On the Big Stage ~ National Western Stock Show

2017,Angus,NWSS,showing cattle,It’s always a team effort to get the cattle fit and looking their best on show day.
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Love those fluffy ears! This was the last show for this heifer. The pair had a successful show season, but now it’s time for her to be
a mama cow and have her first calf. We’re very excited to see the calves she produces.
2017,Angus,NWSS,showing cattle,2017,Angus,NWSS,showing cattle,Open Angus Show Day
national western stock show2017,Angus,NWSS,showing cattle,Watching the selection of the champion Angus female.
In the Yards

Experiencing the view of the pen and carload cattle in the Yards.

On the Hill

Last week we made a trip to the National Western Stock Show. It had been 10 years since I had been to the show, and I was excited to get back to Denver, see cattle friends, take in the trade show, hang out with family, and watch the shows. Our oldest was only 2 years old during our last trip and this year she would be competing in the Junior Angus Show for the first time. Our family has exhibited cattle here several years and won the coveted “Super Bowl” of cattle shows in 1999 and 2011. My parents were able to join us for the week and to see MJ show for the first time. Sometimes it’s hard living so far from my family, but we cherish the times we’re together. We enjoyed watching our daughter compete with her three heifers, walking through the barns, visiting with friends and congratulating other competitors. Everything on display—from the cattle on the Hill and in the Yards to the amazing vendors at the trade show is always top notch.

In the Yards

There is so much history to this show—it began in 1906. The Denver Stockyards were where cattlemen all over the West would bring their cattle by railroad to market at auction. Walking along the catwalk high above the pens shows quite the view of the cattle and the entire complex. I love the history of it all!

I have many memories of attending my first NWSS in college, as well as a few more times through the years after I was married and we started exhibiting our cattle here. This year was no exception. It was even more special to share the experience with our oldest daughter. I will always feel grateful for the opportunities we have to raise kids and cattle.

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Christmas Traditions

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I do realize it’s already the 5th of January and many people have popped the New Year’s Eve champagne cork, taken down the Christmas tree and are tackling those new year’s resolutions already. Me. Not so much; at least not yet. At first I thought I was behind, but then a dear friend reminded me we are just on the 11th day of Christmas, so that does make me feel like I’m right on time. :0) The holidays always seem to go by so fast anyway, so any reason to keep them lingering around works for me. The kids have an extra long break this year, and while I’m in between work projects I really tried to be more present with them and not at my computer. Being present and in the moment is definitely something I put on my “Focus on in 2017” list. One of the other things I do want to be better at this year is sharing my story. Sometimes I don’t have time to blog, other times I let silly insecurities get to me. But, I realized even if no one reads this, it’s still a way to document our life for my kids. Not only is this blog a place to showcase my amazing photography clients, but also a place to show our every day life (and the way I capture it). I was recently reminded again that done is better than perfect, so here’s to imperfect progress at getting things done!

Christmas Traditions

One of our family Christmas traditions is baking and decorating sugar cookies. As you can see by the photos, these aren’t sugar cookies, but actually gingerbread. From a bag. I was really excited to try a new recipe that doesn’t have molasses in it because I was hoping they would taste like the Gingerbread cookies I remember making in my high school home ec. class. Yes, I realize that dates me. Yes, we still had home economics when I was in high school. Anyway, I remember making Gingerbread houses that year and the dough had a distinctly different taste than regular gingerbread. I had to put aside my expectations of scratch cookies and pulled out a few bags of cookie mix I had picked up on one of the endless shopping trips before the holidays. Honestly, I think they tasted just as great and really were a time saver. My mom had sent us her famous (in our family) decorated sugar cookies so I kind of took that excuse that we probably didn’t need to make our own too. :0) Kids seemed to buy it. I’ll guess we’ll save the new recipe for next year. Or can we make Valentine Gingerbread? Hmm..any excuse to bake…

I have many photos through the years of the kids helping make cookies with me as a Christmas tradition. This year B was big enough to do the cutting and transferring to the cookie sheet pretty much by herself. She even rolled it out as best she could. I couldn’t resist capturing her little hands with the cookie cutters. The days may seem long at times, but the years are flying by too fast. We started the cookies on Christmas Eve morning then left to celebrate with family. We usually go to Christmas Eve service earlier in the evening, but let’s just say getting stuck in snow in the church parking lot kind of makes you change plans. So, instead of getting in Christmas jammies and going to bed once we got home, the kids and I stayed up to finish our cookies then went to Midnight Mass. It was a beautiful service and I really enjoyed singing all the Christmas songs. Up until Christmas we’re in the season of Advent, so I was ready to belt out those hymns!

Sometimes I get caught up in what I think I have to do because we’ve always done it that way. I realized when I relax and just enjoy the moments, new and old Christmas traditions can provide for lots of memories.

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?



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Winter Scenes | Idaho Lifestyle Photography

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Wow, what a crazy Idaho winter we’ve had. We haven’t seen this much snow for awhile. It seems like it’s snowing every day. One day it was coming down so fast, but it didn’t accumulate that much. After that, we got quite the storm, then freezing rain, then more snow.

I’ve been trying to get out and shoot all these winter scenes because it’s a different look than the rest of the year. Everything is covered in white. All the snow makes things take longer to do on the ranch, but it really is pretty. Hopefully the temperatures will raise again. This below 0 stuff is not fun and is harder on the animals. We’ve had a few calves born already and keeping them warm and dry has been a challenge.

The kids and I have bundled up a few times and trudged through the pasture to a hill to go sledding. It’s not quite as fun when we have to head back home, ha! I figure if we have snow on the ground, we might as well enjoy it!

I admit, I’d rather be warm then cold, but I also like that in Idaho we usually have four seasons. I’m going to focus on the beauty that comes with winter. Yes, the ground is barren, dark and cold, but spring will come again. Being a farmer’s daughter and a rancher’s wife, I just always think about the weather…at least all this snow will spring much needed moisture for the spring and summer!

Do you love winter? What’s your favorite thing about winter?

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