Growing Love Volume III

Yesterday as Landon and I crawled into bed for a Sunday nap, having finally gotten a sick and falling apart Paityn asleep in her crib, I found myself facing insecurities that I hadn’t realized I was dealing with. As I made myself cuddle up next to Landon, putting my arm around him, I realized how unnatural it suddenly felt compared to just months ago. Logistically cuddling one’s husband is a just a bit harder 9 months pregnant, but it was more than that. I started to realize other ways that I had been showing just how insecure I was lately without realizing it, all the way down to making less eye contact when we’d talk.

The marital relationship is an interesting one. What other relationship goes through quite as many phases of life that a husband and wife go through? And somehow, the best relationships learn how to evolve and grow together.

The secret, I’m realizing is to recognize and acknowledge that growth needs to happen. That we’re not the same couple we were even back in July when we first saw the plus sign for this second little babe. So we talk and talk and talk some more. We share our feelings, make each other a priority, and when in doubt, Landon orders a pizza to be delivered at the house for me when life is just too overwhelming.

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But then there are the days when life is just good. And pregnancy doesn’t feel so hard. It’s those days that just make my world go round. When we can put down our phones, and don’t have anything important to talk about and we can just be. And life is easy. Those are the parts of this pregnancy that I want to remember. The hard days have their role, and the growth is happening! But I love documenting the sunny days. The days that we held hands, I did my hair, and we were a complete family. Just the three of us.

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On a whim I found Shay Burr and her photography skills on Instagram and immdedialy proceeded to stalk her feed and photography blog. I’d been wanting to bring our Growing Love series back since moving to Utah but had struggled to find the perfect fit. I think we’ve found it!

Paityn wasn’t the most cooperative toddler in the world, so she was bribed with holding my phone and being able to watch the Let It Go song over and over again to her heart’s content. Which, by the way, I’ve created a button on my phone that goes directly to the video for her. This isn’t a battle I’m about to fight with her.

And my phone is constantly at 2%  so don’t mind the charging cable. This is just what life looks for us more times than not.

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Marriage is so important to me, so I appreciate all of the kind words and support with this little series. Documenting life is something that makes my heart happy, so I attempt to make it a priority. I hope that you’re finding what works for making your relationship stronger. We’re all in this together.

xx

all photos by Shaylee Burr Photography
past Growing Love posts, here

Growing Love: Volume II

This past weekend Landon and I headed off for our first camping trip of the summer. Without the push to take photos I don’t think we would’ve gone out this weekend and I am SO glad that we did. This series is working already.

We hugged my family goodbye on Thursday after getting to spend a week with them as they headed up to Oregon and the next day we packed up for a camping trip. This is where being married to an outdoor enthusiast comes in handy — in the time it took to get myself ready he had all of the gear, food and things we’d need for he and Paityn ready. Which is the start to any great camping adventure.

camp2camp1camp11 We headed up a bit past Nevada City/Grass Valley to a campground by the river. Being the weekend after July 4th we were figuring luck would be on our side with finding a campsite, but there were fewer options than expected. At a bit before 3pm there were two sites open, and one bordered a sketch cabin with a ‘beware of dog’ sign right next to their front door. We opted for the site on the other end.
camp21 camp23 camp24A few minutes out from the campsites cell service drops, which is my new favorite thing about camping. Landon and I spend so much time engaged with social media, taking photos, responding to emails, etc. The fact that we were encouraged to just relax and enjoy the time together was beyond amazing.

We spent the weekend with Andrew, Teresa and their little one who is exactly 6 months younger than Paityn. Together we got situated —  us with our tent + they with their Jeep, then shared a dinner. By early evening the comfy clothes and a few layers of bug spray started being put on and the chocolate came out. I’m not even embarrassed to say Landon and I cuddled up and went to bed at 9:30pm, because it was the best night of sleep I’ve had in a long time. I don’t know if it was the fresh air, or Paityn so perfectly asleep in the middle of us, but when I woke up I requested that from here on out we always sleep in a tent.
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In the morning, after breakfast we packed up and took a trail down towards the river to play in the sun. The descent was a little much for my nervous hiking feet, but we made it without sliding off a dropoff and had the alcove of the sandbar all to ourselves.

