"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5


Standing on the Corner of Drive a Ford and Farmer Road . . .

Another reason why we love Julian . . . this is a real street corner!


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We Struck Gold!

Well . . . not really. ūüôā But we did go visit an old gold mine for our anniversary and it was so much fun!¬† BTW our anniversary was months ago. I’m just behind between the holidays and some recent computer technical difficulties. I am glad to be back to photo editing again!

We visited Julian for our first anniversary and decided it was only fitting that we go back for our 5th. If you haven’t been, Julian is this adorable old mining town that is widely famous for their award-winning¬†apple pie. We like the town because it reminds us of where we grew up. They are close to the same size.

Anyway, this time we decided to go visit the old mine. They actually let you go in! A couple of brothers own the property and have been giving tours for years. It was pretty neat.

A tour bus of senior citizens arrived as we got there so we jumped in with their group. They were hilarious and such troopers. The mine was not easy to get around in and it was dusty and really dark.

We got about (what I perceived¬†as) halfway in, when the tour guide told us that there were several floors of tunnels above us, and several floors of tunnels below us and that we were going to be going up to the next floor. I don’t usually get claustrophobic, but I’m not going to lie—I was starting to feel a little anxious in that small space with all those people, and began to wonder what we would do if there was an earthquake.

Old Mining Equipment

Blacksmith's Corner

We climbed up some very narrow and steep steps to the next floor and the tour guide shared with us that back when the mine was being used, they didn’t have electricity in there. The miners used candles and since candles were expensive, they mostly worked in the dark and only lit them when they really needed too. Then he turned out the lights so we could see how dark it got in the mine. It was super cool, but a little freaky at the same time. One of the older gentlemen behind us shouted. “Don’t touch me there!” Funny guy.

Next, the tour guide lit a candle so we could see how much light it put off. Not very much.

After we got out of the mine, we were shown how to pan for gold.

And we got to see the equipment that crushes the rock and learned how the minerals were separated.

If you are in the area and are interested in mining history, we definitely recommend this tour!

If you enjoyed this and would like updates on my photography, be sure to like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter! Photos are available for purchase at ToniRiggsPhotography.com. Thanks!

My First Engagement Shoot ~ Rachael and Marco

I usually¬†photograph nature and landscapes¬†but when my cousin asked me to take her engagement photos I couldn’t say no. When I was a little girl, my aunt (Rach’s mom) was one of my favorite people in the whole world.¬†(You still are!) And I remember the exact day that Rachael had grown¬†so big in her belly that I could no longer¬†fit on¬†my aunt’s lap. I¬†wasn’t so sure that¬†I liked this baby who had taken over¬† her body. However, once¬†Rach¬†was born she quickly¬†became like a little sister to me, and¬†I was so honored that she asked me to take her engagement photos!

Here’s a little sneak peek of their photos. They were all taken at Balbo Park.

Aren’t they a beautiful couple? Congrats on your engagement Rach and Marco! ūüôā

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This post was linked to Tip Junkie’s Handmade projects.

I Finally Did it!

I have been talking about and praying about this for a long time now . . . and I have finally put together a photography website! 

Thank you to those of you who prayed with me or encouraged me to do this.  Smile

If you’d like to check it out, my website is www.ToniRiggsPhotography.com.¬† And if you like my work, be sure to “like” me on Facebook¬†and suggest me to your friends. I have more photos to upload so keep checking in!


We’re a 12th Man Family

Yesterday was National Dress Up Your Pet Day, today is National Hat Day,
and tomorrow the Seahawks are playing another playoff game.

We are celebrating all three occasions at our house this weekend! 

