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: Adventures in Colorado (2 year anniversary trip)

The Dolly DeLong: Adventures in Colorado (2 year anniversary trip)

You all. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE my husband? Because I totally do! For our Two year anniversary we planned a trip out to Denver, CO because he knows how much my heart craves/desires the mountains (I am NOT a Beach girl in any way, shape or form and just thinking about the beach makes me cringe because I cannot stand swimsuits, the sand, the ocean, or anything to do with sunbathing…it’s all just EW to me) Keep in mind, I grew up in Montana for half of my life, so any excuse to escape to the mountains (the Mountains out WEST specifically) is a dream for me (that was my ‘normal’ for so much of my life, so I am certain if I had grown up near a coast/beach, I would probably LOVE the beach, so haters please stop judging me).

So anyway: our 2 year anniversary fell on a Monday (June 18th) of this year, and we took a 3 day trip to Denver, CO to check out the city and its many outdoor adventures. Honestly, Denver did not impress me that much (sorry, please don’t hurt me with your mind yet). I think I was a bit overwhelmed with the city, but once we got out of the city to enjoy the mountains I felt more at ‘home’ and more at ease.

Since we had only 3 days to enjoy Colorado, we tried to cram as many things in as possible! Here was what we did:

Day 1) Friday-we walked around downtown Denver. It was EXTREMELY hot that day (like way above the normal temp. level for a normal Denver day….so maybe that’s another reason why I didn’t enjoy the city that much). However, I was impressed with how green and clean the city was. I loved all the parks and the bridges. I didn’t have my SD card on me at the time, so I didn’t get to take any photos with my Nikon. Near the end of the day, it was so hot that Ty suggested we go and see “The Incredibles 2” just to get out of the heat, and I am SO happy he suggested that because pregnant-overheated Dolly is no fun to be around. However, I ended up crying half of the movie because of the mini film before The Incredibles 2, and the movie itself was so good and it kept on taking me back to college because the 1st one came out in 2004/2005 when I was a Sophomore/Junior in college (#Hormones).  Anyway, Day One was just really low-key, but it was a great walking day for me, so I won’t complain. Plus, any day off with Ty is my favorite!

Day 2) Ty and I woke up and drove to hike St. Mary’s Glacier . We ended up having to drive back to Idaho Springs, CO (the small town next to the Glacier, because we had no cash on us b/c parking at the Glacier took $5 cash only….and of course we only had $4 on us! LOL!) while in Idaho Springs we decided to explore a bit, and we met some interestingly fun and helpful people who pointed us in the right direction of obtaining cash (thanks Brian from Safeway!) (P.S. Brian from the Idaho Springs Safeway, if you are reading this, which I highly doubt you are, Ty and I loved meeting you and we hope you are well!) After our little detour into Idaho Springs, Ty and I were able to hike St. Mary’s Glacier and it was one of the most challenging hikes for me yet (I think it was because of the elevation mixed with the fact that I’m pregnant and not as fast as I used to be). It took me a while to get adjusted to everything, but it was worth the hike and wait to get to the Glacier. I finally got to see snow and take all the photos with my new camera.  After St. Mary’s Glacier, Ty and I drove to Evergreen, CO for lunch. After lunch we just went back to our Airbnb and I ended up sick on the bed because of all the hiking I had experienced (plus I don’t think the baby really appreciated the change of elevation). But nonetheless, I had a BLAST on Saturday, and I am so happy we explored St. Mary’s Glacier! Truly such a breath-taking day!

Day 3) Was another day outside of Denver. We drove to The Garden of the Gods and spent several hours hiking/walking exploring this beautiful (and FREE) park (underline beautiful ten thousand times, because Garden of the Gods was/is incredible!) (My new goal in life is to do a styled shoot here OR even a wedding shoot here-it’s seriously SO gorgeous!). After lunch we drove up to Pikes Peak and experienced even more breath-taking views of Colorado. Also when we got to the top of Pikes Peak, there was a donut shop there so of course we ate some donuts (and I promptly got sick there too because Baby D HATES it when I have fun in life-haha!) (No but seriously, once Baby D is out of me, I am going to eat all the donuts and have the time of my life!) Anyway, Day 3 was my FAVORITE day in Colorado because I loved spending so much time outside.

Okay, so the following are some of my favorite photos taken on my new Nikon D750 (with a Sigma Art 35mm lens and an 85mm lens). I need to travel more with my camera (instead of just taking iPhone photos), and I am so happy Ty was patient enough to let me stop every 5-10 feet to take more photos of him. Thanks TY!

