October 02, 2017

Petit Jean State Park

A weekend in September we decided to go camping. It was rather last minute, waiting until it got closer to the date before we decided on a location (REALLY hard for me to do!)



I hesitated sharing, because the weekend was not picture perfect. But I also chose to share because not every trip or vacation will be picture perfect. Sure, we made some strides in food prep, and only having to stop at Walmart one time on the way, but the weekend didn't go as planned.

And it still turned out OKAY.

After lots of searching burn bans, weather forecasts, and availability at various parks, it came down to Petit Jean State Park: Arkansas' first state park. I will say, I was impressed with how nice their facilities are, and how family friendly it is! I would not have even thought of going here, but I'm SO glad it worked out!

The first evening was wonderful. We went on an owl prowl, hosted by a park guide. We were able to call an owl to us! We didn't see it, but we heard it! No pictures of that, just some awesome memories.

Day two we hiked the overlook. It was incredible!



















We still had some energy left, so we tried Bear Cave. I loved the trees, and the difficulty level was just right for our boys. This sign made me laugh, too. I guess every parent needs some super-vision.













This is where our trip took a turn.




At first, I thought it was just fear of heights, or lack of confidence that led to our oldest not being excited or wanting to participate. When we were almost done, I thought to feel his temperature.

He had a fever.

We soon realized that he was starting heat exhaustion and we quickly had to change our plans.

Instead of more fun-filled hikes, we drove back to town, sat and enjoyed the AC of our truck. We found a movie theatre near by, and went and watched a movie.



Thankfully that helped a lot, and provided a nice long cool down during the hottest part of the day, but we still adjusted the rest of the evening. It was either go home early, or stay the night, with the stipulation that the boys take showers before bed. (Honestly wasn't even planning on showering the whole weekend, but after seeing the park had showers, it would help cool them off. )





We stayed the night and I got this awesome sky picture. It probably looked more awesome on the back of my screen, but either way, I was stoked!



And that was it. Packed up the next morning, enjoyed a little park time, then drove home.

I think this trip seemed like more work than normal, but it's just because life hits at it's own time. It was a humbling reminder of what is important. Not everything will be perfect, or as planned. Do what you can, and it will be okay.



What are some curve balls that came to your most recent family trip?


July 09, 2017

Senior Guy Percussion Photography Session

It's been so nice to get back into sessions again. Family vacations are fun, and I've loved sharing those photos here (AND want to vacation even more), but I forgot how rewarding it is to photograph others! 

What an honor to photograph Sebastian - a local 2018 senior. And a percussionist! Now I might be biased being a musician myself, but I LOVE photographing seniors with passions and incorporating them into the session. Sebastian may have brought his drum sticks hesitantly, but I think they turned into some unique shots. Thanks for walking all over Denton in the crazy Texas heat! What a trooper!














Thanks again, Sebastian! Can't wait to do the rest of your photos!

Hey north Texas seniors! I'm currently booking for fall 2018! Be sure to email skipandleap@gmail.com to reserve your spot. Limited spots available!!

June 28, 2017

The Durango to Silverton Colorado Train Experience

If our road trip were to have a destination in mind, Durango would be it.  Family had gone before and raved about how wonderful it was, so of course we had to go, too! Everyone that had been to Durango highly recommended the train ride that goes between Silverton and Durango. Tickets are a little pricy, especially if you are trying to do things on a budget, but I believe the experience was worth it!



The whole trip was a surprise trip. The boys knew they were going on a camping road trip, and the night before we would tell them all about our surprise adventure for the next day.

My absolute favorite part of our train trip is that half of the gondola was filled up with a tour group. These wonderful people were from all over, including England, Australia, New Zealand, and some other European countries! I was in love with all of their accents!

My heart just swooned during the whole trip because two sweet ladies, Pat and Susan, temporarily adopted our boys. Anytime there was something interesting to see, they invited them over to their side of the train. By the end of the train ride we had gotten to know each other and were easily going from train side to train side for the views. Making new friends helped make it magical!













Even though we brought snacks, the boys were eyeballing the popcorn. I might have been too, so we went to the snack car. No pictures - sorry! Walking on a moving train with kids to get the food was enough multitasking! (Remember to bring cash with you on the train - all concessions on the train are cash only. )
















Pulling into Silverton was incredible! The train pulls up in the middle of the street, which was a dirt road. There is only one paved road in all of the town. It was so quaint! We had about an hour and a half to roam the town - perfect for pizza and a stroll.





We look a little like vagabonds! Being in the open air gondola we wore sunglasses for eye protection from the soot, but it still got all over us. Family and friends recommended to wear something we were okay with getting a little dirty (NOT white!). So glad we did. They boys hands looked filthy!

I wouldn't trade being soot free for a cabin. The time or two we went in to use the restroom, it felt a little stuffy, and a little quiet. I loved completely experiencing the changing temperature, the smell of the woods and water. Totally worth a little soot on your clothes!














Instead of taking the train back, we opted for the bus. I may or may not have almost fallen asleep on the bus. We were pretty tired at the end of the day! Because of my point of exhaustion - scenic pictures were resorted to little video clips on my phone, which were still amazing! To check them out, here's our full youtube video of our trip:



Thank you, Colorado, for being so awesome! Have you been to Colorado yet?

* * *

Want to catch up on our road trip?