January 30, 2014

happy list 01.

friday night lights.
coconut oil on my face at bedtime.
my wedding ring.
these paintings.
candles burning in my apartment.
grilled cheese from in n out.
learning about printmaking.
defined shoulders.
girls nights.
the frozen soundtrack.
bum grabs.

January 24, 2014

great things.

>>> how absolutely ridiculous do i look when taking bathroom selfies/snapchatting at work? it's borderline horrific when you get caught. you just have to laugh.
>>> presenting a section of the textbook to your class & having your professor say, 'wow, i don't think i could have taught this section that well.' then the class starts chanting your name, but not actually.  #nailedit  also school related: i actually like one of my group project groups. all of them. a lot…i didn’t know that happened?
>>> coming across a passage in a book where you just say 'YES. yes yes yes.' and then you  feel like it was speaking directly to you, and you start to understand a few things about your life.
"i beg you to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them.
and the point is, to live everything.
live the questions now.
perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."
>>> girl’s nights this weekend. hooray!
>>> for the last few weeks i have gone to spinning classes on tuesday/thursday—and ohmygosh. they are butt-kickers! my legs are always a little wobbly the next day, my bum is finally developing a callus to those seats, (i left the first class with a bike seat-shaped bruise around my backside, lovely) and i leave class drenched and panting. this is the best feeling, & helps me stomp on those winter blues!
>>> jordan and i both took the ‘which mean girls character are you?’ quiz, (the first time i was kady, what the? i was unhappy with that, so i did it a second time, got karen, and then realized there really is no winning at this. also jordan is regina, typical.) then we took the quiz, which disney princess are you? (i got pocahontas and could have happy-cried about it. i LOVE her.) which star wars character are you? (jordan is queen amidala, HAHA) we were rolling on the floor, laughing so hard and being best friends and i wanted to record this memory somewhere because i want to remember it.
>>> having the thought that 90% of the world’s conflict begins because people are hungry, tired, or thirsty. if we could all take care of our bodies, how much conflict could we avoid? i’m going to research & write a book on that. mmmk.
>>> killing (some of) your new years resolutions!
>>> everyone’s pictures at the ice castles make me so happy, somehow each shot i see is more beautiful than the next! we went a few weeks ago & i was reminded how gorgeous winter can be!

>>> jordan’s face in this picture below. too good.


January 23, 2014

cabin life.

over mlk weekend, we drove up to the stastny cabin. because of the insane amounts of snow (really loving the word 'insane' lately) we had to leave our car a few miles away & snowmobile in.

is there anything more perfect and magical than being totally secluded in the mountains, with no cell service, surrounded by glittery, untouched snow? it was literally the definition of cozy. and seriously, i love feeling totally alone, perfectly tucked away behind snowy mountains--gone from the rest of the world. i forgot that anything else existed for those few days, & that felt good.

we spent the mornings reading, painting, playing card games, eating biscuits, watching movies. then when the sun was at it's highest, we would bundle up and ride sleds behind the snowmobile until the sun receded behind the mountain and our faces were frozen in a permanent smile. it could not have been more magical. (minus the outhouse, i could have done without that..)

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January 21, 2014

favorite memories 2013

jordan carrying me through a blizzard, like a champ ^^^

sundance ^^^

girls night at the little america in downtown slc ^^^

little sister went through the temple ^^^

road tripped to colorado to see danielle graduate ^^^

explored slc over the summer--including a fireworks bees game ^^^


hiked/camped ^^^

went to kenny chesney--& then muse, & then imagine dragons, & then joe pug. concerts are the best ^^^


attended the most insanely extravagant fourth of july party ^^^

indoor & outdoor yoga at the grand america ^^^

went to seattle with friends ^^^

cheered on the byu football team from the front row (every home game!) ^^^

celebrated one year at the hyatt (& my dress still fits!) ^^^

took a private jet to boise for the weekend ^^^

obligatory fall corn maze/pumpkin patch activities + dressed up as gossip girl characters for halloween ^^^

went to as many christmas tree lightings as humanly possible ^^^

enjoyed beautiful utah ^^^

honorable mentions: jordan's team won their mud volleyball championship, his sister moved to provo with us, my sister left on an lds mission to philly, we got to skype her on christmas day, drive in movies, got interviewed in seattle about boise state, birthday celebrations, and countless trips to boise to see our families.
sometimes it's hard to see it in the thick of things, but looking back on these pictures made me realize how GREAT i have it! i live a pretty charmed & exciting life.

