Thursday, August 30, 2012

California Pt. 3

Saturday morning came all too early as I dragged myself out of bed to hit the gym. It woke me up and by the time I got back to the room Lyss was stirring but Gabe was still passed out.

A few showers later Gabe realized that he forgot to bring his white shirt. We were supposed to leave in 30 minutes and the nearest store was at least that far away.

It was quite a morning and ended up with me begging Andy's brother Matt to park our car so I could sprint up to the temple in order to not miss the wedding. Ha!

The wedding was beautiful and I was so grateful to be there. Two hours of sitting in the sun waiting for my husband to finish with pictures wasn't so great. But, it happens.

I am still a little in shock that Andy is married. Married. Andy... I guess he had to do it sometime, and he couldn't have made a better choice.

At the luncheon Paul tried to shove as much jello into his mouth as possible.

 We are quite the mature bunch.

After lunch, Gabe and I headed back to our hotel where we took a loooooong and wonderful nap... then up to the reception it was. The groomsmen took charge of decorating the car and had a few younger siblings sneak into the back seat and silently wait... you could tell the moment they were discovered because Andy hit the brakes and jumped out of the car.

That night we drove a couple home and it was funny to realize how many connections we had. A friend from Dallas, an old roommate, an old coworker, not to mention the bride and groom... in true cliche form it is a small world after all.

Monday, August 27, 2012

California Part 2

Friday morning we woke up to homemade waffles, after showers and packing everything up we headed to the church to help set up for the reception. There were so many white table clothes and chair covers... but the effect was pretty.

After that it was lunch and driving down to La Jolla to check in and then go to the beach. Gabe had been anxious to visit the beach all day since he had never been in the ocean before. We all piled into James' RAV and off we went. James was almost out of gas and the back seat was increasingly noisy and a little squished. I love being a girl :) They let me sit in the front passenger seat all to myself.

As we got closer to the beach the scenery became more and more fun. We found a gas station. There were little surf, organic food and coffee shops everywhere. People were so laid back about traffic which was a fresh break from some of the Utah crazies. The ocean was gorgeous and seemed to be calling to us.

We arrived at the beach house that was being rented out for that night's festivities and piled out. After a few introductions and hellos it was down to the beach. We had to climb down a few cliffs to get to the water but it was worth it. The water was salty, and Gabe was like a small child running out into the freezing cold water a little too enthusiastically. Love him. So much.

This was after the water was a little too cold, and of course there is Andy in the background

We 'rode the waves' as James called it for maybe a half hour before we retreated back to the warm waters and wafting smells of the beach house. Taylor's nieces and nephew were all adorable and wanted to play. So we did, for hours.

(Gabe is under James, prepping for round two of a chicken fight)

A few of us retreated to the sauna and soon plans were being solidified for Andy's somewhat impromptu bachelor party.

We drove back to the hotel where I gladly drove our car back to Gabe and I's room while the men went out to do manly things.

Meanwhile Lyss and Jordan were driving down from the LA airport. By the time they arrived the guys were all asleep and I was ready to once again pass out.

Until I saw a big fat diamond ring on Alyssa's finger.

We stayed up later than we should have discussing all the details of the proposal, while Gabe climbed into bed and fell asleep.

Friday, August 24, 2012

California 2012 Day 1

I have been meaning to write about our California trip on here ever since we got back... and now that I finally unpacked our bags last night (yeah, I have still be living out of a suitcase for a week, impressive I know) I want to get it all down before I forget the details.

We left on Thursday morning after showers and a last minute stop by work. We hit Vegas by lunch and arrived in San Diego before rush hour traffic. When we got to our hotel (such a loose term) things got a bit scary, we were in a horrible part of town, there was some sort of bug infesting the room and our towels were in a nice wet pile on the air conditioner. Thankfully, our friend Andy's soon to be in-laws came to the rescue and were nice enough to let us stay at their house that night. It was almost a two hour drive up to their house

which gave us plenty of time to get a refund on the room (definitely booking with Expedia again) and get the rest of the weekend stays situated.

When we got there, dinner was made: homemade burgers topped with fresh veggies from the garden. Seriously fantastic.

That night while Andy's fiance Taylor was having her bachelorette party we went to meet Andy's family. They are kind of incredible and definitely unique. So many things about them explained Andy's quirks and mannerisms. I love to sit back and watch families interact and show love towards one another in their different ways. His family was no exception.

