Tess graduated high school this week. The day I’ve been dreading has come & gone. My baby is all grown up yet still tucked in, fast asleep, upstairs. Is it too much to wish for it to never, ever change? Why do they have to grow up & leave?

We have a cat. Mochi is a weird cat. She does not like people food except Popeye’s chicken. It drives us nuts. Because. Sometimes we’d like to give her special treats. Stupid cat has great disdain for special treats. Tess got so frustrated one day, trying to give her precious baby a piece of delicious steak with Mochi steadfastly refusing it, that she yelled:

“It’s your favorite!” Much, much louder than she intended, scaring the poor cat. Watching Mochi try to run out of the dining room, her nails sliding on the tile floor, had us all rolling with laughter. We now yell “It’s your favorite!” all the time when we don’t like something. I don’t like change. Kids growing up. Moving out. It’s not my favorite.

Last weekend my mom & I took Tess up to Switzerland for the day. It sounds much fancier than it is, Switzerland is barely an hour from my house. I live within a stone’s throw of so many fantabulous places, sometimes I almost take it for granted. Almost, because once I do get in the car and drive an hour or two in any direction, I’m filled with wonder, awe and immense appreciation.  I don’t know why I don’t get out of dodge at least once a week with my camera.

This time we drove to the foothills of the Alps. For over a year I wanted to take Tess’ senior pictures in a dirndl (traditional German garb) in the Alps. Almost as soon as I had the thought, I broke my leg. I’m still recovering and actually walking in the Alps is still out of my reach. The foothills though? In a farmers field? That I can do.

We spent the afternoon on Mainau Island in the Bodensee, enjoying beautiful flowers and the best schnitzel any of us had ever had. As the sun started to go down, I hustled my mom and Tess back into the car, off the island, around the east shore and into the foothills. I had a spot I wanted to go but…

Switzerland is not in the EU. That means Switzerland is not in my phone plan. In other words, my google maps stops when I enter Swizterland. Normally I download where I’m going, but I didn’t. That left me driving blindly in the car, really in the bright setting sun, following the road & farmers trails to a good spot. I aimed my car in the direction of the Alps and got as close as I could. Along the way we passed some adorable Swiss villages, one ancient well, herds of cows, sheep and goats.

I finally wound up on a dirt road, stopped the car and hustled Tess out & into a field. She’d insisted on a recently mowed field. She did not want to stand in long grass and risk a tick. Or two! I couldn’t really blame her, plus, I had to stand in the same field. I’m not a fan of ticks either.

Tess happily posed, after a couple of grumpy first shots, as the sun went down just enough to create that beautiful golden light. Tess posed as the young farmer raced his tractor around us. In & out of shots, a bemused smile on his face. I envied him the incredible beauty he is surrounded by every day, at work.

The beauty of his fields, the Alps in the background, the gorgeous sunlight, made for a series of stunning pictures. I couldn’t be happier. I need more time. These are just a handful of over 100 perfect shots.

Right at the golden hour… our timing couldn’t have been better!

In case you thought she behaved like an angel

Of course I had to have one in a dirndle with alps. What better way to mark our time here?

My beautiful girl… how did she get so big?

So lucky to have my mom, her oma, here for the big event.

In between Senior pictures & graduation… she got her hair cut!

Introducing… the class of 2019!