jamie // wsu graduation session

jamie marks | wsu 2017 graduation session | heather woolery

jamie marks | wsu 2017 graduation session | heather woolery

 

recently i spent a sleepless night browsing the rabbit hole that is better known as pinterest and found this quote:

magic happens when you do not give up, even though you want to.
the universe always fall’s in love with a stubborn heart.
— unknown

anyone who's gone to college can testify how true this statement is...oh how many times i wanted to give up while i was in school...and yet now...i look back and all there is is pride.  because yes! i did that! me. and this may, this beautiful boss lady who i'm lucky enough to call friend is graduating from washington state university in pullman, washington.

can i get a huge whoop! whoop! for this lady!!!

i have lived only 20-minutes from this campus for 5+ years, however jamie was my first official tour guide for the campus and as we hung out, snapped pictures and played with the unchangeable april winds, one thing was clear, this lady is so loved and will do so much good...I'm so dang excited for her.

we were stopped by beloved friends on campus, we laughed at the strange things i did or made jamie do, to get the shots and enjoyed the first major real sliver of blue sky and sunshine we've seen in quite some time.

good things are coming for this lady. 

so congratulations my friend!  i'm so excited for all your future endeavors.

with grace+guts,

-h

 

365/week eleven

365/week eleven

Patched up jean jackets, Portland and an elephant funeral.  Treefort and art art art.  Taking over the house and dancing to lots of Whitney Huston with waaaay too much coffee intake.  But what else is life?

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365/Week Nine

 
Heather Woolery | 365-challenge | Week Nine

Heather Woolery | 365-challenge | Week Nine

In the past 7-days, I got to spend some time with my darling <3, which really just filled me up and all the feels and love just gave me the UMPH! I've been missing in my 365-challenge, being a mother, and in my art as well.

With me back in the game I was able to plot out my freelance photography and made a (big!) personal change and feel so confidant now in my work (its all about being yourself for sure!), spent some time in my studio which included nylons, embroidery thread and embroidery hoops and once again drank copious amounts of coffee.

I also finally sat down and I'm almost finished with my next book (which is sooo good ya'll) and started the editing process on my book.

Oh my heart.

Today is the first day in i'm not sure in how long where there is a slice of blue sky and sunshine and I can feel that vitamin D filling me up like a cup of coffee.  I'm so solar powered its really not funny.  With that being said, the hubs and I have been starting to plot out places to go on our next adventure...this whole winter ordeal and being stuck at home is killing my wandering soul.

So here's to week nine being more productive then I have in the past few weeks.  Thanks darling for being the extra shot of whiskey in my coffee that I need <3

WIth Grace+Guts,
-H

PS
If your in Boise, ID or Portland, OR (or know of some rad individuals that are) I'm looking too book a couple photo sessions in March!  Hit a gurlll up if you want some rad photos and some good times!!

Heather Woolery | 365-challenge | Week Nine

Heather Woolery | 365-challenge | Week Nine

Heather Woolery | 365-challenge | Week Nine

Heather Woolery | 365-challenge | Week Nine

Heather Woolery | 365-challenge | Week Nine

Heather Woolery | 365-challenge | Week Nine

 

365/Week Seven

 

Week Seven has been brought to you by coffee, tears, and lot's of laughter.  Oh, in honesty, this move has caused so much up and downs and all overs.  I spent most of the week voiceless and did a lot of jamming out to 80's favorites to keep the spirits high...or at least attempting.

But I also did two beautiful and wonderful photo sessions that warmed by heart and gave me all the feels and strength to know I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing.

I worked on my book, and rocked out to ABBA while doing so. I also opened the link to my book here on my website (which you can see HERE) which ended up causing me to get distracted and spending a late night updating and organizing my website. (sorry that things may look different.) 

And was reminded that there is truly healing powers in water as I look a long shower and all the troubles I was having in my studio with my art work were solved because finally that missing link came to me 15-minutes into being surround by steam.  Seriously, all my good ideas come from when I was swimming, showering etc.  Always.  I just need to learn to hop in the shower or go swimming when I have troubles in the studio or writers block.