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January 16, 2014

casino night // black jack

big swanky hotel company party + dressing up + my best friend in town from the bay + photo booths + spectacular food + casino night = 10/10
we each were given 1,000 worth of chips as we walked in to use as we please after dinner, any winnings would be traded in for raffle tickets.
we sat down at a black jack table & i learned how to play right before our first hand--i got the hang of it after about a half hour. we switched dealers & all the sudden i started hitting 21. and again. and again. i was pretty happy about winning anything at all, so thought we would dabble in a few other games and head home.
but then i placed a 'suit bet' and got a match. my bet quadrupled from 250 to 1,000. i hit again, another match. 4,000. hit, match. 16,000. 64,000. i don't even remember where it ended, i just remember the disbeliving shrieks, and the dealer's eyes looking like saucers every time he picked up yet another  match.
i kept hitting black jack, and my stack of chips just kept piling up. i started feeling like a celebrity--people were stopping at our table to watch, patting me on the shoulder, one executive even said, 'wow! the cute little receptionist is a gambler!' you guys, i felt like a million bucks. and jordan was beaming, he was so proud. (one of his hidden talents is texas hold 'em.)
i totally buy the appeal of vegas now! each win was like it's own seperate elation. i kept humble for most of the game, but by the end i wanted to grab the mic & tell everyone how awesome i was. (this is why i generally don't let myself be competitive.) i rode the high of winning for the rest of the weekend, it was a little ridiculous. (thanks jordan for putting up with such a diva, i don't even know where she came from!)
we cashed in our raffle tickets, won 2 of the 10 prizes they gave out, and finished our night with a krispy kreme stop. because, donuts. i think this night is going to find itself in my top 10 favorite nights of marriage.

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January 14, 2014

life around here // january 2014

i asked him why he didn't smile & he said, 'because i thought this was a gangsta pic!'

+ i have been using the watercolor set jordan got me for christmas, and i seem to gravitate towards painting animals--elephants, deer, horses. which is weird because i am not an animal person. (i know that is an evil thing to say, i just am not really interested by animals, nor do i get attached.) however, i am particularly fond of that pink elk up there.
+ in an effort to be more relaxed and not so high strung, i wore sweats on saturday. all day. in public. this is a big deal because kayla does not do that. i like to look nice, & black jeans + blouse + flats is sort of my uniform. it stems from this idea that if i make myself do things that appear relaxed/not quite so polished, that eventually the idea will permeate my subconscious & i will have the ability to be a little more carefree. at first i was a little embarassed, showing up to a social event in tennis shoes + beanie. but by the end of the night, i pretty much stopped caring. so i think it's working..?
+ there has been a lot of love around our house these days. there are ebbs and flows in every relationship, and for the past few weeks, the love-meter has just been off the charts. it's a little overwhelming, & my wife heart constantly feels like it's just buzzing with energy. it's sometimes literally a little painful, how intense those feelings are, but i want to remember them. this depth of feeling reminds me of this quote, taken from my friend madi.
To let ourselves be seen—deeply seen, vulnerably seen. To love with our whole hearts, even though there’s no guarantee. To practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror. To believe that we are enough. Because when we work from a place that says I’m enough, we stop screaming and start listening—we’re kinder and gentler to the people around us and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.
+ i read this article earlier this week & loved the simplicity of her words. i also realized that
i don’t have to be overly conservative, or conservative at all, because im mormon. i don’t have to be a “im so forward thinking and so original as i stare down at every one through my ‘smarter than you all’ glasses” liberal mormon either. i can be in the middle. i can have my own opinions but still put the church, god & his perfect understanding first. i can be forward thinking without kicking against the bricks just to be different. (believe it or not!) i can understand that an opinion existing just to be different is not a real opinion. and lastly, i can realize that holding a temple recommend, being worthy of those covenants, and trusting his perfect understanding should, and always will be, my number on priority. that said, although there is negativity & hate everywhere--there is so much good in the world today, too! i want to celebrate that.
+ after almost 13 years of living in different states (& sometimes different countries!) my sweet childhood friend danielle has finally moved to utah! i am thrilled that she is here--because i didn't grow up in 1 particular spot, danielle is the only friend that has seen it all--from cute little girl, to awkward teenager, to grown woman, and she still loves me. our friendship has transcended so many years, so much time apart, so much growing in different directions. but every time we get together it feels as if we were never apart. it is the BEST.

