because the mountains are good for the soul | Mobile AL family photographer

So one thing about our family is that we really like to be outside. And we specifically like to be outside in a beautiful spot where we can hike. And if you want to be REALLY specific, I personally like to be outside in a beautiful spot where I can hike in temperatures that are not hot.

The truth is, I endure summertime because it's the only path that leads to fall. That first slight chill in the air every year makes me almost cry happy tears I love it so much. I try to tell myself I can enjoy outside as much when it's hot as when it's cool, but nothing in my brain or body goes along with this plan. Fall is just the very best! You know how hibernating animals wake up after the long dark winter? Well I kind of feel like something awakens in me when the summer finally passes and fall shows up. 

So when we had the chance to spend a few of the early days of the boys' Thanksgiving break in the mountains of North Carolina, I couldn't get my bags packed fast enough!

During our time there, we hiked every day from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, stopping about halfway on whatever trail we were on to eat our packed lunches. Then we'd find something else fun to do for later in the afternoon like a movie or putt-putt. Our evenings were back at the house with an easy dinner and lots of game playing. 

Our weather was perfectly glorious. Nice and cool but not freezing, although we did get to see some spots of snow during our drive through the National Park. We of course had to pull over and give everyone some time to make and throw a couple snowballs!

We also saw waterfalls and made it to the top of Clingman's Dome on our final day. I was worried the view might disappoint because it was cloudy that day. But as you'll see in the final two photos, the sun's rays peeked through in the most awesome way, and I think it was more impressive than a clear day would have been.

Obviously I brought my camera along, and when we're on these family adventures, I try really hard to find ways to get myself in the frame at least occasionally. Sometimes I'll hand my camera to A and let him snap a few frames. I dial in the settings (I shoot in manual mode), and I've taught him how to focus. Other times I'll set the camera on a rock or somewhere, get everything set up with exposure and focus, and start the interval timer. I have mine set to take short bursts of photos over about a 30-second timeframe. This is how I got our eating lunch image you'll see below.

This trip was good for the soul in so many ways. Family time, reminders of God's bigness and glory displayed throughout His creation, and a slower pace. A reminder of my smallness and yet the great care He still holds me with. We loved all of it. (And my family enjoyed not hearing me complain about heat!!)

Here are a few of my favorite photos from our time in the mountains!

 family at Great Smoky mOuntains sign | Mobile al photographer
 hiking in the mountains | Mobile AL family photographer
 family on a bridge | Mobile AL lifestyle photographer
 little boy playing with stick in the woods | Mobile AL family photographer
 family hiking across a bridge | Mobile AL photographer
 little boy hiking in woods | mobile al child photographer
 dad and sons throwing rocks in a creek | Mobile AL family photographer
 dad and sons playing at creek | Mobile AL family photographer
 boy playing with stick in the woods | Mobile AL child photographer
 family eating lunch in woods | Fairhope AL photographer
 boy standing on bridge over creek | Mobile AL family photographer
 dad and son hiking | Mobile AL family photographer
 brother throwing snowballs | Mobile AL family photographer
 boy standing near creek | Mobile AL family photographer
 dad and son crossing bridge | Mobile AL family photographer
 boy sitting on log over river | Mobile al family photographer
 little boy holding big leaf | Mobile AL family photographer
 family hiking in woods | Fairhope AL photographer
 little boy holding onto rock | Mobile AL family photographer
 couple at Great Smoky Mountains | Mobile AL family photographer
 brothers playing game at table | mobile al family photographer
 waterfall at Great Smoky Mountains | Mobile AL family photographer
 family hiking in woods | fairhope al photographer
 Clingmans Dome | Mobile AL photographer
 Clingmans Dome | Mobile AL family photographer

I'd love to help tell your family's love story through photos!