Tag Archives: Chicago

Killeen and Ernie + Wisconsin Adventures

I was home just long enough to charge my camera batteries, do a load of laundry, kiss my Mr. Mustache and my pup, then I headed down to shoot the engagement photos of the gorgeous Killeen and handsome Ernie in Elk Grove.

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This shoot was extra special because Killeen is my cousin, and you can definitely see a family resemblence! 🙂

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We lucked out with fabulous weather, perfect lighting, and a cute little nature reserve right near their house. You’d never guess we were in the city!

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We shot, and posed, and laughed, then headed back for an Italian dinner (Chicago has the best food options!), a sound sleep, and a short run before I hit the road home. I had a meeting with my accountant (my aunt, Tina) in Madison, to work on my taxes. Being self-employed is difficult for many reasons, only one of which is doing my taxes. Another quick meeting at city hall, then Brian and I headed off to Waupaca to deliver our little Abbie monster to my mother-in-love. We made the switch at a very funny and Wisconsin-y bar, JR Sportsmans, with a gigantic fish out front, and a little game farm.

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We ran home, performed minor surgery on my kayak (a new compass!)…

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…then headed up north to meet Nikki and celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend.

We swung by my grandparents’ home to give my grammie and grampie a little love and share the news about the alderwoman gig. They’d already seen it in the paper, and saved me the clipping. I love these people. ❤

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Once we made it up north, we kayaked, ran, did yoga, napped, sat in the hot tub, went to the Tomahawk old car show (saw Adam, a pianist friend from college!), sent the boys fishing, and caught a tree frog.

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It was an incredible weekend of relaxation, laughter, and a fabulous reminder that sometimes the oldest friends are the best friends! Love you, Nikki.<3

We met my mother-in-love again in Waupaca to pick up our puppy, and we took her out to dinner. We love the food at the Chain Bar in King- their pizza is delicious! While we sat at the covered outdoor bar, we watched a storm roll in, and a double rainbow appeared. How cool! 🙂

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I spent the following week in meetings as an alder, including meeting the president of our neighboring town, since we share a boundary line.

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I went on a fun run with the SP running group (and saw Margaret and her new babe!), shot a few headshots, and spent some time playing outside with Abbie.

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I also went down to southern Wisconsin for a Wisconsin League of Municipalities training for newly elected government officials. I have learned so much with this job- more than I ever realized I needed to know! Do you know the average lifespan of a Wisconsin police car? I do! 🙂

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I spent the night in Madison with our friends, the Langes, and we went out to dinner at this crazy but delicious Jamacan restaurant.

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Before I knew it, I was back at home with Mr. Mustache, and ready for a whole new week of adventures.

As always, thanks for reading, friends!

Miles this year: 288.1

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Easter + a week on the road

I love Easter! We celebrated Easter this year with friends from our church, and I brought deviled eggs. 

I love deviled eggs, though I always feel a little weird bringing something with the word “devil” right in the name to a celebration about Jesus. 😉

We tried to go easy on the Easter candy at home, but there is a seemingly unlimited supply of seasonal candy at the PT clinic. Oh, gummy candy… I burned off all that gummy candy with a super windy and hilly nine miles with Lydia on the Wau-king trail.  We refueled with beer at Chain Bar, and I headed home to pack for a crazy week.I had such a busy day- when Brian got home, we headed up to Wausau for a ballroom dance lesson with our first dance teachers, Missy and Jeff! We hadn’t seen them since they taught us to dance before our wedding. Eight years was too long! Of course, I was too excited to see them and I forgot to take a picture, but after our lesson, we headed over to the election headquarters for our alderman Mike Wiza, and we were present when they called the vote, making Mike our new Stevens Point mayor! Congratulations, Mike. 🙂Brian and I spent the week in the Valley, while he was at a training for work. It was pretty cool for me- since most of my work is portable, I can work from anywhere. I was able to catch up on some photo work, make all the games for Amy’s upcoming bridal shower, and shoot a gorgeous pastry (with the cutest edible orchid!) from SAP Brunch in Appleton.On our last morning at the hotel, we went out for breakfast at this fabulous cafe- Molly’s. They had sweet potato hash browns! Made. My. Day. I loved the treadmill at the hotel, so I headed back to our room, changed, and logged a few miles in the hotel gym. After a quick shower, we packed up and headed down to Chicago to celebrate my great aunt Eileen’s 75th anniversary of being an active member of the ancient order of Hibernians. It was a beautiful party where I got to see a lot of my family, including my brother and his family. Happy National Sibling Day! We caught up with everyone and danced until we dropped! It’s fun to visit my Hoffman side, because I’m the short one among those cousins, and I’m 5’8″! 🙂

We spent the night at my aunt Maureen’s house and took care of Percy. I think she was upset that she wasn’t invited to the party. She wouldn’t smile for me! 🙂 We left very early on Saturday morning to head up to Wausau for Amy’s bridal shower! My car celebrated a little palindrome milestone of her own somewhere in northern Illinois…We stopped at home for a whirlwind half hour- showered, changed, styled my hair, brewed some iced tea, boxed up the shortbreads, made simple syrup, then packed it all up in a cooler and took it to the Hirn home for Amy’s bridal shower. Becky, Brooke, and I planned this adorable tea-themed shower, and it turned out beautifully!    

