Late Spring Updates!

It has been a busy year so far and I haven’t posted a new blog since January I think. And it’s May now! A lot has happened since January.

In February, my Gramma passed away after a battle with cancer. She had been diagnosed late last year and at first it was to be removed and all would be well. She had several hiccups that prevented them from removing it, and by January the cancer had spread. The day she passed she was gearing up to start more chemo, and she suffered a stroke and then later a heart attack and passed away in the hospital with my Granddad by her side. We had barely gotten the news that her cancer had progressed and she passed so unexpectedly.

Gramma and Raelynn during our visit in summer 2016.

It has been just under 3 months since she passed and while the shock of her death has subsided, it almost feels more painful now at times because the space between when I last spoke with her and today grows more and more. I feel like a hundred things are stacked up within me that I want to talk to her about. Normally I would call and talk to her every week or two or so, and I’d have a laundry list of updates on life to tell her about. Now it’s all just pent up.

Less than a week after my Gramma passed away, we flew to Orlando, Florida and went to Disney World. The timing was awful but since the trip was already booked and paid for, we went. We met up with 3 of my sisters and their families. It was an amazing and wonderful trip, but I was struggling with the grief and everything that comes with that the entire time. However I am glad that we chose to go, because being around family and experiencing the joy and magic of the parks really helped me a lot.

I will try to get around to posting about the trip at a later time, but just wanted to give a shout out to the Magic Kingdom fireworks show, it was so amazing and beautiful and brought tears to my eyes!

Magic Kingdom castle during the fireworks show.

After we returned home to Kansas, we got the news that Terrill was selected for his dream job in the Air Force Honor Guard, and that we will be moving to Washington D.C! I am so proud of my husband and excited for this journey, but would be lying if I didn’t say I am also sad to leave Kansas behind (who would have thought, since I hated it so much at first!). We have sold our house and will be closing next month, and then hitting the road mid-July.

I decided to close my newborn portrait studio and focus on making props. As far as photography goes, I plan to capture travels and document out lives, but currently have no plan to open another business after we move. At least not for awhile. I’d love to explore the equine population there and get back in to photographing horses. We shall see where the journey takes me!

In March we flew to Spokane (well, flew to Seattle, rented a car and then drove to Spokane) for my Gramma’s memorial. It was great to be in her home around her things and around family. I have another blog post with photographs of my grandparent’s house. The last day we were in Spokane, everyone else had left and so we spent time with my Granddad and I went around the house photographing different rooms and saying good-bye to it. My Granddad has decided to sell the house as early as this summer and hit the road in his RV. I am super excited for his journey and can’t wait to see where it takes him. It was hard to say good-bye to the house as my grandparents bought it in the 70’s and it has been the only constant in my entire life. But I knew always that the day was inevitable, and all I can ask is that it brings future families the protection, joy and happiness that it brought to our family.

Just a few of the books in my Gramma’s collection. She was an avid reader.
Solid glass orb with my gramma’s ashes. The white foamy part is her ashes

Right before my Gramma’s memorial, my husband’s grandfather (Papa) passed away. We are heading to his memorial in Alabama next weekend. It will be good for him to be around his family and celebrate his Papa’s life.

Terrill and I are considering buying a camper so that we can spend the weekends in DC camping. Right now we have a pop up camper that his sister gave us but it doesn’t have AC, so we wouldn’t be able to leave the dogs in it on hot days which would make it difficult to explore. I have looked at ways to install an air conditioner in to the pop up, but the options are either terrible or expensive, not to mention the camper has little to no insulation so all of the cold air would escape anyway. I can’t stop feeling excited about hopefully finding the perfect older used camper to fix up and make in to an awesome home away from home! There’s so much to explore around DC and the east coast, and it would be awesome to not have to worry about finding a hotel that allows dogs. Plus the bigger part is the closer connection to nature you have with a camper.

So now it is all about finding one that our truck can pull that’s within budget and in good shape. It would be nice to find one before we leave, but I’m fine with waiting until we get settled if one doesn’t come up before we head out.

I guess that’s about it for updates for now! I plan to get my camera out more and capture our daily life more often, as it is so fun to look back at photos from previous years and see changes with everyone and life in general. Plus with all the travels coming up, I will have lots of cool subject matter.

Until next time!

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