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Yesterday I completed my second annual Courage Classic. If we’re friends on Instagram or Facebook, you’re well aware of this due to the number of beautiful mountain & biking photos I posted. Thanks for all the thumbs up and encouragement, friends & Mom!

The Courage Classic is the Children’s Hospital Colorado’s annual bicycle tour fundraiser. It’s a three-day, 155-mile bike ride around the Rockies to benefit the Children’s Fund for Children’s Hospital Colorado.

My fiance Matthew’s brother Dave works for Children’s, and has encouraged us to ride with the Gears of Courage team since moving out to Colorado. Dave claims this is his favorite weekend of the year – and after this weekend, it’s ranking pretty high for me too.

According to Strata, after three days we rode 156 miles, 5 mountain passes (Day 1 – Fremont, Tennessee, Battle Mountain & Vail; Day 2 – Swan Mountain), climbed 10,146+ feet (I added the + because Strata didn’t register my Swan Mountain climb) and biked for 11 hrs and 51 minutes (I tried to pause my Strata during aid stations and lunches, but sometimes forgot). Side note: Strata is a pretty neat app. Thanks Nurse Chelsie for the introduction.

Just want to take the time to thank each and every person who took the time to donate to my ride. It means A LOT to me. I hate asking friends & family for money, even when it is for an awesome cause like this. So again, Thank You!

Big thank you to: my Dad, Hilliker, Chris F., Dave S. aka Unrah, Chrissy, eDiddy33 aka Kramer, Erin O., Aunt Jane, Kailey, Kelsey Bana, Shelby, Rochelle/Josh aka Rochua & Samantha Jones. You are all wonderful.

Amanda & Nick

On June 9, I had the priviledge of photographing Amanda (Haas) & Nick Isaksson’s wedding. The ceremony and reception took place in Madison, Wisconsin at the Lussier Family Heritage Center.

Beautiful people (inside & out). Beautiful Wisconsin day. What more can a photographer ask for?

Amanda is a friend of a good friend, therefore I felt like I knew her before I actually met her. This is my first time photographing an outdoor wedding, and boy what a difference a natural background makes. My trip to Madison made me very homesick for that great city.

Thank you Amanda & Nick for asking me to be part of your day. I hope you enjoy the pics. It was hard to narrow it down to 30-ish for this post. Excited for you (Amanda & Nick) to see the other 400 :)

Estelle & Camille

While I’m loving my life in Colorado, I seriously miss these little girls. My sister and Dave have the silliest, sweetest girls around.

I was back in Wisconsin for Easter and enjoyed quality time at Stella & Camille’s Blue House. We hit up one of our favorite places, the Elegant Farmer (remember this place from my post Babies and Apples and Pumpkins. Oh My. back in November 2010?). The smiling barn hosts an Easter Petting Zoo, which has become an annual Kertscher Family ritual. My mom and I were happy to tag along.

Stella is now considering becoming a farmer when “her gets big” – a farmer, a mail lady and a cake maker. Camille will most likely follow in her big sister’s footsteps. We shall see.

Visitor High

Here I am. With a job. Living in Denver, Colorado. Things are good.

Work is stressful, but I am happy to be under stress. Strange, I know. But I needed some sort of obligation to feel like I have a purpose. This reminds  me – I need to talk to my retired father about finding a hobby beyond the stock market. I think he and I are identical in the sense that we need to have a purpose to what we do everyday to feel fulfilled and happy. Which is why I seriously struggled with unemployment. Thankfully it didn’t last long.

My sister Jane and brother-in-law Al visited two weekends ago and my college roommates, Chelsie, Klug and Rochelle, were here last weekend. I’ve enjoyed all my visitors. And now, I have no idea what to do with myself this weekend sans visitors. Okay, that’s not true. I’m going to a speakeasy in the Highlands tonight, wine tasting tomorrow and (hopefully) skiing Sunday. But still, I’m having a hard time recovering from my visitor high.

What I currently miss most about Wisconsin: Cabin time. Ridiculous because it’s not even summer. My family is meeting at our cabin in Rhinelander, Wisconsin for a weekend of catching up and apparently the boys are planning on ice fishing. There isn’t a whole lot else to do at a cabin in northern Wisconsin in the middle of winter besides this, eating and playing games (Oh, and snowmobiling if you’re into that. I personally am not). It’s also important to keep in mind, it is a two bedroom cabin with six adults and two children. Sounds awful to some, I’m sure. But I am sad to miss this.

So again, here I am. 26 years old. Figuring out life as it flies by. Trying my hardest not to miss my family and Wisconsin too badly. Thankfully, I live close to the mountains. Oh Ma Gosh, life is good.

Jane & Al's visit - Anna, Kyle, me, Matthew, Jane, & Al in Vail

College Roomies in Beaver Creek

College Roomie Visit (me, Klug, Chels & Rochelle) in Beaver Creek

My Dearest Ruth and Julie

Today is Veterans Day. And every Veterans Day we honor those who have so bravely served this country. I’m taking a blogging moment to remember and honor the people in my life who have served our country. Starting with my Grandpa Jack.

My Grandpa Jack (John) Metternich served in WWII. This August, my family and I sat down to read letters he wrote to his wife Ruth and their oldest daughter Julie in 1943, while he was at Sea. I would love for my mom to write about my Grandfather’s experience serving America. She is a wealth of family knowledge, especially regarding his time in Iowa Jima. So Mom, if you are reading this, please send me a little something and I’ll add it to this post.

I took these photos that night to capture my own little piece of family history. The first photo is a close-up of the first of many letters my grandpa wrote his wife and daughter. We figured my Gammie Ruth saved all the letters, but weren’t sure where they were until this summer when my mom stumbled upon the shoe box full of letters and photos – six years after his passing and thirteen after hers. I look forward to reading these letters again and again.

My Dearest Ruth & Julie – Feb. 18 1945 at Sea.

Cribbage, Dec. ’43 – Jack on right

His glasses

The Marilyn

Pinterest is the best waste of time since… Facebook. I’m obsessed. I created a board “Photog Inspirations.” where I pin photos that (obviously) inspire me to recreate, or remind me of photos I’ve taken at some point in my life.

 

Pinned this classic – girls doing The Marilyn. Actually, five girls doing The Marilyn. A little scandalous.

In college, my roomie Molly and I jumped on the opportunity… er Lake Street air vent… (around bar time) to do The Marilyn.

And of course, so did Jones.

October Snow

I thought I left the crazy weather in Wisconsin. So wrong!

I wandered around Cheesman Park (my new hood) Wednesday afternoon post snow fall. Crazy to see the gorgeous fall colors covered with a thick coat of wet white snow. Crazy, but beautiful. Enjoy!

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