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Flannel and Duck Feet

October 5th, 2015

Babies E & T had their newborn session today!  These little guys are so adorable!  Papa and Mama are raising them with a love for the outdoors, crooning to them in Norwegian and plenty of flannel.  After a bit of time in the NICU, these guys are ready to take the world by storm, and I was honored to capture a few moments of this new family together.

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These little duck foot booties were hand made by a friend…cutest thing ever!


Some snuggle time for the boys…

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Such a lovely moment!


T & E, you have the coolest parents!  I can’t wait to watch you grow, and all the adventures you’ll go on!

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Modern Monet Styled Shoot

September 30th, 2015

Now that our Modern Monet styled wedding shoot has been published on a couple wedding blogs, we can share it here!  The moment I met Casey, owner of Belle Noelle Events + Design, I felt that we were wedding kindred spirits.  We immediately started hatching a plot to get to work together and the kismet of the wedding vendors pulled together and the complete awesomeness of the design was nothing short of magical.

Casey chose Modern Monet as the theme, we wanted to incorporate art, bright colors, texture, and geometry.  The Walker Art Center was the perfect venue for the shoot, embracing not only the art gallery side but also the clean lines and modern aesthetic we were looking for.  Our two brides combined artsy (purple hair and tattoos) with classic and Sarah Elizabeth Artistry along with Hair District Uptown combined these looks perfectly.  Paper Thick Ink designed a gorgeous invitation suite utilizing gray vellum envelopes and tying in the geometric shapes in a crisp clean visual.  Local artist Steph Guidera hand painted a custom ketubah with gorgeous personal touches embracing community, something we in Minnesota feel passionate about, especially with LBGT weddings!  Studio C Floral went above and beyond with the floral design, bringing in bright oranges and pinks along with soft greens and flowing artful arrangements.  Belle Noelle collected geometric metallic pieces, candle sticks, and vases, and managed to combine crystal, brass, a hand painted antique table from Furniture Reloved, ghost chairs from Linen Effects, bright colors, geometric shapes, white picture frames, all together in harmony.  I seriously don’t have this talent at ALL and was in awe, watching Christi and Casey play and make things perfect.  Our brides wore a subtle ombre gown and mod cut suit from Flutter Boutique, as well as gorgeous pieces by Karen Morris Millinery, and SBG Designs.  And as a fabulous modern wedding cake alternative, we had donuts!  Delicious gorgeously decorated donuts from Angel Food Bakery!  Here are my favorite images from the shoot, enjoy!


Such a gorgeous combination of textures and colors!


Even when photographing portraits, I paid attention to creating geometric lines to tie in to the table design.

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Just too much pretty…stop it…too much!

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Some artful curlicues.

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Yep, they taste as amazing as they look.  I may or may not have absconded with a few of these bad boys as well as the rose champagne…

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Lets talk hats, ladies, they are the perfect wedding accessory!

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This shoot was such a testament of what can happen when a group of creatives who all respect each other and let each other do their own thing can create absolute magic.  And purple hair is the coolest thing ever.  I hope you love this shoot as much as I do!!!

Posted in: Styled Shoot
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Into the Woods

September 29th, 2015

For today’s family session we started with a city view, but then headed into the woods.  The day was perfect for a portrait session, lovely blue skies and stunning weather.


Ben spotted the bridge and woods from the bridge and asked if we could go down there.  The light was perfect for pictures, and the kids felt like we were on quite the adventure!

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Aren’t they the cutest?!?!?


This is a more realistic portrait of these goof balls…


…and of course we had to get one of mom and dad!


I had a wonderful time today!!!  You guys are amazing, enjoy your sneak peek!


Posted in: Family Sessions
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Let the Fun Begin!

September 28th, 2015

Yesterday, I had a fun family session in Minneapolis.  Since the last time I photographed this family we  were at a picturesque farm, this time we went for something a little more modern.  The boys have gotten so much taller since they last time I saw them, but they sure have kept their crazy energy intact!  They have also kept their love of their parents, too, hugging pictures were not a chore for these sweet guys!

