Tag Archives: music

NFAC photos, Talia and JJ, and summer favorites

I hopped over to the UWSP Fine Arts Center to do a photo shoot with the Music Department for their 2015 promotions. It was a humid day, and the bugs were crazy, but we had a great time!

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We had a little relaxation to recover from some of these trips and we spent a little time on the water.

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I swapped out Brian as my paddling partner for an afternoon and went out with a professor of mine from UWSP- Susan πŸ™‚ We had a great time- it’s fun to teach something to my teachers.

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As always, I was playing outside. Running, skating, riding my bike, and taking Abbie as often as possible.

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This is the middle of wedding season, so I’ve been surrounded with love, and beautiful girls in dresses, and delicious wedding cake. πŸ™‚ for example: take Talia and JJ- a beautifully rainy wedding day filled with friends and family.

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And last, but certainly not least… I’ve waited for the conditions to be right for this image for years. As soon as I saw the sunset and the rain, I snagged Talia and JJ and we escaped the reception for a few minutes outside. What a stunning couple.

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Congratulations, Talia and JJ!
I’m off to keep trucking on photo editing and play in my garden. Garden updates to come! Thanks for reading, friends. πŸ™‚
Miles this year: 332.5

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2014, ready… Go.

In my never-ending attempt to document my Heidi adventures, I’m always behind. Alas, I’ll never get caught up unless I bombard you with fun in a nutshell. Here is everything between the end of 2013 and now, minus an incredible trip to Idaho that deserves a post of its own…
A shoot at the Crystal Cafe with “the heart attack burger…”

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A Christmas card shoot with our sweet Abbie…

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A shoot at Rockman’s for their sauce class…

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Happy ears and a shoot at Danny’s Music on a Mission concert…

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An invitation to the studio of the talented Doris Weed…

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A shoot at the new wine bar downtown, Indulgence

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A memorable day at the Ice Cold Beer Fest and Brew Conference…

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(All the breweries with a booth!)

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The WI Trout Unlimited state council banquet…

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Katie Folwarski, who we’ve seen from engagement, to wedding, to pregnant!!!

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A shoot at my new favorite hangout, Great Northern Distilling…

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(Yes, I drank that potato vodka model…)

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A shoot over at Blue Heron brewpub…

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The Bock run, complete with 5 degree temps, slushy Gatorade, and lots of beer… solidifying my return to running this year…

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A visit home…

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A road trip to the F3T…

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A record store binge…

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And lots of coffee. So much coffee.
Next post: Idaho. State College. Reno. Making traveling look easy πŸ˜‰

Tentative miles this year: 102.45

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Thanksgiving, Black Friday, White Christmas

The day before Thanksgiving was the sweet courthouse wedding of Stephanie and Justin. I rarely have the chance to shoot a small, casual wedding, and I jumped at the chance! The officiant is a friend of the family, and everyone was so comfortable… Resulting in natural, relaxed smiles. After the ceremony, we hopped over to the 400 block in Wausau and popped in to Malarkey’s Pub for a quick drink!

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Congratulations, Justin and Steph!
We hosted our annual Thanksgiving dinner with my mom, Gram and Grampie, and Jean and Mark.

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It was pretty low-key this year, but I made my pies. It’s a tradition!

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And of course, the annual post-dinner photo of me and Grampie on the couch πŸ™‚

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Since Grampie can’t hear, we usually just sit there and not talk, but I brought down a dry erase board and we got to share a few laughs. He usually asks me about fly fishing… And this occasion didn’t disappoint! He wanted to know if I fish in waders or just dresses πŸ™‚ here’s the honest answer…

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We sent everyone on their way, full and happy, and Amy came over for pie slice #2 and finalizing our Black Friday shopping game plan. It was successful…

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A new suitcase, for all my upcoming travel. πŸ™‚

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We returned home in the wee hours of the morning, and I took a short nap to prepare for opening night of White Christmas. I was playing two roles- tap dancer, and pit orchestra musician. I ran between the two throughout the show. πŸ™‚ Here’s a busy show weekend in photos…

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…and some photos Brian took of the show.

