I’ve landed back in the land of 10,000 lakes where the sun is shining, the mosquitos are biting and the traffic jams are non-stop. Correction: I landed a few weeks ago, but the rest of those notes are spot on.

Somehow between adjusting to life in this fast paced and rather crowded world and working through the projects/work/engagements on my calendar, I’ve fallen off the face of the social media planet.

But today is the day that I said, “Other commitments you need to wait until tomorrow. Today I’m giving some love and time, mixed with a bit of sweat and tears to Chocolate Moose Images.”


So now where do I begin?

Gosh these last 3 weeks have seriously been a blur. Let’s start with the living situation …

My dad has had the dream of redecorating his kitchen for as long as I can remember and this spring he decided the time was right to disassemble the kitchen. Now, if you’ve taken on a huge home renovation project you know as well as I do that ‘disassemble’ is a really gentle way of describing what has happened to the kitchen. And if you’ve taken on a huge home renovation project you also know that nothing goes according to plan with regards to time and consequently, frustration levels.



While I wasn’t expecting to come back to this I am SUPER excited to bake something in the fancy new cobalt blue oven, have 5 pots going on the stove at once just because I can and do dishes in the biggest sink I’ve ever seen.

These photos are about 2 weeks old at this point so further progress has been made, which both my dad and I are pretty excited about. The sink is in, the water is hooked up, the counter tops are beautiful and (mostly) done, the flooring is stunning, the cabinets have contact paper AND dishes in them and we have super slick under cabinet lights hooked up. But there is still more to be done!  … Not today, though. Not today.

Then there’s the social situation:

Mixed in with this kitchen project has been reuniting and catching up with some of my favorite people on the planet.  I know people and kids grow up, but it was amazing to me that in the blink of an eye a year can go by and kids can go from baby to toddler, from small toddler to big toddler and from wild, energetic kiddo to a self-sufficient, rather quiet lego fiend.

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Uh, is this kitty dress not the most amazing thing ever?? She’s certainly my kind of gal! She wears kitty things AND she plays in the dirt. Love it.

Besides a quick trip to IA, I’ve also visited family in WI, caught up with a handful of old MN buddies, got a part time job (woo!), have done 3 photo sessions (one of which is a surprise present for Christmas! That’s a little scary to be thinking about already… ) and then of course … there is the kitty situation:


I’ve snuggled them a lot. I mean A. Lot. The story of my return is pretty hilarious and pretty predictable if you’ve ever met the girls…

Tarra and Digi of chocolate moose images | minneapolis pet photographer

Digi [pictured on the right in the above photo] is the slightly less dramatic one of the two. She is quite cunning but also knows her sister can be an opinionated loud mouth. Tarra [by process of elimination is on the left] is rather determined to get her way and be right about absolutely everything. Even things you wouldn’t think a cat would have an opinion on Tarra has an opinion on. I wouldn’t be surprised if she wanted to tag along to go vote in the next election.

Anyways, when I walked in the door and called to them at around 1:30am [ie: the middle of their night time sleep] they both quickly came over to see if it was really me. Digi had what I can only describe as her jaw on the floor and huge eyes. She looked so excited to see me again! Tarra? She came over, sniffed me then lifted her tail and walked down the hallway the other direction as if to say, “mmm yeah you’re going to have to work for my love again.” Digi stuck by my side and capitalized on the fact that Tarra was not at all interested. And as my dad and I were chatting, having a beer and eating some amazing pizza, Tarra came over and plopped herself down right next to dad to illustrate who her new best friend was.

Ha! Typical Tarra.

And in true Tarra form, she couldn’t stay upset too long when I was the one giving her food… There’s always a way to this kitty’s heart 😉

Tarra of chocolate moose images | minneapolis pet photographer


The final piece I’ll touch on right now is what what I suppose I’ll call the ‘mental situation.’

I’m still trying to wrap my head around what my life is going to look like moving forward. I feel pretty embarrassed to admit this, but I did not spend one iota of a second thinking about what it would be like to come back here after an adventure of epic proportions. This fact was brought to my attention in the last few months of my time in New Zealand when I had a hard time relaxing and felt emotional all the time. Seriously, all the time. I thought I had more or less gotten over the tendency to cry at the drop of a hat but wow, I really worked  that skill back into my repertoire the last 2 months! Several friends both here and in New Zealand have given me support and words of wisdom on how to adjust and take things one step at a time, and for all of that I’m incredibly thankful!

So one of the big questions I keep getting is, “what’s next?!”  And to that I usually shrug my shoulders and smile the “your guess is as good as mine!” smile. I do know that I’m SUPER excited to be spending more time than I ever could before on Chocolate Moose Images as a whole and at being a stellar minneapolis pet photographer. I have done a lot of thinking and soul searching about where I want to go with this little photography nugget of mine and I’m feeling pretty pleased with it all. Included in that was the complete overhaul of this website you are on – it was way overdue and I’m kinda obnoxiously proud of it at the moment. A footnote on that is that I welcome all feedback – positive and constructively negative – if you have any thoughts! And if you just want to look at a site that is simple, has lots of photos and seems to work, I think you’ve found a good spot 🙂

But besides this, I really don’t know. I’ve certainly got dreams and ambitions and I’m sure it’s no surprise, but I’ve got an itch to do more traveling. We’ll see, but I hope you’ll follow along as my little story continues to unfold, wherever and however it unfolds.






Post title is credited to Bob Dylan. No surprise, but when you’re looking for a quote that sums up where you are at in life, he is a great person to turn to.