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It was an absolutely idyllic late summer Minnesota morning, and we had a blast!

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I think the boys liked running through the trees, we got some awesome action shots.

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Kristie, thank you for today, it was lovely to get to see you guys again!  Enjoy your sneak peek!

Posted in: Family Sessions
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Alex and Liz

September 26th, 2015

Alex and Liz were married today!

The day started with a very sweet first sight and some formal portraits before the ceremony at Richfield United Methodist Church. Liz looked amazing in her lace gown from The Wedding Shoppe, Alex and his guys all wore custom suits from Indochino, and he rocked the bow tie!  Before putting on her gown, Liz was given a handkerchief that had been carried by the women of her family on their wedding day since the 1920s, what a special piece of heritage!


The bride and her bridesmaids relieve the stress with a few jokes before walking down the aisle.


There were so many sweet moments today!


After the ceremony, we headed to Centennial Lakes for some portraits.  The path got a little tough for those with heels…but we found a solution.


What a good lookin’ group!


Liz and Alex chose a fresh color palette of pinks, grey and navy blue.  Bachman’s did a lovely job with the bouquets, they were so vibrant!


After portraits, it was time to head to the Marriott Southwest for the reception.  Guests enjoyed a beautiful late afternoon out on the patio for cocktail hour, complete with lawn games, and then moved into the ballroom for dinner.  Tear filled speeches, lots of glass clinking, and friends and family that traveled from all over the country to be a part of this day showed how much Alex and Liz are loved.  The party got into full swing after an energetic cake cutting and choreographed first dances.  Bryan from Bellagalla was an amazing DJ and mixed the music so well people didn’t want to leave the dance floor!


The wedding party took a break from dancing for a game of Jenga, which turned into the most ridiculous game…that tower would not fall, they were all way too good at balancing.


Once the couple got back to dancing the wedding party pulled out another piece of entertainment, Liz and Alex masks.  It was hilarious watching them all dance looking like the bride and groom.


Alex and Liz, thank you so much for having us be a part of your day.  Enjoy your sneak peek!




Posted in: Weddings
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Our Vow Renewal

September 20th, 2015

John and I renew our vows every five years.  We decided to do this because we were married so young and agreed at that the commitment meant we would grow together, not apart…the vow renewal was a way for us to come back to those vows and mark how much we’ve done in our lives.  We also wanted to have this ceremony be an example to our children and mark the passage of time with them.  Each time we do this, our vows mean so much more and we get more emotional.  We KNOW what better and worse, richer and certainly poorer, sickness and health truly mean now.  We have examples and stories from our long history of the dedication and perseverance that is needed to keep a marriage healthy and happy.  And the passage of time hits us even more as this time we also said vows to our children and they understood what we were saying.

One of “our songs” is Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer.  I chose this as inspiration for our renewal, especially because the words mean even more to us now.  We wanted it to be just us five, alone on a beach on the north shore…to make it a truly strong memory for our kids.  Emily at Orange Verb made us a map of our adventures so far together, Sarah Elizabeth Artistry gussied up my hair and face (when she asked me if I wanted my freckles to show, John shouted from the other room “LEAVE THE FRECKLES!”), Studio C Floral designed the most gorgeous flowers with a lovely fall color palette …just stunning!  We embraced the Up Nort’ aesthetic with natural textures, soft plaids, and nothing I do is complete without Cocoa and Fig‘s Minnesota pies on a stick!


