Weekend in Review - Idaho Edition

My weekend started bright and early Friday morning by hitting the road and heading East!


I enjoyed lots of singing and chatting with this handsome guy...


Along with lots of coffee...


Photo opportunities...


And hand holding.


We made it to Idaho where we spent lots of times with this crazy bunch...
(aka, my awesome family)


We also enjoyed more coffee, catching up with a few of my good friends, snuck in a couple client photoshoots and may have enjoyed a beer or two.


We also caught a few gorgeous desert sunsets...


One of the main reasons for visiting Idaho this time was to pick up my bed from my little brother's house (where he was so graciously hosting it as a guest room for the past year).  I've been sleeping on a twin mattress for some time now, and my back just couldn't take it anymore.  So we brought it to Portland with us and I'm so happy it's back in my life!

I braved this place yesterday with the holiday crowd...


And it was totally worth it!  I couldn't be happier with the way my room came together.


How was YOUR weekend?  Do anything exciting?


Happy Valentines' Day!

Adorable printable from the adorable Jenni Bost at A Well Crafted Party

I hope you all enjoy a day filled with love! 
How are you planning to celebrate the holiday?


11 Questions | A Little About Me

So confession... I have a new blog obsession.  Have you visited The Paper Mama yet?
You should.

Anyway, she posted an entry today with 11 questions for her readers, and I decided to play along!  I'll answer the 11 questions she listed and then list 11 of my own for you to answer if you'd like to play along...which I hope you will do!

So we'll start with a recent picture of me... being silly before a Girls Night Valentine's Party this past Saturday.  I'm in love with my new lip stain and nail polish and thought it warranted a silly picture.


And now on to the questions!

1. If you HAD to change your name, what would you change it to?

Hmm, that's a good question!  I've never been very fond of my name.  Growing up it always stood out as different and NOBODY spelled (or pronounced) it correctly.  I always thought it would be fun to be a Samantha, then I'd have people call me Sam.  I always liked the name Katie too...
2. Are you a collector of anything?

I used to collect seashells, baseball cards, books and bookmarks when I was a kid.  I was OBSESSED with my collections and it was very cathartic to unload them a few years ago after I found them in storage.  I do not collect anything currently and like it that way. 

3. What is your first thought when you wake up?

I don't know that I have any thoughts before I get coffee in me... 

4. Do you prefer sweet or salty foods?

Depends on the moment really.  My favorite treat is Pretzel M&Ms because they are both salty AND sweet! 

5. Name one thing you miss about being a kid.

Climbing trees.  I was a really good tree climber. 

6. Are you a morning or night person?

Once I'm out of bed and awake I'm a morning person.  I like to be productive in the wee hours.  However, getting out of bed in the first place is a whole other story.  So if it's based on those first moments, I'm a night person.  Definitely a night person. 

7. List 5 items on your current to-do list:

- Update my budget (this one keeps getting pushed back... argh!)
- Get my registration and license updated to Oregon (not ready for this expense just yet)
- Pack for this weekend's trip to Boise
- Take clothes and shoes to Goodwill
- Returns to Target  

8. Share one thing that people may not know about you.

When I was a kid I refused to wear dresses and be girly.  Now I look forward to the opportunity to dress up and have my nails done.  I still wouldn't consider myself super girly, but I've come leaps and bounds since childhood.

9. What is your all time favorite song, movie, and book?

Seriously?!  Just one?!  Ok, I'll try...

Song: Your Song by Elton John
Movie: Bridget Jones' Diary
Book:  Peter Pan

10. Do you have any hidden talents?

I'm really good with a yo-yo and pretty decent with a Frisbee.

11. Are you a really clean or super messy person?

I'm a clean person for the most part, but it comes in spurts.  My apartment and car have to get really disorganized and messy over time and then I'll spend an entire day cleaning and organizing and keep it that way for a week or so.  
Wait, does that make me messy?

Now it's YOUR turn!

Here's 11 questions for you to answer....
  1. What is your middle name?  Is it random, or a family name?
  2. What is your favorite memory from childhood?
  3. If you had to eat the same 3 meals everyday for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
  4. What has been your proudest accomplishment?
  5. What are you most looking forward to in the year 2013?
  6. If you won the lottery, who is the first person you would call or text?
  7. What is your favorite color, and do you have many items that you own in that color?
  8. What is you favorite social media site?
  9. If you had the opportunity to speak with your favorite celebrity, what would you tell them?
  10. What is your favorite book/movie/song of all time?
  11. If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would you choose?
If you choose to play along, please leave your link in the comments below!  I'd love to learn more about you!!


