2/5 with Briggs & Riley


I took a trip to New Mexico over Christmas, traveling with Briggs & Riley luggage, for a photo project with my brother and photographer, Andy Johnson III. This series of photos showcases my experience with top-of-the-line Briggs & Riley luggage that embodies a sense of ease and class.

One of my favorite features of the luggage is a compression technique that makes it easier to pack more items into a smaller suitcase. This eliminates the need for carrying extra bags and makes packing snow gear easy. I always aim to travel as light as possible no matter how long or multifaceted the trip is that I’m taking. During my packing process I put together pieces that are easily interchangeable. After I’ve narrowed it down to the basics I step away for a bit and come back with a clear mind and simplify it once more to about half what I originally planned to pack.

One thing I’ve realized in all my travels its that I’ve never under-packed (unless you include forgetting my bathing suit). Even with goggles, gloves, snow pants and hats I was able to feel light as I boarded each flight with my Briggs & Riley luggage. Using the backpack that comes with the set made it easy to navigate and replaced my need for a purse on the trip. I used it to carry my valuables as we explored New Mexico and snowboarded in Taos.

Traveling never goes the way you plan. Being flexible and viewing things with a sense of adventure is key. I never would have believed if you told me that I would leave home in 70 degree weather to get snowed in while in the southwest. Waiting out the blizzard enabled us to spend an extra two days in Santa Fe, which I absolutely fell in love with, even though we had to forgo some of our other travel plans. My silver lining is feeling myself being pulled back for another visit to New Mexico and hopefully very soon.

Photos by Andy Johnson
Web: JustAndy.com
IG & Twitter: @justAndyPhoto


I’m laying on a blanket in the shade. A yellow finch is singing right above my head and a hummingbird flying from bloom to bloom. The boys are catching tadpoles in the lake. The breeze is slight and calming. I spent the morning making eucalyptus garlands for a friend. Everything feels calm and perfect and I don’t want to miss a thing. Both boys will be in school the end of summer and it’s been on my heart to take a break again for the summer from social media and posting. Harder than it should be to break away from the habits we find ourselves in isn’t it? But that’s what I want and the freedom that comes with it. We don’t have any big plans this summer and I’m not obligated to anyone. I want to spend the summer focusing on my parenting and developing a better base for who I want to be as a mother and learning to care for myself better as well. 

With beauty and grace,



            Today is our first full day of summer break. I’d be lying if I said my nervousness didn’t equal my excitement. It takes several weeks for the boys to adjust back to life full time together that makes it especially hard around here.

It’s been an interesting season of reflection and tackling old projects. Almost as if I’m subconsciously pushing out the old to make room for…? More good.
A friend sent me this article this morning and I’m overwhelmed by how accurate it explains what I’ve been learning over the past few years. Not a popular topic but something I think should be talked about more. Personality disorders and relational abuse. I wish I was better at articulating these things but feel grateful for the people who do and do it well. I’m planing on making a list of books and resources that have helped me learn to identify unhealthy relationship patterns. The least I can do is pass on what’s helped me understand myself and those around me better because I know I’m not alone in this. Truth is I’ve grown into adulthood believing what I feel and need isn’t important only meeting the desires of others is. So not only learning to say “no” learning when I WANT to say “no”. Identifying my basic needs and desires has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced. Such irony!

This week I’ve been taking the goats to the woods to forage since my fence doesn’t reach all the way back. It’s been so eye opening to sit there with my quilting and watch them mow through the brush while the boys swing on the wild vines. As I sat in the shade with a spoon and half a watermelon the other day I was overwhelmed by what surrounded. My yard is beautiful with the most peaceful view and at least half a dozen large shade trees. A beautiful small brick home that rents about the same as a one bedroom appartment in the city. Life isn’t easy and more often than not I heap more work on myself than necessary but man we’re so blessed. Seeking to truly embrace all this beauty and let my heart settle here.

This shirt / The Katherine

This album / We Will Not Be Shaken

This recipe / Banana Crepes

This book / Women Who Run with the Wolves



Yesterday a close friend told me she lost her baby this week. My heart ached and tears poured. I’d like to say I handled today like I did my last hard anniversary but for me the loss of my baby has never gotten easier. 

Four years ago I remember like it was yesterday laying in the hospital while an insensitive nurse delivered the news. I remember thinking “you don’t understand” or maybe not every woman is affected like I am. 

The words keep going through my head “you’re missing from me little one”. Hard to even dream about having a two year old in my life right now. But then I sit back and have to thank God for the two beautiful boys I have and pray He teaches me to love them better every day. 

I think about moms all over the world. The ones who watch their children taken into slavery knowing their fate, the ones who can’t afford to feed their babies, the ones with incredible supportive husbands who can’t conceive and want nothing more, the ones who effortlessly have one after another but are too tired to enjoy it or the victims of rape who have to make a hard decision based on trauma. This world can seem so cruel and often is, there’s no cure, there’s no formula to protect yourself from pain. 

There are people who go through their life somewhat fortunate to never be greeted by such tragedies but while appealing I would never wish for such a life. It’s in pain and heartache I’ve learned compassion and in my faults I’ve learned humility. This life isn’t fair and never will be but it is what we make it in how we respond to what life gives. Isn’t that beautiful? We’re not victims to life it’s our choice even when circumstances seem far out of our control. 

