November 26, 2014

it's time for another mushy post.

ran into a byu a'capella group shooting a music video, & they randomly asked us to make an appearance haha!

in the spirit of thanksgiving, i felt compelled to express, again, how grateful i am for my husband. you guys, he is it. he is so perfect for me, and loving him is the most magnificent, frustrating, and incredible adventure. i couldn't have dreamed up a more perfect companion. i owe everything good in life to my decision to be sealed to him. 

"the older you get, the more you realize that it isn't about the material things, or pride, or ego. it's about our hearts and who they beat for." and oh man, my heart beats for you, stastny.

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photos snapped by my super talented friend, leah. check her out. 

November 24, 2014

a few magical things.

jordan forbids putting up the christmas tree until after his favorite holiday, so the tree will be going up next week.
 i did convince him to put up a garland last week though - complete with lights and ornaments & christmas jams. 
(and i made an executive decision to put up a wreath on the door, because i like to think i'm the boss around here.)

lighting of the riverwoods magic happened friday night.
also a carriage ride + free candy,
and an after-party for 6 at red robin afterwards.
(we told embarassing childhood stories. the greatest.)

saturday we tripled to italian village + ice skating + hot chocolate.
 snowy and cozy outside, good food and good company inside.
it was reaffirmed to me that i have the best girlfriends out there.

sunday we taught a lesson on the sacred role of a mother.
you guys, i am not a particularly maternal individual, and sometimes thinking about dedicating my life to another human is intimidating. 
(although i do have protective instinct down pat. i think it's an older sister thing.)
but while teaching the actual lesson, it was made clear to me that it'll be the most important thing i do, molding souls.
& i better get started on preparing to do that someday. 

sunday night we got to see my family as they drove through salt lake, and it was a flawless kickoff to thanksgiving week. we leave tomorrow morning for b-town, and i might cry of excitement. i am honestly craving this holiday break - like i can smell it, my mouth is watering, but i can't eat quiiiite yet. i am so anxious to get this relaxation started.

 i am craving uninterrupted reading, i am dying to get my fingers on my birthday-ukulele, and FOR THE LOVE, i can't wait to sleep in past 8 and have morning-cuddles reintroduced into my life.
 i am craving cheesy hallmark movies and staying up too late playing card games and eating so much you have to roll around on the couch for a while.
 it's going to be ideal.

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November 19, 2014

thankful list 2014.

this semester has been a roller-coaster, and it's finally flattened out - it feels like we are just coasting into the holidays, totally beat up and 100% tuckered out. i am so ready for thanksgiving - a week of sleeping in slash eating slash fun! my mantra has been "just make it to thanksgiving break. you can make it until thanksgiving break." however, i came across this quote in my scripture study a few days ago:

"we can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. if ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues."

a few guilt-tears streamed down my cheeks and i realized that, through my trials the last few months, i haven't stopped to appreciate all of the wonderful things around me very often. this is especially terrible of me, because i lead a very charmed life. it's not perfect - but i am blessed far and beyond what i deserve. and, silly as it may seem, i was so grateful to write this grateful list, and to materialize, in my mind, all i have to be thankful for.

>> 1. i am grateful, over many other things - for a sense of purpose in my life. it's not always 100% reliable, (don't we all have those days where you're just like, my life is a hamster wheel?) but most days i feel driven. i know what i want to do with my life (give or take a few details..) i know the kind of person i am working towards becoming, and i feel aspiration. i feel determination and ambition, and it is equal parts satisfying and motivating.

>> 2. i am grateful for 2 sisters serving missions - for their examples, for their letters, and for those small and oh-so personal blessings i am granted because of their service. i am grateful for the missionary program. it has changed my life.

>> 3. i am grateful for lipstick, especially mac's "snob." i haven't always been a believer in the power of lipstick, but now i am. it really can turn a frown upside down.

