April 30, 2015

my best friend's wedding.

this day was 100% magic - it started with a donut run, ended with sore dancing feet, and all the in between parts were full of love and laughter and so many happy tears. so many happy tears! 

watching my friends find these amazing men, fall in love, and make the choice to be sealed to them has been almost as fulfilling as being in love myself. (almost.) gosh i am so sappy, but LOVE IS THE GREATEST. right?? it is the greatest thing on this whole entire earth and i love celebrating it. being in that sealing room and watching them walk in, all giddy, eyes full of tears. AH. i am at a loss to describe the sunshine of that moment. it was heaven. 

after the wedding, hours of picture taking, and a quick in n out stop, shannon threw the party of the year - complete with lots of dessert, bubbles and hula hoops on the dance floor. it was the perfect excuse to get everyone together and have a little girl's reunion before we head off for the summer. thanks for the magical day, love birds. (and shout out to my husband for most of these pictures. you're a champ.)

April 21, 2015

my guide to living in p-town.

we've lived in provo for...gosh, two and a half years now! (excluding a summer in slc) although circumstance brought me here against my own will, i have really grown to love this quirky little bubble. really - any place has magic waiting to be found, you just have to make an effort to find it. there are a lot of things i don't love about provo, but i'm not stuck here forever and i was, and am, determined to find those things that i love about it! there's a lot of really amazing people, (really, some of the best) some of the greatest eats, and let's get real. it's gorgeous here! we have a few "tested and true" spots around utah county, and since we are making our debut outside of utah in just a few more weeks (!!) i thought i would document:

when you are feeling like a bike ride...

1. outdoors unlimited. they rent singles & tandems for around $5. if you don't have a bike rack or a truck - that's alright! bike all around byu campus and make a pit stop at swig on the way back. ;)

when you are feeling like a quick walk in the mountains...

2. rock canyon park. park at the bottom, walk 5 minutes on the paved path and you can hardly tell you're in provo anymore! rock canyon is home to some of our favorite sunday walks, saturday hikes, and, since we have friends that have gear, a few climbs.

when you're feeling artsy...

3. byu art museum. they'll always have at least one exhibit that will ring your bell, and it's free. yay free things!

when you're feeling romantic...

4. some of the best sunsets i have witnessed have been over utah lake. (they rival sunset in hawaii and the caribbean, really.) we love to head up about a half hour before google says the sun will set, (y mountain and squaw peak are the best spots) sit on the hood of our car, and usually a life chat with ensue. but beware of awkward byu students making out in the car next to you and do not be deterred by them!

when you're feeling like you need a little coziness in your life...

5. head over to riverwoods! there are romantic lights strung everywhere, fire pits during the winter, and 4/5 times if you go during the weekend there will be a cute little performer in the pavillion. there are some fab food options (marley's and la jolla groves are our favs) some choice shopping, (but don't go into soel boutique unless you want a few hundred dollars to magically disappear) and provo beach resort - home of indoor surfing & blue bell ice cream!

when you are feeling like a nice stroll...

6. walk center street a few times (between state and university) this is MY FAVORITE. i don't know what it is, but center street is so old-timey and charming. there are a lot of unique shops to pop into and if you're lucky, you'll catch a street performer. (also, station 22 and bruges waffles and sammy's!) 

when you want a donut...

7. run to provo bakery. run! you have to catch them earlier in the day or they'll be all snatched up - the red velvet is best.

when you're feeling sad because your complex doesn't allow pets...

8. drive over to american fork and visit the puppy barn! it's literally a store full of puppies for you to hold. at no charge. genius, right? if you're like me, you'll be puppied-out and smelly in like 30 minutes.

when you're feeling like a burger...

9. in n out. there are no other words. (although, mooyah's and five guys are good options, too.)

when you have a sweet tooth...

10. our favorite dessert spots are: the chocolate, mooyah's milkshakes, sodalicious (get the oatmeal chocolate chip and ask for it frosted!) the cocoa bean, smart cookie, the choc'late mousse, sweet tooth fairy, and of course, the creamery. get a shake!

when you're craving a wrap or a salad or sweet potato fries...

