The Reeds

I was so tickled to photograph and catch-up with the Reeds! What a sweet, fun and wonderful family!

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Sight & Sound, Lititz and more!

If you know me at all, you already KNOW how much I LOVE the Smiths!

I want to be a part of anything they are doing, but ESPECIALLY when it involves an amazing Christian production, staying in the “coolest small town in America” and Amish country! Oh, and don’t forget great food and even better conversations!

Here’s a few highlights during our short (but very eventful) road-trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to see Sight & Sound’s production of “Daniel.”

Wanna’ guess how BIG Ruthie’s smile was when Hailey suggested they try to catch a duck together!?!? It made it even COOLER that Hailey is Ruthie’s most-FAVORITE Sunday School teacher EVA‘!

Forget big cities and flowers, if I could photograph one thing, I’d love to document the life of an Amish family. But since they are against photographs, I’ll have to settle for this one, quick shot from the road. (How gorgeous is their clothesline?)

Many Amish family sell produce, eggs, flowers and other items in front of their homes. Rayna is always laser-focused on plants, so she was excited to find these beautiful succulents to purchase!

Let’s do it again, but bring Ross along next time!

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My Lil’ Explorer

Someone recently asked me, “What’s your favorite thing to photograph?”

I don’t have a ‘favorite’, but if I did:

It might just be a little girl…
Who never wears shoes…
Who loves to explore…
and who usually has a stick in her hand and a rock in her front pocket!

More photos of our fun at Historic Banning Mills:

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GLAMPING at River Forks Park

Over the years, all the benefits of camping were usually over-ruled by the sheer inconvenience of packing. Yes, we WANT to un-plug, enjoy nature and create memories together, but we rarely make it a priority because of the dreaded thought of having to pack sheets, pillows, chairs, portable chargers, water, tons of blankets and coffee (aka: firewood, a pot, instant coffee and mugs). Other drawbacks include Matthew’s two least favorite things- sleeping on the ground and having to try to pitch an acceptable tent WITH NO HELP FROM US.

But Timberline Glamping offers a FANTASTIC SOLUTION!

Upon arriving at River Forks, I quickly checked in at the front office. I really appreciated the gates and added security where I felt peace allowing the kids to run around the site and play. When I entered the GORGEOUS ‘tent,’ I SMILED knowing I was going to get a great night’s SLEEP AND a good cup of COFFEE in the morning! There was thought and planning in ALL the details; but the icing on the cake was all the scripture hidden throughout their beautiful furnishings!

Since we didn’t have much to unpack, we were able to start our adventure right away! The kids loved having the kayak, but there was also a dock and beach entry to the lake as well.

And who doesn’t LOVE a couple of hammocks?!?!

We said goodbye to all the deer around us to go explore downtown Gainesville (just a few minutes away). When we returned, this beautiful SUNSET was waiting back at the campsite for us. Then, after a late-night swim and warm bonfire, we were ready to crawl into our soft beds for the night. What a great day!

If you’re like me and LOVE the idea of nature, but don’t enjoy all the hassle that comes along with camping, I think you’ll love Timberline Glamping! I enjoyed River Forks because it was beautiful accommodations… in great location… with a clean (and very close) restroom/shower… with peaceful surroundings!

Check out their information:
Other locations:

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ADVENTURES at Historic Banning Mills!

If you’re like me, CREATING FAMILY MEMORIES is one of the most important parts of life!

I love any time with my family, but especially moments that include beautiful nature, lots of laughter, plenty of thrills, hospitality and great food! I recently discovered a hidden gem that includes ALL of these things in ONE place- Historic Banning Mills!

We began our adventure at Historic Banning Mills with a KAYAK TOUR down the Chattahoochee River. I wondered if RUTHIE ‘we’ would be up for the 7-miles, but the 2+ hours went by so quickly! The current pushed us along naturally, which made paddling a breeze.

I loved learning the history behind the waters and surrounding areas. Our guide told us stories from the native Creek and Cherokee tribes. From the birds flying above us to the little turtles sunbathing on the logs around us, we also learned a lot about the animals who call the “Hooch” their home.

After getting lots of vitamin D, river water and fresh air, we were ready to unwind in our beautiful TREEHOUSE! I couldn’t believe how SOFT our bed was! (Even the girls said their bunk beds upstairs were super soft too!)