Thanks for following me and for reading all about our 2 year anniversary adventures! It was truly such a blessing getting to experience Colorado with my love and getting to escape Nashville (the hot/humid south) for a couple of days. I cannot wait to go back West in the Fall (for our baby-moon) and I am already counting down the days to our next trip!

If you would like to check out more of my photography please visit: www.dollydelongphotography.com 

 

www.dollydelongphotography.com

 

 

TheDollyDeLong: Goat Yoga Adventures with my Bestie Lindsay!

TheDollyDeLong: Goat Yoga Adventures with my Bestie Lindsay!

Something I would highly recommend: Goat Yoga with your Bestie!

Something I would NOT highly recommend: going to Goat Yoga the day you move into your new house in Nashville!

Something else I would recommend: doing ALL the things with your bestie even in the midst of the busiest and most stressful season of your life!

#DollyTysTheKnot (In India) (Our Haldi Ceremony)

#DollyTysTheKnot (In India) (Our Haldi Ceremony)

Well, after 4 months I guess I’ll finally get around to posting some photos from our Indian Wedding (from Last November 2016)

My mom was really the mastermind behind this entire Indian Wedding. Since I’m an only child, she has dreamt about this day since I was about 5 years old-not even kidding. So, when Ty and I announced our engagement in December of 2015, we had to reign her in from too much excitement because she was ready to bring the ENTIRE Raj-Singh clan over to America for June of 2016. Thankfully, when she realized her entire family couldn’t come to America (for financial purposes, visa reasons, and other various reasons) Ty and I compromised and promised her we would allow her to plan our second wedding in India (she seemed pretty happy with that compromise, and it literally helped save so much $$$$$$$$$$ which made EVERYONE happy).

Since Ty and I couldn’t take off an entire month for this wedding extravaganza in India, my mom somewhat managed to plan 5 days of wedding events into 2 FULL days. (Of course we didn’t sleep, who needs sleep when you are in India? AND who can sleep when you have the most extroverted family in Northern India?)

This portion of #DollyTysTheKnot in India is our Haldi Ceremony.

A little bit of background of what a Haldi Ceremony is

The haldi ceremony is the one in which a paste of haldi is applied on the bride and the groom’s body before their wedding. This ceremony is held at both the bride and the groom’s place, on the morning of the wedding day. In a few cultures, this ceremony is also held a day before the wedding (which we did).

(Enjoy! And if you have any questions feel free to ask me the significance of something! I am Indian after all….even though a lot of people don’t believe it) 🙂

My “perfectly imperfect” Round 4 of Whole30 (January 10th-February 8th, 2017)

My “perfectly imperfect” Round 4 of Whole30 (January 10th-February 8th, 2017)

For the New Year (2017) I (along with every other human in America) wanted to do a post-Holiday cleanse due to my lack of self-control and complete binge eating spree I had participated in over Christmas break. I already have known since 2014 that my body cannot handle a lot of foods (such as gluten, dairy, soy, and sugars) and for the most part-I have stayed the true course and stuck to a “fun Whole30 lifestyle”. But for some reason from October 2016 to December 2016 all my “learned knowledge” about how to take care of my body just went out the window. Is it because I am a newly wed and it was my 1st Married Christmas? Is it because I was so focused on travel season at work and had no real-time to focus on meal planning + being a newly wed + other responsibilities which were piling around me? Was it because I was under a lot of personal pressure from past anxieties that were slowly building up and the only “relief” I found was in comfort foods, despite how they made my body feel in the negative after effects? Was it because I took Ty to India for the very first time, and I didn’t want to be on a disciplined meal plan and I wanted to eat ALL.THE.FOODS. and introduce him to all my Indian comfort foods? Or is it because I just put my self-control and assertiveness over my own will-power aside and just pretty much destroyed my body for 3 months straight? HONESTLY I think it was a combination of ALL those things really. But because of my lack of self-discipline to really take care of myself with a balanced lifestyle, I gained some embarrassing LB’s, AND I started experiencing a weird lower back pain (every time I ate horribly) AND I also started having a stabbing sensation of what felt like a knife being in my stomach every time I ate without thinking. Now, you would think I would use my common sense and correlate that eating badly were causing the negative side effects of all that physical pain (yes, I knew it was because of that, but I honestly just wanted to have “fun” and not really think at all for those three months). By the time December 27th had rolled around, I was completely fed up with myself.  Thankfully I have a very supportive husband who patiently listened to me as I cried/complained and even sobbed about the state of my mind and body. But every-time I started to talk negatively (and meanly) about myself, he would stop me in my tracks and try to help me reframe what was going on.  What was going on is that I just wasn’t dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety that had been building up over time, and honestly I just didn’t want to deal with thinking through and navigating through my negativity that was building up inside me. But I knew I needed to because my lower back pain, my constant stomach pains, and my mounting stress was too much (and I honestly didn’t want it to take a toll on my sweet husband).

