July + August — PNW Summer // Behind the Scenes

July + August — PNW Summer // Behind the Scenes

I feel like this summer just flew past us. Maybe it’s because we skipped fall and with the snow (snow!) last weekend, I feel like I should be getting ready for Christmas instead of Halloween. Ahhh! July and August were good. July was super super busy, and I helped organize a huge event for my neighborhood. August I took some time off and was able to catch up on a few personal things and really breathe. It was nice. I need to do that every summer.

1.  We hopped over to Montana/Idaho and rode the Hiawatha Trail with my family. We’ve been doing this off and on for over a decade (H and I rode it for the first time in 2008!), and it’s crazy how popular and busy it has gotten.

2. Running running running. I can’t even tell you where I took this photo, because all I did all month in July was dash from an event to a meeting to my office and back again. It was bonkers, I was beat, and yet, I loved every minute of the work I did.

3 & 4: These sweet garden photos make me so sad, especially since our garden got killed by the snow and frost we’ve had this week. My little garden helper is pretty bummed that we’re not picking tomatoes every day now.

5. This good boy. Some days this dog drives me crazy, especially when his fur is all over our house, but most days, I’m so thankful we have a dog. I love having him next to me in my office all day while I work, and I love when we get to take walks together.

6. I had to swing up to the north side to run some errands, and while I was there, I went to World Market. Y’all, if you are an expat, or have lived overseas, you know the dangers of World Market. I loaded up my basket with way too many goodies from places I miss. Even with trips to Germany every 6-12 months, we still can’t bring back enough of the things we miss. So stocking up in between is the most bittersweet thing.

7. In July, I helped put together the South Perry Street Fair. It was one of the hardest, craziest, most amazing things I’ve ever done. And it was exhausting, but so great to see something we’d planned for months come to life.

8. Sometimes I photograph events that have petting zoos. And I take photos of them to send to my daughter who is pretty into Llama, llama, red pajama. She was pretty thrilled.

9. What’s more fun than stealing mom’s garden hat? Stealing mom’s garden hat and asking her to take photos to send to grandma.

10. Little miss decided that Shadow was a her baby and needed a blanket in order to take a nap. I was so surprised at how well he took it. He gave me the saddest face every, and yet, he just laid there and let her put blankets on her until she got distracted and then he ran away.

11 & 12. We traveled all the way over to the Olympic peninsula for my brother in law’s wedding, which I was a guest at (yayay!) and the other two were in. Little miss had a hard time understanding that the ferry was a boat, and that the car could go on the boat. Then she loved it, and sobbed when we had to get off. Plus, the views of downtown from the Bainbridge ferry are my favorite.

13 & 14. We have been looking into an electric cargo bike to lower our carbon footprint and reduce our car dependency (and get outside more). We test rode a couple bikes at G&O Family Cyclery in Seattle in August and loved it. Dreaming of the day we can get one!

15&16. We stopped in Leavenworth for a bit of family time on our way back from the wedding and enjoyed this short hike. N has reached a point where she can hike part or all of a short hike on her own, and then goes up in the backpack when she gets tired. She loved it!

17. I did some solo blueberry picking at Greenbluff this summer, in order to maybe get some of the blueberries that we go through each year. This might hold us for a couple months? We go through a lot of berries!

18. The garden was very good this year. There were days when I was picking 15+ pounds of produce from our garden, and we couldn’t keep up. Luckily, our daycare teachers and H’s coworkers were happy to take the extras.

20. Another day, another produce haul.

21. This summer, we tried to bike to school once a week. Sometimes I had meeting right after drop off, and we couldn’t do it, but we had so much fun. Can’t wait to get the ebike!

22. My office and the guestroom had the least functional closet ever, and to fix that, I ripped out the old system and we installed a new one. Now it’s no longer a black hole!

23. Summer rainstorms are great for finding puddles! N insisted on wearing her snow boots instead of her rain boots, and under her rain suit, she was wearing shorts and a tanktop! What a silly kid!!

And that was a look at July and August! Still trying to catch up on all the rest of my blogging too. I’ll get there eventually.

