July 27, 2017

It’s crazy how long it has been since I blogged.  It makes me oh so sad to not have been keeping up with all the amazing things I have been working on over the past 3 months.

Life is hard in the summer time.  It’s so bitter sweet.  On the one hand I ADORE the sweet time of sleeping in, non-rushed mornings (because we are FINALLY at that stage of life now…mamas with littles…there is a light at the end of the tunnel) but I have to also tell myself to “enjoy this” because just a couple of hours after those sweet mornings I already want to resent my children for not affording me the opportunity to get any of my work done.  So the battle rages on in my head…loving and allowing myself freedom in being a mom…vs…a kick a$$ photographer that actually gets back to all her clients and vendors on time with the most amazing packaging and customer service that keeps people coming back over and over again!


It’s such an exhausting and vicious cycle.  Can’t you feel me?

So I pray.  And I calm down…of course…but it is a moment by moment battle that rages on.  So, today I invites a couple of the boys friends over to play, and while they nerf-gun battle upstairs (and it sounds like the ceiling is going to cave in) I sit and write about the amazing trip we recently took to Colorado and miss it all over again…but allow myself some space to “work” and baby-step back into a creative outlet of my job that allows me to reconnect with all of you.  So enjoy.  I truly hope this blog post is fun and spurs on some ideas of your own this summer, or next!

This year our family chose to spend our time in The Durango area, including Mesa Verde and Pagosa Springs.  It was blissful…here is a day by day walk thru of the things we did, the places we ate and the fun we had along the way.


Day 1.

Waking up in beautiful colorado at our Airbnb condo was perfection.  The location is a little more outside of town, so the cost is more effective, but we literally got to sit on the back porch every moment we had and look out on a mountain out the backyard.

We made our breakfasts every AM at the condo and then head out on our adventures.  Today we walked to the top of the small mountain that was walking distance out our backdoor and started to acclimate our boys to the weather, altitude and terrain.  After a quick lunch at the condo we went down into Durango.  (a 5 minute drive from our spot).  We threw the frisbee and played on the playground at Fastbinder park, walked a little of the Animas river trails and then went to dinner at Fired Up Pizzeria on main street followed by a walk to Cream Bean Berry for icecream.

Day 2.

Venturing into Durango again we started off by hitting up our now favorite bakery, Bread, which we ended up hitting up every single morning we were there.  Y’ALL  GO!!!!  Our, now friend, Mr. Rob is the owner and there literally is nothing NOT worth buying here.  The cookies are SUPERB and the breads and sandwiches have you dreaming of more.  Plus there is a swing…a literal kids playground style swing on their porch…and Mr. Rob LOVES kids…what more could you ask for??

After swinging a bit on their porch and talking with Rob we made out for the local Colorado trail to hike the afternoon away.  With our boys we only made it to the bridge crossing over the river, but we ended up there for about an hour to play in the freezing waters and snack on granola bars.  There is an addition to this trail that goes all the way up to the peak, but our boys weren’t quite up to the task, and we went too late in the afternoon to make it happen.  We walked back to the car in an amazingly cool afternoon rain storm.  We caught a super late lunch at fastbinder park with homemade sandwiches and let our legs stretch out.  After that we grabbed a Papa Murphy’s pizza and went back to the condo for dinner and a movie in for the night.

Day 3.

After our morning routine at Bread we decided to make the DRIVE to Silverton.  This is something you can also take the train up to as well.  But we decided to make the crazy scary drive, and were so glad we did…the views…oh the views.  How I miss these views.  Silverton is a crazy cute town tucked down in the valley of the mountains ALL around it, which has it’s own intense ski slopes and adorable, OLD and quaint hotels and “pools” that you literally pay for right next to the icecream parlor.  It is a town still stuck back in history and I absolutely loved it for that.  There is an amazing drive from there up to Ouray on around to Telluride and back, which I am so sad we didn’t continue on towards, but you should totally make that happen, if you can!!

We made our way back to Durango before it got dark and the roads became even scarier and ate dinner at Grassburger and got an evening coffee and cookie at Durango Coffee Co.

Day 4.

Today we did Mesa Verde.  Something I am so glad we did, but something I don’t ever really need to do again.  HAHAHA.  The travel out to the park is completely different terrain from Durango, deserts and rock formations and SO MUCH FLAT.  We went to the park by way of Fahrenheit Coffee in Mancos.  WOW.  What well made lattes.  I am so glad we made the stop.  Super, cute, super quaint, super worth it!

Upon getting to Mesa Verde we found out that all of the ruins worth seeing are now officially by guided tour.  We weren’t in the mood for a guided tour, so we decided to drive into the park, hike a couple of the ruins sites that are self guided (but not nearly as awesome) and have lunch.  As you can tell we enjoy the route of taking our own pace (Silverton and Mesa Verde) so tours are not always our thing….especially in the dessert on your vacation from HOUSTON.  Take us back to the mountain please.  So after seeing the beautiful mesas of the area we left the park and decided to head out to 4 corners for the “experience” which wasn’t really much of an experience, but we got to see some crazy countryside, some amazing rock formations, including shiprock, and get to be in 4 different states at once.

All that to say, we were so happy to be back in mountainous Colorado later that day.

Day 5.

Today was an early day for us so we could get out and hike a peak hike with the boys.  The first one for our family.  We found the Animas Mountain trail and decided to attack it!  It was a trail we are so glad we did early in the AM…all uphill the first part of the hike…and we did it in a counter clock-wise route, which proved to be the smart way to attack with the way the shade is from the trees and the sun beats down on the mountain at that time of the morning.  We peaked.  And we were so proud!  The view is amazing and throughout the top of the hike you get to see many different valleys of Durango and surrounding.  It was a hike that was perfect for our first family peak hike and one that was totally doable.

After that we rewarded the boys with more pizza from Fired up and Joe took the boys to an afternoon showing of Spiderman at the tiny downtown theatre while I sat in the Durango Coffee shop and edited.

Day 6.

Pagosa Springs.  That morning we packed up the car and drove an hour east to Pagosa Springs.  We checked into the Pagosa Springs Resort and spent the rest of the afternoon swimming in every single hot springs pool and racing down the rapids of the river.  The boys claimed it as “the best day of their lives”.

We cleaned up for dinner and walked down the street to Riff Raff Brewing Company for some yard games and dinner.  Yummmmm.  The hot springs really took it out of us…so needless to say we DEVOURED our dinner.

It was an EPIC trip.  One that I miss dearly…especially as I sit here and think about the run I still need to go on today in 101 heat and humidity.

I so hope these tips and trick and ideas might help spur on your own epic trip!  I can’t even wait for my artifact Uprising insatram book I just ordered from it all.  Stayed tuned on my insta-stories for a look at that soon.

Happy Summer y’all!!

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  1. Melanie | Artifact Uprising

    July 28th, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Sounds like you checked off your summer bucket list, Kelly! Enjoy your book — we’ll stay tuned!

    Melanie @ Artifact Uprising