Photography: Small Town Faire

One of my dear friends sold handmade hair bows at the Rio Linda/Elverta Country Faire on Saturday and I decided it was a good excuse to visit the small town where I went to high school. It felt nostalgic to drive by my old stomping grounds and I ended up running into several people I knew.

While it’s a town of about 15,000, it’s kept a close connection to its rural roots and many parts of the city remain unchanged. Chances are if you’ve heard of Rio Linda it’s probably because of its frequent flooding or because conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh likes to poke fun at the intelligence of the town by saying “for those of you in Rio Linda.”

While I’m not great at taking photos of crowds, I wanted to challenge myself to capture the feeling of the event through my photography. Nearly all the crowd shots, unfortunately, didn’t turn out as I’d have liked. I found myself once again drawn upward to the sky and the trees. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy these selections and have a great week.



Bonus photos: The heatwave finally broke and we got some much-needed rain. I couldn’t resist taking a few photos of raindrops in my yard this morning.

  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW

Here’s a photo of me and my husband when we were in high school. I’m wearing my Rio Linda marching band uniform. Aren’t we the cutest?


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Photography: Neighborhood Sunrise

“The morning steals upon the night, Melting the darkness.” -William Shakespeare

A gorgeous friend of mine writes and talks a lot about joy—seeking it out, the importance of recognizing it, and fighting for it even when it feels ridiculous. She inspires me all the time and this morning I did something purely for the joy of it. I hiked to a park by my house with my camera to capture the sunrise. It felt luxurious and I basked in the beauty of the world for an entire hour alone.

My mother-in-law has entered hospice care within the home of my kind, caring, and incredibly giving sister-in-law. This time in our lives is hard. Watching a woman of immeasurable strength and love fade before all our eyes is beyond difficult. While I don’t know what this next part looks like, I do know that even within these hard moments we can find gratitude and even joy.

All the photos above were taken with my Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW.

Here’s a bonus iPhone self-portrait:


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Photography: Little Whale Cove

She closed her eyes. She drew her shoulders back. She took a slow and steady breath.
There was tension in the air. A weight. A wait. There was no wind. She did not speak. The world grew and stretched tight.

-Patrick Rothfuss, The Slow Regard of Silent Things

There’s nothing quite like standing on the beach at sunset and watching the sky and water play together with a dance of reflection and light. On our recent trip to Oregon my daughter and I sat apart from each other in complete silence watching the sun slowly descend into a bank of clouds. It was slow and sudden—a beautiful, fleeting moment of peace.

Today’s photo selections are of the place my father lives in Oregon called Little Whale Cove. It’s a hidden and magical gem we feel incredibly grateful to visit each summer. I hope you enjoy them!


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Stay tuned: Next week I’ll be sharing photos of our visit to the West Coast Game Park Safari.


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Exposed by my children for what I really look like

Flipping through the pictures on my phone, I see it.

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My first reaction is shock. Who took this hideous picture of me?

Self-loathing and disgust swell up and threaten to bring me to tears.

Just as I am about to hit delete, my boy walks in the room.

“Do you know anything about this picture?” I ask him.

I turn the screen so he can see it. He smiles huge.

“I took that of you in Tahoe,” he says. “You looked so beautiful laying there. I couldn’t help it mom.”

“You need to ask me before using my phone to take pictures,” I say.

“I know,” he says. “But mom, seriously, look how pretty you look?”

I look at the picture again and try to see what he sees.

My daughter walks over and takes a look.

“That could be a postcard mom,” she says smiling. “You’re so beautiful. I love it.”

I take a deep breath.

This is exactly what I needed.

My default mode is to see and focus on the flaws and imperfections. I’m starting to see a bit more.

I still see my dimply, fat thighs.

I also see a mom collapsed on the shore that just explored the lake for hours with her children.

I still see chubby arms.

I also see the arms of a mom that just helped her kids across the rocks and hot sand so their feet wouldn’t hurt.

I still see a fat woman wearing a black dress bathing suit to try to hide her weight issue.

I also see an adventurous mom that loves her children something fierce.

Like many women, I have struggled with my weight most of my life. It’s not something that will ever go away for me. I don’t have a naturally slim body. Never have.

Right now I’m the heaviest I’ve been in 10 years. Yet…

I have not let my weight stop me this time. I am wearing tank tops, sundresses and bathing suits in public. I’m running around playing with my kids this summer and I sometimes even feel attractive.

Yes. You heard me.

“I feel pretty. Oh so pretty. I feel pretty, and witty and bright.”

Well…not exactly. But something like that.

Is it because I’m getting older? Is it that I have more to worry about than just how I look? Or maybe it’s because my kids look at me with such adoring eyes.

Really, it doesn’t matter.

I don’t hate my body anymore.

That’s huge for me to admit and hard to even wrap my mind around.

I’m not giving up on exercising and getting healthy. Those are things I will continue to strive for because I want to be around awhile.

Right now though, I just want to love my body where it is. I want it to be OK to see myself the way my kids do.

Thank you kids.

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* Here is another “secret” picture the kids took of me on our day trip to the beach.