Let no one doubt that these two dogs are the loves of my life.
I didn't have anyone when my marriage started falling apart, but I had my dogs. They helped me get through the hard days.
No matter what happens, they love me and wait for me at the window to come home.
They make coming home every day worth it.



There is definitely a difference between the look of film and the look of digital.

I love the look of film.
I love shooting with film cameras.
I love polaroids.

I want to do more of these things.

This is my public declaration that I'm going to push myself and shoot more film.
[This is the end of my public declaration.]



I was invited to a Neverland party over the weekend. Enchanting and magical just doesn't describe it adequately.

We all were asked to dressed up as a Neverland character, I chose an Indian. To get to the party, you had to drive to this 11 acre plot of forest by the lake. You drive onto the property through a dirt road and follow the balloons to the entrance. At the entrance are hanging sheets that open up to a pathway. The pathway is covered by branches of the most interesting trees that I've ever seen, it's almost like the branches were protective arms over the pathway to Neverland.
As you walk through the forest, you hear music in the distance as you get closer to the gathering spot. Once you arrive, you see the long table set up in the middle of a small clearing and lights strung across the branches. There are candles placed and lit all over the table with interesting items placed around the clearing like globes and books and musical instruments. You can smell food not too far away. 
Everyone gathers for dinner and someone starts to play their navajo flute as we eat. The music mixed with the breeze in the branches and the trees looking down created a mood that I just can't describe. The food is delicious, stew with a citrus fruit cider and biscuits. Someone joins in with the flute and starts playing their harp. It's dark now and there is a feeling of reverent mystery in our little gathering spot.
A white sheet is hung from the trees and as we all get comfortable with blankets and pillows, a silent film of Peter Pan is played through a projector. I never realized how much I love silent films. 
And then the night ended. It was sad to see it end, it was a lovely evening with good friends and the perfect getaway from reality.

Here are some phone pictures I took from this event. I didn't get too many photos but I hope you enjoy :)


les miserables

I grew up listening to the Les Miserables soundtrack on road trips with my family. It was that and country music. And so ever since I was young, Les Mis has always had a special place in my heart.
My senior year of high school the theater department performed Les Mis and did a spectacular job. Seriously. I was honestly impressed. And then I was fortunate enough to be able to see Les Mis in London, it was beautiful and memorable and I can't even tell you how much it made my heart happy.
And now, they're coming out with a movie... and not just any movie, it is going to be incredible. I am thrilled.
Absolutely thrilled.


to say or not to say... the dreaded topic of divorce.

***UPDATED*** I forgot my favorite one and added a #13 :)

I recently read a friend's blog post about the awkward things people say about her being single and it inspired me to write this post....

What to and what not to say to someone getting divorced.

Obviously, everyone is different and everyone has their own unique experiences and I can't say that I know how everyone feels and how everyone wants to be treated. So this blog post is very much from my own perspective even though I'm going to try and make it as general as possible. I also am not writing this post out of spite. I realize that not everyone has been divorced and not everyone knows what to say. This is to inform the uninformed, not make anyone feel bad.

What NOT to say.

(In no particular order)
#1: "I never really liked them in the first place." or "I don't know what you ever saw in them."
This probably was the one the really pushed my buttons the most. It was like a slap in the face during an already incredibly difficult time. At one point in my life, I thought this person was going to be my forever and always, I planned and dedicated my life to them and loved them with every ounce of myself. When you say that you never liked them or don't know what I ever saw in them, it makes me feel like you're questioning my judgement in choosing a spouse (which is something I'm probably already questioning in the first place). And not to mention it's just rude.

#2: "I saw it coming a while ago."
I never actually got this one (thank goodness, heads would have rolled), who knows if anyone was actually thinking it. It's very much like #1 above. Thank you for having faith in me and my marriage that I was planning on lasting a life time and beyond (that was sarcastic, I'm not really thankful). Again, the last thing I need during a divorce is for you to make me feel like you're questioning my judgement or that you knew better.

#3: "I know someone who's divorced, too. I should set you guys up!"
I appreciate your thoughtfulness in wanting to make me happy ... or whatever. But you might as well say that you also know a brunette and because I'm brunette, you should set us up as well. Everyone is different and each divorce is a unique experience, just because we're both divorced does not mean we're going to have anything at all in common. And besides, I do not want my divorce to define me and how people treat me. If you want to set me up, set me up because you feel that person is wonderful for me and that we would get along great or anything else besides the fact that we have something tragic in common.

