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Savannah, Georgia

Dear Travel Diary,

In March 2014, Nick and I travelled to Savannah, Georgia. And though it was one of my favorite trips to date, I must admit it feels like a lifetime ago. In the picture above, I am seated at the exact spot where Georgia was signed into statehood. Imagine the changes and improvements and moments and history the city of Savannah bore witness too - would the men who established statehood recognize the city today?

In a way, my life feels quite similar. That photograph was taken four months prior to a diagnosis that completely turned our lives upside down. The smiling woman in the photograph is a mere shell of who she is today - rough around the edges, still trying to overcome the emotions and fear associated with chronic illness, yet slowly recognizing that her mess is becoming her message.

I am not who I was when this photograph was taken. I have weathered the most intense storm of my life, and come through the other side. We have but one precious life to live, and I aim to teach my daughter that though diabetes is a part of her life - it does not define her.

Forward progress.

Savannah, Georgia beautifully honors its heritage by bringing its rich history into the modern era. By celebrating the significance, we see how what was became what is and what will be. There is no other city in this country whose ghosts (both literally and figuratively) are so revered and preserved as Savannah. As I continue on my own journey, I feel grateful for my history because it is shaping my future. The general truth is, I am happy despite my challenges.

Better everyday.

And as creepy as the brick staircases that lead into the basements of century's old buildings may appear, descend - you will travel back in time.

We went on two city tours - both at night. We were granted access to areas within these building that are typically restricted to visitors. I was struck by the ornate detail work within the architecture. Look at those doors. As I stood in this room above the bar at Moon River, surrounded by chipping paint; I wondered who else in history looked through the glass.

The city of Savannah presents itself in the same way it was originally designed, with neighborhoods surrounding town squares. Within the center of each square stands a monument honoring those who helped shape the city. Savannah has strong connections to both the Revolutionary War and especially the Civil War. Even when walking empty streets around the city, you are never truly alone.

This is why I recommend wearing very practical shoes if you intend to explore here.

And though the city of Savannah has left its mark on me, Nick and I didn't leave the zip code without leaving a piece of ourselves behind as well -

Macy's Santaland - Minneapolis, MN

Dear Diary,
This time it lead us to the Light Rail, which brought to downtown Minneapolis to check out Santa's Workshop on the 8th floor of the Macy's building.





The Gingerbread Build of 2015

Dear Holiday Diary,
Hurray! This year's first attempt didn't implode on us like it did in 2014.


Dear Photography Diary,
Flowers. I can't grow them, but I enjoy photographing them!
A rose in Albuquerque, New Mexico ...

I have no idea what these are, but they're growing on the grounds of the Milwaukee Art Museum.

The petals of this flower look like tissue paper.

And another stunner from Albuquerque!

Garden of the Gods - Colorado Springs, CO

Dear Travel Diary,
First, I cannot take credit for these photographs as they were shot by my husband.
Second, they're some of my favorite!

There is a photograph with the exact same subject and composition as my husband's shot hanging in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Air Force Academy Chapel - Colorado Springs, CO

Dear Travel Diary,
The Chapel at the Air Force Academy is the only building open to the public on campus. It's been almost 10 years since Nick and I went, as we were there on our honeymoon.
It's absolutely breathtaking. Unfortunately, I couldn't locate my shots of the exterior. The way the sun shone through the stained glass created one of the most incredible light shows I've ever experienced in my life.
Could you imagine getting married here?

Stay golden, November

Dear Photography Diary,

We welcomed November with a massive leaf clean-up around our property.

Correction: Nick tried to clean up, the kids had a different agenda.


Dear Holiday Diary,

Due to the 2nd Annual Failure of Pumpkin Cultivation, I took the kids to Pahl's Market so we could do some carving.

Of course, no fall visit to Pahl's is complete without belly flopping into a pit of corn. 

... Then came the second failure of the night, realizing Landen's pumpkin was rotten. 
That's why we only carved one.

Our neighborhood goes all out for Halloween, and I love it. Homes are transformed to the haunted variety, and at dusk, costumed kiddos emerge to collect candy. My favorite house passes out shots of alcohol to the adults. 

While waiting for the bewitching hour to begin, I took a couple of photos of the kids in costume.
"Please don't eat meeeeeeee!"

Edwards Apple Orchard, 2015

Dear Photography and Travel Diaries,
Nestled amongst the farm grounds in Poplar Grove, IL lies Edwards Apple Orchard. 
It is a fall destination as much as it is a tradition. 
Another free weekend lead us back to the airport, where we scored four seats to Chicago to visit family. And within that visit, Edwards beckoned.

A series: how daddy dissolves a tantrum.
*Captured by Bri*
When my MIL pointed her phone at us and said, "act lovingly," this happened. 
We have a photo just like this from when Landen was still being pushed in a stroller. And I am so happy this is one of our traditions.

*Last two photos of this post taken by LS