July 31, 2013

butler's orchard

[Germantown, MD]
Yesterday, I decided to take Ava to a blackberry farm & sneak a few photos of her. Since her 2nd birthday is this friday, I thought it would be perfect to then frame some of the photos for her parents. It was quite the adventure out there but well worth the trip. Maryland is gorgeous during the summer! I am so lucky to live to close & to have fresh fruit to take home & enjoy! This is probably my favorite thing I've down out here in DC & I have yet to drag Adam along with me (he's in for a real treat). Hopefully my kids will be as obedient as Ava was during her photoshoot. Parents around me kept complimenting on how "my daughter" stayed so still! It was hilarious. Honestly I think Ava liked being a model because she was listening to me, standing still in an open field, always insisting to wear her hat & kept holding the bucket of blackberries rather than throwing them on the ground. I was so proud of her & am so excited to celebrate her 2nd birthday this weekend. I love you my Ava! & am so grateful to be your nanny.

While we try & teach children all about life,
children teach us what life is all about. 

July 29, 2013

weekend of nausea

[Deer Creek, MD]
My Adam is too good to me. This past weekend we went to the Lumineer's concert for date night & sang our hearts out with all the other 50,000 people there. I will be honest & say that I even cried a little (which isn't anything surprising, I cry almost every day) but they were incredible live. On our honeymoon, their one & only album played on repeat over & over again. So there was an extra emotional pull on my heart. On top of this, we got invited by Jack & Lauren Gerard to their beautiful cabin out on Deer Creek. Ever since I was two months old, my family has been a lake/water sport kind of family. We were fortunate enough to venture every year either to Lake Powell or Lake Mead & will be heading out there in a few weeks (literally cannot contain my excitement!!) So you can only imagine how happy I was to take an adventure out there. Sunshine wasn't on the forecast for that day but that didn't stop us from spending time in the water (Mike & Jenna Anderson were troopers at getting up on the wakeboard for their 2nd-ish time) Everyone was feeling the soreness of every muscle coming but yet again that didn't stop us from riding almost every single ride at the County Fair down the road. A group of cute girls also came out from New York to join us that day (Alyssa Lewis, Janelle Worsley & Alex Adamson). Of course we played the name game & had tons of mutual friends which always seems to happen in the Mormon world. I think after the Lumineers concert, wakeboarding, lack of sleep, too much ice cream & continuous upside down/loose your stomach rides, I was just about to pass out. I put my body through absolute misery all for my own entertainment & pleasure. Thank goodness for Sunday's because we needed a day for recovery after this weekend of nausea. & thank goodness for friends because without them, life wouldn't be as enjoyable. Of course there is Adam but having other relationships really build different connections with people who are going through the same thing you are. They are there to inspire you, motivate you, & be there for you. I cannot imagine my life without friends & it hurts me thinking that there are people out there who don't have any. The best way to make friends is to be one.

I believe in angels, 
the kind that heaven sends.
I am surrounded my angels,
but I call them by friends. 

p.s I know Adam's beard makes him look 10 years older & 30 pounds heavier. 
But he's still sexy. 

July 24, 2013


[Orange County, CA] This last weekend Adam & I had the chance to visit my family in California and let's just say it was physically & emotionally exhausting trying to spend every waking moment with all my siblings & their kids (but obviously worth it).  From oldest to youngest of my nieces & nephews there is Gibson, Siena, Avenlea, Wyatt, Emery & three week old Sawyer. Let me tell you I couldn't keep up! They are busy little bodies & I tried to soak it all in by hugging & kissing them a couple seconds longer. We also soaked in the sun down in San Clemente, Irvine Spectrum, Rainbow Sandals Outlet, hiking around Ladera Ranch, Danish Hotcakes, golf, sushi & of course an intense game of Settlers of Catan (it's an addiction of ours). In a few months, I won't remember much of what we did or what we ate or what we talked about over the weekend. But I will never forget seeing someone so close to me get re-baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Friday night. Before my eyes, I got to witness the Atonement process cleanse one of God's children. Over the past year & a half, my family has been through a trial that has changed our outlooks on life. Inevitably, we have all grown closer together because we had to lean on another & hold each others heads up high. Due to our difference in personalities, each sibling has handled the situation in completely different ways. I believe that these trials (& all other trials in life) are actually blessings in disguise. There are so many things that I have learned while going through this. No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes that then open the door to change & create a way for someone to grow into that person they are meant to become. Isn't that the reason we are here on earth? To make mistakes in order to learn from them? Then why is it hard to forgive someone who made mistakes? Because we are human. We have pride, hurt feelings, tempers, & hard hearts because we are alive. But we also have the gift of free agency. We have choices to make about how we react to the trials that come our way. Choose to forgive. Choose to love. Choose to open your heart & your mind to the sins happening all around you. Choose to let things go. Just let it go. Don't let other people's actions determine your attitude & affect the way you live your life. Don't be closed minded & think that the world revolves around you. Because I can tell you this: there are people to serve, there are hearts to touch, there are families that need to be strengthened. Look to helping other's needs rather than focusing on your own. The world needs you. 

A negative mind will
n  e  v  e  r 
give you a positive life. 

July 17, 2013

life via instagram

[Alexandria, VA] 
Here is a recap of what our lives have consisted of via instagram. 
In May, we officially moved into the Mt. Vernon Ward & received callings this last week. Adam got called to be the 2nd counselor in the Young Men's Presidency & they placed me in Young Women's as the MiaMaid advisor. Both of us were so excited to be able to work with the youth of this area. Literally, I feel like I am one of them because it hasn't been too long since I was. It is a totally different world than being in Relief Society (if you know what I mean). There are only a handful of girls but it is important to focus on each one & let them know that we care. 
Over these last few weeks, Ava & I have made edible finger paints, had picnics while watching Despicable Me (which is the only movie that grabs her attention longer than 15 minutes), & went on an adventure strawberry picking in Maryland. Our favorite things to do are catch fireflies 
& listen to the rain. I try to sneak in a few thank you cards from our wedding because we got back our photos from the Open House! If looking for a wedding photographer, I highly recommend Tracy Hill (her work is phenomenal)! 
Anthropologie has kept me busy by working about 3-4 nights a week. It is exhausting but totally worth every second! I absolutely adore the girls & 
have been good by not spending all of my paychecks (shockingly). 
I turned 22 on June 11th & celebrated by scrounging around some thrift stores, buying plants for my pots we used at our wedding, being surprised by my husband with a few gifts & going out to dinner to Cafe Berlin which is the same place he took me the night we got engaged. 
To sum up, it was a perfect birthday & I am so grateful for my loved ones who made it special. The next weekend, Adam's brother Chris came in town & we got to play around & see a lot of the sites that we haven't seen since January. Chris made us laugh & gave us a piece of home. It is been decided that we want to end up on the west coast because being near family is so important to us. 
Especially when little babies are brought into the world! Since we've been out here, Adam's sister Emily welcomed Hazel Jane Rytting & my brother Tanner welcomed Sawyer Larsen Wells into their families. It hurts my heart to think that I STILL haven't met them! 
(Good thing we are escaping to California for the weekend
Cannot wait to be with my family & see all my nieces & nephews! 

F a m i l y 
like branches on a tree
we all grow in different directions
yet are roots remain as one.