For Christmas, I "surprised" Nick (*hard to surprise when he had to get time off work) with a babymoon trip to one of his favorite places on Earth, Germany. I figured it would be one of our last trips together, just us two. So we booked the flights. And decided to travel spontaneously, no hotels, tours or transportation booked.
We arrived in Munich mid-afternoon and immediately drove to Marienplatz, the central square. We saw a good look-out, had our first German sausage, and explored the city. We only had a day in this city, but it was definitely worth a visit. Perhaps my favorite part was the cute hotel, Hotel Laimer Hof, Nick found on the outskirts of Munich. It was quaint, yellow (my favorite color), and endearing...not to mention walking distance from the Nymphenburg Palace. We took a late-night stroll around the park grounds and it was perfectly relaxing. One of the perks of traveling during the winter months is the lack of crowds. We had this whole dreamy building all to ourselves. It was so peaceful.
I was SO nervous, I could hardly sleep. The whole night I was tossing and turning, mentally preparing myself for another disappointment in the morning. It was a few days later than the "suggested window" to test, as I could not bare another false positive. Finally, with the sun peeking through the blinds, it seemed like a reasonable hour to be awake. I snuck out of bed before Nick got up. Without going into too much detail, I unwrapped the last pregnancy test, said a quick prayer to accept whatever the result may be and proceeded to "test".
I set the stick on the counter. I couldn't bare to look. For a year I've so desperately wanted to see two positive lines, but never did I receive an authentic positive test. Read More
So, I've had it in my head to make a wreath for months. I destroyed my last one trying to create a decoration for a YW's event. Needless to say, the decoration didn't work out and that was the last of anything remotely appealing about our front porch. Months went by, and nothing. I FINALLY found my way to Pinterest (often times I am too intimidated to get on this overwhelming site.) I was scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. I love green. Everything green. I'm all about natural decor. So, when I saw a fresh, green wreath I knew I had to brave a trip to Hobby Lobby in search for a wreath wire ring.
Things you'll need:
Wreath wire ring
Two types of greenery (totally up to you). I went with large, dark green leaves accented by lighter, smaller leafed foliage.
Scissors and wire cutter
Green floral wire
Ribbon Read More
I needed a little pick-me-up, so I drove to the flower shop down the street. I always make a mental note every time I drive by the shop to stop by and grab some flowers, but somehow life gets in the way.
This morning, as I was walking into the shop, I was greeted by three little boys exiting the flower shop, all wearing tuxes. They looked like perfect gentlemen. Each one had a rose in one hand to take to their mother. I smiled at the father who quickly ushered the boys into the car. And they were off. I couldn't stop smiling as I was picking out a fresh arrangement for myself. It was the perfect way to start the week, if you ask me. Read More
A little wind-blown as we headed up to the scenic overlook where we had out very first date four years ago. This last year has been a real kicker (you know where), but I'm grateful for Nick. I'm grateful he endure the most painful, awkward first date EVAH and married me two years later so we could hike the SAME mt. two years lateeer, slightly less awkward with much better chemistry.
*Also, we avoided a very close run-in with a not-so-friendly rattlesnake on the trailhead. Apparently, this hike is not for the faint of heart.
AND, WOULD YOU LOOK AT THESE LEAVES!?! This can't be real life. Read More
We went up the canyon tonight for date night (loooong overdue). It was so refreshing to just be us two relaxing, chatting and learning how to longboard (well, I was). It was the perfect summer night with a hint of the crisp fall air. hmmmm.
Nick and I are knee-deep into podcasts, lately. So of course, the only thing we could talk about is our latest Invisibilia
episode. (Warning, shameless podcast plug ahead.
) It's amazing how much absent minded time we have (driving, cooking, scrolling) to listen and learn something new. I've noticed some pretty drastic changes over the last year (since the podcast obsession started), and I've found myself feeling much more empathetic and socially aware of issues and demographics I had never been aware of. Not only that, but I feel our marriage has improved, as weird as that may sound. These podcasts have crept into out late-night pillow talks (say goodbye to sleep) helping us evolve as a couple, topic by topic. Learning new information, whatever format that may be, has a way of making you step outside of yourself, evaluate your current beliefs, analyze where you'd like to be and adopt new frameworks (if necessary). Nick and I are different in so many ways, but these podcasts have actually leveled the playing field a bit and come to find out, we aren't as different as we thought:)
It's seriously a habit worth forming. Hop in the car, turn off the radio, and push play on the latest episode. Whether it's inspiring or even a little uncomfortable (it's not always easy looking at a familiar subject with a new lens), I have NEVER regretted pushing play.
If you have any good ones, we're all ears. And, of course, we're happy to share our growing list as well.
