December 17, 2015

our tahitian babe is home!

HAPPY DAY!! ciara is home from tahiti (and just in time for christmas!) 

she got home tuesday of finals week, (literally the worst possible timing) but after some MAJOR finagling, i front-loaded all my finals on monday. those last few days before monday were probably some of the most stressful of my existence, (hello, if you don't pass all of these graduation & life is put on hold) but i made it out alive and it was all 100% worth it to hug that girl!!

we could only make it a 24 hour trip (jordan still has finals and we are somehow supposed to pack up our house by friday?? that should be fun) so we stayed up way too late after her flight got in, soaking up the few hours we had before we needed to head home. when we finally dozed off, i think ciara had been up for something like 27 hours? 

ciara had us all in tears while she bore her testimony to the stake president, and then proceeded to gift me a tahitian dress as soon as we arrived home. (which i will not be taking off for the entirety of christmas break.) that girl is the BEST and having her home is bliss!

December 14, 2015

thoughts & life updates.

hi! i have put blogging on the backburner the last few weeks so that i could properly apply my attention to finals + friends that i am soon leaving – but here is an update from the stastny front.

+ guess who is done with school 4EVA?? (aka until i decide to start grad school) (also we’re assuming here that i didn’t fail any of my finals) THIS GIRL!! i feel a fair amount of relief, but also i’m kind sad. i really like school and getting a bachelor’s degree has been this ultimate goal, this clear and cut path that i’ve been on for so long. “college student” has been part of my identity for so long, but i’m excited to find my identity in the world beyond. 

+ ok – here’s our rough plan after graduation. (it’s a little complicated, stay with me.) so, jord and i graduate NOW, but he doesn’t start work until june. he trains in nyc for june + august, so we don’t actually move to sf permanently for  nine months. that’s kind of a long stretch to wait before real life starts, no? we decided long ago that instead of staying in utah and bleeding money from january – june, we would head up to boise to spend some time with family (rent free) + have a home base between travels. (we have some exciting trips coming up that i am stoked about!) 

+ since we made this decision ages ago and it seemed like the most practical thing to do, i didn’t give it much thought. but as it has approached, i have realized that i am actually dreading this time. straight. up. dread. i’m not even exaggerating, guys. i start to panic a little bit when i think about it. since i have graduated from high school, i have 100% of the time had school/internships/jobs to keep me focused and fulfilled. also i love my family, but i love my independence. i love having my own life, it’s defined me in the best possible ways. although our six months in boise will be broken up with some traveling, there will be a LOT of down time. a lot of days where, for the first time in my life, there is literally NOTHING that i should be doing. this terrifies me, i cannot emphasize that enough. i have some spiritual goals, physical goals, hobby and artistic goals that i have set for myself – but they are certainly not enough to fill every day. this is such an odd spot to be in, (and i will gladly take any advice that anyone has for me here!) this  in-between big life changes-i can’t start applying for jobs yet because we don’t move for 9 months-limbo weirdness. i just keep telling myself that something doesn’t have to be your FAVORITE in order for you to LOVE it. take this snowstorm for example – i would rather be walking through 65 degree crispiness and surrounded by oranges and yellows ANY DAY. that’s my favorite. but it doesn’t take away the beauty of the white snow, or the way the freezing air cleans out your chest cavity. such is with the seasons of life – i may like college life and independence best, but that doesn’t mean i cannot love the in-between stage. i have not been good at applying this idea, but i have plans of getting better. ;)

+ guys this semester has been somethin’ else, & here’s why: i put a LOT OF PRESSURE on myself to feed my relationships. it is so important to me that people KNOW our relationship is a top priority and SEE it in my actions. i never want my friends to feel like something is more important than them, because that’s my least favorite feeling: when you make someone a priority, but it’s not returned. i have wanted to write about this before, but don’t want to come off as “holier than thou.” i am by no means perfect at implementing this mantra, but i do give it 100%. it’s one of the few areas in my life where i can confidently say that i give my ALL. my friends, my people – they are the meat of my life. my relationships are everything to me. 

+ knowing this would be our last months in provo, i told myself i would be a “yes man” this semester. if physically possible, i said yes to every date, every lunch, every party that i was invited to or that a friend suggested. (eeee, we all cringe) so…… i will admit, this wasn’t my wisest idea – i probably could have gotten better grades, slept a lot more, skipped less workouts, cleaned my house more, and stayed a little more balanced. although i am pretty worn out and extremely high strung from having everything planned out to the minute for so long, i regret NOTHING. i still feel like i was cheated out of so much quality time with so many people that mean SO MUCH to me, and i am SO GRATEFUL for the life chats and the lunch dates and road trips. i am so blessed with enough people here in provo to fill up my calendar, and the time i got to spend with friends this semester (although it was entirely not enough) will carry me through lonely days as i build a network of friends in the bay. (another day i will have to purge all my VERY strong feelings about the importance of surrounding yourself with an army of women who build each other up and encourage each other to become their best selves.) 

