. We were also able to get a stamp in their National Park Passport Books. This is only one of the many locations we plan on visiting while being here this summer. 





Thursday, May 14, 2015

Dodge City, KS and on to Colorado.

Let's jump back a few weeks to when we were traveling here to Colorado. We left Springfield, Missouri early in the morning and drove the southern route through Wichita, Kansas. It was a slow drive but a nice drive. While most people dread the drive through the flat state, we actually enjoy it. We love the the thousands of wind turbines off in the distance, the wind that can pick up at any given time and watching the storms roll in from miles away. Each state has something to view and to us, Kansas is a given. You know what to expect. It's miles and miles and miles of flat land, farm fields, wind turbines and thoughts to yourself. Kansas can be a nice drive, it's just how you look at it. 

After 7 hours of driving, we stopped in Dodge City, Kansas to stay the night at Gun Smoke RV Park. There weren't many options, only two I think, but Chris had stayed here before so we kind of knew what we were dealing with. It was $38 a night, had clean restrooms, a playground and good camp spots. Once we got everything hooked up and disconnected, we drove into town to check out Boothill Museum and the town where Wyatt Earp made a name for himself. We did not, however, actually do the museum considering it was going to cost us nearly $40. So instead, we took photos through the fence. Call us cheap, but that's not how we were spending our dough. We also drove outside of town to check out the Cattle Feedlots. The smell is atrocious of course, but still interesting to see. All of these things are great for our homeschooling adventure. I'm sure they won't forget that and getting to smell that firsthand is better than learning about it in a book.  :) That evening we hung out, went for a walk and made sure all of our belongings were ready for the next mornings departure. 

That next morning we awoke, Chris and I hooked up the trailer, packed the car, and threw the kids in the car so that we could head to the Sante Fe Trail Tracks on our way out. It's not far on the outskirts of town so it was like 8am when we stopped. How awesome to view the trails that wagons had taken as they headed West. The sunrise was just as cool too though. From here on out, we headed straight for Colorado and finally were able to see the Rockies. Welcome to Colorado.