December 31, 2013

our christmas.

"for five years she had heard 'twas the night before christmas,' and hung up a scarlet stocking many sizes too large for her, and pinned a sprig of holly on her little white night gown, to show santa claus that she was a 'truly' christmas child, and dreamed of fur-coated saints and toy-packs and reindeer, and wished everybody a "merry christmas" before it was light in the morning, and lent every one of her new toys to the neighbors' children."
 
--kate wiggin's "the birds christmas carol"










our christmas was beautiful, full of emotions--but mostly joy. it's already a blur of laughter, card games, movie nights, happy crying, warm feelings, and food comas--although our skype call on christmas day with my sweet sister will be etched, detail for detail, in my mind forever. that part is not blurry at all.
 
man, oh man. this life is the best.



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myths about boise.


 
after i was off at college, my family moved to boise, idaho. i'm pretty sure the first thing i said when i heard the news was, "really, guys? boise? how much lamer can you get?"
 
 i lived there for a few months while i dated jordan, and realized that i was totally wrong about the place. i love coming back to visit--and the more time i spend here, the more i fall in love.

i don't really have a place to call "home", having grown up in a few different locations and now having my family live in a place that never really was mine. home, for me, is with jordan, wherever that may be. but i feel a connection & a loyalty to boise, partly because my family is there, and partly because it is just a magical place.

we call it america's best kept secret, because usually people have these ideas about boise that are completely off. these are a few that i have encountered:
 
myth #1. boise is an extension of utah.
 
i think this is more true of places like rexburg or idaho falls. (although i've never been to either, so i can't really say) contrary to popular belief, boise is not predominately lds. in the metro area (where both my family and in laws reside) members make up less than 15% of the population. mormons have a strong presence in boise, but as one, you are absolutely the minority. having lived in both boise and utah, i can say that utah is a different world than boise. it is also a surprisingly liberal-thinking city.
 
myth #2 potato farms everywhere.
 
i have really, honestly, never met one potato farmer in my life, and niether has jordan. not one. (i can't help but just roll my eyes when people from idaho get teased about potatoes. like...really, guys.) there are potato farms on the outskirts of boise i'm sure, but i have never seen one. people do not show up to the general store in their overalls and discuss this season's crop. that is not life there. also, as far as i can tell, people in boise eat the same amount of potatoes everyone else eats.
 
 
myth #3 boise is boring.
 
i guess this depends on how you look at it, but i have never come up short when looking for something to do on the weekends. bogus basin is a half hour away if you ski, a world renowned farmers market takes place every saturday from spring to winter, biking/rafting/hiking/trail running GALORE, tons of summer concerts, wine tastings everywhere because of the nearby vineyards, a few phenomenal golf courses, events at the park, endless summer activities on the boise river, museums, a performing arts center that attracts a lot of great theatre and musicals, and hello. boise state sporting events. (i can't claim to be a real bsu fan, but maybe someday.)
 
 
a few things that make boise great to me:
 
>>> trees. everywhere. i didn't know this until i moved here, but boise was named 'the city of trees' about 50 years ago. if you hike up in the foothills and look out over the city, you can barely tell humans have inhabited the place. the summers are canopied with fat green leaves, and in the fall the entire city is rustic and citrus colored.
 
>>> downtown is just big enough to have a city vibe, but small enough that it is upkept, clean, and you never feel like turning down the wrong street will result in a gunshot wound or a stolen wallet. ha! there are great concert venues, a good selection of bars/restaurants, legit shopping, and a few art installations. my favorite it freak alley. every couple of months, grafitti artists come and re-do a few alleyways in the downtown area. the art is creative and beautiful--and you're almost guarunteed to see a new piece every time you come.
 
>>> the boise river runs through the city and there is a built-in biking/running/walking trail that you can hop on at any point on the river (dubbed the 'green belt') --it extends throughout the entire city. there are a few beaches and rope swings peppered throughout the trails, too. it is the perfect backdrop for an evening walk--with the background rush of the water and a ceiling of trees. aside from walking, i love picnicing by the water, and packing up the painting suppplies to watercolor by the river.
 