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During the show, I had a serious romance with Tyler… And he proposed in the final scene. Look at that rock! πŸ˜‰

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And just to leave you on a very curly 1980’s happy note, here is me from my first year of tap dance lessons (photo courtesy of Robert Payne)

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Once a stylish woman, always a stylish woman. πŸ™‚
Stay tuned for a whirlwind of December, including Amanda and Andy’s engagement photos, a trip to Idaho, a game at Lambeau, and more adventures… Including my triumphant return to running πŸ™‚

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How to appropriately heal from a stress fracture…

Fall is typically my favorite season for running. The cool weather is easier to tolerate, there’s lots of races, and beautiful scenery. I was able to log some beautiful miles while tapering for Madison Marathon.

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Running with friends always makes the miles fly by. It’s easy to talk myself out of running if I am not feeling it, but I will never stand someone up for a planned run. Thanks for the miles, Mike!

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I had lunch dates with some of my favorite people… Nancy and Rickopedia…

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…and talked shop with Bill. πŸ™‚

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I had a shoot over at the School of Performing Arts… little kids with tiny violins are the cutest.

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I love shoots that are related to music. The owners of this music school are colleagues of mine from my college days.
If you’re a new reader, you might be starting to get the idea that I have widely varying interests and activities. You are so right! To fill up some of my “free time,” I auditioned for and got a spot in the musical White Christmas, so I had some tap dance rehearsals. This was a really fun group of people to work with, and it was great to show Brian that yes, I actually know how to tap dance.
Really.
I’ll post pictures from the show soon! πŸ™‚
That busy schedule distracted me from the predictable taper crazies, and before I knew it, it was time to race. You can read my recap here, including Santa hydrating me at mile 23 and some of my favorite signs from the race course.
I finished the race in the morning, ate a ton of frozen yogurt, slept in the car on the way home, and headed straight to teach ballroom. I had tap dance rehearsal on Monday and Tuesday, and I was still feeling pretty sore, especially in my left foot. On Wednesday, I took Abbie for a walk in my house slippers, since my foot was still hurting. I was hoping my body just needed a good shakeout run and a stretch, so on Thursday morning, I laced up my shoes and took Abbie out to the river. As soon as I tied the bow on my left shoe, there was some serious pain. I was hoping it wasn’t anything too bad, and left anyway. Abbie was so happy to get out of the house… she is a typically active Jack Russell, and she doesn’t care if I’m resting post-marathon or not. She needs her exercise! πŸ™‚

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To my dismay, I only made it out about a mile before I realized that something was seriously wrong with my foot. Two miles logged for the day, and worry creeped into my normally optimistic brain. I took my shoe off, but the pain remained, and seemed to resonate through my ankle, foot, and calf.
I called my doctor, hoping for a cancellation so I could get in, but there wasn’t anything available. I did what any insane runner would do- I went to urgent care. The pain wasn’t urgent, but my mental state was.

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They did an X-ray, but educated me that they usually can’t tell a stress fracture immediately on an X-ray, that it takes a couple weeks to show up. They did recommend that I see my regular doctor, and she recommended that I see an orthopedic specialist. And she gave me a special kind of shoe that didn’t hurt to be on my foot.

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The orthopedic doctor appointment wasn’t for a few days, and I was ordered to rest. So I crocheted a scarf. πŸ™‚

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When I finally made it in to see the specialist, he pushed and prodded all the spots that hurt me. He thought that I had a stress fracture in one of the “chunky” bones in my ankle, and some irritated and inflamed nerves in my foot. He said that he could order a bone scan to be sure, but that his treatment recommendations would be the same, so I opted to save the money, and headed straight to physical therapy. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, do not run. And wear this big walking boot all the time.

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Please enjoy this montage of my foot situation for the past 8 weeks.

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There was a small lapse in judgement, where I decided to still tap dance in the show. Turns out, tap dancing will prolong the healing of a stress fracture. It’s okay, I was wearing some of my favorite compression socks while doing it…

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I went in for my seventh tally mark…

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…and basically tried to rest. It’s hard to be such a busy, active girl with this boot, but I tried to make the most of it. πŸ™‚
I hung out with friends and made MΓΆbius strips.