SO my game plan at the end of December was to retrain my body to get back into eating clean consistently, be good to myself (no negative self-talk), and try new ways of incorporating overall health and wellness into my busy schedule and lifestyle.

I’m not going to lie, Whole30 in January WAS hard (not just because I was coming off of the emotional HIGH of the Holiday season) but it was incredibly hard because I now am training for a new position (still at Lipscomb University) but I am juggling that new training + still being full-time in my current position. It has been a highly stressful month for me because when I am learning something new, my tendency is to want to know all the things at the same time and to be perfect at executing everything. Well, this new job is definitely going to be a learning curve for me because it involves many different facets of working with International students (some of these concepts I have NEVER heard of and I know it is going to take at least a full year to digest my new job with its roles/responsibilities). Thankfully I have a great support system here in Nashville (and outside of Nashville too) and I know that God will lead me through this new chapter of my professional career  (I just have to be patient and afford myself some grace).

 I mentioned my new job training + transition (while currently working in my full-time job) in this blurb because I wanted to point out that I realized that I have so many emotions attached to food. The longer I have been training with this job, the more I have been day-dreaming about how much I want a Five Daughter’s Donut, or a cookie, or even an entire pizza with a gallon of ice cream. Ridiculous, I know. But I just want all those things mostly because I am stressed out and when I am stressed and feel sad, I usually reach for the closest food around me to help calm my nerves and make myself feel better.  But the past 30 days I haven’t been able to reach out for those foods, so I have substituted other foods in their place (i.e. Larabars b/c they are ‘Whole30-ish’, or Fries-b/c they are ‘potatoes’, or even Chocolate Almond milk because ‘it’s almond milk’) So, this round of Whole30 wasn’t as ‘perfect’ as it should have been, but in my mind I have tried my very best because in my stress I at least reached out for those ‘healthier options’ and not for junk food.

I wanted to create a day by day documentary of photos about this Round 4 journey (mostly for myself) but also to share with others to show that I’m not that perfect when it comes to clean eating, and that I am pretty repetitive with certain food groups. But on a positive note, I also wanted to share my not-so perfect journey to encourage others to try to stick to a healthy eating plan (even if some days are not perfect or they feel like a total FLOP) keep on pushing yourself!!!!

I hope this can help encourage some of you out there who are also in the middle of something stressful (like maybe a new job transition like myself, or maybe you are in a new chapter in life, or maybe facing a valley in life) whatever it may be, I hope this encourages you to find some boldness to continue to focus on whatever task is in front of you and to continue to push yourself (despite your stress and despite any negative self talk). If you are in the middle of a Whole30 yourself, continue to keep on trying (even if sometimes you cheat with a Larabar or with dried fruit…because gosh-darn it…we just need a quick sugar pick me up!) Just pick yourself back up and continue to strive to eat well, and learn how to eat healthier options when all you want to do is eat pizza, ice cream, waffles and cookies (i.e. me pretty much).

I feel like if I can do it, anyone can do this (but that’s just what I think!)

Anyway, enjoy my quirky not-so-perfect 30 day journey of my 4th round of Whole30. The most rewarding thing I have gained from this round is that I now know how to cook Cauliflower Rice and I actually enjoy eating it! So I’m def going to stick to eating that more often than eating real rice-which is a win in my book!

My Whole30 Journey (pictures, recipes, and quotes) (January 10th-Feb 8th,2017) (NOTE: starting January 29th, my church (ETHOS) started a church-wide Fast so my husband and I decided to participate in some form/capacity. I decided to give up my dinners for the month of February and use that time to spend either in prayer or in quiet time because I need that time with God and I want to grow more in this discipline. I realize that some readers may strongly be opposed to the idea of Fasting (and that’s okay) but this is a new discipline that I want to participate in, and I want to really take my walk with God deeper. Anyway, I share that all just to say, that is why a lot of my ‘dinner’ photos are missing from the last 10 days of Whole30)

(Oh, and I have to give a shout-out to my January 2017 Whole30 Support Group who also journeyed with me and participated in Whole30.  Stoney, Laura, Jesse, Vernon, Amy + Grace, you all rock and I am so happy I had you all by my side! Your daily encouragement, GIFS, occasional outbursts of cursing, and daily dose of recipes was exactly what I needed to push myself through these 30 days! Thanks guys!)

