Category Archives: Photography

Stuck in North Idaho turns two!

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This is a big week. Not only is it hitting 70 degrees for the first time since last September, but in this week in 2012 Stuck in North Idaho was born.

To be honest, I didn’t even realized it until today when I was updating the SINI Facebook page (I’m kind of bad with dates, times and pretty much anything numerical). Oh my gosh, time has flown by. I am so grateful for all of you who read SINI every week and follow in our adventures. Two years ago when I started sharing our life here in North Idaho, I never thought this cold possibly become a game-changer or future career goal. I’ve loved getting to know all of you and learn more about blogging, photography and storytelling.

Never did I think you guys would want to hear what I have to say about  – well, anything. I am so overjoyed and humbled by the responses I get when I tell people what I’m trying to do. It’s so exciting!

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So, happy birthday to SINI and our growing online community. Keep up the conversation and keep sending me ideas for future posts.

Love you all!
XOXO
Andy

Spring has sprung in North Idaho

You guys, it’s happened.

SPRING!

I am loving all the sunshine, chirping birds and green grass. Juneau is loving all the squirrels and extra-long walks and Kyle is loving (big understatement) his new mountain bike. He’ll tell you more about that on a later date. Anywhoo…

This spring I decided to sign up for the Mastering Your DSLR class through A Beautiful Mess. It’s amazing. I’ve taken several other “learn digital photography” classes in the past and this one kicks all their butts.

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Our main instructor’s name is Candice Stringham and she is killing it! Each week she breaks down the exposure triangle and has us focus on one aspect for the whole week. We can chat with other students or ask questions in the forums and share our photos in the student gallery. As you might be able to tell, I’m super excited about this.

We’re on week three now and our lesson is introducing us to (da da daaaaaa) manual mode. Wish me good luck! I’m a little nervous but so excited to break out of my “hit the easy button” photography habits.

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You may be wondering why I feel the need to better my photos. There’s two major reasons:

1. To better your experience on my blog. You want to see beautiful imagery, right?
2. Because I love it! I wish I would’ve discovered how much I like photography a long time ago. It’s so fun and such a great skill-set to have (especially as a writer/communicator).

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I think with the changing seasons comes a sense to switch things up and try something new – or challenge yourself in a new way.

What are you doing to challenge yourself or break out of routine? What kind of photos would you like to see on SINI? Action/adventure? Lifestyle? Food? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Happy Spring!

A reason to celebrate…

Happy Sunday, friends! Hope your weekend has been as fun-filled as ours. It was particularly fun because we got to celebrate a very special little girl, our niece Gabbi. 

Gabbi turns 1

It’s hard to believe she’s already been around a year, but she has so seamlessly fit in it’s also hard to imagine life without her. I have to give Kyle’s sister props – not only did she produce the world’s cutest little girl, she has also been one heck of a mama to this little chub. 

Always with the tongue

 

Loved my cupcakes

So happy birthday to our sweet Gabbi! May your next year be full of all of the love and happiness we all know you deserve. May you grow and learn and explore. May you learn about making friends, sharing and the joy of trying new things. 

My favorite things I learned about you this year:

1. You love food. 
2. You’re never afraid of a challenge – just like your mom. 
3. You love to dance. 

Love you! 

New update for a new year

I don’t know about you but I’m ready for a change. Maybe it’s the new year, the weather or maybe it’s this annoying cold that’s been keeping me down for two weeks now. I don’t know. But what I do know is I woke up this morning after a long, Nyquil-induced slumber with a creative gusto I haven’t had in a while.

All of a sudden I’m wanting to decorate the house, be productive and have been doing a bunch of reading about creative writing, freelancing, blogging and intertwining all of that with social media. All skills I have, but haven’t been putting to use outside of work as of late. Shame on me.

I promised in my last post that I would give you an update on my lasts year’s resolution and tell you what my resolution is for 2014.

Juneau at Tubbs 2013

Well the 365 Challenge was a bigger hit than I’d ever thought! I took well over 1,500 pictures last year and it’s safe to say that at least 365 of those were halfway descent. (Insert self high-five) Doesn’t that picture of Juneau at Tubb’s make you long for summertime? Sigh…

Now on to my 2014 resolutions:

I’ve really been struggling on what my goals for 2014 should be. There are so many things I want to do and improve on. I still want to grow my photography skill-set, make more (both in quantity and quality) connections throughout North Idaho, grow my readership on SINI, feature more individuals, and finally, I want to explore more of our beautiful state with friends and family.

