Monday, April 21, 2014

Ohhh, so this is how you work a camera...

So I've had dear Stella (my canon) for around 4 years now. 4 years & have loved every second of our relationship. You know when you're in a relationship though and it's going well but you feel like it should be going better? That's how Stel and I have been for quite some time now.

I wanted to really know and understand how my camera works. I took a course at uvu but didn't learn as much about how to run my camera as I had hoped. After that, I started looking up photography blogs and thanks to pinterest there were numerous to choose from. Unfortunately, I don't learn much from just reading blogs, I need someone to physically show me. It's an ugly truth to accept.

J, being the wonderful man he is, had a friend he had been sitting by in one of his long and boring english classes that he had gotten to know while trying to stay sane. He ended up asking this fellow if he would be willing to meet up with me and teach me one-on-one. It was exactly what I needed.
Which means I finally learned how to use my beautiful camera.

So let the real experimenting & shooting begin with my handsome male model as the focus.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Conference is rad. The Church is true.

General conference weekend is one of my favorite weekends of the year. A huge box of Sees nuts and chews and incredible food (thanks to my mother) obviously have a great pull in that reason, but an even stronger pull is that there is something enlightening about listening to the living prophet {Thomas S. Monson} and the apostles that helps me step back and focus more on giving me a better perspective than I had going into it. 

I had written down a question I wanted answered, but as conference started, I had already forgotten what I had been thinking about (shocker).  After looking back at my notes by the end, I realized that my question had been answered in every single thought and quote that I had written down in my journal. 

Life is to be enjoyed. We are here to love those around us, whether they are reciprocating that love to us or not. If we focus on our relationship with our Heavenly Father, strengthening & making it a priority, that love towards others will become second nature. 

This was such a great message for me. Lately, I have been focusing so much more about what others are doing wrong or how "bugged" I am (pathetic, I know) rather than being grateful for what I have been blessed with and being patient and realizing that I really don't know anyone else's story or what they are going through. Love is the answer.

Thanks conference for being so rad. You get me every time. I'll see you in October, but in the meantime, I'll catch up and reread this conference's talks...because I may or may not have fallen asleep during part of the afternoon session....zzzz.

ps: Bell had puppies just a week and a half ago and they may or may not have been part of our entertainment during morning session. Too stinkin' adorable.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Growing up is weird...& good

Let's talk about life & about how crazy, anxiety building, and lovely it is. 

2013 was a good year to us & 2014 is really coming in hot already. Let's take a walk down memory lane and then talk about how incredible this year is going to be...lots of new changes here people.

JD & I got married on July 26, 2013 and it was the most perfect day and most incredible celebration (I'm not biased at all). Family & friends AMAZED us with the love and support they threw our way and we could not have been happier to have made the jump to start eternity together. & I guess it helped too that we were able to escape on a beautiful cruise to the Bahamas for our honeymoon to start things off. What a beautifully fun and relaxing place to be.

Marriage began & like most newlyweds would agree (in the most cliche way possible might I add), it was so much fun to finally be married to my best friend & to be able to not have to say goodbye every night. I've never had someone that I could spend that kind of unmeasurable time with and still want to spend more time afterwards with. Now don't get me wrong, we drove each other crazy and had (& have) countless things we needed to work on but it was still such a blast to be together. Unlike any other relationship.

School started back up & as much as we loved summer, we had no choice but to start writing papers, reading textbooks, and doing research again. And as often as people said, "You're almost done! You can see the light is at the end of the tunnel!" I just couldn't get myself to believe & there was literally no light at the time coming from any dang tunnel. Yet, I'm typing this and only 22 days away from being a college grad with my bachelors in Elementary Education from UVU, and my main man is 23 days away from being a college grad with his bachelors in English from the U.

Wait, say that again? A college graduate? I've been dreaming of this moment for awhile now but is it actually happening? How? Where has the time gone? This is starting to freak me out. 

As much as I want out of the college scene right now, that's what I'm comfortable with and what I know. I know how it's run, you know, the steps: how to write a paper, how to be half an adult and half of a child and still get away with it, how to stay up late but then be able to take a nap the next day after classes...but that's all about to change and as much as I want that, it's been making my anxiety start to bubble and poor JD has to be the one to calm me down.

I'm the one freaking out and JD is the one about to start law school. Something doesn't seem quite right with that picture but we are going to ignore that.

Yes, law school. We both decided that we wanted to move out of state for the three years of law school because we thought it would be really good for us to grow closer together. JD started applying to schools and we starting hearing back. He got accepted to Gonzaga in Spokane with a pretty dang good scholarship (which is hard to turn down) & so as of late that is most likely where we will be continuing to try to figure life out for the next 3 years. We went up and visited this past weekend and it was one of those....
The first day: "Do you like it?" - "I mean, it's not one of those places that is like, WOW I can't wait to live here! I don't know."
The third day: "I really think I can see us living here..." - "Me too. It really does seem like a nice place and it's gorgeous with all of these trees."
So, that was that. and we loved spending time with Hoopes and Michelle and their adorable baby Finn.

Moving on...not only are we graduating, and moving away this summer, but we are almost the proud new owners of a new puppy. A new puppy named Charly. A goldendoodle & the most adorable little runt (once again, not biased at allllll).

JD has always been in love with dogs. He follows about 5 different dog groups on instagram and is constantly noticing them wherever he goes. For a long time there was absolutely no way we were getting a dog. Not with us moving and not with where we were in our lives. I stayed really strong for some time. I'd just say, "When we CAN get a dog, I promise you we WILL."

Let's be honest, we could get a dog but it meant a lot of sacrificing (financially, conveniently, etc. etc.). I finally gave, after many pros and cons lists, but didn't tell JD. We started looking on KSL just for "fun". I had a great plan of attack for the surprise too. We were going to just go on a date that I planned and accidentally wind up where there were goldendoodle puppies and I would accidentally have the deposit to get one of them, but JD had to go ahead and ruin the surprise. One day he said, "Let's go this Thursday to just look at those puppies we were looking at on KSL. I think it'll be fun to just see them.." I was literally planning on taking him that Thursday and my horrible secret skills erupted & I told him everything! It was horrible but he was still surprised so I was still happy :)

The day we picked her out...a week & a half old *sigh*

Going & visiting her. 23 mored days until she gets to come home.
& she slept practically the entire time we were there. JD is going to be surrounded by narcoleptic women.

So that's life in a nut shell up to this point.

I know this is getting long but like every other post I write, I'm playing catch-up so they tend to become novels.

2014 is going to be one heck of a year:

-I finished student teaching (hallelujah!)
-JD is becoming a master at tai chi yoga ;)
-Graduating with our bachelors
-Getting our first puppy
-Traveling to ITALY with my parents (freaking out every time I even think about it)
-Running my first half marathon
-Moving to a different state
-Trying to find a teaching job in that new state (anxiety at its finest)
-& starting law school

Sheesh...let the games begin.