11. guru's. i know it's a provo given, but it's because it's charming and delicious! those sweet potato fries dipped in the fry sauce though....

when you're craving greasy southern food...

12. joe's cafe. it's a little hole in the wall next to a tattoo parlor, but it's jordan and i's very own hidden gem. we are so proud of it. they deep fry the potato chips and put a gallon of strawberry preserves on the waffles. & tell joe we sent ya.

if you want to see the cutest houses in provo...

13. go on a walk from 3rd north to center street, between 100 and 600 east. some of them are old and crumbly, but so many are delightful and cute - with vines growing up the sides or civil-war looking busts above the porch molding, or little white picket fences. this is the part of provo, i think, that has the most character.

if you're feeling like a photoshoot...

14. check out the einstein wall. it's on 100 west at about 150 south, and it's seriously the cutest.

when a little summery arson sounds fun...

15. utah lake and nunn's park are the best places for a bonfire, and they are both no more than a 10 minute drive from the heart of p-town! some of our best memories in provo have been laughing around a campfire, eating s'mores.

when you're feeling like catching a disease and spending less than $10 for a date...

16. nickelcade. so it's a little grimy and it smells like 14 year old hormones, whatever. it's SO FUN. i can't even count the number of times we have had date-night here, and it's always better than the last time. 

when you're feeling like being all outdoorsy...

17. float the provo river! make sure you have sturdy tubes and your rump is ready to be bruised up by a few rocks, but those views of provo canyon. man alive! they are the best.

when you need to escape for an afternoon...

18. drive up provo canyon and hit up sundance. there are some unbeatable hikes up there, the foundry grill is amaze, and it always feels like we just deserted life for a quick second. i love how close it is. (and for goodness sake, ride the chairlift while the leaves change in the fall! life changing.)

when you need a night away from provo...

19. we like to escape to salt lake for some asian star, downtown strolls, city creek shopping, banberry donuts, real games, and ruby snap cookies. i love how close salt lake is - and there's always something exciting going on! however - some of my favorite weekends have been up in park city, too. (the eating establishment and zoom are our favorites places to eat. also, s'mores at the st. regis!)

when you need a good laugh...

20. comedy sportz. we like divine comedy too, but comedy sportz has had us busting at the seams every show we've attended - something about quirky, random, genuine improv.

you've been a good time, provo. we will see ya in the fall. (and did i miss anything??)

April 16, 2015

on my nightstand.

months ago, i saw a post from a blog i can't remember about nightstands. isn't it compelling to find out what someone keeps next to their bed, easy within reach? i found the idea intriguing, and so i snapped these photos last week and made a list of those things i keep next to my bed. it was interesting that i keep a lot of things next to my bed for convenience (jewelry, medication, books) but a lot of things i keep there because they have some significance to me. there must be some tick in my brain that thinks since my side of the bed is my space, that i should fill my nightstand with meaningful trinkets. 

anways, here's the list of things you can ALWAYS find next to my bed:

- anywhere between 1-5 journals. i love little journals and am always making up excuses to buy more. "i'll sketch in this one!" "this guy will be for favorite quotes!" in this picture, i have my basic journal, a journal for spiritual thoughts and impressions, and a "random thoughts" notebook. it's excessive, i am aware.

- this little buddha dude gifted to me by a religious studies professor after i received an A in his budhissm class. i was the only one in the class to get an A (hence the gift) and he told me that in doing so i had "inadvertently reached nirvana." HAHA. i don't know why, but this has been one of my favorite treasures to keep on my nightstand, it's been a staple for at least 4 or 5 years now. i find buddhism and southeast asian culture so fascinating - and i guess maybe i keep it by my bed as a reminder that i can do well in school? i need that lately. but mostly i just think he's cute.

- a vintage watch that my dad gave me. i rarely wear it, but always keep it next to my bed. 

-at least one, if not 2 or 3 pots of carmex, always always always. 

- one of my current reads. (but you actually should read "one day." it's really good!)

- a cute table tray that i found on clearance at target - it's actually made the world of difference with organization on my nightstand. now there's a place for all of the rings, birth control, pencils, tangled necklaces, etc etc. i usually huck my phone in there before i go to sleep, too.