#4: "At least you don't have kids!"
I got and still get this one a lot. Yes, it makes the technicalities of my divorce easier because there are no children involved but whenever people tell me this, I have two thoughts.... first- it makes me feel like you're minimizing my experience. Just because I don't have kids doesn't mean that my divorce was any less difficult than someone who does have kids. Having children says nothing about the relationship between the couple and how heartbreaking cutting ties is for the two getting divorced. My second thought- for all you know, we might have been trying to have kids for a long time. I might have cried myself to sleep at night because despite our months of trying, I still wasn't pregnant. I might still want to have children but now that option isn't available to me because I'm now getting divorced. Be sensitive, you don't always know the whole story.

#5: "How long were you married?" I respond and you discover is was a relatively short time period - "Well, at least is wasn't very long."
Again, like #4, you're minimizing my experience when you say something like that. Am I supposed to not be crushed because I wasn't married for 20 years? Is it supposed to only be a little bit of heartache because in your eyes, it wasn't a very long marriage? All of my hopes and dreams have been killed, it doesn't matter that I wasn't married for a decade.

#6: Comparing your breakup with your girl/boyfriend to my divorce.
As much as this one irritated me, it also amused me that people could be so naive. Breakups are hard, sure. But divorce is a completely different ball game. If you've never been married, I kind of doubt you can truly understand so please don't compare... 'nough said.

#7: Be careful about how you talk about other people's divorce or divorce in general in front of me.
If you talk about someone getting divorced or divorce in general in a negative light in front of me, I'm probably going to think you feel the same about me. And that never feels good... Being judgmental towards divorce or others getting divorced only casts the same judgement on my divorce even if you aren't saying it directly to my face. Also, saying things like "I give them 3 months" about a couple just getting married is terrible. If you ever say it, stop what you're doing and slap yourself in the face. Divorce is a terrible thing. You should never wish it or predict it upon anyone especially in front of someone who's divorced or going through a divorce.

#8: "I don't believe in divorce." or "You can always work it out if you try hard enough."
I believe these two comments are made from the naive mind, I even used to say them myself. Until I realized that everyone has their agency and no matter how hard I tried, my husband still left me and I still had to go through a divorce. Just because I'm working as hard as I can on my marriage, does not mean that my spouse is and there is absolutely nothing that I can do about his choices. There are some relationships that are beyond repair, you don't know the whole story so just be wise and avoid these comments entirely.

#9: Don't talk about how much you hate my soon-to-be ex or how they're the scum of the earth, blah blah blah...
Yes, I'm going through a divorce and yes, I probably have a lot of unpleasant feelings towards my spouse... but that doesn't mean I don't still love them. It's not like I have a switch in my heart that's going to shut off all of the very strong feelings I have for my husband just because we both signed a piece of paper. Just keep your feelings to yourself and if I need to vent, listen, but don't join in.

#10: Don't expect me to open up to you and cry on your shoulder. 
I got this one all the time. Someone would find out I got divorced and expect me to open up, bear my soul to them, cry on their shoulder and then share tea and biscuits because we must be such close friends now! Okay, that was a little harsh... but the idea is the same. Divorce is painful. There were very, very few people that I entrusted my true feelings to. It's hard to talk about, so please don't expect me to open up to you. I appreciate your concern, but it's better if you just express your sympathies and move on with the conversation.

#11: Don't be tackless and dig for details over a facebook message, etc... just because you're curious about what happened.
This one made me feel like people were just wanting the latest juice and not that they cared about me or my well being at all. If I don't talk to you in person or we aren't even really friends, why in the world would I tell you my most sensitive details just because you "want to know what happened"? I'm very open about my divorce (clearly, I talk about it all the time on my public blog) but if you want to know what happened in detail, at least have the tack to ask me in person and be heartfelt about it. Disclaimer- I have had people email me about my divorce because they sincerely wanted to know what happened and usually it's because they're going through the same. This I do not mind one bit. I love that people feel that they can talk to me about something so personal and I appreciate their trust. I am very willing to talk about it if you're not just trying to be up on the newest gossip.

#12: "You'll find someone better."
It's sad that it didn't work out with us but that doesn't mean that they weren't a good person. Yes, I'm going to find someone different, but that doesn't mean they'll be "better" because who's to say my ex wasn't wonderful for me in the beginning anyways?