Kiss me, out of the bearded barley
Nightly, beside the green, green grass
Swing, swing, swing the spinning step
You wear those shoes and i will wear that dress
Oh, kiss me beneath the milky twilight
Lead me out on the moonlit floor
Lift your open hand
Strike up the band and make the fireflies dance
Silver moon’s sparkling, so kiss me
Kiss me down by the broken tree house
Swing me upon its hanging tire
Bring, bring, bring your flowered hat
We’ll take the trail marked on your father’s map
Oh, kiss me beneath the milky twilight
Lead me out on the moonlit floor
Lift your open hand
Strike up the band and make the fireflies dance
Silver moon’s sparkling, so kiss me

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The girls were so excited to not only have flower wreaths but flower fairy wands, too!

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The kids were jazzed to be a part of the day, the girls have always wanted to be “flower girls” and Cooper was the official photographer as we said our vows.

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We started the ceremony by talking about our adventures and putting pins in all the places we’ve been.  Then John and I exchanged vows and a few tears and then snuggled with the kids and told them how much we loved them and how important our family unit is to us.

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Cooper wanted to take a few more picture of us, he did a great job!  Maybe this WILL be a multi generational business!

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We sat on the beach and watched the stars come out.  Lyra snuggled with me while John took pictures of the lighthouse, and Cooper and Ainsley used one of our lights to play near the water.  It was quiet, and peaceful, and pretty much perfect.

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Whether you’ve been married a couple years or decades, I HIGHLY recommend a vow renewal.  It is meaningful and sweet, can be a huge party or a small intimate gathering, what matters is taking the time to tell the people you love that THEY matter!!!

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WinterElla – Luxe Styled Shoot

September 17th, 2015

We love doing styled shoots.  It is a chance to work with excellent vendors and take the time to be truly creative.  So when Bee the Buzz Events approached me to do a Cinderella themed wedding shoot, I naturally jumped at the chance!  We actually photographed this shoot last year, but sat on it so Minnesota Bride Magazine could have exclusivity when they published it in their latest edition, and now we get to talk about it and show off our favorite images!!!!

A winter styled shoot in Minneapolis with a Cinderella theme

A gorgeous luxe gown from Mestads featuring an abundance of texture

The first step to a successful photoshoot is to assemble an amazing group of vendors, and we did just that!!!  Mestads provided the most GORGEOUS blush wedding gown full of texture and bling.  Our model Megan looks simply stunning in it and enjoyed spinning and prancing around even though it was a tad chilly outside!  Brett Dorrian Artistry Studios gave Megan a clean fresh look with a modern sleek updo.  Our Prince Charming wore his own suit  but we added one of my favorite accessories, a wood pocket square from Martin Patrick 3Knit N’ Jules provided a soft as a cloud hand knit wrap for our bride to wear and keep warm.  Zinnia Design Floral knocked our socks off with a gorgeous design incorporating touchable textures, soft colors, and lots of volume.  Her bouquet featuring eucalyptus was free flowing and stunning.  She brought her own vintage silver pieces and created the feel of a European garden in the Cowels Conservatory, it was fantastic to see in the middle of winter!  Spark Letterpress designed their lovely invitation suite to tie in all of the elements of the shoot with a perfect elegant bow.  Rudy’s Event Rentals had just introduced their gilded farm tables, which was a perfect fit for this shoot, and we paired the table with lucite chiavari chairs with fur seat covers.  A blue cake with little chocolate mice (our most literal homage to Cinderella) was created by Amy’s Cupcake Shoppe.  The perfect end to this day was heading out to Maple Hill Stables to put our Cinderella on a horse.  The crew there were amazing to work with and Odd Job Bob (the darling horse Megan rode) was a true pro.

So without further ado, I give you, WinterElla.

A winter styled shoot in Minneapolis with a Cinderella theme

Cinderella and her Prince Charming…and a stunning bouquet

I have been dying to do a shoot inside the Cowels Conservatory, this shoot was the perfect fit for the sculpted design of the space.

A winter styled shoot in Minneapolis with a Cinderella theme

A gorgeous garden table

A winter styled shoot in Minneapolis with a Cinderella theme

True elegance

We took elements from fairy tales and castles (old silver, fur, wood, calligraphy, candles, herbs, ballgowns) and paired it with a modern twist (lucite, structured lines, unique botanicals, texture combinations) to give this shoot a unique look.  With such established pros working on this shoot, the elements combined perfectly!