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Went to coffee with Stef, and celebrated the liberation of my curly bangs…

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Visited my mom and grammie…

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Had drinks with Nikki…

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Witnessed the engagement of two of our good friends, Amanda and Andy!!!!

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Had my mind blown about a Trout Museum that wasn’t…

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Went shopping with the Benishek ladies and my momma for hunter window weekend…

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Bought a hat with ears…

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…and taught some adorable little girls how to make scarves, too!

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If I’ve learned anything through this process, it’s that I need to be more patient. Healing takes time!
Up next? Thanksgiving, Black Friday shopping, a bunch of photo shoots, and photos from White Christmas. Thanks, friends πŸ™‚

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Perpetually behind…

I’m behind, as always. I keep thinking that my life will slow down at some point and allow me to catch up.
I am starting to realize that in my line of work, with my personality, I will never again have a completely finished “to do” list.
Sigh… I still continue to make lists. My trusty Moleskins are full of scratched off lines of work, and dreams, and brainstorms, and doodles. Addresses and phone numbers are scribbled everywhere, and notes from everything to good fishing spots to packing lists for travel are stuck in between.
Here are a few more of my favorite things to share with you from last month.
Musical Thursdays at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art museum.

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Successful runs with my oh-so-excited pup.

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Lydia and Matthew. They are just a perfect couple who pulled off a fabulous, intimate, personalized fall wedding along the Wisconsin River.

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Lydia is a free-spirited woman! I am in love with that image. I met this lovely girl when we worked together at Starbucks when I was in college, and she is now the head chef over at T-Dubs.

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Congratulations, guys! My heart just warms with joy when I look at the love you have for each other.
I went to my first hearing of any kind at our state capitol in Madison. Trout Unlimited has a bill that will allow us to get license plates made that have TU on them, and a portion of the proceeds from purchasing these special plates comes back to TU. It was a very interesting experience- TU had about 45 people show up in support of the bill.

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Trout Unlimited is such a worthwhile organization, and I’m so proud to help them on their mission of cold water conservation.
I’ll leave you with a few photos from Fox Cities 1/2 marathon, on a very chilly morning!

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Megan and Jim! Jim is now a proud marathoner. πŸ™‚ We’re lucky enough to be capturing their wedding in May of next year. Stay tuned for their adorable engagement portrait session in a few posts.

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Half the reason I do races is for the on-course entertainment…

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That’s all for now, friends. Send me positive vibes of productivity and I’ll keep you posted on my Heidi adventures. πŸ™‚

Miles this year: 369

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Riverfront Jazz Festival, Justiceworks 1/2, and fish shocking! :)

I love running. So every year, when fall rolls around, I find myself signing up for the Justiceworks 1/2 marathon on Labor Day weekend, since it’s practically in my backyard. It apparently doesn’t matter if it fits in my training schedule, I just can’t pass it up. So this year, I rode my cruiser over to the park to pick up my race packet on Friday night, and settled in for a good race on Saturday morning.
I fueled normally, drank a cup of coffee, and ran the 3/4 mile to the start line. I saw Robert, and we hung out and chatted until the trumpet began to play, and we were off!
The first miles go through downtown, then campus, and around Lake Joanis in Schmeekle Reserve. Imagine my surprise when I saw Ray around mile three, manning the water station!
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I chatted with a mom of three from Rapids for a few miles, then our entertainment started! This sweet choir was singing for us around mile 5.
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Miles, oh, 5-10ish are an out-and-back, and I love those. I get to say hi and smile at everyone both coming and going! I saw a couple friends, Eric and Lauryn, and met a lot of strangers. I danced at all the end-of-driveway boom boxes, made jokes with spectators, and basically had fun. Around mile nine, the humidity was starting to get to me, and I was feeling a little cranky!
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I did what any logical person would do- I ran faster, caught up to the guy in yellow ahead of me, and started talking. Turns out, it was his first half marathon! I gave him a couple mile pep talk, then zoomed off. Drank some water…
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…and ran into my friend, Heather, who was guarding the cross-street around mile 12. She saw me coming and snapped these two πŸ™‚
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I came in all happy and smiley, and got my medal. Then, I looped back around about a half mile to cheer on my new friend in yellow to his first half finish. πŸ™‚ He looked like he was having a hard time, so I was happy to lift his spirits for the final stretch.
I found Robert…
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…and Eric and Lauryn. πŸ™‚
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All in all, it was a good race. A lady pulled me aside at the finish line, and told me that running behind me is miserable. She smiled, but said that suffering for 13.1 miles behind someone who is laughing, smiling, singing, dancing, cheering on strangers, and making jokes… well, that just adds insult to injury. She laughed, and I gave her a hug! I ran home, showered, then got ready to head over to Riverfront Jazz Festival to do some work!
Here is some of my favorites from both days, along with some of the friends who joined us for live music along the Wisconsin River. πŸ™‚
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Riverfront Jazz Festival is free to the public, and they sell raffle tickets and take donations to support jazz scholarships at the university. It wasn’t that long ago that we were selling tickets, hoping for a scholarship! We drank lots of wine, ate delicious food, and laughed, sang, and danced. ❀
On Labor Day Tuesday, I went night fishing in waders for the first time, pretty much unsuccessfully. I've been hex fishing in a kayak, and I've fished up until dark before, even fishing until I had to walk out in the dark, but I've never tried wading and casting in the dark before. I didn't even care that I didn't catch a fish because the fly we used was sooooooooooooooooo cute…

