gone hunting!

if you didn't know it by now, it's a safe assumption to say i am a jack of all trades... but master at none, yet! haha, jk.

after receiving a .22LR, 20 gauge shotgun and .243 rifle last christmas - and then being gifted a scope for our 1 year anniversary this past january, i decided it was about time for me to complete my hunter's safety and finally get into hunting... so i immediately signed up and successfully crossed that off my bucket list earlier this spring!

not having ever hunted in the past, my current setups were the perfect little arsenal to prepare me for everything from small game to ducks and deer... until i'm able to develop an affinity for one over the other, or, god forbid, none! haha, jk.

after lots of target practice and honing my shot skills, accurately sighting my scope and getting comfortable with my pieces in general in preparation for rifle season, i finally got the opportunity to go on a hunt this year and put my time in the trees... and i absolutely love it.

like hunting muskies, it's definitely not a sport for everyone. when it comes to deer hunting, there's quite a bit involved. on top of that, and just in general, it requires a lot of patience, persistence and manual work before/after - but the rush and payoff after a successful bout is definitely unparallelled and makes it all worthwhile! and another opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors is just a bonus!

i'm definitely looking forward to getting into this more moving forward and have the great sportsmen in my life to thank for being such supportive advocates and resources! it's these positive experiences and well-equipped opportunities i'm truly grateful for, and the ones i will carry with me for the rest of my life! ;D

p.s. i'm fully aware this may paint me out to be a redneck, but trust me when i say i'm the furthest from that! lols.

happy hmong new year!

earlier this year, after i had hosted a babyshower game in which the hmong new year planning commitee's master of ceremony was also present, my public speaking skills must've impressed because i was approached and invited to co-emcee the hmong new year in an effort to involve a younger presence in a highly visible role.

now, if you know me personally you'd either think one of 2 [polar opposite] things: either, i'm the perfect candidate for the responsibility or i'm the worse person for the job! haha. being center stage during the hmong new year is nothing new to me. i was a traditional hmong dancer since i was 8 years old and performed regularly at any and all hmong new years in the area for many years, as well as competed in regional competitions in similar environments. with that experience, i was equipped with a high level working knowledge of the logistics involved in making sure the weekend program ran as smoothly as it could... so in theory, i was pretty confident. but then again, when am i not? ;P jk.

yet, even though i've never had an issue with nerves in regard to public speaking... i am what you call a wallflower. therefore, to be presented as a female emcee within the parameters of a traditionally male-dominated cultural event of this caliber where i couldn't be my naturally dorky self was definitely out of my character, and with that challenge in mind, it tipped the scale and i gracefully accepted. lols!

between emceeing the weekend celebration and trying to minimize the behind the scenes fiascos while keeping my public cool, here are some of the shots i was able to capture. if you've never attended a hmong new year, i'd encourage you to go if the opportunity ever presents itself. they're always open to the public and filled with cultural entertainment, food and shopping. at the very least, you'd be supporting the local threads in the tapestry of your community and acquire another new experience!