Myrtle Beach State Park, SC.








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If you are going on a long trip and you get to choose anywhere to start, how would ocean not be near the top of that list? Exactly. After our Bledsoe Creek stay we headed east to said ocean, Myrtle Beach State Park to be exact. None of us have been here before so as we headed in we did not know what to expect. How bad could it be?

With 60’s and mostly sunny weather, the beach was inviting, not too hot, not too cold. Probably nearer too cold, but we were giddy enough that it masked any discomfort. The boys wore sweatshirts and shorts and were happy with a little wet feet, but not too much. The water was mighty cold. They made lots of forts and fortresses and dirt bike and NASCAR tracks in the sand. Dear Husband was on dog duty most of the beach time, actually most of the time, and I wandered with either a camera or metal detector. I found a quarter while searching, but sadly not due to the detector, I saw it before the beeping. Ah well, I found some pretty shells (and a sea urchin?) as well.

We rode our bikes plenty, but there weren’t many trails so it was around the same places. The beach allowed bikes on the sand due to the season. We drove up along the ocean to the fishing pier one night to see how fun that would be. Hmm. It was dirty, wet, and the kickstands just sunk. Somehow that didn’t ruin anyones moods. I told you, we were giddy.

This park is an amazing little snip of nature among the bustling seashore city. Dear Husband did venture out to grab some graham crackers for smores (duh, we forgot them!) and an RV part. Mostly we did our part to stay beachside because that’s the best spot. (One tiny drive to Camping World landed me with a sweet new bike basket though!) With two little stores and a fabulous fishing pier that just keeps drawing you over, somehow filling the day with laundry, eating, biking, and digging in sand was utterly exhausting and time -consuming. Emails were forgotten….

I’m finding working school work into the day is harder than I imagined. Peeling boys from the sand to read and do spelling isn’t their cup of tea. I’m hoping to figure out something that flows better. Clearly there are ample opportunities to learn as we go, but there are some things that will still require sitting at the table. Fortunately  I don’t feel like we are behind, just a little unsure of how to create a routine that isn’t annoying or awkward.

Oddly enough, when we headed out the boys moods were terrible. I’d like to say it was because they were sad to leave, even if they didn’t claim that. After a little gloomy road time everyone sort of settled in. I’m hopeful most transitions aren’t so blue.

Learning to See Creatively by Bryan Peterson.


So, I just finished up this inspiring title, Learning to See Creatively by Bryan Peterson. The focus is how to open up the possibilities of your camera by more thoroughly exploring your subject instead of the average photography book. Elements of design, lighting, composition, cropping, and more are discussed and shown in use. Mr. Peterson’s enthusiasm and excellent descriptions makes it seem obtainable and fun. With tons of photos included, it’s exciting to see the variety of shots he feels anyone can make.

I was happy to see he suggests on site editing over Photoshop (which I don’t own anyways, although don’t fear at the end there is a section on it). I felt vindicated that he says to “create” photos by editing items in (something I do). Finally, I was inspired to try to do things a little differently or examine my subject a little while longer after I thought I got the shot I wanted.

Bryan Peterson is well steeped in photography with loads of titles to prove it. He demonstrates his ability to teach through this title as well. Thanks sir!

Even if you don’t shoot photos manually, there is a ton to learn from this book.

(I received this book from Blogging for Books for this honest review.)

Outdoors in October.







The boys and I have been out and about quite a bit. We’ve been out apple picking, pumpkin picking, learning sweet moves at sword fencing class (while Dear Husband and I spectate), playing at school group meet ups, visiting with Grandma, and just running plenty of errands. We’ve also had our very first flat tire together this month en route to fencing class, too. Oh my, did I forget to mention my sister and nephew’s visit too?  We did the Foo Fighters concert in Nashville. Phew, I do feel like we are squeezing every drop out of this beautiful month!



We made a long drive from Tennessee to Colorado this weekend. It was over thirty-four hours of driving. I knitted. We played car games, listened to new music, watched movies, chatted, and wandered. We were even stranded due to a bad alternator in the truck. But I don’t care where we end up. Put me in the car with my boys and my soul is soothed.

Fourth of July Fireworks Fun.










For the past few years, the boys and I take wild fourth of July fireworks photos. I open the shutter long and they take turns twirling my camera every which way.  They just go for it and many turn out so fun.

This year I turned the camera and stole a little glimpse of Dear Husband and Little Fella too. Why I didn’t think of that before?

Hope you had a fun, festive, 4th of July too!




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Saturday night I felt fortunate as I lay my belly in the cool grass of the Stones River National Cemetery during their Hallowed Ground presentation. While the Park Ranger led the participants to different period dressed presenters, I journeyed ahead shooting. Volunteers shared untold stories of long ago, the lantern light adding extra warmth to an already hot summer night. I even caught a “ghost” in the last shot. (Straight across from the woman looking down, before the tree, can you see it?) What began as a sweaty night of volunteer photographer, ended with magic.