Friday, December 5, 2014

Antsy.


Road trip. Taco Don's. Bill's Pizza. Waffles n' More. A full fridge. Momma Dalton's cute chickens and fresh eggs. Daddy Dalton's chocolate addiction and intense need for outstanding customer service. Ryan's cooking. Skyping Kyle. Christmas decorations. Warm weather. Tyler's childhood memories. Hiking. New Years. Desserts. Family. Friends. Kitty snuggles with Indy against his will. Running. Massages. Yoga.

I can't wait for Prescott. Can that be now already?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Gobble Gobble

Thanksgiving break was all family and homework and Netflix and turkey and pies and taking little ones to the park.

And we hit 7 months of marriage! That's love y'all.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Friends Thanksgiving 2.0

I love my friends. And I love food. And so when Thanksgiving rolls around, combining the two just seems like the right thing to do.
Soooooo this past Sunday, for the second year in a row, we invited our friends to bring a dish to share and we had our own little pre-Thanksgiving feast and enjoyed each other's company.

Tyler invited friends from his mission and I invited my good friends. Obviously I enjoy both groups, so it was a lot of fun to bring those two worlds together to enjoy them all at once and see them enjoying each other. There were good feelings and good food and it left my heart warm. To me it was just a reassurance of what wonderful people our friends are and how blessed we are to have those relationships. I definitely have a lot to be thankful for.


Brett is kinda shy.





 







Side note: I'm really proud of myself for neither burning nor undercooking my first Thanksgiving turkey. I'm no Martha Stewart, but we'll put that one down as a win anyway.

Monday, November 17, 2014

This weekend

A Saturday of studying, paper-writing and wedding-ing.
A Sunday spent corralling 8/9 year olds while trying to teach them about the Word of Wisdom.
Baking 2 loaves of chocolate chip pumpkin bread with neither of them looking good but both of them tasting great.
Practicing and pep-talking for a Monday morning job interview.

And also,
did I mention SHE'S HOME?!?!?!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thankful Month

Lately I've been feeling ever so grateful. And not just because it's November and Thanksgiving is coming up. I actually forgot it was November until just now. Anyway.

You know, as much as people joke about Provo being boring and so... "Happy Valley," it is really a great place. I appreciate it much more now that I'm not constantly bombarded by the dating culture. But I love living here. I know I am really going to miss it someday when Tyler and I finally get out and about in the world. I love the cute little houses and how close we are to the mountains. I love having all four seasons. I love how many outdoorsy things there are to do. I love that it's a city but it's not a big city with crazy traffic and lots of shoppers like most college towns. I love the restaurants. I mean you gotta admit, it's a pretty good selection.

And you know what else I'm grateful for? The free time I have. Yeah, I'm super busy and nights and weekends with Ty are precious commodities, but I know that we are only going to get busier and we will look back on the simplicity of this season of our lives fondly and even longingly. We have the things we need, we have time to enjoy each other, we are not yet under the stress of paying lots of bills and taking care of children and dealing with real life issues. We're just students and all we have to worry about is getting good grades and making enough money to stay alive. I like that.

I'm grateful we live so close to a temple (soon two temples!). Honestly there are probably 10 temples within an hour drive of me. What a blessing that is that I can drive 5 minutes and attend a session. That is a lot smaller time commitment than it will be if we ever move anywhere outside of Utah where you have to drive two hours just to get to the temple, making it a 6 hour outing. I'm grateful for the convenience of it that I enjoy (for now).

I've just been seeing snapshots into what I hope our future will be, and it's pretty likely that we won't have the things we enjoy here in our little college town. I know it will be wonderful, but I also know that it's wonderful now. Life is good. Life is good.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Getting a Grip

I've been doing a lot of introspection lately. I think that's natural for periods of transition. I'm coming to a big turning point in my life--graduating college, leaving school (the only thing I've ever really known), finding a job that hopefully pays the bills and gives me a sense of fulfillment. And that has really made me examine myself. My weaknesses, my strengths, my interests. I'm realizing I don't know myself that well. (There's really no avoiding a realization like that when your interviewer asks you what your career and life goals are and you can't come up with anything better than "Uhm, ya know... I don't really know.") It always sounded crazy to me when people would take time off from real life to "find themselves." But now I'm starting to see the appeal.