That’s kind of a lot, right? Especially since I also need to work hard at my day job and manage my personal life (family, pets, friends and home). So I narrowed my resolutions down to two areas of my writing/blogging life that I really need to develop.

  1. Confidence.
    This is something I’m really lacking. I’m new to the whole, “Can I take your picture and ask you a bunch of questions?” thing. I know that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense given I was a reporter and am currently a PR writer. Interviewing is a big part of my job. This seems different to me – maybe because I still view blogging more like a hobby than an actual responsibility or role. I want to (for lack of a better term) grow a pair and put myself out there a little more. How else am I going to develop my skills and gain readership? Answer: I won’t if I don’t take a chance every once in a while.
  2. Schedule.
    You guys (my readers) are suffering because SINI is kind of low on my totem pole of life. I don’t want it to be, but unfortunately that’s what’s happening. I want to train myself to get on a posting schedule so you guys know what to expect and when. I know it doesn’t sound hard, but there are days I get home from from work (where I also write, edit, post, and run social media pages) and sometimes (aka most the time) blogging ends up being the last thing I want to do. If I could get on a schedule maybe I can work it so most of my posts are written on the weekend and just one night during the week. Does two guaranteed posts a week sound fair? I would like to do three, but there are full time bloggers that struggle to do that, so that will be a future goal.

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How are those for resolutions? I think they’re both fair, doable and important for SINI to grow and be successful. What are your resolutions for this year? How do you decide what they should be?

Good luck and game on!

PS
Two weeks ago we made a trip down to California to see family (reason two why SINI’s been lacking in posts). Pics and a post coming soon!

2013 Wrap Up

Can you believe that 2013 is already over?! My mind is blown. There was so much more I wanted to do and share with you throughout this year but boy does time fly. Today I want to do a little recap of some of my favorite posts to celebrate the awesomeness that was 2013.

January

Last January I announced that I would participate in a 365 Photo Challenge where I would attempt to take a photo every day for a year (or at least have 365 photos to represent my year). I haven’t calculated my total yet, but before Halloween I was at 280 so it’s very possible that I was successful.

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The goal of this challenge was to get me using my camera a lot more and really learning how to use it. And if that’s the case then I more than achieved my resolution – I can shoot in manual mode now. Can I get a what what?!

Although, I still can’t wait to see how camera crazy I went this year. I know I took more than 365 photos – but who knows if I got 365 photos that I’m willing to admit are mine. We’ll see.

February

In February 2013 we hiked Caribou Ridge out past Beauty Bay. We spotted an elk across the ridge from us and heard all kinds of birds. We were also able to test out Juneau’s trail skills and trustworthiness off of her leash while hiking. I’d give her an A-.

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I also gave you all some fun Valentine ideas in case you weren’t feeling romantically inspired.

March

In March I took a chilly walk down Sherman and Lakeside and gave you a run-down of the best restaurants down there.

PS – Fire is still our favorite

April

April was a busy month for us! We Kyle built a pergola in our backyard where we have since hosted many-a-bonfires and BBQs. Such a great guy :)

That month I also discovered my new favorite cocktail (hint: it’s a Manhattan) and exactly how dangerous Season’s happy hour is. Yum! Since realizing what a great deal it is, I’ve gone for happy hour at least six times.

Girls' Night Out

Kyle and I, along with our friends Kristin and Blake, discovered Marie Creek and a fun trail just a little further than Wolf Lodge.

Side note: Kyle and I went back on Christmas day this year and I have to warn you that the trail heading down to the creek was super icy and a little scary. Proceed with caution.

This was the first time we took Juneau and their lab Sadie for a hike together and let them run around. Instant besties!

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Also that month I went on a trip for Kristin’s bachelorette party to Lake Chelan. I never told you guys about it so I’m saving it for a post in the future. It sure was fun though!

May 

In May I talked a lot about dogs. The dog show at the fairgrounds, Dog d’Alene and my little Juneau-approved icon were all introduced.

We also went up to Lost in the 50’s – one of my favorite things in the whole wide world! It’s a tradition for my dad and I to go look at all the amazing cars and for my mom to go shop. After, we treat ourselves to a burger at MickDuff’s and refill our “Go Green, Drink Red” bottles at the winery.