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Adorable, right?!
I also took my annual trip out with the DNR fisheries guys on a shocking expedition. We went on a section that has been heavily repaired by our local TU chapters, so I was anxious to see the results of the work that we’ve done.
The crew…

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…other awesome stuff…

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…and, of course, the fish!

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It was pretty much the best field trip ever! Fish are awesome! I felt a sense of personal pride when trout came out from under structures we’ve built for them. That river is mine, and yours, and I am glad that we’re taking care of it. ❀

Since my blog readership is so widespread and growing, the likelihood that a congressman is reading this is pretty high, right? In that case, I wanted to share a quote I heard directly on a call this morning.

“Outside of Washington, D.C., conservation is not a partisan issue.”
-Lynn Scarlett

Dear Congress, I’m begging you, for all of the previously mentioned reasons… Please let us get back to our work.

Miles this year: 337.4

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A summer of grilling, families, running, paddling, and reading…

Right in the heart of grilling season, the folks over at Ski’s Meat Market called me up for some promotional photos. They haven’t made them to their website yet, but are featured in ads and fliers.

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I’ll be going back for a shoot with the cheese case next! πŸ™‚
The Laudons, who I met through Trout Unlimited, celebrated their 50th anniversary this summer. They had us come over for family photos of the whole crew who flew in for the occasion. What a beautiful family!

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Congratulations, Jim and Marilyn! πŸ™‚
George (my beer-drinking-cycling-running friend) and I ran a little race over in the geographical center of Wisconsin- the Pittsville Heart and Sole race. It’s always a weeknight close to my absolute favorite holiday,, the 4th of July. Last year, it was so hot that I almost drowned in my own sweat, but this year was a pleasant five miles. All proceeds go to support this small town fire department. What’s not to love!

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On the actual 4th, the Beggs family invited us over to their lake house for photos with their extended family. In a word? Granddaughters.

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And as always, it wouldn’t be summer in Wisconsin without hearing the Mark Little Band on the chain while drinking Jameson.

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Love you guys. Love dancing in a sundress, in the heat of the summer, to your music.
I usually give Lifest it’s own post, but I am not going to post a single photo from my camera this year. I was “promoted” to photo team supervisor this year, so I basically felt like a nervous mom…
“The pyrotechnics are starting, where is everyone?”
“Stay away from the flames!”
“Where are your earplugs?!”
“Are you drinking water? HAVE YOU PEED TODAY?”
I snagged one image off my phone for you guys to get a feel for where I was most of the time…

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On the Saturday of Lifest, they host a 5K. You know I had to get in on that action. I even dragged B along for the ride.

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…and, even though I’m sure you all think I won, I finished in the middle of the pack, and was greeted by the infamous Bill and Darrell!

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A few days of shooting, a lot of friends, some great music and fellowship… And of course, selfies of me with my neck strap.

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…and a table full of cameras.