Here's a few of our most recent favorites: Read More
LAKE POWELL! This is one of my absolute FAVORITE Homer family traditions. This trip alone is worth marrying into Nick's family 🙂 Talk about the most beautiful scenery, best water toys (ahem, thanks to Nick) and food fit for kings. I joke with Carol (Nick's mother) I eat better this week on the house boat than the rest of the year combined. She seriously is a wizard when it comes to cooking and baking. We are blessed to say the least.
I took out my camera the last two days to *try to document a SLIVER of this pristine beauty around us. One of my favorite parts of the trip is sleeping atop the houseboat. Nick started this tradition as a kid and has yet to do anything differently. I can see why. Falling asleep as the stars move overhead and waking up with the early sunrise (see video below of the moonrise) is pretty humbling. Ahh! I really can't put this trip into words so I'll just post a slew of random pictures of my in-laws and the scenery we basked in all week. Hope you enjoy:)
Nick aside, these girls are my everything! I find it funny that such a HUUUUGE part of my life is only documented when we're dirty, sleep-deprived and camping...but I have to say, after a year+ of loving these girls, this last week in the mountains is one I will never forget. I can't really put into words what these girls mean to me. They have saved me many times this year and I am forever grateful for our weekly Wednesday nights and earrrrly Sunday mornings we spend together. There has been so much healing and growth and it's just the beginning.
What I love most about girls camp is the 24/7 of pure bonding that happens. We all progressively get dirtier, smellier, and less inhibited as the week goes on and it totally rocks! I love it!
During a few of my scripture study sessions, I reviewed the last supper in John, chapter 17. This chapter is one that I hold very dear to my heart as this is one of the last times the Savior is able to love and prepare his apostles before his crucification. I cannot even imagine the heaviness and confusion that some of the apostles may be feeling at this point, as no one can really comprehend what is about to happen. These men have already sacrificed so much and devoted their lives to the Savior, but little do they know the impact this week will have on them. (*ALL of them will eventually give up their life for the sake of the Savior.) Through this dinner, the Savior takes them away from the world and buoys them up, giving them hope and comfort. The last thing he does is pray for the apostles to be with Heavenly Father, then he goes to perform the act that will allow them to do so. Everything about this chapter and the intercessory prayer is loving, empowering and selfless.
Often times, when I feel alone or discouraged, I'll read this chapter and pretend I'm also in this room with the apostles, listening to the Savior's sermon. There is so much unity and strength when we tap into the powers of God and His loving Son. I felt a few times that this week in the mountains was to a very small degree "our own last supper" where we (leaders + girls) were able to bond; share our fears; give encouragement; ask hard questions; look to the truths we do know (whatever they may be); and most importantly, love each other. It's all about love and inclusion.
One of my favorite parts of the week was the second to last night, Read More
Here's a little story I wrote to Nick for our two-year anniversary. We spent the whole day in the airport catching our connecting flights back home from Alaska and didn't have time to celebrate. I've tried to think of a way to explain what these last two years have been like for us, or for me, so instead I made up a silly little story. 🙂 It's been a hard road with lots of changes and big decisions that neither of us ever planned to make. At the same time, I can't remember my life before Nick. It's like he's always been a part of my soul. I love him. I honestly can't imagine trying to exist without him...it all seems so strange. I'm sorry these thoughts are so scattered, but that's what marriage is sometimes:)
Happy two years, Nick!
On the morning of July 18th, I stepped onto this old, rickety sailboat. The wood was dark and aged. The sail had seen better days. But the boat, the boat was well-loved and oh so inviting. You assured me the dents and scratches had been looked at and I could see your quick handyman skills had mended the knotted lines to set sail. I took one last glance at the beautiful and comfortable shore. The sand was covered in footprints from the day before. I squished the cold, fine grains between my toes. Oh how I love the sand. The waves gently crawling up the shoreline meeting the stillness of the morning air. Was I sure I wanted to give it up? Your hand reached out to me, breaking me from my train of thought. Your eyes glistening, eager to set sail. You looked toward the horizon and back at me, your smile getting wider with every passing second. I took one last look at the beautiful shoreline and stepped into the boat.
A little backstory: Alaska has a special place in my family's heart. My grandparents have created this tradition of going every year or two to stay on Grant Island -- a remote island with little reception and a whole lot of family bonding time and fishing, of course:) Last year, I brought all my camera gear with me to try and capture the beauty of Alaska along with some familiar faces. Long story short, I edited the footage and posted it to my FB page for the purpose of showing my family. It only took a matter of hours before dozens of strangers were sharing it to their FB pages. I was shocked. Silverking has a special place in many, many hearts. And unbeknownst to me, Silverking hadn't really had any video footage documenting what this remote island has to offer. So for the first time, avid/hobbyist fishermen/women were able to share with their loved ones this beautiful place they call home.
It wasn't long before Read More