August 27, 2014

nyc highlights.

warning: disgusting amounts of picture overload coming your way. also, if it seems like too many of these pictures are of me, it's because they are. he is the photographer in the relationship, and i, consequently, have become the photographed. 

here are a few off of our top 20 list. 

1. brooklyn. oh, brooklyn. you are such a dream! those quaint little streets, with their red brick and black shutters and big trees, oh they get my giddy. then you're just looking around and bam! there is the manhattan skyline, perfectly framed by the river. and the bridge, so ancient and majestic. the whole brooklyn heights area is so idealistic. also - juliana's pizza is just as good as grimaldi's, but with better service. (in our opinion.)

2. top of the rock is totally worth the price tag, to me - and better than empire state. you get to see the skyline with the esb, not from it. we did this the first night we were there, and were completely enchanted by it. it's one of those things that you can't explain second-hand, you've got to see it yourself. the best was watching jordan's face light up the first time he saw the view. 

3. i'm not sure that this makes the "highlight reel" but we did experience an almost-suicide in the subway station. apparently the guy changed his mind after jumping on to the tracks, and made it between trains before getting hit. the entire station shut down (we all got real sticky, real fast without any AC down there) and everyone watched through the car windows as he was coaxed back up, and into handcuffs, by about 30 fireman. what a day. 

4. walking the highline is gorgeous, and the chelsea market is, essentially, an indoor version of pike place in seattle. win, win.

5. after dessert one night, our friends were headed over to roosevelt island. since the tram over there was free, we decided to join them for the ride! i was not expecting the picture-perfect views of city streets and the queensboro bridge.

6. jordan spent hours memorizing the subway lines before we left, and so we commuted around without a hitch! (he is seriously the best vacation buddy because i tell him what i want to do - he will do all the research, make all the plans, and then i just get to follow him around.) one morning, in the station, he was approached on several occasions for directions, and you should have seen him! "oh yeah, take the 1 uptown, catch the f train and get off at rector street." like he had been living there for ten years. reasons i love that guy.

7. columbia university was pretty incredible - old college campuses seem to just fascinate us, and we find ourselves saying a lot of, "look at that!" "oh man, i wish i went to school here!" "holy crap, give me the camera." to each other. saint john the devine cathedral was just across the street from campus too - and man, that was gawk-worthy. (it's possible that our excitement levels were heightened this day because of a red eye flight and a few red bulls.) 

8. i think jordan's favorite part of the trip was katz delicatessen - think thick pastrami and corned beef and brisket and giant fries and perfect rye bread. it was like, a man's man heaven. 

9. shake shack was obviously a highlight. we had one a few blocks from the apartment we stayed at, so we made sure it was our first and last meal in the city. priorities.

10. wicked was incredible - even jordan called it 'phenomenal' and that man is not easy to please when people are singing for entertainment. 

11. the 9/11 museum was well done and powerful. it's pretty tough to internalize and ponder - i cried yesterday just recounting some of it over the phone to my mom. they did a fabulous job of memorializing that day.

12. levain bakery cookies are so rich and soft i could die! i couldn't even finish mine - and this is monumental. i can always finish my dessert, but those cookies did me in! ah, they were divine and, dare i say it? the best thing i ate the whole trip. (they barely beat doughnut plant's crem brulee donut. barely.)

13. the central park boats were almost too picture-esque. it was just too pretty to be real, ya know? it felt kind of like a date on the bachelorette. (except instead of making out and talking about feelings the whole time, we were just really hyper and giggly.) jordan serenaded me with what he calls his "pretty version" of the smelly cat song from "friends" the whole time we were on the as we walked to the boat house, we happened upon the bethesda fountain and i swear, i almost cried and then fainted. this is where chuck and blair get married!  it gave me some serious butterflies. gossip girl fo lyfe. 

other great things: washington square park, soho, upper west side walking, dylan's candy bar, staten island ferry, the fact that the weather was 72 and cloudy the entire time, sprinkles cupcake atm's, grand central station, times square, the new york public library, the met rooftop view, nyu campus, subway station performers, (sax players, you have my heart!) and our perfect little apartment on the upper west. seriously guys - exposed brick walls, tons of sunlight, wood floors, great ac, and a big smooshy bed to cuddle up in at the end of every night. :) 

i love you, new york city. hopefully we will be apartment hunting on the island next spring - see you soon!

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August 25, 2014


we returned to the slc airport in the wee hours of the morning this morning. and after just a few short hours of sleep, i am back at my desk, going through pictures, reminiscing, and getting chills. 

we woke each morning to run ourselves ragged, hurrying around the city and taking a thousand photos and soaking up that new york energy. then, when the sky was dark and the city all lit-up, we would stumble up the three flights of stairs to our apartment and collapse, our legs aching and feet sore.

of all the places i've been to on this planet, new york is my very favorite. experiencing the city - the spirit it has, the fire it lights within me, the tingling energy it pours over my body, that was magnificent. but experiencing all of that, with jordan? it was superb, and a million times more magical. 

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August 19, 2014

summer bucket list checks.

- last month, i woke up extra early to see the hot air balloon festival in provo. easily worth the sleepy eyes. they were magical!

- because of SO many trips to boise this summer, (i think we've made 6 trips. that's 60 hours of driving time, barf) we have been able to spend some time with my family, and it's been bliss. i always underestimate how rejuvenating family time is. little sister always ends up braiding my hair & requests selfies on her iphone. (i didn't get a cell phone until i was 16, and my 12 year old sis has an iphone! those spoiled youngest children..)

- wednesday nights have been devoted to dinner + yoga classes at the grand america with my ladies. i wish we could keep this tradition all year round!

