I spent the new year the same way I have spent the past several; outside. I am a bit old fashioned, but I believe starting the new year off on the right foot sets the stage for the year. Given I live in Minnesota, you never really know what you are gonna get in terms of weather. I have pictures from the past 10 years that range from no snow and riding gravel roads, fat bikes on snowy mountain bike trails, XC skiing in a winter wonderland or like yesterday, sub zero hikes in the woods. As I look back at images of starting off my new year(s), the only thing that really changes is the mode of transportation or the way I am experiencing the outdoors. I am always outside either by bike, by foot, by snow shoe, and by ski. The reality I have come to is that no matter the circumstances, the weather or the mode of transportation, I ALWAYS get out for the new year and I ALWAYS have a camera with me.
I think this realization is timely given what I am scheming for 2022! Today, I am filing paperwork for a new venture and LLC. I think many of you may ask me about bikes and my plans in that space? Honestly, I still have zero interest right now. I want to simply ride my bike and take pictures. I am having fun doing that again and my time on the bike is my meditation. Frankly, I am still in recovery mode and discovering my life outside of working in bikes. I spent 25+ years in that industry. While it is certainly part of me, it isn’t all of me. At the moment, I am not ready to reveal the new parts yet as I have a lot of work to do this month to prove the concept(s), get some hands on education and build a business case, but it is time to come out of hiding and start being true to myself.
I’d really like to invite you along on this journey with me. It may be fruitful or it may not. But I have to stop fearing failure & perfection. It’s time to practice what I preach. I have always tried to share and instill the following in my teams, my kids and business partners.
So what is being true to myself mean? This is what I know and alway 100% true. I love the outdoors. I love adventure. I love being active. I love always having a camera with me. I love to inspire others to experience the outdoors. I love to make things.
So to keep track of what I am doing, I’d encourage you to subscribe, enter your email below and you’ll receive notification from me about what I am up too.
It’s that time of year again where many look back and prepare for a new year. I am one of those people. This activity is really hard wired in my brain. I need to look back not only to learn, but to truly put the year to rest and file it away. This year was a big year for sure. At times it seemed like it screamed by, but when I look at these images it seems that the year was never ending. For me, the year was filled with so many great moments. As I put time into this post, it is also clear that in addition to great moments, there is progression of my personal direction, well being and creative growth.
So sit back, grab a cup of coffee and consider this the great 2021 catch up post. I am highlighting some of the significant moments & memories as well as my favorite images. Don’t hesitate to reach out to GNAT at LIVE dot COM if you so desire or leave me a comment.
Little did I know that this trip short trip to KC to visit friends would change the outlook on my year and my future. It was on this trip, alone in my car on I35W South, that I made a commitment to myself to prioritize me, my well being and my health. It was also on this trip that I started seeing and experiencing some creative freedom and direction. Below, is my favorite shot from that trip.
January also included a ski trip and family visit to Steamboat Springs. This was a trip we had planned last year but cancelled due to Covid and the ski resort shutting down. Lucky for us the passes for 2020 were honored and my brother and his wife were able to join us this year. Bonus!
As the world began to open up again, we embarked on a final, family spring break. With our kids off to college in the fall, we knew we this was likely our last chance as a family unit of four before our kids head off to college so we went all in, went through all the safety protocols and testing, and ventured to Hawaii! It was truly magical and a great time. Lots of pics to share here. I am only going to highlight a few here.
I love this image and how it reflects the challenging times we were experiencing. These kids are part of history and this image cements the time period we in. This was a whale watching tour with friends. And yes we saw whales. Lots of whales. Everywhere! See below.
It was on this trip I captured my favorite image of my son as well. This incredible young man has so many facets and is a thinker and lover of both fashion and art. This shot of him looking out into the distance in his hand painted shirt he purchased from a local artist captures that spirit exactly and perfectly.
In the final days of my twins’ senior year, I was called into dad photo journalist role one last time for senior year prom. This was a prom like no other. No event. No dance. But our girl and her friends made the best of it. No dates and a boat cruz on Lake Minnetonka! What an incredible group of girls. Honestly, this may be my most fun photo shoot of the year!
