Mom’s Wedding + Oberstadt Family Reunion

While my mom and Bill had their wedding ceremony on Valentine’s Day up at St. Therese, they planned a big reception and party out at Wildlife Campground this summer.

It was a wonderful time: our friends and family came from near and far…

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…Mom (and her sisters and friends) decorated with flowers from the farmer’s market, she had her peacock feather themed cake, and her life-long dream: a giant processional of bridesmaids to “Prince Ali” from Aladdin…

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…and we danced all night long!

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We finished the night by releasing a few lanterns.

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Congratulations, Mom and Bill!

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The thing about weddings (that no one tells you about) is that after the dust has settled, and everyone has been fed, and people are happy… someone needs to clean up! We stayed up late cleaning and helping to put away all the gifts and decorations. We were camping right at the campground, so we didn’t have far to go, and it was a fun adventure with our little pup. She loves camping! We slept soundly, and woke up early so we could head out to the Oberstadt family reunion at Lynn and Jerry’s house.

We were tired, but we put on a good face, brought store-bought cookies, and played hammerschlagen.

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They always have photo albums with really old photos of the family members and newspaper clippings. I love reading about family history! This year, they had a whole new series of “old photos,” including this embarrasing capture from a time in our lives when we thought dressing alike was a good idea.

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I’m tired just writing this post- we sure know how to pack our weekends full of adventure! :)

Up next? A week full of photoshoots before my all-time favorite holiday. <3

As always, thanks for reading, friends!

Miles this year: 302.1

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Transcribing Dance Company Shoot + Working From Home

I was honored when Charys, this lovely lady…

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…the choreographer of Transcribing Dance Company, invited me to be a part of a collaboration. I had the chance to shoot her company with Brendan, another photographer, over at Central Waters Brewing. I’ve had a couple shoots over at Central Waters in the past, but no surprise- they were all beer-related.

This one involved some lovely dancers in a big warehouse full of aging barrels (and playing in their prairie out back), and it yielded some pretty neat results!

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It was fun to work with another photographer on a shoot like this- since Brendan and I have very different styles, I bet TDC got a really varied selection to choose from! :) Speaking of working with other photographers- I spent this week trying to get everything done before heading to Lifest, where I work with (and supervise) the Ninjagrapher team. Ninjagrapher is the name that we’ve given to our photographers and videographers, since we encourage them to be ninja-like in their shooting. Of course, I’m not very good at being like a ninja- my smile gives me away every time. Anyway, I was pleased to set up an interview with the two newest members of our Ninjagrapher team, the Jaeger boys!

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We had a very serious interview at Belts’ Ice Cream, then I welcomed them to our team with open arms, and set up the logistics of the event with their parents.

I do love working from home most of the time, but it’s always exciting for me to get out and meet with people for ice cream or coffee. I’m still continuing to work on shutting down my computer when my day is over, and not sitting on the couch all evening doing work. Work is work and home is home, and when those two things are only 12 steps apart, it gets hard to differentiate… especially when the majority of my clients come home from their jobs, then want to communicate wtih me! :)

One of the up sides of working from home is that I get to choose the length of my commute, so I often choose places that are within bicycling distance. When I heard about the ReVisioning Point community meeting pertaining to bicycles, I was thrilled to attend! Of course, I rode my bike. :) Our representative, Katrina Shankland, was in attendance, and we sat together. It’s so encouraging to know we have support of elected leaders at all levels in our attempts to make our city safer and more friendly for cyclists and pedestrians.

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That’s all for now, friends. Thanks for reading! :) Up next? My momma’s wedding. <3

Miles this year: 300.1

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Yoga Photos + Purple Northern Lights + Amanda & Mark Madison Engagement

After my long weekend with STREAM Girls, I was absolutely exhausted. I fell asleep on the couch at 7:30!

Luckily, I woke the next morning refreshed, and I was able to help Brian work on our new back deck- I was using power tools and everything! My mom would be so proud. :) Our deck is really coming together! I can’t wait to have dance parties on it and do yoga and feed my friends.

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We took a break, cleaned up, then ran up to Wausau to celebrate Father’s Day with my mom’s family, and I gave some special love to Grampie. <3

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I started the next week with yoga with Carmel, back up at CSY. It was their four year anniversary, so they had a little party, and brought in a photographer. I love these images! Thanks to Miranda Photography for capturing our sweaty, happy selves.

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Whenever I leave a hot yoga class, I have a total new sense of purpose and lots of energy! It seems counterintuitive, but yoga makes me feel more productive (and happier!) for the rest of the day… and it was made even better when I heard through the grapevine that the northern lights were going to be active Tuesday night. The Aurora Borealis is notoriously fickle and hard to predict- when the best experts attempt to predict it, sometimes it’s not visible, and sometimes they don’t predict it, and you can see it with the naked eye.