-lemon verbena candle from target. seriously the best candle find, second ONLY to volcano candles from anthro. 

- i rarely use that lotion for myself - it's for jordan. he needs it on his hands when he rubs my back for long periods of time, which happens often. ;) he will complain, "my fingers are getting dry!" and then i reach over and go, "great, i have a solution!" haha.

- the box my wedding ring came in. although my ring is lost right now, i keep the box out as a good omen, summoning the ring back. think it'll work?


April 14, 2015

spring 2015.

as a deep, deep lover of fall - i always forget how great spring is! you just walk outside one day to bam! popcorn blossoms everywhere. i have looooooved the warm winter we had in utah (loved loved loved a million times) and the smell of blooms wafting through the air when i walk outside. is there any experience more magical? when it finally got warm enough to be outside nonstop and wear short sleeves, we were already bolting out our door. 

to kickoff the first day of spring, we went rock climbing with some friends up rock canyon park. since they have both been climbing for years, it was definitely humbling, but the perfect weather made up for that. ;)

the next day, we tandem biked (my favorite!) all over provo in the sunshine.

more springy things around here have included:

walking through the cherry blossoms at the state capitol. they were absolutely stunning. 

and having a spring tea party that was literally to die for. everything was dainty and cozy - i just wanted to squeal all afternoon. (ps, i love the ladies in my life!)

aaaaand i'll send you out with a few more bloom pictures,  ya know - for good measure. 

utah is rad. 

April 9, 2015

just keepin it real.

so, last night i went to get my eyebrows waxed and tinted by my hair girl. i drove down center street for the thousandth time, into her cute little salon, and was greeted with a warm and familiar hug. (and if tara brooke doesn't do your hair, you're doing it wrong.) because i usually get serviced at night, we were the only 2 in the joint. i laid back in the squishy chair and she started applying the tint. eventually, she exclaimed "oh my gosh! you're moving SO soon! how are you feeling?" i struggled for a second, and then i told her the truth. and it's the first time i've said the truth out loud. i don't know, it just seemed like the right moment to get it out. so here it is:

the last few weeks have been tough in the anxiety department. i try to focus on my day-to-day life, but it's like this shadow following me around everywhere, and it's fear. fear of the unknown. i've been doing a bang up job keeping all my feels and fear under wraps, but the last few days i've been weeping through the seams. jordan will hug me and i'll just start randomly begin sobbing - you know, that kinda stuff that men just love.  

i am legit scared. out of my mind. i am moving to a huge city, and upon arrival my husband will be working 90+ hour weeks, so i will have to brave this new life alone. it's a future that's full of possibility and excitement - but also, S C A R Y. i want to say scary a million times, it catches my breath in my throat and makes my stomach do unnatural turns. 

i have never lived in a big city before (salt lake doesn't count, right?) and i've never taken the bart and i've never grocery shopped any place except smith's and i've never moved somewhere new where i was going to be straight up starting from scratch. no existing friends, no family, nothing. and i'm scared. change is hard, it strips everything familiar away and forces you to mold. there will be days where i want to move back to provo, days where i just want my stinkin husband to come home, and days where i feel eaten alive. it will be hard - not just once, but a lot of times.

i like to think i'm all brave and independent, and in a lot of ways i guess i am. but my life is really comfortable and familiar right now. and underneath my "i got this!" attitude is a lot of insecurity and a big need for the intimate, the recognizable. 

but the intimate and recognizable are not the situations best suited for growth, & i really am grateful, i swear. this is what i want, i know it is. jordan works so hard for our little family and i am so proud of him. we have the chance here to really become bigger people. especially for me - i know that navigating a big city on my own and making new friends and just, figuring life out for myself will give me a lot of confidence - confidence that i couldn't have gained except by this experience. and for that, i should be only grateful and not fearful. 

and big cities are dreamy and electrifying and exciting, and i mean COME ON. who should really be complaining about this??!

so i'm just going to keep reminding myself of this:

and carry on. 

oh, and also here's a hilarious before/after picture of me getting my eyebrows dyed. (the things we do to look good!) in case you needed a laugh today. because i straight up look like a tranny.