Besides God, family is more important to me than ANYTHING else.

Including this wonderful business that I love so much! I feel like I dropped off the face of the planet in some ways this fall - in both my business, in some ways, and with my family, in others. I was SO BUSY - a HUGE blessing for my first year in official business! So I felt like I wasn't around my family enough. But, I also began "dropping the ball" so to speak, with certain aspects of my business, like blogging (so here I am :) ). Despite feeling stretched thin in some ways, throughout the latter half of the year when I had SO many sessions, I made a greater effort to make memories with my family. I thought it would be fun to share some of these sweet memories with all of you!

One adventure we had this summer was meeting "Ziggy", an Abert Squirrel adopted by some family friends as a baby when he was orphaned. He is still a wild squirrel, but will come hang out on our friends' porch and get some snacks and pets. :) My daughter had such a wonderful time watching him and trying to get close to him, and by the end of our time together she finally got to pet him a little bit!

As fall set in, we couldn't help heading up to the mountains for a hike! This was a weekday while daddy was at work, so it was just a girls' hike. The views were stunning on this warm fall day, and my 2.5 year old did pretty well on what ended up being a 4 mile round trip hike. She did hitch a ride in the hiking backpack for about half the time though, ha! The life of luxury. We also saw our first MOOSE! I've lived in Colorado for 22 years, and never saw a more in the wild until this year!

We are frequent visitors to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, being members, and have had extra incentive this year with seemingly endless baby animals to see, including the zoo's newest hippo, Baby Omo! I had my camera along for this visit so I could capture these special moments we enjoy so much. Eden loves visiting the Gorillas. On this particular visit she had the rare opportunity to help a keeper feed and water some small reptiles, what a treat! We love the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo!

This fall vacation was much needed and a special treat! We spent time in Cripple Creek and Victor, went hiking along Kebler Pass, and spent a few days in the Ouray area enjoying the stunning San Juan mountains. This much needed week away gave us some gorgeous fall photos (including the main photo of this post, above!) and even better, precious memories and sweet, sweet rest. Eden once again proved her hiking mettle and enjoyed climbing and playing in the woods and on the rocks.

Next up was the Halloween season and all the fun of fall! I don't have photos to share of everything we did but we enjoyed pumpkin farms and other seasonal activities before the main event on Halloween night! Eden was a cow this year - her own choice from the options available at Once Upon A Child. :) She had a blast trick-or-treating despite a cold ice storm that moved in while we were out!

Come Thanksgiving time we enjoyed our usual family festivities with my in-laws, and then spent time with my parents, who live in Hawaii but were visiting the mainland to see friends and family for a couple of weeks! Eden hadn't seen her grandparents in almost a year other than on Zoom and she had a blast getting to know them some more.

December was filled with all things Christmas! We decorated the tree and the house. We put up Christmas lights. We helped decorate my in-law's tree. We made Christmas cookies. We shopped for gifts. We visited Santa Claus at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (Eden asked for a box!). My husband and I attended his annual work holiday dinner (it's fun to dress up nice once in a while!). We visited Santa Cow at Chick Fil A - Eden danced with him! We went to Forest Bend Farms for the first time and had a blast beneath all of the twinkling lights.

And finally, on Christmas morning, after a few days of tediously wrapping, we opened gifts first together as our family of three, then over at my in-laws with the whole family - an annual tradition we absolutely love! It's a full day of taking turns unwrapping gifts, one at a time, with breaks for food, beverage, and sanity, especially with excited kiddos. :) We did a fun activity this year where we randomly drew names, and each person chose a funny t-shirt for the person whose name they drew. Cool idea!

I hope you all have had a wonderful 2021 and a fabulous start to your 2022! Get in touch and tell me about all of your adventures!