Hanging With the Huies »

Fall is right around the corner, teachers are getting ready to crawl back into their teaching hole and kiddos are stocking up on school supplies. This can only mean a new school year is upon us!  Oh the 1st days of school. I still remember them like they were yesterday. Don’t you?

What am I going to wear?
Wonder who I’m sitting next to in class?
I’m nervous!
Eeeek I’m excited!
Does Billy have the same lunch time as me?
Is this seat taken?
Is Sally going to be in my class?
I forgot my lunch!
I must have a pink backpack with purple stripes
I hope I get Mrs. Polly! I hear she lets you have a longer recess!
Yea school supplies!

All the excitement and emotions centered around the big day!

As parents you want your little one to have the best school year full of leaning with a side of fun and of course you want to document and remember that very special 1st day! Am I right?
Well today’s post is just for you. Here are a few simple tips to help you take better back to school photos!

Meet Brady

Our fun loving, always on the go, genius (no really he is) border collie. You may remember him from this post. Yep he’s still a handful but we sure do love him! Brady has graciously offered to help us with today’s post. I may or may not have told him treats were involved!




Tip 1: Plan in Advance

There’s so much going on the morning of the 1st day of school. Lunches and backpacks to pack, sleepy kids to wake up and get dressed. Help yourself by planning in advance! Take back to school photos the weekend before the big day so you can make it a fun relaxing event! Your little one can do a test run with his/her 1st day of school look and you can make it something they look forward to verses something you need to sneak in the morning of. If taking back to school photos the weekend before is not possible get backpacks and lunches ready the night before and get up early so you have photos time set aside the morning of.

Tip 2: Location

In front of the house is fine but if you plan to take my advice from the 1st tip you’ll have time to find a fun location for your back to school photos. This spot is right around the corner from my house and I had no idea. I put my little “back to schooler” in the car and headed out for an adventure.

Here are some things to look for when picking a location:
-Texture (brick walls, parks with tall trees, wood fences, fields full of wheat or tall grass)
-Colorful painted doors
– Iron work
– A parked school bus
– Check out our your child’s school as well
– Lighting is super important for those photos so when you’re hunting look for nice even light that’s not too bright. If you can find it open shade rocks! This tip helps even with phone photography

Most of these can be found right in your neighborhood! Also check out property around local schools, library’s, and shopping centers! My suggestion is to pick 1 location that offers a few different looks and stick with it!




Tip 3: Props

Look for things you already have on hand! No need to run out and buy a bunch of stuff! I just grabbed an apple and a blank chalk board as we were heading out the door. Keep it simple!
-A globe
-Composition notebook
-Mini chalkboard
-Their favorite toy
– Their new lunch box
-Don’t forget that new backpack!



Brady didn’t have a lunch box to showoff but he wanted to get a picture with his favorite snack!

Don’t forget to not only capture images of your child but the details that make them, them!

I always love a cute backpack shot especially the ones where their back back is bigger than them……precious! That’s big backpack shot is a great size comparison shot for when they’re older.




Tip 4: The Close Up

We love to capture their 1st day of school outfit but be sure to get a few close ups in as well. You’ll want to remember those freckles, curls and missing teeth or in Brady’s case his flop ear, wet nose, and amber eyes!


Along with the close up shots don’t forget to shoot the details!

Brady is channeling his inner E.T in the photo below. Come on, you know that scene where they dress E.T. in street clothes! Do ya see it now?




Tip 4: Keep it Simple Keep it Fun

If you plan to shoot your back to school photos in advance you’ll have time to let loose and have a some fun once the photos are over! Be sure to bring a change of clothes so the beloved back to school outfit stays clean! Brady had a blast running around the playground after we finished his photos but there are tons of other things you can do to make this tradition special for your back to schooler (have an end of summer ice cream sundae party, movie date with your little, a visit to the pool, make book shaped cookies together after you get home). Get creative but most of all keep the photos and the experience simple and easy so it’s fun and low stress for everyone!



