The Dolly DeLong: Baby Moon Adventures with Ty (Part 7) (The Grand Canyon) (Arizona)

The Dolly DeLong: Baby Moon Adventures with Ty (Part 7) (The Grand Canyon) (Arizona)

This was probably the hardest day for me because of my pregnancy + the heat + needing to pee every five minutes + being scared of going to the bathroom in the bushes because I was afraid of snakes biting me in the butt + I just wanted ice cream the entire day (and that never happens b/c I don’t like ice cream that much) + I hit my wall emotionally and just wanted to fall asleep somewhere. SO DRAMATIC! (Pregnancy was a real pain in the butt for me in the Grand Canyon…and I also hated everyone coming up to me and asking me about the baby for some reason…normally I am fine with it, but I did not want anyone to talk to me or look at me or inform me that I looked like I was going to pop-yeah I was just a delightful woman to be around that day).

Thankfully I married an angel of a man who promised to take care of me and always love me in sickness and in health (and in ridiculous behaviors like I was exhibiting) so by the end of the day (after I had thrown my holy temper tantrum) I actually had a wonderful day with Ty and I am thankful that we got to see and experience the glorious wonders of the Grand Canyon. It really is so gorgeous there, and like I have stated in previous posts, I really want to bring my son back here and maybe it would be better when I’m NOT pregnant so I can walk without needing to pee every other minute. Also, maybe go there when the weather is not 2,000,000 degrees outside.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from our day trip to the Grand Canyon. It was a 2-3 hour drive from our Airbnb so my husband deserves all the praise hand emojis for driving us to and from the Grand Canyon ESP after a long day with his moody and pregnant wife.

Anyway, if you have learned anything from reading my posts it is this: please love and appreciate your spouses (or your partners) who are walking with you through life (ESP through pregnancy or any new chapters which change/alter your hormones). Let them know you love them and appreciate them! 

The Dolly DeLong: Baby Moon Adventures with Ty (Part 6) (Zion National Park)

The Dolly DeLong: Baby Moon Adventures with Ty (Part 6) (Zion National Park)

Part 6 of our Baby Moon took place at Zion National Park in Utah

We spent a total of 2 days at Zion National Park (the first day was super packed, 2,000 degrees and filled with too many tourists, but thankfully the second day we started the day off early in the morning and we had more of the park to ourselves-and that gave me more energy to actually use my camera to take photos)

I am SO happy that we planned on visiting this park because it was such a gorgeous park and one day I hope to come back and bring back #BabyBoyDeLong with us so that he can experience hiking all the fun trails (please note: we def had to stick to the ‘easier’ trails because I was def at the point of not being able to walk without peeing every 20 minutes). The scariest part of hiking one of the trails was that we ran across a snake…and Ty immediately asked for a photo next to the snake! Who is he?

Here were several of my favorite photos from our time at Zion National Park (please note: at one point I begged Ty to take me to Logan’s Roadhouse to get a steak because I was THAT ravenous for meat-you will see how ridiculous I look in the photos….I really think my son is shaping to be a real meat and potatoes type of man already)!

The Dolly DeLong: Baby Moon Adventures with Ty (Part 5) (Craters of the Moon)

The Dolly DeLong: Baby Moon Adventures with Ty (Part 5) (Craters of the Moon)

Finally getting around to sharing Part 5 of our Baby Moon this evening! Have you ever heard of The Craters of The Moon National Preserve & Monument? Well to be honest, I never even knew there was such a place in Idaho, but Ty had done some research and decided we should stop at this National Park. Honestly I thought it was going to be super boring when he had first told me about it (b/c when I picture a National Park, I imagine something like Glacier National Park or Yellowstone in my head) but when we got there several things happened to make it magical for me:

  1. There were NO tourists around….we had the place to ourselves (okay okay there were some people….but for the most part, there was not an annoying amount of people)
  2. It was a gorgeous and beautiful day & I had the energy to take photos with my nice camera (so I made Ty pose in pretty much every spot)
  3. I loved that this preserve make me think of old episodes of “The Twilight Zone” (you know, the ones with Rod Serling from the 1950s/1960s?) Yeah, this whole place made me feel like I was on one giant Episode of The Twilight Zone and I LOVED IT!
  4. Ty bought me a candy bar at the gift shop, and for some reason that really made my day before we started hiking around
  5. I really loved learning about the history of this preserve at the tourist center….you all for some odd reason my mind was ON and I was ready to soak up all the information (this is a rare occurrence in a tired pregnant ladies brain-or at least in my case)  // Here is more about the history: HERE

