Friday, January 11, 2013


So, there's this amazing giveaway going on over on Crave Photography's blog. She is giving away a 50mm 1.4 lens, mentoring session, and a business marketing set! So if any of you are into photography, you should definitely check it out :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

It's a Girl!

Okay, it's true. I haven't posted on my blog for over 4 months. FOUR MONTHS!!! So, it had to be a pretty big deal when I posted again, right?

Well, this is a pretty big deal. It came as a surprise to us, I have to admit. And I was kind of against it to begin with. But life is the way it is, and so it happened. I know a few of you already know about this, but I've decided that it's time to announce it publicly.

In case you're wondering, yes we have already named her. Sammy. Short for Uncle Sam. I don't know, we were going for something patriotic. I guess we could always change it. But I think it fits so far.

Yup, you guessed it! We got a puppy! It's kinda funny because two days before we got her, Jordan was really wanting to get a dog, and I said no way. Then a few days later, we were leaving Walmart, and there were two girls outside in the parking lot. One holding a sign, the other holding a puppy. {The sign said "free puppies"}. So of course we had to go look. And before we knew it, we were holding the last puppy (out of ten puppies!). And we were kind of smitten.

But how could you not be?? Look at her face!! I should have taken pictures sooner because she has grown twice her original size since we got her! {She a lab-basset hound mix for those who were wondering.}

 {Please excuse the blurriness, it was crazy difficult to get a shot because she is SO hyper!}

Monday, September 3, 2012

To be Married a Year

Today is our one year anniversary. 

Marriage is....hard. It's just plain hard. 

I'm not going to say that being married is always amazing. Because it's not. 
Sometimes he just makes me so mad!
Sometimes, I make him so mad. 
And when we can understand what the other is thinking? Goodness, that is frustrating. 

Being married is about learning to compromise and forgive, 
about showing charity and kindness,
about not having the last word,
about apologizing,
about selflessness,
about pure love.

Marriage has been such a learning process for me. 
And I'm so grateful for Jordan, for being so different from me,
for teaching me how to think a little differently,
and for loving me even though I think much differently then he does.

And marriage is great. 
I get to spend the rest of my life and the rest of eternity with my best friend.
The guy who makes me cry from laughing so hard.
The man who snuggles with me on the couch.
The man wipes away my tears,
who encourages me to pursue my dreams,
who makes me smile.

Gosh, I just love that man. 
He's amazing, handsome, sweet, strong, funny. 

To celebrate our one year anniversary, 
Jordan and I made dinner and just talked. 
Over skype.

Remember how he's in the military?
Well he's in Atlanta Georgia for training. 
And I'm in Texas. 

Our first anniversary apart. 
But that's okay. 
I still love him :)

{and as a treat to you guys, here's some pictures from our wedding that you may not have seen.}

Monday, August 27, 2012

Have You Ever...

Let's play a game. It's called, Have You Ever. Actually, it goes by kind of another name too: Never Have I Ever. You play Never Have I Ever by holding up five {or 10 or however many} fingers. One person states, "Never have I ever..." and goes on to reveal something they have never done. If anyone in the game has done said thing, they put a finger down. If not, they get to keep it up. The last one with fingers up wins.

I usually am pretty bad at the Never Have I Ever game {I've done a lot of things in my life, and for that, I know I'm blessed}, but I always have one that gets {almost} every down one finger. Okay, used to. But I'll get to that in a minute. My one amazing Never Have I Ever is that I have never eaten a Snickers bar. Or Snickers anything. It was slightly delightful to hear those groans knowing I had gotten everyone. {Is that totally evil or me?}.  
 {And now I say used to because I played this game with a bunch of teenager girls. And the next time I saw them, I was given a note and a package of bite-sized Snickers bar. So, to humor them, I did indeed try one. I even videod it. It was a pretty monumentous {is that a word??} moment for me.}

 Anyway, excuse the tangent. Back to Have You Ever. 


Have you ever 

Kept a journal?
{I'm not talking a blog here, 
I mean, writing in a journal,
 that's bound, 
with paper in it, 
using a pen 
{or pencil if you really desire}.} 

Slacked on your blog?

Had writer's block?

Got so behind you felt like you didn't even want to try to catch up?

Felt lost?


 The last day I wrote in my journal was July 9, 2012. That was almost two months ago. As most of you probably don't know, I'm a pretty avid journal-er. I'm by no means perfect, nor do I have an account of everyday of my life going back to age 5, but I have filled my share of journals. Many journals. And let me tell you, I had gotten into a really really good habit of writing in my journal. Even when I was tired or lazy or whatever excuse I had come up with for not running earlier in the day {did I mention I'm a total slacker on that too??}, I always could find the ability to write out my day. Go over it in my mind. 

But then, things started happening. 

First, we went on our honeymoon {which was awesome, and, oh yeah, I still need to blog about that by the way}. For two weeks {holy moly, two weeks!} And that's kind of where my journalling got off-kilter.

But I was determined to catch-up. And I did. Well, halfway at least.

