Big Four Mountain Elopement

 

Heather Woolery Photography + Creative | Big Four Mountain, WA | 2018

You know the phrase; "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade"? Well let me tell you all about the lemons.

I've been dying to do something out at the Big Four Ice Caves in North Washington for about two-years. I have daydreamed and envisioned exactly how I would do it and this January we all decided we were going to spend my kids Spring Break in Seattle....a mere 1.5 hr drive from the ice caves.

There was so many up's and down's all the way up to the day of the elopement but where the big lemons came is was 2-miles away from the Big Four Ice Caves trailhead. 2-miles away from the trailhead the road was closed due to heavy packed snow. So my couple and I packed up all of our stuff and hiked the 2-miles in the snow to the trail head to hike another 1.5 miles to the ice caves. with less then .5 mile to go a group of hikers coming back let us know a recent avalanche had covered the ice caves, meaning we were not going to be able to see them, take photos in or around them...nothing. Both my couple and I had driven hundreds of miles and hiked in the snow to find out the whole sole purpose was covered in about 10ft of snow.

We still hiked forward and got to where the ice caves lived...though now just a whopping heap of white. But here comes the lemonade...though we were surrounded by snow we were having summer like warm breezes flow all around us. I got all my camera gear ready and we made the best of what we could and in all honesty I'm so over the moon.

My couples newly wed love was adorable and endearing to watch. When all was said and done and we were hiking back they gave each other a fist pump and later that night got milkshakes (that's my kinda couple!)

Here are just a few of the 100+ amazing captures that happened at the base of Big Four Mountain on a sunny warm snowy day in the Snoqualmie National Forest.

 

Ben + Dara: A Portland Backyard Wedding

 

Back in September, Oregon's beautiful Gorge broke into the horrible thousand's of acres burning Eagle Creek Fire. This fire broke out simply one week before Ben + Dara were scheduled to get married, just a hop, skip and a jump from where the fire was burning.

Two day's before the wedding I got an SOS e-mail from the bride and groom telling me of a last minute decision to move locations. From a however many acre farm full of llamas and chickens and mountainous views, to a friends Portland backyard. 

As a photographer, it's my job to make sure the bride and groom have a beautiful day, and photos to capture all the memories...no matter what the backdrop is, no matter what last minute changes need to happen.

I showed up on the wedding day, and was instantly blown away from all the love, community and magic that had occurred in this little Portland backyard. This became the theme of the evening. I was constantly reminded and shown by all their closest friends, neighbors and family members how wonderful and pure of souls both Ben and Dara are. How much love everyone shows them because of how much love they show everyone else.

I couldn't have been more humbled to share this amazing day with Ben + Dara and I could only with them the best, all the whiskey and mountain tops possible.

Congratulations again Ben + Dara!

With Grace+Guts,
-H

 
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ray / hazy hike mini session

 
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Lately my drive to keep taking photos and work in the creative space has been on fire, I can't stop, won't stop!  When I found out we were headed to the mountains for labor day I put out a call for a couple mini-session slots and Ray was one of the people who responded.  

It was a brief hike, and I had him climbing moss covered hills, hanging out in the grass and brush and fallen trees, hand in pocket, out of pocket, smile, don't smile...let's be honest, when it's a mini session the hustle is on because even though its not a full shoot I still want my client/model to feel AMAZING!

Through the thick haze and smoke from all the wild fires, we hiked Mineral Point outside of Sandpoint, ID and met at "golden hour" which I mean as "golden" as one can get with all the smoke, lol.  Ray was a trooper, easy to work with and seriously ladies...if you want his digits...just leave a comment below and I'll help a lady out ;)

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365/ week 37: total eclipse of the heart

 
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I'm sorry, I couldn't help the title, it was just called for!!!
And from the title I guess you can tell what the majority of this weeks post is going to be about!  But I think I'm allowed to seeing how I'm not sure if I'll ever get to see an eclipse at 100% totality again, let alone in my home state, Idaho <3

To make the day that much sweeter, it was my hub's birthday (I won't enter his age as he might murder me, but he is getting really close to that 3-0 and he's not happy about it, thats all I can say here lol)

Though he's been living & working in Oregon, we chose to meet in Idaho for the eclipse simply because we could also visit with family, as well as the unforeseen bonus by being in Idaho versus Oregon...we managed to surpass a lot of the cray cray crowds that we were seeing on the news.  We never found a gas station out of gas, and my cell phone worked just fine the whole day...so WAY TO GO USA for being prepared!

It was absolutely an out of this world experience.  The quick drop in temperature, the whoops and cheers from our fellow eclipse watchers, people getting hitched around us, and stars at 11:00 am with crickets chirping brought tears to my eyes and goosebumps on every inch of my skin.

To keep the birthday/eclipse day goodness going, I attempted making an eclipse espresso cheese cake for the hubs.  All I can say is it tasted better than it looked, lol.  I'm really not talented in the baking department, which is the main reason I've been putting off attempting to make chocolate souffle which is on the 365 list.  A little terrified I'm going to burn my house down.

And though the traffic was INTENSE trying to get back home between construction and eclipser's it was an honest good ending to a perfect day that I wouldn't trade for nothing.

But being back home, I've been working late nights in my studio for some upcoming shows, art competitions and a challenge.  As well as some personal stuff..though I'd much rather still be on the road.  But, that's the dream, and I'll just keep working towards it.

I hope you all had an amazing eclipse day this week!
Hallelujah it's Friday ya'll.

With Grace+Guts,
-H

 

on the road from MT, OR, & ID

 

I may be over caffinated, or just simply exhausted, so instead of words, here's a photo journal of my trip from Missoula, MT, Joseph, OR and the Treasure Valley ID.

