Hello World

No one ever mentioned it… In the whole nine months it took to create this beautiful little human, not one person said, “You’re about to meet someone entirely new, and it’s not going to be your baby, it’s going to be you.”

Brian & I left the hospital a few days after Rost entered the world. We were both grateful to see my parents – both retired – waiting for us in our kitchen when we walked in from the garage. My mom is a retired pediatric nurse, so her presence was greatly appreciated because no amount of hours preparing for Rost’s arrival would come close to what we needed to get through our first week as a family of 3. We’ve survived week one thanks to the assistance of those who have traveled this path before us, so without further ado, please allow me to overflow your eyes with pictures of Rost from his first week on planet earth.

Zoo Morning

I’ve found mornings at the zoo to be quite a pleasant way to spend a quiet morning lost in my own thoughts. Hopefully, some more exciting adventures will begin again in 2022, but for now, I’m finding little ways to enjoy my downtime.

D6

Sometime around 2015, I won an auction on eBay for a used camera. This particular camera was a Nikon D4 from the set of Joel Sartore’s Photo Ark. Up until this point I had only periodically played with full manual settings. Reminiscent of when I bought Mi Baja there’s no better way to learn a new skill than to jump in feet first. My D4 and I have had countless adventures over the years traveling not only numerous states but countries as well.

Recently my most reliant travel companion has been acting up a bit. A trip to Nikon for cleaning did not address the main issue. Before I could even get her back to Nikon for a diagnosis Brian surprised me with Nikon’s newest camera, the D6.

*insert lots and lots of happy tears here*

The following photos are from D6’s maiden voyage. I reserved a ticket to the Albuquerque Biopark’s Garden and spent the morning enjoying the sights and my new toy.

Goodbye 2020

2020 was an interesting year, to say the least. While it wasn’t the worst year in the history of ever it most certainly won’t rank as one of the top ten. Here’s a little collage of the end of the year. Goodbye, 2020. I’m really looking to you for some new adventures 2021.

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

Established in 1939 to provide a critical layover for migrating waterfowl, the Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is just a hop, skip, and jump south of Albuquerque. Over the winter this outdoor haven is known as home to TENS of thousands of ducks, geese, and cranes. I’d heard whispers of this magical place but had yet to explore it myself until tonight. Hoping the holidays would keep a bit of the crowd at bay, I took off for a quick road trip tonight. The place did not disappoint. I cannot wait for my dad’s next trip to NM to show him this bird watcher’s dream come true.

ABQ BioPark

I’ve scrubbed the tile in my house three times since Quarantine began. The zoo has opened for a limited number of visitors by advanced ticket sales. Having not yet visited yet, I took this as an opportunity to get out of the house w/out heading too far away from home. While I felt comfortable being out under their guidelines, I look forward to visiting again once Quarantine is finally over.

Headshots

My neighbor, a wonderfully talented therapist, needed some headshots for a professional website. I hadn’t gotten my camera out in a bit, nor have I been out on the town in months, so I happily agreed to head to a few locations and take a shot at some headshots with her.

Little did my neighbor know my excitement about getting behind a camera, so I immediately searched for Albuquerque’s sunset (6:27 MST), hopped in my truck & headed to scout out a few locations to score the perfect photo. I wanted to share a few of my favorites here with you.

Thank you for being vulnerable with me.

Marlina McCall

And since we’re being vulnerable, can we just talk for a minute? As long as I’ve been behind a camera I’ve had two dreams. One, is a photography series entitled Behind the Lens, where I am able to travel with a well known photographer & capture the moment they capture The picture. You know, the one that captures us all. Whether it’s the Tom Mangelsen’s Catch of the Day, any number of Chris Burkard’s wild surfing shots, or a part of Joel Sartore’s Photo Ark (my D4 was bought second hand from this dude. Seriously, give him & his work a follow. Actually, give any or all of these photogs a follow. You will not be disappointed.) There’s so much more that goes into getting that so called perfect shot that you don’t witness. So much more to that story I’d love to be able to tell. That dream is for another time… My second dream however, is a photo series of the amazingly strong women in my life who have played such an integral part of who I am today as a woman. Up until this shoot, I didn’t think I had the skillset to pull off the images of Barb, June, Karen, Virginia, Lydia, Mallory, Debbie, Pam, Kristen, Michele, Becky, Karina, Beth, Roni, Paula, Cally, Amber, Leslie, Kayla, Lola, Sam, Kristin, Jenette, Heather & so many other women that have meant so, so much to me during my life. After completing this project, I know I have the skillset required to pull off the series I have envisioned in my head all these years. Fair warning ladies, me & my camera are coming for you. xoxo.

Twins

Not sure how time’s flown by so quickly, but today we’re celebrating Yago & Beerus’ first Gotcha Day. We had only been looking for a new cat. While Brian was at The Academy, I had been living out of a suitcase primarily at my Seesters house. Bucket really seemed to enjoy having another cat around, so we began searching for a new feline companion once we’d bought a house.

Somehow this quest for a new feline companion turned into the adoption of this giant lug:

And this mouser on the exact same day (from different shelters).

It’s been an interesting year in a new home with the addition of these big personalities, but I couldn’t be happier about our growing family. Kratos is still not entirely sure about this new living situation tho. He thought surely Yago would have gone home by now.

Bike MS

One day at work, my coworker casually mentioned that she was considering starting a team for Bike MS. She’d recently begun biking more frequently and, as a person diagnosed with MS, thought this would be a great way to push herself and stay active at the same time. Having lost an aunt to MS, I immediately jumped on board. By the end of the day we had a registered team as well as a fundraising goal.

Now to the fun! I’ve started riding regularly – finding many nearby trails I didn’t know existed so close to my house.

My brother got on board and sold me his road bike he was no longer using. My prior road bike, which I let go of just before leaving Alaska, was named SpaceBat, after the creature discovered clinging to the external fuel tank of the Discovery. Everyone, say hello to Tremor, aptly named after the blue and pink stowaway on SpaceX’s flight to the ISS.

Once Tremor arrived I figured out how to work clip-ins without killing myself. Yay!

Since then I’ve spent most of my free time racking up miles on the pavement – still discovering new parade trails around Albuquerque. I’ve even begun biking to the office every Friday – a 13 mile trip one way – to squeeze in as many miles as I could in a day.

Sadly, the event itself was cancelled due to Covid-19, but I wanted to take the time to thank all my friends and family who pitched in to help me make my fundraising goal. Ya’ll kickcuss.

If you’d like to participate in a Bike MS near you, learn more about MS, or donate to a good cause, be sure to visit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society‘s website. I urge you, before donating to ANY orgnanization or cause to do your research first. You work hard for your money and should know what it’s actually going towards when you donate.