Sometimes when I wake up in the morning my hair looks like this.


Summer Magic

While I have yet to gain many followers, I have gained a very fun and unique friend through blogging. Her blog is hilarious, Wearing it on My Sleeves. And if you have never seen it go check it out right now, you will not be disappointed. Well, I decided to copy one of her posts because I loved it so much.
I have been complaining a lot about how much I don't like Logan, but after going through my pictures I realize that it really has been a magical summer (although, just a bit slow).

This is Jonathan, my baby brother. He likes popsicles....

and he likes birthday cake....

and he likes playing mario kart wii. 
What a cutie.

 This is Josie, my niece at our family reunion...she likes to call them nenunions.

In my in-laws backyard. The husband actually took this picture, but I did some editing on it. 

BTS cake and Tres Leches for the husband's birthday party. If you have never eaten either of these, then you have never lived. So, come visit me immediately and I will make them and you will think you are in heaven. 

When you live in Utah you have things like this in your backyard... 

And this too.... 

 And this...

And probably this too, you just have to know where to find it. 

And when you have magical places right in your backyard you get to go there with all your cool friends.

 And when you go there, you can sun bathe on rocks...
and jump off to play in the water.
This is the Cat in the Hat. I made a piƱata for Josie's 4th birthday. I think it's cute.

The husband tries to take cool pictures, and sometimes they do turn out cool.
There is all sorts of magic in this picture.
a. cutting all my hair off
b. wearing a sweatshirt that is starting to become too big
c. being able to share comfy shorts with the husband so that I don't have to go and try and find some to cover something that is very special to me. Trust me, finding modest shorts for women/ladies is a really hard task, one that I have yet to have luck in
d. soft, comfy blankets for snuggling. After a week of 80+ degrees 24/7, it finally cooled down enough last night that I could get my blankets back out. Hallelujah!
And a close up of my short hair so you can tell me what you think!

Now everyone can be jealous of the great summer I have been having so far, and it's not even over yet! 9 days and the husband and I will have made it to one year! A whole year. It seems surreal almost, but it did go by very quickly. We decided to go to Lagoon, because we like to have fun. Also, since we are discussing good news and such, I have lost ten pounds! Yay! Now, 30ish more to go to be the same size before my accident (More of that will be discussed on Aug. 6th, considering that will be my 2 year anniversary since I thought I would never walk again). AND, if you believe in praying, pray for us. I have yet to (I think I use that phrase or variations of this phrase a lot) say anything about what is happening in a month from fear that I will jinx it. In 26 days the husband will be flying to Annapolis to audition for the Naval Academy Bands. Now, for those of you who don't know how big this is, it's BIG! This is one of DC's premiere bands. If he made it he would be performing with some of the top players in the world. He is auditioning on alto saxophone and for the past couple weeks he has been practicing every night for up to three hours! Now that my friends is dedication. If you want to hear more about how all of this came to be, let me know and I'll write a little something and post it.


Post-Potter Depression

There's nothing worse than being sick. Actually there is. It's being awake and sick at the ungodly hour of 3:05 am instead of watching HP7.5 with the rest of the world.
While I have been sitting here on my couch I have been reliving some of my favorite Harry Potter moments and memories. There is nothing more powerful than the memories and feelings I have simply from holding these books. The magic I experience is being able to have an imagination still as a newly made adult. I pick up these books now and can still feel the joy I had reading them. I can see where I was when I got each one. The first four were my gift from the Easter bunny about nine years ago. I locked myself away in my bedroom until I had read each of them. I remember reading them as a family out loud and going off to play witches with my sisters. I desperately hoped and prayed that on my eleventh birthday I would be receiving a letter from Hogwart's, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. To my dismay that day never came. Yet, J.K. Rowling still managed to make my childhood magical. I will forever be grateful to Ms. Rowling for her writing. I have always been the girl with her head in a book. I have always used books as a way to escape. This series was my other home for a long time, and while I know there are many out there that know more about the Harry Potter world than I ever could, I do know that these books changed my life. Just like with the final book there is a big part of me that doesn't want to watch this last movie because once I do I will have finally accepted that this is the end. I'm not sure I am ready for the end.


Day 30 - A song that makes me feel good about myself

Well, this challenge has come to an end, but I will definitely be posting more music videos on the blog because music is the universal language. Something that many of you who read my blog often know is that I struggle with my appearance. I always have, even when I was one of the skinny girls. While I have not given up on losing the weight I have gained, I have been trying really hard to see myself as the beautiful girl that other people claim to see. One of the things that is helping me is listening to this song everyday.

You are beautiful. I am beautiful.


Day 29 - A song I wish I could play

If I could play any song on any instrument, I would want to play the lead guitar part in Carry On My Wayward Son by Kansas. I've always really admired the guitar in that song. So, here is the best recording I could find.


Day 28 - A song I can play on an instrument

If you know me and the husband, then you know that we both love music and that we both play and own a variety of instruments. I play the piano, the clarinet in all forms, the saxophone in almost all forms, percussion instruments, and I used to play the violin and I could probably still play the basics on the violin. Tyler plays all saxophones, clarinet, flute, and guitar. We both sing. So, from all of this you should have gotten that we like music (just a bit though).
A few years ago, it seemed that everyone knew how to play 100 years on the piano and I was determined to learn it as well. Now I can play it. I can also play lots of other songs on several different instruments, but this video was the easiest to embed in a blog post.
If I can find some good recordings of some of the solos I have played on clarinet then I will post those as well. Until then, enjoy this video :)


Day 27 - A song from my childhood

My sister, Lya, and I loved this song when Tarzan first came out. We still sing it together from time when we are feeling reminiscent.