 

365/ week 33: in a world of its own

 

This past weekend, I took to the air...literally and began a new level love affair with the sky flying a Cessna and snagging my first arial shots.

One of the biggest things I've been wanting to do that was one of the first things I put on my 365-list was to learn how to fly, or at least fly in a little airplane and see if I liked it as much I as I do when I fly nationally and internationally.

It was a 7:00am flight after a late, yet wonderful 80's themed night celebrating the hub's and I's 4th wedding anniversary.  So getting up and moving was a bit of a struggle...but worth it!

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As we began to take off after going through the whole run down of plane safety, the pilot made the comment "Its being in a world of it's own..." and holy heck it was.

We flew for an hour over different places that I had only ever seen from the ground.  Moscow Mountain (a frequent hiking spot), the rivers, the Palouse in it's golden state as the wheat is just about the be harvested...and for 1-hour I was in a world of its own.  I was above fear, above the stress, above so much.  I was free.  And I was hooked.  I'm not sure when I'll fly again, as I mentioned in my last post I'm working on a little something something, but I'm absolutely going to be doing this more frequently. 

So as a reminder...don't live your life for the norm.  For the ground.  Live your life for a world of it's own.

With Grace + Guts,

-H

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365/ week 30: full steam ahead

 

Here I am...30 weeks after graduation, swamped in laundry, birthday party to-do's for my son, art event wonderful madness praying somewhere in all of this I'll get to sleep in one day this summer and eat nothing but stoffers mac n' cheese.

But this past week has been a crazy ride.  I got back from B.C. Monday, drove down to Boise, ID Tuesday for the fourth with family, drove back on Wednesday back home and nose dived into work yesterday.  

I'm quite sure I'm about 98.9% coffee at this point.

Wednesday night at about 11:30, my little North Idaho town got two sets of tremors from Montana's 5.8 earthquake which caused me to not be able to sleep till way later then anyone who has to get up at 5:00 am should.  

But here I am chugging away coffee, chasing after the new puppy, organizing a huge art event, spending countless hours in the studio and folding laundry (as such happens when laundry has been neglected for over a week) and just overtly greatful for this trip, for the wonderful clients I have and for all the puppy kisses I'm getting swamped in.

I promise I'll get the 2nd session up and my trip to B.C. on the blog as soon as possible...but for now...It's full steam ahead to make 5-year old Car's birthday party dreams come true, catch up on laundry, and make like a crazy artist.

With Grace+Guts,
-H

 

365/ week 29: hello BC

 

Sometimes...you just need to get away to reconnect with everything...

Heather Woolery | Vancouver BC | Lynn Canyon Bridge | 2017

Heather Woolery | Vancouver BC | Lynn Canyon Bridge | 2017

Nope. Canada was not on my #365 list, but travel was.  Ice Land has been moved to next summer when I go to Europe to visit family and get Italy crossed off my bucket list.  This has left some room for other trips, including this very extended weekend to Vancouver BC with my mom + daughter. (I also have several photo sessions I'm doing while I'm here...but that's going to be saved for later...)

As our first official full day in BC we decided to brave both the Lynn Canyon suspension bridge and the Capilano suspension bridge.  There was live music, lots of laughter, bravery, inhaling all the good air...food...and treats.  Our Air Bn'B host is the absolute best and you can believe I will be recommending them to every single human I know who's planning a trip to Vancouver BC. And I have not died driving in a foreign country for the 2nd time...which I think deserves 10 points for Gryffindor.

Some peoples "thing" to relax and reconnect with themselves is sports, or scrapbooking or going for a walk.  All things I enjoy, but just getting in a car or plane or boat and just going somewhere for a couple day's is honestly, my thing.  Just 24-hours into this adventure and I feel like I can breathe where the past few months I've really felt like I was in a box.  A tight box.

For someone who's claustrophobic, tight boxes are not a good thing.  And this trip is just me busting that box to pieces.

OH! and while I'm away - our puppy is one major step closer to being offcially in our home and Monday we get to pick up our little Emma. So go right ahead and check that one off the list and say hello to our newest member of the familia.

So stay tuned for some photo session goodness, oh! and Happy Canada Eh!

With Grace+Guts,
-H

 

365/week sixteen

 

S I X T E E N.
16-weeks since I graduated.
112-day's.

add 5-years of college, and it is only NOW that I have the faintest idea of what i am made of, what it mean's to be an artist, what i'm working towards...like really know what I'm working towards!

I guess it truly does take a lifetime to live a life...hence the phrase that "life is too short."

I get it now.

in the past 7-days i've been down in Boise, Idaho for their treefort festival where my chair was displayed at their first ever art show! it was seriously amazing to be back at my old stomping grounds, listening to some B O M B music, eating putine and talking art like a crazy lady <3

it was the exclamation point in my soul that screamed

"H E A T H E R guess what? Your an artist, a photographer, a maker, a creative.  And look at what you've done!  You were at the freaking bottom six years ago and now look at you!"

So now I'm looking at me, at my family, at this soon move to Portland, Oregon and I'm like...."Heck yes!  I know what I'm gonna do!"

So I can't quite tell ya'll yet...but it's vintage gloriousness, full of beauty, photos, open roads, and a lot of P-A-R-T-Y!!!

---- so now i'm gonna stop here, drink my coffee, eat my peanut butter sammie for breakfast and head into the studio before i go plant shopping because the sun's out and I am gonna take advantage of every darn moment I get with that beautiful sunshine!

So shine bright my loves and keep moving forward...because there is more life to live!!!