Post Update:
This post is an oldie but goodied! I decided to dust off and reshare for all of those who are getting their little ready for their 1st day of school and could use a little giggle. I was 9 months pregnant when our 1st when I shot these photos. I remember Kent having to pull me up from the ground as we were moving between shots. I am now a mama to 2 sweet wild boys, Weston who is almost 3 and Carson who is 13months! Brady is still a handful but is now loved by 2 boys that think he hung the moon.

Ummm and in case you’re wondering YES I was totally kidding dressing my dog up in back to school attire but the tips are all still there to be helpful!


Durango www.haningwiththehuies.com

Colorado is a magical place that slows my breathing, relaxes my shoulders and sets my heart on fire. I may be 80 before it happens but some day we’ll have a little place to call our own tucked within the Colorado mountains. Until that time comes we visit each and every summer to get our fix!

It’s something I look forward to all year long.

– This is a flash back post to last year’s Colorado trip-

In a few short weeks we’ll be packing up the van and heading out for this year’s trip so I figured I best get on last year’s photos and cabin review! I love how much your guys enjoy hearing about our travels. It makes me happy because I sure LOOOOVE sharing them with you! Sorry it took me so long to get this one up!

Before we start step on into my time traveling machine. Don’t be afraid there’s coffee in there and I promise to have you back before bedtime!

Let’s jump back a year (time traveling music starts to play, whatever that is, let’s just go with it mmmmk)…………..

At the time of this trip Carson was 4 months old deep in colic and hated being in his car seat. A 14 hour drive to the Colorado mountains with Mr. Fussy Pants did not sound like something we could handle so we decided to place a hold on our annual trip.

I look forward to this trip all year and while I felt that it was a good decision to not go I was a tad heartbroken that it wasn’t going to work out.

Or at least I thought it wasn’t going to.

Kent came home from work one day telling me about his coworker who had returned from a trip to Colorado. He roadtripped-it (yep we’re making that real phase) and broke the drive into 2 chunks. Driving 6 hours on the 1st leg staying the night in Amarillo and finishing off the next leg the following day.

We’ve always drove straight through (Weston our oldest is our road trip worrier and can rock a long car ride) so we never thought about breaking the drive into chunks. Duh! After we chatted about it for a while we decided it was totally doable. My Mother-in-Law asked if she could join us and help with the kiddos.

Ummm hello YES PLEASE!

It was official the trip was back on and I was flipping excited!

Cabins book quickly during the summer. We typically book our summer trip in January and we were at that time 3 weeks out from when we wanted to go so it was a challenge to find something that fit what we were looking for.

We’ve cabin it up (yes another phrase I’m making up) a couple time a year and know what we like in the cabins we stay in.

Here’s our cabin must haves (besides the typical bathroom, kitchen type stuff)

  • Must allow dogs! Brady loves this trip just as much as us so we want to bring him along for the adventure!
  • Seclusion at least 5 acres and no other visible homes from the windows.
  • Far from busy streets.
  • Safe for kids. No cliffs close by and must have areas of flat land for the boys and Brady to play.
  • True log cabin look. We skip over anything that looks like a typical home inside or out.
  • Lots of trees on the lot
  • The living room must be open with a safe space for little boys to play.
  • Dinning table has to sit at least 4.
  • The inside of the cabin must be kid friendly or be a space that we can make kid friendly (by moving a few things around). We don’t want to spend our vacation worrying about the boys falling on something sharp or breaking someone’s beautiful decor so simple and safe is best for us!

Things we look for but are not deal breakers

  • Wifi
  • Fire pit
  • Nice porch and outdoor table for dining
  • A place to fish, on or close to the property
  • Close to hiking, huge plus if we can hike on the property
  • Mountain view
  • Not too big. We love that cozy cabin feel when we’re vacationing and it’s usually just us so we tend to go for cabins that are more cozy and small. Side Note: We almost skipped over the cabin I’m reviewing because it’s bigger than we needed but again we couldn’t be too picky this time.
  • We like it small and cozy yes but we love for the living room to be open with enough seating for our family
  • Wood burning fireplace

When you’ve done this a few times you get a feel for what you like!