>>> cool vibes. boise is full of friendly, granola people who are just, well, cool. (granola people live close to my heart as a native of fort collins, colorado--home of the bra-less woman.) most of the people who have re-located to boise in the last 10 years are from california, and they brought they're so-cal attitudes to a more low-key place. almost everyone that lives here absolutely loves it, and it makes for a happy-go-lucky disposition for this wonderful place.
 



freak alley elephant mural! i'm in love. ^^^

 


greenbelt in fall. ^^^
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December 19, 2013

feeling lucky.

 

 
yesterday, i had one of those experiences where i was overwhelmingly reminded that i do not deserve my husband. we are imperfect, and so is our relationship. but he is so forgiving, so christlike, and so very patient with my many faults. being loved in such a complete way is very sacred.

thank you for seeing my potentional jordan, when i sometimes cannot see it in myself. i love you.  

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December 17, 2013

cheers.



1. temple square in a snowstorm.
 
2.  santa offering us marital advice instead of asking what we want for christmas. (he told jordan, 'just say yes dear! when you disagree, & then don't talk again.' ha!)
 
3. festival of trees.
 
4. christmas tree & christmas light  hopping.
 
 
>>> i am a free woman! i took 4 finals yesterday (8 hours straight, woof!)--and after writing 3 essays, answering about 250 multiple choice questions, and giving a speech, i'd say i earned my freedom. my brain is stretched to capacity, but the relief is sinking in!
 
>>> we finally got around to watching 'silver linings playbook' this weekend. i was literally blown away, right out of the water. dead. amazed. i generally have a short attention span with movies, and rarely walk away from one thinking 'i need to tell other people how good that was' but i will shout this from the mountaintops: bradley cooper is amazing in every single scene!! just, wow. all of it. wow. mental illness is so real, and i loved seeing really flawed characters get a happy ending.
 
>>> jordan got snapchat after months of persistant begging from me. you guys, i'm pretty sure this is one of the best things to ever happen to our marriage! jordan is a pretty professional, serious kind of guy. his goofy side often gets hidden underneath this intellectual, business-like persona he's got going on. but when he pulls up snapchat, bam! goofy side is out. ugly faces captioned, 'i miss you!' make my heart swell. the greatest.

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December 11, 2013

christmas card 2013.



we took our self timer for a whirl this past sunday & whipped up a christmas card. i told jordan i wanted a picture with our tree in the back. (we upgraded from a 1 foot tree to a 4 foot tree this year. moving up in the world!) i went to change--when i came back, he had rearranged the entire living room and set up a lamp for better lighting. isn't he great? i love my adorable photographer.


and obviously, we had to try & replicate last year's card.
merry christmas!

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December 10, 2013

christmas magic.


 

i distinctly remember a christmas eve when i was 14 or 15 years old. as we decorated the gingerbread men & read the christmas story, i wasn’t plagued with the breathless excitement that accompanied the christmases of my childhood. i had lost my christmas eve butterflies somewhere in the last 12 months.

i moaned when the alarm went off at 7:30 the next morning and tried, unsuccessfully, to convince my siblings that she should wait until 9 to wake up mom and dad. the after-christmas blues settled in immediately after i opened all of the gifts i had picked out for myself, because i was old enough to have specific taste and not need surprises.

the christmases of high school and college were enjoyable—although having a break from tests is the most prominent feature of those breaks, at least in my mind.

then i got married in september of last year. i was hopelessly in love, but completely unprepared for the changes this choice would bring. i missed my family, felt lost in my educational career, didn’t have a job, felt ostracized from my friends, and had a husband who was desperately trying to catch up after a mid-semester wedding + honeymoon, all while giving in to my pleadings to skip class and stay with me way too often.

when christmas came that year, i needed it—i think for the first time ever. it’s not that i needed a break from finals, or that i needed any new things—i needed the christmas spirit. (christmas magic, if you will.) i needed the extra reminder that He loves me & knows everything i go through. i needed that warming of the soul that you feel when you sit by the christmas tree, sing ‘joy to the world’ at church, or hear the  opening song to ‘home alone.’ (don’t even get me started on my love for those movies.) i needed to feel that spirit of giving and gratitude that so many people around me emulated. i needed to hear the story of christ’s birth and start to understand how miraculous it really was.

and then i realized, as we drove back home with hearts full to the brim, that i always need this. i need to keep that part of my spirit alive that truly feels the magic of the season—the magic of memory, the magic of tradition, the magic of christ.

i am more excited for this christmas than i have been for any other, and i can only imagine how much more magic the season will hold when i have my own kids to share it with. (in approximately 27 years.)

don’t get me wrong—i still love going to the mall at christmastime, and there are a pair of shoes under my parent’s tree that i have been dreaming about for months.

 but overall, i am so grateful i have been opened to the real feeling that is christmas. it is a lightness in spirit, but a deepness of feeling. and although feeling things deeply manifests itself in me by a lot of happy tears (i will forever blame my birth control) i LOVE it.

i love having a husband to share this holiday with, i love my savior, and i love this holiday!

happy christmas, harry. happy christmas, ron.