danielle & i--disneyworld 2012
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January 7, 2014

taking stock #2.


making: a map of how i am going to stay on top of it all this semester. making a plan to stay ahead of the game.

cooking: sunday dinner for friends & a cousin that just moved into town. i went all out—gravy, corn, chicken, potatoes, garlic bread. & it wasn’t half bad. (i now pat myself on the back and tell myself i am a decent wife.)

drinking: crystal light energy. i started taking them regularly after a busy week last semester, and now can’t go through a day without one. help!

reading: the paris wife, a historical fiction about hemmingway’s life in paris. it’s almost as good as his writing itself.

listening to: “killing kennedy” on tape, and consequently hitting my ‘obsessed with the kennedy’s' phase that i think every girl goes through. jackie o, you are a vision.

wanting: a trip. somewhere big, exciting.  i am itching to start planning one, let’s cross our fingers for this summer.  

looking: for ways to serve more with a limiting schedule.

playing: the frozen soundtrack. on repeat for the last week. it is completely random but i cannot seem to get enough.

wishing: i could learn how to relax more. really feel rejuvenated. spend more free time soaking it in, rather than making lists and doing busy work. really feel relaxed.

missing: the perfect coziness of snuggling up next to the christmas tree with my family. the magic that was cheesy hallmark movies and neighbor cookies. long talks with my mother and mother in law.

enjoying: re-connecting with my traditional journal. simply recording what i am doing, how i am feeling, what’s going on.

worried: about my poor baby sister, dealing with some post-accident stress, away from family.

looking forward to: my fancy company party at the mariott this weekend.

liking: all of my communications classes this semester. excited to theorize, to learn about cross-cultural communications, & to have a constant dialogue with my professors/classmates about things i find so fascinating.

wondering: where we will end up living this summer.

loving: the watercolor set i received for christmas. mixing colors, lifting colors, and the immense amount of pride you feel when you create something you think is really beautiful. (no matter how small or simple!)

hoping: for a break in the cold weather, even if for just a weekend. what i wouldn’t give to have a picnic or go on a walk!

marveling: at our pictures from the midway ice castles. i know everyone in utah went and posted pictures, but it’s because they are insanely gorgeous.

needing: a good night’s sleep to relieve the purple rings underneath my eyes. this little insomnia-spell that is haunting my body, it’s rough.

smelling: my husband’s strong cologne, it has stained our ‘bedroom smell’ and i am in love.

wearing:  a pair of hot pink sweats i discovered at kohl’s over christmas. i haven’t worn sweats since high school, and obviously that was a really lousy decision. lounge clothes ftw!

noticing: how un-skeptical i am. i literally believe everything that i see, hear or read, right off the bat. i soak it all in and take it as fact, unless i have reason to do otherwise. this obviously has it’s pros, and some cons.

thinking: a lot about my blessings. letting them multiply in heart until it aches.

feeling:  motivated. and a little exhausted.