Several times, my shooting attempts have been foiled by clouds- it was predicted, and appeared, but I couldn’t see it through the overcast skies. I saw the forecast, and I was a little excited, but as sunset approached, so did a storm. It rained from 8-9:30ish, and I thought for sure the clouds would be in my way. I sat down and watched the 10:00 news with Brian, and kept anxiously peeking out the window every five minutes, until I finally decided to head out around 10:30 and give it a go.

My first stop was a short drive away, at Sunset Lake. When I got there, I wondered if the park was closed, since it was dark. I hoped not, since the gate was open, and I drove down to the water’s edge. I pulled out my tripod, and my camera, and the bug spray, then got set up. My eyes had finally adjusted to that extra-black-feeling darkness of playing in the country late at night, when a boat showed up. They were fishing with a giant light in their boat, and I knew it would be hard to work around their light as I was setting my exposure to the skies… and just when I thought I better shoot fast before they entered my frame, they shone their light right at me on shore, and I could no longer see anything. :( It’s a good thing that I know my gear like the back of my hand, so I could operate it without actually looking at the buttons and dials.

As soon as I set up the tripod and camera, I knew I wanted to be lower to the ground to get the angle I wanted. I sat down in the soft earth next to the water, and before I knew it, I could feel the warmth of the recent rain seeping through the fabric of my yoga pants. Oh, well… I guess that’s a sacrifice that I had to make to get these shots.

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I love that the big dipper was so prominent! I was only shooting there for about 15 minutes before I packed up and headed home. I wanted to go to the river’s edge in my neighborhood to capture just how truly beautiful Stevens Point can be. This image was taken three blocks from my home, in Bukolt Park. :)

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The next day, I charged my batteries, grabbed clear memory cards, and headed down to Madison to meet Amanda and Mark for their engagement portrait session. We had such a fun time! We started at the Capitol…

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…then wandered to Monona Terrace…

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…and we ended the shoot with a walk down State Street to the Memorial Union, where they had their first date, quite literally on that wooden bench!

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Congratulations on your engagement, Amanda and Mark! It was wonderful to work with you, and we can’t wait until your wedding next year! :)

The weather has been so beautiful that I’ve been really enjoying my runs. One of my routes this week wound through campus to the track and back, and I was reminded that, indeed, it is a great day to be a Pointer!

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I recovered from my run with a green smoothie on the back deck. It’s coming along, and I’m so excited!

As always, thanks for reading, friends!

Miles this year: 298.1

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STREAM Girls 2015 + Fishing With Mike

STREAM Girls: one of the coolest programs that TU does. Of course, I’m totally biased, since it was an idea that I came up with after having a good long talk with my momma about how to get more girls and women involved in conservation and fly fishing.

The second annual STREAM Girls event was held on June 19th and 20th, in Wisconsin’s Jordan Park, along the Plover River. It is a collaborative event between Trout Unlimited and the Girl Scouts of America, and we were very excited to get our girls involved and learning about water once again!

STREAM is an acronym that is based on the STEM education emphasis: S for science, T for technology, R for recreation, E for engineering, A for arts, and M for math.

The STREAM Girls curriculum covers many topics: everything from the science behind water flow, streamside vegetation, fish habitat and water quality to fly tying and casting.

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Entomology is always a BIG HIT!

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We made a direct connection from the bugs in the stream to the flies that we tie, and ushered the girls to stations to tie some flies, with a fabulous 1:1 ratio of volunteers to girls. They followed a wooly bugger recipe, then were given a little creative license to make their own!

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We wrapped up the first day with fly casting basics and casting games, then practicing casting into water. It really does have a totally different feel than learning on grass, so we tried to create as authentic a learning environment as we could.

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TU national staff and volunteers designed and provided specialized handbooks to the scouts, outlining their activities for the program. The program is about 75% science-based and 25% angling, and it includes an at-home checklist to share with their families, evaluating their familial impact on their watershed.

We had Junior Girl Scouts for the full day of learning on Friday, and Brownies joined us on Saturday morning. The older girls took the younger girls on a streamwalk, stopping at volunteer-manned stations, sharing what they’ve learned about the stream, and answering questions along the way. Each stop earned them a charm or bead for a bracelet that they assembled at the end of the stream walk.

Channel 7 news even came out to cover the event!

It was raining on us for the majority of Saturday, but we wrapped those girls in ponchos and we braved the rain for a little shore fishing on Jordan Pond.

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We had 18 graduates of the STREAM Girls program, each earning a patch for the back of their vest or sash, a certificate of completion, and a water bottle with the STREAM Girls logo.