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December 3, 2013

thanksgiving.










 
+ late in the afternoon on thanksgiving day, i drove up to a lookout point with my cousin kimberlee and my mom. we watched cottony- pink blots scatter across the horizon, getting lower and lower, until the sun finally rested behind the cherry orchards. it was stunning, it was peaceful. it was the perfect way to end a day full of gratitude. appreciating this beautiful earth, letting it swell up inside of me, gives me courage to tackle my challenges in life--be they by the hour, or by the month.
 
 
+ we spent the rest of our break seeing movies, playing games, bowling, christmas tree lightings, (more! more!) and continually trying to play that whole juggling-two-families-that-live-ten-minutes-away game. i shouldn't complain, because i'm sure there are many who would kill to have both famlies close. but this is what it's like for me: constant guilt. however, i can tell we're getting better each time we come home. we are learning to just do our best, trying to love that 10 minute drive between houses that we end up making one thousand times, & live with the rest.
 
 
+ i adore thanksgiving food, especially gravy, but i think my favorite thing i put in my belly this weekend was those white chocolate dipped oreos. swoon. sickly sweet, but not rich enough that i stop after only two. (side note for my self esteem: i did clock 3 hours of crossfit over the weekend. although i would easily be willing to weigh 500 pounds for those cookies.)
 
 
+ & now begins the madness of christmas!  i'm already getting caught up in ice skating, christmas lights, baking, home alone, online shopping, (!!!) but jordan and i have made a pact: this month we will center our lives, our marriage, and our celebrations around christ. & i know that if He is at the center of it all, our month will be full of light.
 



my cute guy filling up the car for our trek home. #creeperstatus
 
 
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November 26, 2013

random things i love.

1. walking.
 
i could walk until my feet blister. i love being outside, being able to get where i want to go on foot is empowering to me, & my mind is always refreshed after a long walk. i enjoy noticing the details of my surroundings, in a way that you can't see when whizzing by in a car.
 
2. butts
 
just go with it. i love my husband's butt, i love when little kids have squeezable bread-dough bums, and i love my butt. and i'm not ashamed. it's the only part of me that stays consistantly tight & toned.
 
 
3. saltine crackers
 
they are totally in the running for my favorite food. i crave them constantly, & have yet to find anyone with a shared passion for the saltine.
 
4. internet research on criminals
 
if i hear about a horror movie based off of a true story, or read about a murderer in the newspaper, i head straight to wikipedia and read up on their life, their victims, their sentence. it's the masochist in me, i suppose. i don't particularly enjoy gory or creepy things, but i can't seem to tear my eyes away from the computer screen until i have exhausted my resources and know everything about ted bundy, ed geen, gertrude baniszewski.

 
anybody else have any random things that they are in love with?

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November 19, 2013

liars & krumping

+ jordan and i spent friday night at the christmas lights celebration at riverwoods, & saturday night at the tree lighting at traverse mountain. (aka i married a good one.)


i was a little tuckered out from all the screaming i did when they lit up the tree. but look! purple lights! ^^^


+at our apartment complex game night, i won ‘pass the pigs’ two times in a row! & this is a big deal because i am a habitual loser at games.
 
+on friday at riverwoods, while i was minding my own business getting a waffle from waffle luv, they lit off unexpected fireworks. i couldn’t see them from my vantage point, & the sharp pops made me think the place was being  shot up. i cannot adequately express what went on in my mind for those few seconds before hearing ‘ooo fireworks!’ from the family next to me. jordan and i were separated at the moment, and my first thought, blaring and immediate, was ‘find jordan NOW.’ there was zero fear for myself, only that i wanted to be reunited with jordan and that i wanted him safe, where i could see him. i was shaken up only for a few minutes, but it’s interesting to see the ‘mama bear’ in me occasionally rear her head.
 
