Back from Vacation…

 Hello there…and if you were wondering where I’d gone…just know that I didn’t fall off the face of the earth…nor did I fall off a cliff, although we were hiking along many during vacation. My husband and I took nearly 2 weeks and flew to Salt Lake City and then traveled through the national parks down there. It was FABULOUS and we loved every minute of it…despite the fact that it wasn’t a “resting” vacation…it was just as wonderful! And, we got more exercise during this time that probably any other time in our lives…we were on the go every day, all day long…and it felt great…even the tired feet and sun-burnt lips (yes, that was me…used chap-stick, just didn’t have spf in it the first couple of days…I quickly learned!!)…all well worth it! If you have never been to any of these parks, we HIGHLY recommend it…they are amazing…actually, visiting any of our national parks is a real treat…we have so much to offer in our own country and really, not that far away…check them out!

Our first stop was Arches National Park…which was wonderful and awe-inspiring! The arches were truly amazing and we loved our time there…well, maybe not all our time there as we were staying in a motel (Days Inn) that was AWFUL…and when I say AWFUL…I  mean it…the good news, no bed bugs, but outside of that, it didn’t have a positive thing about it…and unfortunately, every place in Moab (the town we stayed in) was booked full while we were there…ugh…but we survived and that made each place there after even more enjoyable!!

Above, the Courthouse Towers in the morning sun and below the Landscape Arch late in the afternoon…so much to see there!

Next up was Canyonlands, a smaller and less busy park…it was as beautiful as the first and here we took our longest, toughest hike! We hiked a canyon which sounded pretty easy, but after over 4 hours and 6+ miles…hiking down into and then UP and out and back around…we were exhausted, but sort of surprised that we’d made it and were still standing…and after a few more bottles of water and some food, we were ready to go again! That same day we also visited Dead Horse State Park, which is between Arches and Canyonland…and that is where the Green River merges into the Colorado River…very pretty and we were there for sunset, though not a ton of color…it was still beautiful!

The photo above shows a section of rock (slickrock…that really isn’t slick!) that we actually climbed up…and then down…yikes, what were we thinking?!?

Dead Horse State Park at sunset

From there we headed to Capitol Reef…again, a smaller park and not quite as busy (we liked the “quieter” parks…as the bigger ones had TONS of tourists…and I mean “non” American tourists!! We were truly a minority at the larger parks!). We stayed in a town called Torrey…VERY small and not much there, but the motel was wonderful (another Days Inn) and we had dinner our second night at the most wonderful place, everything was spectacular about it…and as we left, there was a glorious sunset (no camera…or I guess I should say, just the little one!).

Petroglyphs that were carved on the rock cliffs…totally amazing!

Next, we were on to Bryce National Park which has the rock spirals and woodoos…which are incredible…you look down on them and it’s unbelievable that they’ve actually formed these just from nature….truly unbelievable! We also took another good hike here, down into the canyon, so we could get a different perspective on them, looking up…that was a wonderful hike…not as tough as the one from Canyonlands, but still a longer and more strenuous one.

From there we headed West, with some quick stops at Cedar Breaks, Kolob Canyon (north end of Zion NP) and Grafton (a ghost town)…before arriving in Springdale where we spent our last few days and explored Zion National Park. Again…a truly amazing park. It has tall canyon walls and cliffs that are incredible…and we even saw a couple of people climbing one…and evidently, they had been working on it for two days when we saw them…WOW…can’t EVEN imagine that! Zion was the only park where we couldn’t drive to the stops ourselves, they have a wonderful shuttle system that is great and really was a nice way to talk with others visiting the park, either while on the shuttle or waiting for one.

Fabulous fall colors from the Cedar Break area!

From Grafton ghost town, just outside of the entrance to Zion NP

Above, the moon above a cliff in Zion…and below, the Virgin River….looking up the canyon narrows

Back at home…and as with any vacation, there is the usual to catch up on…laundry, mail, house and I have some work that didn’t get done before I left, so have that on my plate as well!  Of course, one of the nicer things about coming home…sleeping in your own bed….ahhhhh, that felt so nice last night…after four different motels in the past two weeks, coming home to ours was a real treat!! Today…my first day back, I had a “Mimi day” which is one of my most favorite of the week…when I watch our granddaughter…she’s truly a blessing in our lives and I’m blessed to be able to have her a couple of days a week. Mind you, I don’t get much work done on those days, but who cares…time with family and those you love is more valuable than any work time…at least in my opinion!

