Adventures (as told by our shadows)

In the last year, our small family has done a lot of traveling. We have visited sites faraway and nearby, across the country and just downtown. I never noticed it until a few days ago, but some of our travels have been documented by a simple photograph we like to call the “shadow photo”. Here are a few since we became a family…

family shadow photo

The first “official” family shadow photo! This was taken moments after Matt proposed to me at sunrise on Jekyll Island in April of 2012. When he and I took a side trip last month to St. Simons Island while visiting my parents in Florida, we discovered we were standing just across the water from this exact spot.

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chicken coop shadow photo

The summer of 2012 was stressful, chaotic, exhausting, and filled with uncertainty. We were fighting a legal battle and trying to establish where home was going to be. Some new friends invited us to their house for a family-style gathering (and what a big family they are!) and, homesick and in unfamiliar surroundings, we were grateful for the warm welcome. Elle spent the evening playing with their Great Dane, Samson, and helped me wrangle some chicken escapees. The above shot was taken outside the chicken coop after we managed to chase them all down and safely house them for the night. Then I watched the sun set in Addie’s garden and talked okra and Wisconsin with a woman I’d just met. I think I finally exhaled, too.

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Downtown Indianapolis is gorgeous! I say this because I’ve only seen it in the summertime (though I’m sure Indy, like every other city in the world, has its own kind of charm in the winter – I’m just a winter hater). Matt and Elle spent a lot of time at Gen Con while I wandered the city by foot and took in the nearby lush squares and city gardens. I also walked the halls of the Capitol building by myself and shared a chocolate ice cream cone with Elle on the steps of the Soldiers & Sailors Monument. The whole week was pretty fantastic.

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Martin Park Nature Center here in Oklahoma City is one of my favorite places to spend some time with the trees. After a few solo visits, I encouraged Elle to come along one afternoon with the promise of walking barefoot in a creek. That might not sound like a big deal to most people, but we Floridians usually avoid such activities, seeing as one never knows what people-eating creatures lie beneath the surface of the water. Oklahoma…you continue to impress me.

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I try not to get too sentimental about certain things, but this photo captured a lot for us. I don’t know why Matt isn’t in this shot, though. This was taken on Christmas Day last year, our first official Christmas as a family. This is also Elle’s first encounter with snow! Again, refer to the Floridian comment above for that explanation (many of you might be surprised by how many Floridians have never seen snow).

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shadow photo!

And finally, our family camping trip this past spring in the Wichita Mountains – and Matt is actually in this shot! It was beautiful, a little chilly, and nobody slept a wink. While Matt loves to camp out and enjoy the outdoors, I prefer to hike trails after a restful night’s sleep in a cabin. Elle doesn’t care for camping or hiking, but she loved seeing the prairie dogs. This trip gave me a close-up encounter with longhorn cattle and I finally saw a bison with my own eyes. We stood on the top of Mount Scott and tracked otters in French Lake.

I’m ready for more adventures…

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