The Goodbye Sunday.

May 1, 2016

For Taylor and I, today was our last Sunday here in Utah before we head off together on our grand summer adventure. Our families put together a little goodbye shin-dig on our behalf, seeing as we'll be packing up our lives and making the big move later on this week. Getting the chance to be with all the people we love all at the same time made my heart so happy I thought it might burst (and all the yummy food made my tummy so happy that it nearly DID burst). For the record, I am a strong advocate for joint family parties. In my opinion, there really is nothing better than hanging out with all of my siblings and Tay's siblings for hours at a time. My sweet grandma and grandpa even made an appearance, which obviously made the evening complete. The party was complete with hill-rolling-races, painted sunsets, puppy chases, and a whole lot of laughter. 

(Sidenote: Taylor was going to shave off his beard today but when he jokingly came out to show me his goatee look, I decided I liked it and so I made him keep it... at least for a little while. He rocks that ironman look, yo.)

I feel at peace when I think about the plans we've made for the remainder of this year. When the new year initially came, I was somewhat contemplative about what Taylor and I should be doing and what kind of goals we needed to be setting together. But as time naturally passed, things and plans seemed to just fall together. I feel really good about what we're doing, the goals we've set, and the direction in which our life is headed. 

As I watched Taylor interacting with various loved ones tonight I was overcome with this feeling of love and appreciation for him. Of course, I always love and appreciate him, but you know those moments when you feel like a fly on the wall in your own existence and you come to all sorts of realizations at the exact same time? Tonight was one of those moments for me. I love my Taylor! He truly has helped me in so many ways amidst my journey to become the kind of person I want to be. He is such an important part of who I am and he plays such a large role in who I want to be. I love being married to my best friend. He really does enrich my life in so many ways. 

Long story short: life is good, I love my family, I adore my husband, and I'm excited to see where the next couple of months (as well as the next couple of years... but we'll just stick to the more immediate future for now) will take us. 

xoxo

Kingsley Meets Murphy.

April 25, 2016

I'm sure if I had a kid (or kids), I'd blog about it... but seeing as I am not yet mothering a small human, I sometimes feel as if I have nothing of real importance to blog about. I mean, come on, all I ever do is eat tacos, take pictures of other people, and watch greys anatomy whilst editing photos. I do, however, have a puppy. And in all reality, my dog is basically my child. So (disclaimer) don't mind me frequently blogging about Kingsley as if he is a being created from my own flesh and blood. Call me a crazy dog lady, whatever.

Anyway, today Taylor and I got to spend some time with some good friends. They have this cute little Cavapoo named Murphy who is basically has the exact same doggy-personality as Kingsley (we're actually quite convinced that somewhere in their bloodline they share an ancestor or something-- that's how similar they are). It was hysterical to see them interacting for the first time because they're both whimpy little pups who are afraid of anything and everything that is unfamiliar to them. Within the first few moments they were both shaking as if they'd been stuck out in the cold for hours and refused to be within a foot of each other. It took the two of them three whole hours to warm up to each other enough to start sniffing bums and exchange even the most stereotypical puppy greetings (but, as you can see in the photos above, we literally had to force them towards each other before they would even acknowledge one another). 

By the end of our visit, however, they were chasing each other around the backyard and having the time of their lives together. Kingsley has been the worst when it comes to being socialized with other dogs. He's great with people (including sticky babies who tug on his ears) but he's been so terrified of every other dog he's come into contact with. I was actually started to get a wee bit worried because I just wanted him to have a couple of dog friends that he could play with (mostly because I was getting tired of crawling around on all fours and "wrestling" with him) but he simply did not connect with any other dog. Instead of bum-sniffing and playing tag, he'd always retreat to a corner and cower when he'd meet potential new puppy friends. I guess all he really needed was another terrified pup and a whole lot of time to warm up to him. 

Long story short, I'm proud to announce that my dog has at least ONE little dog friend. Hopefully this is just the start of many new dog friends to come (but I wouldn't count on it because.... well, Kings is a whimp. But I love him anyway).

xoxo 

happiness always wins.

