Arches National Park

We came, we hiked, we camped, we conquered. haha I wish it was actually that simple. Casey and I planned a trip down to Escalante to do some camping, hiking, and fishing. When we arrived at our campsite changed our mind and decided to drive up to Moab! Here's to being young and spontaneous!

By the time we got back up to Moab, we had been driving for around 10 hours, and hadn't planned where we were going to stay (first mistake). We looked up some campsites and drove around in the dark looking for an open site. None. So we sucked up our camping pride and started calling hotels. Full. Five hours earlier this seemed like such a good idea! 10 Hours earlier, when we left our apartment, this weekend was going to be so fun! But everything seemed to be going wrong. I'll admit, I was so tired and I felt so discouraged! After a small meltdown (on my part) we found a room and settled in for the night.

At this point I was thinking "What are we even doing here?? The point of camping is to not have to spend money on a hotel. The point of this trip was to get away, spend time outside, and sleep in sleeping bags, not weird gross motel beds! This is kind of hilarious, but I'm still mad! I took off work! We could've been in Arizona right now! I'm so tired! Why are we even here. We're spending too much money!" Hey, I'm just bein real. I figured this was probably 90% me being tired, and 10% the tiny control freak in my head panicking over the entire situation. 

The next morning we headed out, found a campsite right next to the river with the most amazing view, then headed into Arches National Park for the day. We weren't in any rush to see everything and anything in the park. We mostly just wanted to see the Delicate Arch, hike around, and just enjoy being outside with each other. We ended up running into two friends, including Liz! Honestly I think we could've spent all day just laying there starting at the arch and eating snacks. It is gorgeous.

Despite the small setbacks, it was an amazing little trip. I mean, have you SEEN Arches National Park? It's incredible! A real wonder. I'm glad cool places like this are so accessible to us here in Utah. It gets me excited for camping and other adventures this summer. My short list is Zions, Bryce Canyon, and Wyoming, naturally. Any suggestions?


Youth Has No Age

I've never really felt old. And by old I mean mature, responsible, and well, like an adult. For years I've been stuck in-between trying to feel like an adult —or what I thought being an adult was— and feeling young. And I guess I've finally arrived at a breaking point. Well, maybe more like a breakthrough point. 

Everyone says I look younger than my age. In the last year I've been assumed to be 17, 18, and in high school more times than I can count. And I don't think it's just the way I look either. I'd like to think that I have a fun, easygoing personality, and that I tend to get along with people easily. It's easy for me to get personal with people and have a casual, comfortable relationship with them. I've never considered myself to be intimidating, authoritative, or someone that people saw as being the grown up in the room. I like to play, I love to laugh, I think stupid things are funny, I love to image, create, and in a lot of ways, I still feel like a kid. In most ways, actually. But I keep forcing myself to be more like an adult, because I feel like that's the way I should be.

In some ways, I'm right. I have a full-time job, so I should be professional. I'm a full-grown woman (well, I sort of stopped growing in high school but you know what I mean), so I should dress and look like someone who is 25, right? I should have a polished look, head to toe. I should wear the latest styles, actually have a style, and appear to have my life together, right? Because I feel like that's what people who are supposed to be adults do. They don't just wear jeans and boys t-shirts. They don't just let their hair go wild and only wear makeup on some days. They're not goofy and casual. They're not giggly. They don't get frazzled, stressed, or emotional about little things. Right? This is something I struggle with daily!

Later this month I'm turning 25. I know, 25 isn't old in the big picture. But I sort of thought I'd feel older by the time I reached this age. When I turned 20 I thought I would start feeling like a grown up. Every year since I've been waiting for it to hit. And I always thought that by 25 I'd really feel like I had it all together. But I don't! I still feel like the 10 year old girl who spent her days running around the neighborhood making skate videos and playing tackle football on the church lawn. I feel like a kid with a million things going through my head at every minute. So many ideas, so much to wonder about. So many things to write, color, paint, build, and express!

So I'm freaking out. 

Then I rediscovered this quote by Pablo Picasso. And it is EVERYTHING.

Youth has no age. Feeling youthful isn't limited to ages 0-15. You can feel young always. And that's okay. Then I thought of this quote, which is one of my favorites. 