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Until next year… avoid sensor dust, my ninjagraphers.
I’d barely been home from Lifest for 24 hours before I found myself up at Cynthia’s charming bookstore in Wausau for a photo shoot with River District Theatre’s latest featured performer.

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They are working on creating a brand new, super hip, NYC-style intimate venue. So cool.
And speaking of cool, I took off for a paddle on the chain and to practice all my kayaking tricks. Love the water. It heals every ill.

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I make standing in that sea yak look easy πŸ˜‰
Another quick trip up to Wausau to visit my Delta Omicron sister, Amanda, after surgery. Can you see the family resemblance?

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I’m happy to report she is feeling better and healing well. Speaking of healing…
I ran some single track trails with my Oklahoma friend, Brandon. 10 miles, two skinned knees.

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Those little scars are worth it πŸ™‚
I couldn’t shove those sore knees of mine into waders, so I missed a TU work day with the DNR, but I stopped by to capture them all working hard πŸ™‚

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I was able to wrap up my knees and hide them under a long dress to shoot Ashley and William’s colorful northwoods wedding.

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Congratulations, Mr. and. Mrs. McCarron!
One of the things I love about shooting weddings is being a part of this brand new family unit as it’s being created. Heidi and Maxx called me up to ask if I would be a part of their tradition with their “picture-in-a-picture” shoot. Basically, on their first anniversary, they had a picture taken of them holding their wedding photo. Then they framed that new image, and had me take a photo of them on their second anniversary, holding their first anniversary photo. So cool!

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I couldn’t resist taking this beautiful couple to a perfectly dreamy spot.

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Keep up the love, you two!
My best friend, Amy, was a star in a murder mystery dinner theatre. Brian and I headed up to see her perform, and eat steak, of course!

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We practically wore the same dress!
Happy fifth birthday to our sweet nephew, Reid. He was present at our wedding, but probably couldn’t see or hear anything, since he was still inside my sister-in-law! πŸ™‚ It’s amazing how time flies.

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I’ll leave you with a few yoga photos- I am in the middle of doing a new series of group fitness photos for Adventure 212, and this is the class that I attend… I almost put down my camera and jumped in!

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Namaste.

Miles this year: 327.85

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My week as a ninjagrapher!

Brian and I spent the last five days shooting at Lifest as a part of the ninjagraphers. Ninjagraphers are the photographers and videographers contracted through Life! Promotions to capture their events. I have a ton of photos and stories to share- but I’m going to start at the beginning of my week.
I had to do a headshot self-portrait to use in the publication of Hoopla, which will be coming out in two weeks.

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I’m very excited for this new publication, although we’ll have to wait until the second issue to see my work on the cover- this month’s cover story comes from out-of-state.
I started jury duty on Wednesday. I was unhappy that the timing had to coincide with Lifest, because that’s one of my favorite events to shoot all year. I got up early to commute the whopping 1.5 miles to the courthouse…

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…then waited patiently in the hallway…

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…then turned off my phone. I had to sit through a few hours of jury selection, random number drawings, and lots of questions. I wasn’t selected, though, and I was able to make a break for it (legally!) and get packed for Lifest.

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We packed up the cameras, overnight gear, and puppies…

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…and headed to Oshkosh.
As a reminder, all photos on this blog are (c) Heidi Oberstadt, and the Lifest photos are (c) Life! Promotions.
Our work at Lifest is always an amazing time. It’s hard to explain the bond between our team- it’s a group of photographers, videographers, and editors who capture, sort, edit, upload, and build videos of the event. We’re a well-oiled volunteering machine.

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That’s one of Lem’s (our team leader) portraits of the team. We spend the week logging lots of miles walking around, climbing, laying in the dirt, riding on a golf cart…

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…and trying desperately to stay hydrated. We work in a TINY trailer next to the grandstand…

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…and try to work as quickly and efficiently as possible. There are two married teams on the ninjagraphers, and the rest of the team has friends and families that graciously let us steal them away and work them to exhaustion during the festival. πŸ™‚

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We do have an incredible opportunity to shoot some world-class artists (like Switchfoot and Newsboys), but we have an even more wonderful chance to catch the joy, excitement, and faith of all those in attendance. We also get to meet a lot of awesome people! This year, we met a band from Kentucky called Too Many Drummers. Those guys are classically trained musicians, so we sat and geeked out about things like marimba, accordion, and the joys of teaching music and sharing it with others. We caught their second show, and we caught some great facial expressions, too!