This edition of our Growing Love Series accomplished exactly what I was hoping to gain from the series. We were able to capture a few keepsake photos of us out doing what we love to do, and it helped push us out the door and on an adventure.

I’m ready to squeeze a million more camping trips from now til it gets too cold outside. And the less cell service there is the better.

 

 

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PS: huge thanks to Andrew Faulkner for taking photos! | Growing Love: Volume 1

Shorts: Target, Sandals: Bedrock Sandals // Paityn’s Tee + Camo Leggings: Carters, Mocassins : Freshly Picked, Golden Rod // Aztec Tee + Jeans: American Eagle

Growing Love: Volume I

With our 3 year anniversary approaching earlier this month I was feeling bummed about the idea of posting the same wedding photos that year + every year after with some form of a caption like “happy ___ years, babe!” We were lucky to still have our wedding photos, so we posted them! And then made plans to do something about it, which is how this series began: monthly photography post together.

As a new mom, my phone is full of photos of Paityn. I post often about the little things she does, what she’s learned, and moments that made my heart melt. But the most important relationship to me, is the one with Landon. My love for him is like none other.

The past few years have helped me realize just how many roads are at our feet. We can still have any type of marriage that we want. So we choose a forgiving marriage, a loving marriage; one with extra laughter, time together, and date nights. We’re learning each others needs and how to help each other. Though we haven’t finished reading the Love Languages book I’m fairly certain that photos are my love language. Lucky for me, Landon has fun with them too.

I hope that as we focus more on each other for this next year together, behind and in front of the camera, that you too will feel inspired to do a little something extra with the one you love, whatever that means to you.

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And if you thought I loved this dress + Sonnet James’ dresses before … while the guys were moving a few chairs down steps where the lighting was better, I jumped in to help. I grabbed a chair that had been deemed the rust chair without my knowing. Two seconds later I had a rust the size of a soccer ball on the front of my dress. We hadn’t even shot photos for 5 minutes yet.

That handsome husband of mine scrubbed and scrubbed at it with a Clorox stain remover, and my heart slowly pieced back together as the rust became lighter every minute. After a wash that night when we were finished, it was literally good as new.

Which, I’m sure is a metaphor for love too. ;)

Reese Dress, C/O Sonnet James, Scarf: PacSun, Belt: Target, Sandals: Steve Madden // Romper + Sandals: Target //

| Photos by Andrew Faulkner, his Facebook page HERE

Three Years / 1095 Days Together

Three years being together, three! It seems so short, yet makes me feel old at the same time. I’ve been editing our wedding photos the past day or so getting them ready for those pasts, and it feels so good to love them again. That day was beautiful. I feel lucky, truly lucky, to have had so many beautiful days with Landon since. I feel like if you come to my blog and don’t leave with the feeling that I love marriage and motherhood then I have failed with sharing my heart.

My favorite things with Landon this year, are all the little things: sleepovers in the living room, Subway dates, walks with Paityn, reading a book out loud together, setting goals together, studying the scriptures, helping each other with our blogs, camping, drives, hikes, road trips, being on the same page with music on those road trips, time with his family, all the billion texts, hugs when he comes home, and million I love you’s.

If there’s one thing I feel strongly about, it’s the idea of living consciously. To check in, to be aware and to constantly evaluate. It means the world to mean that Landon is on the same page, and then some. I have no doubt that when we sort out the logistic of our future and careers, it’s going to be a good fit. And that means so much more to me than jumping into Law School or a similar path this time last year just to feel like we have things figured out. Turns out, I’m liking all of the possibilities for our future, even if they include Texas this week ;)

Happy wedding anniversary, my adventure buddy ♡

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Our Wedding Day || 2011

I’m not sure what I thought life would look like once we were married, when customers would ask me that summer in June what the countdown to our wedding was, but man you guys, it’s good. I could’ve never have pictured all the sweet moments that have happened the past three years.

With this anniversary approaching, I set goals to take more photos with Landon, so that we don’t just post the same wedding photos every anniversary. But truth be told, it’s a miracle we still have these photos. When Paityn decided to spill water all over our laptop, all the photos that were on there were lost. So here’s to the official start of our love story, saved wedding photography emails + a cute little anniversary on a Tuesday.