The area was very spacious. It included a nice bathtub, private bathroom/shower, small refrigerator, tv and more. But my favorite part was the sunset on the private, wooded back porch! Maybe I’m partial to being surrounded by birds singing and trees blowing, but I couldn’t have been happier in their beautiful treehouse!

We woke-up the second morning with EXCITEMENT (and I might OR MIGHT NOT have had a tad bit of nervousness too)! Besides… we were about to experience the WORLD’S LARGEST ZIP LINE CANOPY TOUR!

I’ve done different zip line adventures in other states and countries, but this one, by far, made me feel the safest. Our guides were professional, but they also made sure we were ALL having fun! I loved having water stations all throughout our tour. But my FAVORITE part (as you can imagine) was the guides snapping lots of photos with their equipment (for FREE!) where we could simply focus on the fun!

Make sure to check out my video which includes part of the ‘Screaming Eagle’ which is 2,500 feet long and goes up to 75 mph! Regardless of your age, weight or bravery, they offer a ZIP LINE TOUR that will meet your needs perfectly!

After our zip lining adventure, we were all HUNGRY and ready for a picnic lunch. But we were not expecting such generous and nutritious options inside our pretty bag! I’d love to explain the bread, meat and snacks, but I was kind-of super-focused on the homemade Ranch! (If you know me, you already know I was trying to trade my granola bar and chips for everyone’s delicious Ranch!)

We spent the rest of our day exploring the property- considered Georgia’s only hidden gorge on beautiful Snake Creek. Not only are the surroundings so unique and tranquil, there’s even MORE to do at Historic Banning Mills!

Click HERE to see even MORE amenities offered, but here’s just a few other activities we were able to visit:
* 18 hole Putt-Putt Golf
* Bridges
* Nature Trails
* Creeks
* Gift shop
* And, the world’s tallest free-standing CLIMBING WALL!

Remember when I mentioned “great food” at the beginning? Well, I’ll simply say that our DINNER at the Lodge was simply amazing!

Not to go back to the Ranch dressing, but my salad was one of the BEST I’ve ever had! (I mean, how do you go wrong with candied pecans, grape tomatoes, fried onion shavings, bacon and hard-boiled eggs?) The rest of the food met the same exceptional standards. This meal will be one that I look forward to enjoying again!

Want PROOF of how incredible the food was…?!?!

After dinner, we checked out a free movie (from their great movie collection), curled-up together in that wonderful, soft bed and all agreed the ONLY thing missing from our EXCEPTIONALLY AWESOME day was Ross.

Even though we had to pack-up early on our third day, our Historic Banning Mills adventure STILL wasn’t over!

Speaking of amazing food…
Anyone want to see OUR BREAKFAST?!?

After our feast, we headed to the Nature Show. For any animal lovers (like me and Ruthie), this is not to be missed! We learned SO much and got to touch most of the reptiles, mammals and raptors brought in from Animal Adventures of Georgia.

Whether you’re simply wanting to get away or if you’re looking to add some excitement, Historic Banning Mills will provide everything you need for family fun! (Driving home, Matthew and I were also saying this would ALSO be a great option for birthday celebrations, team building for businesses, family reunions or anniversary weekends!)

The ONLY thing keeping this from being a PERFECT get-away was that Ross wasn’t there to enjoy it with us. I guess that just gives us a reason to GO BACK AGAIN when he returns to Georgia in the Fall!

Guess what?
You can use PROMO CODE: CMPHOTO to receive 15% off Lodging (except family cabins) until December 31, 2024!

Check out their website for more information:

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We brought the Party

When hiking to the highest spot in Georgia, we brought PARTY!

Well, his name isn’t actually “PARTY,” that’s just what Jonathan calls him.
Well, Jonathan doesn’t actually call him that. It’s just the pretend voice Jonathan’s family uses for him.
Oh, Jonathan’s a dog (…which, clearly, can’t talk at all).

Okay, never mind!

Mine and Ross’ hike was made complete with PARKER (aka: “PARTY,” spoken in a weird, dog-voice)!

Ross had his machete and knife with him, so as the guys discovered the silhouette vibe, they had fun reenacting a fight. Naturally, right?

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David, Summer, Jack, Ava Quinn & Levi

What a joy to photograph this family AGAIN! It’s so fun watching Jack and Ava Quinn enjoy the outdoors. And what a treat to see Levi’s crazy and fun personality!

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