To say that it was hard to find a place for us to stay 3 weeks out that fit our criteria and price range during high season was an understatement but looking at cabins is one of my most favorites things to do so I had a blast hunting!

There was definitely some joy in the journey friends!

Everything was booked in our typical area (not kidding there was nothing left) that we like to stay in but we found this beauty and really fell in love it with! It wasn’t that south central Colorado (lush trees and foggy topped mountains) feel that we love so much but like I said we were cutting it short and it was a lovely cabin and a new to us part of Colorado so we booked it!

It was different for us but beautiful in its own way and ended up being perfect for us and the season we were in. I 100% recommend the Durango area for families traveling with young children that need activities and common necessities readily available. Durango gives you that beautiful mountain vibe mixed in with a charming city and people that are as sweet at pie.


Durango Colorado www.hangingwiththehuies.com 7

Cabin Review:

We’ve found this little gem on VRBO which is one of the sites along with Airbnb that we use find the cabins that we visit throughout the year. You can find this property HERE or by entering #501319 when searching the VRBO website.

Ugh this cabin…..it just as rustic and charming as ever! I didn’t get photos of the inside but I do have some phone photos along with a little video tour on Instagram! Search the hashtag #2015huiesmountainvacation to see them.
Not only is the cabin beautiful the land around it is stunning! The cabin sits on 13 acres and backs up to a national forest. There was plenty of room for Brady (our pup) and Weston to safely roam and explore. The 1st 9 photos below were all shot on the cabin’s property. Take a peek and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about…. it’s dreamy and dripping in yummy light!

We napped in the cabin’s hammock, played on the land around the house and enjoyed watching birds out the kitchen window. I’ve never seen so many humming birds in all my life! I was kicking myself for not bringing my maco lens.

We got in a few hikes on the property as well. I’ll never forget hiking a trail the cabin owner called “The Butt Blaster”. I wasn’t sure Weston could hang because again it was called the The Butt Blaster for a reason but he rocked it. It was his 1st hard trail to hike on his own.

Proud mama moment!

Okay random mama tangent over back to the cabin!

The cabin was completely secluded which is important to us but just a 5min drive up the street and you were in the local town. It was easy to grocery shop and walk around the city. My mother-in-law is not really a chill type of vacationer. She likes to get out and explore. With the downtown area being so close it was easy to drive into town for a little window shopping and lunch. We tend to sit by the fire and hang in our pjs while we’re in CO but it was fun to take my Mother-in-Law around to see the town and the boys loved walking the city and taking in the sights. There was tons to do! The Animas river flows through the city which is beautiful and provides all kinds of activities. There’s a nice paved trail around it which made it easy for Weston to walk. One of my favorite memories from the trip was walking the trail with the family and watching the river rafters from the bridge with Weston as well as the local train that went by. Simple free entertainment that the whole family enjoyed.

Typically when we’re in Colorado the areas we stay in don’t offer all of these activity close by. If we want to get groceries or would like to visit a local town for some fun we have to drive at least 45min. I don’t mind though because the drive is stunning but it was nice having all this right up the street yet still getting that quiet seclusion back at the cabin!

We really enjoyed our time on this property and wished we could have stayed longer. I tried talking Kent into staying for another night. He was for it until we remembered that the owner’s hubby was coming up the day that we were leaving so it wouldn’t have worked out.

We had a lovely lovely experience around from our stay to working with the cabin’s owner!

I need to come up with a rating system for all these cabins we review but until then lets just say I would happily go back to this sweet cabin and would be excited to explore the area a little more! We made it a quick trip and only had 4 days but you could spend a week here easily without getting bored.

