whatever your circumstance, you are a product of their love. you were put in your specific place because they need you there. I pray everyday not only to know how to become like our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ but also our Mother in heaven. They can make more of us than we can make of ourselves. I feel God’s love as I find my purpose. It continually changes and shapes itself into something different but the love I feel is the same. 💙 also this blue door on my walk home from church made me smile.
4 years ago I walked into marriage with what some would call a naïveté. I would agree with that for the most part. I would probably call it more of a blind faith. But, in a way, I'm glad I had that faith and optimism. If I were more cynical and logical I probably would have passed up on Chris. I was 19 and many people thought it was a mistake. What a relief that I listened to my heart and that my heavenly parents gave me confidence in my decision.
I've learned over the years that marriage genuinely is one of the most difficult and rewarding experiences. Like any important thing, it comes with an array of emotions and experiences. Similarly to your relationship with God, your spouse knows ALL your flaws, shortcomings and secrets. One may find it difficult to love someone when knowing all the other's imperfections. I would say that is not the difficult part. The difficult part is letting your spouse love you for EVERYTHING that you are when you know you're imperfect. Being vulnerable by telling them when you fall short, sharing the pain you feel and apologizing for the hurt you may have caused. In our brokenness and honesty that is where the love is in our relationship.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”
- Brene Brown
I love that Chris has helped me in becoming my best self. He sees me how God sees me, the good & the bad. The instagram self and the sweatpant-wearing, house a mess self. He has pushed me when I needed it and held me tight when needed it. These four years have been both amazing and mundane, comfortable and uncomfortable, joyful and sorrowful, easy and difficult and many more opposites.
I am so grateful for the partnership we have formed and have loved being married to Chris for the last four years. All I keep saying in my head is "4 more years! 4 more years!"
So in honor of our 4th anniversary, I thought I'd share a few photos from my favorite moments this last year as well as some photos of our wedding day.
Highlights from this Year:
Moved to Chicago | Jack turned one | Cruise to Carribean | LP & Oceanside | New Friendships | Hosting many visitors in Chi Town | survived 5 weeks a part | Fam trip to Portland | 30 Bday trip to Scottsdale | Reliving our first date at March Madness | Christmas with our Families | New traditions | So many sporting events | 2 months of the mustache
Feels like yesterday even though we look like 12 year olds.
My best friends & their darling men came to visit us over the long weekend. I warned them it would be cold but they still came and we had an absolute blast. Rain or shine I can depend on these dudes for a rad time.
New Year's Resolutions have been a tradition in my fam since I can remember. It honestly is one of my favorite things we do and I just love the season after Christmas. I love the chance to refocus, gather yourself & get ready to kick some butt in the new year.
What we do:
Trace our hand and create a visual representation of our goals. I have a hand goal sheet that was from when I was 5 with handwriting that was illegible. Jack has them now and it's so fun to see his hand already growing.
You then create a goal for each finger and palm area if you'd like. Each goal should focus on a different aspect of your life. Here are the ones we use generally.
Social | Personal | Academic | Financial | Spiritual | Physical | Spousal
At the end of the year we bring our goals to a family dinner and share how they went, what worked, what didn't etc. My mom and us decide if the goal was completed. If the goal was completed you get 5 bucks. It's awesome.
Here are mine for this year.
1. Spiritual - Read the Book Of Mormon with the #thebookofmormonproject
2. Social - Listen. Talk Less, ask more questions
3. Personal - Make (x) amount of money in freelance
4. Spousal - Go on at least one getaway/vacation with just Chris & I
5. Financial - Create a monthly budget and stick to it
BONUS - Create a focus word for the year. Something that you can center around and keep as a little reminder to help you improve.
My 2018 Focus Word: Outstretch
past tense: outstretched; past participle: outstretched
extend or stretch out (something, especially a hand or arm).
"I walked with my arms outstretched"
go beyond the limit of.
"their good intentions far outstretched their capacity to offer help"
I want to offer more help, go further in relationships & dive deeper into the word of the Lord. I want to go past my limit and do things that make me uncomfortable. Because I know that's where I grow.
Our Christmas break was absolutely fantastic!! Utah and Idaho with our fams was much needed.
We had Christmas early with Jack so we didn't have to haul his gifts back and forth between Chicago and Salt Lake since we will be in Utah over actual Christmas. We had a blast! Having Christmas with a kid is so stinking fun.
Christmas Eve consisted of jammies, the Grinch, putting together our neighbor gifts, Christmas stories, reading Luke 2 and a dance party to our Christmas Cheer playlist.
Christmas morning consisted of lots of claps, laughs, tears, blocks, ribbon and a yummy breakfast.
The Black and White wrapping paper you see I created! I wanted some Christ centered wrapping paper this year. So I made my own with my handwriting! It says “Come adore on bended knee, Christ the Lord the newborn King!
