100-Day Winter Photo Challenge

I haven’t loved winter for a long time. Although I have faint memories of ice skating, building snow castles and having snowball fights with the neighborhood kids, I haven’t enjoyed a winter in years. I like the big flakes. Snow is actually very pretty. But the wind, icy roads and clearing my driveway are three things I’ve decided in my adult life I could do without — forever.

Therefore, each winter I add something new to my life that might have a chance to improve my overall outlook on the season.  I added an auto start to my car way back when (helped a lot). I bought a pair of adult snow boots (too heavy). I bought cross-country ski equipment from a garage sale (hate it, but keep it around “just in case”). I’ve booked a trip to Arizona (perfect, but does that really count?), and bought a pair of ice skates that don’t make my ankles bleed (winner!).

So, this year, I’m trying a photography challenge. 100 days, 100 pictures. Photos for me. Of my dog. My home. My activities. My life and things I love. Nobody paying me, no pressure, just photos I feel like taking that day. This will be a challenge, no doubt, considering my busy routine, a season with limited light and a dog that hates having his photo taken (I wonder why?). But I’m up for the challenge and will attempt this anyway. I hope you’ll follow me and maybe find inspiration to participate in a challenge of your own.

Here goes!

Dad always made pumpkin pies out of the Jack-O-Lanterns we carved for Halloween. Now I do the same.


Rainy and pitch black at 6:45 a.m.

Neighborhood watch.


Hines in the back seat, waitin’ on me.


A barber takes it easy waiting for the next client.


She wasn’t having a good time.


Thanksgiving wraps up. Christmas begins to unfold.

Class: “Mastering the Kong: The Fast Track to Treats”
When: Mondays at 8 p.m.
Teacher: Hines Bartholomew

Alright, Visit Utah, I’m sold.

So important, yet seemingly impossible to keep in mind at times.

…aaand added to the naughty list this year is Mrs. Claus, who seems delighted by Sloane’s misery.


A Friday night at JL Beers in Fargo, ND.


My new nephew: the most precious little baby in all the land. (LOOK AT THAT DIMPLE!!!!!)

See what I did there?

Day 15 brought more challenges than most other days. This shot required walking down the street with my tripod, camera and dog, “tricking” him into looking at the camera (he never does), and finished with a 30-minute cleaning of muddy paws.

I’d never, ever let a deal like this pass me by. They even used an exclamation point! Spot on, Fleet Farm.

day-17_webAfter nearly 5 years of owning Hines, I finally calculated how long it takes him to get through 90 pounds of dog food. Guesses anyone? If you can predict the number of days on the dot, I’ll buy you a coffee. Ready… go!

I think this is so beautiful.  It distracts me from how sick of shoveling I am already.


Hines could make off like a bandit here but humbly and patiently waits instead.

I watched my brother-in-law help my nephew make this ornament this year. I smiled when I saw it on the tree (hanging out of my nephew’s reach). Will it have a spot on the tree next year?

I wrote and delivered a note today to a neighbor I don’t know, expressing my appreciation for her Christmas décor.
According to Hines, everything’s worth a lick.

Men commonly joke that, because I’m a woman, I must like buying shoes. When they see a sparkle in my eye, they grin, thinking they’ve got me pegged. There’s just a little something they don’t know.

Evidence that I aim high and enthusiastically celebrate victories. This was supposed to be a congratulatory tap on the bum.

Not much of a chocolate person, but I love LOVE Dove Chocolate wrappers.

Beers and Uno on a freezing cold day. Warms you right up!

day-28Fargo temperatures have been unbearable. But tonight, we’ll be blessed with temperatures gradually rising until morning. We’ll wake to temperatures roughly 40 degrees warmer than this morning, and roughly 20 degrees warmer than the current temperature. Now THAT’s a good night!

Holiday Lights at Lindenwood!

Can you spot Hines?

Alllright, where’d I put the tags?

“Drats. It’s that THING again…”

The sun was beaming into the office so bright I could barely see. It had been so long since I felt the warmth of the sun, so I took a few minutes to enjoy.

Christmas weekend is sure to buzz. But first: coffee in total stillness.

A trumpet from Grandpa for Christmas!

Looking to his fearless leader for help with the 48-piece puzzle.

TRXing in a tutu – she’ll be like her aunt.

One I needed to keep in mind today.

Shark Week: Only 165 days away.


I hope that never changes, nephew.

On the edge of his seat, watching mommy and daddy play Pickleball.

Saturday morning: Hines takes it 100% easy on 90% of my bed.

A dream come true for a hockey-loving basketball star.

Branded branding.

Light pillars! When temperatures dip and ice crystals fill the air, we see an optical effect known as light pillars. Light pillars occur when flat ice crystals float relatively close to the ground and cause light to bounce in vertical columns.

Buried with the latest 9.5 inches of snow.

After every race, I try to wear my medal for the rest of the day. Then, I place it with the rest of the collection, which used to be crammed in a dark corner of my spare bedroom closet. Finally, this fall, I set up this display in my main walk-in closet that I occasionally stare at and feel inspired.

Play time.


The expression of their parents when they see the disaster zone we created.

Four years ago today I brought this pup home to FOSTER because I couldn’t fully commit to adopting him. I’m an idiot for ever second guessing. Here, Hines “stays” for a treat.

Night lights on day 50. Fifty more days until March!!!

