I Still Have a Camera. I think.

If it is not obvious, I have been a bit busy with this thing called life. Not necessarily doing anything exciting, but just busy. It is amazing how busy someone can be owning a house, having a full time job, and then the other adult responsibilities involved with this. Needless to say, my camera took a back burner. I do miss taking pictures.

I wish I could start this post talking about all of the great photos I have to show everyone. Sadly I have only grabbed my camera a few times this year. Please don’t judge me harshly when I admit this, but May was the first time my camera was used this year. So of course it would be of one of my favorite things to photograph. My brother Copper. I am a bit amazed about how crazy he still acts. He is a child at heart. So I guess we are twins in that manner.



I also still have a love of cars, but I think I am over spending money on this. (I hope, but probably not).


I do think I am over my desire of wanting a motorcycle. Just a bit too dangerous for me. That being said, I do love how this one looks.




Then I took another 3 month hiatus from taking pictures. Why do I do this to myself? In August I got around to attending one of the weekly criterium races. It was something I used to attend on a weekly basis a few years ago. The crit racing season was practically over by the time I started going. So I deeply regret waiting this late in the year because it was nice getting to be around other cyclist.

DSC_4203a DSC_4343a

DSC_4498a DSC_4507a DSC_4602a DSC_4611a DSC_4640a DSC_4657a DSC_4716a DSC_4731a

Then over the past weekend I went to Gatlinburg. I realized that most of the year had gone by without me using any vacation days. So I planned a 4 day solo trip filled with hiking, cycling, photograph, and just chilling. The hiking/photography was minimized due to poor weather. Thankfully the rain did not keep me inside the whole time.

I bought an Eno hammock a few weeks ago, and I have become slightly obsessed with it. I can’t think of anything I have enjoyed more lately than just laying in it reading a good book. (Not Harry Potter series for once)


As you can tell, the weather was amazing on the day I drove up. So I spent the afternoon enjoying it the best way I know how. Hammock, bike, book, and camera.



The first day was the last day I would see good weather. Early Friday morning the rain started to arrive. I set reservations at a mountain bike trail to ride in the morning to avoid the afternoon/pm storms they were predicting. I was very wrong. It was just sprinkling at the beginning which was refreshing. Then around mile 4 the skies unleashed. So much for a clean bike.


The trail was short, but it was lots of fun. (Outside of my crash) That being said I think I spent more time hiding from the rain talking to the staff member working the shop/trail. Dave was a great dude to talk to about cycling, and he didn’t seem to mind me and the two other riders annoying him while it was pouring down.


I highly recommend checking out ClimbWorks whenever you are in the Gatlinburg area. They have a zipline course and a fun mountain bike trail. It is only around 1.5 miles a lap, but the pro is you can do as many laps as you want.

After riding I decided to head to Clingman’s Dome. The initial plan was to go hiking and set up the hammock. When I got to the park entrance I saw how poor the visibility was, so I figured it would be a bad decision going out on the trails by myself. So instead I just walked up to the observation tower. Hindsight that was probably not a good thing to do after mountain biking all morning.

DSC_5022a DSC_5027a

Saturday I tried to ride around the cabin some but my legs wanted nothing to do with it. The road goes up to 26% grading, so it is steep. So I took the short ride to the top at maybe 1/2mph, or so it seemed, only to realize the view was horrible. (Did I mention I had bad weather) So I packed up the camera and headed back down to the cabin. Thankfully I got a few photos of how dirty the mtn bike was.


I am going to be finding mud on this bike for months.


It was a short trip, but it was much needed. I certainly can’t wait to be back in the mountains.

Looking Back at 2014


Last year was a big year for many different reasons. It was not necessarily a great year for this photography blog, but it was a year full of many big changes for me and my family. Like most years, nothing typically happens the first few months of the year. Those are the months that I hibernate indoors. So I will just skip over those boring details and start with our vacation to Sarasota.




Regretfully it was still during tax season, so my dad was not present. But the rest of the family, and one of Alex’s friends headed down to Florida for an amazing week. I probably was going to enjoy it no matter the weather since going to Sarasota meant going to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If you do not know me, you probably would not know about my obsession with the Harry Potter books, music, movies, and all things connected. My car is named Lily after all, and I might have a Hogwarts puzzle hanging in my room. Sorry, I got distracted, back to the beach photos.


I had two new books, my camera, and nothing to do for a week. It was a great time to relax and was just the start of all the changes this year would bring.



The next big event was not for me, but for my little sister. In May she graduated from THE University of Tennessee. It was a good moment since that moved up the Vol Alumni count in our family. I am sure it was a time full of mixed feelings for her. It is exciting graduating college, but it is also a stressful time since so many people do not know what their next step is.





Two pictures of Sorority Row  on campus. The first is the summer before her Junior year right before they opened. The second is two years later after she graduated. Amazing what two years and some landscaping will do. (not quite at the same angle)


Then in June I got a new job. I had been at Kroger as a Transportation Planner for almost 3 years, and it was starting to show. I enjoyed some aspects of the job, but it was finally time to move on. I now work as a Transportation Analyst for OHL. It has been a great 6 months so far. It was hard at the beginning since I was not an Excel guru, but each day I leave feeling like I have provided value to the company.

The new job meant moving to a new side of the city. I was not going to deal with the stresses of i440 every day. So for the first few months I lived with my Aunt and Uncle. It was a great time, and I am extremely grateful that they took me in for so long. Also, it was nice getting to spend some time with some other dogs.






My cousin had two new additions to their family over the summer. It was a crazy time for all of them due to some of the health problems with Hudson. Seeing the twins today you would never think that Hudson was the one with all of the heart surgeries.




Being on the Brentwood side of town meant changing where I rode my bike. I spent probably 3-4 days a week riding Percy Warner. It was a challenge at the beginning since I was not used to so many hills. However, after a few weeks ofsome mental/physical pushing, I was going around the loop faster and faster each ride.  The one bad thing was I could not ride my recent single speed converted bike as much.


Moving to the other side of town also meant not seeing a few dogs as much.



September easily was the craziest month of the year. After months of searching with my amazing real estate agents Tammy and Mark Edwards I found my home. It was a VERY stressful first few weeks of being a homeowner, but it did not take long for the place to feel like home. All it needed was some paint, cleaning, and money haha. I am just a few miles from work, near lots of pizza restaurants, and within running distance of a small greenway. But the big focus of September was my older sister getting married. It was an incredible event, and I guess my dad would say “it should be” haha. Typically I do not enjoy events with lots of people, but that was a day I will always remember.





After the wedding is when the Fall season started to kick in. Now I won’t say I hate the Fall, but this is when my Winter blues start to kick in. I can’t seem to enjoy riding my bike in the cold, and with it getting dark so early I had to stop riding after work. Thankfully over the fall I was able to take some pictures around town, and at Gatlinburg for a weekend getaway with my family.DSC_2949a






Enter December and the first Christmas at my new home. It was overall a very relaxing month since I had some vacation days to use. It is a weird feeling sitting on you own couch and in your own home. I guess I finally grew up. Well somewhat, I still spend lots of nights watching Harry Potter movies with the three kids, aka my bikes.


Part of my Grandmother’s Snow Village.


Rachel has even started her own. I love the Griswold house.


It was a great Christmas. I spent a few days at my parents house. So it meant lots of bonding time with Copper. And those other people that live there.



2014 was a great year, and 2015 looks to be as well. I mean it did start with Alabama losing and the Vols winning in their bowl games.

Outside of photos, here are two videos I made this year.