warning: this post is a long one. the following occurred in fall of 2015 and is a big reason i took some time off with the blog. more on that later.

for our one year anniversary, my husband gifted me concert tickets in lieu of the traditional paper gift. on every bucket list i've created over the past ten years, two items that make the cut each time are to camp out west and to see a concert at red rocks ampitheatre. so when one of my favorite artists, ben howard, announced a show there, carter purchased us tickets and began planning the trip. little would i know just how much i needed it. 

we decided to take a long weekend to spend a few days both camping and sleeping in an actual bed. our trip was the first weekend in october and the last weekend any remaining campsites would be open. we planned for the weather to change unexpectedly and thankfully so. 

a few days before we were set to leave, my mom called to tell me that she had been diagnosed with the earliest signs of ovarian cancer after a routine check up. she was set to have surgery two days before our trip. i was a mess. i was in a literal fog. those are the only words i can muster up to this day about that weekend. all i remember was the uninterrupted crying and the twelve hour wedding i shot with a friend. i spoke with my mom constantly, telling her our trip was off and that i was coming home. and after a gentle, yet stern call, she convinced me that i needed the distraction of those few days outdoors. (i should state here that i flew home the day we got back and spent the next six weeks with my mom as she recovered from surgery. i was also by her side when the doctor told her that they got everything and that she was cancer-free! insert a million hallelujahs and happy tears.)

we drove across the state of kansas and arrived for our first night in denver around seven. we decided to stay in a hotel outside of town to get a good night of rest after the long drive. we grabbed dinner somewhere. i think i had a beer and tator tots. literal fog, i tell ya. i went to bed at nine. 

we woke up early and headed north to est├ęs park where we spent our first night. we camped at morraine park, the only campsite still open. it was crowded but we found a cozy site tucked back in the towering trees. we set up camp, hiked around for a few hours and came back before dark to cook dinner and watch the sun set behind the rocky mountains. we slept soundly for the most part, except for a few times woken up by elk and wolves howling in the distance. the next morning we made coffee and enjoyed breakfast with two very friendly chipmunks scurrying around our campsite before packing up for our next destination. 

obviously this post was longer than usual, but this trip felt like a defining moment in my life and i never want to forget it. the rest of this trip will only consist of photos and maybe a few words.

so if you're reading this, you're a trooper and thank you. xx


  1. Beautiful photos!

    I'm glad that the doctors were able to catch your mom's cancer early and that she's doing well. I was with my husband (then fiance) when his dad was diagnosed; that's not something any child should have to experience. Best wishes to you and your mom.

  2. I'm so glad to hear your Mom is doing ok. Prayers and thoughts to you all. I can't even imagine getting that phone call...


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