I’m trying to whip myself into shape and have a good attitude about the craziness that is seeping in little by little as school and extracurricular activities take hold of our lives. When my kids started to mimic me on how sad I am that school is in full swing I decided I better shape up and start being a positive influence.

I’m being good but sometimes, especially when it hit 117 degrees last week, I can’t help myself long for the carefree days of summer in Utah where this was my view from the car:I loved how these storm clouds looked as they brewed up some kind of storm.

Note: I did not take these while driving.

…when I was driving and saw something beautiful I commanded whoever was in the passenger seat to scramble and grab my camera or my phone to capture it themselves.

Because some things just have to be captured.

Like how big the sky appears on the drive from Salt Lake to Bear Lake:

And how those wisps of clouds are resting so gently on the hillsides.

These ones were taken by Elle with my iPhone right outside of Heber, Utah.

I just kept saying, “take another one!…ok, take another one! Ok, you’re missing this…take one more!” She looked at me like I was a crazy woman but dutifully obliged. It was just so beautiful.

That one above is in a parking lot. It just struck me as so beautiful compared to the gravel-lined variety of parking lots we have around here.

Looking at these makes me want to pack up my bags and drag my family to live there forever…I’ll take that little cabin above if it can only stay so beautiful.

But then I remember that it snows in June.

And then I think to myself maybe things like gravel and cacti the air hitting you like you just walked into an oven aren’t so bad after all.


  1. I love your blog. I don't have any kids in fact I'm getting married in December in the Manti Temple. But I do have a photography question. Do you shoot all RAW photo's. I am just learning manual mode and I heard to shoot RAW but I can never get them on my computer. Maybe you know more. I love the question and answer day. I read them to my fiance- wierd right? ha!

  2. Stunning photos! It seems to me that you'd love the countryside around where I live. I'm in the county of Kent in south east England, and we're surrounded by rolling hills and adorable little farms and villages with buildings older than the USA!

    It's truly stunning, so peaceful, and wonderful for photos!

  3. Beautiful pictures! But I have to say, that's "Utah pretty". If you ever visit Alaska, and see the amazing mountains we have here, you'll know what I mean. I love visiting Utah. But to me it is "Utah pretty". Which means, pretty, yes, but not breathtakingly beautiful like Alaska. 🙂

    And, yes, winter isn't so much fun when it is -20 with 50mph wind gusts.

  4. I love living in Utah! One minute you're in the city, but then you drive just a couple more miles and you're in the country side. It's funny how large the sky seems to look. And you just can't beat the beautiful mountains just outside your back door.

  5. We have this same discussion every time we leave AZ for the summer and return for school to start in Aug….which is still blazing HOT and my kids wear sunscreen to school so they don't get sunburned at recess. Except ours involves pictures of Idaho.

  6. I know that a lot of people read this blog…especially when you have a give away 😉 You do a ton of Q&A about photography too, which I appreciate as you are really talented. I am wondering how you find time to fit everything in? I was once told that something has to give somewhere…so how you do keep the "something" from being of eternal significance?? I am a believer in 'seasons' but even with that, I don't have enough hours to fit in all that I really want to do, and yet find myself wondering what I should do, in that moment, at the same time, and there are days when I can't decided so I end up doing nothing. Lame. I assume, as a mother, that others feel the same way sometimes. How does anyone HANDLE it?!! Help me learn to prioritize! (I have read a majority of your parent's parenting books– but that part wasn't in any of them)

  7. I am so lucky to live in this amazing state!! We love it here, oh wait ask me again in 4 months when it's 14 degrees and I have 3 feet of snow out my door. But even then I guess it's still beautiful! Thanks for capturing these amazing shots!

  8. I have loved your blog for forever it seems now, but I never comment, just me I guess. But I love these pictures! I live in California now but my brothers, sisters, and mom are still in Utah with their families and I love visiting there too. I was wondering if you sell any of your pictures? I have been looking for ones to frame like the old barn and the little cabin and you have captured them just how I envisioned wanting them. If you can email me sometime in your crazy schedule and let me know if you do I would appreciate it. bckywood@hotmail.com

  9. We just got through Hurricane Irene and I thought of the photographer in you and how you love to take nature pictures. You would have loved it. I didn't take even one, just of the apple pie I was baking…
    Your blog is daily inspiration!

  10. I agree…Utah is gorgeous! Those photos just outside of Heber (aka Charleston, Utah) are right by my in-laws home. It is lovely there in the summer time. Winters are terribly long and cold though. How do you get such beautiful coloring in the sky and hills without over-exposing the sky?

  11. I live in Las Vegas and I too miss the beauty of Utah…it's so incredibly gorgeous! But then we go for Christmas and it's fun for a week and I am so glad I dont have to drive in it, deal with the mess etc. It was 114 here the other day…I feel your pain!

  12. Can you photoshop Iphone pictures? These pictures are right down amazing! Gosh! Makes me think of a recent post of Eva's (see our blog on the DN). She says that when people ask her what kind of camera she has that can produce such incredible photos…she slowly points to her eyes! You have a "GOOD EYE!"

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