This photo shoot for Senior Prom also gave me my favorite image of my daughter and maybe my personal favorite photo of 2021. Just like the photo of my son above from Hawaii, this image captures my daughter perfectly. Happy. Beautiful. Inspiring.
June marked the a significant milestone with high school graduation for our twins. It was a joy to see my kids endure the crazy year, the changes in our society and the challenges in our eduction system. So proud of them. It also gave me my favorite dog & pet image of the year. So proud of these kids and check out our serious and scholarly dog Odie!
July marked the decision to leave my place of employment of the past 25.5 years. We also visited grandma, family and friends in Colorado. Again, with our twins leaving for college, we took advantage of those last moments before they flew the nest. A side note here, Colorado and especially Estes Park area often make my wife and I contemplate life’s choices. It was also the low point of fitness in my entire life and was even more evident at 10,000+ feet! This year that was especially strong given we knew we’d be empty nest in the fall. No decisions made, but someday we hope to have another house or property somewhere. We love Minnesota, but we are growing not so fond of our winters. Just sayin’!
August was highlighted with a visit up north enjoying my brother’s new cabin life. He bought an old, beaten down property and has spent the summer rebuilding. It’s not done yet, but it was great to be there and be together. I often miss the whole group family photo and this trip to the cabin was no exception. I did capture the dogs though!
We also dropped Nathan off at the University of Minnesota. Fun fact: He is staying in Frontier Hall, the same dorm I stayed in as a freshman when I attended the University of Minnesota!
September marked the reality of empty nest life. We dropped Natalie off at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. I am sure any parent reading the next line will understand what I am about to write. It is incredible to see your kids off on this new and incredible journey. It is also incredibly heartbreaking and difficult to imagine relearning and letting go of the incredible 18+ years a family unit and pod. We were far from perfect parents, but this family is the best thing in our lives. So grateful and thankful for these two kids.
Leaving Nathan the prior week and dropping Natalie off in Wisconsin hit us pretty darn hard. While you prepare for these moments, you don’t really know what to prepare for. It hit us pretty hard and to combat that, we made our selves really really busy with friends, activities and travel. We capped off the month of September with a trip to Maine with our friends. I have so many images and thoughts from this trip but I will only share a few. One note, if you ever have the chance to visit Maine please go! It’s incredible.
We were jam packed with stuff in October. A few highlights include seeing both Nathan and Natalie, lots of bike riding and out door activity as well as my birthday. I did not have my best photo month in October as I was focused on other stuff. But here is a fun one from my birthday outing with Nathan and Jen where we visited the Van Gogh Immersive experience. If ya look closely, you can see my self portrait and Jen and Nathan sitting on a bench in the background. Fun night!
Two highlights to share about November. Both Jen an I traveled independently to Chicago to meet friends and we had our kids home for Thanksgiving. I even snuck in an extra short trip to Milwaukee as part of my picking up Natalie for break.
Chicago – Here’s my favorite image from my Chicago with friends trip. I had this image in my head. I didn’t want to leave Chicago without capturing it.
I snuck in a dinner with friend and a Lake Michigan sunrise before picking Natalie up in Madison for Thanksgiving break.
This Thanksgiving, Jen and Natalie ran the Turkey Trot 10K together. It was a highlight for me seeing these two run together. Sorry, no pictures of Nathan as he was sick and in bed almost the entire Thanksgiving break.
And to close out the year, December brings us the holidays, the ending of fall semester for our kids and road trips to visit family.
These two got through their first college semester and courses. It is a big transition and the first of many life changes for them. We are really proud of them. Minot delivered on the snow and the cold. Nothing like spending the day digging out of a fresh snowfall with Jen’s dad. This image has a real vintage feel to it and brings back a ton of memories for me.
And while 2021 is not officially over, that’s my year in photos review. I will have one more look back next week digging into my bikes, my riding and my photography!
Thanks to everyone for their friendship, their love and support during this fun and at time challenging year. I hope your holidays has been spectacular and may 2022 be your best year yet! Love you all.