You all, if you ever find yourself in the weird state of Idaho (it really is such a weird and strange state), please consider visiting this National Preserve for a couple of hours. It really is so interesting and is a fun place to go check out if you like random/odd National Monuments! They also take the National Parks Passport, so I made sure to get a stamp in Baby Bear’s passport book for him to look at when he is older! Yay!

Here are some pictures from our day out! Thank you again to Ty for the chocolate bar from the gift shop…you really did make my day! I love you!

Also P.S. People, please do not judge my biracial legs in these photos. I know I’m not 100% white, but my 50% whiteness shows mostly in my legs which embarrasses me since they never see the sun that often. Also, those are my maternity short  which were the only shorts I could wear for the trip since I was over heated and I couldn’t wear much else LOL! Oh well, I still had a blast! I really hope our son will want to go revisit this park again! 




The Dolly DeLong: My Son’s Nursery (National Parks and Bears with Mustard Yellow/Gray/White/Blue Tones)

The Dolly DeLong: My Son’s Nursery (National Parks and Bears with Mustard Yellow/Gray/White/Blue Tones)

Hey all! As promised I wanted to share several of my favorite images from my son’s nursery before he makes his way into the world (before he basically destroys it by pooping, peeing and puking everywhere)!

So, when Ty and I found out we were pregnant earlier this Spring, I immediately knew I wanted to incorporate bears and the National Parks in the nursery theme (regardless if it was a girl or a boy). Having grown up in Montana, I have a strong love for all things outdoors (okay okay I don’t want to make myself sound like some sort of Mountain woman. I do enjoy Hiking and being outside…but I am DEF not a hardcore backpacker, or rugged person at all….I do enjoy being comfortable indoors too and my most favorite spot in the house is on my couch in a pile of blankets) (I probably would describe myself as an easy-going hiker who enjoys “glamping”-yeah I’m pretty bad ass) (hahahah)

ANYWAY, when we found out we were having a boy (#BabyBOYDeLong), I immediately went to work on “designing” his room in my head with the resources we already had (keep in mind, Ty and I JUST got out of debt, story HERE, so we try to live off of one income AND I am a full time wedding/family photographer so we try to live below our means so that we can save up and actually have a good retirement). It was very hard not to go overboard with baby decorations because there are trendy stores like the Pottery Barn or even TJ Maxx Homegoods which make me want to open up my wallet and state “HERE YOU GO, MAKE MY SON’S ROOM TRENDY AND CUTE!”. Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who sat down with me and we made sure to budget and see what resources we already had to make sure our son had his basic needs met (because let’s be real and honest, it’s just a baby room and our son will not really know the difference for the first year of his life).

I decided on the color scheme of: Mustard Yellow, Grays, Blues and White. I wanted to keep it pretty neutral for now, because I know that in the years ahead our son will most likely take after his father, whose favorite color is BROWN by the way….yes BROWN….so I want to push my love of Mustard Yellow (and grays and whites) on him now (I know I am the Mother of Year for pushing things on him already LOL). I know that Mustard Yellow can be seen as a bit “girly” but hear me out: I really love that color (it’s my favorite go-to color of all time, and it’s been that way since I was 5 years old) and in a way I wanted to incorporate it into my son’s nursery since since I see it as a “sunny and warm” color. A lot of the items we found for his room we found on Facebook Marketplace for a great deal, we also reused some pieces of furniture from around our house for his room, and one or two items were gifted to us as well. So what I am trying to say is this: you do not have to break the bank in order to make your son’s (or daughter’s) room look amazing…you can DEF stick to a good budget and just be patient while you are searching on Craigslist or Buy/Sell/Trade.

When Ty and I had decided on the theme of the nursery, we also were planning a trip out west to Montana for our Babymoon (I have shared that story in various posts as well) AND we decided to write postcards to our son from all the National Parks we visited so that those postcards could, in a way, serve as our little “souvenirs” AND they could also be used as memory cards for our son to read when he gets older. Cheesy, I know, but I really hope that #BabyBOYDeLong will cherish those postcards when he gets older and that one day he too will visit those parks either with us or with his friends! (Either way I just want him to appreciate and get to know the glorious National Parks at an early age!)