Looking around seeing the beauty. 

Our newest addition. Angora goats, Aslan and Aspen. 

Morning poragae on the sun porch with this sweet one. 

Hot days of yard work. 

Tristan bent on learning and getting the “squeaks” out. 

The adorable face that relentlessly digs holes in my yard and kills all my bushes. 

My preschool graduate.

Tristan the goat whisperer. He begs me every day to keep these kids! 

Practicing walking the line after a water balloon fight. 

Summer is off to a good start here. Hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend!  



10,000 apologies, 500 boxes of bandaids, 556 peanut butter sandwiches, 307 games of monopoly, endless car pool lines, birthday cakes, road trips and dance parties! What a life we share both the beauty and the sadness. My boys have watched me curse and fall and get back up, they’ve watched me fight my way out of depression, countless amounts of tears and belly aching laughs. They’ve forgiven me more times than I even want to remember. The list could go on forever. I’m so grateful for them and so grateful for this life and journey I’ve been given. 

To four years, I wouldn’t change a thing. 


            These pictures feel about as scattered as my heart lately. It’s been a particularly hard season of growth and surrender. I wish I could say I was good at letting go, trusting but my heart seems to be as far from it as I am from the mountains.

I just started reading a book that I’ve been putting off for a long time called Hinds Feet On High Places (religious). Bittersweet reminder that love doesn’t come without knowing pain. I cringe a little when the words come off my tounge, I don’t want to feel more pain! Constantly asking have I not had enough? When is my turn to feel the joy of love. And then of course in my reading this morning another humbling reminder of where true joy comes from. Not from actions or family or even love. True joy is an act of surrendering to what has already been given. It’s there for the taking and can’t be taken away. It’s there! So today at least in this moment I’m picking it up without looking behind or ahead I’m choosing everlasting joy.

Daily reminders of what I have to be garetful for.

210 / the boy and his love for animals

211 / my littlest helper

212 / the endless smiles these kids bring

213 / Lazy evenings playing cards

214 / finished projects

215 / car pool lines


5/10 Mother 


Today I’m doing the one thing I remember my mom asking for every year on Mother’s Day and never got. A day to herself. She graciously accepted all our gifts and attempts to make her day while honestly just wanting a break. 

I love and treasure this picture of her because it perfectly depicts my memory of her growing up. Furrowed brow quietly but fervently praying always praying while leaning over the dishes or food prep. My mom raised ten children and home birthed six of her own. She made everything from scratch and could stretch a penny in the grocery farther than anything I’ve ever seen. She’s a fighter and a prayer warrior and the strongest woman I know. She taught me the literal meaning of Eshet Chayil and want it meant practically to be a woman of valor. To speak with grace and never gossip. I’ve never in my life seen my mom do a selfish thing for herself, to a fault. She’s a stunning beauty and always strives to be humble. 

“To strong women everywhere, may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.”

5/7 Covet + Lou 


15′ Spring Lookbook for Covet and Lou went live today. Loved the chance to share my heart and home. These pictures are treasured memories. 

Details on the pieces I chose here.

204 / Apologies 

205 / My mum
206 / Heart shifts 

207 / Evidence of growth 

208 / Bug collections (and the collectors)

5/6 bread w/ Covett and Lou 


I recently had the opportunity to shoot a spring lookbook for Covet and Lou. Here are a few shot (more coming soon) that gave me a chance to share one of my favorite recipes. 

I clipped this out of a magazine in my teens and it’s been a family favorite ever since. Super easy albeit not very healthy but makes a perfect picnic lunch or road trip snack. I’ve substituted the sausage for ground turkey or even prosciutto! Definitely something you can get creative with. 

Sausage Cheese Braid 

4 1/2 t Active dry yeast 

1 1/4 cup warm water 

2 T Sugar 

1 1/2 t Salt 

1 t Italian seasoning 

1 Egg

1/4 cup Butter softened 

4 – 4 1/2 cups All-purpose flour 

1 lb Sausage 

1 cup Mozzarella cheese 

In large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water, add a pinch of the sugar and let proof for 5 minutes. Add sugar, salt, Italian seasoning, egg, butter and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, cook sausage, drain and set aside to cool. Punch dough down; divide in half. On floured surface, roll each half into a 14″x 12″ rectangle. Cut each one into 3 strips. Evenly distribute sausage and cheese along each strip. Fold together and pinch closed. Seam side down on greased sheet, braid strips together and pinch the ends. Cover and let rise till doubled about 45 mins. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes. Cool on wire rack completely. Makes 2 loaves. 
Lookbook photos shot by Whitney Neal

4/29 w/ Teva 


Capturing my everyday adventures as a mother of two boys isn’t always easiest, but Teva sure did it! 

It’s far too easy in our post-modern culture to be concerned about the details, the look, the right capture, but reality is no picture tells the entirety of any story. But pictures; They are still important and telling, helpful for putting words to a moment instantly. Subsequently, thank you Teva. For depicting what matters most whilst bringing comfort and practicality to my everyday life.

Today I’m grateful for 

191 / motherhood 

192 / A new season 

193 / Boys who are always up for adventure 

194 / Health to sustain an active lifestyle or rather an active lifestyle that supports our health 

195 / Fresh cut grass 
photos by Whitney Neal