thinking makes my head hurt.

November 29, 2015

The sunsets in Utah have been so good lately. Sometimes they turn the clouds into cotton candy and other times they light the horizon on fire. All in all, I've been really impressed. In other news, I now have red hair so happy Christmas. I keep finding myself giggling over the fact that everyone flips out about putting up Christmas trees and listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving... and then as soon as it's Black Friday everyone suddenly morphs into little Christmas elves and their houses are magically garbed in garland and tinsel. If you ask me, it really doesn't matter when you start to celebrate Christmas-- let people be free in expressing their Christmas spirit! (Heck, I listen to Christmas music in July probably every year.) Listening to Christmas music early is no real reason to troll somebody. Can I get an "amen?"

Taylor Dale and I have a whole lot going on in our lives over the course of the next couple of weeks... yikes. We're moving back up north in approximately ten days (and it's hysterical because we literally JUST got all of our stuff down here). Then, as soon as we get things (sort of) situated in our new abode we'll be packing our bags and peacing out to D.C. for a fun little pre-Christmas getaway. And of course, come January, we'll both be back in school and swamped with homework. (I'm actually rather nervous about the whole school thing just because I haven't been a student in over two and a half years. The only thing that made me feel better about it all was being spontaneously quizzed on the constitution by an elderly man in a cowboy hat that I met at Costco last week-- don't worry, I passed his exam.)

I honestly just can't fathom how quickly time has been passing. I swear I was just barely opening up my mission call, playing soccer every day for three hours, sitting in the hospital waiting room anticipating the arrival of a new niece or nephew... but when I actually put time-stamps on each of those events, I remember how many years have passed and then I have anxiety. How does time pass so fast!?

I'm moving to St. Louis in May. 
And that's still hard to believe.


a happy list // one

November 26, 2015

 //When I was living in Korea I was blessed with the opportunity to drink a plethora of different teas. That being said, one of my very favorite teas was citron honey tea-- there are no words for how amazing that stuff is. (I hyperlinked it so all you tea-lovers can give it a try. Or... so that those of you who have never really partaken of the wonders of tea can indulge yourselves.) You can drink it hot or cold and it's marvelously delicious both ways. Needless to say, I've recently discovered that I can order some of my favorite Korean treats via Amazon and I may or may not have more Korean things in my refrigerator than I do American things. 
//I fail at keeping Christmas presents a secret from Taylor. I've accidentally given Taylor three Christmas presents up to date and it's not even December yet. But, all that aside, one of my most-favorite things is seeing his reaction to the presents I get for him. I haven't really gotten him anything big-- but I've found a collection of little treasures on his behalf and it makes me ever-so happy.
//Taylor and I have been recently dreaming about adopting a cute lil' pup into the family-- we're still not certain what kind of dog we're looking for, but we've been spending any and all free-time at the Puppy Barn in American Fork. GUYS, PUPPIES. To any of you who have not yet visited that lovely little puppy heaven, I'd definitely give two thumbs up.

//We've been in Utah County since Monday (and we'll be here until Sunday) and it's been so nice to be so close to so many loved ones. I love the holidays. I love that they bring people together and give us reasons to look beyond ourselves and at how we can give to, love, and support the people around us. I love the yummy food and lovely traditions too.

//I've got two new camera lenses in transit and on the way to my mailbox! I couldn't be more excited! (Thanks, Tay. Thanks for being the best.) That being said, I'm so excited to start taking more pictures. The past week or so has been so crazy hectic that I've neglected my little camera. But I'm excited for that to change.

//We move back up here so soon and I can't wait. I love our little home in southern Utah, yes, but I have a feeling that my home will always be here. We're not excited for the whole process of getting us and all of our possessions up here... but we're excited for all that will follow the big move.


sleepless in cedar city.