On the way back to Taylor's we showed Andy Jack in the Box for the first time (I have never seen someone with such a fast metabolism, this guy eats all the time). I passed out on the way back and everything else from that evening is somewhat hazy past sleeping in a comfy, clean bed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

We spin, we spin and fall onto the floor...

I saw leaves changing colors in the mountains the other night, which always seems to put me in a better mood.

Bring on Autumn!

Let it be long and wonderful with crisp leaves, football games, running outside, holidays, that wonderful little bit of chill in the air, hot apple cider warming cold fingers, the fireplace filling our home with a woodsy smell, soups and stews, fresh books, cuddling up in comfy clothes, pumpkin flavored everything, hikes in the mountains...

I hope I always get to live in a place where Autumn is this gorgeous every year.

Monday, August 20, 2012

We seem to have the world here in our hands

About 95% of the time I loved growing up with a little sister (the other 5% goes to jealousy, fights about our shared room and high school drama...)

She was this cute little ballerina, who everyone adored. But to me she was my confidant, one of the few people who (eventually) shared my taste in music in our small town, my second closet, a self esteem boost, and a built in best friend.

In high school we would spend hours creating these ridiculous mix tapes... CDs... whatever. That we would in turn listen to on our way to seminary, school and anywhere else at high volumes. One thing I loved about living in the country was driving everywhere gave me plenty of time for thinking and music. Most of the time I was driving somewhere it was with Emily in tow and one of our favorite soundtracks has always been Yellowcard.

Their first few albums were just the beginning of my teenage angst when I listened to quite a bit of punk influenced by my much cooler older brother. At this point Emily was still into boy bands and Destiny's Child (no judging, I am probably the one who got her started on those too).

But then The Underdog EP came out and something clicked. Our favorite song was Powder (which some would consider a horrible song because it is about cocaine/heroin...I'm not sure which. I will stick to the argument I gave to my mom: it is about the ill effects of drugs and is a lesson in and of itself, which argument is supported by the music video)

And then Ocean Avenue came out... and on a week long visit to Utah, when my sister showed me just how loyal she is, that was the only album we listened to... and listened to... for months.

Lights and Sounds was our soundtrack as our family moved to Alaska and I went to college. We once again shared a room for the first time in years. But instead of constantly fighting, we really enjoyed it.

Paper Walls emerged during one of my most difficult summers... and sharing it with Emily made a huge difference.

And when When You're Through Thinking Say Yes came out last year even though my sister and I might have been further apart than ever (even though she lived in the same town) this album still had meaning to us.

Now that Southern Air has arrived I am soo excited to pick her up from the airport on Thursday and listen to it windows down, volume up.

So we can have many more moments like this:

Isn't she lovely?

Synching up to the beating of my heart

I have always been a pretty independent person. Even when I was dating someone seriously, they would have their life and I would have mine and we would spend time together around that. So it is no surprise to me that I struggled a little when we first got married with trying to re identify myself as someone's wife while at the same time remaining who I was with my own hopes and dreams that were now shared with Gabe's.
But I guess it does surprise me that every once in awhile I still have issues with wanting to feel independent.

It isn't that he is controlling or that I cannot do the things I want to. In fact, my main concern is that his ideas, dreams, needs and wants are all being met while I am out doing my own thing. In all of the discussions we have he stresses that what makes him the most happy is to see me happy. Which is great, but then that leaves me with figuring out what the little things that make him happy are. I guess it works because if he is trying to make me happy and I am trying to make him happy then all in all it is balanced.

Part of my problem is that I have about a million things I want to do in this life. I have three bucket lists (one I made on my own, one I made with a friend late one night and one Gabe and I are working on together) and even though some of those things contradict each other I have at one time or another been completely invested in doing each one. I feel like bucket lists should be flexible... just like the rest of life.

Which all leads to what I thought I wanted to be for so long and how God is helping me to realize who I really and truly want to become. This isn't a patriarchal overshadowing or a woman getting to know her right place sort of thing (mostly because I don't believe in that mumbo jumbo) but more of a figuring out what and who it is I want to be is more important than all the little distractions sort of thing.

Which lead me to one of the greatest quotes I have come across in a long time:

“I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been thought about, born in God's thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest and most precious thing in all thinking.” 