>> 4. i am grateful for my husband - while we were dating, my parent's told me, "you struck gold, don't let go of this one." and boy, were they right! i am grateful that he is patient with me and that he makes my feelings a priority. i am grateful that he will follow me around on all of my scatter-brained adventures. i am grateful that he works hard at building a future for us. i am grateful that he wants to live a life of influence. i am grateful that he chose me.

>> 5. i am grateful for provo. (say what?) although i am excited to eventually live somewhere else, provo really is such a magical little college town. (and let's get real, it's nice not worrying about locking your front door.) the mountains, the restaurant selection, cozy little spots like center street and the byu duck pond and utah lake, and some pretty fantastic people will make it hard to see p-town in my rear-view mirror upon graduation.

>> 6. i am grateful for my job. i am grossly over-paid, so it has paid our bills and afforded me the opportunity to get paid for doing schoolwork. it has been the quintessential college job, and i really love all of my wonderfully-weird engineers.

>> 7. i am grateful that i love to read. literature has blessed my life and kept my imagination alive in ways that nothing else can. i am grateful for stories and characters that have become a part of my life. (i'm looking at you, hermione.)

>> 8. i am grateful for a strong body. running a half marathon, weight lifting, and starting ballet barre has helped me realize what my body is capable of, and it's incredible! i love to exercise. i mean, i really love it. i am grateful for health that allows this to be a daily check on my to-do list.

>> 9. i am grateful for strong women in my life who don't take crap from anyone. they motivate me to do more & be more.

>> 10. i am grateful for the temple. the amount of happiness & peace it has gifted me is insurmountable. i am grateful for the opportunity to go & feel close to my family, and to my father in heaven.

>> 11. i am grateful for the chance to start fresh each morning. “isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

>> 12. i am grateful for our trials this semester. surely they have worn us to the bone, but we have learned and grown infinite amounts - both together and as individuals. it has given us the wonderful opportunity to weather the storm with each other and as a result, grow closer. i am grateful for a knowledge that this is all in god's plan, and i feel myself standing firmer and stronger in that knowledge each day. 

and lastly,

>>12. i am grateful we live so close to in n out. 

November 17, 2014

worth it.

>>> friday night we went to the "divine comedy" show with some friends at byu. i was expecting it to be super lame, (sometimes mormon humor just doesn't do it for me, you know?) but was pleasantly surprised by how genuinely clever it was! between skits, they throw glow sticks out to the audience. at first i was all, "ok this is kind of weird.." but after we had been there for a while, my inner child made an appearance & told me that i must catch all of the glow sticks. so i was diving out in the aisle and jumping up and down, yelling for more glow sticks! i'm not sure why i included this detail, i suppose i found myself hilarious. i'm entertained so easily, it's sometimes disturbing.

>>> i tried out xtend barre provo this week, and seriously?? my inner thighs have yet to recover. tmi? that workout is killer in this way that my body is not used to - squatting for like 10 minutes straight or using 2 pound weights, while we proceed with 50 shoulder presses. i'm saying to myself, oh my gaaash this is hard, and in the same moment i say, ok i should get a month pass and go every day. also, there is a latent fantasy about being a ballerina that is being fufilled in a very small way each time i go. anyway, i would absolutely recommend trying. 

>>> saturday morning, my head popped off my pillow at like 8am, and in my half awake roll-over, i realized, "tonight is the first tree lighting!" it gave me butterflies! christmas magic is this unconquerable and unfailing thing, and like i've said before - i hope i never lose it. it's this spectacular energy that accompanies the season and is so addicting to me - it electrifies my mind and warms my heart. (in all fairness to thanksgiving, i have been making a grateful list each day and i am absolutely thrilled about cooking up a storm with my mother in law next week. next week! can you believe it?) last year, there were about 5,000 more people at the traverse mountain tree lighting, and it was 40 degrees warmer maybe? that wind chill was dropping us down to the single digits. it was so cold but so worth it. the accompanying fireworks show was really the cherry on top of the whole experience. afterwards, me and a girlfriend ate cookies and watched a christmas movie and i thought to myself, wait. this was the perfect night. so much christmas bliss.