April 23, 2016

Yesterday Taylor and I visited the place where he asked me to marry him. We've been married for just over six months now, but I still got little butterflies deep within my tummy when we pulled up over the top of the hill and saw the lovely golden field dancing in the wind. We took Kingsley (our little pup) with us and let him wander through the shrubbery and underbrush that was scattered across the hillside. He dug a little path in the sandy dirt and ended up inhaling so much of it that he sneezed consecutively for about ten minutes. Eventually we decided it was probably best that he inhale oxygen rather than dirt particles, but when picked him up, he had dirt smeared across his wet little nose (and it wouldn't come off until we finally just gave him a bath). 

To be quite honest, I was having a bit of a difficult day. I've got these silly health problems that sometimes leave me feeling incredibly helpless. It's funny, because when I feel really crappy physically, I end up feeling really crappy mentally as well. So my loving husband came to the rescue and took me to a beautiful place where we could just be together and leave the world behind. 

Watching Taylor and Kingsley playing together made it really hard for me to focus on anything other than how stinkin' adorable they are. I couldn't help but to laugh at all of their silliness-- I could literally feel all the happiness swelling within my bosom and it reminded me how lucky I am to live the life I live and how grateful I am to share it with the people (and puppy) I love. 

**But seriously, how CUTE is this little video of my boys? Every time I watch it, I can't help but to be really, really, really exceptionally happy. 

The truth is, feeling all crappy on the inside is the absolute worst. But sometimes those feelings are 100% unavoidable. So when those crappy feelings come, the only thing we can really do is combat them with happiness. My happiness is spending time in random, beautiful places with the people I love. It's an ice-cold lime diet coke and a bag of microwave popcorn. It's taking pictures and laughing at Taylor's jokes (even when they aren't particularly funny). Happiness comes in so many shapes and sizes, but in the end, happiness always wins. 

So never, ever give up. It's not worth it to be sad.

xoxo

a little evening fishing.

April 22, 2016

Taylor Dale and I took my younger brother up the canyon to go fishing last night. He turned sixteen at the beginning of the week and we wanted to take him out for the evening so we could spend some time with him in celebration of reaching this big stepping stone in his life. I remember when I turned sixteen; I thought I was going to feel so much older and wiser, but in the end I just felt more young and inexperienced than I had before (thanks to the added responsibilities in my life such as driving and working and blah). I think it's funny that we, as human beings, look forward to these "landmark" events in our life as if things will suddenly change for the better. It's just funny that, although the things around us may change, we don't change at all. The very essence of who we are stays the same, we just gain more responsibility (and then have to learn how to deal with it). 

Every once in a while, it's nice to take a step back from the demands of every-day life. Spending an evening sitting beside a beautiful reservoir of water nestled comfortably within the comfort of the mountains was exactly what I needed. I tend to get caught up in the monotony of to-do lists and adult-ing. I think it's mostly because I just want to feel as if I'm on top of the things going on in my life (even though I've come to the conclusion that I will never really feel as if I've got a solid handle on my own life) but I can never seem to keep up with all the things I want to accomplish. 

This world is so full of so many different opportunities to succeed. I get my head set on the idea that, in order to succeed, I have to walk a very specific path and check-off a list of very specific things and eventually I'll be the successful me I've always wanted to be. Lately, however, I think I've come to realize that success comes in so many different shapes and forms. It's my job to discover the path that is right for me and that will enable me to be not only successful, but to find my kind of happiness in every step along the way.

There are many ways to define "success." But to me, success is both doing something good in this world and enjoying the journey that takes you there. Success tastes sweeter when you sprinkle it with happiness. 

And that's exactly what I intend to do. 

xoxo

Freedom, sweet freedom.

April 20, 2016

I took my last few finals of the semester on Tuesday-- which means that for Taylor and I, summer has officially begun! Driving home from school that day was interesting, however, because although I am done with school for the time being, my sub-conscious kept telling me that I had homework to do and tests to study for. You know that feeling you get when you wake up suddenly in the middle of the night and realize that you still have a couple good hours of sleep left before your alarm sounds off? That's what it felt like. It was glorious.