With Grace+Guts,
-


just a few snapshots from treefort 2017

 

365/week fourteen (spring break, portland, St. Patty's and sunshine)

 
Hawthorn Blvd | March 2017 | Heather Woolery

Hawthorn Blvd | March 2017 | Heather Woolery

97 days in -- 268 day's to go.  I just completed week 14 of this 365-days after graduation challenge and this week was really...a challenge.

It was spring break without the actual spring break.  Obviously I wasn't dying to get a break from homework and professors etc but when the University has spring break...so do my kids.

When we found out back in January we would be moving to the Portland area, both the hubs and myself thought it would be wise for me to take spring break and utalize it in coming accustom to the Portland area, learning the MAX, maybe finding a place...etc etc you know all the "adult" stuff that comes with being, well, an adult.

Both of my kids had other plans for this week, so I trekked out here to Portland by myself in hopes of all of the above, and what I got myself into was a roller coaster of realizations.

Ace Hotel, Portland | March 2017 | Heather Woolery

Ace Hotel, Portland | March 2017 | Heather Woolery

Straight up I will tell you I did not practice a single word of Italian, except the occasional "bravo".  I did not work on my bodies of artwork other then doodling in my sketchbook.  I did not spend anytime with my kids as I am away.  I didn't master chocolate soufflè nor did I get on that airplane yet.  This week was a different set of challenges...something else I've come to learn I should have put on my list..."Be Brave and Try New Things!"

I can say that I have ate what I've wanted.  I have drank coffee like a Greek Goddess. I have read...and almost am done with a book!  I've spent time with my hubs every single night, which has been glorious. I've surly laughed...but I've also cried my bloody eyes out.  And though I didn't make a tape deck worth playlist, I found and bought tape decks for my drive back home (yes my car is only 10-years old and it's a donosaure apparently!)

Ace Hotel, Portland | March 2017 | Heather Woolery

Ace Hotel, Portland | March 2017 | Heather Woolery

be brave, strong and courageous. Seek adventure and truth, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
— Joshua 1:9

Something that has come to my attention is that I have been blessed with a slew of people who would never let me get lost, or fall too hard.  I am someone who is socially awkward, have ZERO sense of direction and really has no plan past the next 2-years.  When it came to this week, because we're all graduated and adulting now, my husband still had to work this week...and I was left to figuring out the city, the MAX and the bus, the people and everything else...on my own.

Tuesday was blissfully spent, after 2-hrs of trying to figure out the MAX, at the Portland Art Museum, Powells (without having to chase kids...like oh my goodness HEAVEN!) and then I ended up at ACE hotel for coffee and sketching.  By this point my phone was dead in the water from having used it so much for a map.  This is the day Heather learned, one must ALWAYS carry around a charger.  It also was the day Heather learned that she needs a better rain coat, to trade a purse for a backpack and to remember that Oregonian's (or at least the Portlandian's) 9/10 X's are like Canadians and nice as all freaking get out!

Portland Art Museum | March 2017 | Heather Woolery

Portland Art Museum | March 2017 | Heather Woolery

However, Wednesday was a whole other story.  Currently my husband is staying in one of the suburbia's of Portland and it's where we're looking at moving too (cheaper and we've got kids...don't judge!) But after a huge mixup at UPS that's been going on for a month, a wrong order on a company's fault I was at the Washington Square mall in tears.  Almost every person in there was a suburban mom.  Now, please do not take offense to this if you are one.  I was raised by one and love my mama more then ANYTHING.  But being a young mom, who has tattoo's, went to art school and has no desire to stay home 24/7...I've gotten more judgmental comments and looks from this category of women then any one else.  

Everyone around me (so it seemed, I get that it was surface deep and that I was judging) felt superficial and ten times richer then me.  I ended up buying pretzel bites and sitting at a bench secluded and alone. I did nothing after this but go straight to the house a lay in bed crying to both my mom and husband.  On Wednesday, I couldn't believe what I was moving to.  I truly did not believe that I belonged, and was 100% for certain I was going to get "sucked into it". (Gosh I'm so dramatic when I'm upset...I'm sorry!)

Downtown Portland | March 2017 | Heather Woolery

Downtown Portland | March 2017 | Heather Woolery

But then Thursday came around and it was filled with sunshine.  I got onto the right MAX line, got onto the right bus (after three tries), and made it to Hawthorn on time to meet with my first clients in Portland at the cutest bakery with to die for bread and coffee.  I found adorable finds at back to back thrift, antique and junk shops and fell in love with Coava coffee.  The day ended withe the hubs meeting me at the coffee house and us going to the Toffee Club for some killer fries and a cider before heading home.

Last night I felt uplifted and encouraged.  I never once felt out of place on Hawthorn, was able to talk with everyone...from the bus lady to the barista.  And it came to me that though we are beautifully and equally made...how much more alive we feel when we are authentic to ourselves.  How we feel the beauty more so when we dress the way we want, and surround ourselves with honest good people.  

This week has been a learning curve for sure, and being authentic to myself and trusting myself have been the two biggest things this week.  But now is St. Patty's and I'm about to go venture downtown one last time for a wee bit and end it at an Irish pub.

So as the Irish say "there is nothing so bad that it couldn't be worse."

With Grace+Guts,
-H

 

A Birthday Session: artist David Janssen Jr

 
A Birthday Session: artist David Janssen Jr | Heather Woolery | 2017

A Birthday Session: artist David Janssen Jr | Heather Woolery | 2017

Last weekend I got to spend a day with the emerging (and incredible) artist David Janssen, Jr (view his work here -> David Janssen, Jr) for his 27th birthday.