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I caught our friends, Bill and Darrell. They were ninjagraphers a few years ago, and we had a blast! I see them once a year, and they always make me smile.

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I end up feeling so special at Lifest. Our job can be exhausting and stressful, but it is an amazing opportunity. I work with wonderful people, and after five years on the team, I have gotten to “know the ropes.” I get to wear a fancy lanyard with a fancy all-access pass and fancy backstage access.

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It gets me to places like this:

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Despite that, I still get really nervous being up on stage. I’m afraid I’m going to get in someone’s way or distract from the show. That’s part of why we’re “ninjas,” we try to be sneaky and not intrude. I’m not very good at that. When I come in a room, people almost always see me. I even wear black in the heat, but I’m not exactly flying under the radar. I’d have to stop smiling and glowing from the inside, and that’s not going to happen anytime soon. πŸ™‚
Fort Fawley is my favorite place to hang out during the week.

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Andy has an incredible food ministry going on over there- they feed us (delicious home-cooked REAL food!) and make sure we’re hydrated. In fact, they cook the best meals at Lifest!

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They don’t even make me pull any meal shifts. πŸ™‚

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I can’t divulge their location- it’s top secret. πŸ™‚ I did take Too Many Drummers over there for breakfast on Saturday, though.

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They had plenty of watermelon to feed my addiction.

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Thanks for everything, Fawley family! You are wonderful.
This is what it looks like from my point of view. I shot this view forwards…

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…then turned around and shot this view, behind me!

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Tracy and I are the only girls allowed on the stage to shoot. It’s an honor but comes with a lot of responsibility. Responsibility to shoot a self-portrait in an awesome place, anyway!

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I always try to sneak around and find new places to shoot from. These are two of my favorite shots of Duncan- the drummer from Newsboys.

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Lifest had their second annual 5K race this year.

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Brian ran it with me, and we had a great time!

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I think he liked it, but I don’t know if he’ll be running marathons anytime soon.

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Lem and Nick gave our sweaty ninja bodies a ride back to the campsite to get changed and ready to shoot for the day.

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It’s good to know people. πŸ™‚ Sometimes, the ninjas all get together and be nerdy camera-y tech-y people together. Like this…

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Here’s a few of my favorite shots from the week.

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Those are Switchfoot. Just as exciting was the performance of the Black Star drumline from Madison.

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Those little drummer kids absolutely stole my heart.

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We stayed at my mother-in-law’s home for the week, and we had a full house with us, our pups, and Brian’s aunt and cousins- Jill, Mackenzie, and Allie. Brian’s aunt Jackie came for one of the concerts, too. πŸ™‚

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I talked with Tiffany Thompson…

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…saw a fancy motorcycle show…

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…heard Bob Lenz speak (Lifest is his party, really)…

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…shot Family Force 5…

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…was amazed at the crowd for Steven Curtis Chapman…

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…and enjoyed an outdoor Catholic mass.

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Lifest is always an incredible experience. It’s so exciting to be a part of something so big, and we love being able to make people happy. We get to give away private meet-and-greet invitations and prizes, and we get to put their photos up on the jumbotron. After another successful year, we were exhausted.
Our pups had a wonderful time running in the woods at Jean’s house, so they had a great week, too.

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We were all ready to go home, though.

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We came home to a warm house with a warm forecast for Monday, so we installed our new air conditioner in the office.

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It’s now a comfortable 73 degrees in here!
Just when I thought my week couldn’t get any better, I found out that my billboard for Lee Ayers is up. It’s the first time that a photo of mine has been on a billboard!

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My mom saw this photo and said, “When I told you the sky was the limit, I didn’t think your photos would be in the sky!” How cute.
This is a new milestone for me. Woo hoo! I’m off to celebrate.

Miles this year: 375.6

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Cinco de Mayo!

Crazy weekend so far at the Oberstadt home.
On Thursday night, I had a TU board meeting and Brian had a union meeting. I’m super excited to go to fly fishing school in two weeks.