A winter styled shoot in Minneapolis with a Cinderella theme

Zinnia Design Florals plays with texture, staying within a muted palette

A winter styled shoot in Minneapolis with a Cinderella theme

Spark Letterpress’s lovely design full of style

A winter styled shoot in Minneapolis with a Cinderella theme

wood, fabric, muted blues, silver, metal patina all combined perfectly

A winter styled shoot in Minneapolis with a Cinderella theme

no winter shoot is complete without gourmet hot chocolate and little mice add a touch a whimsey

A winter styled shoot in Minneapolis with a Cinderella theme

the handsome groom

A winter styled shoot in Minneapolis with a Cinderella theme

the stunning bride

A winter styled shoot in Minneapolis with a Cinderella theme

I couldn’t get enough of this gown!

A winter styled shoot in Minneapolis with a Cinderella theme

Prince Charming escorts Cinderella on their trusty steed

A winter styled shoot in Minneapolis with a Cinderella theme

Cozy winter accessories

A winter styled shoot in Minneapolis with a Cinderella theme

A photographer’s dream! 

I hope you enjoyed viewing this shoot as much as I loved shooting it!!!

Posted in: Styled Shoot
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Beth and Chris

September 12th, 2015

Beth and Chris were married today!

When we got a shot list that says “antics, assorted” and found out our couple was having a Minnesota themed wedding, we knew we were in for fun.  When we got to the venue and saw a picture of Prince on the decor, we knew this wedding would be LEGIT.  And man, it sure was!

Beth and Chris are fun.  And they surround themselves with fun loving people.  So what else could we expect but a limo full of people singing Journey at the top of their lungs, or a group photobomb during portraits, or a garter toss that ended in a dog pile.  The day started with getting ready at the Millennium Hotel, with lots of happy tears and a sweet first sight.

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We headed into the limo and out into Minneapolis for portraits.  These two are amazing together.  Their laughter was absolutely contagious.


Now THAT is a sexy wedding party!

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The ceremony took place in the Historic Wesley Center.  This church is stunning!

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Sweet Peas Floral did a lovely job with this navy and hot pink color scheme!


After the ceremony, we snuck away with the bride and groom for a few more images.


Beth OWNS this town.

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Though a die hard Packers fan, Chris is a Minnesota convert in every other way.  He and Beth wanted to show off their state pride to all their out of town guests so Minnesota was featured proudly in the decor.


Their guest book was a giant jenga game!


Sweet and funny speeches plus a kissing game kept things lively during dinner.  Which, by the way, made our top five list of wedding dinners.  The Millennium certainly know what they’re doing in the kitchen!


DJ Diamond MC Entertainment had a packed dance floor and mixed all the guests favorites all night!  Thriller to MMMM Bop to Roll Out the Barrel, this dance was such a hoot!  We loved every moment watching this crowd dance!

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Chris and Beth, thank you SO MUCH for having us be a part of your day!  We loved every minute!  Enjoy your sneak peek!

Posted in: Weddings
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Bridget and Samantha

August 22nd, 2015

Bridget and Samantha were married today!

Samantha grew up sailing, and chose a beautiful little island in Lake Minnetonka for the wedding venue.  However, good ole Minnesota decided to change those plans with threats of severe thunderstorms.  Sam and Bridget along with all their fabulous vendors took the weather in stride and moved the location to Pique Travel‘s event space in Excelsior.  The team of Event Lab and the owners of The 110 North Loop Loft made this new venue look like it was always meant to be the location!  As the pastor put it, “we couldn’t get you all to the yacht club, so we brought the yacht club to you!”  And it looked amazing, draped with nautical bunting and styled in navy blue and crisp white.