May + June – Springtime Adventures in Spokane // Life Behind the Scenes

May + June – Springtime Adventures in Spokane // Life Behind the Scenes

It’s been a while, yeah? I’m at a point where I’m not sure if I’ll ever catch up on blogging, and whether this whole blog thing is even worth it? I know I like blogs more than social media, but everything is on IG and FB now. Some of these photos were there too, but I love being able to look back at these posts as journal entries, so I’m blogging them. For me, if not for the rest of you.

Slightly related: I’ve been thinking of just turning off the comments on my blog, since the only ones I get are spam comments? Do people care?

May & June 2019
1. Spring came late this year, and we were able to catch this tree in our neighborhood still blooming in early May. I didn’t get any good photos of my lilac this year.

2. Little miss is a huge fan of the hammock, and when the sun started coming out this spring, she would insist on hanging out in it, even when it was cold enough to be wearing scarves and hats still. She would rather be outside than inside 95% of the time.

Behind the scenes with Emily Wenzel Photography in May and June

3. This spring, I had the genius idea that we were going to redo our veggie garden and swore to my husband that it would only take a couple weeks. It took nearly two months, because it wouldn’t stop raining long enough for us to do the work. Our grass got neglected as a result and Shadow took to hiding and pouncing like a lion.

4. Progress! All the grass removed and we had the ground tamped down and level.

Behind the scenes with Emily Wenzel Photography in May and June

5. Cheering for papa and grandma at Bloomsday this year. We had a fun time hanging out, cheering for them, and petting lots of puppies as we waited for them. We were a bit bummed that they have changed the rules on the bridge, and we couldn’t cross over to see them finish. Maybe next year we’ll bring the bike down so we can get over there faster?

6. First hot spring day and she demanded shorts and a tank top and a visit to the park.

Behind the scenes with Emily Wenzel Photography in May and June

7. Is it even spring if you don’t make at least one batch of lemon bars and eat a couple for lunch? Wait, don’t answer that.

8. We met up with friends out at Discovery Park in the valley. We’ve been past it a bunch, but never stopped. It’s HUGE and we left before we even had a chance to explore the whole place.

Behind the scenes with Emily Wenzel Photography in May and June

9. Our sofa is from IKEA and was worse for the wear after 6 years and a cat who decided the fabric was perfect to use as a scratching post. Grrr. We spent a few months searching for a new sofa, only to realize we didn’t want to spend that much money on something that would just get thrashed again by a small kid and two pets. So instead, I started ordering samples from Comfort Works and Bemz. We went with a cover from Comfort Works…but none of the colors here!

10. Our little home renovation assistant helping papa get lumber at the store.

Behind the scenes with Emily Wenzel Photography in May and June

11. My parents took N for the weekend and we knew we had a limited number of hours to work on the house. First up was a quick trip to Home Depot in the rain, and then we worked and worked and worked all weekend.

12. The bonus of that weekend is that our neighbors sent us a lovely loaf of bread and while we were both so sore we could barely breathe on Monday, we got the garden mostly finished and a few other projects completed too.

Behind the scenes with Emily Wenzel Photography in May and June

13. The completed garden! It was so bare in early May, and then we planted a bunch of seedlings and now it’s overflowing with plants.

14. Since all our time and energy went to rebuilding the garden, we stocked up on 90% of our plants at the local nursery, but the peas were a seed I started inside. Impressively, after a warm couple weeks in June, the weather cooled back down and those peas lasted until late July!

Behind the scenes with Emily Wenzel Photography in May and June

15. & 16. I shot a styled shoot with Red Letter Event Planning at the end of May, and I can’t wait to share it all with you when it goes live in September!!

Behind the scenes with Emily Wenzel Photography in May and June

17. Normally, we are all about our reindeer, but one day, N wanted to take Krtek (he’s Czech) to the library, and then she found this book about a Silly Goose, by a Czech author. A little bit of my home away from home.

18. N and H drove down to Portland, and I stayed behind for a couple meetings. I flew down the next day, and it felt so luxe to fly solo.

Behind the scenes with Emily Wenzel Photography in May and June

19. While in Portland, we met up with friends and went to the zoo, where I snapped exactly two photos, this being one of them. We miss them terribly, so it was SUPER nice to see them again.

20. Also while in Portland, I took photos for one of my 2019 couples! They’re pretty fun to work with, and sometime soon I’ll blog their engagement session. I hope…

Behind the scenes with Emily Wenzel Photography in May and June

21. This summer has been a lot of hanging out with my girl on our mama days and spending the days with her…

22. …and then during nap and after bedtime, hiding in my office and working like crazy to get photos edited and emails answered. Anyone else feel like it’s super hard to balance everything?

