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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Carry On, Warrior

I just finished reading this incredibly inspiring book ::

I wanted to write down some of my thoughts and favorite quotes, if only for myself so I can remember the impact of this book:

“Because love is not something for which to search or wait or hope or dream. It’s simply something to do.” 

“The only meaningful thing we can offer one another is love. Not advice, not questions about our choices, not suggestions for the future, just love.” 

“I think one of the keys to happiness is accepting that I am never going to be perfectly happy. Life is uncomfortable. So I might as well get busy loving the people around me. I’m going to stop trying so hard to decide whether they are the “right people” for me and just take deep breaths and love my neighbors. I’m going to take care of my friends. I’m going to find peace in the ’burbs. I’m going to quit chasing happiness long enough to notice it smiling right at me.” 

"Peace isn't about the absence of distraction or annoyance or pain. It's finding Me, finding peace and calm, in the midst of those distractions and annoyances and pains."

"Repentance is a fancy word often used in Christian circles. I don't use fancy religious words, because I don't think they explain themselves well. Also, fancy language tends to make in people feel more in and out people feel more out and I don't think that's how words are best used. Words are best used to describe specific feelings, ideas, and hearts as clearly as possible - to make the speaker and the listener, or the writer and the reader, feel less alone and more hopeful. Repentance is the magical moment when a sliver of light finds its way into a place of darkness in my heart, and I'm able to see clearly how my jerkiness is keeping me from peace and joy in a specific area of my life."

"Your whole life we want you to notice and trust your heartache. That heartache is called compassion and it is God's signal to you to do something. It is God saying, "Chase! Wake up! One of my babies is hurting? Do something to help? Whenever you feel compassion, be thrilled! IT means God is speaking to you, and that is magic. It means he trust you and needs you." -This is a quote from one of my favorite parts of the book, a letter to her son.

"I think that God puts people in our lives as gifts to us."

I especially loved her idea about using papers bags to create humor in a moment of freak out. I am totally going to do this when I have kids. 

We are all here in this crazy, beautiful life together. It really is all about love. With that comes service and compassion. This book really hit home with me. It is essentially a compilation of her most popular blog posts on Momastery. Glennon is a powerful writer and I love her style. It speaks to me. I created a motto for myself when I was younger ::

"Live Every Moment"

This book has helped me to do just that. Step back into  my own life and remember the things that matter most. May we all learn to love a little deeper today and everyday. 

In Glennon's words, Carry On, Warrior.


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Friday, February 27, 2015

Moab and Mesa Verde with Abuelo

Utah is full of so many beautiful places. I love Southern Utah. I love that we can drive 3 to 4 hours from our salty city to several different national parks. 

At the end of January, we took a little roadtrip down through Southeastern Utah through Moab, Monticello and on to Cortez. We were traveling to the small town of Monticello (still beats me why there is an LDS temple there?) for my grandpa's brother's wife's funeral.  Erma was one of the sweetest women. I have attended a few funerals lately and they are so bittersweet, but more sweet. It is so fun to celebrate the lives of those we love and hear the sweet, funny stories of others. 

I will forever cherish this little roadtrip with my grandpa. My grandpa is like a father to me and we have the sweetest relationship. When my parents divorced when I was 12, he took our little family under his wing. He taught me how to drive (first his tractor, then a car). He helped me through college before I could stand on my own two feet. He believed in me as I pursued some of my craziest dreams. My grandpa is the funniest guy you will ever meet. He has a stale sense of humor (I wonder where I got that from?) and tells the same jokes over and over. When you ask him questions, he always says "Don't remember, don't remember." Then he laughs at himself. Everyone that knows him, loves him.

This is one of our favorite things to say to grandpa:

Te Amo Abuelo!

And of course, while we were on this roadtrip with Abuelo we heard lots of "1...2...3...4 who do we adore?! GRANDPA! 5...6...7...8...who do we appreciate?! GRANDPA! Oh yeahhhh"

He sure knows how to spoil his grandkids. We love our grandpa so much even if we have to put up with the most terrible audiobook for the entire 10+ hours of driving over 2 days with 5 grown adults crammed in a tiny car. #worthit

Monticello is such a small town. Lexi and I went on a run on Saturday morning through the slush and snow and we had run the entire town within about a mile. We ran by the temple and I still cannot get over this image of the temple grounds covered in a fresh blanket of snow in the early morning light.

On Saturday night at 7:30pm in Monticello, we went to look for somewhere to eat dinner. There was only one open restaurant. Granted it was January. It also happened to be the same place we ate breakfast. There is something beautiful about the simple life in a small town. We should always be looking for ways to simplify our lives and focus on the things that matter most. 

I love these cute photos my mom secretly captured on her phone during the funeral. We sure love our cute grandpa - he is the most adorable grandpa in the world. I love this second one of us holding his hands :) ^

And lots of time in the car calls for lots of selfies with sister. 

Enjoy a few photos (several with our new zoom lens!!!) from our little jaunts through Mesa Verde and Moab! 

Mesa Verde National Park

While in Monticello, we were only an hour away from Mesa Verde so...why not? 

Mesa Verde was beautiful in January but it was bitter cold. Most of the park is closed during the winter. I would recommend sticking to summertime for this beautiful national park :) But if you are nearby, definitely stop in to see - incredible!

As we drove into the park and through the canyon towards the cliffs, it was so foggy. It was eery.  There was patches of ice along the road. We talked of turning around several times because we did not think we would be able to see the glad we stuck it out. 

Our first vantage point as we drove through the clouds and spotted the canyon...what a view.

Such a good weekend spent with my amazing little family! We were just missing our sweet little Avee. I love this hilarious photo of my mom, myself, Lexi, and Abuelo. It shows our personalities so well.

Cliff Palace

Arches National Park

We drove into Arches on Sunday because who could say no to these beautiful red cliffs? I love love love Arches. It may be one of my absolutely favorite national parks. 

I love the sweet relationship between my grandpa and my husband. My sweet Braden is so patient with my grandpa and they get along so well. He has even learned to laugh at all of my grandpa's stale jokes. 

We love our sweet momma. She is our best friend. We have been so close to each other growing up, it is almost like my two sisters, my momma, and I are all sisters. 

This photo makes me so happy.

I so love this picture of my Lexi - can you feel the peace? I will never turn down time with nature, it brings me closer to God. 

Windows Arch ^

Delicate Arch ^

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Romantic Winter Photos :: December 2014

I love photos {if you did not already guess}. We wanted some romantic winter photos this year around Christmas and Ashley did an amazing job! 

Here are just a few of our favorites from our photoshoot in December with Ashley McFarlane Photography. She did a Black Friday giveway and we won this mini shoot! We loved working with her. 

We drove up to Mantua (just east of Brigham City) in Northern Utah for these dreamy photos. I love this house...Ashley drove around to find this and just walked up and knocked on the door and asked if we could shoot there. Then we found a little piece of land at the edge of the mountain with an abandoned barn for the rest of the photos. I am absolutely in love with how these turned out. 

I love love! And I love this cute husband of mine.