Jul 21, 2014

New Jersey {SHOUT OUT!}

Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed of marrying a returned missionary. I would always say to myself when it didn't work out with certain guys I was dating "well the guy I'm supposed to marry must still be on his mission"
and guess what?
he really was!
My husband Brayden served in the Morristown New Jersey mission from 2008-2010
and although I didn't know him at the time, my heart swells with pride when I hear stories and read his journal entries from when he was there. I remember the first time he pulled out his list of baptisms and I read through the names the spirit overwhelmed me. Missionary work is sooo incredibly important in heavenly fathers plan to share the gospel from top to bottom all over the world. Even little New Jersey had some special spirits that were prepared by the Lord to hear Brayden aka Elder Ward to teach them the gospel. How wonderful it is that my brother in AFRICA is teaching the same things Brayden taught in New Jersey. Brayden taught it in Spanish, and Calvin is teaching in Lugandan (and a couple other languages I cant pronounce or spell.) I am so blessed to be a part of this church. I am so blessed I am married to a boy who is worthy to carry the priesthood and sacrificed 2 years of his life to serve the lord and the people of New Jersey. I know I haven't met most of you out there that he taught and loves sooooo much. But he talks about all of you so often that I feel like I know all of you. You all have a very special place in my heart and I hope to meet you all someday. I also wanted to share my testimony with you and all of my followers how much I LOVE this gospel. It is TRUE. I wish there was a bigger word than true to describe how heavenly father sent his son Jesus Christ to this earth to atone for our sins. He loves all of us so much its almost hard to comprehend. But what I can comprehend is that we have living prophet on this earth who is guiding us in these modern days. Where it is so hard to listen to the spirit through all of the foggy evil things that creep into our minds, onto our radio's, into our TV's, and written into our books. Listen to the spirit and stay away from temptation. Even if you stray its never to late to come back. That's what so great about this gospel. No one gets left behind. Hold on tight to that Book of Mormon. It will guide and direct you. Thank you for letting your Elder Ward come back to Utah to me :) he has made me the happiest girl in the world and I will never stop loving him. And I will never stop loving and sharing the gospel in every way that I can.

how the necklace came about:
when we got home from our St. George trip on Sunday Brayden said a package had arrived for me. (something he ordered for me.. totally a surprise) It was small so I knew for sure it was a necklace or something. And then I saw the little new jersey outline and a little gold heart and ooooh boy the water works were STRONG people. hahaha I mean I couldn't even stop! All I could say was "I wanted this so bad!! its so perfect. This is exactly what I wanted!" and then cried all over Braydens sunburnt shoulders (sorry my Brayd) but it really couldn't be more perfect. I know I haven't been to New Jersey but I cant wait to go someday. That little gold heart really does symbolize that a little bit of Braydens heart is still in New Jersey with the incredible people he taught. And now so is mine :) Its also the prefect reminder to me to share my testimony often and be a missionary even on a regular day. I don't have the badge but I know I have one in my heart. Everyone does.

Jul 7, 2014

{Bear} Lake Paradise

The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love the warm summer nights and being with family. This year we decided what better way to be American than to head up to bear lake and spend the 4th of July in the good ol' motor home. We boated, we laid out, we paddle boarded, we ate lots of food, we biked, and we soaked up the sun.
 Ciara and I decided that it would be fun to feed the fish Cheetos with our toes. Turns out its actually not very fun and just plain scary. We mostly dipped our feet in the water for .05 seconds and then screamed and dropped the Cheetos in with out being touched by a nasty fish. hahah
 my mother in her natural habitat. She is a pro at boat driving.
 um.. this is carlie. she said that "she hates the sun" so I helped her out and made her a sun-proof ensemble so that the sun wouldn't touch any of her. "the sun is not my friend" -carlie
isn't carters fountain pony cuuuute?? he was just basking in his own beauty while we sped across the lakes waters. stunning. truly he is a stunning sight to behold.
we tried paddle boarding for the first time this year and it was SO fun. The water was calm and crystal clear. It was so magical in fact that I risked the life of my iPhone and paddled out with it so I could take some pictures. It was so worth it people! I mean... LOOK at that water. It never ceases to amaze.
here's a little side story for you about this little dino guy. so as we were paddle boarding i kept seeing these little white flowers floating past me. they were so cute i started collecting them up. Brayden even started helping me. And then there was a sudden gush of wind and all 4 of my flowers blew off my paddle board into the water never to be seen again and my dang board got stuck in the sand... and i was sad. Then out of no where brayden is like "its ok my legs, i have this!" (i was thinking he had gathered more little flowers to replace the ones i lost) and he said "look a triceratops to make it all better!" i couldn't stop laughing. that dino was worth 1000 little flowers. brayden saved the day again!
Brayden and I could've been on those paddle boards all day. Bear Lake is just one of those places where everything else you've been worried or stressed about will melt away into the bright blue water. I'm so grateful my parents practically raised me there every summer. It will always have a special place in my heart.
we also stumbled across this amazing yellow-y field that immediately made me shout "brayden pull over!! i need pictures of that!!" all my yellowest dreams came true when i saw that sight. I don't know what those little yellow flowers are but it was awesome. And brayden is always so good about my crazy picture taking ways.

why cant weekends last forever?!