Over the Christmas trip back home to Michigan, David was reminded on the beauty, joy and importance of photographs.  How many memories they hold, so he took his birthday as the kickstart of capturing the beautiful of the mundane in our lives.  From working in the studio, to getting ready and the tiny moments that flicker away when hanging out with friends and family.

So when David approached me about me capturing some of these moments, I couldn't say no.  This man is one of the most gentle kind souls alive.

So I followed him around his studio as he worked on multiple bodies of work, we talked art geek and his concepts (which made me adore this man even more!)  I followed him around his house; we drove to the restaurant blasting Whitney Houston and enjoyed drinks (out of the worlds largest beer mug!) surrounded by beautiful people and memories in the making.  

Happy birthday again friend, artist and amazing human, David Janssen, Jr.
Keep keeping.  I know you'll accomplish everything and more surpassing 27 beyond the year’s darling.

With Grace+Guts,
-H

A Birthday Session: artist David Janssen Jr | Heather Woolery | 2017

A Birthday Session: artist David Janssen Jr | Heather Woolery | 2017

A Birthday Session: artist David Janssen Jr | Heather Woolery | 2017

A Birthday Session: artist David Janssen Jr | Heather Woolery | 2017

A Birthday Session: artist David Janssen Jr | Heather Woolery | 2017

A Birthday Session: artist David Janssen Jr | Heather Woolery | 2017

A Birthday Session: artist David Jans  sen Jr | Heather Woolery | 2017

A Birthday Session: artist David Janssen Jr | Heather Woolery | 2017

A Birthday Session: artist David Jans  sen Jr | Heather Woolery | 2017

A Birthday Session: artist David Janssen Jr | Heather Woolery | 2017

A Birthday Session: artist David Jans  sen Jr | Heather Woolery | 2017

A Birthday Session: artist David Janssen Jr | Heather Woolery | 2017

A Birthday Session: artist David Jans  sen Jr | Heather Woolery | 2017

A Birthday Session: artist David Janssen Jr | Heather Woolery | 2017

A Birthday Session: artist David Jans  sen Jr | Heather Woolery | 2017

A Birthday Session: artist David Janssen Jr | Heather Woolery | 2017

A Birthday Session: artist David Jans  sen Jr | Heather Woolery | 2017

A Birthday Session: artist David Janssen Jr | Heather Woolery | 2017

 

Tiny Burning Embers: In light of MLK day and January 20th

 

Today I was working on putting together something I've regularly done here on Grace + Guts, my weekly favorites, where I highlight things that I've got my heart set on, things I'm being sponsored to show you, things I've recently been using and find lovely and divine.

Tonight, Well...pish posh as my late grandmother would say.

How false this facade is, how so materialistic.  And it's so hard not to be succumbed by all of the popularity that comes with it all.  All through high school, I was the girl who hid in the library or my schools ceramic studio, trying at all costs to be hidden but dying to be popular.  I never made it to the top.  I remained the art writer girl with really good grades but who was too socially awkward to make it anywhere on that popularity scale.

We Google what we don't know, and believe the rest from word of mouth.  We look at what others are wearing (getting paid to show you those things) and we buy into it...we literally buy it.  And it's all jolly good and well here and there, but for it to dictate and determine how we portray ourselves, it's saddening.  To let other's guide you into something.

On the end of the MLK day, I can't help but feel inspired, empowered.  This week, especially, I need this sort of fiery strength.  I believe we all do.  In church yesterday, we started a series on the book of Acts, something I needed to hear.  That we are people of power, strength and possibility.  Nothing, not a single person, can hold us back if we only believe in the strength that strengthens us.  That though we may not know the plan ahead...there has been one laid out for us.
For me.

In six months I am moving to a city where I know literally zero people.  I am becoming a very small fish in a rather large pond.  And besides my excitement for my husband and his wildly fantastic new job and the possibility of running into Cheryl Strayed being upped by like 100, I'm feeling a little more than belittled.  I have always been a sort of "ball buster" pushing the line, fighting, yet, held back by my own unpopular insecurities.  And right now, I'm fighting fog...the unknown.  I do not know the plan that is up ahead of me...and for someone who likes control and order...this is really a disheartening feeling.

But today, tonight.  There is a smidgen of hope in me.  Burning embers scattered across my heart.  The question of "yes...but what if" is what I lived each day by.  Open to the possibility of absolutely anything.  I always told my mom from the time I was very small that I wanted to see the world and change it.  So I am opening up my everything tonight to the possibility of Yes! But what if.

I will no longer fill your feeds with products and gizmo's unless I fully believe in it, whether I'm being paid for it or not.  I will not always post perfect photoshoots.  I am a PNW girl at heart, and a mother for life.  I am a jack of trades unable to decide between writing, art and photography...so I refuse to.  I'm still socially awkward and have every hope of your love and support, but have no necessity need for it either. I'm am, as they say, constantly inconsistent.  I started my 365-day challenge simply because I wanted to secure who I was...and it is doing just that (with the help of Hans Zimmer of course...as he is the soundtrack to my life.)

Let us find love and respect for one another this week.  Empowering our fellow neighbors in all their ambitions and let us move forward with or without the support of central and head government.  For We Are The People.  The very strong people...who can do anything.
And we mustnt ever forget this.

As Always and Forever.

With Grace+Guts,
-H

 

365/Week Three...Good Bye 2016

Well, the day has finally arrived.  The day a lot of us have ranted and raved for to watch 2016 die as 2017 rolls on in.  I'll fully admit that I've been on this band wagon, with how many world changing people that we've lost, the financial roller coaster my family's been on, the car issues, the dishwasher who didn't want to work fiasco, the copious amount of days my children have decided to not listen to me, the cat's need to chew on everything, the amount of plants I've killed, the countless sleepless nights, times I was late to an appointment, loosing jobs...need I continue?  

