Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sweet deals.

Southwest Airlines is my favorite for a reason! Go to their website now to book a super-de-duper cheap flight between August 23 and November 16.  You can get flights for as low as $40, $80, or $120 depending on where you want to go. But, hurry! Because the 40 year birthday celebration deal ends tomorrow. I'm thinking California, Texas, or Colorado in the fall. . . but I have to wait til JD gets home from work to start making real plans. If anyone wants to make a trip out of it- let us know :)

Twin souls.

"It required no explanation, just as the universe needs none as it travels through endless time. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. He was more certain of it than of anything in the world. He had been told by his parents and grandparents that he must fall in love and really know a person before becoming committed. But maybe people who felt that way had never learned the universal language. Because, when you know that language, it's easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it's in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, and their eyes meet, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one's dreams would have no meaning."
-Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

I read this description of love today. I'm not so sure there's only one someone for every someone out there, but I do think there's a very certain feeling you get when you meet your spouse: the "I think I'm more compatible with you than anyone I've ever met" feeling. Just weeks after I met JD, I was driving home with a friend after hanging out with him and his buddies and I verbalized what I'd been feeling for days, "I am going to marry him." I was in the passenger seat and she laughed with surprise.

Her: "Do you really think so?"
Me: "I haven't said that out loud yet."
Her: "Do you really think so?"
Me: "It's so weird. I'm so confused. But I really think so."
Her: "Wow."
Me: "Yeah, I know. Am I crazy?"
Her: "It's not crazy if it's what you feel."

And I pretty much felt it then, but fought it for a few months. Although I was so stressed and it was so hard at the time, it seems almost comical to me now how much my heart and head fought. My heart was right and I should've known.

The connection I have with JD now really is a beautiful thing. I'm grateful for the life we've created together. I read the description, "twin soul," (in the excerpt above) and couldn't think of better words to describe our relationship. It's like we're the same now. So much of who we are, and how we act, and what we say is intertwined.

We're twin souls, and I kind of really like it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Green gecko.

We JD recently painted our bathroom green. It was supposed to be a couple's project, but JD surprised me and it did it while I was at work! Although I love bright, happy walls and have been dying to paint forever. . . it turns out painting isn't as easy or fun as HGTV makes it look. So a BIG thank you goes to the hubby! After a few trips to hardware stores and some disagreements about what greens look good on walls, we finally agreed on Gecko Green by Valspar. It's so happy and we're both super pleased with the results.

I realized after these pictures were taken that they might've looked better without the towel on the toilet or red toilet brush by the tub... but I was too lazy to take the pictures again. Please ignore. :)
And while you're busy ignoring the poor staging, don't mind the burnt out lightbulb. . .

JD and I have been working hard to get our little home in tip top shape for when my family gets here in a week (!!) Although we know they'd love us no matter what our place looks like, it's good motivation to get these projects tackled. More updates and projects in the days to come :)

Ps. I'll do a tutorial for that black framed jewelry holder someday. It was JD's idea and I loveeee it.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Teaching love and kindness.

For a long time, my Dad taught and coached at a high school level. Many of my childhood memories include going to games and practices, cheering on my dad and hanging out in his office. Even after he retired from teaching and started work as a contracter, I've thought of him as a teacher. He is a gifted leader. He knows how to connect with people in a way that makes them both respect and listen to him. He is humble. He loves people. And he's super passionate about things he loves (Texas history, sports, and the Gospel). He accepts people for who they are, but pushes them to be better versions of themselves.

He was more than just a school teacher, though.  He was a teacher in our home. He taught me to work hard, to develop meaningful friendships, to open my door to neighbors, to befriend the outsider, to give my best efforts, to sacrifice for family, and to put others before myself. He taught me these things by showing me them. He does manual labor without complaint. He loves to host gatherings in our home. As a youth leader at church, he made connections with the less popular kids and encouraged us to include them in activities. He helped church members move, visited them in their homes, and offered help in all the ways he could. He gave up his teaching career to take on a new job because he knew it would be better for our family.  In so many ways, I look to him for guidance and direction. His righteous example helps me both in my marriage and personal life.

Dad, thank you for providing for me, directing me, loving me, and teaching me. Your love and kindness are apparent in all you do. On Father's Day, and always, I'm lucky to be your daughter.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dear girls,

I wish I knew how to tell you how much hope I have for you. I believe you can fight the demons you face. I believe you can find courage deep within yourselves and push through hard times. I believe you can accept the past and work towards a bright, bright future. You are so lucky to be where you are.

You may not believe in God, but I'm praying for you nonetheless. . . and I know He is blessing your lives. I feel His love and compassion everyday I work with you.

You are so very deeply loved.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

More of the everyday.

