Gatlinburg and Ruby

The Smokies quickly won my heart over the first time I experienced them a few years ago when a bunch of girlfriends and I were celebrating our friend Jesi’s 30th birthday. We rented a beautiful cabin in the mountains and I’ve been dying to take Nick ever since!

Magical view

Five and a half years into living in Tennessee, Nick and I decided it was time for us to go together. We met up with some great old friends of ours and everything was absolutely perfect – views, meals, laughs, and lots of fun with my weekend muse, Ruby, who happened to turn 11 months old on our last day!

Time flies when you’re having fun

RubyRestaurantJoey and Ruby

I also decided to play around a bit with Photoshop; it’s basically just like Instagram or iPhoto, right? (NOT…! Eek!) I’m not quite sure what I’m doing but the most common advice my talented photographer friends have given me is: “just start doing it”. I trust their work and at this point have nothing to lose, three weeks into being a “photographer”.

So many sweet moments

Some photos were best left untouched – like this one of my handsome hubby.

Got our putt putt fix – this guy is a pro!

I was devastated to hear about the fires last year and we witnessed firsthand its terrible effects. It was wild to see how the fire affected certain properties yet not others right next door, and it was heartbreaking to imagine losing it all.


I’m a beach and California girl through and through, but there’s something different and special about the mountains. I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I think Gatlinburg may be my favorite place EVER – okay, at least top 3. The air, the trees, the sounds just overwhelm me with God’s presence, filling me with joy and awe.

I could probably wake up to coffee, this rocking chair and view every morning!

Thanks for the memories, Gatlinburg! Until next time…

❤ amanda mae


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