Some of our favorite items in his room include the following:

  1. The framed postcards from our Babymoon (as mentioned)
  2. The Fox and Grizz stuffed animals from Glacier National Park (his two best friends)
  3. The Blanket Ladder which I bought from Buy/Sell/Trade off of Facebook (thanks to the nice lady who agreed to meet me in an Aldi parking lot!)
  4. His handmade donut blanket from his Momo (Ty’s Mom) and his blue blanket from his Great-Grandmother (GG-Ty’s Grandmother)
  5. The Glider from Buy Buy Baby because I am excited about reading to him in that chair!
  6. The Furry Gray Rug beside his crib because my cat, Bella, likes to sleep on it and it matches her fur (LOL)
  7. The vintage framed poster of Yellowstone National Park which Ty gifted me with when we found out we were pregnant
  8. The Baby Moses basket which has been passed down from cousin to cousin (from Brax who is now 13 years old to Baby Boy DeLong) (it is durable and beautiful and I am so excited about toting him around the house in that thing whenever he is sleeping)
  9. Finally, his changing station (gross I know) but it’s so organized so it makes my little heart so happy with how clean and organized it looks (hahahah Just wait until he comes, then it will be a hot mess I am certain)

Anyway, so that is the story behind his nursery + theme. I hope it helps inspire some mommies and daddies-to-be, and I hope it encourages everyone to stick to a budget and know that you do not have to spend so much money to make a space for your little one look “perfect”. Believe me, if you can stick to a budget and plan ahead, you can make a nursery (or any specific space) look incredible!

Also side note: a huge thanks to Paul C. Buff (a professional lighting company in Nashville, TN) who helped me nail all of these shots in the middle of the NIGHT with no natural lighting. As mentioned, I am a full time photographer, so I don’t like editing much in Photoshop (spending hours upon hours in photoshop drains me and I personally think it’s a waste of time), so I would rather nail the shot within my camera manually, with the help of some off-camera lighting, so a HUGE thanks to that company (and many other photographers) who have helped mentor me this year in learning more about lighting! 

The Dolly DeLong: Adventures at Yellowstone National Park (Babymoon Part 4) with Ty

Our second National Park we visited while on the babymoon was at Yellowstone National Park. Here are several of my favorite photos from this trip! Enjoy!


The Dolly DeLong: Adventures in Ghost Town Virginia City, Montana with Ty on our Babymoon (Part 3) (September 2018)

The Dolly DeLong: Adventures in Ghost Town Virginia City, Montana with Ty on our Babymoon (Part 3) (September 2018)

So in-between Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park, Ty and I had a night to kill and so we decided to get an AirBNB near Virginia City, Montana and explore the ghost town (which really did feel like a ghost town because NO ONE was there)! We eventually found two people (who later we decided they were ghosts too), but they told us that after Labor Day weekend, pretty much everyone leaves and only 150+ residents stay in Virginia City to make sure to maintain everything before it re-opens up the following Spring (normally Memorial Day weekend is when life resumes).

I remember my parents used to bring me to Virginia city during the summers, so I vividly remember seeing more people back then, so it was both strange and hilarious that literally Ty and I roamed the streets and it did feel like a set of an old western film. At one point a skunk even came out in the middle of the street (which Ty and I both lost it because I have never seen a LIVE skunk before, just dead ones on the side of the road). We even explored the graveyard overlooking the town (yes, judge us because we are weirdos like that) and that’s where we got some cute sunset photos. (Keep in mind these are all iPhone photos so the quality isn’t that good, but we were too lazy to bring around my Nikon)

To learn more about Virginia City, you should read this article.

I personally loved exploring this town with Ty because there were not alot of tourists around, and it was cooler so I got to wear a new-to-me maternity sweater (provided by my bestie Nicoll-THANKS NICOLL!). Another thing I loved about this over night trip was the fact that there were antelope outside of our AirBNB, and it reminded me again about how much I love Montana and its wildlife!