 

 

Dolly DeLong: Cheekwood with Ty (September 2016)

Dolly DeLong: Cheekwood with Ty (September 2016)

Went to Cheekwood with my sweet Ty this past weekend (since we have a membership thanks to Ty’s Sister!) I brought my camera with me & Ty was nice enough to let me practice with my camera + rented lens (Sigma 35mm lens). Plus, the Fall themed areas of Cheekwood were officially open (even though it is like 1,000,000 degrees in Nashville) so we wanted to walk around! Love our Cheekwood Membership and I love hanging out with my sweet husband!

 

Ty Turns 30!

Ty Turns 30!

So my sweet husband turned 30 on April 4th, 2016 (I know….I am very late in posting this) but I realized I have been slacking at keeping up with all my “Adventure” posts & I wanted to share this fun day where I got to celebrate my sweet Ty! Keep in mind in April we were only “engaged” but, I cannot WAIT to celebrate his 31st birthday in 2017 as a MARRIED couple!

For his 30th birthday I had all his close friends and family members compile a memory book with letters and pictures for him to celebrate him turning 30 (that’s why he is holding that book up in one of the pictures). I took the day off of work and took him all over Nashville (The Perch in Downtown Nashville, Cheekwood, & one of our favorite coffee shops which we went to on our 2nd or 3rd date) at the end of the day his friends and family all surprised him at a park for a small get-together celebration! It was a fun day celebrating this amazing man, who is now my husband!

I cannot wait to Navigate the 30s with you sweet Ty, it’s truly going to be such a grand adventure!

 

Dolly DeLong: Justin Wright Photography

Dolly DeLong: Justin Wright Photography

I am so excited because I get to highlight one of my favorite wedding photographers in the world, my rock-star wedding photographer, Justin Wright! I have been blessed to get to know Justin (and his sweet wife/kids) through church and a home bible study as well. I instantly became a huge Wright family (aka Justin and Lacy) fan after only a few interactions with them mostly because of their godly, calm, chill, and fun personalities. I have always had such deep admiration and respect for Justin because he treats people so well, loves others very well in service and kindness, and works so hard in a very competitive and growing field of wedding photography. So when Ty asked me to be his wife, guess who was literally the first vendor we sought after for our June 18th wedding? JUSTIN WRIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY! (Pretty much we made sure that our wedding date would be workable with Justin’s schedule…that’s how much we wanted him to capture our wedding!)

So you all have probably guessed, I am a huge JWP fan and I can literally go on and on with only praises for his work in this blog post but I will slow down! I just want to point you (the reader) in the right direction in finding and potentially booking a great wedding photographer. Check out his website here (seriously, check it out)

BONUS: check out our beautiful wedding photos here, & our two engagement sessions here and here (if you want some examples of his awesome work)!

(Thanks again Justin! You Rock!)

Dolly DeLong: Jenna Roberts (JR & Co Salon)

Dolly DeLong: Jenna Roberts (JR & Co Salon)

(As promised I wanted to highlight a vendor I used for my wedding so that I can share some local Nashville wedding vendors to help any brides-to-be AND to highlight some awesome businesses in the Middle TN area) 

JR & Co Salon

This week I wanted to give a huge shout-out to the very talented Jenna Roberts of JR & Co Salon (Nashville, TN). She not only is my go-to hair  person for my awesome pixie cut, BUT she does hair + makeup for weddings as a side venture. Having Jenna as a part of #DollyTysTheKnot was such a blessing because she has such a joyful, friendly, and lovely spirit. She literally took so much of her time to help transform me into a beautiful bride for my wedding day! I like telling everyone that on June 18th, I felt the most beautiful I have ever felt in my entire life (mostly because I was so excited to marry my best friend-but also because Jenna did an amazing job on my hair + makeup AND she even did my Mom’s, Mother-in-Law’s, & the Maid of Honor’s Hair/Makeup as well). Overall, I had a very positive experience working with Jenna! She was fun to be around, and made the first part of my wedding day so much fun + relaxing!

So…if you are a bride-to-be in the Nashville area, please consider booking Jenna Roberts for your special day! She will even do a consultation with you before your actual wedding day to figure out the best style + look you are wanting! (Or…if you are even looking for someone to do your hair &/or color please consider booking an appointment with Jenna! You won’t regret it!)

Here are some photos with the talented Jenna Roberts, enjoy!