Then, we moved out of our house. {Completely. As in it's-all-in-a-storage-shed-collecting-dust kind of moved out.} Oh, and did I mention it's all in a storage shed collecting dust? Meaning that we don't really even have a house? 

But that's okay. Really.

After moving everything out of our house and into a storage shed {to collect dust}, we went on a month long {literally} road trip/vacation/place-to-live hunt. {Which was awesome, and, oh yeah, I need to blog about that too. Oh and also catch up on my journalling because that has been in the past month}. 

And then let's not forget all the inbetweens, like when I was pulled over while I was out to get pudding mix for girls' camp. That's right. That was the most expensive pudding mix I have ever gotten! {Oh and maybe I could blog about that too...but at least I can breathe a sigh of relief because I journalled about it...I think?}. Or how about that time when Jordan and I made a very bold move in California {which I will post as soon as I can, but I'm not going to quite yet because I don't want to jinx anything}. Or what about my photography business that is actually growing {and it quite exciting!} Or my new niece that was just born on Friday {eeee!! *squeals of delight* But of course she had to come just after I leave Utah}. Or maybe I could post about all the happenings in Utah or Canada {oh wait! phew! One out of the way!!} or California. Oh my gosh, and then there's a matter of giveaway winners {don't worry, they have all been announced and given their prizes, but wouldn't it be cool of me to announce them on my blog page too?}. And don't even get me started on this weekend! 

I'm not saying all this to make you feel sorry for me. I'm saying this because, quite frankly, I feel overwhelmed and there is a large part of me that wants to crawl in a small hole {with my computer of course so I can watch all my tv shows and edit my photo sessions} and never have to be responsible for remembering anything ever again. But writing all this out and getting it out of my mind is rather refreshing and makes me feel up for the job. 

I know I don't have a million and two followers, and if nothing else, this blog will be an awesome chance for me to get better at writing and have an online journal {that is totally different from my personal journal btw}, and maybe some people will find it enjoyable.

But just a question: Am I alone in thinking this way? Does anyone else ever feel completely overwhelmed by their blog {or business or whatever}? Or do you just find better ways of handling it than I do? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Calinadatah = California-Canada-Utah {and then back to Texas}

Wow, what an adventure {that's not even over yet}! This past month {literally}, Jordan and I have been all over the place! First stop was in California to find a place to live {which, I have a very exciting surprise to announce at the end of the month!!!!}, then to Utah so we could then drive up to Canada to spend time with the mister's family.

My husband's family has been going to Waterton, Canada for a very long time. This was my first time going. And it was SO much fun!

Here are some of the things we did in Canada:
Lots and lots of hiking
Eating ice cream every night {at the Big Scoop! So good!}
More hiking
Feeding squirrels
Napping after hikes

Cameron Lake Trail
The first hike we did, doesn't really have a name because it goes through a couple different mountains/lakes. The lake behind us is Lake Cameron, so we just called it the Cameron Lake Trail Hike. 

 This was about 2 miles into the hike. I don't remember the name of that lake.....but it's pretty!

This bird was SO funny! She tried to stop us on our hike and attacked us if we tried to pass her. I think she was defending her nest or something, but it was super funny. She tried to nip at our ankles {though not mine, fortunately}. As you can see though, she was not afraid of us. 

See the mountain face behind us? We stopped to rest for a bit and saw 4 mountain goats just kind of hop up to the top of the mountain! It was really cool to see how easily they did something that most people can't do. 

On the way down from the hike {we started and finished in different places, so we went over the whole mountain}, there is a glacier {which basically looked like a giant snow pile}. Jordan loves sliding down it, but from where we started, the hill was just steep enough that we couldn't see it. Oh my heck, it was SO scary {and freezing!!}. But I sucked it up and did it anyway. It was terrifying still. 

 Bear's Hump
The next day we climbed up the face of a mountain to make it to the top of Bear's Hump. It was actually a lot of fun and not too scary. Also, please pretend that I don't look super awkward in this picture, haha.

{Isn't it so beautiful? The background I mean}

And we fed some chipmunks. Oh my goodness, it was SO cute watching them! They would steal the nuts out of your hand! Some times they would run away, but other times, they would eat it right in front of you. One of the chipmunks kept putting them whole into his mouth. Pretty soon his cheeks were huge! It was hilarious to watch!

{The whole family at the top of Bear's Hump}

 Red Rock River
For this one, we essentially hiked up a river. And goodness, it was so gorgeous and totally worth it, but freezing! That water comes directly from glaciers. Like the name suggests, there were some really gorgeous red rocks. 

{As you can see, we were really trying to stay out of the water}

 {Me and the mister}
{Jordan really didn't want to go in the water, haha}

 {But, he did. As you can see, it was pretty cold}

{Pretty picture, pretty waterfall. Oh and my hair looks pretty amazing, huh?}

 Akamina Trail Hike
This hike is only kind of a real hike. It's not even on some of the maps. People started hiking here within the last five years, so there's a trail along some of the way, but it's not super well defined in some places.

 See that snow drift in the background? Yeah, we had to climb over that, and it was terrifying.

See what I mean?? Super steep, scary, and barely a trail. I was so scared at this part. Haha, I kept my eyes on the ground to make sure I didn't misstep.