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Our board is a bunch of fun guys, and they are teaching me a lot.

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After I finished up the meeting, I headed over to Guu’s to meet Ashley and Sarah to drop off one of the Running for Rachael shirts. It turned out to be a night of awesome random encounters! Starting with…

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…my friend, Brendan, who was celebrating the end of his long commutes to finish up his doctoral degree. The girls came soon after. Since the loss of our sisters, we cherish each other and make every effort to see our friends whenever we can!

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I played a few games of foos with Mikey…

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…saw Jim doing yo yo tricks…

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…and wrapped up the night with my sweet husband.

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Brian had Friday off from work, so we worked in the yard together, and we found the best surprise…

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Morels! Yum. Friday was a blur of getting ready for the weekend. We drove up to Wausau to drop off May day flowers for my mom and stop at Sam’s Club. We also shot a piano studio recital on Friday night, but I don’t have photo releases for those adorable kids so I can’t provide any proof.
We woke up early on Saturday to head to La Crosse for a 5K. Brian was driving, I was sleeping. This is me, upon waking. πŸ™‚

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My trusty driver.

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We had just gotten into La Crosse when my car started sputtering. We looked at the gas gauge, and I had 1/8 tank of gas left, then my car turned off. We coasted into a parking lot, and I got worried. Brian was convinced that my gauge was broken and my car was out of gas…

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…and he was right. So my gauge must be broken. 😦 I did learn that gas stations often have loaner gas cans. I hated being that couple walking down the street carrying a gas can. How embarrassing! Luckily, it was an easy fix, and our friend, Karl, was able to pick up our bibs for us. We made it to the race with plenty of time to spare. It was an overcast, humid morning, and the race started and finished along the water.

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This is everyone before the race.
Brian was beyond ready!

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I was, too!

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Jaime walked the race with her brother- and sister-in-law, and their super cute baby, Lucy! Karl started the race with us.

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We started too far back in the pack- we had to weave through a lot of walkers. Whoops. We had a little fun with that, then settled in to our pace.

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La Crosse’s police department uses Jeeps!

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The course was a mix of city streets and paths along the water.

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We finished with a official time of 30:28 and 30:29. I cheered Brian on ahead of me. πŸ™‚ I’m still debating the time- my Garmin showed our time being a full minute faster than theirs- I wonder if this race messed up our official start time? Anyway, I cried happy tears of pride for my husband.

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Lucy was able to walk across the finish line for the first time, and it was adorable.

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We stopped at Panera bread for lunch. πŸ™‚

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I love you, Jaime! The ride home was beautiful- I love that area of our state. La Crosse is so hilly, and everything was so green with the rain we’ve had lately.

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We got home from the race and started preparing for my photo shoot and our Cinco de Mayo get together. I left our house just as people were arriving, and I headed over to the Theatre @1800 to shoot the concert of my friend, Danny. I love hearing him play, and our friend Ben flew in from Maryland to play, as well.

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It was great to see you, Danny. Thanks for having me capture your concert!

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It was also SUPER awesome to see Ben.

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I rushed home to see all our friends. Brian, Devon and Christy, Amanda, Curtis and Mo, Davin and Kari, and Mary and Joe. It was a fun night of margaritas, Cranium, charades, and friends πŸ™‚

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Curtis, Mo, and Amanda spent the night πŸ™‚ We made a delicious pancake breakfast since I’m carb loading for tomorrow’s 20 miler.

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I have to go for now- the boys were rained out of their golf scramble today, so we’re having an afternoon of friends, too! πŸ™‚

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CrazyLegs race recap and fun formal events!