It’s been a LOOOOOONNNNNGGGG time coming, but I am finally taking a moment to catch up on the gnat blog and fill you all in on what has been happening. As much as things change, some things stay the same. My spring and summer has been filled with bikes, family and photography.
As I look back over the last several months there have been a few common themes. One of those themes is that I/we have been getting glimpses of the future. For the first time in several years, I am finding some needed time to pursue both cycling and photography again. Last fall, our kids got their driver’s licenses and I must say that with that comes a bit more time. In that time, I have traveled, ridden my bike quite a lot, done a bike packing trip in Utah and shot a couple of events (Almanzo and Prom).
That said, those blocks of time are not always consistent. Additionally, my wife and I are snagging every opportunity we can to relish time with our kids before they head off to college, hopefully, in two years! But they have given me a sneak peek at the years ahead.
But with time, I have had a lot more time to think. I am still taking photography a bit more seriously and trying to be intentional with the shots I have. This gives me focus, but also gives me the ability to simply enjoy the setting and environment I am in. I am finding more moments to simply take it all in as opposed trying to capture every moment. I am still trying to find significance in my photography. What do I want to do with it? I still believe I want to do something more with it and I need the right kind of project to keep me motivated and out there. I have a few ideas, but nothing firm enough to share today.
So with all that, here are some photos. I hope you find something here that makes you smile, inspires you or makes you think.
Family – Click on any image to go to slide show
BIKES – Click on any image to go to slide show
FRIENDS – Click on any image to go to slideshow
PHOTOGRAPHY – Click on any image to go to slideshow
And with that, a parting shot. Jen and I celebrated 20 years of marriage. I am so lucky to have her in my life. Thankful every day for her.
After writing “A Good Start and a Focused Month”, my creativity and vision just disappeared. Just like the bird in the opening picture, in an instant it disappeared. In all honesty, I pretty much set the camera down and tried my best to just get out side and enjoy life. I knew it would come back. And thankfully I was right, it did come back. My pictures way down below from my recent family trip to Steamboat, Colorado really were the spark I needed to post and share and move forward in my photography.
Now…Before I get to pics, sorry that it has been almost two months since my last post. I am happy to report that a few friends noticed and asked me about it. I am also happy to report that I got a few new emails from new followers that shared they appreciate my blogging, pictures and creativity. Thank you! That means the world to me.
So…..Onto pictures. Winter. Bikes. Skiing. Family. Friends. That’s the theme for the last few months. Hope you enjoy.
As always, please feel free to click on any image below to go to slideshow mode!
I also traveled to Stillwater, Oklahoma for Landrun 100. It was the perfect day and I put the camera away and just enjoyed my time on the bike under the blue sky, riding the red dirt roads and enjoying the me time. This is the only picture I took, on my iPhone, at the start of the race. Thank you Bobby, Crystal, Keith, Tyler, Austin, Brady, Ashley, Glenn & Ben! You all made it special for me! Love you all.
And as I mentioned above, my family and I went to Steamboat, Colorado for spring break. What a truly joyous and inspiring time for me. I started seeing with a vision again and starting to connect with my camera again. It felt great and I am really pleased with some of these pics.
Hopefully, it won’t take me another month to post some pics and words. Hard to tell really, but trust my intentions are good.
Thanks again folks for your continued support and readership!
As I wrote in my last post, January 2018 started out in a blur. I am one of those folks that really love to take December to think and January to kick off the new year. I like resolutions that give me direction. I like the challenge.
This year, my resolutions are a bit private and not for public consumption. They are personal to me and for me. But they involve living life. Removing burdens. Simplification. Focus.
And with that, here are pics from the month. All taken at either 28mm or 90mm. My two favorite focal lengths. The lengths I will likely shoot more than any in 2018. They just work for me.
As I head into February 2018, I feel good and refreshed on the year. I feel like I am making changes that are positively impacting me and those around me. Stoked.
So here are some pics in no particular order. Please click any picture to go to slideshow mode. Enjoy!