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It gets really good when I think back to a few more years back, the sweet 6’2″ song playing in the background, and I think about what I must’ve dreamt about when I thought about who I’d marry. And it just makes me love Landon even more. I know my six-year-old self, and fourteen year old self, and nineteen year old self would all be pretty excited about what’s to come.

At the three-year mark I’d promise that girl who meets the boy in cutoff shorts on a warm september night to stick it out with this one, to not give up even when year 2 comes. Because what comes next, is more beautiful that any love she’s ever tried to imagine.

 

A Wedding Reception || 2011

Landon and I were married in the Oakland Temple June 10, and chose to have our reception the next evening, which turned out being the best decision ever. Seriously, if you’re planning your wedding split the two up. By Saturday evening, the excitement of being married had officially kicked in. Though no ceremony took place this evening, I would’ve been heartbroken if we would’ve lost these photos too with our laptop. Picture Bon Iver playing in the background and a beautiful summer sunset. I have the best in-laws, ever.

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Goal Setting in a Marriage

In an effort to strengthen our marriage we started setting weekly goals each Monday beginning last fall. The idea was Landon’s, going back to the days when he was a missionary and would found success doing companionship study and goal setting. We bought a notebook to write in each Monday, knowing our weekly goals would be nice to back on + see our progress, and a square board to post our goals for that week making visible. Next to it we hung a clipboard that holds the talk that we’ve chosen to study that week. These two things, though simple, have got to be one of my favorite habits of ours.

Monday afternoon I find a talk I’m interested in reading, I copy it into Microsoft Word where I format it, then email it over to Landon to print off. We like to print 2 copies of each talk, one for both of us, double sided on card stock. When we read it together in the evening, we’re free to make notes and highlight what stands out to us individually. This part is important to me. When I go to look over the talks we’ve read, seeing my notes will be a great benefit to me. If we shared the same talk, or didn’t use notes, well it just wouldn’t be the same.

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After a week of being hung in the hallway, we hole punch the past weeks talk, and put each copy in our personal binder. Already I love looking back on what we’ve studied together so far. I find a sense of accomplishment, and deeper love of the gospel and our Savior by having them printed off and marked up.

Next, our weekly goals. This one is ever more simple. The key for us has been to make them important, obtainable, and including goals that make us stretch beyond our comfort zone a little bit. I had initially included a picture which had our entire list for this week visible, but in an effort to keep a bit of privacy, I rewrote our list for the sake of this post.

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In the beginning, and here’s what I mean about liking the idea of looking back on past goals to see how far we’ve come, common goals included praying 3 times a day together and reading the scriptures daily. Once those became a habit we were able to start leaving them off of our list and included new goals. One that still feels a little uncomfortable is our no electronics night. But it pushes us to do new things in the evenings together besides staying at home and watching another new redbox movie.

With the New Year, and 3 full lists of goals written, some of our weekly goals began to have things that would help us achieve those yearly goals. We still include things that may only apply that week — a person or couple we want to remember to pray for, goals to be a better parent to Paityn, filing our taxes, sending a birthday card, signing back up at the gym, a party to attend or resume to rework.

Which leads me to the third part of what works for Landon and I. The smaller weekly goals have done wonders for our marriage. It brings us together each Monday to think about us as a couple, helps us analzye what we need, and is visible all week to keep us on track. But once 2014 started, as you may remember, it was important to me to set bigger goals for the year. 2013 was rough, and we really got off track. I felt strongly and still do, that we need this year to grow and to stretch and to expand as individual and as a couple.
Landon was great and had no problem coming up with a list of things he wanted to accomplish. I wrote mine, then together we made a list for us as a couple that I’m so happy about. I printed our three lists out on textured cardstock a few weeks ago, found 3 frames that would work at IKEA last Saturday, and last night they were hung by our teepee.

Treating them like they were special felt key to me in making these ideas and accomplishments a priority this year.