I hope this finds you all doing well…enjoying fall and hopefully, some nice fall weather! I do love the fall, the colors, the crisp cool mornings and the smell of dew in the evenings…and as my husband likes to remind me…it’s time to start cooking some “cold weather” meals…like soups, stews, casseroles, etc…so bring on fall!!

Two Beauties…and their parents {Puyallup Family Photographer}

 A perfect way to start a day… a session with a lovely family. This family met me at my home and we headed to a nearby park as it was dry and not too cold, so we figured we would shoot outside, which proved to be just perfect! The girls, Sarah and Natalie were GREAT…they loved the park and were especially excited about the ducks on the pond! It was wonderful to see their enthusiasm for the outdoors…and neither one of them was afraid of anything (well, maybe the goose…who isn’t so nice!) and I think if given the chance, would have wandered right into the pond to get closer to the ducks! Girls who aren’t afraid to get dirty, who don’t let anything hold them back…that is these two girls…and their parents were relaxed and just enjoyed watching them BE!! It was refreshing to see such a happy family that seemed to just appreciate being outdoors on this beautiful morning…and I appreciated that they were relaxed and trusted in me to capture some moments in a day of their life!

Sweet little Natalie…said to me “Miss Terri, see the ducks!”  It was so cute…

Sarah, is precious…very kind and yet, definitely FULL of life, which is exactly what every four year old should be…she was a delight!!

Daddy and his girls…such a heartwarming moment…nothing is more touching than seeing the connection between a parent and their children!

Natalie definitely is a happy little one…the only time she got a little fussy was when she got hungry and a handful of raisins completely recharged her…at least through the rest of the session!

Isn’t Sarah a beautiful girl…look at those eyelashes…and that smile just lights up her face…she has such a great spirit!

Ahhh…rocks…this was quite entertaining…and I wonder why we buy toys for kids when they absolutely LOVE playing with pebbles and gravel?!

Dad and Mom or otherwise known as Tom and Karen…what a kind and loving couple…they were so much fun during this session, it was a my pleasure to spend some time getting to know them and their girls…what GREAT parents they are!

And, here’s that smile again….can’t get enough of it!

LOVE this shot…mom and dad are so natural when together and these two sweet little girls of theirs are obviously their greatest joys in their lives! 

Tom, Karen, Sarah and Natalie…thank you for a fun morning session…this should hold you over until I have the gallery ready for you to see all the photos from that day…there are lots more that I think you will like!

Beautiful Hailey {Puyallup Children’s Photographer}

I must say that what first comes to my mind when I see this cute little one…Shirley Temple! And I’m guessing most of you think that as well…the curls are so pretty…and those combined with this beautiful little girl…makes her just perfect! Hailey is three and is a typical three year old…curious, busy, full of energy and independent! It was a delight to photograph her and to have her mom (dad is in the military and not home right now), grandparents and her aunt and uncle join her…what a great looking group they all are! The morning wwe met was cloudy and a tad cooler than it had been, but it worked out great and we enjoyed strolling around the pond.  Hailey proved to be quite the explorer, collecting sticks, flowers, grass, rocks and more…I love watching little ones explore their environment! It’s obvious she loves her mom and was happy to have those she loved with her that day…and don’t let that beautiful face fool you…she is strong willed and determined to do things her way…which is a good thing, but I’m guessing she keeps everyone on their toes! It was a delight to photograph her and spend the morning with her family…thank you for asking me to capture a bit of life for your family that day!!

These are so precious… Hailey and her mom, Tara…I’m guessing they will be sent on to dad…along with a few others!

Wow, did this family do a great job with their colors or what…they all look so nice and were a very nice group to photograph!

This smile above, looks a bit mischievous to me…and as you can see below…Hailey was always in the lead, looking for something new to check out!

Such a beautiful little girl…what a blessing she is to her parents!

As I said, she collected many things along our walk…here are just two of her many sticks…and I think they even managed to leave without taking much of it home with them!!

Hailey with her grandparents…Meme and Papa…which I loved hearing because that’s what our granddaughter calls my husband and myself!

A little time for dress-up…she’s just so darn cute and with this tutu and hat…and necklace, what little girl wouldn’t be having a good time!

A bit of dancing…and some quiet moments (there weren’t many!)…round out this posting of sweet little Hailey…for her family, they will get to see more once the gallery is posted on line…stay tuned!

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