Jun 29, 2014

{Buried} Treasure

This weekend was one of those weekends where everything went right. And when you have a horribly boring job like me weekends are precious! Especially in the summer. We really nailed it this week Brayden and I.

Friday night Brayden went golfing with a buddy and then brought me home some dinner and then we headed out on a sunset bike ride around the Jordan River. The weather was cool and the trail wasn't crowded at all. It was like we had the place to ourselves. And the cherry on top?? We discovered the trail takes us right to Gardner Village. My heart could've exploded I was so excited. If you haven't seen Gardner Village at night you are missing out. Its like an old quiet town all lit up with twinkly lights. We also found a little rocking swing that was super romantic but was also in a hidden spot where I could picture us getting murdered so we only swung for a couple of minutes!

Such a great date night. I could go for a bike ride every weekend and be happy.

Then Saturday came along and brayden had to work in the morning :( but I slept in and we both headed over to braydens parents house. They are moving so brayden was helping clean out the shed. And while doing so the father and son duo found some buried treasure in the shed! Deep Deep down in a dusty old drawer they found some old cameras.

Brayden hollered to me to come see what they found. I couldn't possibly imagine what could be in that dirty old shed that I could ever want to look at. Then brayden placed the old camera in my hand. I think the first think I said was "ARE YOU KIDDING ME??" I was sooooo excited to see these old camera's (being the insane picture taker I am) brayden knew I was going to dig these old camera's. And people my husband was right because I just about stuffed all three of them under my shirt and made a break for it.

But I love my father in law so I wouldn't feel good about stealing from him.... yet ;) hehe. So instead i decided to ask a thousand questions and take hundreds of fake pictures pushing the little capture button and peering through the little eyehole. They literally found my kind of buried treasure. I took them over to my mom so she could look at them. She had the same reaction I did. Then she pulled out her old camera that she got from her grandma. Pretty much we were both obsessed. It was so fun.
what makes these camera's even more special is that the one in the middle belonged to braydens dad's uncle, and the other two belonged to braydens grandpa who passed away before I ever even met brayden. I never got to meet Kelly's  (my father in law) dad but I think we would've been friends :)

Later that night we went out on a double date with my parents (dinner and a movie) and it was awesome. Everyone needs to go on a double date with their parents every so often! Coasta Vida and some Transformers = one epic date night!

I needed a weekend like this. It was great. Now i can face Monday and another week refreshed and my batteries rebooted.

Jun 11, 2014

Brave but {Sweaty}

So yesterday I woke up and had courage for breakfast and decided it was time for the long, security blanket hair to go. I have had long hair for so what seems like forever. I was way excited until she started cutting.

My cousin Mindy does hair and I decided that I would have her come cut it! And I love her so hanging out for a few hours was a win win :) anywhoooo. The entire week I was so excited not nervous one bit! The day came, she sat me down, put my cape thing on, and said

are you ready??

oh yeah do it! (I was so confident! So ready to be freed from my massive main of hair)

and then sniiiiiipppp. oh no what have I done...

and then she handed me my hair!! like 8 inches of it! I couldn't believe it! haha that's when the sweat started to roll. I knew I wanted to do this I have been dying to cut it off for months so I knew it was just that little part of my brain that isn't brave making me so nervous!

"what if I look like a boy, what if its ugly, my face might look weird, I need my long hair to look pretty..."

luckily Mindy is one of the nicest funniest ladies I know and kept me calm the entire time! Telling me it was so cute and making me laugh when she would tell me hair school stories.

but man... oh man... I was scared! I was so sweaty I could feel the sweat trickling down my back! Like if I had just hiked 18,000 miles or something.
cutting cutting cutting seemed like it was never going to end. I just wanted to see it so badly! I kept asking Brayden what he thought but he wasn't responding much just reading his book.

And then she was FINALLY done. And I looked in the mirror and LOVED it. It was so short and cute and so girly! I felt like I had shed 10 lbs. I felt so light and free!

I got rid of that security blanket of mine and replaced it with something new and fresh! I don't want to hide behind hair I want to just be me :)

and a little part of me yesterday was brave.
I'm pretty proud of that.
but I was also very sweaty.

ps. Brayden said he REALLY liked it ALOT. Which made me love it even more. Now its officially summa tiiiime!