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January 2, 2014


our first selfie of 2014 ^^^

i love making goals. the simple act of writing down what i plan to do better gives lifeblood to my resolve to actually go through with it. i try to do it monthly, sometimes weekly, but haven't been in the habit. the new year was a perfect excuse to ponder and discuss how i want to be better, what i am going to accomplish, who i want to become. i really enjoy looking back at my goals and seeing what i followed through with, how it benefitted my life--and checking up on things i fell a little short at. it's not discouraging, just re-motivating. i'll try again.
i'm not always great at putting this idea into action, but it really is pretty astonishing how little acts add up and result in big changes. if i decided right now to stop complaining--just to hold my tongue whenever i had anything negative to say-- i would be a different person in a week. i'd be transformed in a month! the thought of putting my mind to something, and building a happier life for myself, simply on my own will, makes me giddy with possibility.

>>> better mental control. i spent way too much time inside my own mind, re-hashing conversations and assuming the worst, putting myself down, pondering all of the missed opportunities and dissapointments of life, and criticizing others.

i came accross this quote the other day, "tell me what a man thinks about when he doesn't have to think, and i will tell you who he is." where does my mind go when i am not focused on something specific?

 i want to make my mind a magnent to the positive. whenever i have a negative thought (especially about myself) i will redirect my mental efforts somewhere else. this may end up being a habit to break, but i believe it will result in a more confident kayla. just as i wish to look beautiful, have pleasant friends, and a clean home--a mind full of beautiful, pleasant, and clean thoughts will accompany, and drive, all other desires i have. no matter how valid the criticism, i will not focus on other people's faults, or the ways they have offended me.

 i lumped this with the goal to be more positive. when i focus on the things i love, and what i am grateful for, rather than where i fall short, my life is so intensely wonderful, it hurts. the point is to make it a habit.

 >>> i made this goal around thanksgiving, but i want to continue to detatch myself from social media. put down my phone and be present, only post things that are meaningful (instead of to demonstrate where i've been or all the fun i'm having) and generally, just care less.

 >>> be creative. i feel like i make this goal over and over--life just seems to get in the way of being artistic! i want to paint more, take more pictures, and write. it's like emptying the trash, afterwards i feel clean and refreshed. throwing down emotion on a page, or a canvas is an expression that i cannot find anywhere else but in creation. it doesn't matter if anyone will like it, or if anyone else will even see it.  

 >>> jordan and i have resolved to have scripture AND prayer EVERY NIGHT. we have done this on and off our entire marriage, but we are going to try to be consistent. this is one of those little things (10 minutes a day) that will stregthen us big time. just think what one month of this habit can do for us! i'm excited to find out.

 >>> have more courage. go outside of myself more often. be the first to strike up a conversation with strangers, be confident in my ideas, make more friends, work harder to not be shy. it's hard initially, but the benefits far outweigh the costs & i end up happier, more confident.

 >>> have a better attitude about my husband + sports, because that's a combo that is locked-in.

 >>> over christmas break i lifted weights with my sister in law. she is  really athletic and really strong. and guess what? i could totally keep up with her! i had no idea that i could squat almost 4 times what i usually squat. i could even bench press more than the bar! i couldn't walk or lift my arms for 2 days, but i had no idea how strong i was. it sounds stupid, but i honestly think if i was ever in danger, i have a fair chance fighting my way out! it's strangely empowering. after over a year of consistent weight lifting, i think it's time i add a few pounds to my bar each work out.

>>> be on time! jordan and i realized that sometimes we only do things when we have to (like cranking out a paper last minute, or taking out the trash after it has already overflowed.) just the same, we haven't been proactive about being punctual. unless it's really crucial that we are on time, we usually aren't. i don't like this about myself. we are going to try to leave on time and plan better.

>>> rely on christ more.

>>> last of all, a universal life goal: try a little harder to be a little better. put a little more effort into each school assignment. push myself a little bit harder each workout. do a little more service for my husband, keep the house a little neater. invest a little more in each church lesson and each prayer. be a little more patient with those around me. send out a little more love.
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