Spicy soup, a trip to Green Bay, and tying some flies

It was cold. Freeze your face off cold. I love Wisconsin, but we had five days in a row with a high temperature below zero. This girl needs to play outside!

That is the Wisconsin River a couple blocks from my house. I still ventured out in the cold to go to Green Bay TU’s annual banquet. They have the biggest chapter banquet in our state, and their banquet committee is filled with exceptional volunteers. I was even lucky enough to win an air compressor! Brian was absolutely thrilled.

I braved the cold to tie flies with our chapter at one of our free fly tying workshops. We had a great time! We encourage kids to come, and our UWSP Fly Fishing club came out to help, too.

 

Just when I thought I’d had enough ice, I had a photo shoot with some iced coffee. :)



I thought briefly about running outside, but then I saw this…



…so I stayed inside, and made some spicy soup.

I love poached eggs.

The weather was scheduled to warm up, so I went outside to play, and my next post will feature a cute snowy shoot with a pup.

Thanks for reading!

Miles this year: 120

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Valentine’s weekend! <3

We started celebrating Valentine’s Day a couple days early by heading down to Chicago to hear one of my favorites, Jason Isbell, play at the Symphony Center. 



It was everything I dreamed it could be. I still don’t exactly understand why I love his music so much- I really can’t relate to most of his subjects. I’ve never been an addict, I’ve never had to cope with the loss of a family member while out on tour, I’ve never served in the military, nor done codeine (I’m allergic!), nor has a shotgun wedding ever occurred to me. Maybe that’s actually why I’m drawn to it- it’s exposing me to another world.

Anyway, we loved the concert, and we crashed hard for the night. Parking in the city always amazes me- we don’t even have parking meters here in Point, so paying $38 for three hours of ramp parking feels just crazy.

The next morning, we headed over to Calumet to trade in all our old camera gear. A couple years ago, we switched completely from Canon to Nikon, but we still had our old camera bodies and lenses sitting around. We also traded in my baby, my first real pro camera, my Nikon D3- affectionately named Shelley. I am upgrading my gear to the Nikon D4, but it was still really hard to leave my cameras behind. There were lots of memories in those cameras- both mine, and those of our clients. I held it together in the store…



…But lost it when we got to the parking lot. I keep reminding myself that the cameras are just a tool, but what can I say? I’m a softie. Anyway, a few pounds lighter and a few thousand dollars richer, we headed home to prepare for my mom’s Valentine’s Day wedding!

It was a very sweet day- I headed to the salon with my mom to get her hair done, then we went to her house to get ready.



My mom has two signs in her house that absolutely crack me up every time I see them, so here they are for your giggling pleasure.





I dont think I’ve ever done my mom’s makeup before, so it was really fun!

The ceremony was at St. Therese, where my Grampie built the altar. It was a sweet and short ceremony.







Everyone in attendance came up and stood around them on the altar, so it was very intimate.









The small reception was held at Bill’s favorite pizza restaurant, and they reserved the back room for us. Their big reception will be this summer.



It was wonderful to see everyone, and it makes me so happy to see my mom in love. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Olson!

We stopped for a quick coffee at Starbucks (love these hearts!!)…



…had a small photo shoot with some brownies…



…and stayed in, cooking steak and shrimp for dinner. We cooked them on the big salt block that B gave me for Christmas, and they cooked perfectly! I made our traditional brownie waffles for dessert, and we crashed hard at 8:30 pm. What a wild life I lead.

Oh, and B surprised me with these.

I’m lucky. <3

Thanks for reading!

Miles this year: 112

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WITU State Council Banquet + a fabulous loaf of bread

My very first volunteer opportunity for Trout Unlimited was helping to sell tickets for the raffles at our state council banquet. That was five years ago, and now I’m in charge of the raffle ticket sales. Times have changed! 

This year, while we started the day in a meeting, our council hosted the first WITU-sponsored women’s fly fishing seminar ever here in Wisconsin. We had some incredible women instructors come and teach our attendees about the sport that we love, protecting the resource, and connecting with the outdoors in a truly meaningful way. 



Here’s a couple of my favorite photos from this year- the awesome members who keep me coming back, our strong leaders who fight for the resource, the award winners, and all sorts of stuff. :)



This event was held in Oshkosh, and my best friends Amy and Nikki came out to help me sell tickets. We spent the night relaxing in the hot tub and drinking wine. It is a strange “girls’ night” but we love it. <3

I returned home and prepared for our chapter’s fly tying night out at Clancey’s. We had great turnout, and a lot of fun! I invented a new pattern for the “Oberstadt sparkle dry fly” and I will let you know how it works ASAP. :)



We were in the middle of a cold spell, so I had to do the majority of my running indoors. When I had a 12 miler on the schedule, the high temperature didn’t get above zero. That meant I got used to this view:



I actually don’t mind running inside as much as you’d think- I can keep a water bottle and fuel (Starbursts, FTW) right nearby, and a sweat towel, of course. :)

Lucky me, I was busy carb loading with the subject of this week’s photo shoot- a loaf of Le Fruit, another Main Grain creation.

My view?



The finished product?



I lead a charmed life.