                    

  Congratulations, best friend! I’m so happy for you and thrilled to be your matron of honor. ❤️ 

Miles this year: 221.45

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Kasha salon + food + Chicago

I’ve spent a lot of time in salons. Almost every wedding morning, I’m skipping through a salon, camera in hand, with blushing brides and excited bridesmaids. This time, I was invited to Kasha Salon, in Wausau, for new promotional photos. This is Stef. She’s an absolutely stunning woman (seriously, those eyes!), with a sweet personality and a powerful creative streak. I met her on dance team back in my high school days, and it was really fun to reconnect with her over a couple shared brides as clients. The salon is beautiful, and filled with fabulous products!  Thanks for bringing me in, Kasha staff! It was a pleasure working with you all!  I had a busy week, but was able to steal away for a Skype coffee date with my first sole sister, Nancy.  Nancy moved to warmer climes last year, so we’ve only been able to keep up our dates virtually. 🙂 I hope to get out to the Vegas area to visit her soon!

I had lots of food in the studio this week. I am absolutely in love with these lavender lemon shortbreads.

  Of course, I ate them as soon as I was done, and I washed it down with my newest favorite food- bug macaroni and cheese!!  As a fly angler, I have a special appreciation for all things buggy. 🙂

Keeping with the lemon theme, I worked on some stock photography of translucent fruit…

 …and I finished off the work week with a beautifully rich French Napoleon from Andersonville’s Swedish Bakery.

 I spent Saturday at TroutFest, a TU event. I had a booth for the women’s initiative, and I also had blank trout outlines for kids to color. My booth was right along the window, so I kept my eye out on the water- as the ice melts, the eagles come out.

     

  I hurried home on Saturday night, and packed for Sunday… the highlight of my weekend was a trip to Chicago with this little love… …my niece, Ember! ❤ My sister, Erin, and I had a chance to catch up, and I spent a little time down in Chicago, including lunch with my cousin, Max.  A whirlwind week, filled with my favorite things. With spring around the corner, spirits are high!

Miles this year: 137.25

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Valentine’s weekend! <3

We started celebrating Valentine’s Day a couple days early by heading down to Chicago to hear one of my favorites, Jason Isbell, play at the Symphony Center. 



It was everything I dreamed it could be. I still don’t exactly understand why I love his music so much- I really can’t relate to most of his subjects. I’ve never been an addict, I’ve never had to cope with the loss of a family member while out on tour, I’ve never served in the military, nor done codeine (I’m allergic!), nor has a shotgun wedding ever occurred to me. Maybe that’s actually why I’m drawn to it- it’s exposing me to another world.

Anyway, we loved the concert, and we crashed hard for the night. Parking in the city always amazes me- we don’t even have parking meters here in Point, so paying $38 for three hours of ramp parking feels just crazy.

The next morning, we headed over to Calumet to trade in all our old camera gear. A couple years ago, we switched completely from Canon to Nikon, but we still had our old camera bodies and lenses sitting around. We also traded in my baby, my first real pro camera, my Nikon D3- affectionately named Shelley. I am upgrading my gear to the Nikon D4, but it was still really hard to leave my cameras behind. There were lots of memories in those cameras- both mine, and those of our clients. I held it together in the store…



…But lost it when we got to the parking lot. I keep reminding myself that the cameras are just a tool, but what can I say? I’m a softie. Anyway, a few pounds lighter and a few thousand dollars richer, we headed home to prepare for my mom’s Valentine’s Day wedding!

It was a very sweet day- I headed to the salon with my mom to get her hair done, then we went to her house to get ready.



My mom has two signs in her house that absolutely crack me up every time I see them, so here they are for your giggling pleasure.





I dont think I’ve ever done my mom’s makeup before, so it was really fun!

The ceremony was at St. Therese, where my Grampie built the altar. It was a sweet and short ceremony.







Everyone in attendance came up and stood around them on the altar, so it was very intimate.









The small reception was held at Bill’s favorite pizza restaurant, and they reserved the back room for us. Their big reception will be this summer.



It was wonderful to see everyone, and it makes me so happy to see my mom in love. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Olson!

We stopped for a quick coffee at Starbucks (love these hearts!!)…



…had a small photo shoot with some brownies…



…and stayed in, cooking steak and shrimp for dinner. We cooked them on the big salt block that B gave me for Christmas, and they cooked perfectly! I made our traditional brownie waffles for dessert, and we crashed hard at 8:30 pm. What a wild life I lead.

Oh, and B surprised me with these.

I’m lucky. ❤

Thanks for reading!