Its easy to blame it on a year, and wrap it up to sheer bad luck and then put all our hopeful eggs into one basket we call, 2017.  This however, holds no more promise than 2016 held 365 days ago. I spent the 2016 New Years on the banks of the Panajachel in Guatemala, and as I watched fireworks go off from every village and town around the lake, I was filled with such hope for the New Year.  I was going to travel more, I was going to find more ways to make a difference in people's lives.  I was going to be a maker and a writer and have a certain style.  I was going to conquer minimalism, I was going to read like a mo fo.  I wanted 500 followers on Instagram and I wanted to do so many photoshoots I was a headless chicken.  I wanted to conquer hair curlers and red lips.  I wanted to snuggle my babies more and spend more time outside than I was inside. 

And you know what? I traveled to 5-countries this year alone, I took on full throttle the after school art program at my local art gallery and influence the lives of kids every week to see the world with more creative possibilities. I was a maker and created a whole body of work for my Senior Capstone (and then graduated earlier this month!) I was a writer and got published on Habit and Home's online blog and started working on my book this month.  I didn't conquer minimalism, but I made it apart of my First 365-days after graduation challenge, and have really started purging every aspect of my life.  I didn't get to 500 on Instagram and I really didn't do near the amount of photoshoot's I wish I would have, but I'm just rolling these into the 2017 goals. I doubt I'll ever be able to use curlers without looking like a perm gone wrong, or maintain red lips.  But I snuggled my babies fiercely and loved them with everything I had, and while it was warm made a point to live amongst the sun.

I graduated this year, I saw my Oma for the first time in 15-years this year.  This year I got the best job after holding the worst job for almost three-years.  I did my first official photoshoots, I tried foods I doubt I'll ever try again.  I got to love both of my parents and let them know throughout the year how much they mean to me.  I got to camp and hike in new areas in Idaho, and became a crazy cat lady to my daughters cat, Waffles.  I went on dates with my husband, cooked more at home, and became a Podcast junkie.  2016 brought us back Gilmore Girls, woman started to rule the world and we celebrated National Parks centennial.  2016 brought me strength in being more politically aware, and found myself in little ways along the year.  I found blogs that challenge my views, and made friends with people who opened my eyes.  I'm still socially awkward but I'm finding that this doesn't mean I have to be shy.  

Tonight I will sit on my couch eating little smokies, and drinking bubbly, watching 2016 slip away into the past, as we greet 2017 with a warm imbrace.  Saying thank you to 2016 for all the lessons it taught us in the gain...and in the loss.  All while saying welcome to 2017, knowing that the adventure has only begun.

Happy New Year everyone.

With Grace&Guts,
-H

Highlights of 2016

in photos

Boise in November

I grew up in the Treasure Valley of Idaho, surrounded by the foothills and Boise mountain range.  Nampa to Meridian to Boise, though only a twenty to thirty-minute drive was always a "stretch" growing up.  There were fields everywhere, and lots of open spaces, and now, well...not so much.  This area has grown and exploded since I was a kid (or even just in the 5+ years since I moved away) and whenever I come back, I love to explore the new eateries, shops and hangout spots...and of course spending time with my family.

 

I am an only child, from a small family, so I am overly close to my mama and my daddy <3  They are why I am stubborn, a feminist, a Christian, an adventurer and book worm...overall their pretty outstanding humans and I know I brag about them a lot here, but they sort of deserve it (even if they can't figure out how to read my blog lol.)  Thanksgiving was simple and I loved every minute. Turkey with my folks and then the traditional Thanksgiving pie with my husbands family (will a tiny portion - he is not from a small family.)  If every Thanksgiving could be this laid back and whimsical I'd be one happy camper.

 
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Over our little "staycation" in Idaho we went to some wonderful stops that during the November/December months I truly think are a must! So let the list begin!

Boise, Idaho in November/December

  • The Idaho Botanical Garden turns a glow at the end of November for their annual "Winter Garden A Glow" turning their 50-acres into a Christmas heaven. Check out more HERE.
  • When the weather turns gloomy and you sort of miss summer, and your really over turkey leftovers, Flatbread is the answer.  Warm summer pizza's, sammies, salads and more to hit the spot with a wonderful atmosphere to boot.  You can find them HERE.
  • Shop Small is a huge deal in historic downtown Boise.  There are so many shops, but a favorite stop of ours is Idaho MADE.  Full of local artisans goods and lots of funky cactus and succulants, this little shop has so much to offer (and it's beautiful...so whats not to love?)  Find out more about Idaho MADE HERE.
  • There are many places to go for a cup of joe in downtown Boise, and there a lot of beautiful one's to boot.  Some of our favorites include District Coffee, Glodies, and the Flying M.  All three have funky shops, home roasted beans and a cozy atmosphere. (Even their bathrooms are funky!)  This time down I got to grab a cup of coffee and a pastry with my mama at the Flying M. Check out their coffee goodness HERE.

All in all we had a wonderful little Thanksgiving, and got reminded, though things at time seem bleak, we have a lot to be grateful for.  I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday...now for me to get back to the North so I can hunker down with Gilmore Girls!  (PLEASE no one say anything till I watch it!!!)