Annnnnnnd because I have to keep things real around here just in case you decided to visit this beauty here area few things I want to give you a heads up about…..

  • Be sure to bring your own toilet paper. The toilet paper they provide is awful. A year later and I still remember just how awful it was.
  • Leave plenty of time to deal with the trash before you head home. You have to take it off site. They provide you with detailed instructions on where to drop it off but we couldn’t figure it out and had to hunt down a public spot to dump it. It’s was a bit annoying messing with that along with trying to get packed up and dealing with the kids. We would have rather paid a little more to have a service collect it than spend our last morning stressing over where to dump the trash.

That’s it, just 2 things I can pick out to give you a heads up about this property.

That’s pretty good by our standards and those little things would not keep us from going back which is always a question we ask ourselves at the end of a cabin stay. As long as you plan to purchase your own toilet paper and plan plenty of time to deal with the trash I’m sure you’ll enjoy this little slice of haven just as much as we did!

Okay now let’s look at some more photos!

Durango Colorado www.hangingwiththehuies.com 10

Durango Colorado www.hangingwiththehuies.com 9

See that little cabin with the red trim that Brady is running towards?

That’s a guest bunk house. When you book the cabin you also get access to the guest bunk.

Durango CO www.hangingwiththehuies.com 5

Awww the hammock we loved so much!
Lots of snuggling with the boys went on here. When you’re laying down and looking towards the trees you get a great view of the mountain that backs up to the property.

Durango CO www.hangingwiththehuies.com 4

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See what I’m saying?
This is exactly why we try our best to find a properties that are dog friendly.
That’s one happy Brady-Boy right there!

Durango Colorado www.hangingwiththehuies.com 16

Durango Colorado www.hangingwiththehuies.com

Durango CO www.hangingwiththehuies.com 2This picture melts my heart. One of my favorites from the trip!
Look at how little Carsie-Bear was and that hair….I can’t take it!
I  fall for any photo of my Mother-in-Law holding the boys. She loves them hard and it always shows in the photos I capture of her.

Durango Co www.hangingwiththehuies.com 13This was taken on during drive up to Silverton. See the “Things to Do in Durango” list  below.

Durango Colorado www.hangingwiththehuies.com 12

On the way up to Silverton we took a random turn and ended up in a beautiful campground.

I know right, how many times can I say beautiful in this post…..beautiful, beautiful, beautiful okay there’s a few more for ya!
We hung out here for a while taking it all in.

Durango CO www.hangingwiththehuies.com 11

Ugh those Colorado blue skies! I’ve yet to come across a sky that is more blue than the one that shines over Colorado.

Durango CO www.hangingwiththehuies.com 1

This was taken at another random stop that was not planned.
We got out to stretch our legs and followed the sounds of a rushing water to this pretty spot. Brady had a blast splashing in the river and Weston and I threw rocks in trying to see who could make the biggest splash.

Those randoms stops y’all don’t be afraid of them while you’re vacationing. Some of our most favorite vacation memories happen in the places we didn’t plan to go!

Kid Friendly Things To Do In Durango:

  • Visit the Animas River Trail for rafting, fishing, walking or just to take in the sights and watch the rafters which is what we did.
  • Shop and dine in the local historic downtown. Lots of restaurants with beautiful patios to enjoy and people watch from as well as pretty stores to shop.
  • Ride the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. It’s not a short ride so keep that in mind when riding with littles. We decided to take our oldest who was 2 at the time into town to watch the train leave then took our own car up to Silverton to explore. That way we could go at our own pace and stop for photo ops and little hiking.
  • Drive to Silverton and be sure to have your camera ready. It’s a stunning drive that ends up in a charming mountain town. While you’re there stop and grab a coffee at Goodies to Go Coffee House and Creamery and drink it out on the square while taking in the town views. My latte was so yummy I went back in to thank the barista!
  • If you plan to visit during wild flower season be sure to plan a hike so you can check them out. Seeing that Colorado blue sky kissing the mountains and reflecting pretty light on pops of yellow, pink, orange and purple wild flowers is something you don’t want to miss.
  • Since Durango is a well established area with subdivisions and communities there’s several great parks and playgrounds. We visited a few playgrounds that were tucked under tall shade trees. Not really a touristy thing to do but our oldest had a great time playing, we enjoyed the weather and chatted with a few locals.