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June

June (as always) was the kick-off to summer entertainment and activities. Live music, walks, art shows, and Ironman all took center stage. What I remember most from June was our trip to Farragut State Park with my family. It was mine and Kyle’s first time camping there and we really enjoyed it. Despite the many rain storms, we got to hike and ride bikes a ton (Kyle even did a guest post about it!) and spending time with family is always good.

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We also hiked Mineral Ridge (my first time!) and went to Car d’Alene. June was a very busy month for us.

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July 

July was all about being outside. We went camping up at Riley Creek, just outside of Sandpoint. It was the first time our oldest nephews tried tubing and we took them on an educational nature walk (yeah, we’re that aunt and uncle) where we learned all about local vegetation and animals.

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In July we were also able to check out the first paddleboard races at the NIC beach and that was also the first time we went to Slate Creek Brewery – easily the best beer in town.

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My Fourth of July was a little more relaxed this year. I enjoyed the parade downtown with my family, then Kristen and I took the pups to Mineral Ridge for a hike. When Kyle got off work, we all headed out to his parents’ cabin for a BBQ and to watch the fireworks. 

This is also the month that Kyle posted about biking Bernard Peak while we were camping at Farragut. I’d love to see him do some more guest posts for you guys.

August 

August is always the busiest month in the summer because everyone wants to pack all things fun in before fall hits. Much like July, we spent a good part of the month outside and participated in a lot of firsts.

Kyle and his little bro (Kendrich) did the Cd’A Triathlon (Kendrich’s first tri) and now they both have the bug and even signed up for the Boise half Ironman in June. We have a couple of projects in mind surrounding their training so stay tuned!

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Kyle and I floated the Cd’A River together for the first time. It was quite chilly and the next time we go it will be much earlier in the day so we get some sun. Brr! We launched at Bumblebee and ended up having a great time.

The further along I get in this post, the more I’m realizing 2013 was a year of firsts for me. That feels pretty dang good.

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We also hiked Gold Hill Trail #3 in the rain and enjoyed MickDuff’s after.

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September

September is a special month for us because it’s our anniversary month. So of course we had lots planned.

Kyle ran Race for the Cure – Juneau and I played cheerleaders because I was pretty wiped out from going to a football game with my dad the night before. We rocked our Crimson and Gray and took the ‘stang down to Pullman for the WSU vs. UI game.

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October

October brought on a whole mess of fall fun and festivities. I gave you a round-up of all the Oktoberfests we participated in (including downtown Cd’A and Sandpoint). I told you all about my favorite fall event – the Apple Festival over at Green Bluff. Clarissa, Kyle and I gorged on pumpkin doughnuts and we brought home a slew of pumpkins and apples.

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We also celebrated my golden birthday (26 on the 26th) and Halloween with a costume party over at Clarissa and Eric’s. Kyle and I channeled our inner Great Gatsby characters – winning us the second place prize – and our friends Mike and Hilary won first with their all-night personas of Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone.

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Two major projects were brought to the public in October. The McEuen Park open house was a huge success, bringing citizens from all over the greater Cd’A area downtown to view the progress. The CDA 2030 project also started gaining some momentum with their launch event, surveys and workshops.

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November

November got super busy with the holidays approaching. My biggest post from November was an interview with Nicole Kahler with the CDA 2030 team. She told us all about the vision plan and what they’ve discovered so far. She also told us all about the Vision Summit that I attended on the 11th.

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December

Talk about a busy month. Unfortunately it was busy in a post-worthy kind of way and I ended up taking a little holiday hiatus. I did take some time to tell you all about the 2030 Summit and what was discussed while I was there. I also told you about my specific group as well as the other special interest areas being addressed with the new vision.

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It’s been a busy year! And like I said, I didn’t even get to share everything we did with you.

All in all I think it’s been a great year for my little blog. I have over 130 likes on Facebook now (yay!) and am slowing discovering what I want Stuck in North Idaho to grow up to be. For now I’m happy and content sharing my life in North Idaho with you and continue to hope it helps you appreciate our little corner in the Northwest and inspires you to get out and enjoy it.

Can’t wait to share my New Year’s resolutions with you and see how I measured up to last year’s. Until then,

Happy New Year!
Andy