joshua tree - joshua tree national park - national park - nature photography - landscape photography - travel photography

Joshua Tree

I had heard about Joshua Tree National Park for a long time before ever going there, which finally happened over Thanksgiving weekend! It’s obviously pretty famous, since I had heard about it a lot, and a lot (if not all) of you have probably heard about it! I hadn’t actually been into much “nature” stuff before to moving to San Diego…odd, because I was born and lived my entire life (minus college) in Portland, OR, which is well-known for being very beautiful. Maybe I didn’t appreciate it because I had it my whole life? Who knows. I did explore a fair amount up there, but didn’t really make an effort ever. Now that I’m in San Diego though, I find everything overwhelmingly beautiful and actually make an effort to explore all these different areas that are known as natural attractions. What is happening to me?? Ha, it’s obviously great though!

Joshua Tree was AMAZING and way more beautiful than I was expecting, with my prior anti-nature views. How cool can trees and rocks be? I just wanted to see it because we were in the area and it’s so famous, and people would probably like photos from there. I am IN LOVE though, completely in love! Trees and rocks are actually super amazing, FYI. You should probably go to Joshua Tree, if you haven’t. We are definitely going to go back. We unfortunately didn’t get much time there, so we are hoping to take a longer trip, maybe do some camping (gasp!), when it gets warmer of course. I hope you enjoy these photos for now though, until we go again! ūüôā

Click any of the photos to view them larger!

Ode to Widdle

I don’t think I’ve really posted many photos of our puppy, Widdle, except maybe some shots at the Pet Expo. Widdle was just 1 year and 4 months old when he died unexpectedly last week from a seizure. ¬†It hurt especially because it was August 26, National Dog Day. ¬†Since I have been going through photos of him, I thought I would make a post on here with an “ode” to him, my sweet baby boy.widdle (2 of 6)

Dear sweet baby boy,

We miss you so much.  You were our first baby, and you made us parents for the first time.  We loved you so much and you were part of our family.  Words cannot express the pain we are in right now, since you left us way too soon and without warning.  You were only a part of our lives for just over a year, but in that year you filled us with so much love and joy, that the empty space you left behind is overwhelming.  We will get other furry babies in the future, but we will never forget you and you will always be in our hearts and part of our lives.

You were so full of life. ¬†You were the absolute sweetest baby in the world, and thought every single person wanted to rub your belly. ¬†You absolutely did not know a stranger. ¬†You became best friends with everyone as soon as you met them. ¬†You loved going to the vet, because you knew that you would get attention there and and that they loved you. ¬†You especially loved children, because you loved licking people’s faces, and you could reach children’s faces without them having to get down on your level, since they already were. ¬†You also loved to meet all the other doggies, even though you were actually quite shy when you met them. ¬†You only barked at other dogs when you didn’t get to say hi. ¬†You even met some kitty friends, and while they might have thought you were a little annoying, you just wanted to play with them.

widdle w (2 of 5)While everyone that met you thought you were so adorable and sweet, they didn’t see the secret monster side of you. ¬†I always said you were the cutest monster ever though, because you were. ¬†You loved to play, and you especially loved destroying your toys, and eating everything that you shouldn’t eat. ¬†You liked to have some furry special friends, but eventually you became such a monster that none of your furry friends lasted more than 15 minutes. ¬†About a week before you died, I finally found you another furry friend that last four whole days! ¬†I was happy that you finally got to have a special friend again. ¬†You destroyed a lot of our stuff too, and swallowed so many things that shouldn’t be swallowed, we sometimes had to take you to the vet, but usually you just pooped them out. ¬†You had to have stomach surgery when you were still a baby because you swallowed a pretty big chicken bone, because you didn’t want Mommy to take it away from you! ¬†We could never be mad at you for long, because you were so cute and sweet.

We knew you loved us too, because you loved to give us kisses. ¬†You followed me around all the time, and I taught you to fetch easily because when I would throw the ball, you would go get it and bring it back because you wanted to play right next to me. ¬†When you got big enough, you got to sleep on the bed with me, and you were super excited when Daddy came home from deployment, because then you got to sleep with both of us. ¬†You seemed completely content. ¬†You persuaded Daddy that doggy kisses are nice, since he didn’t like them at first, but that changed shortly. ¬†You also loved going skateboarding with Daddy and you could pull him on his skateboard even though you were small, because you were such a strong boy! ¬†I remember how you learned to jump so fast and eventually we had to let you have free roam of the house because you could jump so high that you jumped your gate! ¬†You LOVED going outside on walks, but you wanted to run most of the time. ¬†You loved the grass, too, and you would just roll around in it, especially after I had just given you a bath. ¬†Baths were the one thing you hated.

widdle w (1 of 1)Your namesake was Widdle the Ewok, brother of Wicket and a goofball, although great in battle against the Stormtroopers. ¬†We had a Star Wars original trilogy marathon so that you could see your namesake, and you actually watched parts of the movies. ¬†I basically raised you on loud action movies, and I think the loud explosions and gunfire that you fell asleep to many nights made you one of the only dogs that is not scared of fireworks. We get fireworks all the time, but you just slept through them, while I could hear all the neighborhood dogs barking like crazy. You were braver than them. ūüôā ¬†We had gotten you right before the 4th of July, and you were scared that first time, but never after that. ¬†The 4th of July became our special family holiday, because we got two of them with you, and Daddy was home for both of them. My second favorite holiday with you was New Year’s Eve, because you kissed me at midnight. ūüôā

You were also super silly. ¬†You would freak out about random sounds I would make or things I would say, and you would run around in circles, bark at me, and sometimes kiss me while doing those things. ¬†I have hundreds of photos and videos of you being cute and/or silly. ¬†You brought constant entertainment to our lives. ¬†You also LOVED getting your tummy rubbed. ¬†You would just lay on your back all the time, and your leg that was in the air would quiver, and I couldn’t just leave you hanging like that. ¬†So every single time you rolled over on your back, I would rub your tummy. ¬†You knew I had a weakness, and you took advantage of it! ¬†You also knew that I couldn’t resist your cute doggy booty, and you would strrrrrretch across me so that I would pet your booty. ¬†I knew that you were exploiting my weaknesses, but I would still pet that booty and rub that tummy every time you did those things for the rest of my life. ¬†And since I knew you loved me as much as I loved you, I was okay with all of that.

We miss you SO much, sweet baby boy. ¬†Everyone whose lives you touched also feels the pain of your loss. ¬†You were a light and a joy, and the only way that I can justify why you are gone is that you were an angel, and heaven needed you back. ¬†We can’t wait to see you again in heaven, and take care of my mom, Daddy’s baby sister, and all of our other family and friends that are waiting up there too. ¬†We will see you again, baby boy.