Date night turned into a mini photoshoot at the park.
The Wrigley Building has such gorgeous Christmas decorations. Lucky for us it was 50 outside that day!
You know those times where you plan to do something and it does not work out. We had one of those moments on Saturday. Tried to go to this parade and it was freezing and couldn't see a thing. We ended up just playing in the subway station while waiting for our train. Still a fun night. Gotta go with the flow as a parent.
yesterday I felt pretty down. I felt like my life wasn't my life. I started to be angry, questioning why I got married so young and why I already had a child, wondering if laundry and cleaning was my only point of existence. It's hard playing the "what if" game. I have no regrets, but sacrifice can be hard, and that's ok. I'm thankful for the life my Heavenly Parents have blessed me with. When I look for them in my life that's when I find myself. Shout out to all you moms and women who feel like no one notices them. I SEE YOU.
Jack and I took the metra train to visit dad at work. Chris works at an ad firm downtown, Energy BBDO and we love grabbing some lunch with him. The Nutella Cafe is literally right next door to his office and because Chris loves Nutella he has been dying to go. To be honest, the crepe was fine but I would never go again. Do yourself a favor and go to Eataly or anywhere else. At least they had a cool sign. Chris had a few more minutes before he had to get back so we walked along the river and chased Jack. I love my crew.
We had a warm day here in Chicago. Warm being, 48 degrees. My friend Emily suggested a Zoo Day. Lincoln Park Zoo is completely FREE and it was almost empty. The monkeys were our favorite. The bridge to walk to the Farm area from the street had an amazing view of the Chicago skyline!
In 2016 we planned a Carnival cruise with our good friends, Kelly & Brock, over my spring break. We wanted to have sort of a fun baby moon, as I was pregnant with Jack at the time. Literally one week after booking the cruise, the warnings about pregnancy and zika were becoming more and more prevalent. Soooo we decided to cancel and go another time, after Jack was born. We ended up booking this cruise almost a year in advance and it felt like we were waiting forever. We had planned to go to Puerto Rico, St. Thomas etc. But, hurricanes had other plans. We were rerouted to the western Caribbean stops and still had an absolutely amazing time. Here are some photos and iphone pics of the trip!
Before getting on the ship we ran some errands and got some yummy crepes at Cafe Club
First stop: Cayman Islands
Because of the wind we didn't tender boat from the normal location. We tendered from the other side of the island. Lucky for us, their was an amazing private beach to hang at while we waited to go on our excursion. We went to Sting Ray City and it was one of the coolest things I've ever seen. Huge sting rays just swim right up to you and you can feed them. I wish I had photos but it was fun to be in the moment too. DO NOT BUY THIS EXCURSION ON THE CRUISE SHIP. You will pay twice as much.
Second stop: Roatan
The ship ports at Mahogany Bay which is owned by Carnival. It's basically like being on the cruise ship, lots of alcohol, over priced souvenirs and sitting around. We decided to get out of the port and do our own thing. Instead of paying $30/person for a taxi we opted for the rental car. It was $40 for the day in cash + gas and they kept an I.D. as collateral. We drove to Half Moon Bay and went snorkeling. It has an amazing dive community I even met someone from SLC, UT. We needed a snack and I needed a smoothie. We grabbed some lounge chairs at Gingers and it was so so good. They had delicious specials and amazing seafood that was caught that morning. You'll have great conversation with one of the cooks, Sexy Marco as well as the owners, Ginger and Mr. Ginger. They are from Houston, Texas and we loved talking to them about the Astros and the World Series.
So after all that here are some basic tips and advice from my first cruise experience.
Mural hunting in the West Loop with some of our homies.
County Line Orchard is going to be a new Indigenous People's Day tradition for our fam! Located in Hobart, Indiana, this place has it ALL. Delicious donuts and treats, farm animals, tractor rides, apple, sunflower and pumpkin picking. Jack was loving every minute of it, until the end when he completely fell apart in the apple orchard. Hence why I have no photos in the orchard hahaha.
Dallas Clayton just finished a new mural in Chicago! It's located in Wicker Park at 1611 E Damen Ave. We drove up and parked a few blocks away so we could park for free! (free parking in Chicago ain't no joke) It was so fun to read all the amazing power and love statements on the wall. I honestly couldn't stop smiling looking at it. Seeing my baby boy under words like "You're a Wish and a Wonder!" and "you're a miracle child!" was really moving. I hope everyone feels that as they see those words! Also just a few blocks away is En Hakkore and En Hakkore 2.0 we love Asian fusion food and this place has some delicious Bibimbap and Korean BBQ tacos. GO TRY!
UPDATE! The mural is painted over :( honestly I am so sad about it!
Maggie Daley Park
Promontory Point is about a fifteen minute walk from our house and it has the best view of the whole city. So fun hanging with my girl Kelly. WE MISS YOU!