>>> this morning i woke up early and got ready for work - only to realize i had gotten up 2 hours early. (womp wooomp.) i tried to go back to sleep, but ended up rolling into work feeling foggy and with smudgy makeup. happy monday to me. on a serious note though - i have been dealing with the worst insomnia the last week or so. does anyone have any sleeping tips for me? (besides medication. i fully support medicating yourself, but i have to get up too early for it to be a good idea.) i am ready to pull my heart out and i feel like crying all the time...? send any tips my way!

November 12, 2014

happy list 06.

+ "cool yule" by louis armstrong.
+ going to get dessert with a new friend, and having them just listen to you. i am usually the listener in my friendships, (something i truly love) but thank you kylie, for fufilling a need of being listened to, that i didn't even know i had. 
+ driving up y mountain to catch the sunset - and having it be the most insanely beautiful sunset i've ever seen! (in utah, at least.)
+ our little sunday tradition with some new friends: walking dead, dessert, and games.
+ "the christmas song" by nat king cole.
+ accidentally putting off homework to finish a book. (eleanor & park, it's a good one!)
+ listening to harry potter & the prisoner of azkaban on my way to work. 
this article on how to be a powerful and likeable female in today's work force. (and who doesn't like jenna lyons, really.)
+ boiling oranges & cinnamon sticks on my stove. seriously - it smells like happiness.
+ when your neighbors pop over to return something they borrowed, and you end up chatting for 2 hours in the doorway.
+ stormy, gloomy weather that makes me feel like bundling up and drinking steamed milk. so cozy.
+ feeling like you are slowly, and finally, getting your life together and staying on top.
+ "have yourself a merry little christmas" by mel torme, and also the kenny g version. (i seriously can't get enough of kenny g's christmas album. it is so. freakin. sexy.)
+ the fact that my family will be in arizona for thanksgiving - so this means the very first guilt-free holiday trip, as we will be spending our time in boise with ONLY jordan's family. no juggling two families, i could cry with excitement! you guys, i can actually relax. (no offense to my family.)
+ the first christmas tree lighting this weekend! squeeee!!
+ when i come home from a 13 hour day and the apartment is spotless. hashtag best husband.

November 10, 2014

my ring situation.

here is the ring jordan proposed to me with. isn't she a beaut? i picked it out ages ago, before i even knew jordan existed, on sundance catalog dot com and never looked back. when he opened the box & flashed that ring at me, i was literally speechless. like, i didn't say anything for an awkward amount of time. i mean, obviously the whole point of the night was committing to spend eternity with my best friend - but you guys, that bling. when it catches the sunlight on a bright day, it parades this perfectly golden-white color, and on cloudy days, it's a stormy blue-silver. 

i never wear it to the gym because i can't stand the thought of banging it on the weights, i never shower with it, because it clouds the stone, and i have three spots in our apartment where it is allowed to rest. you can imagine my disdain when i lost it a few months ago. at first i thought i had simply misplaced it, but after a week and a complete overhaul of the apartment, panic started to creep in. even thinking about it now, it kind of feels like someone is pouring black ink all over my heart. you guys, i love that piece of jewelry. 

at first, i wore my tiny gold band with a mini "j" attached to the front as a replacement. then i experimented with a few cheap-ring stack situations. 

finally, last month i broke down and bought a real-life replacement from the same website my original ring came from. (we can't afford to replace the actual ring, although i do gawk at it from time to time on the website. isn't it perfect?) it was like a fresh heartbreak in the form of a manila envelope. i always thought those mini boxes made me happy, but this one was bittersweet. 

