Lindsay’s Senior Pictures – a sneak peak!

In light of the first day of school for most students today, I’ve got a little something different to share on the blog today! I’m by NO means a photographer, and don’t consider myself to be all that comfortable behind (or in front of) the camera. However, my sister has always said that she would want me to take her high school senior photos. So, this summer (when we weren’t both busy working) Lindsay and I spend a couple afternoons going on adventures to downtown Excelsior, MN and driving down rural dirt roads until we found the perfect field with little flowers all over (which may or may not have also been right off of someone’s driveway, oops!) It’s crazy how fast time has flown by these past few years and that she’s graduating high school this year! I’m so proud of my little sister, for everything that she has gone through and how she has overcome all of those obstacles that has made her a stronger, more intelligent, and loving woman. Love you, sister. ♥

I also love that these little senior picture session with her has forced me to get my big camera out of its dusty bag more often. It’s really making me want to invest in a better camera and use it more often. I’ve had this camera since I was in high school, and it is really the bare minimum of all DSLR’s. If you have any suggestions on what camera to upgrade to from a Canon Rebel XS, I will gladly take them into consideration!

Arranged On Essen | Lindsay's Senior Sneak Peak

Arranged On Essen | Lindsay's Senior Sneak Peak

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Arranged On Essen | Lindsay's Senior Sneak Peak

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A Trip Up North

Jay Cooke State Park - Carlton, Minnesota | arranged on essen

Last weekend, I got to take a much needed break and pack up some camping gear and a cooler full of food ( and booze ) and head up to Jay Cooke State Park in Carlton, MN. For the past few years, it’s been a family tradition to head up north for a camping trip during the summer – this year most of our family wasn’t able to make it so we made it a girls weekend instead and invited two other ladies ( who were also bridesmaids in Breanna’s Wedding last summer ). We probably had too much fun.

Jay Cooke State Park - Carlton, Minnesota | arranged on essen

On the second day of our trip, we decided to enjoy the beautiful weather that we were fortunate enough to have and head out on a day-hike. Breanna, Lindsey, Ashlee, and myself packed up some pb+j sandwiches and then waved goodbye to our campsite for the day as we headed out for our six-mile hike. Two years ago when we were up at Jay Cooke with our family, the hiking was still awesome but the swing bridge was down from a massive flood that had recently wiped it out. SO, it was awesome to be able to actually get across the river to the trails without having to drive to the other side first. PLUS, look at that swing bridge — what a beaut.

Jay Cooke State Park - Carlton, Minnesota | arranged on essen

Jay Cooke State Park - Carlton, Minnesota | arranged on essen

Once we got back to our campsite we basically all collapsed from exhaustion for a few hours after our hiking trip. We enjoyed our well-deserved pizza pudgie pie dinner over the fire and then decided to go for a little stroll down to the river again and do some people watching. This might have been one of my favorite moments from the trip, because we just hung out on a big rock overlooking the views of the river while some teens were cliff jumping into the water. The rock was still warm from the sunshine earlier in the day and it was such a blast to just sit and chat ( and laugh ).

Donuts + Road Trips | arranged on essen

No trip up north is ever complete without a quick stop at Tobie’s for donuts ( and a bathroom break ). On the way back home I had to get a half-dozen to bring home and share with the fam. If you’re heading up to the Duluth area anytime soon, please enjoy a raspberry bismark for me.

Thanks for the relaxing + hilarious camping trip, ladies! Can’t wait to go again next year. ♥

PS where are your favorite spots to go camping in Minnesota? I’d love to try out some new places + take in some new scenery!