If you all ever get a chance to visit Montana, please consider visiting this small city as a part of a day trip (but make sure it’s in the summer so you get a chance to actually go on a tour and meet and see people!)

The Dolly DeLong: Adventures with Ty on our Babymoon (Part 2) (Glacier National Park, Montana)

The Dolly DeLong: Adventures with Ty on our Babymoon (Part 2) (Glacier National Park, Montana)

After our amazing trip to Bozeman, Montana (which you can read about HERE), Ty and I made our way to our first National Park of our Baby Moon: Glacier National Park.

Since there was a wildfire on one of the main entrances (where we happened to book our AirBNB) we had to wake up earlier in the morning and drive 2 hours to the other entrance (Poor Ty). But, the early morning wake up was worth it because we drove into an entrance with a RAINBOW over it (yes, a magical rainbow-as you can see in the picture)-I think I may have teared up a bit (mostly because of being pregnant).

Anyway, our itinerary of the day included lots of easy hiking trails (like Hiking the Hidden Lake Trailhead), having a picnic with a chipmunk (hahah seriously), and exploring areas of Glacier which had been a part of a previous wildfire (but as you can see from the pictures it was beautiful seeing new life grow around it). I am super appreciative of Ty going super slow at all the hiking trails just for me (since I literally had to pee every 10 minutes).

Even though I had grown up in Montana, I had never visited Glacier before and this was my most favorite national park I have ever visited. I loved the mountains, the wildflowers, the trails, the weather, just everything was perfect about this day. I cannot wait to visit GNP again (when I’m NOT pregnant-so that I can hike without wanting to pee!) AND, so that I can take my son to this glorious national park!

Here are several of my favorite photos from our time spent at GNP! I am so grateful for this time spent with my sweet husband. I cannot wait to share more of our Babymoon adventures in the days ahead!

The Dolly DeLong: Adventures with Ty on our Babymoon (August 26th-September 15th, 2018) (Part 1:Bozeman, Montana)

The Dolly DeLong: Adventures with Ty on our Babymoon (August 26th-September 15th, 2018) (Part 1:Bozeman, Montana)

As I wind down and try to finish ALL.THE.THINGS. before my son arrives in late November (or whenever he wants to come really) I am trying to catch up on all my photography related blog posts + my personal blog posts as well. Today’s post is dedicated to my lovely hometown: BOZEMAN, MONTANA (where Ty and I started our magical BabyMoon).

For many of you who may not know, I was born and raised in Bozeman from 1984-2003 (2003 is when I graduated from Bozeman High School and went to Harding University and I ended up living in the South since 2003). The Big Sky Country has always had a special place in my heart for the following reasons:

1) It’s naturally so beautiful and scenic…I mean come on Big Sky Country is the name of the state

2) The People are incredible (when my mom moved from India to Montana-there was a community of believers who helped her raise me since she didn’t have a clue on how to raise a newborn baby-this group of people have helped shaped me in some amazing ways and I was very excited about introducing Ty to these very amazing people)

3) I just love Bozeman with all of my heart (the town, the size of the city, the fact that it is surrounded by mountains, the fact that it has all four seasons, just everything about it is incredible to me)

4) Even the food (and coffee) is better in Bozeman (and Ty 110% agrees with me about that statement!)

Here were some of the things we did while in Bozeman (I know that I am the more extroverted one in the relationship, so I know I pushed my introverted husband maybe a little too much on our first leg of the trip because I wanted to do all the things in Bozeman. Thankfully, he went along with my excitement and was a good sport about everything! Thank you Ty Bear!)

  • Explored Downtown Bozeman
  • Drove around the city and showed Ty some areas of town where I lived and where I went to school
  • Drank ALOT of coffee at Local Coffee Shops in Bozeman (we did not experience any bad cups of coffee….and another reason why Bozeman is perfect)
  • I had saved up for a Maternity Session in Gallatin County (the county where I was born and raised in, where Bozeman is located) and we worked with Kristen Rose Photography  and she helped capture some amazing maternity photos for us (here is the blog post on our maternity session) (it also includes our time at The Pickle Barrel!)
  • I took Ty to my favorite Museum: The Museum of the Rockies (I really think he enjoyed it)!
  • We went hiking on one of my favorite trailheads “The College M” which overlooks the city of Bozeman (it was a hard hike for me since I’m pregnant, and it was super slow…but the views were worth it!)
  • We went to the Lewis & Clark Caverns (which are about 1.5 hours away from Bozeman) and we met up with my childhood bestie, Nicoll, and her family of 5, to explore the caverns (oh yes, did I mention that my childhood bestie ALSO was in Montana the same time I was in Bozeman? Perfection!)
  • Visited MANY friends and caught up with many amazing precious souls!