Behind the scenes with Emily Wenzel Photography in May and June

23. Checking on our garden and picking snap peas. They rarely make it into the house, and instead end up in her belly before we leave the garden. 100% okay with that.

24. Somehow ended up with a Saturday with no plans and we biked down to the farmer’s market, and then had a picnic lunch in the park. It was a perfect way to end the month, before diving into a crazy crazy month in July.

Behind the scenes with Emily Wenzel Photography in May and June


The Hannah Family // Spokane Family Photographer

The Hannah Family // Spokane Family Photographer

Rachel contacted me about doing a family session with their extended family while they were in town visiting, and we had such a wonderful time! Her little guy was a bit unsure at first, but once we figured out that he needed some snacks, he warmed right up. I’ve said it again and again, but family photos are so precious! What a beautiful thing for them to have these photos, in their family’s backyard.

While they won’t be in your backyard, I do still have some mini session slots available for this fall for Spokane family sessions. Snag your family – big or small – and hop in front of my camera for a few minutes. Want a longer session? Get in touch with me about booking two sessions back to back during my minis for more time – perfect for an extended family session!

Or, maybe you want photos with your love, your pets, or you need new head shots. These quick little sessions are perfect for that too!

Worried about what to wear? Rachel and her family nailed it, but here’s my guide on what to wear for a family session if you need it!

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July Recap — Summer Living // Personal Post

July Recap — Summer Living // Personal Post

I was pulling all the photos together for July’s post, and I kept saying to myself, there’s no way we did all these things in July! And, wait, did I not get photos of XYZ thing either??? Haha, I guess it was a busy month. It feels like just a couple days ago, we were in Portland at the end of June, but now it’s the almost the end of August and summer is basically over. This is a long post, because it was SUCH a busy month. Not sorry!

If there is any downside to my job, it’s that summer is my busiest season and I don’t have enough time to enjoy every minute of the summer. But, as you’ll see, I managed to squeeze in a little hammock time last month.

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1. I got these adorable glow stick ears at the conference in Portland, and little miss wanted to wear them around. Of course, she won’t ever wear a headband…

2. Walks with the family. With it being light so late, we try to get out for a walk and sometimes a little playground time after dinner and before little miss goes to bed. Sometimes we just play in the garden, but basically we’re doing everything we can to soak up every ounce of sunshine this summer.

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

3. We made it up to Greenbluff for a family day and picked a load of blueberries! Someone had a blast picking them and shoving them in her mouth, and we even convinced her to put a few in the bucket. However, I think the highlight was getting bounced around in the wagon. She kept squealing with glee.

4. An inflatable pool, the greatest swimsuit ever (thank you, baby Gap), and a sunhat have brought us hours of fun this hot summer. She loves splashing around in the pool, and then running throughout the yard to dry off a bit before hopping back in. Maybe next time we visit the ocean, she won’t be so against going in?

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

5-8. The biggest thing we did in July was get the floors refinished upstairs. It’s something we’ve dreamed of since moving in and finding out that two of the three bedrooms had original hardwood underneath, but we met with a contractor a while ago who told us it wasn’t worth doing, and then never sent us a quote. So, thank you to our friends who had some work done on their house recently and recommended I reach out to their floor guys. I would 100% recommend them, and if you’re looking for someone in Spokane, drop me a message and I’ll get you their info! They were fast, kind, and let me hop up to take photos as much as I wanted (which was a lot).

Freshly sanded – the first coat going on – after the first or second coat dried – all done and furniture starting to come back in (before we put the rug back down).

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a HouseLiving in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

9. THIS rarely happens anymore, but getting your floors refinished is hard work and sometimes you just wanna nap on mama. I’m trying to enjoy these moments instead of stressing out about all the things I needed to do while she napped. I know before I know it, she’ll be off to school and I won’t have these snuggles anymore.

10. I stopped by the beautiful library at UW after a meeting and had to snap a photo of this bookshelf. Remember: divided we fall. We are stronger together, we are a common people who should all want the same things – life, liberty, and equality.