Wherever you’re at in life, I strongly believe that you should have a list of goals that you’re working towards. And if you find a fun way to display them, then, bonus points

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PS: Talks That We’ve Studied So Far + Loved:

The Challenge to Become: Dallin H Oaks // Becoming Provident Providers Temporally and Spiritually: Robert D Hales // Opportunities to Do Good: Henry B Eyring // None Were With Him: Jeffrey R Holland // To My Grandchildren: Henry B Eyring // This Do in Remembrance of Me: Jeffrey R Holland // The Sanctity of the Body: Susan W. Tanner // and His Grace Is Sufficient: Brad Wilcox

My Favorite Love Story

I woke up this morning feeling especially excited, but not able to pinpoint why. Landon walked into our room a few moments later and I got to read this sweet blogpost, still rubbing the sleep out of my eyes. This melts my heart. And I wanted to share it here too. I’ve gotten to blog about our struggles and wedding day, but this goes back a little more, to where we began. Guys, he’s the best.  Here’s our little love story. It’s my favorite. ps: Happy Valentine’s Day!

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“I could feel the heat like pin pricks rising into my cheeks, my embarrassment obviously visible. The cute old ladies next to us in “The Park” breakfast cafe had seen what I had planned on being a subtle move. Their smiles and excited whispering made it apparent that my private question had caught their attention as well. I shouldn’t have been embarrassed, but there I was, happiest dude in the room with a bright red face. I shouldn’t have cared too much, she had said yes and that was the most important part. Her smile was infectious as we both sat their without speaking. She knew it was coming at some point, but she hadn’t anticipated that I would ask her to marry me over breakfast at the same place we had enjoyed our first date. I had wanted something simple but cute, and decided on The Park as the perfect place to pop the question. I tried to be sly about it; pretend to drop my fork, bend over to pick it up and come back up with the ring. It had worked and now we were both happy as a pair of clams, and so were the two old ladies to my left still giddy like school girls over my proposal. Kyra Valentine had said yes and although her name would change we decided she would be my Valentine everyday just the same. We also got a free breakfast for the show.

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I was a hipster musician type with a closet outdoor obsession when Kyra and I first met the previous summer at a friends going away party. She had just moved to Salt Lake City for school and had tagged along with her roommates to the get-together. Her beauty struck me instantly although I apparently had to take a number to talk with her. Every guy there seemed interested in the blonde haired, green eyed Alaskan girl, so I ate some waffles and waited. As a side note, I have no idea why there were waffles at a going away party, it’s not like the festivities were in honor of Leslie Knope.

At any rate my number was apparently called because at some point I found myself talking to this mysterious newcomer about who knows what? (music probably – I had an indefatigable passion for music at the time). Whatever we talked about must have caught her attention just enough for her to want to head over to another friends house to watch “500 Days of Summer.” Probably not the best movie for a potential couple, but we still have fond memories of cuddling up on the Luv Sac with her boney head jabbing into my shoulder while I laid there in pain to nervous to ask her to re-position herself.

And so our relationship began, boney head on my throbbing shoulder. Our first official date at The Park cafe came a few days later and a couple of months later we both admitted to each other what we had both known from the very beginning; we were in love (cue “aww’s”). That’s actually how it went though. We both knew after our first couple of dates that we would eventually be married. I even told her later that I knew I would marry her before I ever loved her. I guess when you know you just know.

We were married for time and all eternity on June 10, 2011 and our life together officially started. We moved into a little one bedroom apartment in downtown Salt Lake City. That apartment will probably always be my favorite despite being build in 1910, not having air conditioning, not having room to put anything and a bathroom smaller than a coat closet. It was simple and those were simpler times.

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We spent the first year of our marriage going to school full time and working three jobs between both of us while rocking out the the Avett Brothers. Despite our hectic lives we still found time to watch Hulu and eat popcorn, something we still enjoy on a very regular basis. We planned weekend get-a-ways to Saint George, Zion National Park, the Uintas and the like. We fought the masses to the free concerts in the park to see Matisyahu, The Decemberist, Modest Mouse, Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros and so many more. We biked through the city in the summer and cuddled up by our little fireplace to watch the snow during winter. Yeah, that apartment will always be my favorite apartment.

