Family Heirlooms

One of my favorite things about being a wedding a portrait photographer is that I get to capture memories for a lot of cool people. My ideal goal for these images is for them to be passed down and cherished for generations, there are some pretty important people in them after all. They become family heirlooms. 

I was thinking about this idea of family heirlooms as I was separating out the iris plants in my garden tonight. The cool thing about plants like irises is that they multiply (sometimes a little too much). The iris plants that I have in my garden have been separated out and given to me from my mom's garden. The irises in her garden were separated and given to her from my grandma's garden. I also have some hostas that have the same story. Given what a gardening fanatic my grandma was, I love the idea that our gardens are connected. 

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Anyways, I was feeling sentimental tonight so I thought I'd share. What are some of your unique family heirlooms?

Father/Son Bonding in Minnesota

This past weekend was the City of Lakes Minne Loppet in Minneapolis Minnesota. We haven't done much skiing this year, but the Minne Loppet is something that Hani the Intern looks forward to every year. It's been fun to watch his progression from his first race when we had to walk along right next to him the whole time, to this year when he zipped through the entire thing on his own. 

He did still wanted Ari next to him for the epic downhill at the end, which is where this photo comes from. This hill scares me, it's icy, it's steep, it's sideways. Hani handled it like a pro this year, put his skis into "the french fry position" and shot down the hill. Ari sprinted to keep up with him in case anything went wrong. Towards the end of the hill H lost his balance and tipped backwards. Ari... let his body get ahead of him and pelted forward into a spectacular fall! Neither of them were hurt and they both shared a laugh at their epic wipeout!

 They're going down!

They're going down!

 Sharing a laugh and wondering what the heck just happened! 

Sharing a laugh and wondering what the heck just happened! 

Family Weekend in Duluth, Minnesota

After stuffing ourselves silly on Thanksgiving, we took advantage of the long weekend and the warm weather and headed north to the Duluth Area with my family. We stayed in a camper cabin in Jay Cooke State Park. Hani enjoyed that the cabins were each named after a different type of rock found in the area #novanerd! We love camper cabins at this time of year, they are super cozy and affordable. All you have to bring is bedding and food!

The weekend was perfect! We played by the river in Jay Cooke, hiked for a bit, ate dinner in Duluth with Ari's parents and then visited Bentelyville. 

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 The swinging bridge at Jay Cooke State Park at sunset!

The swinging bridge at Jay Cooke State Park at sunset!

 This kid loves to through ice chunks around and club on the big rocks up north!

This kid loves to through ice chunks around and club on the big rocks up north!

 He is happiest when climbing around on giant rocks!

He is happiest when climbing around on giant rocks!

 He likes to climb on the big rocks too..

He likes to climb on the big rocks too..

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 After our fun weekend in Duluth, we got to help my sister pick out her new puppy which she'll bring home in a couple of weeks! 

After our fun weekend in Duluth, we got to help my sister pick out her new puppy which she'll bring home in a couple of weeks! 

Summer Adventure! The Lake Superior Hiking Trail!

We recently got our feet wet into the world of backpacking! A few weeks ago, Ari and I set out with some friends on the famous Lake Superior Hiking Trail. We've always been into camping and hiking, but we've never before done a trip where we carried everything we needed on our backs. For this adventure, we were lucky to have one experienced hiker along with three newbies and a friendly dog! 

On Thursday, we camped at Jay Cooke State Park so that we could get an earlier start on the trail the next morning. On Friday, we entered the trail at the Cook County Rd 1 trail head and began our trek. Our First day was only 5.3 miles to where we camped on the banks of Cross River. It was a beautiful spot, but also very popular with other backpackers so we had plenty of company on our first night out on the trail. 

On the 2nd day we hiked a whopping 9.1 miles to Springdale Creek! That might not seem far to many, but for this newbie wearing a borrowed pack that didn't fit me, trail running shoes for footwear, and knees that I inherited from my father; it was quite a feet. I hobbled into camp that night, parked my butt on the crude bench by the fire, and didn't do much else until bed time!

Our third day was easy! I awoke feeling sore, but excited and was smart enough to chase my breakfast with some ibuprofen! Plus, we only had to go 4 miles that day! We exited at the Oberg Mountain Trailhead and headed for home. 

Going into this trip I wasn't so sure I would like backpacking. Carrying everything on my back sounded exhausting, and it was! But a good kind of exhausting. Here's a few images from our weekend on the trail!

 These handy little guys gave us peace of mind that we were indeed still on the trail.

These handy little guys gave us peace of mind that we were indeed still on the trail.

 The brown river water didn't look too tasty, but it actually tasted really fresh! We filtered  ours with a platypus filter.

The brown river water didn't look too tasty, but it actually tasted really fresh! We filtered  ours with a platypus filter.

 Cross River and the site of our first campsite.

Cross River and the site of our first campsite.

 Temperance River at Temperance State Park. It was a bit odd to come crashing out of the woods and find ourselves amongst well dressed (and by well dressed, I mean clean) tourists and others camping in the "luxury' of the State Park.

Temperance River at Temperance State Park. It was a bit odd to come crashing out of the woods and find ourselves amongst well dressed (and by well dressed, I mean clean) tourists and others camping in the "luxury' of the State Park.

 We parked our dirty selves on the rocks of the temperance river right in the middle of the tourists and ate our lunch.

We parked our dirty selves on the rocks of the temperance river right in the middle of the tourists and ate our lunch.

 Our boots got pretty wet the 2nd day. When the guidebook says "tends to be muddy", they mean lakes of mud to transverse across!

Our boots got pretty wet the 2nd day. When the guidebook says "tends to be muddy", they mean lakes of mud to transverse across!

 The aftermath of our footwear. Although my trail running shoes served me well, I think my feet would have been happier in some proper hiking boots...

The aftermath of our footwear. Although my trail running shoes served me well, I think my feet would have been happier in some proper hiking boots...

City of Lakes Minne Loppet

This past weekend, Hani the intern skied in the City of Lakes Minne Loppet at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis Minnesota. Hani has been on skis pretty much since he could walk and (most days) he loves it! He's getting pretty good at it despite inheriting his momma's ability to be easily distracted. Here are a few shots from his race!

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