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.

IMG_4251-1409454851-OIMG_4245-1409448247-OIMG_4232-1409434447-O IMG_4549-1403952354-OIMG_4885-1404124385-OIMG_4333-1403755979-OIMG_4313-1403726573-OIMG_4348-1403767993-OIMG_4427-1403901275-OIMG_4467-1403919704-PIMG_4489-1403928099-PIMG_4458-1403914326-OIMG_4838-1404074193-OIMG_4599-1403969246-PIMG_4653-1403991692-OIMG_4267-1409539290-PIMG_4709-1404009603-OIMG_4703-1404007658-OIMG_4268-1409542981-OIMG_4686-1404007237-OIMG_4775-1404041883-PIMG_4814-1404061072-PIMG_4535-1403939305-OHappy Anniversary, Landon dear. || Photos by Libby Tolman Photography