-we went to our first real game together! we got lucky and scored these BOMB seats on ksl for a really reasonable price. (bonus! they were in the shade. half of that stadium was roasting in the afternoon heat.) soccer games encompass such a fun atmosphere - good stadium food, lots of singing and yelling, and we won! that afternoon gets an A+

- we floated the provo river earlier this summer - it was ice cold and there were lots of sharp rocks (we had bruised butts for a few days..) but those views of provo canyon! now those are unbeatable.

- we spent a night channeling our inner hick at the sale lake county fair demolition derby. we made a stop at the DI beforehand to pick up the usual: camo leggings, an NRA trucker hat, you know. this may label me as a red neck, but there is something so satisfying about watching cars smash into each other, and it was easily one of my favorite summer nights. (also! i ate a fried twinkie because...duh. & it was deeee-lightful.)

- when we are in town on sunday evenings, the night is usually devoted to exploring new neighborhoods around utah county. of all the adventures we get to go on together, taking these walks may be my favorite.

- my summer at ksl is coming to a close, as today is my last day. (cue dramatic sobs, really though.) this internship has been challenging, but so rewarding and perfect and empowering.

- also pictured: bridal shower for my girl allison, a view of temple square from one of many evenings wandering around downtown, and este pizza (huge slices for 2.50!) in slc.

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August 18, 2014

on having the craziest summer of my life.

i came across this quote the other day. i love inspirational ideas and beautiful words, but this one stopped me cold in my tracks. a giant finger seemed to jump off the screen and point right into my face. 

i've repeated this sentiment several times, but it still rings true: this summer has been insane. it's been crazy, irresponsible, psychotic. and it's been unfair amounts of fun. jordan and i traveled, we adventured, i had a glamorous summer internship with lots of photo-worthy moments, my girlfriends were always up for anything, and never were we wanting in the fun department. i had a blast, and from the outside, my life looked fabulous.

and really, it was.

but because my life was seemingly polished on the outside, i let my work on the inside slip a little. i forgot that working on myself as a person should take precedence over packing in as much summer fun as humanly possible. making memories is SO important to me, i cherish them more than anything else in this life. but it's become a little too important. am i becoming a kinder person? am i working on being a better wife? am i closer to christ? have i been a better friend? the answer is, sometimes. and sometimes isn't good enough.

last night, i tried to pack too many plans all tight into a few short hours. the night got wrecked by traffic and miscommunication and i was embarrassingly wrecked.  like, i seriously couldn't get over it and i went to bed feeling dismayed and cloudy. it was  ridiculous that something so trivial could upset me so much. this realization was the perfect springboard to my goal-setting attempt today.

if i was working off of a stronger foundation, i could handle worries and problems and setbacks with greater ease. 

so this is my goal, set in stone and published on the internet: to work on myself more. to be a little more introspective and to be actively working to make myself a stronger, more compassionate soul. to start working harder to become someone of character and class, so that when the trips and the adventures have morphed into school assignments and early bedtimes, that i can still fall asleep with a smile on my face and a feeling of contentment in my heart. 

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August 15, 2014

advice to my 16 year old self

-        - spend less time constructing an outward image, and more time cultivating a happy spirit. work on yourself, who you want to be, how you want to treat others. be more introspective & stop caring so much about what other people are thinking about you.

-         also, take it easy on the mac eye shadow. you’ll have plenty of time for a full face of makeup when you’re older.

-        make your relationship with god a number one priority. that bond makes your life 110% better, and you’re going to want it to fall back on.

-         don’t be shy, and don’t be afraid of asking for what you want. be bolder, be more curious. the answer is always no until you ask.

-          for heaven’s sake, make curfew every once in a while! it will make your life a lot easier.

-          stop trying to categorize yourself by high school standards. break the mold, be an individual, don’t limit yourself. just do the things you love, let the rest fall into place.

-          most of the boys you obsess over? you’ll probably never talk to them again after high school. spend your time accordingly.

-          do not dumb yourself down for anyone, anywhere, ever. the people you feel the need to dumb yourself down for are not worth your time.

-          keep having fun and acting like a lunatic and making up stupid dance moves and being hyper. life is more fun that way.

-          lastly, care a little more about being classy and a little less about being trendy. learn a few things about money and finances. and be a little nicer to your parents, you’ll like them a whole bunch better in a few years J

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August 13, 2014

high tea at the grand.

last weekend, the girls and i dressed up to have a tea party at the grand america hotel. we were pretty excited about it, and let me tell you. it did NOT disappoint!

the party was pure, unadulterated magic. i didn't know i had so many latent fantasies about a fancy afternoon tea party until they were being fulfilled right before my eyes. the harp player! the finger sandwiches! the chocolate mousse!  it was like, gossip girl episode slash princess diaries reenactment. 

i ordered the hazelnut coconut hot chocolate (you know, because i'm 12) and man alive! that hot chocolate could end wars. i sent it around the table to be sampled by the group, because i am a good friend. also because it would have been cruel not to. 

also, this. we experienced the strangest phenomenon -  when we took pictures, we would say to each other, "make your tea face!" and we would all pose identically - as if we had planned it out before-hand. backs straight, eyes wide, pursed lips, princess hands resting daintily on our laps. speaking of pictures, we had that tea-face perfected by the end of the afternoon. i don't think i have ever taken so many pictures at one event, it was ridiculous. i would have been embarrassed for myself, except i was having too much fun. 

afternoon tea at the grand america comes hiiiighly recommended from my and my troupe of ladies. (i'm saying that in a british accent.)

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