But it's been a week.  And I've tried putting that best foot forward.  I made a second instagram account just for my photography and ordered beautiful business cards to go along with it.  I submitted work to two different art shows and booked another amazing photo session.  I've taken moments to read, moments to just sleep and moments to eat waay too much hummus while wallowing on Pinterest.

And isn't that beautiful.  
Isn't it beautiful that in a world full of chaos and crazy, we are always reminded our human we all are.  That we are all filled with such a rainbow of emotions.  This week was full of them for me, and made wonderful by the loving hearts that surround me.  The strength I find in myself and in God.  The furry I find from all that surrounds me and the ability to instead morph it into something beautiful through art and words.

I'm sure week 8 isn't about to get easier.  But this challenge is keeping me honest.  In all my wonders and flaws.

And thats okay.

With Grace+Guts.

-H

 

The Move...PDX

 

Something I've come to learn is that life is unpredictable.  And even more so when you think you've got a plan.  When I thought I was slowly getting used to being graduated and focusing on my work and my family...life decided to happen.

In the few days between Christmas and New Years the hubby got a job offer in PDX, OR...like offered his dream job.  His face was so ignited I knew that this was it.  We were moving.

Both the hubb's and I have been life long Idaho dwellers, and 24-hours after the news, all that Idaho has been for me in these 25+ years came flooding over me with huge emotional, nostalgic waves.  This will forever be my home.  The place that grew me into the wild one that I pride myself to be.

So this is the news.  The big one.  So, on that note, if you live in North Idaho and have been wanting me to do your photos you have until June (or until April to book if you want it for a date past June 1st.)  I also have added an extra feature on my website in the Etc. section titled Travel Dates.  There you will now find my travel dates...and if I'm going to be in Idaho, I'll be listing it there and you can book a shoot during those dates posted.

And finally, if any of you lovely souls are in the PDX area...let's get connected.  I'm super jazzed about all the new collaboration and creativity that's about to insue.

So I guess as I always say,

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

A Moment with Artifact Uprising

Back in August I started my final semester of college, and I was up against one of my biggest concerns...writing and printing my thesis.  This was something I wanted to be beautiful, have a warm feeling and have quality.  My thesis tackled the idea of home vs. house and you can view the body of work, Within Itself, I created in correlation with my thesis HERE.

I got bids from other printers, and they were well into the triple digits for two copies (I wanted to keep one for myself of course).  And then one night while scrolling through my Instagram feed Artifact Uprising had a post about their photo books...and my light bulb struck.  I e-mailed them just to make sure that something that text heavy was going to be okay...they e-mailed me within 24-hours overly excited about the project. 

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I just got it in the mail this past weekend, and I couldn't be happier.  Just goes to show, thinking outside of the box really can pay off. 

Some of my Favorite Things: Autumn 2016 Edition

It seems with the turning of each season, we have a need to make changes in our life as well. Changing out the closet, a new nail color, some new music, even some new decor for the abode. All of these are our intrinsical internal calendar telling us to keep moving forward.

Up North its been getting colder and the leaves have been changing colors for the past couple of weeks, with each night dipping a little cooler then the night before.

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This has lead to snuggly sweaters while I'm in the studio, wool blankets while curled up reading a book, lots of candles and some new arranging of things in my home.  Not to mention bringing out the Autumn/Halloween box to my children's delight.

In our home we always leave the door open for change.  Sometimes it's good for the soul to lay a different blanket on the couch, change the center piece on the dinning table or buy a new candle.  The world outside is changing with every season, so it only seems

fitting that we do the same.
Below I've listed some of the things I've been loving with the change of seasons.  As you've read in previous posts, I've been holding onto summer with vigor, yet, once the leaves changes, so did my heart and I am happily coming to terms with the cooler weather and adorable knitted everything.


This adorable vintage home
This nude nail color (Grey Suade) by Revlon
This new album by Drew Holcomb + The Neighbors
This read by photographer Sally Mann
• Get your Netflix on with all thats coming Here
• Updated my Pinterest board full of Fall/Winter outfit inspiration
This round up of coffee + tea mugs on Etsy
• Wool blankets for chilly nights like This and This one.
• Loving the Tre Sol coffee blend from Red Horse Coffee Traders. Order Here.
• Ceramic glaze inspiration Here and Here.
 