November 21, 2015

This week has been a lot of things-- some good and some bad-- but I'm just glad it's Saturday night and I'm sitting down (emphasis on the sitting down part) in my living room cuddled up next to Husband in a giant pile of blankets. You know those weeks that magically morph into like... seven years? That's the kind of week this week has been.
//Baths have been my method of warming up as of late-- I have this special technique where I just sit in burning hot water until I start sweating... THEN, when I get out of the water, the freezing cold air just feels like normal air for approximately five minutes and I have just enough time to put on eighteen layers of clothing and jump in bed before my body temperatures balance out again.
//I've always liked snow but I've also always really disliked driving in the snow. But due to an experience I had on Monday, I'm now at a point where I dislike snow and absolutely abhor driving in the snow. It's silly, really. There I was, making my way to the sunny part of southern Utah, when all of a sudden I found myself in the midst of a snow-swirling blizzard. Now, it wouldn't have been that big of a deal-- except for the fact that my windshield wipers stopped working. On the freeway. When I was behind two semi-trucks. I literally couldn't see a thing out of the windshield. I was praying and saying all sorts of nonsense like, "I shoulda been nicer to my sister when I was five," and "I never got to go to Norway," but then I managed to somehow navigate my way off the freeway and survive. So that was good. It was just kind of a pathetic situation, being stranded at a truck stop because of broken windshield wipers. Now I'm aware of how important those little windshield wipers really are.

//I hate being cold.

I wish I had more to say. But I'm kind of brain dead, which makes the production of words a really difficult task. It's almost painful, really. For now I think I'll just settle by saying that I'm really grateful for warm pajamas and hot baths and a comfy bed and my permanent cuddle buddy.


grandma's house.

November 13, 2015

There are certain things in life, such a people, places, or songs, that have an almost magical ability to carry you back in time to moments that have been hidden away beneath other memories for far too long. Yesterday we visited Grandma's house. It's incredible how, even though the world is constantly changing, Grandma's house seems to always stay the same; the same little knick-knacks on the shelves, the same frames on the wall... 

It was almost therapeutic, really. Especially over the course of the last few years, it seems as though nothing in my life has really stayed the same. But simply being there, in a place that has remained the same since as early as I can remember, reminded me that some things don't HAVE to change. 

I raided Grandma's game closet with two of my younger siblings. We found a variety of games that had been long forgotten by the world-- and us, too. (Granted, some of those games have likely been around longer than I have.) But in that brief amount of time, as we sat on the floor playing those silly games that we used to play together so many years ago, I realized once again how important the simplest of moments are in the grand scheme of things. 

How often do we sit and play old board games with the people we love? No phones. No distractions. How often do we appreciate existence from the perspective that we did when we were young, imaginative, and free from the expectations of society? No social media. No constant connection to the world. How often do we stop to enjoy the last rays of light diffusing through old lace curtains after a long, long day? 

This world had me convinced that I had to keep up with the pace set by everyone else. But when I stopped for just a moment and took the time to take myself out of the world, I realized just how wrong I was. I don't have to rush just because everyone else is sprinting through the journey of life. I want to take my time. I want to pick flowers along the way and stop to look at really cool rocks. I want to walk, inhale the moments and exhale the constant need to be what everyone else expects me to be. It's not about how quickly we finish the journey-- it's about the time, energy, and effort we put into the race. Everyone has their own pace, and I'm determined to find the perfect pace for me. 


farewell, beloved autumn.

November 10, 2015

//Winter snuck in over night; she left sparkling traces of icy kisses everywhere she went. I've always liked snow-- as long as I have somewhere warm to stay and I don't have to drive on ice-covered streets. I like the way that it blankets the world with a subtle silence. I like that it touches our (sometimes bland and boring) existence with a little bit of magic. I suppose it's safe to assume that autumn has gone... but she's so good about coming back each year to put summer to sleep. 

//I'm officially twenty-one. It's kind of weird, too. Inside my head I will probably consistently feel like a seventeen-year-old, even though this body of mine keeps telling me that I'm getting older with each year that passes. But I suppose getting older isn't a bad thing. I've never been twenty-one before so it's an excuse to do all sorts of things I've never ever done. Change is one of those things that sometimes scares us, probably because it's inevitable. But it's really nothing to be scared of. 

//One of my favorite things about this time of year is the fact that there are so many birthdays and gift-giving holidays. I've been having so much fun thinking up gifts that are unique and fitting for the people they're intended for. It's making me want to send gifts to random people that I don't personally know. Anyone want to do a gift exchange with me?