I absolutely love when couples get ready together, there is something so sweet and tender about those moments.


Samantha knows the weather well, having a sailor’s intuition.  She told us we had only a little while before the rain came, and we took her seriously!  We also took advantage of the rustic outbuildings near Pique.  Our job was easy for us since the brides were just glowing!

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The wedding party looked pretty fancy, let me tell you.  They handled this serious pose like a boss.


and there is nothing cuter than catching the flower girl twirling away!

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The thunder got louder and Sam said we had only a few minutes more before the sky opened up, so we headed back to the venue and the brides raced the rain back inside…they JUST made it!

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Guests gathered, got their champagne, and settled into the cozy space for the touching ceremony.  It was emotional, sweet, and very personal.  The brides’ vows were beautiful, and one of their readings was “I Like You” one of our favorites.

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During the cocktail hour and reception, guests hopped outside for games in between bouts of rain and enjoyed amazing food by Lunds and Byerlys.  Nautical flags were used as a seating chart and guests signed a life preserver as the guest book.  Model sailboats showed the table numbers, and luxurious navy blue linens gussied up the tables.

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After dinner, the ladies had their first dance, and then Instant Request started the party right…playing Whitney’s Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”.  Which, in this photographer’s humble opinion, is how EVERY dance should start.  The dance floor was jumping, and it was tough for John and I to keep up with all the antics.  Though I think the world stood still when Sam’s cousin channeled her inner Tina Turner and danced “Rollin’ on the River” to perfection.

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Bridget and Samantha, it was an honor to be a part of your wedding day!  I hope you love your sneak peek!

Posted in: Weddings
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Driving the Alcan

August 19th, 2015

Our family loves road trips, and decided to do the road trip to end all road trips, the Alcan Highway!

So this trip is Minnesota to Anchorage, Alaska.  3223 miles.  Four CDs of music from the 60s to today from showtunes to bluegrass to pop.  Three kids.  One van.  Camping half of the time to save money.  Trying very hard to not watch any movies or have screen time of any kind.  Trying very hard to make history come alive and let our kids see the world with an empathetic eye towards the first nations peoples as well as the pioneer spirit.  Showing them first hand how our earth is changing and how we have to take care of it.  Being a family, enjoying each other, spending 24/7 together, giving ourselves time to do nothing but just BE. 

We couldn’t take off too many weekends during wedding season, and didn’t want to spend our whole time just driving, so we opted to give all our time to the trip up, then sold our van (which was still in good shape but getting older) and flew home.  And just because it was pretty tough for me to organize this trip in doable drive times evenly paced each day…I’m listing our drives for future families that may want to do the same thing.

Day 1 – Minneapolis to Glendive, MT (our longest drive was first to get it out of the way)
Day 2 – Glendive, MT to Medicine Hat, Alberta
Day 3 – Medicine Hat to Banff (I have ALWAYS wanted to go to Banff, so this was where we stayed a few days)
Day 4 through Day 6 – Explore Banff, Lake Louise, John got to assist a wedding with Two Mann Studios, lots of camping and adventure
Day 7 – Banff to Grande Prairie
Day 8 – Grande Prairie to Fort Nelson, British Columbia
Day 9 – Fort Nelson to Watson Lake, Yukon
Day 10 – Watson Lake to Whitehorse
Day 11 – Whitehorse to Tok, Alaska
Day 12 – Tok to Anchorage
Day 13 through Day 17 – Kat shot a wedding and a family session, lots of cousin adventures, hiking a trip to Homer, and soaking in Alaska’s gorgeousness

Yep, a lot of driving, a very busy trip, but so much fun.  With 7 or 6 hour drives a day it was manageable for sure, but it does wear on you after a while.  If we were to do this again, I think we’d find one or two times in Canada where we would have stayed a couple days just to have time not in a car.  But overall, we had a blast.

Though we’re photographers, we don’t take a ton of pictures when we are on vacation since that is family time.  But we did take some images that you’ll find below!  Enjoy!