With Grace+Guts,
-H

Her Element: Water

Taken out at Spring Valley, August 18th 2016 of the beautiful and strong Mikayla Johnson.

I first had the joy of meeting Mikayla on a trip with our University back in 2015 to Guatemala. It was there that her fire and her joy ignited our trip. Her friendship and love for water hard to beat.Though recently she has been a boss lady kicking lupus' ass, she has been 8-months out of the water.  Sometimes, all one needs is to be in their element to feel the strength that burns inside of them.

Shout out to Tessa's Powder Room in Moscow, Idaho for doing Mikayla's amazing make-up!

You can see more shots from this shoot + others at my Facebook page.

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

And we are at the end of the count down > insert a handful of happy and bouncy emojis here <
In the first of this 3-part blog series I talked to you about packing my Osprey pack for my trip to Germany while leaving room to spare.
The second part we covered carry-on conundrums when it comes to being a parent, gear junking (all my camera gear) and also needing necessities such as laptop, a book, etc.
Now finally, in part three we will cover airport attire and last minute airport/traveling tips.

Part Three

Airport + Travel Attire:
I am always about two key things when it comes to my attire when flying:
1. comfort
2. versatility
And when I'm mom-ing it at the airport:
3. pockets

Ya'll may laugh at me, however, as a parent, pockets are my best friend.  So much so I purchased my wedding dress on the spot the moment I found out it had pockets (greatest thing EVER!) 

So my two go-to outfits while flying are:
1. Hoodie, Leggings, Tank Top, Sandals
or
2. Hoodie, Comfy (old) jeans, Tank Top and Sandals

I say old/comfy jeans simply because, jeans are a lot like boots...if you just jump into wearing them without breaking them in...a couple hours into your gutsy but overall dumb decision you'll be in pain and/or ridiculously uncomfortable.

My go-to pair is a skinny cut pair I purchased from American Eagle a couple of years ago. Though, having a belt to content with while going through customs can be frustrating at points, it's only a one-and-done ordeal and then your on your way in the airport.

For my trip to Germany, I have a 4-hour flight then an 11.5-hour flight and even though I'm planning on sleeping as much as I can to compensate for the almost 9-hour time difference, I'm sticking with the old comfy jeans and a favorite love...Pons.

Airport Outfit | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Airport Outfit | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Things to Remember:

  • Chapstick + Lotion - airplane air dries your skin out quickly, especially on long flights.  But    
                                      remember TSA requirements.
  • Scarf - this is great for using as a blanket on the plane + it spruces up any outfit after a long flight
  • Documentation - if your traveling with kids, its good to have a copy of their birth certificates, and                                   any other documentation you might need.  Write out SSN's out like a
                                      phone number on a post-it note tucked away.  Having this at the ready can
                                      help speed up any issue as you go through customs.
  • Bring (empty) Water Bottle - Most airports have water bottle re-fill stations which saves you a
                                      bunch of money.  Make sure it's empty, TSA won't like you very much if you
                                      try to bring water through customs.  
                                      We're huge fans of Nalgene and Klean Kanteen.
  • Headphones - this needs no explaining, yet somehow I always forget this and end up having to
                                     use the not-so-great free pairs they have on the plane.
  • Socks+Underwear - If your feet get cold while sitting long hours on the plane and the other; for
                                     the pray-it-doesn't-happen occasion your bag is lost, stolen or on a different
                                     flight.
  • Simple Jewelry - I have always loved simple jewelry that add's a bit of sparkle but isn't heavy or
                                     a TSA concern.  I recently found Lace|Brick Designs from Alberta Canada,
                                     and I've been swooning ever since I found this shop. ANND if you use the
                                     code 'ilovelocal' you guys can get 10% off your whole purchase  from
                                     Lace Brick Design.
Lace Brick Design  | All Right's Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Lace Brick Design | All Right's Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

So now my friends it is time to end this post, take a shower, have some tea, make sure all my t's are crossed and i's are dotted before I sleep.

In the AM I will be flying to my motherland and I cannot wait to share with all of you about my adventures, explorations and tid-bit's when I get back.  However, if you don't want to wait, follow me on my Instagram  @heather_woolery  and watch the adventure unfold from take off to hiking the alps.  