In other news... I swear I spend every waking moment of my life attending various friends' weddings and taking/editing photos for clients. My little sister has completed half of her 18 month mission and I can't even fathom that because I swear she left like... yesterday. My puppy isn't really a puppy anymore-- he's getting so big and he does big dog things like "shake" and "roll over." Tay and I have officially entered our "pack and get ready to move to St. Louis" phase of life and it's mind-boggling. I've been dealing with daily AWFUL migraines (anyone know any good cures?????). I don't even remember the last time I wore cute clothes and got "ready" for the day (and I know, that probably sounds really pathetic, but that's my reality right now). A hobby that Taylor and I share is looking up houses that are up for sale on Zillow (no, we're not looking into buying a house right now....). We've been married for six months! Huzzah. And last but not least, it's been over a month since I last blogged... ha! And I've set this goal for myself to be better at blogging from here on out, but don't hold me to it because who knows how well I'm going to do....

Life is good. It's busy and I'm going semi-insane trying to keep up with everything, but it's good. Cheer me on as I attempt to be better at this whole blogging thing.

xoxo

rainy tuesdays.

March 22, 2016

 It rained all day today. I was supposed to go to school but my body protested and instead I just stayed at home, snuggled up beneath covers on my bed and cuddled my puppy. He's not used to the rain; the soft patter of raindrops kissing the window pane caused him all sorts of anxiety. He'd sit straight up and growl at the blind-covered window as if he had all the power in the world to stop the sky from showering down pearls of water. I'd just chuckle and ruffle the fur on the top of his head and assure him that everything was going to be okay and that we were as safe as could be. Eventually he ended up believing me... or just got tired of growling at the window. 

Taylor got off work early today. I swear I can't function as a normal human being unless he's with me. So when we're separated because of work and school I legitimately feel as if half of my soul has been ripped out of me. Maybe that's a bit dramatic? Nah. It's just how I feel. My love cuddled me for a while as we talked about his day at work and puppys fear of storms. Eventually, however, he just kissed my forehead and suggested that we get out of the house for a bit. 

When you don't feel well there isn't much you can do on terms of "adventure," but we made what we could out of our situation. We left our phones at home and went for a long drive in the rain. Puppy came along too. Today we discovered that he's actually quite afraid of windshield wipers. As soon as Taylor flipped them on, our little pup scrambled out of my lap and sought refuge in the squished space between the driver's seat and Tay's back. I just about died each time he'd look back at me with his big ol' eyes-- it was almost as if he was saying, "Why do you humans make me ride in big metal vehicles with squeaky noisy things on it?" Sorry, Kingsley. It gets better with time, I promise. 

I decided that I want this little part of the internet to be a place where I can share my thoughts and experiences-- you know, the little things that make life meaningful. You don't have to be traveling the world or living abroad to be an interesting person. Who we are is based off of the things that exist within our hearts and our minds, not the things have or the places we go. 

Maybe on the world's terms, I'm not that interesting. 
But I've never really bothered with what the world thinks. 

xoxo

the first kiss | a commentary about us

March 18, 2016

It was the beginning of our senior year of high school, I was sitting on my parent's living room couch while he laid on the carpeted floor with a guitar stretched across his chest. He plucked at the strings with hardly a thought at all and a lovely tune hummed from beneath his finger tips. We had been friends since the seventh grade, which, at that point, equalled a grand sum of six whole years friendship-- and for five of those six years we had been not only friends, but best friends. We had never dated (but we had, of course, been on several dates. We never made things "official" on terms of a romantic relationship, though. In fact, we kept things pretty consistently on a friend-to-friend basis. However, that was mostly because of me. Taylor blatantly admits that he's been in love with me since the day he saw me but that he waited patiently for me to finally come around.)

