SKOL and the Snow | Minnesota Nature Photography

This past Sunday was an exciting one in Minnesota. Our beloved Minnesota Vikings moved on to the NFC Championship game this week against the Philadelphia Eagles. If you’re not a Vikings fan, you just don’t get it. And that’s ok!  No, it wasn’t the Super Bowl, it wasn’t even a championship game. However, if you’ve been a Vikings fan for as long as I have (and many more), it felt like it!  Year after year we have had heart break. So many games that were decided at the last minute because of a missed field goal, interception, etc. It NEVER goes our way. Until this past weekend. Not sure if I’ve come down from the high yet!  I am hoping to get a group together to head down to Minneapolis this week to catch some evening shots of some landmarks that have turned purple in honor of our Minnesota Vikings.  SKOL!

At any rate, while the Vikings were playing INSIDE in the warm temps, the snow was falling OUTSIDE in quite frigid temps. I wasn’t able to venture further than my own back yard (I live in an apartment so not much was available, and I was feeling a bit under the weather), but I grabbed a few pretties in the snow before the big game.  Enjoy!

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Happy New Year! | Elk River Nature Photography

This holiday leaves me a little happy, a little sad, and somewhere in between. I’m sad because every year I promise myself I’m going to get back at my nature blog and post. And every year I manage to break that promise. I started a 52 week challenge at the beginning of 2017 and it peetered out.  Working 3 jobs has clearly taken its toll on my nature blogging.  I am missing my parents and my brother so much this week. Holidays are so rough when you have loved ones in heaven. I wish Heaven had visiting hours and wasn’t so far away!

So many things happened in 2017. Good and bad.  I had a tremendous year with my senior and family portrait photography business.  Check out my website here if you wish, www.frommomentstomemories.net. It keeps me busy and adds income in the summer months when I’m not working at the school. It also supplements my income in the fall months. However, it takes me away from so much. My sidekick, my nature walks and blogging, and “me” time.

On a somber note, my sidekick has been diagnosed with POTS (Postural Orthastatic Tachycardia Syndrome), EDS (Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome), Chronic migraines with seizures, Chronic Fatigue, Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis and a plethora of other chronic issues.  All due to her HPV vaccination she received in 2013. She has been going downhill health wise since the end of her freshman year in high school. Unfortunately she had to leave school physically in the middle of her junior year and start online studies.  She has a debilitating neurological disorder that doctors still are challenged by.  She suffers from migraines and seizures every day. All together it is called “Dysautonomia”, which is an umbrella term meaning she has a dysfunction of her autonomic nervous system. There is no cure.

I graduated from my online degree program in December of 2016 and ending up getting a job as a Personal Care Attendant for her.  I work part-time in the mornings at the school while she is sleeping, and go home and take care of her in the afternoons/evenings as my job.  I am fortunate that my state recognizes family members as PCA’s, because I can’t leave her home alone for more than a couple of hours at a time.  This summer and fall, I scheduled portrait sessions around my PCA schedule. When she felt up to it, she came along and was a tremendous help with posing, putting kids at ease, playing with the little ones, etc. She helps so much with the administrative side of my business.

She was able to attend her senior prom in May, and graduated from high school in June, and I couldn’t have been prouder.  It was so hard for her, and I saw what she went through just to get it done. Now her friends have gone off to college, and she is stuck at home with this debilitating health issue.  She is not able to keep a job, as she is always having to call in sick. We have been to the Mayo and several specialists. She has also tried 13 different meds and 3 bouts of Botox. Sigh. It has been so difficult to see her deteriorate when she was such an active, vibrant, social teenager. She has her good days and bad days, and I pray for more good days. We have an upcoming appointment with at Neurologist at the University of Minnesota, who specializes in Autonomic Disorders. We are hopeful.

I started selling my nature prints through my website, and may join the crowd on getting them onto Fine Art America in the upcoming weeks.   I am really hoping to at least try to blog a couple of times a month in 2018, but I am not going to promise anything anymore.

I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, that is not my intent, just wanted to explain a little about my life and whereabouts the last few months.  Nature photography has gotten me through many things, including the passing of my mom, and soon after, my dad. It is so relaxing and refreshing to be able to get out into nature and just be.  I have found a little time throughout the year to take a nature photo here and there, and will share my year with you here.

I enjoy popping on once in a while and reading up on my fave nature photographer/bloggers here on WordPress.  I may not always comment, just know that I am lurking every now and again and hope to do more in the coming year!

Here are a few of my faves from this past year.

I sincerely hope you all have a safe and happy new year!