With Grace+Guts,

-H

Moved. Brett. Glacier. Artwalk...SLEEP.

I honestly don't remember the last time I was this busy.  I can't, because I'm usually a whirl of a headless chicken juggling the many things that I do.  But these past two-weeks have just been over the top insane...which is fine...because it's all been wonderful (just exhausting) and I'm scheduling a nap for myself in two-weeks.
No joke...I wrote in my planner for two weeks from now a nap at 1:30pm and to wake up at 3:00. (Man I envy my kids sometimes in this regard.)

ARTWALK 2016 | Heather Woolery | All Rights Reserved 2016

ARTWALK 2016 | Heather Woolery | All Rights Reserved 2016

To start us back on track (yay for some normalcy) We got all of our belongings moved in one day, 24-hours, and our new home...which is substantially nicer yet smaller then our previous places, was a Great Wall of Boxes and Bags and I'm not sure what all.  It's been two weeks of me sorting through stuff, and donating a lot.  If you follow me on Pintrest you'll see I oogle and google at homey homes that are somewhat (not over the top) minimal and C L E A N!  My miner OCD is drawn to this, yet with all our stuff, which we really didn't need, this was impossible.  
So sadly, my studio is still not even touched, it's just a Great Wall of Boxes and Bags, but the rest of the house is really starting to come together and my OCD M U S T C L E A N panic attacks are getting fewer.

National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

As an early birthday present, the hubby took my down to S. Idaho to go see Brett Dennen.  Let me squeal here like a high school roady. I got to see Brett Dennen in concert.  Now, my love for this man is strictly his music...no joke.  Now, he IS a beautiful human and soul, but that transcribed into his lyrics, and when someone can open themselves up and share it with the world like Brett (melts) I'm all ears.  Brett Dennen was the artist my husband first suggested when we started dating, and when my hubby left for a month long military training he sent me the lyrics of "Don't Forget" by Brett since I was going through such a hard personal time being a single mom.
Now it's become me missing my hubby, having a GAH! day, me needing some good studio music, me just wanting to dance a little bit versus full on Robyn dance floor...Brett Dennen is my main squeeze for this. 
Not to mention I got to meet him, get the typical horrible "I met this celebrity" picture and to cherry top it off...I got a hug.  If you all need a new addition to your Summer 2016 Playlist go check out Por Favor by Brett Dennen...Bon Fire is a current favorite track <3

To finish off the birthday festivities, the following weekend, we took a three-day weekend trip to Glacier National Park.  For living not that far away from it, it's one my hubby and I haven't had a chance to make it to just yet.  Celebrating the Centennial of National Parks, my hubby and I have signed ourselves up for our own personal Nat Park Run 2016-2017 season.  Seeing how many National Parks we can visit in the season.  Now, we're slowed down by our two-week jaunt to Europe in July (bummer, lol) but we're still "Challenge Accepted" "Game On!" 

As for Glacier, I had asked my husband that for my birthday I wanted Hot Coco and Mountains, and well Glacier did just that.  We stuck around the Lack McDonald area since the Going-To-The-Sun Rd. was closed past The Walk Of The Cedars. We did the Cedar trail, and had an afternoon intermission when I was hit with a minor spat of food poisoning.  I was curled up in my sleeping bag watching the silhouette's of caterpillars crawl across the top of the tent while my (oh so sweet) hubby wrangled our children and kept them occupied with our Eno Hammock.    

After lots of sleep and a light dinner I was feeling good enough to go down to Lake McDonald and get pictures of my birthday sunset...and it didn't disappoint.

National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

Now to finish off this headless chicken run I've been doing is Artwalk.  My work is showcased in two separate establishments and I'm organizing another businesses Artwalk...so all I've done this week is go to work, come home and make, pick up kids, do kids sports, feed kids, shower kids, wrangle kids into bed, drink more coffee, stay up late making and organizing, and loath my alarm every morning.
But I'm so excited for these shows and I'm proud of the work I'm showcasing.  After Friday, I'll be more regular about these posts and will show you the art carnival of my town which is Artwalk.

So Happy Humpday Friends.  Take a long drag of your coffee and know its gonna be okay.

With Grace + Guts.