Above are all things that we did with our 2 year old and 4 month old in tow but there is tons more to do if you are vacationing without littles….rafting, zip lining, fishing, camping, jeep tours, four wheeler tours, horse back riding, bike trails, festivals which happen frequently during the summer…..and the list goes on! The great thing is that there’s something for all age groups and interest and most activities are readily available. We had a mixture of of ages with us during this trip (adults, an infant, a toddler, and a loving grandma) and we were all happy with the activities we were able to partake in and most were free!

I’m so pumped about our upcoming Colorado trip! This year will be staying in one of our favorite towns, Fairplay. We’ll of course be taking you guys along!

If you would like to see more photos from our time in Durango check out the hashtag #2015huiesmountainvacation on Instagram.


To See Previous Trips & Cabin Reviews Visit the Links Below: 
Cabin Hair Don’t Care – In Broken Bow Oklahoma
Hiking Adventure Club Visits Broken Bow Oklahoma
First Timers in Broken Bow Oklahoma + Cabin Tour
Flash Back – Weston 1st Trip to Colorado
That Time I Unknowingly Helped Someone Find Their Dream Cabin
My Cabin Obsession
Weston’s 1st Roadtrip & Cabin Stay
Where It All Began Colorado 2013 With My Weston Bump Along for the Ride

  • Haley Mills - Laughing so hard because all I can think of while I’m looking at these photos is “big rock/little rock.” Definitely bookmarking your tips for later tho!ReplyCancel

    • Kendra Huie - I know right! Next time I get my hair cut I’m taking this photo in and asking for the “Little Rock”!ReplyCancel


We’re home!

Kent and I gave each other a big kiss when the plane landed…..we did it! Planes, trains, boats and cars all with our 2 littles and we survived! Totally kiss worthy!

I slept in my own bed last night!
It’s been 13 days since I’ve done that and boy did it feel good.

It’s those random comforts that you miss while you’re away.
For me……
My bed & pillows
My boys gliders
My Nespresso machine
My gym man oh mighty was I missing my gym!

The boys are still sleeping (11:30 here in Dallas) getting them back on schedule is going to be interesting. They were up until 2am last night and our typical bed time is 7:15pm so I’ve got some work to do to get us all back on track.

In other news the airline lost our suitcases but thank goodness our car seats made it so we were able to head home last night. It would have been pretty crummy to try and wrestle up car seats for the boys at 1am. Instead we’re without shoes, tooth brushes, deodorant, all my hair stuff, and the only thing I really care about….my gym stuff. I’ve got to get my butt back in the gym tomorrow so if it comes to it I’m buying a new workout outfit to make sure it happens. I may not be able to wash my hair but gosh darn it I’m getting to the gym!

Priorities, right?

Before the influx of travel post start popping up here I wanted to take a sec let you know what to expect.

While we were away I checked in here and there on Instagram (Kendra_Huie) and Snap Chat (Kendra_Huie) but I saved the real meat and bones of this trip for the blog.
We vlogged (video blog) while we were away and I shot tons and tons of photos so all of that will be coming up.

My plan is to break our trip down into a few different post so they don’t get too lengthy.
I will of course share travel details and all that jazz as y’all are asking, so info for those travel days will be included within that post.

In a couple weeks we head out for our annual Colorado road trip so we’ll be taking you guys along on that journey as well.