+i listened to a podcast from radiolab last week about pathological liars. apparently, the physical makeup of their brains are different from honest people’s brains. (the study was unsure if lying caused  the changes in their brain, or if they were liars because their brains were different.) either way, it was the most interesting thing i had heard in months. also—your face has over 3,000 involuntary ‘micro-expressions’ that show our true & genuine emotion.
 
+my newest goal is to start to unplug myself from my phone/social media. it is a great tool, but i could really use some detachment—i need to start working on my face to face communication, and caring less about what was last posted on instagram. i’m planning on starting thanksgiving weekend. i am going to leave my phone upstairs & not allow myself to touch it until bedtime. embarrassingly enough, i expect this to be legitimately hard.
 
+on saturday night, after undressing for the day, jordan and i realized we had left groceries in the trunk. i threw on some of his clothes and a pair of boots so i could go & get them. i thought the baggy clothes/boots combo was hilarious, so i started krumping (read: white girl moving her legs really fast. also see: acting like an idiot) in front of the mirror, singing a made up song, to which the only lyrics were: ‘looking like a g!’ my pelvis then decided to crack in half (not really) and send shooting pains up my abdomen.  i fell to the floor yelling, ‘i broke my pelvis!’ and i think we both died of giggle-fits for the rest of the night. jordan keeps texting me ‘looking like a g…i broke my pelvis!’ with that little smug-smiley emoticon. i would be mad but it’s just too funny.
 


riverwoods magic^^^

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November 14, 2013

snowbird.

 
since it was fresh with snow, we drove up to snowbird & rode the tram last weekend. man alive, utah is gorgeous! i felt like we should be filming for a 'planet earth' segment. the sunlight sparkling on the fresh powder, a piercing blue sky, & air so clean you can feel it in your lungs. it was magic.
 
 



 
i also experienced forrest gump for the first time later that night. where has that movie been all my life?

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November 12, 2013

everyone's doing it.

grateful list:
 
 
+cliche as it may be, i am first & foremost grateful for a wonderful husband. he is a hilarious best friend, a loyal companion, and a trustworthy confidant. my life is so great, because of him. i am grateful for our differences & the way they compliment each other.
 
 
+i am grateful for the opportunity to learn everyday. school is challenging, but stretching my mind around new ideas and adding depth to old ones is so rewarding.
 
 
+being a woman is great. i am so lucky to have more opportunities now than any generation before me. i am grateful for a feminine, nurturing, tender side that i can continue to cultivate.
 
 
+i am grateful for passion. that fire within me that excites and drives. i am especially grateful for a passion for writing & the lifeblood it puts into my thoughts/ideas.
 
 
 
+the best girlfriends in the world, who have stuck together through moves & marriages. i love the level of comfort, of authentic-ness i feel from myself when i am with them. grateful for their positive + open ideas about life.
 
 
+my sister missionary & the blessings her service is bringing to me + my family.
 
 
+the anticipation of the holidays (sometimes better than the holiday itself?) visions of baking with my mom, cuddling around the fireplace with my siblings, hot tubbing at my in-laws in the freezing cold, movie marathons in the basement, christmas music 24/7 with no guilt--ah, bring me christmas break!
 
+grateful that there are crunchy fall leaves still left and that tempuratures are lingering in the '60's. fall was great to us.
 



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November 8, 2013

joe pug + state room + grainy photos


a few weeks ago, madi invited me last minute to see joe pug at the state room in salt lake. she even picked me up, like a good date should.
 
i had listened to joe a little, but it had been years. his songs are like lullaby's. soothing & soft. his  voice sounds like what i imagine listening to your grandpa sing to you on the front porch of a cabin in the woods would sound like.
 
the state room is set up with church pews, stadium style. we sat on the front row and just melted into our bench. it was so relaxing, so refreshingly calm--words i'd never thought i'd attach to a concert.
 
the night, the music, the place--it was so easy to get lost in my own thoughts & feel isolated, accompanied by the blue-grassy voices crooning in the background. i could put the music right in front of me and listen intently to the lyrics. but then i could put the music behind me and see my thoughts, played out on the black carpet in front of me.  the music served as a perfect backdrop for my busy head that night.
 
& these lyrics, yes yes yes:
 
"i've come here to get high,
to do more than just get by,
i've come to test the timber of my heart."

 








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