365 / week 24: bridges

 
Found on Pinterest

Found on Pinterest

This past weekend I went to Portland, to see my hubs, get some ocean in, work my first official photo shoot in Portland and get some R&R.  But what I got was just a little bit more.  

This blog post comes day's late, and I debated about just waiting a couple extra day's and putting two weeks together - because overall last week; not a lot was checked off the 365-list other then the usual of me putting effort into learning botany, drinking coffee, spending time with my mini's and finding my laughter.

But what some of you may have missed, was when I first announced I was moving to Portland - I was going to be moving in June...this week.  This week, our family would become one again, I would be crying to you all about the horrible traffic and how I would be dying on the I-95.  I was going to have VooDoo as a daily option and misty foggy mornings with my cup of coffee.  I was going to learn my way around Portland, get in my favorite pair of jeans and unpack each box with my kids.  I was going to take this time to really hunker down on my book and put everything I had into being a Portland based photographer.  And now...I'm not.

It's a long story, and if you've followed my blog for awhile, you'll know for the past 2-years I've been struggling with a really hard custody case with my daughter.  Bottom line is Idaho won't let me leave till I get an OK from my not-so-great ex...who for 6-months has ignored every contact to avoid the topic of me moving. (and like I said long story so no comments here please, this part is personal and will remain personal).

But this on-going "single-momhood" missing my hubs like crazy really got me down this weekend.  And even though we had a wonderful weekend of being on the road, soaking up beach (and major sun burns), Tillamook ice cream pit stops and laughter at the pool...it weighed heavy on me.

Heather Woolery | Cape Kiwanda 2017 | Family Shot 

Heather Woolery | Cape Kiwanda 2017 | Family Shot 

Shortly after leaving Portland, Of Course! my daughter had to go to the bathroom.  However, the pit stop of Multanoma became impossible as the parking lot was full - therefor the exit was closed making it impossible for me to get her to the bathroom.  The next stop was Cascade Locks...a town that holds a very special place in my heart.

Cascade Locks holds my favorite bridge.  Yes. Bridge.
The Bridge of Gods.

The gateway on the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) from Oregon to Washington...the last leg of the 2,650 mile journey that goes through California, Oregon and Washington.

I have been tied to this bridge for a few years now, and there is a magical power when you stand on it and look out across the Columbia River.  As the wind comes up and swarms around you and into your hair - you know that life is only just beginning in that moment...full of endless possibility.  

I know this seems a bit "deep" for my usually light blog posts - but it's so very true and if you ever make it past that way you must 1) go to the Bridge of Gods 2) get an ice cream cone from the only ice cream shop on the main stretch, you wont regret it.

Bridge of Gods Doodle | Heather Woolery | May 2017

Bridge of Gods Doodle | Heather Woolery | May 2017

But where I'm going with this is BRIDGES.

We all have bridges to cross in life.  Some bridges we don't even know we are crossing them until we've reached the other side and look back.  Some bridges have to be burned for the sake of our own hearts.  Some bridges are rickety while others are straight forward and concrete.  I thought all along that Portland was a strong, concrete bridge, and I was wrong.

This time away from my husband, has forced me to think outside the state of Idaho, what do I want to be doing, Oh! Yeah! HEY! I'm a mom reminder. And about a million other little things that have come along while I inched my way across the bridge...thinking June was the end...when only...it was the beginning of the bridge.  These 6-months have forced me to see the things that really bring me joy (um! hello...Plants and leather accessories anyone?), it has forced me to be present for my kids (Yes...that was me on the porch tonight thirty-minutes past my daughters bedtime helping her with her math homework when I failed basic math classes in high school and college) and reminding me that I am what I set forth and do.

Maybe this bridge wasn't made to be crossed, or, there is another bridge that is where my move happens...of course I am only human and don't know the answer to these things.  But, from everything I've learned from my favorite bridge attached to my favorite trail is that you only have to keep walking to get to the other side. So I guess, that's just what I'm going to do.

With Grace+Guts,
-H

Heather Woolery | Cape Kiwanda May 2017

Heather Woolery | Cape Kiwanda May 2017

 

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.

 
edited-11.jpg

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

edited-24.jpg
edited-23.jpg
edited-25.jpg
 
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

IMG_8287.JPG
IMG_8288.JPG
MADE | Boise, ID

MADE | Boise, ID

MADE | Boise, ID

MADE | Boise, ID

MADE | Boise, ID

MADE | Boise, ID

impromptu happiness.