+ and lastly, my christmas spirit. guys, it’s waning this year and i’m really disappointed in myself. i have let the stress of life give me a few (literal) anxiety attacks, and my apprehension about the future leaves me without a ton of room for christmas magic. we have been checking all the cozy christmas activities off our bucket list - i felt the magic a little as i watched home alone on a sick sunday afternoon, and little hints have been sprinkled through christmas parties, the festival of trees, and seeing christmas lights. (also jordan calls me the female clark griswald, so maybe i put too much pressure on myself to incite those christmas feelings? it’s a possibility.) anyway - now that i am finished with school (literally finished like, a half hour ago) i am going to take a second to breath, relax a little, and let the christmas magic come to me. 

(and here's a few fun christmas things we have been able to do)

temple lights, because are you even mormon if you don't go see them?

santa sighting at the festival of trees

utah symphony

christmas light hunting in salt lake (whoville was entirely disappointing, don't go unless you really want a picture with this grinch.)

gingerbread houses & white elephant party - PLZ appreciate the detail kristen and i put into the front yard of our house. (the boys...they ruined the house, it wasn't even worhy of a photo, haha)

and the CLASSIEST winter ball.

December 3, 2015

thanksgiving 2015.

thanksgiving in numbers:

number of times i overate even though i promised myself i wouldn't? at least 10. maybe 20.

number of christmas movies watched? two & a half. entirely too low.

times jordan and i argued about katniss being a worthy female heroine and protagonist? two.

miles biked along the greenbelt, despite the freezing cold? six.

giant christmas trees visited? three.

pies consumed? four.

our thanksgiving holidays is already a hazy blur. we had an entire eight days back in boise - so i thought time would creep by. instead, the days all softened into a vacation of full stomachs and "funny fail videos" on instagram, and it all went by in like .8 seconds. i didn't touch my computer or my textbooks once. it was pretty great, and i tried not to think about that fact that this will probably be our last thanksgiving with family for a while.

one morning i swam laps with my baby sister. (when i say baby, i mean she is 14. so weird.) after our swim, a hot tub soak and a steam room session, we saw that it was snowing outside. really soft, quiet, mini snowflakes. the windows to the poolroom were all fogged up and as we ran to the car, snowflakes dotted our wet hair. there was something so cozy about those clouded windows and the tiny snowflakes and shivering in the car in our towels while we blasted the heat and giggled at our goggle lines. i think that might have been my favorite memory from the holiday.

my dad is officially done with chemo (!!) and he even let me draw some eyebrows on him for family pictures! that was exciting. we're still waiting for him to get his energy back, but seeing that burden lifted off of my family has been such a blessing.

on the actual holiday, i made my mom take me to a crossfit gym that her friend runs. she almost passed out from going too hard (sorry mom) but there is something about a beastly workout that makes thanksgiving dinner so much more satisfying. so what, i ate 6,000 calories today? my abs and butt are so sore so i don't feel (that) fat! we pretty much napped and snacked the day away, but somehow got our butts to the movies for a late showing of hunger games.

we did a rope course saturday night that was like, "i am sweating in this nerdy helmet" type of hard, and i break danced beforehand on the floor while in some sort of hyper sugar-coma. the girls got our nails done and we visited every giant christmas tree in boise and we laughed enough that i am still experiencing holidays blues 5 days later.

ps i graduate from college (!!!!!!!!) in two weeks.

December 1, 2015

christmas bucket list.

i don't think it'll come as a shock to ANYONE that i am obsessed with anything that falls under the label "chrismtasy" or "festive" or "merry." christmas magic brings me LIFE, and so i usually start this bucket list somewhere early november to ensure that we maximize our time in december. this year, we are working around finals, moving (a million times barf) jordan's sister coming home from her mission, and a last minute trip to a yellowstone cabin with friends. these next few weeks are going to be a DOOZY, but i will not yield!! this will be our most festive christmas yet! 

(also, yes i am wearing the same coat in every picture down here. it's my favorite one, okay?)

1. christmas in color light tunnel.
2. utah symphony at abravanel hall. (not technically christmas, but it still feels festive and fancy, right?)
3. festival of trees.
4. park city main street date to see the christmas decor.
5. temple square lights, because duh.
6. use this map to go see christmas light displays at least once.
7. motab christmas concert. (we wont tickets this year waddupppp!!!)
8. wear my sparkly reindeer sweater to at least one holiday party. (and my gold sequin skirt, now that i think about it.)
9. watch the first presidency christmas devotional curled up on our couch.
10. take another kissing picture by the draper tree of life.
11, watch freaking HOME ALONE and ELF and MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET.
12, experience "chrismtas street" in sugarhouse for myself.
13. put up our chrismtas tree & hang some mistletoe, even though it'll only be up for about ten days. (womp woooomp.)
14. read the chrismtas story in my personal study.
15. cathedral of the madeleine's christmas concert.

other ideas that didn't make it on the all-star list this year:

1. hogle zoo christmas lights.
2. a lighted christmas cruise down the provo river.
3. candy window displays  in south jordan.
4. ice skating at the gallivan center.
5. provo main street being lit up this friday.
7. you can see the nutcracker in provo! (we went last year & it was so good!)
8. christkindlmarkt (the german christmas market) at this is the place park.
9. we did the santa run last year & it was a total BLAST.
10. go to another's faith's church service around christmas-time. some of my favorite holidays memories have been lighting candles and rockin' out to christmas music at a nondenominational service. 