Before the Seattle/Alaska post start going live I wanted to share a little flashback to Colorado post from our trip last year. I started working on that before we headed out to Seattle and almost have it ready to go so that will go up this week!

So in a nutshell get ready for lots of photos of mountains and sweet boys covered in dirt!


This all came together as a total fluke.

Well I mean I was hoping I would be able to sneak in a few photos of them during our trip to Oklahoma. I even packed a few things I wanted them to wear during the shoot….I mean if it happened….naturally….without me pushing….I’m working on it!

Our beloved pair of faded overalls for Carsie-Bear and Weston’s yellow rain boots. Both make my heart go pitter patter.

I’ve learned to not get my hopes too high when it comes to my boys and my grandiose photographer ideas.

With my clients sure! Totally different ball game but my boys on the other hand are onto my photographer ways and they aren’t having it!

I have to not push and let go of all the ideas.

If it happens, it happens.

It’s those times when I don’t push that I capture my most favorite photos of them.

Our time in Oklahoma had come to an end and my hopes of shooting some photos of the boys didn’t happen……….or at least I didn’t think it was going to happen.

On our way home we grabbed some lunch pulled into a park to have a little picnic and let the boys run for a bit.

As we were eating I noticed some a stone structure off in the distance. As soon we finished lunch I headed over to check it out.
The stone structure was a bridge a beautiful bridge FULL of character and charm and covered in the most yummy light.

I knew the boys would love playing on and it. Hello there were steps and all kinds of danger to get into.

THIS WAS MY CHANCE and it was an even better setting than I had hoped for!

All of our stuff was packed away in the car and I couldn’t find the boys’ comb so I took a tip from Ariel and fixed their hair dinglehopper style.
Ummm Ariel knows her stuff because it totally worked! Not perfect but again I’m trying to ease up with the whole perfection thing.

I was able to find Carson’s overalls and Weston’s boots. I took off the shirt Weston’s was wearing and their ya have it.
Completely impromptu and not perfectly styled but I got the photos of my boys I was hoping for.

Just them being boys!

If you like to listen to music while you peruse photos (I do) click that little play button before you start scrolling. It’s a good song, promise!


The best buddy is a brother.

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I will cherish these photos forever. I just know it!

Carsie-Bear’s chubby cheeks.
The way he looks at Weston.
Weston’s nurturing love for his baby brother.
The way Carson copies everything Weston does.
The yellow rain boots and overalls I love so very much!
Little hands.
Baby wrist rolls.
And two boys that I love more than words.

Pretty special stuff for this mama heart!

Yay for not pushing and letting the right moment come to us! If I had pushed I’m positive these would have looked totally different!

Flash Back shot to a 9 month Weston wearing those very same overalls Carsie-Bear is wearing!


Links In This Post:
Our Trip to Oklahoma

  • Brandi Golemon - Can I just move to Oklahoma and be my best friend so I can get in on these awesome photos. I seriously need to come have a crash course from you on what all I need to buy to get awesome quality photos like this.ReplyCancel

    • Brandi Golemon - ha ha I meant to say you move to Oklahoma LOLReplyCancel

  • Debbie - Wow! Wow! Wow! Great pictures Kendra!!! You have the most beautiful boys and you are so the best momma!! XoxoReplyCancel

  • Reenie - Your boys are adorable.


If this oldie by goodie clip of Weston doesn’t scream summer then I don’t know what does! This was shot a year ago and its still one of our favorites to look back on.

His sweet little voice and his bright yellow rain boots melt my heart!

In other news……

I have some fun things planned for the blog this week all with a summer theme.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a summer themed toddler craft & read along lesson!

Later this week I’ll be sharing some styled photos I shot of the boys that have a summer vibe!

Annnnd if I can get my act together I’m hoping to have my summer essential list on the blog by Friday!

In the meantime I’ll just be over here sweating away and counting down the days until we head out for our cooler climates.

We’re coming for you Alaska!

Your heat hating but summer loving buddy!