-H

National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

#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

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

Raining Snow, Realizations + Coffee

Since I've gotten back from Guatemala it's been a whirl wind of school, senior studio, new work schedules, teaching, still trying to move into our new place and other family ordeals and I've failed to let you all know about my trip down to Guatemala...and I'm in all honesty so sorry.

For the past handful of day's here in North Idaho it's been raining snow - quite literally - and I have quite literally learned that my TOMS may not be the best sort of footwear for this sort of weather.  I've also tried breaking out the Chaco's and the Birkenstocks without socks...and I'm sure this is all a direct result of my revolting against the PNW weather I do truly love but still longing for that Guatemalan sunshine.

I've been reveling in the memories lately with the constant work of editing the photos I took on this trip.  Which, I will let you all know, will be on display at Bloom Cafe & Art House in Moscow, Idaho March 3rd for Moscow's First Thursday and then again for the month of April at Emerge Gallery in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho.  Both will have some of the same photos, but each show will also showcase special photographs that will only be shown at that specific show.
(stay tuned for more info - or e-mail me about any questions regarding)

With the joys of educational bliss about to come to a close at the end of this year, the hubbs and I have had multiple "what do we want to be when we grow up" sounded conversations and we couldn't help but feel, where the town we reside in now has been incredible and so near to our hearts, that it may be time to start renesting elsewhere.  Now, where that's 9-months or so down the road, conversations like those always lead to realizations about oneself, ones predicament or even those that one may surround themselves with.  I feel pretty lucky to be married to the man I snagged almost three years ago and last night I went upstairs to send out a couple emails and I saw this...

Married to a Forester | All Rights Reserved Heather Woolery 2016

Married to a Forester | All Rights Reserved Heather Woolery 2016

Being married to a forester has its days of way too early of a morning wake-up call, sap and who knows what stains on his jeans I'll never get out, and summer's tend to leave me quite lonely at times...but this man has been standing by me, helping me with every dream and ambition I hold near to my heart + he works his ass off for me and our two Things that run around like possessed monkeys.  This hat, so worn, yet so comfortable and loving incapsulates my husband better then anything I've found to date.

Childhood Residence | All Rights Reserved Heather Woolery 2016

Childhood Residence | All Rights Reserved Heather Woolery 2016

It doesn't matter where we live, or how much like nomads we resemble some days/weeks/months - our life is ours to live.  We're a family of four outrageously crazy not-normal normal humans all co existing together everyday through up's and down's.  We help one another, cheer each other on, fight with one another, snuggle and love one another.  We're as real of a family as it's gonna get, even if we have no ambitions for white picket fences at this point in time.  And that is the realization I needed to make.  There's no list of boxes to check off that I need to complete by the time by kids turn 18, or I'm married to my husband for 20-years.  Its just simply what makes our family run, that's all that matters.

So let my mini-but not so mini life lesson be a hug on this Friday afternoon before you step into your weekend.  No matter what your family looks like, whither your all related or not, find comfort, love and light in their presence knowing that this is exactly where you need to be at this moment in time.

With Grace and Guts,
Adventure With Purpose

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.5

Our fifth day was planned to have a day of shopping downtown, though because we had also done shopping at the Lake Louise Village shopping strip and in Jasper the day prior so we also filled our morning with venturing to the Banff Park Museum and the Whyte Museum.

The Banff Park Museum was wonderful and full of history and information.  With two floors this museum of a museum is completely crafted out of Douglas fir woodwork, it is Canada's oldest surviving federal building.  Most of the museum's specimens were collected between 1890 and 1930, during the time when it was common practice to kill animals for identification.  This was also one of the cheapest activities my mom and I did.  We also visited later that day the Whyte Museum which is located just down the street from the Banff Park Museum, though we were not equally impressed.  It does have a lot of information and really decent art collection, it is very dry and extremely small, so the higher price of admissions didn't feel worth for value.