Miles this year: 112

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Fly fishing on my mind

What is an avid fly angler to do in the winter months in central Wisconsin? 

Go to trade shows. Lots of trade shows.

I went to the Chicago Outdoor Sports show to visit my friend, Jen, who runs DUN magazine and had a booth there. It was awesome to play around with a couple new rods and remember what it feels like to cast a line to water. They had a pool for us to cast into. 



I stayed with my aunt Eileen and uncle Rick in their beautiful Elk Grove home, and I got to hang out with my cousin twin, Killeen. She just bought a super cute house and it was wonderful to hang out there, drink some wine, and relax. 🙂



I loved running around their neighborhood- they even have a little pond.





I returned home to the frozen tundra, and headed over to the Eastern part of the state for Fox Valley TU’s Cabin Fever event.



Jen is an active volunteer in the Fox Valley chapter and she’s doing great work for the women’s initiative. It was great to see you, girl! I also had a booth at Central Wisconsin’s TroutFest, and I’ve been working on reaching out to the women in our communities and in the angling industry to get them hooked up with the work that Trout Unlimited does here in Wisconsin. 🙂 I also have some blank trout outlines for kids to color. How cute is this?



The short days and no sun has really been getting to me, so my incredibly talented electrican husband whipped together a light box for me.



After sitting in front of that contraption for a few days, I felt like a million bucks! We were lucky enough to cap off our busy week with Central Waters’ 17th anniversary party. I was covering the event for Hoopla magazine, but I ran into Lydia at the party!



We drank some delicious beer and danced to live music. A perfect Saturday!







Thanks for the fun night, Central Waters!

I’ll leave you with some of the most refreshing subjects I’ve had in the studio lately- fruit!





I just love working with food. Seriously. 🙂

Up next? Frame’s 150th anniversary, an encaustic artist, and out of town friends.

Thanks for reading!

Miles this year: 84

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A December mix…

As soon as I got home from that trip, I geared up for a busy week. I volunteered my services to the Central Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra Program for their inaugural concert. The kids were wonderful, and I loved seeing the college students bonding with the kids within their sections.

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We also took a little time to capture a photo for our Christmas card. 🙂

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We had a week or so with this crazy fog, so we took full advantage of that. 🙂 Abbie was a trooper for the shoot!

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Christmas was a kind of a blur. We were lucky enough to have seven family Christmas celebrations! Since I’m late in blogging about it, I’m going to skip telling you about all the driving and wrapping and cooking, and sum it up in that we are really lucky and feel blessed to have our family and friends.
Oh, but I will share a couple pictures from my travels…
The Chicago Chamber Choir concert, that I attended with my Aunt Colleen and Steve, and my great aunt Eileen…

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A run along the lakeshore…

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An awesome Christmas morning run with my loves, crazy warm weather, caterpillars (in DECEMBER!), core work with Abbie as my med ball, and Christmas pancakes…

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What it means to be a seasonally decorated Packer fan…

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Long lost friends from London…

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Amanda’s birthday in Minneapolis…

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And pretty typical cold weather returned.

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That’s all for now, friends. 🙂

Miles this year: 45

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A Chicago trip + Amy’s bluegrassy visit

My Madison TU friend, Amy, was up in Wausau for work, so we met up here in Point for dinner and an impromptu bluegrass concert. The Fox Theatre needs a lot of work to be reopened, so we went to their fundraiser featuring some local bluegrass folks. It was held in the fine arts center on campus, where I spent thousands of hours. I love that place! We danced a ton and drank local beer. Best weeknight surprise yet!

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Thanks for coming, Amy! It was great to catch up with you. 🙂
Lydia and I braved the fresh snow for a great run in Waupaca.

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I came home, warmed up, and packed my bags for a couple days in Chicago. The running there was much warmer… There were still leaves blowing around!

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My aunt, Maureen, and I went to a turkey raffle with her friends. It was a hoot!

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We stopped for Chicago dogs at Gene & Jude’s. No ketchup allowed.

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There were a couple guys eating on their tailgate who had a bottle of contraband ketchup that they shared for our fries. These folks don’t mess around! 🙂 I was so garlicky that it was coming out my pores while running the next day.
We came back to Maureen’s, and I was just finishing up work on my last wedding gallery of the season. I was almost ready to hunker down for the night, but my cousin Max, his beautiful girlfriend, Ashley, and their friend, Joe, came over. They convinced me to go out. I rarely regret going out, so Maureen loaned me a sweater dress and we rallied. We finished the night at a whiskey bar (my favorite!) and the girls were deemed shuffleboard champions after an obviously long winning streak.

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On Sunday, we celebrated cousin Michael’s birthday, Blackhawks style, and I got to see my aunts and uncles, including my great aunt Eileen. She’s 91 and sharp as a tack!

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I stopped to visit my dad on the way home, and started the week of Thanksgiving preparation!
As always, thanks for reading, friends.

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