Up next? Our awesome Valentine’s weekend., including Jason Isbell in Chicago and my mom’s wedding!

Miles this year: 106

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Jessie Fritsch + cupcakes

Meet Jessie.



She invited me to her art studio for a shoot centered around her preferred medium- encaustic paint. In a nutshell, she uses colored beeswax to create beautiful scenes. Take a peek!





She basically melts the wax and applies it while it is still hot. It hardens quickly, then she uses a number of different techniques to re-melt it and fuze it to the previous layers. Hot griddles, heat guns, and scrapers are all a part of the art!





She has an adorable little studio, filled with hundreds of wax chips and lots of awards.







Thanks for inviting me, Jessie! 

I was so inspired by her work, and it fueled me through two different cupcake shoots, both from the Main Grain Bakery

I love the texture on the coconut…



And the chocolate stout with cream cheese frosting was every bit as delicious as it looks.



That’s all for now- up next? My Wisconsin Trout Unlimited banquet and a few more food items in the studio.

Thanks for reading!

Miles this year: 101

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Frame’s 150th, coffee and bars, and friends visiting!

Frame church, here in Stevens Point, celebrated their 150th anniversary.



We were asked to capture their special service and the social afterwards. It was a great time! This church holds a special place in my heart because they hired me as a college student to help teach music to their kids during their “Sunday School.” 







They had beautiful music and a full house. Thank you for inviting us, Frame!

I was busy during the week with some delicious treats- cranberry almond oatmeal bars and coffee.





The swirls of cream in that coffee just make my mouth water! 

Our friends, Erika and Chad, came home to visit. They moved to Florida after their beautiful Milwaukee wedding, and we have hardly seen them since! We all went out to eat for Mexican food, and it just so happened that the men on the other side of the table were the living embodiment of the progression of facial hair. :)

I love it.

I spent a little time tying flies…



Running with the girls (and pups!)…



And perfected my first handstand selfie!

Up next? A shoot with a very talented encaustic artist, and two divine cupcakes.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Miles this year: 93

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Fly fishing on my mind

What is an avid fly angler to do in the winter months in central Wisconsin? 

Go to trade shows. Lots of trade shows.

I went to the Chicago Outdoor Sports show to visit my friend, Jen, who runs DUN magazine and had a booth there. It was awesome to play around with a couple new rods and remember what it feels like to cast a line to water. They had a pool for us to cast into. 



I stayed with my aunt Eileen and uncle Rick in their beautiful Elk Grove home, and I got to hang out with my cousin twin, Killeen. She just bought a super cute house and it was wonderful to hang out there, drink some wine, and relax. :)



I loved running around their neighborhood- they even have a little pond.





I returned home to the frozen tundra, and headed over to the Eastern part of the state for Fox Valley TU’s Cabin Fever event.



Jen is an active volunteer in the Fox Valley chapter and she’s doing great work for the women’s initiative. It was great to see you, girl! I also had a booth at Central Wisconsin’s TroutFest, and I’ve been working on reaching out to the women in our communities and in the angling industry to get them hooked up with the work that Trout Unlimited does here in Wisconsin. :) I also have some blank trout outlines for kids to color. How cute is this?



The short days and no sun has really been getting to me, so my incredibly talented electrican husband whipped together a light box for me.



After sitting in front of that contraption for a few days, I felt like a million bucks! We were lucky enough to cap off our busy week with Central Waters’ 17th anniversary party. I was covering the event for Hoopla magazine, but I ran into Lydia at the party!



We drank some delicious beer and danced to live music. A perfect Saturday!







Thanks for the fun night, Central Waters!

I’ll leave you with some of the most refreshing subjects I’ve had in the studio lately- fruit!





I just love working with food. Seriously. :)

Up next? Frame’s 150th anniversary, an encaustic artist, and out of town friends.

Thanks for reading!

Miles this year: 84

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Madison adventures

I love traveling, and I especially love Madison. It’s such a cool city, and I have lots of friends there.

I stopped in for a little photo shoot for the River Alliance- but I was on the other side of the lens! Those folks are awesome- they’re continually advocating for water, and teaching others how to do the same. If you want to take a peek at my YouTube debut, you can find it here.

I spent the evening at the Ale Asylum with the women of Southern Wisconsin TU and the alumni of the Wisconsin Women’s Flyfishing Clinics



These women know how to have a good time! I love being surrounded by so many passionate people. TU is good for that. :) I stayed with my friend, Jen, and we had a great time catching up. She didn’t even mind me rolling out my yoga mat on her living room floor. Now that’s friendship. Thanks for your hospitality, girl! You inspire me in many ways.

I got up early and went for a run. It was cold and snowy and awesome.







It was a great trip, filled with friends and talk of fly fishing and conservation and increasing diversity in TU. :)

I came home on Saturday, so I’d have time to prepare for the Packer game. I was so nervous beforehand that I wanted to burn off some energy. 



I made a cheesecake to celebrate our win… But when we lost, I ate half of it.



Luckily, it was a semi-healthy cheesecake with greek yogurt and ricotta mixed in, and I went running with my girls to burn it off.





Up next? Chicago, some fruit in the studio, beer, and church. A well-rounded week.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Miles this year: 78

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