Taylor eventually gave up on playing the guitar and after placing it gently against the wall (where it would stay somewhat safe), he sat on the couch right beside me. I grabbed a pillow and tossed it onto his lap before making myself at home and sprawling out across the entire couch, my head resting on top of the pillow I had thrown. I stared up at Taylor as he played with my hair. I realized in that moment how much he really did care for me. He'd been there for me through the ups and downs of my middle school and high school experiences. Heck, he was the first one I called when my mom got in a car accident, when I was having a tough day, or even when I'd just done something really, incredibly stupid. I always knew that his feelings for me were a little more than just "friendship," but he had never forced those feelings upon me. He was always patient and understanding and he always made sure that I knew that our friendship was the most important thing.

Laying there, staring up at that boy who had always been there for me, something in my head just clicked. For so long I had put off any feelings I may have had for him, simply telling myself that they were "silly" or "short-lived." But I realized that the only "silly" thing was the fact that I had not ever really given the concept of "us" a chance. And just like that, after six years of JUST-friendship, I suddenly wanted him to kiss me.

I sent him all the signals, I puckered my lips a little when I talked, I got extra flirty, and I even started to slip subtle hints into the things I was saying. I thought I was being completely obvious, but now that I look back on it, I realize that I was probably just being extremely confusing. I'd spent all that time saying, "no, no, no, no, no!" to romantic relations with Tay and then all of a sudden I was sending him "signals?" Yeah, sorry hun.

Long story short, after a painful hour of me dragging on with all of those "hints" and Taylor fighting off his aching desire to kiss me (but also thinking he was crazy and that I wasn't sending him any signals at all), he finally gave in and, leaning down ever so slowly, pressed his lips against my own. It all happened so fast that I didn't really think about what happened next. But, before I could even stop myself the word, "FINALLY," had already slipped out of my mouth.

Maybe it was because he'd taken a full on hour to take advantage of the fact that I was sending him all the "kiss me!!!!!" hints... or maybe it was because we had been "just friends" for so long despite the fact that, deep down, we both knew there was so much more between us than we were actually letting on. But, in all reality, I can't exactly explain why that was the first word that left my mouth that autumn evening all those years ago... but I do know this: I'm glad that our love finally came to be.

Dream Chaser.

February 24, 2016

Lately it feels as if my head has been in the clouds and as if my thoughts have been full of stardust. I sit in class after class, day after day, learning about really cool stuff that I'll probably never really need to know once these classes are over. I walk the same paths to the same buildings, and sit in the same place in the library (tucked away from the world in a little corner where the sun shines through a dusty old window) every single day. 

The monotony of my day to day experiences provoked me into wondering more and more what I even expected out of my life. I've been going through the motions and doing all that I "should" be doing on terms of society-- in a very real sense, I was a successful student, and in all reality, that's all that was expected of me at this time in my life

But I couldn't help but to want something more. 

I don't want to get caught up just "going through the motions." I don't want to base my life goals and decisions off of the standards of society. I want to create things. I want to meet people. I want to make each day a day worth living. I want to go to school because I enjoy it. I want to do what I do in life because there is purpose behind it. 

For a long time I have been very hesitant about putting myself "out there" on terms of photography. I live in Utah, where everyone and their dog is a photographer. That being said, I didn't want to just become another faceless photography account on instagram. I've always loved taking pictures. I have always loved the way a picture can capture memories and moments with just one click of a button. I love being able to express myself and my view on the world and to be able to share those views with others. I was letting my fear of society, of other's opinions, and cliches stop me from doing what I love. But I've decided to stop coming up with excuses and to just give it a shot. 

So, I created a new photography account on instagram specifically for client-work. And I have created a website just for my photography. You can see it HERE.It's a brand new site so I've got some things to add to it, but it's up and running. And you can follow along with the photography account on instagram HERE.

I'm willing to do some discounted shoots for you blogging friends out there, so let me know if you have anything in mind. I've also got some really great deals for wedding packages (posted under the "pricing" tab on my website) so if you know of anyone looking for a wedding photographer, send them my way. Thanks for your support in this new and exciting step in my life!

Wish me luck with my crazy endeavors.
And go start an adventure of your own.

xoxo