With Grace + Guts,
-H

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Flatbread | Boise, Idaho

Flatbread | Boise, Idaho

Flying M | Boise | November 2016

Flying M | Boise | November 2016

Flying M | Boise, ID

Flying M | Boise, ID

Flying M | Boise, ID

Flying M | Boise, ID

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IMG_8288.JPG
MADE | Boise, ID

MADE | Boise, ID

MADE | Boise, ID

MADE | Boise, ID

MADE | Boise, ID

MADE | Boise, ID

Germany: photo journal edition

Well dear friends,
I'm home.

I've been back stateside officially one week today; and yet I cannot grapple into words this trip, not just yet.

I believe what my problem is, is me simply trying condense 14-day's of my life that were 15-years over due in to 1-small singular blog post.  1 letter to you all.  1 letter about Germany, about the concept and ideals of home, about travel, about having family oversea's.  1 letter to condense moments, jokes, memories, places traced on a map.

Impossible.

So I guess I'll start off with this; firstly please be prepared (and forgive me) for a handful of posts about this trip.  My heart is so full, my inner self so ignited from this trip, that I feel inclined and humbled to do my best and give those 14-day's a form of justice, and 1-small notation on the trip seems unfit.  And secondly, these photographs.  I took over 2000+ shots on this trips, filled numerous SD cards, that I am sure I will never get to all of them.  However, I love each and every one of them. Focused, unfocused and blurry.  Iconic style, insignificant.  I love them all, as true in all photography, you have captured a moment, fleeting in time.  Like your napkin, lofted up into the air, never to be retrieved again.

So I give you sweet friends, just a few of my moments, a handful of napkins.
Germany in Photographs: Pt. 1


2-Weeks in Germany: Packing Edition Pt. 2/3

In my last post, I covered how I'll be packing my Osprey pack for the two weeks in Germany with the essentials, while having room to spare.  Today I want to share with you how as a mom, photographer and book nerd have my carry-on packed all in my JanSport backpack (hatchet edition).

First off, I love this backpack.  I found it at REI on sale a few years ago and since then it's been my go to for school, carry-on and day trips, this bag has been perfect for me and I want to share how I'm pack and what I'm taking along.

Do note that each of my kids have a small backpack of their own that hold all their activities.

Pack:
- JanSport Backpack
Essentials: 
- Sunglasses (will be wearing regular glasses)
- Clutch to hold chargers/cords
- 1 reading book
- 1 Journal book
- 1 Phrase/language guide
- 1 Sketchbook
- Passport(s)
- Wallet
Camera Gear/Electronics:
- GoPro/Hard Case (other parts are packed in checked bag)
- Nikon Camera
- 2 lenses that are versatile
- Laptop
- Converter ( maker sure it's got surge protection)
- Camera Charger
Other:
- Scarf (can spruce up outfit after long flight + switch into blanket on flight)
- Pull-ups / wipes (this clip clutch by Huggies is amazing)
- Hygiene bag.  This holds a couple band-aids, lotion, hand sanitizer, tissues, children's + adult
                           Tylenol etc. 

I chose a small paperback book just in case this book nerd get's a chance to read while the kids sleep or are sucked into one of the movies I have on my laptop.  I also really love this small Moleskine notebooks as my journals when I travel, their small, light weight and sturdy.  Not to mention the paper is beautiful.  Even though I speak German, I have a family who doesn't, and it's been awhile since I've spoken German to people...since I'm rusty I'm bringing a small compactable phrase book. 

I have this old vintage leather clutch that fits my laptops charger, iPod and phone charger and my converter.  I like having all of these things with me so I can charge any of my necessities in the airport and just in case of a loss bag, I'm not SOL with my laptop/phone etc. 

I'm sort of a blind one, so I caved and bought prescription sunnies this spring from Warby Parker and I've been so happy since I've gotten them.  I always keep a cleaning cloth in the case and just swap each pair for whatever one I'm not wearing.

And finally, just keep TSA requirements in mind.  Size of bag, how many fluids, sharp objects etc.
You can check HERE if you have any questions or concerns.

Not pictured: my water bottle, a couple snacks, my phone.

So there you have it.  I have all my gear, my needs, and some kid necessities all in a small backpack.  Stay tuned for part.3 (outfits and last minute airport tips) And then it's off to Europe my friends. 

With Grace+Guts,
-H


Backpack - JanSport / Sunglasses - Warby Parker / Laptop - Mac / GoPro4 - Go Pro / Camera/Gear - Nikon / Sketchbook - Moleskine / Journal - Moleskine / Passport Case / Etsy

2-Weeks in Germany: Packing Edition pt.1

The first time I boarded a plane and left for Germany I was 18-months old.  And where I don't remember that trip to say the least, it did however, set me up for a life long love of flying, travel, adventure and language language language.

Since that first excursion overseas, that I'm sure I slept through the majority of, I flew back to Germany on repeat growing up, and even went to school there for a bit.

As you've all been made aware, I am once again hopping on a plane (both kids n' all) and we're flying out to Germany to meet family, stuff our faces happily and immerse my kids in the culture that is their heritage and holds the majority of my childhood.

In the spirit of capturing every moment and turning this blog black, yellow and red for a couple weeks, I've decided to share what I'm packing and how I'm packing my Osprey pack for two-weeks (pt. 1), how I pack my carry-on (pt. 2), and then finally last minute travel products to save your life + the best airport/travel outfits (pt.3)
So lets begin, shall we?


Part 1.

Last summer the husband purchased me this wonderful Osprey Pack (Aura AG 65) after a horrible experience with a non.fitting pack on our section hike on the PCT.  This pack has been a savior in Canada, Guatemala, and however many hiking and backpacking trips I've trekked with it since I got it.  It's form fitting and one AMAZING pack for women.  I recommend Osprey to anyone in search of a new pack.

