January 1, 2017

Oh the Places You'll Go [2016]

“It’s opener, out there, in the wide, open air.”
Dr. Suess, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

2016 was a travel-filled year for me. And when I say travel-filled, I mean crossing-continents-and-oceans travel-filled. 
It was also full of soccer, photography, college, and learning, and it came with a whole new list of things to experience and grow from. 

 Hannah and Mason got my year off to the *perfect* start. And when I say perfect, I mean splendiferously wonderful. We got coffee and then went to one of my favorite places for pictures. This places was  also where Mason proposed to Hannah - so it's a little extra special to them.

Christmas break wouldn't be quite the same if my Dakota-friend and I didn't get together and talk about the new things of our lives. She got married and I kept doing the college thing.

I went back to school towards the middle of January! I was able to be on my school's chorale again this year which gave me lots of opportunities to travel.

 During Spring break, we all got on the bus, drove to Colorado... that was where the majority of our concerts were. It was a grand adventure that included visiting the Garden of the Gods and sing in the Cathedral at the National Air Force Academy.

After the Colorado trip, we got back to school only to leave for a long weekend singing in Chicago. We also managed to do a wee-bit of sight seeing, as well as trying the food from local famous food joints.

 I got to help photograph Hayden and Carrie's wedding in April. Her ring was gorgeous and those blue mason jars were just *perfect* backdrops.

Shortly after that, two of my dear friends from camp got engaged and we went to a gorgeous park for their pictures.

OH MY! This is my favorite part.... and when I say favorite I mean FAVORITE.
Folks. I got to go to Europe. EUROPE.

Eery few years the chorale from my college tours Europe.... and this was one of those years! We were gone for around 24 days, and wow! It was the most wonderful, exhausting, out-of-my-comfort-zone trips I have every been on. There were people who didn't speak my language, foods I had never eaten....much less heard of. But all in all, it was a life changing experience!

We had a concert almost every day and the few times we had down time, we were able to go sight-seeing.

^^ That's us singing in the streets.... proof that we actually were singing. I'm the short one on the left. ... for those of you who were wondering. :)

After getting back to the USA, I was able to help photograph my cousin's wedding. He married to one of my college friends, and I'm so stoked to have her as part of my family!

This summer was fantastic! I lived and worked in Minnesota  When I say "lived" I mean, I stayed there between my different trips back to Iowa and Washington... but that's getting ahead of myself.

 Pretty soon now, I'll leave Washington state and officially move to Minnesota for a few months until I leave the country for my next big adventure in July.

You'll read about that trip in a later blog post. :)

Remember those trips to weddings I talked about? Well, I flew back to Iowa to shoot Ryan and Carissa's wedding and to celebrate July 4th with some friends, and then (a few weeks later) I got to fly to Washington.

I had forgotten how absolutely beautiful this part of the country was!

Oh! P.S. One of my best friends got married!
And WOW! She was a gorgeous bride!

I also was a *HUGE* fan of the homemade pancakes, farm eggs, and fresh huckleberries that go along with being back in Washington.

The Big Brother and I also carved out some time to go on a wee adventure up my favorite mountain.

I can always count on him to be ready and willing to go on adventures with me. <3

I remember waking up around 5 or 6 AM Saturday morning (my body hadn't adjusted to the new time zone) going out to the garage, grabbing some wood, and starting to create. Pretty soon Daddy came out and helped me finish up my few projects.

I had been planning on this project for quite some time and I'm glad I finally finished it.

Then it was back to Minnesota to finish up my summer job. I also had some time to do a little bit of exploring around that state. I'm looking forward to getting to explore a bit more soon.

I took senior pictures of my cousin Bethany >> Class of 2017

Abigail, another cousin, got her senior pictures taken too >> Class of 2017

Then it was back home to Iowa where I went to the Iowa State Fair with some great friends and then spent a few days at my "other home" in Iowa with some of my favorite people. 

I got to play with cows and spend the last few days of break relaxing before soccer training week made every muscle in my body sore. 

I also started a new hobby. For quite a while, I've been interested in lettering, but this year I expanded a little and started painting barn board signs. They're so much fun and I love how each sign has its own personality!

Next thing on my schedule was to photograph the proposal of some of my friends from camp. I worked with Will at camp two years ago, and Arien worked there a few weeks as well. 

I think it was almost a year and a half ago when Will asked me if I would take pictures at his proposal, and I told him I would do my best to be in the area. It just so happened that I WAS in the area, and so I got to photograph their sweet proposal.

This year, in and around school, I got to see a glimpse of what harvest in Iowa is like. I spent almost every weekend at a farm learning all about harvest and combining and corn and beans. 

It was totally new experience to this small- town Washington girl who grew up surrounded by fields of wheat. 

Hannah >> Class of 2017
Her brother and I went to school together, so when she spent a weekend visiting, we decided it was the perfect chance to sneak in some pictures!

I also took full advantage of that deal that Starbucks had going on (remember the one.... buy one get one free?!) Breaks from studying are made way better when you grab a friend and go get free coffee!

I spend a great amount of my free time making and painting wood signs. I was able to get together with some friends and have a small booth at a Christmas craft fair. 

This handsome guy is another cousin of mine.
Jacob >> Class of 2017

Man.... Minnesota sure knows how to do these sunsets right. 

My last proposal of the year was for Nolan and Grace.
Grace has been one of my best friends while at college, so I was beyond exciting to get to shoot her proposal! 

Then it was back to the Iowa farm for a week before I headed back to Washington.

It's been fun to be able to relax and not worry about school. But just because I'm not in school anymore doesn't mean I plan on not drinking anymore coffee!

I've already been to my favorite coffee shop several times, and I have more plans to visit again.

Dakota, this sweet friend of mine, loves to take pictures and drink coffee as much as I do, so she makes the perfect adventuring buddy!

Also, a little preview into this next year's blogging schedule.... I'm planning on creating several different posts including some of my FAVORITE recipes that I have found in my many, many, vast years of cooking experience.
So, if you want some good recipes, hang around!

It's my personal goal to blog once a week, probably on Wednesdays or Thursdays. It's also my goal to have a prayer journal this year, so I guess I'll have to go out and buy a pretty one that will inspire me to pick it up every day.

I hope you all have an absolutely wonderful 2017!
Happy New Year!
Anna Rose

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