#13: "Hopefully your next choice will be the right one."
I take back what I said about #1 being the one that pushes my buttons the most, this one definitely take the trophy.
I'll keep it brief....
Who's to say I didn't make the right choice? Like I mentioned before, everyone makes their own decisions and has their own agency. He changed, there's nothing I could do about it. That doesn't mean I didn't make the "right choice" in choosing to marry my spouse. And that kind of comment is quite the burn towards me as an individual and my decision making. How was I supposed to know that it wasn't going to work? How was I supposed to know that he was going to change and leave me? No one knows that including me.
That's all I'm going to say before I get on my soapbox. Moral of the story. Don't ever say that. If it's a bad day for the person, they might start bustin' heads (yours included).

Okay, now that you have been informed on my personal opinion of what not to say, let's talk about things that are good to say.

What TO say.

#1: Follow my lead.
If I want to talk about it, I'll talk about it. But don't push the subject. If I'm clearly staying silent about it then you should do the same.

#2: Express sympathy.
It's always good to at least acknowledge what I'm going through with a "I'm sorry about your divorce, I hope you're doing okay" type of comment. It's not a good thing to avoid the topic entirely. I was hanging out with a guy for a few weeks a couple months after my divorce and he never brought it up once. He obviously knew about it and it made me feel like it was a disease that was to be avoided. It was super awkward when it did come up and he tried to avoid it. If you don't want to talk about it, that's fine, but at least acknowledge you know it exists.

#3: It's okay to stay silent.
If you don't know what to say, don't say anything at all. Sometimes a good listening ear is everything that I need. Don't feel pressure to say something profound that's going to change my perspective on life. Do acknowledge me and what I'm saying, but don't feel the need to give advice or say anything meaningful about my new life change.

#4: Offer support.
You can never go wrong by telling me that I can turn to you if I need anything (well, unless you don't mean it). I probably will never call you up at midnight for a late night cry with chocolate and ice cream, but it's good to know that you support me and that you're there for me.

Like I mentioned before, this post is from my own personal experience and not everyone can relate to it. But when it comes down to it, just be sensitive to what the person is going through. You never know the whole story so don't assume and make judgements. Just love them, that's all they really need from you, as much love as possible.


restart button

I went trail running up Big Springs with Guy yesterday. I about died, I think I've been running maybe twice this summer. But wow, it is absolutely beautiful up there right now. Because there's so much water, the changing fall leaves are brilliant and colorful and it made the run up amazing. Once we got to the top, I sat down on one of the bridges over a stream and laid down... the warm sun, the sound of the breeze catching the leaves, the trickling stream underneath me, the smell of fall in the air... it was heaven. It was like pressing a restart button on my spirit.
I love being outdoors, it puts my heart at ease.

This phone pic does not do it justice... at all.


self portrait

After my sister helped me shoot this image, I let my dogs off their leashes so they could run free and chase the birds.
I think it was probably the best day of their lives. It took quite some time to wash all the nasty lake mud off of them so it probably wasn't my best day, but it was still fun to see them chase the birds out into the lake. And my poor sister got stuck in the mud, I about died laughing haha :)

never ever ever ever ever... ever....

This blog post is about nothing. I'm typing it up at work because if I don't do something, I will fall asleep on my face. So onward to random thoughts and today my thoughts are about Taylor Swift.

Let's be honest, this song is kind of annoying....
.... but I can't get enough of it.
Fast forward to 1:50. Are you having the same reaction that I did? Because I watched it over and over again at work last night and laughed myself off my chair.

Hahahahahahahaha! ... I just watched it again...

Speaking of Taylor, the photo from her new album Red is fantastic. I really like it a lot. It makes me smile even more because the photography for country music tends to be kind of gross and bland (in my opinion at least).

Doesn't photo look just lovely? I especially like the coloration and the whole fifties throw back that Taylor is doing right now. I love the fifties style, it speaks to my heart. I kind of want all of her outfits in the music video above. Hmmm.... maybe my sewing machine needs a little more love.


goodbye guy

It's been a great last few weeks/months, but alas, it had to come to an end.
He's ready for the "next step" and I am not so we're parting ways and wishing each other well.

This excerpt from Eat Pray Love reminded me of him...

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. 

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave."

I really am very happy I got to be so close to him for the short amount of time we had. I've been making much needed changes in my life because he brought them to my attention. My life is finally going in the direction that I've been wanting it to and I don't think it could've happened without his help.