As the girls packed up their gear, excitedly showing their parents their new patch, I found peace in my heart knowing we’d helped to create a new generation of educated observers and nature lovers.

TU volunteers came from all corners of Wisconsin to share their passion and knowledge about water, and I’m incredibly thankful for the kindness and generosity of everyone who contributed.

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One of those dedicated volunteers was my friend, Mike Kuhr. We went out fishing on my home water (the Tomorrow River) Friday evening, and had a lot of fun!

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Fishing in the dark is every bit as difficult as you would think it would be, but catching fish is even more rewarding, if that’s possible. It was a great time, and I caught my biggest nighttime fish yet! :)

After that whirlwind of a weekend, I was so thankful to get home to my pup and Mr. Mustache. I need a vacation!

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Thanks for reading! :)

Miles this year: 296.1

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Wedding Recovery + The Bakken Family + Bram’s Senior Portraits

Being in a wedding is exhausting! :) Brian and I stayed with Abbie at the Jefferson Street Inn, so we could just walk over to the gift opening brunch. That hotel was really quite wonderful! We’ve shot weddings there before, and I’ve loved working with their catering and event staff, but we’d never actually stayed there. Our room was classy, the front desk staff was very friendly (I needed extra shampoo to get all the hairspray out of my updo!), and they let Abbie stay there for a small fee. The trip signified many “firsts” for Abbie- her first hotel stay, her first carpet experience (we have hardwood and tile), and her first ride in an elevator! She was such a champ. I love that cutie! We took her for ice cream at Briqs to celebrate. :)

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I started the next week with an adorable family/maternity shoot with the Bakken family. Kendi is beautifully pregnant with Teddy, so we had a fabulous shoot with these guys!

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It’s safe to say Jace is excited about becoming a big brother! :)

After their photo shoot, I went for a run around the park. I found a little trail that I hadn’t run before, and I loved exploring.

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Hot, humid runs are a special kind of cleansing. :) I got home in time to clean up and finish studying before my first full city council meeting. Here’s the view from my new “office…”

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…and of course, a selfie with the alders from Districts 5 and 6. :)

Our friend, Ali, had a cancelled flight, so she was in Stevens Point for an extra day. We met at Emy J’s, caught up, and I learned all about her Brooklyn life! New York sounds like a completely different experience- I’ve been there once, but we went and visited all the sights that tourists typically see, so it wasn’t a really authentic experience. :)

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I finished out the week with some fabulous senior portraits for Bram. He’s a very talented soccer player and avid fly angler, so we had a variety of locations for the shoot. :)

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It was great to work with you, Bram! Thanks for not kicking that soccer ball right at my head.

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Shots like this are a sure sign of trust… I wouldn’t lay down on the ground with my gear in front of just any soccer player and ask him to shoot the ball. :)

I was busy putting the final touches on my STREAM Girls program, and subsequently feeling pretty stressed, so Brian decided to take me on a little date to Belts’! It’s a short bike ride from our home, and we just LOVE their ice cream! :)

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It’s easy to support local businesses when their products are delicious! :)

Up next? STREAM Girls- all the cuteness of Girl Scouts learning about their watershed and the Trout Unlimited volunteers who help. :)

As always, thanks for reading! :)

Miles this year: 294.1

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Learning As An Alder + Amy’s Wedding!

As alderwoman, I have a chance to learn more about my city in some pretty unique ways- and one of them is by attending community meetings.

I went to my first Association of Downtown Businesses meeting, since my district includes our downtown square and a portion of Main Street.

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It was wonderful to meet the shop owners, and we had a wonderful discussion about how to make our downtown more bicycle-friendly.

When I got home from the meeting, I’d received a special delivery from one of my TU friends, Fred. He gave me a whole stack of fly fishing books!!

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I’ll have my work cut out for me on the rainy days this summer and the cold days this winter. I’m actually looking forward to cuddling up with a cup of tea and one of these books on cold days. :)

And now, on to the main event… Amy’s wedding!

She invited the wedding party and out-of-town guests to come to a wine and cheese social at the wine shop on Thursday night. It was SO awesome to see my Colorado mountain girl, Kyt, and my Brooklyn girl, Ali!