As a mom, having my hands free while traveling is a must not just a luxury, so using the pack as my checked bag is the best option.  However, I have no desire to pack the bag to the rim.  Since I'm also in charge of two other little humans bags (which their only taking carry-on's), the less weight in my pack the better.

I also want to leave room for my finds while overseas so at the end there's a good 8" from the top down once I'm all packed in.  So here's what I packed...

What you see here is:
• 2-pairs of shoes.  Think comfort.  I'll be wearing my Chaco's in the airport which will give me 3
                                shoe options, all cute, all comfy.
• 1-dress. Think versatile.  It's got a cute cut out on the back so it's perfect for evening wear, but
                                is full length (mom approved yet hip) and I can throw on a sweater or change
                                what shoes I wear with it for whatever look I'm going for and wherever I'm
                                venturing to.
• 2-jackets. Think weather.  I've got a rain coat and then a more general cuter jacket to throw
                                over just about any outfit I combine from all of these clothes.  I'm be wearing
                                my hoodie in the airport for optimal comfort and to not pack the bulk in my
                                pack.
• 1-sweater. Think bulk.  I don't want to pack a ton of sweaters as it's July so it'll be in the mid-
                                70's f, and sweaters means bulk, which is a travelers worst enemy.  I picked
                                this cream colored one so that I can throw it over any of my tops, tuck it into
                                skirts or jeans etc.
• 1-button up chambray. Think layers.  This shirt is also on that versatile list.  I can wear it un-
                                buttoned with a tank or t-shirt underneath, solo with leggings, tucked into
                                jeans and skirts etc.  
• 2-under tanks. Think solid colors.  Here is where you don't want your pop of colors, but instead
                                want neutral colors so you can wear it underneath shirts for layering/warmth,
                                as well as just a shirt as it with just a hoodie etc.  They also work well as light
                                weight night shirts.
• 1-swim sute.  Think modesty.  I'm traveling to a total different culture as well as a mom.  Tourists
                                get a bad rep simply because they'll come into a foreign country and just
                                for-go learning the new culture by flaunting their ways around.  I also have a
                                son who's hands instantly grab and pull down.  I have flashed plenty of people
                                due to this.  So I found this adorable but modest 2-piece at  American Eagle
                                which also screams retro with the high waisted bottoms, which is always a win
                                in my book.
• 3-shirts + 3-T's.  Think all of the above, versatile, comfy, modest, and weather appropriate.  I
                                stuck with favorite colors of mine because I knew I would then be happier
                                my outfit options and actually want to wear what I brought along...because
                                when your on the road, you cannot afford a "I have nothing to wear" moment.
• 3-bottoms. Which equaled out to 1-pair of black (neutral) jeans, 1-flowy skirt (that has pockets...
                                total mom win) and is also neutral, and 1-pair of shorts.  I'll be wearing my
                                jeans in the airport so that I can have pockets, warmth and comfort.
• 1-pair of PJ's.  I love leggings and long johns for sleeping options.  Especially while traveling
                                simply because it can become another bottom option for day wear as well as
                                it truly keeps me warm.
• Not pictured: exercise shorts, clothes I'll wear on the flight, utilities bag.

Now comes time to pack so think SPACE.  I will roll and stuff stuff into my shoes, layer tank tops on top of each other before I roll them up.  I also am a strong believer in ironing as much as I can because that flatness really to affect the space in your pack, plus it gets your clothes ready-to-wear out of your pack as well.

What I want you all to notice here is how empty my pack looks at the top, this is that room I was talking about earlier.  Note I haven't cinched up my pack just yet as I'll throw in my hair straightener and other small last minute gizmo's before boarding the plane, but having this sort of space will allow me to have a lighter pack + ultimately give me room for things I find while on my travels or of course, something my kids want to bring along.

So that's what I'm bringing, stay tuned for part 2 when I cover my carry-on...kids gear and camera gear in tow.

With Grace+Guts,

-H

clothing pictured above:
rain jacket - marmot / cargo jacket - old navy / pocket skirt - gap / shorts - maurices / leggings - unknown / black jeans - old navy / striped t-shirt - madewell / green t-shirt - old navy / red t-shirt - american eagle / swim suit - american eagle / sweater - don't ask why by american eagle / booties - mod cloth / sneakers - new balance / red maxi dress - old navy / under tanks - old navy / sleep leggings - american eagle / chambray top - old navy / cosmetics bag - north face / pack - osprey / green top - old navy / blue and white striped top - old navy / yellow top - unknown

#thatPNWlife

I've only ever claimed residency in Idaho, though I've spent applicable amounts of time in both Washington and Oregon growing up and through my adulthood.  I've also ventured into Canada and Northern California...all to say my souls home is inadvertently, the Pacific Northwest.

Over the weekend, I got to kick off the camping season at Nehalem Bay State Park in Oregon, about a 15-minute drive from Cannon Beach, and it was hands down the best beach camping grounds I've been to yet.

#thatPNWmeet | Cannon Beach | April 30 2016 | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

#thatPNWmeet | Cannon Beach | April 30 2016 | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

I was there for an Instameet put on by a personal Instagram favorite, @thatPNWlife (with sponsors from Pendleton and Stumptown Coffee).  I had never been to one, and when I saw this, I just had to go.

At first it was a bit uncomfortable, people just posing and being, and everyone else just taking pictures...it was something I was not used to.   

#thatPNWmeet | Cannon Beach | April 30 2016 | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

#thatPNWmeet | Cannon Beach | April 30 2016 | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

But what it came down to was...we all loved the PNW, we loved adventure, we loved cameras and taking pictures, we drank cans of Stumptown cold brew, at dogs and talked about anything and everything.  I got to meet other PNW photo mama's and other adventure junkies like myself.