Oh but it's still a shame, I'm sad to see this relationship end.


my words are not needed

"The Prophet Joseph Smith often referred to the feelings that should exist between husbands and wives, that they, his wives, should be his bosom companions, the nearest and dearest objects on earth in every sense of the word. He said men should beware how they treat their wives, that they were given them for a holy purpose, that the myriads of spirits waiting for tabernacles might have pure and healthy bodies. He also said many would awake on the morning of the resurrection sadly disappointed; for they, by transgression, would have neither wives nor children, for they surely would be taken from them and given to those who should prove themselves worthy. Again he said, a woman would have her choice; this was a privilege that could not be denied her."
- Lucy Walker Kimball, They Knew The Prophet page 139-40

"I don't think the Temple ordinance guarantees that [we] will be together forever. There will be a time before that sealing of the Holy Spirit of Promise makes it eternal, where we will be in the presence of the Savior, as individuals, and there will be a choice whether we continue with the sealing or not. I want to do everything in my power to qualify so that [my wife, Jeanene] will choose that sealing to be eternal."
- Excerpt of an interview with Elder Richard G. Scott by Sheri L. Dew


#1- Getting and recognizing answers to prayers has never really been a huge problem for me, I learned when I was younger to recognize the spirit and it's something that I've been very grateful for. But lately, I haven't been able to tell if reactions to situations have been my own fears and anxiety or if it's been the spirit telling me no, don't do this. It's been frustrating to say the least. Especially since these are big decisions that I'm making, some that if I choose wrong... I could potentially regret for a very, very long time.

#2- I have really good style, I just don't have the money to prove it.

#3- Yesterday I went hiking with the parents, Guy and another friend, Marko. We hiked up to Baldy (the smaller mountain in front of Timpanogos that looks like a volcano... or at least that's what I thought when I was a kid). It was super fun! And crazy exhausting... mainly because when we got to the top, Guy realized that we only had about an hour to get down to make it to dinner with his family who was in town... so in order to make it to dinner with them, we ran down the mountain. As in literally ran down the whole mountain. I thought my right knee was going to for sure blow out and I would never be able to walk again. I woke up this morning and thought the same thing. And my body now hates me and doesn't want to walk ever again. Poor thing. What a trooper my body is puttin' up with running down a mountain just to catch some BBQ. 

#4- My birthday was Sunday. It was just a normal day, no big deal really. The highlights of my day were: waking up to a 5 page long text from Clark that only said HHHHAAAAPPPPYYY BBBIIIRRRTTTHHHDDDAAAYYY!!!! ... but it was a lot longer, my singles ward singing happy birthday to me at Break the Fast, getting a voicemail from Vanessa (this was a bittersweet thing... bitter because I was mad I missed her call... sweet because I was so happy she called me), and Steve and Ginelle bringing me 24 cookies for my 24th birthday (that made me so happy, it was the sweetest thing that had happened to me all day!).

#5- Dexter and Marley, my poochies, are the loves of my life. They are so happy to see me come home and will stay by my side always. My favorite thing ever? Dog hugs. I love them. Dexter will just rest his head on my shoulder and I'll give him a great big hug. It's the sweetest thing ever.



I'm pretty proud of the new blog header I designed, I quite like it :)

"ruin is a gift. ruin is the road to transformation."

I don't know what the deal has been, but these past few days have been, well... my own personal hell. All the heartache I felt during my divorce is coming right back to laugh in my face. It's been frustrating, I thought I was making great progress. But for some reason, I got trapped back in that whirlpool of heartache and despair. And I haven't felt any hope, there has been no light at the end of the tunnel. Until this morning when I was reading my scriptures at work and came across the scripture Alma 32:27 "...even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe..."And oh how I desired to believe that I could be happy again and be truly free from the pain of my divorce.
I felt peace after that. I'm still not 100% okay, but my heart is at peace and that peace is bringing belief that I will find complete healing.

I've been reading the book Eat, Pray, Love lately. It's great so far, I can't believe I've never read it. I feel it's a fitting time in my life to read it considering it's about a woman trying to find wholeness and happiness after a divorce. There's a quote that I especially liked from the book:

"...and when you sense a faint potentiality for happiness after such dark times you must grab onto the ankels of that happiness and not let go until it drags you face-first out of the dirt-this is not selfishness, but obligation. You were given life; it is your duty to find something beautiful within life no matter how slight."

So that is exactly what I'm doing right now. I'm putting myself through emotional surgery and cutting out everything that is affecting my happiness, I'm focusing on my own personal healing and I'm grabbing the ankles of any glimmer of hope I have and not letting go.
But I know that no matter what I do, only the Lord can bring true healing.
Oh what a blessing the Atonement is.