But at least the view was totally worth it! So gorgeous!

Again, scary steepness. 

And I'm smiling because it was almost the end!! Haha, that was the scariest hike ever. We basically climbed up a mountain, walked across three mountain peaks, and then came back down the other side. You can't even see the top of the mountain we climbed {behind us} because it was so high {and did I mention scary??}

Anyway, maybe more pictures to come, but that's all I have on my computer right now. I have to admit though: Canada was lots of fun, but I was really glad to come home and sleep in a real bed :) {that didn't deflate every night, but that's another story}

Monday, August 13, 2012

Book Love: Edenbrooke

While in Canada this past week, my mother-in-law suggested this book. She told me how cute it was and had a Jane Austen-y feel. At first I was a little hesitant because sometimes books that are too "period" get boring and long. But within the first chapter I was hooked!


"Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she’ll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry.

From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will she be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke."

I could probably go on and on about how much I loved this book, but here are a few things that I loved specifically:
I adore her writing style.
It had a proper-sounding tone throughout
I LOVE the story
I could connect with the main character
It made my heart flutter, made me want to cry, made me feel for the main character
Nothing was inappropriate

Oh my heck, it was just so sensational! Kind of like watching a chick flick. A really good one.

But don't just trust me, there are {thousands} more reviews here!

{p.s. this is my 100th post!!}

Sunday, August 12, 2012



 It's hard to come up with a title to a blog post that you know is going to be difficult to write.

This past Wednesday, while we were in Waterton, Canada, we were informed of a very unfortunate and chilling incident. In respect for the family, I am not going to mention any names.

Jordan's mom {Jaime} went to do some laundry while the rest of us were out hiking and checked her e-mail. In this e-mail, it talked about sending notes about this person to be put in a scrapbook. "We all loved him," the e-mail read. Loved him? As in past tense? She didn't have a phone with her, and so she had no way to confirm it, but she realized what it meant. When we arrived back from our hike, she ran up to the car, tears in her eyes, needing to have the phone to call her friend who had sent out the e-mail. The phone call confirmed it. A very dear friend to my husband's family had died. He was 15.

Let me just begin by saying that I have never met this boy in my life. I had only heard that he was going to watch the dog while we were gone. But as soon as I heard the news, my heart broke. How could this happen to a 15-year-old boy? Fifteen years is hardly long enough to understand life, let alone live it.

When Jaime told us what had happened, at first I had no idea who she was talking about. Then it clicked. Wait, the kid that was watching your dog? The teenager? Even though I didn't know him, I instantly wanted to do something to comfort his family. To know what I could to do to help {which as a person from a distance, who didn't know their son, I wasn't able to do much}. To do something, even if it was to feel sorrow on this boy's behalf.

And then we found out that he had shot himself. And my heart broke even more. I, too, have at a very low time in my life felt so much despair that I felt that was the only way out. Of course, I did not follow that path, but I felt even more sorrow for this poor boy. What had caused him so much pain in his life that he felt the need to end it? I wished there was anything I could have done to reverse it. Even though I had never met or spoken to him.

Today at church, a grief counselor came and spoke to the young men and women in the ward. The question that I had burning in me came up: What if I had done *this* differently? What if I had done something? Anything at all to change the outcome.

And she expressed to us something very wise: The idea that "if only I had..." cheats us. In hindsight, we have perfect vision, but we cannot go back and change the past. We did what we could at the time with the information we had.

I know that wishing I had done something ultimately does nothing. I'm sure many other people have felt the same way, either about this boy or someone else they have cared for. He was gone, and there was nothing I could do to change that. But I wish to pass on something that I have learned from this experience:
Maybe I can be a little nicer.
Maybe I can show a little more sympathy; empathy
Maybe I could say a kind word; express my positive thoughts
Maybe I could try a little bit harder to be a little bit nicer.

Close to the end of the meeting, his father spoke. And I felt so much peace radiating from that man who's fifteen year old boy had died just days before. I was so amazed at the strength this man had, when I, who didn't even know this man's child, found it hard to control my emotions at times. I was so grateful for his positive and loving attitude toward all of us in that room. He had suffered an immeasurable loss and still was able to serve others.

{And to end on a more religious note, I just want to say this: I know that you are never alone. I know that Jesus Christ has suffered just for you. He has suffered all of your pains. And He will always, always, always stand by you. He knows your pains, sufferings, heartaches. He knows everything that you have gone through and will go through and I promise that he is there by you. I promise that he loves you...YOU...with an infinite love that you cannot even begin to comprehend. If you ever feel lonely or depressed or lost, He will always be there by your side to lift you up. If only you turn to Him.}

If any of you ever feel lonely, lost, depressed, or so close to the edge that you feel the only way out is death, please contact someone! There are so many people out there that love you and are willing to talk to you. Even if you want to remain anonymous, there are phone numbers out there you can call. Heck, contact me! I will be your best friend! Because the thought of losing a precious life is so sad to me. Because I know you are precious. Because you have a life worth living, even if it doesn't always feel like it.