The biggest highlight in Bozeman was getting to introduce Ty to alot of church friends/family who helped raise me. I honestly thought my heart was going to explode I was so happy (because I was able to introduce my husband to alot of the people I love and admire). It grieves my heart that I live in the south mostly because I miss the northwest and I miss experiencing all the seasons of the year (and the Tennessee humidity alone makes me want to die on the inside every year), and there are some people in Montana I wish I could see on a weekly basis because I crave good genuine relationships with good people. I know that I could have moved back to Bozeman after graduating from college, but then I would not have met my husband (Ty) and we would not have such a rich and amazing life together in Nashville. I know I should always count my blessings and be happy where I am in life at the moment (which I strive to do on a daily basis), but I’m human people, and I find myself longing to live in the North almost every day. I also know that I tend to romanticize things in my mind, and I know that I tend to put Bozeman (and anything Montana related) on such a high pedestal in my mind. Although it was super refreshing to be in my home state for several days with my sweet husband (and son in my belly), I was reminded constantly that I have such an abundant life here in Nashville with Ty. Maybe one day God will call us to Montana (or another beautiful state with great seasons + weather), but until then I will enjoy my time in Nashville and thank God where He has placed me! Now is not forever. 

Anyway, I share all that just to say, I am deeply in love with Montana, and Bozeman was a perfect starting point for our adventurous babymoon. It was SO GOOD to introduce Ty to the city I had grown up in, and it was even more amazing that he loved it as well! I cannot wait to share other parts of our babymoon with you all in the days to come, but here are several of my favorite photos from our trip to Bozeman! (All of these photos were taken on our Camera Phones….sorry about the quality!)



The Dolly DeLong: My Montana Maternity Photos in Bozeman (August 2018)

The Dolly DeLong: My Montana Maternity Photos in Bozeman (August 2018)

So excited to finally get to share several of my favorite maternity photos from my session with Kristen Rose Photography in Bozeman,Montana.

For those of you who don’t know this about me, I actually grew up in Bozeman (was born and raised there from 1984 to 2003) and after I graduated from Bozeman High School in 2003 I actually moved to the south for college (and that’s how I ended up settling in Nashville, TN). When Ty and I were planning out our babymoon, I somehow convinced him that it would be amazing to start our trip in Bozeman (so that he could fall in love with the land of 406) AND so that I could do several photography sessions while in Montana (since I run DollyDeLongPhotography full time now and I specialize in wedding + family photography in both Tennessee and Montana).

Looking for a maternity photographer was a challenge because the ONLY time Ty and I had free was HIGH NOON (every photographers nightmare) on a Friday afternoon in Bozeman. But thankfully I met Kristen and she agreed to do our maternity photos at that time AND SHE ROCKED IT! I mean, I am so excited about all my photos and I am ESP excited that she agreed to do several of the photos at the famous Pickle Barrel (which was my favorite sandwich shop growing up) and I know logically it is NOT an ideal location for maternity photos, but since it was such a fun place for me to go eat at growing up (like literally that’s all my parents bought for me before all of our family hikes), I wanted to take Ty there and watch him eat a sandwich (ahha since I could not eat a sub, due to being Pregnant-how sad!) I mean…I had to live vicariously somehow! (Don’t worry you all…I still had the pickle out of the barrel…I was allowed to eat that! HAHAH!)

We also ended the session featuring my favorite mountain range: The Bridger Mountains! So I was very excited to get to have such special photos taken in the Valley I grew up in. I mean, come on people, Montana is literally the last best place on earth. I wish I could take everyone I love to Montana! Actually, I wish I could just move to Montana and take all the people I love with me!

Okay, so thank you for reading my quirky little post about my love of the Pickle Barrel + Montana AND a huge shout out to Kristen Rose Photography for being the BEST photographer to work with!