Now back in California near my childhood stomping grounds we have our own little one. Paityn just turned one and her aging has done little to slow her down. In fact she’s into anything and everything. Kyra and I have opened a new chapter of our lives and are just realizing that the love we thought was strong before is deeper and stronger than ever and will only get stronger with time. It has been a process of learning, changing and forgiving that has brought us closer. I had heard people say, “marriage takes work” more time than I had heard the Star Spangled banner before the big game, but I don’t think I ever understood it until I had to understand it. Marriage does take work, everyday isn’t always the ending to The Notebook, full of tender affection and cathartic love. We’ve had tough days, but in the words of Paramore, “..even on the worst nights I’m into you” (I’m a Dad now, I can quote whoever I darn well please).

So, today on her favorite holiday I want to wish my Valentine, Happy Valentine’s Day. And while I can’t afford a dozen perfectly cut roses or new pair of running shoes to show my love I can say I love you, and hope you know how much you mean to me. I love you Kyra Ann.”

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Recovery, Hope, Healing.

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When I first met my husband I had lived in Salt Lake City for 3 days.

I had spent the prior year at Dixie State in St. George, Utah where my life had changed. My second semester there was the brightest my life had ever been. It was springtime, with endless hours of sunshine. I started to have meaningful prayers and amazing learning moments because of the spirit. Later I’d find in the scriptures Mosiah 18:30, “And now it came to pass that all this was done in Mormon, yea, by … the waters of Mormon, the forest of Mormon, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever” and it’d resonate with me perfectly. That city, that campus, that period of time were my Waters of Mormon. It was where I came to the knowledge of my Redeemer and it was so beautiful to my eyes.

But once that school year finished and I had returned home for the summer, I began to feel unsettled about returning to St. George. The life I had assumed I’d get to pick back up once my savings account was full again began to not felt right. I had a new apartment, new job, friends, a guy, and second year of school all sitting on hold for me but I never got to return to hit play.

Through months of prayer and tears that summer, and a lot of other life lessons, I found myself sitting in a missionary discussion with the boy I’d had a crush on since 5th grade. We’d dated seriously for a year and a half starting at the end of my Senior year. As the months went on that fall our long distance relationship had begun to reek emotional havoc on me, as I stayed in on weekends, while everyone was going out. By early that next semester, I could feel my life changing. I was changing, I wanted to be a new person, or who I had been when I was younger. I needed to recover from who I’d been, and move forward.

So move forward I did, from St. George, to Alaska, and then very prayerfully, as a transfer student to Salt Lake City that fall. I left behind a lot in Alaska for a second time, as well as St. George, but couldn’t deny the feeling that I needed to be in Salt Lake.

The Landon I met at a going away party, that I shouldn’t have been invited to in the first place, wore cutoff shorts and a cream sweater. The first half of the party is a blur to me, but you can read his version here. We We small chatted enough to know we wanted to keep things going, so together with Avery and another friend we drove to second apartment where we watched a movie in a group of more friends. He asked for my number as he dropped me off and took me out on a breakfast date not too many days later. I can’t remember much of his vibe in the beginning. I know that I was impressed with the person he was, and of course his semi-hipster style. I know that we laughed often and easily, and that I had so much fun with him. We had deep and meaningful conversations from the beginning, and moved forward with little fear. Looking back it was that first winter together that I started to see him as the wonderful guy that he was. He was [and still is!] kind, he was patient, he was adventurous, he was thoughtful, he was spontaneous. We served together, read together, made goals together, made lists of everything we loved about each other and spent as much time together as possible.

Freshly engaged, I took the semester off and started to work two jobs: the flagship Deseret Book location + Blue Lemon, a cute cafe next door. We saved + prepared for a life together.  Our wedding that summer in California was beautiful, as were those first months. We went on adventures the second we changed out of our work uniforms. From Zion’s National Park, to California, to free Edward Sharpe and Lupe Fiasco concerts in the park, we packed in the fun. On bikes that he surprised me with one summer night we experienced SLC in such a carefree way. I started back at school downtown that Fall while he finished his last year at the U.

Then right around Christmas time, just before we left for California, my heart broke the first time as mrs faulkner. It was confusing and hard to process. I didn’t understand the whole story, and he didn’t fill in the rest. I cried, he cried. With the Elders scheduled to come over for dinner that night we called to cancel, spent time together that night trying to put our hearts back together, and then went to visit California like normal.