although i still am holding on to hope that the ring will manifest itself again, (seriously, i know where i set it down the day i lost it. i don't know how that happens??) i guess there is one silver lining of this situation. well, two. a) although jordan is heartbroken along with me, never once has he acted annoyed or even disappointed that i misplaced the most expensive item he's ever purchased. that right there is a quality individual. and b) i am grateful for the reminder that our relationship doesn't ride on anything physically tangible. i love jordan the same and i sincerely love marriage - even without the bling. although, prayers to find it would still be appreciated. ok great. xo 

November 5, 2014

kicking off the holiday season.

although we didn't document the night very well, our halloween was faaaaabulous! i ate like an entire bowl of candy at work & then we party hopped and played games well into the morning. (okay okay, we were in bed before 1 - but that's late for us married folk!) i'm not big into haunted houses and spooky movies, but dressing up and eating treats? i'll take it. 

the best part about halloween, to me, is that the next day you start the downward slide into christmas! (i saw this tweet: "rips off halloween costume. it's beginning to look a lot like christmas!" and i was like hi, that's me.) i had the christmas candles burning and my christmas playlist blaring on saturday before it was even noon - and this week i finalized all of the holiday activities on our calendar - tree lightings! movie marathons! the ballet! i could squeel. i have gotten a little flak for jumping head first into christmas before it's even thanksgiving, but hey, why can't you celebrate 2 holidays at once?

honestly though, how i see it is that i need this. last year, i wrote a little bit about tapping into that cozy christmas magic that you feel all the way deep down. in my world of  craziness and stress and responsibility, i need that extra dash of excitement that keeps my head up all day. because of daylight savings, i drive to work in the dark, half-awake. i'm not even kidding you - if i listen to even ONE christmas song on the way to work, i walk in here with the dopiest grin and i feel jolly all day. 

i'm really hoping that it will work like this: the more christmas spirit i allow myself to feel each season, the stronger it will burn within me and the more time it will take until it burns out, and i become old and senile. good plan, right? happy christmas season!!

November 3, 2014


the last few months have been a sort of "limbo" stage for jordan and i. because of the stress we have been experiencing, we have allowed healthy eating, exercising, school work, and personal progression to take a back seat to more immediate needs. it has been accumulating for a while, but yesterday it all seemed to rain down on me. i haven't been taking the steps to keep myself happy and allow constant improvement, and i felt it - physically, emotionally, mentally. i felt so exhausted, but yet, i am so not on top of things. when we got home from church, i collapsed on the couch and had myself a good pity cry. those always make me feel better, honestly.

but then i picked myself up and we made a list of goals. we cleaned out our fridge and tidied the apartment. (there is something so therapeutic about throwing out a trash bag of old food and vacuuming. i instantly felt better - although the christmas music probably contributed.)

now that my half marathon is completed and jordan has received a summer job offer, we can get back into our normal routine. ah, routine. i love myself a good old-fashioned schedule, and feeling like i am in control of my life. here's what we, and i, are working on for the next few weeks. in case you were wondering.

1. lifting weights & cycling 4 times - 5 times per week.
2. sweets and eating out only allowed on weekends.
3. nightly couple prayer, morning personal prayer.
4. force yourself to finish every homework assignment at least 1 day before it's due. 
5. don't wait until the day before to study for your next math test. (!!!)
6. keep a thankful journal to contribute to each evening. appreciate the small things a little more - like forehead kisses and cuddle weather and compliments. write them down & give them more importance in your overall happiness.
7. make time each day to serve jordan and sincerely compliment him. 
8. put down your phone & pick up a book!
9. push yourself each day to milk all the productivity you can out of it. 
10. try harder to see each friend, each colleague, each classmate through the eyes of the savior. focus  on the good you see in others, so you can feel it reflected in yourself. 

& there we have it! bring it on, november! i'm armed with my christmas playlist, a new motto that i love (simply & magnify) and a crapload of motivation, and i'm ready to pounce all over life. I GOT THIS.