I have lots of wonderful news to report. πŸ™‚
I had a wonderfully busy weekend full of friends, running, and shooting like crazy!
Let’s start on Thursday- I went to lunch with my friend and photo mentor, Bill.20120429-204732.jpg
He’s been the guy to talk to when I have any camera-equipment (or kayaking or woodworking) related questions. After lunch, we went to visit our friend, Randy, who owns Radio Kaos.
20120429-205053.jpg That’s us with my newest cd, Lucero’s Women & Work. I’ll post more about the awesomeness that is Randy later. Hint: he’s WAY better than Pandora at helping me find music I’ll like.
On Thursday night, we headed over just north of town for an engagement shoot with Kim and Mark. They’re two awesome bikers who are adorable together and we had a ton of fun!
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Later that night, we went out with our friends, and discovered that Guu’s has Bell’s Two-Hearted!!!!
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I spent Friday morning cleaning the house, editing photos, and getting ready for Friday and Saturday’s events. I met with Sarah in the afternoon; she interviewed me for her Entrepreneurship class. 20120429-210404.jpg Thanks, Sarah! It was great to catch up with you and I’m glad I could answer your questions for class.
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We finished dinner just in time to get ready to head over to campus and shoot SoirΓ©e Musicale. I love this event- it raises money for scholarships, and it’s near and dear to our hearts since we were once scholarship recipients. πŸ™‚ 20120429-210746.jpg20120429-210753.jpg20120429-210759.jpg
…our friend, Jeff, came back for a performance during the concert…20120429-210832.jpg20120429-210846.jpg

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After that late night, we went straight to bed. We met Amanda in Plover at 6 am on Saturday to head down to Madison for CrazyLegs.

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I had a few friends running the race…

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…and the rest of our supporters manned a table with melanoma information and all sorts of goodies from the Melanoma Research Foundation.
About the race itself: I had a blast. It was a cold, rainy morning, but there was so much excitement with the 25,000 runners that I was pretty distracted. It took 25 minutes to cross the start line, but that gave me a chance to get to know the folks around me.

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Don’t mind the angled picture of the capital, I was trying to walk and shoot while keeping my phone dry πŸ˜‰
I started out next to a guy named Kevin. I asked him what time our wave was expecting. I know we put in our anticipated finishing time when we register to help the organizers set the waves correctly, but I forgot what I’d planned on. He reminded me that our wave was for the 10:00 mile people. I smiled, because I must have been feeling pretty relaxed when I set that time. Kevin looked at me and said, “Ten minutes, but I bet you’re going to blow that out of the water, huh?” He was reading my mind. Kevin asked if he could run with me, and of course, I said yes. Once the race started, we continued to chat- and I discovered that this was Kevin’s first race! I wanted to help him have a good experience, so I felt him out and we ended up talking about half of the race. I asked him how he got into running, and that’s when he revealed the kicker. He had a stint put in his heart at the end of October. I was so proud of him for running this race- he said running was a part of his cardiovascular rehabilitation. Absolutely awesome! I helped him maintain an even pace, which ended up with us passing lots of people in the last couple miles. We had a lot of fun weaving around the people who’d drastically slowed down- it was like playing a (polite!) game of catch. We came into the finish together, but he let me finish first, even though I was waving him ahead. πŸ™‚

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Congratulations, Kevin! You are one inspirational stranger!

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I finished with an official time of 45:42. Since it’s my first 8K, it’s automatically a PR! πŸ™‚

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We love you, Rachael. Race 3 of 6, done. Oh, and I saw a giant Bucky. πŸ™‚

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After the race, we went to our friend’s apartment to warm up and visit. Ashley, Amanda, Sarah, and Sarah’s mom were there. πŸ™‚ More friends were coming, but Brian and I had to head back to Stevens Point to clean up and get ready for the Rotary Club’s ball in Wausau. We donated our services to this event to help them raise money for new literacy programs. Reading is fun and SO important!

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The band, Fat Brass, was pretty awesome! They played a variety of different styles, and it was a fun night. It’d been a while since Brian put on a tux and I put on a dress at the same time. πŸ™‚

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Dale was there, too! We got to share a few dances at the end of the night.

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Talk about an exhausting day!
This morning, I made Brian some delicious homemade muffins. Giant banana-nut-chocolate-chip muffins. πŸ™‚ I also got to babysit for the ADORABLE baby Halle. I took a few pictures- I’ll post them soon.

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I got to play with her while her beautiful momma was rehearsing with Brian’s sax quartet. We went for a walk. Can you find the baby in the bundle of blankets? πŸ™‚

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We came home from the walk to hear the quartets’ last tune. I love having live music in my home!

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Off to go watch some True Blood with my handsome hubby. πŸ™‚

Miles this year: 222.3

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