Storming the Castle / by Tyler Voorhees

The weapons are ready, now it's time to storm the castle.

Looking back at 2017 and ahead to the year at hand, I feel like this captures my current attitude accurately. This past year has been a foundry, where all of my actions, ideas, and experiences from the past 33 years of life have been shoved into a cauldron, melted down, and forged into something new, something stronger as a composite than as singularities. Weapons were formed from this molten soul-metal and this coming year will be a time to get out in the world and brandish them in beautiful strokes. These are not weapons of mass destruction; rather, they are weapons of mass CREATION.

2017 took The Fourhees across all these United States for over 25,000 miles of adventrue. We took in the splendor of the desert bloom in Tucson, ate delicious hot dogs at Wrigley Field in Chicago, tramped around the mountains outside of Salt Lake City, and meandered around the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (having no idea that I would be writing this blog from this state several months later). Louisville showcased its Victorian flair and Memphis quickly became one of our new favorites, with tasty meats and the blues waiting around every historic corner.

 The lush desert bloom |  March  |  Tucson, AZ

The lush desert bloom |  March  |  Tucson, AZ

 Wrigley Field dogs  |  June  |  Chicago, IL

Wrigley Field dogs  |  June  |  Chicago, IL

 Our beans at The Bean  |  June  |  Chicago, IL

Our beans at The Bean  |  June  |  Chicago, IL

 Utah mountain splendor  |  June  |  Alta, UT

Utah mountain splendor  |  June  |  Alta, UT

 The dense woods of the UP  |  July  |  Munising, MI

The dense woods of the UP  |  July  |  Munising, MI

 Lake Superior beach  |  July  |  Munising, MI

Lake Superior beach  |  July  |  Munising, MI

 Gargoyles and Victorian flair everywhere  |  October  |  Louisville, KY

Gargoyles and Victorian flair everywhere  |  October  |  Louisville, KY

 When in Memphis, do as Elvis did  |  October  |  Memphis, TN

When in Memphis, do as Elvis did  |  October  |  Memphis, TN

Traveling with a second child (and a baby at that) had its challenges, but we eventually found our stride and quickly discovered the importance of a sunrise departure. Orin is far from loving his car seat, but Ivan continues to try and win him over the idea of new discoveries waiting on the other end of the day's journey. All in all we felt blessed beyond belief to have the opportunity to bring our little family on so many adventures.

 Sometimes sunrise departures had their perks  |  September  |  Who Knows, USA

Sometimes sunrise departures had their perks  |  September  |  Who Knows, USA

 Orin helps me accept an award  |  April  |  Tempe, AZ

Orin helps me accept an award  |  April  |  Tempe, AZ

 Orin disgusted with us.  |  March  |  Yuma, AZ

Orin disgusted with us.  |  March  |  Yuma, AZ

 Exhausted babe  |  June  |  Iowa, I think

Exhausted babe  |  June  |  Iowa, I think

 Car naps (car not in motion)  |  December  |  Who Knows, USA

Car naps (car not in motion)  |  December  |  Who Knows, USA

 Poolside giggles  |  March  |  Scottsdale, AZ

Poolside giggles  |  March  |  Scottsdale, AZ

As I size 2018 up and ready myself for another year of art moves, I am reminded of both the blessing and the responsibility of the gift to create for a living. It is the job of the artist to turn the world's troubles into beauty and this is a challenge that I don't take lightly.

So, with my newly minted weapons, I take to the battlefield of my studio to slay dragons of doubt, to deflect hexes of hate, and to silence the flurry of fear trying desperately to take root in my precious time here on Earth.

I will not have it. I will create like there is no tomorrow. I will walk boldly into each day and celebrate the tiny miracles and share my overflowing cup with others when given the chance. This is how I define this moment.

Until next time, I hope that you all have the courage to wield your weapons and strike down the obstacles that stand between you and your calling. God bless. Drive fast, take chances. This is going to be a great year.

 Festival bros  |  June  |  Salt Lake City, UT

Festival bros  |  June  |  Salt Lake City, UT

 Whatever happened to predictability?  |  September  |  San Francisco, CA

Whatever happened to predictability?  |  September  |  San Francisco, CA

 She had a better batting average  |  October  |  Louisville Slugger Museum, Louisville, KY

She had a better batting average  |  October  |  Louisville Slugger Museum, Louisville, KY

 Yeah, I did  |  October  |  Louisville Slugger Museum, Louisville, KY

Yeah, I did  |  October  |  Louisville Slugger Museum, Louisville, KY

 Those Michigan sunsets tho  |  July  |  Grand Marais, MI

Those Michigan sunsets tho  |  July  |  Grand Marais, MI

 Naptime on our hike in the UP  |  July  |  Munising, MI

Naptime on our hike in the UP  |  July  |  Munising, MI

 Unlocking the door for the first time on our new Michigan home  |  December  |  Glenn, MI

Unlocking the door for the first time on our new Michigan home  |  December  |  Glenn, MI

 It snows in Michigan!  |  December  |  Glenn, MI

It snows in Michigan!  |  December  |  Glenn, MI

 I love this lady  |  December  |  Glenn, MI

I love this lady  |  December  |  Glenn, MI