I moved on quickly, increased my love, and moved forward. We prayed and fasted over many decisions, and felt guided to make a few certain big ones. I started blogging that spring as we moved from SLC to California for Landon’s first full-time job out of school and a little Paityn came that winter.

Then, that summer after returning from our trip to Alaska, my heart broke for a third time and hopefully final time. The first week we attended recovery meetings I was nervous and broken. As we continued to attend, week after week, I learned to continue to rely on Heavenly Father even after His initial nudges and help had faded. I learned to not just forget + increase in love, but to really forgive. Without prayer and relying on the atonement, I who though was great forgiving was really just great at forgetting.

I learned that the time it takes me to heal, can take longer that the time it takes to forgive, and that that’s ok. I have come to know my Savior and Heavenly Father more this summer, fall and winter than I possibly ever did in St. George. This time it’s because my heart is heavy. Where I once felt lighter than a feather and more beautiful than ever, I feel knocked down.

In our meetings, I have felt the power of what God asks us to do; to bear one another’s burdens. Never before has heartache felt so tangible. Because there’s no cross talk, each woman shares their thoughts in a safe environment. One by one with each share, tears and triumphs are shared and felt by all. It is a feeling of support like nothing I’ve ever experienced.  A spiritual message is shared by a group leader, we end with prayer then everyone slowly trickles out of the room, prepared to take on another week, whatever may come.

This has been a hard time in my life, and for Landon possibly even more so. But I feel grateful to have never felt alone without my Heavenly Father through this time of forgiving and healing. I’m grateful that I felt prepared for this. Though blindsided, I was spiritually prepared. This wasn’t something God wanted us to go through, but He knew it would happen and I feel strongly that He prepared me. I don’t believe that events “x” and “y” in my life helped me to be ready because that’s not how it seems. It seems that everything spiritual in my life led up to this.

I feel very protective of Landon, and his story. But his story has become a very personal story for me and I felt very impressed to find a way to put our story into words. We’re at a point now where the birds are singing and the buds on our tree of marriage are budding. A fire ripped through us, and now new life is growing.

Most of all I want to promise you that there are good things to come. Moving forward you’ll have to talk more than before, and sometimes more gently than before, but it’s all worth it. Marriage is worth it, love is worth it, your bright future is worth it. Follow your heart + the spirit, lean on God, and know that you are loved more than you can comprehend.

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a List of Goals For 2014

I have been excited for 2014 for a few years. There’s something about the age of 24 that has been convinced it’s when life just gets really good! 2013 was difficult. I am so ready to step into 2014, with two cuties to kiss at midnight. The past few months I’ve LOVED setting weekly goals with Landon. It does wonders for our week and spirituality. My daily schedule that I pinned to the hallway wall is also the bees knees. But I’m ready for some big goals and a master sheet to know if we’re on track.

The concept that I want to channel this year, my word for 2014 is Growth. The world is at my feet. I am cautious of not wanting a life that isn’t mine to have, but there are natural talents and abilities in me that need to be expanded. I am a spiritual creature. I want to grow to know my Savior more. I have artistic desires, but set them aside during 2013. I crave books like I do air, but go too long without. I’m ready for this year to be different, focused and intentionally so.

Landon has been such an amazing example to me with setting an example of Growth. He has a clear vision of what he wants from life, and has started asking for it. He is doing amazing things with his social media accounts, blog, and career pursuits. From his example I now fully believe in living by the quote, “You get from life what you have the courage to ask for.” Where I would stop at x, he asks from life for x times 10, then works to get it. Perhaps in the future I’ll have years where I need to simplify, or do less. But that year will not be this. I want to grow.

My personal 2014 goals ||

Be more comfortable + independent with driving
Become more athletic: lifting, running and yoga
Have a gym membership/setup all year
Be knowledgable of the week’s current events and news
Purchase art supplies, sketch in the afternoon
Purchase an instrument I can love + and progress with: piano or flute?
Read a new book a month
Resist tanning beds completely
Work on Spanish speaking desires again

Cook dinner for us daily
Try a new recipe a week
Have electronic-free time with Paityn daily / Love her more
Keep a daily schedule
++No soda for the rest of the year
Prepare emotionally + physically to have another little one (:

Create a desk workspace
Invest in an iMac and/or DSLR camera
Learn beginner Photoshop techniques and/or InDesign
Revisit NASM CPT, become certified by December
Publish 52 blogposts a year
Register personal URL + blog email

Come to know and love Christ more deeply
Finished the Book of Mormon a 2nd time
Read the New Testament
VT 100% for the next two years

and Our Shared Goals ||

Run a 10K together
Get Kyra caught up with Outdoor Gear
Hike 10 qualifying Tahoe OGUL Peaks
Put together a charitable event, i.e.: a race
Move into a cute new place for Landon’s new job

Earn credit scores of 740+ [excellent range]
Elimante all debt in our lives
Never have more than $150 on a credit card
Shred credit cards
Get Life Insurance
Save 5K out of our 20K goal

Have no electronic nights once a week
Have more meaningful fasts
Enter the temple once a month together
Read and study 52 Conference talks
Read the scriptures + pray 365 together
Send out Birthday Cards for all family members this year

 

It’s a work in progress for the next few days, til we finalize, print and frame these babies!  ♡ 

Birthday // Twenty Three!

Any birthday that starts with your baby having to get shots, doesn’t sound like a good one. Luckily, Paityn is an absolute trooper, and was great the rest of the day
I had visions of Sprinkles Cupcakes and Palo Alto dancing through my head the months leading up to my birthday. But the closer my birthday got, the more I wanted to have a casual day all together with Landon. Being a big believer in Birthday Eves we started things off the night before — with lots of treats and cuddling up to monster’s university.One of the happiest places in California to me, having never been to Disneyland, is IKEA. So off we went after Paityn’s early morning Dr. appt  for breakfast and exploring IKEA for home inspiration

IKEA never disappoints, I’m telling you. I resisted buying all of the plants [to replace the first generation nursery plants] Christmas Decorations + desks. But I finally got baskets for the Expedit changing table, supplies for our newly hatched Teepee idea, and a few candles that are exact dupes for the Anthropologie volcano candle

We played around shopping in Sacramento a little longer then headed home mid afternoon, ready for a birthday linner.

Did I mentioned it rained for my birthday? So awesome. It hadn’t rained in months and months. God obviously loves me. Speaking of multiple month long droughts: I was in a sushi drought. It’d been wayyy too long. We tried a cute sushi restaurant near home, and though we were worried we’d picked the wrong place when the Miso soup came out cold and without a spoon, everything else was absolutely delicious. I wasn’t even mad that they only had Pepsi.

It was dark and early evening once we finished dinner, but I wasn’t quite ready to head home yet. One last stop was in order, Target. All those sweaters I thought I wanted? Yeah they didn’t stand a chance once I got to the book section. All my careful birthday money planning went out the window. “I want you and you and you.”

And just like that my heart was full.

This Summer: the Happy Edition

Summertime, and the living was not easy. I took a much needed break from blogging and most forms of social media for sections of time. But I’m back with a little tiny recap + some of my favorite pictures

May:
Paityn mastered rolling over, started teething, and became one slobbery monster
My 1st Mother’s Day, Tami’s Birthday + Chico Farmer’s Market with the whole family
After a lot of prayer together, Landon officially turned down all Law School offers
We went completely vegan for a month
I officially became a stay at home mom, and Landon cut back to 1 job
Landon caught a frog while pond fishing, I caught a lot of moss
Paityn successfully slept through 2 plane rides to Alaska

June:
We spent a week in Fairbanks spending bonding time with the family and going on adventures
Paityn pulled off some impressive numbers at her checkup — 16th percentile for weight, 93rd for height
We started studying to both become Certified Personal Trainers through NASM, both using the eTeach course to learn it all
2 year wedding anniversary mark
Landon’s first Father’s Day, spent the eveing with dad and grandpa
Mt. Shasta was sumitted
Someone started sitting up!
We said “hasta la vista” to any and all sombreros and didn’t look back
Paityn’s first camping trip: Tahoe National Forrest. We almost packed up and went home at 1am!