Photo Credit to Canadianstewardship.com As I failed to grab a shot of Banff Downtown

Photo Credit to Canadianstewardship.com As I failed to grab a shot of Banff Downtown

In between the museums, my mom and I went shopping downtown Banff.  Though idyllic and adorable, there are streets and rows of shops focused on tourists full of the tricky tacky whimsical kitsch gifts that all of us tourist buy into, even if it's just a little bit.  Though there were a few beautiful and wonderful shops that were not just tourist but very local and are defiantly worth a stop in.  There was Roots Canada - a Canadian lifestyle shop, About Canada Gallery and Gift store - with a wide selection of local based artists as well as other beautiful home decor, The Banff Tea Co. and The Spirit of Christmas were also beautiful little shops.
If your looking for groceries or a quick snack (as advised in earlier blogs), it's always helpful to have some food on hand to avoid going out to eat for every meal the two grocer's I suggest it Banff's Safeway and Banff's Provisions General Store.  The two best coffee/pastries/lunch locations we visited was the Wild Flower Artisan Bakery and Evelyn's Coffee Bar (there is also an Evelyn's Two and Evelyn's Again - their all connected and all make amazing hot coco).

Evelyn's Again | Banff, Alberta Canada | Hot Coco Indulgence

Evelyn's Again | Banff, Alberta Canada | Hot Coco Indulgence

Once we were shopped and museum-ed out, my mom and I went for a drive to a near by lake that we had heard via only blogs and travel books was well worth a stop by.  Lake Minniwonka did not disappoint for one moment.  Equipped with an adorable coffee/snack bar, this is the perfect little picnic, get away from the downtown hubbub spot.  It's water however is always at a static 32-degree's so this isn't a swimming hole at any point of the year (but with so many hot springs around, there doesn't seem to be much of any complaint.)  Lake Minniwonka is full of minor day's history and has graduated from a small tiny lake, to now having three damns and is 14-times the size of Lake Louise.  Being our first time in Canada my mom and I splurged and went on the scenic 1-hour boat ride that gave us a ton of information not only on the lake but on the area and its history as well.

Lake Minniwonka Viewer | Banff, Alberta Canada | 2015 Heather Woolery All Rights Reserved

Lake Minniwonka Viewer | Banff, Alberta Canada | 2015 Heather Woolery All Rights Reserved

We spent the majority of our afternoon hanging around the lake and on the boat ride.  The staff was extremely informational, fun and helpful which made this an absolute great stop for any visitor or drive thru.  You can also rent boats for an hour or for the day and don't have to opt for the touristy one-hour boat ride I ventured on.

When we got hungry enough for dinner, we opted to check-into our last stay for our holiday which was at a wonderful little stop right downtown Banff, The Blue Mountain Lodge.  The staff was extremely helpful and wonderful to be around and it felt so much like "being home" that both my mom and I wished we'd gotten a chance to stay here more then just one night.  Though the bathroom was quaint and the amenities seemed odd, it was defiantly how the lodge was taken care of and loved by its staff, it's homemade warm breakfast, a community kitchen and the motif that set this place apart.

Blue Mountain lodge B&amp;B | Banff, Alberta Canada | 2015 Heather Woolery All Rights Reserved

Blue Mountain lodge B&B | Banff, Alberta Canada | 2015 Heather Woolery All Rights Reserved

The end cap to our busy day didn't fail us one bit.  We had some pizza, found my thing one and thing two house slippers (which had been a man-hunt for over 24-hrs) then took the front clerk of the B&B suggestion - we went to Bow Falls and the Fairmont (Castle) Hotel.  We figured we were in for a short drive, and were concerned as we were loosing light, however, it was less then five-minutes of a drive from the lodge and it was absolutely beautiful.  The Fairmont Hotel was built in the 1800's and though it is still a running hotel, is also a historical landmark and is open to the public for viewing.  Bow Falls and the hotel are within walking distance of one another, and so that is exactly what we did.  We enjoyed the falls with the last bit of light and then toured around the hotel and enjoyed some late night hot coco and german pretzels the Castle Pantry, located on the main floor.
It was bitter sweet to be sitting in the lobby of the Castle Pantry, robbing them of their free Wifi which was hard for us to locate on this trip, enjoying our hot coco and pretzel.  The company and the country would be most absolutely missed as it had gained so much of my heart.  Though to end the night well, there were two giant elk bucks hanging in the parking lot reminding us as the sunset slipped into darkness behind Mt. Randall, that we had been in a very special place in the world.

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.