Me | The Paper Mama's Self Portrait Challenge

The Paper Mama is having a self portrait contest where a participant will win an Instax mini 8 camera!  I love challenges and thought I'd play along!  This contest isn't based on photo quality, it's completely random, so I decided to post a picture of me from Saturday night that I snapped after getting ready for an all-girls Valentines party (recap post to come!).

So here I am, plus 10 random facts about me...


  1. I am 30 years old, but most days I feel 16.
  2. I don't have any kids, but I've nannied, babysat and worked with youth organizations since I was 12... so in my heart I've had many children and love them all as my own.
  3. My niece is the number 1 person on this planet that I would do anything for.  There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about and pray for her.  I can't wait to see her turn this world on its edge as she accomplishes many a great thing.
  4. I have completed a full marathon, a few halves, a century bike ride, hiked the Grand Canyon and want to train for a triathlon next.
  5. I had no idea how easy it was to love until I let my guard down.  It is the scariest thing in the world, and completely worth it.
  6. I could go the rest of my life without ever having another beer, cocktail or glass of wine, but take away my coffee and I just might kill you.
  7. Although not the most attractive ensemble in the world, I could wear yoga pants and a hoodie every day.  Most comfortable outfit ever.
  8. I was born in Southern Washington and raised on a chicken farm until the age of 12.  My family then moved to Idaho where we owned a dairy heifer ranch.  My family still lives in Idaho, but I moved back to Portland this past summer.  I miss them very much, but for many reasons, it was the best leap of faith I have ever taken.
  9. Having been raised a farm kid, I know the meaning of hard work, and do not take it for granted.
  10. I am a photographer and am blessed to see light and shadow and love everywhere.

Want to play along?  Head on over to the Paper Mama and link up!


One Amazing Kid and the Leader He is Becoming | Adventures in Nannyland

I'm a proud nanny these days.

The boy I work with (lovingly referred to as "The Kid" online for his protection) is becoming quite the empathetic and loving soul.  I quickly recognized him as both when I started working with him last summer, and with gentle reinforcement and praise he's showing it proudly more often.  Let me explain with a conversation I shared with the Facebook world last night...


The Kid: some of my friends were really rude today to a girl in my class.
Me: oh? What happened?
The Kid: well she likes a boy but he doesn't like her, so he made up a girlfriend to make her feel bad, then told everyone in class about it and laughed behind her back.
Me: did you laugh?
The Kid: no. I told him he was being a jerk and the best thing he could do was just be honest with her. Then I told her what he was doing and suggested she not like him anymore.
Me: I'm proud of you kid. Sounds like you handled the situation perfectly. That shows good character.
The Kid: yeah, being a good person is the right thing to do.
We discussed it further over dinner, and he chose to text the boy (who happens to be one of his closest friends) and suggested he apologize to the girl.  This was his own idea and he was nervous about the outcome and possible backlash from his friend.  Not five minutes later a reply came through that simply read, "You're right, I'll apologize tomorrow."

I'm so very proud of how The Kid chose to handle this situation.  I smiled at him and asked if he realized what a great leader he is.  He shook his head and said that didn't matter and he wasn't doing it to be a leader, he just doesn't think it's right for someone to be the butt of a joke.
I smiled and said, "and that's why you are a great leader."


Currently I Am...

ENJOYING time with good friends, and enjoying the fruits of their labors.


PLANNING a trip to Boise that includes photo shoots, picking up some of my furniture, and introducing my family and friends to a good friend of mine.

SPENDING lots of time with cute kiddos.


LEARNING to let go.  It's tougher than I expected.

REMEMBERING that life is pretty damn amazing.



January 2013 in an Instagram


Coffee chats and new favorite shops
New phone and Siri fun
Trip to the coast and found The Goonies
Lots of gym time with gorgeous views
Puppy fever
Word nerd love
Random hearts everywhere
Lost 5 lbs!

January was a great month with lots of exciting discoveries and new adventures embarked upon.  It was a month of firsts, and even a month of a couple lasts.  It was a great way to start off the year, and I look forward to what the rest of 2013 has in store to teach me.

How was YOUR January?  
Did you post a recap?  Share the link in the comments so I can read all about it!