//Taylor Dale and I have almost been married a whole month and I must say-- it's been such a wonderful month. People keep saying things like, "Woah. You got married young." and "Don't you think got married a little too fast?" And maybe they think they're right. But I know that Taylor and I got married exactly when we were supposed to-- and I am reminded of that every single day. When you know you're supposed to spend the rest of forever with someone, there's no real sense in waiting around, right?

Things have been a little crazy lately. We've been everywhere and nowhere all in a matter of a few short days. But we've done lots and we've been able to spend a lot of time with a lot of people. That's what makes life so enjoyable anyway, right? Being and doing and becoming. We've only got about a month and a half left here in our first little home as newly-weds. We'll be moving back up to Utah county so soon. But thinking about moving again gives me anxiety-- so we'll just leave it at that.


Taylor's First Look.

November 3, 2015

Okay-- for the record, you're going to have to bear with me because the wedding posts may just keep on coming for a little while longer. I just want to document and share the little details that made it the most perfect day. This was Taylor's first time seeing me in my wedding dress (that actually just so happens to be my mother's wedding dress as well). It makes me want to cry every time. I'm so grateful for this tender-hearted hubby of mine and for the mere fact that I will ALWAYS feel loved by him.

Taylor and I actually won a free bridal shoot on Instagram and this is the result of it! This video was done down in southern Utah in a lovely place known as snow canyon. It was the perfect location-- the sand didn't mess up my white dress one bit and we got to watch the most beautiful sunset as we were out there doing the shoot. 

We just wanted to give a BIG thanks to Cassandra Farley Photo, Farley Cinematography, Kelli Miller Beauty, Bloomers (floral), and Blow Beauty Salon for putting together this beautiful shoot (stylizing and all) and giving us the most beautiful pictures and video so we can remember it forever! We'd recommend these vendors to everyone!


weekend travels

November 1, 2015

I'm a lover of little places with little-to-no cell phone service; places where the mountains reach up, almost touching the sky, and where the stars dust the heavens ever so delicately. I like when you  can wake up to sunlight pressing tender kisses to the soft skin of your eyelids rather than waking up to a shrill alarm that rips you from your dreams. I like walking around in the middle of nowhere with no real destination in mind. I like morning cuddles from a sleepy husband. I like going to new restaurants and trying new foods. I like smiles and warm greetings from strangers passed on mountain trails. I like weekend getaways with lovely people to lovely places. 

And that's exactly what this past weekend was. It was everything I needed packed into just a few days of perfection. And I was infinitely grateful for that.


Downtown Lovelies and Such.

October 28, 2015

I think my most-favorite part about living in a tiny little town that has been around for a really long time is the fact that downtown looks as lovely as it must have years ago when the shops and streets were as new as could be. As you stroll along the paved walkway, you can't help the fact that your eyes are darting in every direction in a hopeless attempt to take in everything there is to see. The shops lining the sidewalk are filled with knick-knacks and treasures of every sort, just waiting to be discovered. The buildings themselves are treasures to behold; perfectly run-down and aged with an almost magical feel to them. I fell completely and entirely in love.

Taylor and I went out on our typical stroll for the day. The sun was shining but these days it seems as if winter is making an attempt to over-throw autumn. The air was crispier than normal-- almost too crisp. And I actually regretted the fact that I hesitated to grab a jacket on my way out the door. I like winter, don't get me wrong, but I love autumn. Snow is only my friend when the year draws a little closer to Christmas. But it's supposed to snow here on Friday and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that just yet.

I've been married for approximately two weeks now, and I must say I do enjoy married life. It's basically just a never-ending sleepover; ice-cream, Netflix, and cuddles always included. But I think I lucked out in the husband department. (And I'm not just saying that to say it.) Taylor Dale is the kindest person I've ever known and now he's the kindest husband there ever was. He's just so patient and understanding with me-- which takes a lot, I'm sure. But I'm grateful that he's always so aware of me and my needs. He does the dishes, folds laundry, goes on countless adventures with me, and scratches my back when I have troubles falling asleep. We're not just "husband and wife." We're best friends, adventure buddies, the perfect team, and we're hopelessly in love.

So my conclusion? Marriage rocks. The end.