Explorer | Photo taken by Hubbs | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Explorer | Photo taken by Hubbs | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Child of the Mountain | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Child of the Mountain | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Explorer | Photo taken by hubbs | Riggins Idaho | All RIghts Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Explorer | Photo taken by hubbs | Riggins Idaho | All RIghts Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Explorer | Photo taken by hubbs | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Explorer | Photo taken by hubbs | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

This past week was my kids spring break, and as you saw, we soaked up all we could from the beautiful + quirky city, Portland OR.  (We have been missing it since we left!)

But we drove down to Southern Idaho to soak up some familia time before returning back to the still cold North (so ready for warmer weather!)

After a weekend of cacti shopping, lots of coffee, a geek bar downtown Boise and some laughs it was time for us to drive home yesterday.  

While driving out of Riggins Idaho, my little photographer eye found this beautiful spot + I had to take pictures. So for 30-minutes my hubbs and I swapped my Nikon back and forth taking pictures.  It was an impromptu photo shoot that was filled with child spirits going wild as they climbed the rocks + lots of happiness.

That's The Hubb's | Riggins Idaho| All RIghts Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

That's The Hubb's | Riggins Idaho| All RIghts Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Explorer | Photo taken by hubbs | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Explorer | Photo taken by hubbs | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

"I have a rock ma'ma" | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

"I have a rock ma'ma" | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Explorer | Photo taken by hubbs | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Explorer | Photo taken by hubbs | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Familia | Photo Taken By the hubbs | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Familia | Photo Taken By the hubbs | Riggins Idaho | 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.

Video Time | Banff National Forest Style | 2015

Since I got home from Banff a couple months ago I've been wanting to put a compilation of photos from the trip (some no one besides my wonderful mama has seen) and share them with you - since I mean - I've already shared all my traveling tips with you all.

SO...

         here it is...

Banff National Park No.4

Lake Louise Gondola - Banff National Park - 2015

Lake Louise Gondola - Banff National Park - 2015

To start our day four off right we enjoyed one of the best hotel breakfasts I've ever had (which really is saying something) at the Lake Louise Inn!  It was $1.00 extra per person at check-in and it was worth it, a complete spread from hash browns to multiple types of breakfast meats, sweet-pieces, fruit, on and on along with the most adorable mini Nutella's you've ever seen.  We were also able to purchase our tickets for the Lake Louise Gondola at check-out which made it super convenient.  There is transportation from the hotel to the gondola however we opted to drive ourselves (something about being on your own time which is just nice.)

At the gondola you have to watch a short informational video letting you know how Parks Canada and other groups work together to make sure that not only you as the visitor but the wildlife are as little impacted as possible, and then your off on your way.  There are multiple large electric fences around Banff National Park to detour curious little bears and other wildlife from coming in contact with humans, you see one of these fences on your ride on the gondola, but once your past the fence it isn't uncommon to see one of those fuzzy creatures munching on huckleberries and other foliage down below.  However, though we never saw a black or grizzly bear on our trip, the views from the gondola were wonderful and the informational center was sensational.  If you have kids or want some hands on learning yourself, the informational center is the place to go.  There is a well knowledged staff and lots of specimens for hands on teaching, as well as a nice restaurant and multiple trail heads. 

One thing I saw when researching Banff National Park is that I MUST take the Icefield Parkway, a 3+ hour drive between Banff and Jasper National Park.  According to National Geographic, it's the drive of a lifetime, and if your out to see some wildlife this is the way to do it.  Like I mentioned earlier, we didn't see any bears on our trip, however, during our drive on the Parkway we saw Mountain Goats, Big Horn Sheep, Elk, and a few other small little creatures.  The Parkway is also the way to a lot of other popular attractions.

Once we got to Jasper, we instantly fell in love with the town.  It was quaint, the Canadian Pacific is in the heart and center of this town and its far less tourist driven but local.  Though the tourist shops are still on the main strip, my mom went into a wonderful little flower shop, had some wonderful coffee, checked out a farmers market and got to have Monte Cristos (both our favorite sandwich and if you've never had one SHAME!) at a local Canadian chain.

Jasper - Alberta Canada - 2015

Jasper - Alberta Canada - 2015

To say the least, we stayed in Jasper a little longer then planned so we drove back in the dark, but we had a booked night back at Johnston Canyon, and if we had known we would love Jasper so much we would have stayed there the night.  However we got to our little bungalow exhausted and happy and well adventured out for the day.  Though this seems like a short day, there wouldn't have been enough time if I made every stop I wished to make on the Icefields Parkway as if was filled with glorious views of the Rockies, multiple lakes, wildlife and other spectacular views.  Take a day and go drive this stretch, its well beyond worth the pricier gas prices.

hings learned: Plan a minimum of one day and one night at Jasper.  Absolutely plan a trip (even a couple hours) on the Canadian Pacific railway.  Look into and book hotels/bungalows or town houses before you go and plan your trip accordingly.