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

11. The stairs at the library at UW are so good. This building is beautiful and it almost makes me wish I had actually transferred to UW. Almost. #gozags

12. The green was gorgeous on such a beautiful July day, and it was calm and fairly tour free (the same could not be said for other areas of campus). College campuses just fill me with so much hope and energy. And make me want to buy school supplies – haha!

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

13. One of the strange perks of my job is getting to do crazy things, like climbing up on a rooftop to photograph the street fair. It was both exciting and terrifying, climbing up a ladder to a roof with my camera in my hands, and then making sure I wasn’t too close to the edge. I could even see my house from the roof (not pictured).

14. Hammock time to recover from shooting street fair and then an event in the same day. I was exhausted, but hey, this little lady was around to keep me company and play peek a boo while I recovered.

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

15. I’m super thankful for a sweet husband who says ‘you go alone to pick berries, we’ll do stuff at home’ and then I can pick tons of berries for us to make jam and freeze them because our toddler is a blueberry monster and we go through so many of them every week.

16. Out of focus and I really don’t care. She’s gone through a phase again where she’s not a fan of babywearing, but that day she wanted up with me. And then proceeded to blow raspberries on my back and giggle while we made lunch. That dimple gets me right in the feels.

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

17. I shot an elopement up at Mt. Spokane and it was so dang pretty! Right after I packed all my gear into my car, it started raining! And it was only like 72 out. By the time I got back to my house an hour later, it was 93 and sunny. So crazy that it’s so much cooler up at Mt Spokane!

18. If you’ve ever wondered what the best thing you can buy for your kid/spouse/yard/house is, it’s a hammock and a hammock stand. We use ours nearly every day from May-October, and the since it’s been so smokey and we’ve been inside more, we’re all a bit cranky. I’ve napped in it, read stories in there, and snuggled this silly kid (and my husband).

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

19. Remember those blueberries I bought? Yup. Getting ready to freeze them with my favorite kitchen assistant. Who’s wearing an apron that once belonged to my grandma or great-grandma.

20. And…boom. It was a busy month and sometimes you just gotta crash out in the back of the car with your bunny.

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

March 2016 — Recap // Personal Post

March 2016 — Recap // Personal Post

March flew by in a haze of sickness for the first half of the month, and then in the struggle of recovering from it in the second half. Whew. Last weekend we got outside and got some spring work done on the house for the first time since fall, and the fresh spring air felt amazing.

The month started off with me crying about vet bills. Well, okay, me drinking lots of wine to cope with vet bills after we took Shadow in to the emergency vet because he had kennel cough (read: puppy cold) and then took shifts for the next three days as he coughed so hard he threw up nearly 24/7 (read: I know know how people with small children feel). The next week I took Lola in for her annual kitty check up and we had to run crazy blood tests. She’s fine, but we had a scare and now I feel broke. I’ve informed our pets that they need to stay healthy for at least 6 months, because I can’t handle too many more vet bills.

March RecapBonus: the walk-in vet in Spokane happens to be next to this random rock with a decent view of downtown Spokane. Since Shadow wasn’t supposed to socialize with other pets, we hung out up here for most of the time.

March Recap

The only exception to my no-Tv-during-Lent rule was college basketball. So, basically all Gonzaga games and then March Madness. In a surprising twist, I won the bracket challenge I was part of (winning prize: bragging rights). That’s the first time I’ve had a team correct in the final, much less won the final or a bracket! :)

I also had the chance to tour a great new place in Spokane that is being renovated, check out these tile floors!! One of the greatest perks of my job is getting to tour all these great spaces in Spokane.

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In the midst of all the crazy vet bills, we also pulled the trigger on something we’d be saving up for: a new car. We’ve officially gone over to the dark side, and I am in love. This baby is a dream, and as a bonus, we have a car that our poor pup fits in.

I popped over to Gonzaga the other day to chat with a few of my old mentors, and it felt so good to be back. One of the many, many, things I love about GU is that I can stop in and chat with my old professors and mentors to get advice, even though I graduated nearly 6 years ago. It’s nice to know that the community extends for years afterwards. I don’t know many schools where you can drop by and catch up with old professors, and get advice from them on what you’re currently working on!

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And, that was March! Easter was low-key, and we have been working on some spring cleaning and trying to finish – and start – a bunch of projects around the house before wedding season really ramps up again…which means finally blogging the last of my weddings from 2015. Oops.

What did you do in March?