#thatPNWmeet | Cannon Beach | April 30 2016 | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

#thatPNWmeet | Cannon Beach | April 30 2016 | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

It was a breath of fresh air as spring fully bursts alive and we edge into the beginnings of summer.  My battery fully recharged, I am so pumped to go out and explore, create and make.  I was once again reminded about the sense of community and connection you can get through a lens of a camera.  It doesn't take much, but it's this huge photo-geeking out family, and I am so in love with it all and feel so incredibly blessed to have been a part of this moment this weekend, to be apart of the photo family.

#thatPNWmeet | Cannon Beach | April 30 2016 | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

#thatPNWmeet | Cannon Beach | April 30 2016 | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

There is so much going on this summer, going on right now, that I at times feel overwhelmed and frazzled.  But then I have moments like these, a day on a beach, an afternoon hiking, a morning watching the sunrise with coffee in my hand and I am reminded "If our minds are ruled by the spirit, we will have life and peace" Romans 8:6

#thatPNWmeet | Cannon Beach | April 30 2016 | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

#thatPNWmeet | Cannon Beach | April 30 2016 | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

My life was shambles and darkness...but no longer.  I have been blessed with a beautiful world to explore, an amazing family and so much more.  I am free.  Free to be who I was intended to be.

So now it's onto finishing up finals, getting my pack on as we get ready to move into our new home, and buying loads of sunscreen and goldfish for the upcoming adventures in the next month.  

#thatPNWmeet | Cannon Beach | April 30 2016 | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

#thatPNWmeet | Cannon Beach | April 30 2016 | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

any given sunday.

A March Saturday | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

A March Saturday | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Saturday's spent at home are a rare breed around my dwelling anymore.  Between my husbands military + job obligations, my art shows + schooling, my daughter's visitations down south and the random obligations that come with being a living human...getting to just be home is a beautiful, cherished thing around here.

So this weekend has been early wake-up call's by my little Kraken's (because they still have yet to realize what the term's "Saturday" and "sleep in" mean.  It's been a down pour of rain and us just re-potting indoor plants that have been sadly neglected over this winter of busy and rush. 

I was pleased though to see, in the small amount of time I spent outside this weekend, that my lavender plants are starting to bud...so down pour of rain be damned...spring is truly coming!  (chaco tan lines I'm coming for you!)

However, though there has been small little promises of warmer weather, I couldn't help while at the grocery store to grab milk, also grabbing a couple bunches of these daffodils that I polka-dotted all over the house.  The smell has brought a yellow cheery sense to this little dwelling.  

Recently, a lot of struggles + frustrations have seemed to pile up, this house being one of them, and yet in the midst of "doom + gloom" it's always surprising how some comfy overall's, fresh cut flowers, a hot London fog and some studio time or curled up reading a book can make the world seem so much more beautiful...alive.

The Nuart | All Right's Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

The Nuart | All Right's Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

On Friday, I went downtown for a meeting about an upcoming show for my "I Am The Man" project (you can see HERE) and as I locked my car, I looked across the street at our Nuart Theater, and I couldn't help but pull my camera out and snap this picture.  I walk by this building every week, I actually go to that building frequently, and yet, for some reason, the rain gave it a new feel.  I have this love for store fronts and old buildings.  I've always felt like bricks were sponges.  Soaking up time and memories and yet holding up for all that is to come.

Something that has recently become more important is music.  Now my iPod is a jumble of bipolar scrambled eggs and I have a deeper love for vinyl then most know about me, but my musical, piano playing past has started to creep back up on me.  As I'm rearing to the end of my college career (for now, I doubt I'll ever truly be done) plus orders on my etsy shop, upcoming art shows, and being an editor for a couple publications...my love for reading, writing + art have defiantly been consumed as my "lively-hood", my job.  So its of no surprise to me that my need for an outlet that hasn't been consumed in some work fashion took over my husband's little ukulele.  He had received it as a gift from his parents when they went to Hawaii while we were still dating...and he's maybe pulled it out twice.  Over last summer he tried to teach me guitar but my tiny body compared to his full guitar made me feel more like I was hugging Sasquatch versus playing something beautiful.  I then tried the ukulele and found that it's 'c' cord to be by far one of the happiest sounds in this world...and since then I keep teaching myself this happy little instrument. (photo credit to my 6-year old who has an obsession of taking pictures...I wonder who she learned that from lol).

Recently I've begun delving into Sally Mann's new book "Hold Still", first and foremost for my thesis research, but secondly it had been recommended to me it felt like a million time.  About two pages in, I was swooning over this woman's words and adoring that she had added pictures and scanned in artifacts of letters, report cards etc. into her memoir.  It's been such a beautiful read on photography + memories + childhood + becoming and most of all, living a life.

And I won't lie, I've spent a couple too late of nights and a handful of really early mornings to read this book...but as a mom...you take reading time when you can get it.

In a way, this blog post feels mundane, unnecessary, but then again, if felt necessary.  Over the week, I share so many beautiful moments and images on Instagram, and there is only so much of "me, myself + I" that I can put in the portfolio and I so badly want to share these small moments.  The story behind each image.  

But as much as I love these lazy weekends, I won't lie, I'm so grateful it's spring break, and I'm about to leave town to snag some beautiful shots, drink too much coffee, keep reading Sally Mann and get extra snuggles from my little Krakens.

If you don't already: you can follow all my adventures, coffee raves, motherly moments and making strives on Instagram @heather_woolery + now on Twitter @heatherwoolery.