The Dakotas get are given a hard time for being flat and boring, but northern Montana and the plains of Canada are FLAT.  Like, see for miles while not seeing another person at all flat.  There is a beauty in that starkness, but I was also glad we could drive 80mph to get through it.  We definitely got our fill of wide open spaces!

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We take a lot of pictures of clouds.  We love weather!  And our drive had a lot of it, sometimes we knew we were driving through the mountains but just couldn’t see them.


I love black and white landscapes, especially when the subjects have a lot of tonal variety.  This image is of dead trees at Sulphur Lake.


The Canadian Rockies are gorgeous, just go there someday, totally worth it!

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Cooper directed this image of him, he was so proud he got up on the building!  This was at an abandoned coal mine near Banff.  In Canada, their parks and historic sites are very kid friendly, they leave artifacts right in the ground and it is fine to climb all over them.  Very different from our American experiences.


I love this one of Lyra.


Since I’m not a morning person, John took an early morning to himself and hiked around Lake Louise, he got some lovely images.


And then there is Lake Louise, my mecca.  It is MAGICAL.  Seriously.  Go there.  Do it.  Visit.  It is the most lovely place and pictures do not do it justice.

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Maxfield Parrish is one of my favorite painters.  His work is how I first fell in love with Banff and Lake Louise, so we had to recreate his painting “Daybreak” with the girls.  We got there nice and early so the waters were still, and they were such troopers doing this!  John shot for just about 5 minutes, that is all it took.  Not bad!  Especially considering we had slept in the van the night before as the temps dropped really low and we were freezing!  Promises of hot chocolate helped.  I love Ainsley’s pointed toe, and the reflection on the water is just perfect!


So now I’ll divert a bit to the travel blog side of this post…this is what a lot of the Alcan looks like…


…quite a bit of this…


…but you also get to see some fantastic animals, close up!  We saw ground squirrels, pikas, mountain sheep, wood bison, moose, black bears, eagles, ravens, and we think a porcupine.  Wildlife is everywhere!

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We really loved the Yukon.  The Goldrush is a fascinating part of our history, as is the Alcan itself.  Where America built a highway in another country without their permission, then said “my bad, here you go!” and gave it to Canada.  Canada actually got quite a bargain in that deal, especially with all the tourism that now happens in the summer.  Below is an image of the Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake.  It started out small, but now people from all over the world (including us!) nail their city signs or license plate or basically anything on these posts, wandering through here was so interesting!

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This image is from the Sourdough Campground in Tok.  The owners are awesome and every evening they have a pancake toss.  If you get a sourdough pancake into the bucket, you win a free breakfast!


ALASKA!  YOU ARE GORGEOUS!  Every turn of the highway brings new stunning vistas!  And we know we barely scratched the surface in what there is to see.


The kids were getting squirrely, so John had them run around in a field, they paused to check out the ocean and mountains, and I got this image.  I love it so much.  This was on the drive to Homer.  Homer quickly became my happy place.


This is not photoshopped, these are the real colors from a Homer sunset at about 1030pm.


We were at the beach for low tide and got to see jellyfish, shells, birds, and play in the Pacific Ocean!  John and I have now been in this ocean as far north as Alaska and as far south as Nicaragua!  The kids LOVED playing in the surprisingly not freezing water and had a good hour of just exploring.  There aren’t many pictures of Cooper because he was chest deep in the water most of the time and running around like a puppy.

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Some of the most wild and beautiful places on earth.  We were so fortunate to be able to give this experience to our kids!  Cooper is already talking about working for a summer in Homer when he is a teenager and the girls want to work at the horse ranch in Banff when they graduate high school.  We love all the things we saw, the time we took to spend together, and the people we met and visited.  It wasn’t all perfection, and living through the crazy experiences were part of the beauty of the trip as well.  Road trips are amazing!  I hope you enjoyed our images!