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We went home and got a good night of sleep Thursday night, to help us prepare for the long weekend ahead. On Friday morning, I met my sole sisters for a hot yoga class at Community Soul with Kevin, a guest teacher from Costa Rica! It was a wonderful way to get my day started. :)

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CSY is in downtown Wausau, so after class, I just ran across the 400 block to help the wedding party set up at the Elks Lodge for the wedding reception. After we finished setting up, the girls all went to Gloss nail bar for manicures and pedicures. :)

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After our appointments, Becky and I ran a few errands to grab last minute wedding necessities, and then I ran home to shower, get dressed, and pick up Mr. Mustache. <3 I packed everything I’d need for the wedding, then we went back to Wausau for the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

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We had a wonderful time catching up with family and friends at the dinner, then the girls went back to Amy’s parents’ house to spend the night. Her last night as a Snyder was spent laughing with her family and friends, and we all went to bed way too late. :)

Wedding morning came in with a bang… or I should say it came in with a chirp. The birds were singing so beautifully but LOUDLY that we all woke up early. I half expected the birds to carry Amy and her dress to the wedding Cinderella-style!

We had our hair and makeup done at Euphoria by a good friend of Amy’s, and I had to grab a photo of her fabulous custom-made blue wedding shoes.

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When we were finished getting all dolled up, I headed over to the Yawkey House Gardens and Carriage House to put my dress on and prepare for the ceremony. Amy chose the most beautiful bouquets for us to carry… I couldn’t get over how pretty this was!

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It sprinkled right up until the wedding, but it stayed dry once the wedding started. In typical Heidi fashion, I cried my way through the entire wedding.

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Isn’t she gorgeous? My best friend planned and executed the most fabulous wedding, and I’m so happy for her and Chris as they start their married life together! The ceremony was beautiful, and the photo session was really fun! Amy and Chris hired my friend, Kim, and I’m sure her photos will be absolutely fabulous.

Amy let us all choose our own bridesmaid dress from a variety of styles, so we were all a little different. I loved it!

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We spent some time relaxing at the park before we headed back for the reception…

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…and once everyone was seated, Amy surprised Chris by singing a little song. It was way too cute.

I worked really hard to write a perfect matron of honor toast, and I somehow made it all the way through without sobbing. I don’t know how that happened. A miracle, perhaps. To sum it up: I’ve never seen Amy so happy, and I feel warm in my heart knowing that Chris will be there to support her and love her as they go on the adventure that is marriage. There is no one that I’d rather share my best friend with!

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Now that I’m crying, I better sign off. I’m such a sap. <3

As always, thanks for reading, friends!

Miles this year: 292.1

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Madison with Amy + Trout Tattoo + Amy’s Bachelorette

Before I knew it, my best friend’s wedding was upon us. I can’t believe how time has flown by! We spent the weeks leading up to the wedding helping with planning, decorating, and general moral support, including a short trip to Madison to visit Becky. Becky is Amy’s sister-in-law, and since she couldn’t make it to the bachelorette, we made a special little trip to catch up. :)

Dinner at Eno Vino, wine and movies at Becky and Dan’s apartment, and DIY pedicures. It was a lot of fun! Thanks for hosting us, Becky!

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We headed home early so Amy could work and I could get to my tattoo appointment- time for my ninth marathon tally, with a little abstract brookie addition.

The stencil…

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In progress…

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And finished!

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Foot tattoos really hurt. I always forget exactly how much they hurt until I’m siting in the chair- luckily, they’re small! Thanks to Jim at Blackwater, for hooking me up, and for starting with the brookie so I woudldn’t change my mind during the tally. :)

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I made it back to my office for a full afternoon of work before heading out for my TU board meeting. We met at our new location, inside the SentryWorld building. We had special guest, Kyle Herrman, an aquatic ecologist from UWSP, who gave us a presentation on the Lost Creek Stream restoration project.

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I was even lucky enough to sit next to the infamous Mike Dombeck!

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A great night of learning and sharing our excitement for conservation led to a sound night of sleep. :) The next day, I worked to catch up on business before a busy weekend, and Brian and I headed out to the St. Joe’s church picnic. Brian was playing with the big band, and I was dancing with my SP ballroom friends!

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I even ran into a old friend from high school- Chris! :) It was so great to catch up.

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I finished off the weekend in the Twin Cities with Amy and the bridesmaids for her bachelorette party. We went shopping at the Mall of America and Ikea, then headed to our downtown hotel to recoup before dinner at the Melting Pot.

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After dinner, we walked downtown for drinks and dancing. We had a great time! It was loud in the club, so we couldn’t hear the pouring rain that had started outside- so once we got outside, we decided to go for it, and we ran the nine blocks to our hotel… finishing the evening with a natural shower!

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It was pretty neat to see the lightning reflecting off the skyscrapers downtown. Thanks for the fabulous weekend, ladies! It was wonderful to get to know you all better. :)

When I got home, Brian had been working on our new deck, and his father came over to help. Greg brought me a huge bouquet of peonies from their house. It was such a sweet welcome home!

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As always, thanks for reading, friends!

Miles this year: 290.1

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