Anyway, as I was looking into these things, I started to realize how little time I have spent exploring my interests. I've been so busy trying to keep up on schoolwork and find relevant job experience that will hopefully make me competitive in the workforce that it never really occurred to me to pursue the things I wanted to do. As it happens, it seems like those are the things that really set you apart in the workforce. Irony, amiright?

But what have I been doing with all my free time then, if not the things I enjoy? Oh, I'll tell you what I've been doing with my free time.

Facebook.

Yup. I bet if you added up all the times I would surf Facebook when I woke up, during car rides, while walking between classes, while procrastinating my homework, and before bed, I was probably spending up to 4 hours a day on Facebook.

You're gasping with disgust. I know. I am too. How do I live with myself? I don't know.

Honestly, I don't even know why I let the compulsion get so bad. Facebook is so boring. Roughly 85% of my drama since Freshman year of college has come from Facebook. It's a breeding ground for feelings of inadequacy and judgment and annoyance. It has really brought me nothing but trouble, and it has been stealing hours, days, weeks of my life away from me in the process.

So no more. Two days ago I decided to pull myself together.
For a month, I will not be getting on Facebook and Instagram. I will not be checking notifications. I will not be surfing my news feed. I will not be stalking anyone.

Instead, I made a list of my interests so that when I find myself with free time, I can use it to pursue those things that will make my life richer and fuller, and will help me to grow as a person.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Blues

A few thoughts I've had since I applied for graduation this morning:

I'm graduating! I can't believe it! I'm going to put on a cap and gown and walk across a stage and shake somebody's hand and after that I will never have to go to school ever again.

I have to get a job.

OMG who's going to hire me?

I'm going to be a secretary for the rest of my life. I got a college degree so that I could be a secretary for the rest of my life.

I can't wait to work 40 hours a week and have the other 128 hours to do anything I want with.

OMG who's going to hire me for 40 hours a week??!

I better start looking for jobs.

What do I want to do? I don't even know.

I have no passion.

I am destined to be a secretary. A passionless secretary.

At least when I have nothing but being a secretary to worry about I will have plenty of time to start working out again.

 And then I cried.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Smooth Sailing

Wow. Tyler and I got home yesterday only to get slammed with the realization that school was starting the next day, so we spent our Labor Day putting our old textbooks up for sale, buying new ones, and scrambling to get ready for the coming semester.

Allow me to take a little breather and reminisce on our week of honeymoon bliss before we get completely swamped and overwhelmed with school and work.

 
 We spent the first 3 days on the cruise ship. To pass the time, we drank pina coladas, saw some cool shows, ate tons, soaked in the pools and hot tubs, went rock climbing, and took dance classes (I made Tyler learn the cha cha and the jive with me. I think we really impressed our instructors).








We weren't drunk.
On the fourth day of the cruise, we made our first stop: Roatan, Honduras. And all we wanted was a little beach time. We spent a few hours snorkeling and tanning (well, Tyler tanned.. I burned to a crisp).

#datbeach


I tried escargot! Not my fave



My lobster pose because I got burned in Honduras the day before


Our rainy day in Belize

On the fifth day, we went cave tubing and ziplining in Belize. We used a Belizian company called Butts Up, and they were THE BEST! Half the price of the cruise excursions and tons better. They gave everyone shots of cashew wine on the way to the caves.
 
("When you hear wine you probably thinkin the kind you swish around in your glass and smell it and savor it. This ain't that. You just drink it down. If you like it, good. If you don't, it's already over. Things you don't like in life you just learn to live with.")
 
We didn't have any cause we don't drink, but if we did...
They also fed us authentic chicken tamales afterward. No complaints here.
 
Before we had a chance to get on the bus back to the ship, it started POURING warm, tropical rain. We got caught in a rainforest downpour--it was a blast!

 
We spent day 6 in Cozumel, Mexico where we visited the Mayan ruins and learned a little bit about the symbolism in their structures. Pretty cool stuff.


The Mayan ruins + our tour guide Ivan




 
We stopped at a beach for a few minutes on the way back to the ship. This was as wide as I could open my eyes.. Clearly I am not used to sunlight.


Reeeal Mexican tacos. Plus real Mexican sprite with real sugar.