TODAY was my birthday!!

Day 52 of the photo challenge, day 2 of my birthday!

Alright, I didn’t plan on this, but my dad is late for everything. When his card (turned letter) arrived in the mail today — promptly two days late — it took almost no time reading it for tears to roll and joyful laughter to follow. Some jerk always has to make you cry on your birthday (or day three of your birthday week).  I also learned during one of our long discussions on Christmas weekend that the hand on the envelope is a tradition he carried down from his dad, a man I didn’t have the chance to meet.  { Photo challenge Day 53 | Birthday Day 3 }

Tonight was filled with firsts, including seeing my first movie at The Fargo Theatre.

Treats with Taylor!

Watching the game with my love!

A portion of my bucket list. There are a few things I have left to do.

Bryce is two months old already!

Misty morning fog.

Through tears, I said “yes” when I received this card shortly after Bryce’s birth. Tomorrow I become a Godmother!!

Brushin’ his chompers before his brother’s baptism.

Resolutioners: Still hard at it.

“It’s like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” – E. L. Doctorow

Sole icicle.

Light at the end of the……

Frostival 2017 kick-off: Horse-drawn carriage rides through downtown Fargo.

Frostival 2017: Snow sculptures at Hjemkomst!

Day 70: The brother’s back yard — Hawley, MN

DAY 71 | Making something out of nothing: one of my faves. (Yes I’m aware it still looks like nothing.)

My succulent.

This is currently situated in my North Dakota home. But Minnesota will always be HOME HOME. And maybe home AND home home someday soon.

Waxing Crescent over the Osgood Fire Station.

Day 75: Nothing fancy, but I bet it gets people there.

A cold Sunday morning walk with Hines!

Fargo night lights.


Quite the sight 45 minutes after sunset.

Ever wonder why smoke plumes level off? As the smoke travels vertically, it begins to cool and eventually becomes colder than the air around it. The smoke will then descend until it is in equilibrium with the ambient air temperature, typically at or slightly below the height of the temperature inversion. At this point the smoke spreads out horizontally instead of vertically, blown with the direction of the wind. A little lesson taken from a meteorology course I snuck in as a sophomore at NDSU. To this day, I think of Dr. Enz every time I see a plume.
This is just a detention pond. But I thought the reflection was cool!
Be careful when you swing that door open.

Day 85 | The moon was incredible tonight. This photo doesn’t even do it justice!
Day 87 | Wine night with friends! This tag was chosen, not assigned.
Day 89 | Sparkly Sidewalks!
Day 90 | Green beans only next time, please.
Day 91 | A Dog’s Purpose.  Note: This wasn’t a posed shot. This just happened. 

Day 92: The Silver Ravine

Day 93: Beautiful morning!
A spooky shot of my favorite barn.
Day 95 | Boo. I lost again.
Day 96 (Friday): Minnesota skyline at sunset.
Day 97 | Beautiful bride!
Day 98 | St. Margaret’s Church at dusk – Lake Henry, Minnesota

Day 99 | Bigfoot has been trompin’ around my yard!

Today is the last day of February and day 100 of my 100-day photo challenge.

I hope you enjoyed the journey as much as I did. There were days where I lacked creativity, time and/or energy and resorted to a 2-minute capturing of a semi-interesting photo to get the job done. Five days out of a hundred I couldn’t even manage to pull that off. Other days I felt creative. I had the time and patience necessary to capture precisely what I had in mind. I don’t doubt the difference is easily detectable in the photos.

If you followed this whole time, you may have also noticed my “winter lifestyle” theme gradually morphed into a nocturnal series. Turns out I can only take so many pictures of my solo lifestyle before it becomes incredibly redundant and/or stagnant (Hines, nephews, wine collection, Hines, nephews, Steelers clothing line, etc.).

Not unlike other things in my life, I tried to eliminate the limits and just do what felt right. So, as promised, I spent a quarter of a year challenging myself with something new and ultimately, I’m happy with the result.

I won’t bore with details of everything I learned, felt and realized, so I’ll close with a sincere “thank you” to those who followed, liked, shared, re-tweeted and most of all, took the time to send words of appreciation and encouragement. Those words kept me going on those 2-minute days. Or, turned the 2-minute effort into a significant one that resulted in a quality image.

7 thoughts on “100-Day Winter Photo Challenge”

  1. Trisha Garvin

    I think this is a WONDERFUL idea Laura!! Can’t wait to see the rest of your photos 🙂

  2. LOVE the pie and smiling baby photo. Great idea! Love the creativity! =)

  3. Neil

    Love the pictures… the Barber is my favorite! Oh, and yes, a trip to ARIZONA counts! Keep up the good work!

  4. Bradley

    Umm dog food for Hines? He’s kind of a big dog. Guessing he eats a lot…..
    Maybe 3 months? My guess is 3 months.

    LOVE this series and the creativity behind it!

    1. Laura Stoneburner

      Good guess, Bradley. 67 days!

  5. Nicole

    Great compilation Laura! You are so creative in finding the ordinary beauty of in those dark cold days of winter 🙂 I loved seeing posts throughout the challenge and perusing them now that it is finished. Nice work!

  6. Bradley

    Really loved this series, and your dedication to stick to it! Checking this site was one of the first things I did every day to see what new image was there, and I love your creativity.
    I hope you try other projects like this – I’d love to see them!

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