July:
Spent 4th of July weekend with everyone, Avery + Trevor included 
Hiked a 10 mile round trip Mt. St Helena with a happy Paityn on our backs
Camped Mt. Diablo with Kragen + Rachel and the kids. Took off for Walnut Creek/Oakland temple in the morning
Landon shaved his beard
Baby food adventures begin, Paityn loves everything except for a brown rice/quinoa/berry concoction
Our A/C shuts off. Wait, that’d be in the sad edition!
Gym dates begin here and there because Landon officially signed up at the gym
Paityn’s first experiences with $2 gym daycare began, and she got better with each visit

 
August:
Fishing adventures continued with Andrew + Teresa and brand new baby Paizlee
Camping Nevada City + Yuba River, two different hikes with Paityn in the official REI backpack = instant baby gear love
Paityn’s bald spot disappeared
Ice cream cones were eaten, for the first time in months
Half of our plants are still alive! Or maybe it’s down to like a third…
Paityn definitely has 2 bottom teeth now

All Summer:
Diet Coke, Popcorn + Mini MnM’s
Sleepovers in the Living Room, the coolest room in the house
Saturdays by the Pool + In n Out
Lots of hugs and meaningful conversations
Lots of helpful phone calls home
New friends
More avacados consumed that you could imagine
Study dates in the evening
Early mornings together taking turns working out/reading
and
a million texts + conversations surrounding Pait and just how much we love her

I’m looking forward to finishing this summer strong and in love, then moving on together to cooler weather, sweaters, candles and all things fall. Til then, I’m hoping there might be a beach trip in our near future (:

An Octogon Shaped Block Trying to Fit Inside the Triangle Slot

The past few days from my perspective:

Phew.
Now what??
Better now than later.
We get to keep our phones.

Does this mean I get to study yoga?
Do I want to study yoga? Yes.
Do we get to move back to Utah?
Do we want to go back to Utah?

When do we want baby #2?
Why am I thinking about babies right now??
We would have never had Paityn had we have been so confused about our future this time last year.

So, nothing’s been a waste.

Except for all of that money.
I’m sure we would’ve just spent it all on taco bell anyways.
How long has it been since we’ve eaten taco bell…?
 
Fitness, we both have such an interest in fitness. How can we harness this?
I want a tea station in our next apartment. We don’t drink enough tea.
Or read enough books.
We need a Barnes and Noble wherever we move to.
Maybe we’ll work on turning off the internet.
We are never getting a TV.
 
Do I want an iPad mini? I mean think of the money we are saving now.
We could buy a house with what we would’ve spent.
Do we want to ever buy a house?
Let’s just stick with condos.

I’m so glad we bought tickets to Alaska, we need this break.

Where will Landon be the happiest?
How can we turn his interests into a career?
How much does he need to make for us to be ok?
We really have more than enough now.
I want him to come home from a job and to be excited to tell me a thing or two about his day.
He felt that way about Spaghetti Factory.
August, he wants to be out of here by August.

Where the heck will we be at the end of the summer?

Rock climbing gym, gotta find that.
Snow, add snow to the list.
And don’t forget about the Barnes and Noble.

Zupas would just be an added bonus.

Why do so many people stay at a job where they are unhappy?
What is the end goal of most jobs?
To have money to spend on what they actually want to do?
Why do we talk about births in such explicit detail and every other facet of our lives but we don’t talk about our fiances?
What does Landon think about while in the shower? The secret to finding your career.
Landon does not think about Law in the shower.

What do I think about while in the shower?

Are we humble enough?

Where does God need Landon?
Where does God need me?
What natural talents have we been given?

Are we on the right path to putting them to use?

2 Fast Sundays later.
The Joseph Smith feeling of “none of your choices are right.”

The weird sense that we’ve had about Montana this whole time and this Mormon Message:

 

Nothing is anything close to being concrete. I just wanted to get everything out there. Sometimes it feels good to blog and be honest about my emotions. This journey of a year off from school in California has turned out to be amazing and a blessing in so many ways. We have til August to decide our next move/step in life.

Let’s Go Home Baby.

After a 48 hours stay from the time of delivery–
getting to try out two different recovery rooms, on two different floors,
meeting a few different nurses,
using  a little ghetto shower down the hall,
sampling breakfast lunch & dinner x2,
killing time together,
and getting to see lots of visitors,
we got to take the little one home with us!

 With the shot record in my baby bag and officially feeling like a mom we drove home,

Landon driving oh so tenderly slow.