P.S. Today I started my last fall semester of college. Um, what??

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Arizona Reception

I know it's 2 months late..
But here are some pictures from our reception in Arizona. Tyler's mom went all out and enlisted help from so many beautiful strangers who didn't know me at all but still lent us decor and made us a cake and spent hours setting up and cooking food and washing our dishes. She turned a cultural hall into a total dream and I don't even think the pictures do it justice.

 



 My father-in-law hung an old parachute to create this faux ceiling and was up on a ladder for most of the set-up getting the chandeliers to hang just right and finding ways to get them plugged in and lit up. He and my brother-in-law, Ryan, turned an old chandelier into the cool cupcake stand you see here.


I have no idea who made the cake and cupcakes, but they were delicious.
 
 The chairs were decorated with borrowed vintage aprons. So cute!


 

Momma Dalton borrowed the furniture to decorate this cute sitting area.


We thought the window treatments were pretty, so we opened the dividers behind the bride and groom table and put this adorable love sign back there. It was one of my favorite features.
 
It was really fun to celebrate our wedding twice, and I couldn't have wished for a more wonderful family to marry into.
 
 

Coming up...
August 15 (9 days): The Daltons are coming to visit!
August 15 (9 days): We start our first home improvement project--painting our new apartment! (It's not a coincidence that this is happening when the Daltons are visiting. Thank goodness for in-laws!)
August 23 (17 days): We leave for our belated honeymoon cruise to the western Caribbean! Woooooooooooo!
September 2 (27 days): School starts (my last year. Holy smokes.)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Our New Home

Finding an apartment was... well, it was torture.

I don't want to complain, because I think every married couple who has tried to find affordable housing in Provo has experienced this.

I am fortunate enough to have a desk job where I can browse KSL and Craigslist for homes pretty much the entire time I'm at work. Between tasks, I would refresh the page every half an hour and call or text about apartments within 10 or 20 minutes of their being posted. Tyler and I were always at the apartment on time for the showing, only to be accompanied by 3-5 other couples viewing the same apartment. We would all fill out an application and then never hear about the apartment again. We probably went to see 15 or 20 apartments. It was really frustrating because we were doing our best and nothing was panning out. I was getting pretty discouraged. That's an understatement. I became very anal about seeing apartments on time and filling out applications correctly. My stress was affecting Tyler. He let me cry into his shirt on several occasions. He endured me with patience and compassion.

Now normally, I don't bother with KSL posts that don't have pictures, but one caught my eye because it was pretty cheap and had washer/dryer hookups. (That was Tyler's and my dealbreaker. We had our hearts pretty set on having a washer and dryer. That, and ceilings tall enough for Tyler to stand up in.) So we inquired about it, and were told we could come by to look at it on Sunday. We had never heard of that happening before. Around here, apartment showings are usually during the week or on a Saturday. But it ended up being such a blessing, because apparently fewer people come on Sundays. Our ward time had just gotten switched from 9 am to 11 am, so we were able to be the first ones who showed up for the 10:00 showing. The apartment was SO cute! Both of us instantly knew we wanted it, which had never happened before. It just felt like the perfect place. We left just as the next couple was arriving, raced home and filled out an application and paid the credit check fee as quickly as we could.

And what do ya know, two days later I got an email letting me know that WE GOT THE APARTMENT!!!!! I screamed! Tyler, who was just getting ready to shower, came to see what was wrong, afraid I was being raped (we had been watching a lot of Law and Order: SVU lately).

Our lease started today, August 1! We couldn't wait to go see the place again, and I had Ty take some pictures to share with you guys. Behold! Some of my favorite features of our little home:


Hardwood floors and a fireplace..


..as well as a charming bay window in the living room!


Checkerboard linoleum in the kitchen

Our old school bathroom..





















..which will require two shower curtains



And what makes me the most excited is that we're allowed to paint! We are so excited to make this cute old place our own. All the searching and fighting over apartments and discouragement was totally worth it. I am completely in love with this place and can't wait to build our life here.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Wedding

Marriage is the best! I give it two thumbs up.

Tyler & me playing thumb war during our bridal shoot. I won. Okay.. he won.
I just got my pictures back from our photographer (my friend, Alexis, who also took roommate photos for our 2012 Christmas card) so to celebrate, I'm going to finally write a blog post about the big day. Woooooooooo party!