Good luck Seattle! ūüôā


Finding Beauty in the Fire

A few weeks ago, a couple wildfires started just east of LA and soon after we had some of the most¬†incredible sunsets. Last Monday James and I were driving home and the sky was brightest blue I had ever seen, splashed with brilliant shades of orange and pink. We were sad that we didn’t have a camera with¬†us and decided to go to the beach the next night to see if there might be a repeat. The colors weren‚Äôt quite as amazing, but it was still very pretty!¬†¬†


It got¬†me thinking. Although wildfires are scary and¬†often out of control, they do create some of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. ¬†God does the very same thing during the “wildfires”¬†of our own¬†lives. Life has times of difficulty, that is for sure. But if you let Him, He can still create something beautiful even in the hardest of times.¬† You might not see it right away, and it may not¬†take away¬†the pain, but it can bring comfort and beauty (and sometimes even¬†purpose) where there wasn‚Äôt any before.¬† I think that is pretty great. ūüôā


Wedding and Vacation Highlights

Yay!  My little brother is married starting a new life with my lovely new sister in law.  We took a mini vacation and Rach and Lorin came down a couple days before the wedding to hang out and drive up to Rohnert Park with us.  Here are the highlights of the week:

Wed- James, the girls, and I went to the Wild Animal Park.  It was a great day- beautiful weather, a baby cheetah, and lots of laughs.  Oh, and a really scary bird that wanted to eat us AND our lunch.


This picture is complements of the Rachy Rach

Thur- We grabbed some sandwiches and went to the beach.  There we were all sitting in a row- sun on our faces, wind in our hair, sandwiches in our hand and a seagull swooped over my head and snatched my entire sandwich out of my hand and flew away.  Thank you Rach for sharing part of your sandwich with me! 

Complements of Rachy Rach

Later that afternoon we¬†headed back to our house for a yummy BBQ and a big game of scattergories.¬† I got food poisoning from my turkey burger, but we had lots of fun and laughs regardless.¬†¬† I still think ornery spider should have been counted as an insect starting with “o.”

Fri- We got up super early and drove 8 hours to Kevin and Cherie’s.¬† “Groove is in the Heart” came on the radio and Lorin announces- “oh, I love oldies!”¬† Lorin almost got left behind.

That evening we had a relaxing BBQ with Dad and Peggy and some of Kevin’s friends I haven’t seen in a long time.¬† Then we drove another hour to Ronhert Park and dropped the girls off at their hotel (no cornflakes there!) and then went to our very beautiful hotel and crashed.

Sat- Mom and I made wedding favors with Cherie, DeBi, and Cherie’s mom and grandma while James had lunch with my grandparents and Skip.¬† Later that night we all met for the rehearsal dinner and got to hang out with the rest of the families and wedding party.¬† Kevin gave a wonderful speech thanking us all from coming that got everyone just a little teary eyed.


Sun- Wedding day!¬†¬† James and I ordered room service and watched the KC game while eating a late breakfast.¬† Then I spent the day taking pictures of Cherie and her two best friends while they got ready for the wedding.¬† I had so much fun hanging out with Cherie and getting to know her friends!¬† James, Kevin, my dad, and the rest of the guys went to the bowling alley to watch the Seahawk game while the girls were getting ready.¬† I’m not sure why, but some of these photos just don’t want to stay centered….


This picture is complements of my love.



 The wedding was outside at a beautiful golf course at 6pm just as the weather cooled down to the perfect temperature. 

Complements of the Rachy Rach

I did not take my camera because I wanted to make sure I enjoyed the moments rather than try to capture them all, if that makes any sense.  Cherie was gorgeous and Kevin looked so handsome in his tux.

Complements of the Rachy Rach

As she started to walk down Kevin got this huge smile and then looked like he was going to pass out.¬† It was so cute to see him so giddy and in love.¬†¬† The reception was beautiful and fun.¬† Grandma and I got our own dinner plates and little cakes because of our food allergies.¬†¬† We had good food, a great time with friends and family, and I got to see my dad, Kevin, and Cherie boogie all night long.¬† One of the most beautiful weddings I’ve been to- 2nd only to our wedding of course! ¬†The following pictures are from CJC Photography.