A wedding

I LOVE them!!
Sometimes I wonder to myself why I am becoming a Social Worker rather than a Wedding Planner...then I remember. I'm not all that great at planning. Is there such a thing as a professional wedding attender?

I love the never-ending smile on the bride

The look of achievement on the groom

And the pure happiness that radiates from the two of them put together!

And it's that way with every wedding I attend. It just makes me HAPPY!

I love the food
I love the family
 I love the friends
and the cake and the music and the gifts
I love the flowers
 I love the dancing
I love the photography
and I love the love that fills the air.
 I love EVERYTHING about weddings!

So thank you Carl and Olivia for letting us join in your special day. Congratulations to you both!

Jake loved the excuse to get all GQ. :)

and p.s.

Isn't my sis-in-law amazing at cakes??

Oh and thanks to Jayne for capturing such a lovely picture.

Jakey...open your eyes!

Summer Extravaganza!

Why do I love summer?
Because there is so much going on, I can hardly keep up!

I've tried my hardest to squeeze every last bit of fun out of this summer before it's over, and I am happy to say...I think it worked...we've been up to some pret-ty great things lately!

So great, in fact, that every weekend for the last month and a half we've been somewhere other than our ward in Logan, and the other day I received a little note from the Relief Society presidency saying, "thinking of you". Ha ha inactive much?

So on the line-up of thrilling events, first up was Yellowstone!

Mulford cabin in Island Park....check!

Playing some awesome rounds of Tripoly...check!



Animal watching...check!

Clay pigeon shooting...check!

Campfire with S'mores....check!

Having a whole lot of FUN!...check, check, check!

Next on the agenda was Southern Utah. Jake couldn't attend due to his (soon to be FINISHED!) job at J Lube, but I managed to make my way down there anyway. :) I visited my favorite Cedar City'ns--Court and Cole, hit up a family reunion, and made my way on over to my cousin's homecoming. What a great time!

The next weekend we went to Lava Hot Springs. For about 12 hours total. ha ha the football game made it all worth it, though!

Another day was the Willard Bay excursion. My sweet Aunt Colleen invited us to come down to the bay to sail on their boat and cruise on the "personal watercrafts". :)

We also took advantage of an unbeatable photo landscape! :)

Out of all the fun trips this summer, however, our river rafting trip down to Moab this last weekend pretty much topped the charts. It was such an adventure! On the way there, Jake and I stopped at Einstein Bagels for breakfast. Unfortunately, I only speak English, not Spanglish, and thought that the woman passing out to-go bags had called our name. Apparently not...

We scored a $10 breakfast for a whopping four dollars and fifty cents! Woop woop! :)

When we got down to Moab,


 met up with

and did this

and this

and some of this

And when night came, we weren't quite ready for it all to end,
so we did a little night hike and got a picture of

Incredible, right? The full moon was so bright from up there!

I'm serious when I say that if you haven't taken a trip down to Moab lately, the time has come. It will not disappoint. :)

And I'm also serious when I say that now that Summer is nearing its end, I am going to have to find something else to look forward to other than the next vacation we're going to enjoy. The next paper I'm going to write? Yuck! Don't even remind me...


Read me!

Have you read it?
If not, I advise that you do so...IMMEDIATELY!!


Gratitude and Thanks

In case you were wondering, I generally try to keep my posts light and humorous so as to keep from driving people away with all of the heavy emotion. This post, however, will not be that way. I'm sorry, I tried to hold back, but I have no choice. I'm bursting at the seams with gratitude and awe and I've got to get it out in some way. I tried my journal, but the emotion was all still pent up inside. I felt a need to have human interaction. However, something tells me that my husband wouldn't necessarily love it if I were on the phone for the next 24 hours, making mandatory phone calls to every person who ever had an impact on my life...  This being said, I found myself here.

Lately I have been very contemplative.
I know, I know, you're laughing as you say to yourself "what's new?"
But really...if possible, the last couple of weeks have been even more thought-provoking than the previous 22 years and some odd days of my life.
Why you ask?
Well The answer is: I don't know. 
But I think part of it has something to do with this:

I have felt completely overcome with gratitude.
Gratitude toward God.
Gratitude toward my husband.
Gratitude toward my parents.
Gratitude toward my in-laws.
Gratitude toward my other family members,
And gratitude toward my friends.

Mushy gushy, I know, but just hang in there...if you're into that "good message at the end" sort of thing...

It seems that constantly I am asking myself (and God), "Why me?"

Why did my birth mother give me up so that I could be with a mom AND a dad?
Why was I blessed with such incredible parents who would give anything at the drop of a dime to rearrange their lives in my favor?
Why was I blessed with a brother who, through just being himself, teaches me Christ-like principles every single day?
Why was I given the opportunity to be a member of the true church from day one?
Why was I privileged to marry a man of such goodness?
Why was I blessed not only with a husband whom I love, but in-laws who are wonderful, too?
Why have I been blessed to still live each day with all of my family members only a phone call away?

Why me?
Why me?
Why me?

This question has been stuck in my mind with unrelenting steam, moseying about like it owns the place, insisting on an answer. And the only explanation I can furnish to quiet the insistent questioning comes in an unlikely form. To simply be grateful, while doing what I can to give back.

I have seen so much pain and anguish lately and it hurts me to watch the ones I love struggle through such emotionally trying and mentally exhausting times. Believe me when I say that if I could, I would take all of the pain away. But don't worry... I'd leave you with the refined person who you will have become once you make it through.

“Here then is a great truth. In the pain, the agony, and the heroic endeavors of life, we pass through a refiner's fire, and the insignificant and the unimportant in our lives can melt away like dross and make our faith bright, intact, and strong.”
—James E. Faust
I am spilling over with gratitude for all that I have been given. And I don't mean this in a boastful way, rather as a way of thanking you all for contributing to those blessings.

I wouldn't be who I am today if it weren't for the lessons I've learned through intentional and unintentional interactions with all of you. Whether you were meaning to or not, your words have been a guiding star in my life on more occasions than one.

I guess what I am here to say is thanks. To all of you.

And for those of you who may (and those of you who may not) be going through a tough time, here is one of my favorite mormon messages of all times:

Good Things to Come
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And a link to a blog written by a woman that I envy, because of her beautiful execution of grammatical composition... and other reasons which are unnecessary to name. 
This woman is my idol in every way!
Thanks Torrey and Jayne for introducing me! I will now make it my prerogative to introduce my mom (and anyone else who reads this), because every person needs to experience this level of literature at least once in their lives!