The week of the wedding was a whirlwind. Tyler and I both had to move out of our apartments. We had an entourage come from out of town consisting of Tyler's family, his childhood friend Matt, and his mission companion, Aaron. Torre, one of my best friends, flew in from Colorado too. It was a blast!

Some of my favorite moments from wedding preparations:

1. Going to the temple. It was such a wonderful experience and I got to do it with my whole family and the man I love. It was such a special day for me.

2. Tyler and his friends and family so kindly helped me do the final cleaning of my apartment before moving out. I wish I had gotten a picture of all these big guys scrubbing my apartment! It completely melted my heart. It meant so much that they were willing to come in after travelling for hours and clean my house, some of them barely knowing me. So much kindness. I can't.

3. On Friday, Torre flew in. Tyler and I were busy moving him out, so we sent Aaron for her. I told her that a big black guy was going to pick her up. She made the mistake of thinking I was joking, and was a little surprised to find out that I wasn't. They met us at Tyler's apartment just in time to witness Tyler's dad get sassy with the apartment manager for trying to fail Tyler on his cleaning check and charge him all kinds of illegitimate fees. (It was necessary. Someone needed to stand up to them.)

Having Torre here was the best thing ever. She brought with her only the most sincere happiness for me and eagerness to help me make my day as special as possible. She was there to calm to jitters, help me make last minute wardrobe adjustments, and most of all she was a reminder to me of how much I was loved despite all the craziness going on around me. And I knew she was there not only for herself, but on behalf of all my loved ones in Colorado who couldn't make it because of the short notice. Having that comfort helped me be able to really enjoy the experience. I cannot express enough my gratitude for her presence, at my wedding and in my life.


4. Torre, Momma Dalton, and I were driving to Salt Lake to see the venue the day before the wedding, and we were listening to songs in the car that we could use for the first dance and the daddy/daughter dance. We all ended up in tears.

5. The bachelorette party the night before!! Britney threw me such a fun party complete with Mormon jello shots (...just jello. They weren't very good for shooting), non-alcoholic alcoholic drinks, and inappropriate eating utensils. My friend Anna came in from Montana to be there for the party and the wedding, and I'm so happy she did. My roommates made it to share the laughs and raunchy gifts. It was fun to have a girls' night in to blow off some steam before the nerves could set in.
video


Before I knew it, the day was here! Because the sealing wasn't until 3:40, we had plenty of time in the morning to get ready and take care of last-minute details.. like Tyler's upset stomach. We were a little worried that he had caught the bug I had earlier in the week (during which time, for the record, Tyler never left my side except to get me water and frozen vegetables to put on my hot skin. He even watched Pretty Little Liars with me... and got a little bit addicted. Best husby ever.), but everything worked out. His mom smeared him with essential oils and he was feeling better in no time.

Then we had another hiccup: getting rear-ended on the way to the sealing. A cute old man accidently hit us. Luckily we were in a rental car with a damage waiver, and the damage wasn't bad, but the police took a long time to get there and we were late to the ceremony. Woops!

The ceremony was so beautiful. My heart was so full as I looked around at the faces of friends and family, and held hands with my sweetheart, realizing that I get to be by his side forever. There is no greater blessing.





The day was gray and rainy and a bit cold, but I didn't even notice. It was perfect.




Tyler and I took pictures outside the temple and missed dinner because the sealing had been so delayed. We ended up snarfing food from to-go boxes right before the reception started.

The reception was so fun! It was the best sharing the experience with all of our loved ones. Katie's sisters came--even Anna who had to fly out from Oregon! I was so happy to see them. So many people went out of their way to be a part of our day and I am without words. I wouldn't give up those memories for anything.

My daddy and I danced to My Little Girl. I know. Classic.



Then Tyler and I danced to Marry Me by Train.



And then we cut the cake... well we tried to. Word to the wise: make sure you know how to cut the cake before you actually cut the cake. You might think it's pretty self explanatory, but it's not always..
Anyway, things got a little messy.




I tossed the bouquet

and Tyler threw the garter (Tossed? Flung? Shot?)


And suddenly, as if in the blink of an eye, it was over!


I thought the day would drag on, but it went so fast. It was the best day. And every day since then has been the best day.