I've recently become super excited about scrapbooking again. I've checked out lots of books and past issues of Creating Keepsakes magazines from the library. I've also spent some time in craft and hobby stores seeking inspiration and trying to withhold myself from buying anything. One of the most important things I've learned as I've been studying layouts and reading books about scrapbooking is that I'm most drawn to pages about everyday things. Typically, I've been one to scrapbook big events like birthdays, vacations, holidays, and other rare happenings. My goal now is to focus on documenting and recording more of my everyday life. I want to be able to look back and remember all the little things that make my life what it is. Also, I want my children to be able to know what I was really like and what my days have actually consisted of. I want to become more of a life artist (as Ali Edwards would say). This is my first attempt at an "everyday" picture- something I wouldn't normally think to capture, but tells part of our story nonetheless.
NBA Finals. JD. Watching because he's been following the league all season and this is the climax. Me. Watching because there's a Texas team in it to win it and because my husband feels loved when I watch sports with him. Us. Eating otter pops because they're a great sweet treat. This is an everyday moment.

I hope I can capture more of the little things. I hope I can recognize the beauty in my life everyday. I hope I can be better at documenting, recording, and remembering.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cute in the kitchen

Dear JD,
You're really cute in the kitchen.
your full & grateful wife.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A lesson in patience.

JD had been looking forward to our fishing trip on Saturday for weeks. I had secretly been dreading it. We woke up in the early, early morning and drove up the canyon for over an hour to set up on the dock by 7 am. It was freezing and I was crankkkky. After a few hours of fishing with only one bite, I was thoroughly convinced of what I'd known from the start: fishing is by far the most boring and unproductive way to spend your time. I mumbled and grumbled and begged JD to leave. He told me to be patient and to try to learn something from this beautiful experience in the outdoors. After pleading for freedom and finding no sympathy from my fish-loving husband, I decided I would read aloud to try and pass the time. We are currently reading the biography of Thomas S. Monson and I decided to pick up where we left off a few weeks ago.

Imagine JD's smug smile as I began the chapter by reading, "In 1930 when Sinclair Lewis accepted his Nobel Prize in literature he wisely stated, 'I learned, as a boy, that there is something very important and spiritual about catching fish.' Tom Monson would agree. . ." [emphasis added]

I wanted to die. The entire chapter we read was about the lessons he learned while fishing with his father, brothers, cousins, and other relatives on the lakes and rivers of his boyhood. How appropriate for this occasion, right?! I learned that  in order to learn to fish, one  must be "patient, watchful, determined, resilient, and strong." 

I couldn't believe we ended on that chapter and I decided to open the book at that particular moment. It was pretty hilarious. . . but I do think I'll be learning patience some other way. I still hate fishing.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Do you ever read words placed side by side in such a perfect combination that your heart almost sings? Or have you ever learned or remembered a single word that makes you want to be better?

For weeks, this word has been dancing in my brain: ollin. It's a word the ancient Aztecs used to describe an earthquake or great storm powerful enough to shake the earth. It's used to communicate intense and immediate movement. Ollin originates from yollotl, meaning heart, and yolistli, meaning life. The word literally means to move and act now with all your heart. It means to follow your path in life wholeheartedly. The Aztecs knew- when an earthquake hits, you have to move now.

I feel as though I've been stagnant the last few months. I'm not living my life whole-heartedly. I'm mostly just going through the motions. I'm challenging myself, and you, to live with more intention. Do your every day things with full purpose of heart. Go all in and live ollin.


I recently finished putting together our wedding scrapbook album. I know...almost two years late! As I was browsing through hundreds of images from our wedding day, my mind flooded with memories of so much happiness. Happy yellow flowers, the warm sun and cool night breeze, stolen kisses on the temple grounds, a dance floor full of happy, carefree friends, a hand to hold.

I was also reminded of how incredibly lucky I am. Lucky I live in a time when my precious memories can be captured by the wonderful invention of a camera. Lucky I have the ability to create and make things with my hands. Lucky I have an understanding of temples and forever families. Lucky to have such good friends, friends I don't always get to see but who I still share deep bonds with. Lucky to be able to stay close with my family through an invisible phone connection. Lucky to live in a place where I have the freedom to choose Christ and try my best to follow Him.

And so, so lucky to have this man as a roommate, a friend, a teacher, a companion, an example, a lover, and another part of me.

Photo credit: Jon Woodbury.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Memorial weekend

For memorial weekend, we went up to Park City with our friends Brad and Abby. We stayed at Abby's family's cabin and ate, played games, and watched movies to the wee hours of the morning. (Ps. If you thought Inception was hard to understand when you were awake, try figuring it out when you're constantly falling asleep in all the important parts.) We went to the outlet malls, had steak and potatoes with Brad's family, and squeezed in a few games of Settlers of Catan.
Ps. I won our 4 hour game of Dominoes on Sunday night. Brad's dad wasn't too pleased, but I was happy! It was a fun weekend.

Pps. I am grateful for all the men and women who give of their lives in support of our country. Check out this Pulitzer Prize winning military project. I remember seeing a picture from this series when we visited the Newseum last summer in DC.  Such amazing work.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


We tried a new mexican restaurant last weekend, Mi Rancherito.
Don't worry. It's our new favorite place.