                                                                 -George MacDonald

This guy is seriously awesome. He was a mentor of  JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis and Madeleine L'Engle (who all happen to be some of my favorite authors) and has given me a whole slew of books to add to my To-Read list (which is a bucket list all of it's own accord).

Friday, August 17, 2012

What gives a girl Power and punch? Is it charm, is it poise? No, it's hairspray!

So we have this amazing friend... who has done my hair basically since I came out to college and Gabe's for longer than we've been married. (She did my hair for my wedding and even wore a dorky bridesmaid dress for me) She moved to Hawaii once... but came back. She is up in Salt Lake these days and if it was just hair that I went to her for I probably wouldn't frequent the drive as much. But it isn't. She is an astounding person and I love to get to be around her.

A few weeks ago she had an open house, a try out for the salon she has been training at for the past year and a half or so. I was flattered when she asked me to be in it and I was grateful to be able to watch her go from model to model perfecting the look she was going for. But it wasn't just that, I was able to see her in her element. Talking to people from different walks of life, people she knows and loves.

And it was so fun to get my makeup and hair done by this amazing lady.

A week before the open house she dyed my hair darker, gave it a little trim and did this awesome blow drying curl thing that I have been trying to figure out ever since:

Day of with the other models (photo credit goes to Natalie Sant):

I don't think I have ever worn this much makeup in my life.But I was okay with it.

Please excuse the following duck faces, and annoying self portraits... pay attention to the hair. And makeup.

And my hair was just a little poofy when I took it all down:

So much fun. Thank you for letting me be apart of it Ashley. All of it.


I have yet to do a giveaway on my blog... I will someday. But until then I am all about sharing other people's freebies. Here is a giveaway from a photographer I adore. And the best part is there is no need to live in Utah to win... so, go check it out!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

We made plans...

I had a wonderful vacation, which I will post about in a few but I wanted to write this out before I forget all of it. I have been debating going to grad school the past few months, the feasibility combined with the timing of it all and it gave me a lot to think about as we headed off to California.

On August 11 last year, I sat in the back of a chapel on a hard metal chair. I sat next to Gabe and the freshman crew that could make it to Jada's funeral. My heart hurt as I watched something I wasn't quite a part of, but that I was all too emotionally involved in. My faith grew tremendously as I watched this family carry on.

On August 11 this year, I sat on a much cushier chair, in a much prettier room. I sat next to Gabe and the same freshman crew that was now complete, except for Andy, who was getting married. My heart grew as I watched something I wasn't quite a part of, but that I was all too emotionally involved in. My faith grew tremendously as I watched a family form.

After the wedding, as I sat in the San Diego heat, grateful for the shade I began to compare and contrast these two days. Neither of these days were expected, and admittedly one was much easier to find happiness in than the other. But, the more I compared the two the more those days came down to two overwhelmingly simple cliches: faith in God's timing and the importance of family.

That's it. Life really is much more simple than I tend to make it be most days.

And something as trivial and yet pivotal as grad school? I am sure we can manage.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

True love is...

having a horrible morning, topped off with broken headphones and rude customers...

followed by my husband bringing me a salad and chocolate for lunch along with his headphones that when I try to refuse he tells me are his backup pair...

only to realize later his backup pair broke weeks ago.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The lift before the crash

I started a new round of projects this past weekend... refinishing our dresser and bedside tables (so they finally match) and redecorating our place (so much is still in boxes from the indecisive moving that took place this summer). I love learning new skills, failing a little bit and learning a little more. Or deciding that something isn't for me (like cutting Gabe's hair).

We ran into some friends at the market the other day and I about melted as Gabe bent down and played with their 5 month old little girl. One day...

We have been frequenting the shaved ice stand far too frequently as of late, but I'm not complaining.

We went to the newest local theater to see The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) with one of Gabe's mission companions, the rest of the night was flooded with memories of high school forensics and laughing at the younger version of us.

I made my first successful no recipe, from scratch baked goods yesterday (Snickers brownie bites)

We found some delicious whole wheat dough for our chicken, turkey pepperoni, spinach, banana pepper, white sauce pizza.

We enjoyed each other's company and delicious food. Oh and Gabe is now sporting a full out ginger beard

Handsome man that he is...

I have loved this summer and how much time we have been able to spend together.

And for once my fortune cookie was right