HAPPY CHRISTMASING, YOU GUYS! (and if there are is anything we missed PLZ let me know. i'm not above skipping school/work to fit in more chrismtas magic.)

November 17, 2015

thankful list #3

+ i am thankful to feel everything as deeply as i do. this weekend, i wept after hearing the casualty numbers in paris. (on the way to the movies, no less.) i felt real, genuine anxiety for a friend preparing to take the GRE, and cried again as my husband gave her a blessing. my insides lit up completely with christmas magic as i watched the traverse mountain christmas tree be lit. i feel so many things is a very complete way, and although sometimes it's exhausting, i am thankful to be emotionally sensitive - it connects me to those around me. my human experience is flawed, but being emotionally alive makes it always feel so fulfilling.

+ i am grateful to have witnessed an outpouring of love on social media after what happened in france this weekend. i am grateful for the knowledge that good will always be greater. (& grateful that my cousin serving in paris right now is accounted for & safe!)

+ i am thankful for cold winter air that feel clean and crisp inside your lungs. i am thankful that snow is so pretty, even if it makes driving a nightmare.

+ i am thankful that my dad's cancer has a high survival rate. !!!!!

+ i am thankful for compliments - receiving them (mila told me i was the most "festive" person she knew and it literally made my life) and giving them. (making a goal to compliment three people a day has significantly contributed to my overall happiness.)

+ i am grateful that jordan can grow a full, thick, sexy beard and i am grateful that he is almost graduated from byu so he never has to shave it EVER AGAIN. his facial hair kills me.

+ i have kinda already shared this sentiment, but at friendsgiving last night it popped into my head again. i am so grateful for our life here in utah. it is full of way more good friends than we deserve, and i am grateful that the thought of leaving them instantly brings me to tears. i love that so many of those friends have become family, and i hope that we can create relationships in SF as special as the one's we have here.

+ after seeing an art exhibit dedicated to her last week, i am feeling especially grateful for my heavenly mother and for the times that i have felt her influence.

+ i am intensely grateful to be a woman, and for the opportunity it gives me to create what "woman" means to me. i am thankful for my femininity and how it defines me in so many beautiful ways. i am thankful to be a mother someday.

+ although i don't have a place to call "home" per say since my family moved after i left for college, i am grateful that they ended up in boise. it is the most magical place! i am grateful that i have grown to love it (was not exactly thrilled at the thought of idaho when they first told me) and i love that it holds so much sentiment for my husband.

November 12, 2015

moab 2015.

after talking about it for months, we finally got our butts down to moab! (FIRST TIME for me!) the original plan was camping, but when we found out the temperatures were going to dip below 20 each night, we quickly said NOOOOOPE & booked a hotel. shoutout to the baldwins for coming with, even though you just went a month ago. i'm so glad you did!

we hiked delicate arch on saturday (hello, what a view) and then sunday, adventured around fiery furnace. although delicate arch was incredible, fiery furnace took the cake. it felt like being on another planet. we  saw like, 4 other humans while inside the park, and it felt like we were charting mars, just the six of us. the park is full of arches and rock formations, and without any designated trails, you pretty much just treat it as a red-rock corn maze, wandering in and hoping you can find your way out. it is so cool. i wish the cool-factor translated to pictures, but everyone just needs to go see it for themselves!

a few memories worth mentioning:

+ the boys kept running off to climb rocks and dubbed themselves "adventure squad." when the girls charted the way, alex said, "we're the girl adventure squad! G-A-S." and then we all started laughing. 

+ on the drive down, there was a massive coke-spilling incident that ended up in diet coke being flung about the entire front seat. jordan and i just sat in the back, laughing so hard we were crying, while dillon and alex tried to decide who's fault it was. so hilarious.

+ jumping on the hotel beds and abusing snapchat's new "speed up and slow down" video feature by singing songs to ourselves. 

+ how good our saturday night pizza was after waiting over an hour for it. 

+ getting a picture from boy alex (there's a boy alex and a girl alex in this group) the day after we got home. it's of jordan, from behind, straddling a crevis and peeing into it. i'm embarrassed to even admit this, but i cracked up. boys will be boys. (you're welcome for not sharing that photo here.)

now here's a million photos. (also, i have no idea why i thought it was cool to make peace signs in so many of these pictures? my bad.)

i wish i knew what was happening here. 

my girl adventure squad.

a few crevice group selfies, courtesy of the long-armed husbands. 

just a few test shots for our album cover. (i'll spare you our attempts at coming up with a band name, they were pretty cheesy.)