Happenings Under the Blue Skies

Kelly Sauer headshot 2

It’s been quite the crazy few weeks, y’all.

And sometimes a girl just needs to calm herself down, grab her pumpkin spiced chai, and talk with her friends. Ya know, tell them what’s been going on lately. So I’m sitting under my backyard aspens today, patting the warm grass beside me, and offering you your own favorite drink as I share about this and that.

Last month while attending the annual retreat for the (in)courage writers, I had the opportunity to have the one and only Kelly Sauer photograph me. Kelly is a wedding, portrait, and fine art photographer based out of Charleston, South Carolina. Do you know her? If not, I beg you to get to know her pronto. You can do so by visiting Kelly’s website here and her blog here. You can also follow her on twitter, facebook and instagram.

Even if you don’t live near Charleston you should get to know her because  y’all, she travels. 

Kelly Sauer Headshot

I have admired Kelly’s work for years. Her photos are light and warm with an effortless, relaxed quality. I personally never had a sitting like this before, so I worried the whole thing might be a hundred shades of awkward. But Kelly made everything feel natural instead of posed. I think part of that is because her spirit is just like her work: calm, encouraging, and sincere.

Kelly makes having your picture taken feel less hey look at me! and more this is me.

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Thank you, Kelly! You are a gift.


Because my cherubs are on fall break for the last half of this week and all of next week (a perk to starting school August 1st), we’re taking a little trip to the mountains. The purpose of our trip is twofold: 1. Spend some wonderful, distraction-free family time together and 2. Enact Operation Get Kristen to Appreciate Colorado. Because lately, Colorado and I have been going round and round.

Basically, I’ve been a little sore at her for bulldozing spring right off the calendar. Then, a massive hailstorm turned most of my plants and garden to shrapnel. But my pumpkin plant survived, and to my giddy joy grew and grew like a horizontal version of Jack’s beanstalk. I counted almost two dozen growing pumpkins.

So when a fierce windstorm with freezing temperatures appeared on the radar last week, my husband and I worked tirelessly to cover those pumpkins. I declared war against the Colorado weather and said you shall not win.

The Colorado weather just laughed in my face and unleashed her fury anyway. She won the war and my pumpkins were the casualty.

While I know things could be a million times worse (no wildfires or floods here), I literally cried and wanted to smack Colorado.

So this is why we’re going to the mountains: because when you feel ungrateful for your location, it’s best to travel where you feel grateful again. For me, this doesn’t always mean a trip to the mountains. Sometimes, it means a trip to the backyard or the local park.

If you follow me on instagram, this is why I take so many pictures of our state.


Because when I do, I’ll see shots of a sunshiney aspen with the mountains in the distance. I then fall on my knees and beg Colorado’s forgiveness for my awful attitude.

I repent! I repent! 

And I’m grateful again.

If you’d like to see some quintessential fall foliage yourself in the next few days, feel free to follow me on instagram. Also, I am taking a small bloggy break during this time so I can hang more with mah peeps.


The winner of Emily’s A Million Little Ways is commenter Amy Grace! Amy Grace, check your inbox for an email from moi. And thanks so much to all who entered. I loved reading your comments on whether or not you consider yourself an artist and why. So insightful.


Finally, I would love, love, love your prayers. I’m wrapping up not one but TWO special projects, and I feel the hot fingers of stress pulling me in opposite directions. So you wouldn’t waste a prayer on me as I finish both. I can’t wait to share them with you!

So, enough about me. What’s been going on with you? Please tell me everything!

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  1. says

    First of all, those pictures are AMAZING! I especially like the ones where you’re busting up laughing, to me those truly reflect you and your personality…and I’m jealous that I wasn’t sitting there cracking up with you. :)

    Second, good luck on your mission of learning to appreciate Colorado. You are not alone in your disdain for this state and it’s wacky weather! In fact, it’s only one of the reasons I don’t love CO. Don’t get me wrong, I’m making the best of our time here and I’m not miserable, but I just know that CO will not be my forever home. To me, it just doesn’t feel like “home” and I am having the hardest time trying to feel any sort of settled here. Our time on Maui was filled with a homey-ness that I’ve not experienced at any of our other assignments. Because I know you guys have chosen this area to be home for at least a while, I will pray that you are able to feel at home here and really start to appreciate it. As for me, I’m kinda glad to know that I only have 2-3 more years here….at least on this assignment. Haha. I keep telling Bryan that he really needs to try and get back to Maui!

    Love you friend. Enjoy your mountain getaway with your family, I think I may need to schedule us one of those soon. :)

    • says

      Thank you darling! Thank you so much. For your kind words about the pictures and your prayers.

      And ya, Maui had a lot going for it in the homey-ness department, and a large part of that was found in the people. (Like you!)

      Love you friend. xo

  2. says

    Hey Kristen.

    I’m wondering is waste a verb that should be used with prayer? Or is that a southern thing?

    Father I pray for a delightful time for Kristen and her fam in the mountains. Would you make it restful, energizing, and fun. Please give wonderful picturesque weather worthy of many photo memories. Amen.

    Still looking forward to coffee with you. I’ll let you initiate.

    Denise in invited me to share with her group in a few weeks.

    One of my blogs was accepted by Dayspring. I’m excited.

    BEAUTIFUL pictures. All of them.

    Keep writing my friend. Sue Tell

    • says

      Sue! Bravo on one of your posts being picked up by DaySpring! Cartwheels and handstands for you!

      “You wouldn’t waste a prayer…” is just an expression. I’ve heard it said all over, but maybe it originated in the South. I don’t know. Thanks *so* much for your beautiful prayer. I’m so grateful.

      And yes, I would still love to have coffee with you. Really love to. We’ll make it work sooner or later!

  3. says

    I just got back from the mountains of NC with my mom…nothing like their majesty to restore a grateful heart!! LOVE, love, love the photos of you! They capture your beautiful smile and your welcoming personality! I will certainly add you to my “prayer warrior” list…may it go well with you! Enjoy this precious time with your family!
    Love ya,

  4. says

    INCREDIBLE pictures, Kristen!! You are gorgeous and adorable all at once. LOVE.

    I’m so sorry CO’s weather hasn’t been kind. Lame. Your instagram pics always make me sigh with longing. I miss it there so. much. But yeah, the weather can be nuts. Anyway. Hope your trip and your family time are refreshing and awesome.

    Bless you!!

  5. says

    I grew up in Colorado and loved it for the diversity of the weather. It was always interesting. However, I didn’t have plants and pumpkins to worry about. That would be very frustrating.

  6. says

    Ok, So you just inspired me to get a haircut. Your hair looks great, and once upon a time, many, many ponytails and messybuns away, I used to have good looking hair! :)

  7. says

    Those pictures are amazing…but then, the subject of said photographs is absolutely gorgeous!! I hope you have a great time in the mountains. I love October in Breckenridge.

  8. says

    Wow, love the photos. So bright and beautiful!

    And I hear you on the Colorado thing. It’s the part where we skipped summer that has me torn up a little this year. A few warm days does not a summer make. I love the beauty and the sunshine, but I need that small window of summer each year to push through. Alas…