Then I thought of my mom. If you've met my mom, you'd understand. She's younger and full of more life than all of us. She's goofy and silly and she's a grandma! Both my parents are full of life. They're in their 50's and refuse to stop living an exciting life. They're a great example and an inspiration to me. Okay sorry I'm starting to cry so I'll just leave it at that. 

Do I feel like I should be 25? No. Am I totally freaking out about it? Yeah, sorta. But guess what, I'm never gonna stop being a kid. Ever. Because when it comes to aging, there's really nothing we can do about it. But when it comes to growing up, it's in our hands. So yeah, I'll do adult things when I need to, but for as long as I live I'll never ever grow up. 


Galentines 2016

Throughout high school and college me and my close friends had a tradition of dressing up in old-fashioned dresses and huge hats and going out to brunch for a Galentines Day Tea Party. It wasn't the dressing up part that was fun to me, but it was the whole "celebrating lady friends" part that I liked. So I decided this year to throw a Galentines Day Girls Night.

If you watch Parks and Rec, you know what Galentines Day is. If you don't, This video might help.

I know I usually have pretty good pictures, but I'll have to apologize for these. We were having so much fun that I only snapped a few pictures, and of those, only a couple actually turned out. Hey! I'm no photographer! I tried to do some rescuing but these are the best I could get.

The night was SO MUCH FUN. We had cake, lots of candy, a few substantial foods, a million things to snack on, a "Favorite Things Swap" and my favorite part, a DIY Sugar Scrub Bar!! It made for the perfect girls night. 

I've always been the type of person who liked having a few really good friends over a million acquaintances. Sometimes I hate that because I don't feel like I can be "friends with everyone." I mean, everyone is okay, but I like to put my time and energy into relationships that mean something! Not just pseudo-friendships that get me connections or more likes on Instagram. Maybe that's why I loved this night so much. I can't wait to plan next year's!

Photo from Pinterest.

You can find almost all of my Galentines decoration ideas from my Valentines Pinterest board Here:


The Holiday Season

Christmas is the best time of year. Sometimes I feel like the whole year leads up to the Christmas season. It's the best though! Everyone is cheery, giving, and more loving! It's absolutely magical. This year had lot of firsts. First Christmas away from my home, first Christmas with Casey's family, first time cutting down our own tree, first time making my family's legendary caramels, and first time making my own wreath, using branches from our tree!

Most of December consisted of Casey studying for finals and me decking the halls, solo. As someone who feels the need to be with people often, this was a struggle. At first I would panic at how much casey would be at school studying, reviewing, preparing for finals, which meant he wouldn't be with me. Helloooo needy wife! Haha in all seriousness, it was a struggle. But from struggle comes growth, right? I think he could see how terribly I was handling it because for our Christmas date, he surprised me with tickets to The Nutcracker! Man, that's love.

What made the season really special was the endless opportunities to serve, the time we took to reflect on the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, His life, and being with people who we love. I think it's easy for us to have the "spirit of Christmas" during the month of December because of these things. I think the real trick is keeping the spirit of service, love, and charity throughout the rest of the year! Yeah, that's the trick isn't it. But how do we do it?


Cutting Down Our Christmas Tree

This year we were lucky enough to cut down our very own Christmas tree. And by lucky I mean I woke up at 4 am to wait in line outside in the 16˚ morning to buy a tree pass. No regrets, it was SO worth it! I knew cutting down our tree for the first time was something we wanted to remember, and I wanted to send out a Christmas card to close friends and family, so I thought I'd knock em both out at the same time. My friend Austin is an incredible photographer who loves photographing the beauty of the outside, so I knew he'd be perfect to tag along and take some pictures, and he'd actually enjoy it!

I'm so so happy with how the pictures turned out, but I know that if we hadn't had a photographer there to capture our fun adventure, it still would've been a memorable fun adventure! I'm not one who feels like I need to have a photoshoot for every event in my life, but it's fun to have some quality pictures of our little family for the memories.

To see more of Austin's photo skillz follow his personal Instagram account or if you love gorgeous outdoor photography, his film account. Like what you see? Shoot him an email to request booking information (austonomics@gmail.com).