Somewhere along the way I grew up a little...Day 26

While I was younger I was never particularly patriotic. I didn't feel like I needed to say the Pledge of Allegiance ever. I hated singing the national anthem. And mostly, I enjoyed the 4th of July because it is a party holiday. I always felt gipped when I finally realized how long my parents had gotten away with telling me that the fireworks and parades on the 4th were for my birthday. It was such a let down when those things that made my birthday so special weren't mine.
I have never hated being an American, but I am not sure I fully comprehended how blessed I am to be an American. I never hated the wars, or the people fighting them for me, but I never thanked those people, even just in a prayer I never said that I was grateful they were doing that for me.
This year things have been different. At some point this summer I found my patriotism and finding it has made me feel more grown up than my 21st birthday has made me feel.
A couple weeks ago I was brought to tears hearing this year's Timpview Band playing Hymn to the Fallen. I have heard Timpview perform this song in previous years, but maybe I wasn't ready for it in the past or maybe I was a little more open to the idea of patriotism this year. Whatever the reason, I was so moved by that piece of music that I began to think more of how ungrateful I had been growing up. Not only to my country, but to my father as well.
My papa sacrificed so much to come to the United States and become the great man he is today. He came here to study and he met my mother. They fell in love and they got married. He ate potatoes and Top Ramon for six months to pay for my mothers engagement ring. He continued to work at his education, studying during the day and working at night to pay for it. He studied to become an American citizen. And when he became an American citizen I wouldn't even say the Pledge of Allegiance at the ceremony. My father had worked so hard to get where he had and I, being the selfish fourth grader I was, wouldn't even say it with my dad when he became a citizen.
I cried even harder after thinking about all the things my father had done to become a citizen, and how I just took it for granted because I was born a citizen. I continued to cry as I thought about the countless times I hadn't thanked God for putting me here in America, with hard working parents, and with the ability to worship Him freely. And I cried when it finally hit me that millions of lives had been sacrificed so that I could continue to live in a free nation.
After reassessing where my feelings toward my country had been I decided that I was indeed a patriotic person. I have found a new passion in being an American, because I am proud to be an American. And it's the right kind of pride, the kind of pride that says I am so grateful to live in a free country, the kind of pride that makes me humble because I am not the one fighting away from my family and friends so that I can live in a free country. I live free because someone, countless numbers of someones have given their lives in service of this country.
So, Day 26 of my song challenge is a song that made me feel guilty once, but now it makes me feel patriotic.

Hymn to the Fallen by John Williams from Saving Private Ryan

I would like to especially thank Dr. Fullmer, the director of Timpview High School Band, for teaching me many valuable lessons while I was in high school, but for also continuing to teach me after I have graduated. What you have done with the Normandy Project, the DC Project, and now this year's Pearl Harbor Project truly amazes me. I know you do not do it alone, but I have always admired what you can bring out in a band and your band this year has touched me and taught me something I never would have learned even had I participated in past projects. Hearing the Pearl Harbor Project band quite literally has changed my life this summer, and it has made my life something worth living for.


Day 25 - A song that makes me laugh

I have been without internet for quite some time due to a family reunion in Southern Utah, and since my birthday is pretty important to me I decided to blog about that last night. But now I am back and I will finish my song challenge. Maybe later today I will talk about how great the family reunion was but for now enjoy this video.

This song makes me laugh because when the husband and I started dating he was very unsure about making it anything but something casual because of our age difference. So when I was ready to have a serious relationship with him I sang him this song...and I guess it worked ;-)


I have reached the age of real adulthood...

I honestly thought that turning 21 would somehow make me feel more grown up, partially because I get a new drivers license this week, partially because 21 sounds cooler than 20, and partially because 21 is supposed to just feel better than 20. But I don't feel any different and maybe I don't feel different because sharing my birthday with a major national holiday and my husbands family reunion has made it feel not quite the same. Plus I didn't realize that my birthday wasn't posted on my facebook page and I was actually looking forward to getting the not so sincere and vague birthday wishes....if nothing else at least facebook was supposed to remind everyone it was my birthday. However this year only 3 people outside of family even remembered.

I think a lot of people make a list of things they would like to do while they are 21, but I'm going to do it anyway. So, in no particular order here is what I am going to do within the next year.

1. Visit Yellowstone for my first time

2. Lose 40 lbs

3. Learn how to fish

4. Upgrade my small game hunting license to a real hunter's permit

5. Finish my service-learning project

6. Learn and perform 3 new solos on my clarinet

7. Learn how to ride a motorcycle

8. Dress for success everyday (unless of course I'm sick, or cleaning the house)

9. Ride my bike more often

10. Learn how to sew

11. Take a karate class

12. Take a kick boxing class

13. Make new friends

14. Pray more fervently

15. Throw a big party for no particular reason

16. Go on all of the hikes in cache valley

17. Find a way to start riding horses again (I miss it a lot)

18. Get to know my neighbors

19. Write a letter to everyone who has helped influence my life for the better

20. Go back to visit Northern Arizona

21. Visit Idaho just because I can

These are all things I believe I can do before I turn 22, and hopefully by the time that day comes I will feel like the adult I am supposed to be.

I would also like to give a shout out to my baby brother who turned one on June 28th, my sister who turned 19 on June 24th, and my husband who turned 29 on June 22nd. I love you all so much and it has been awesome to spend time with you guys. I also enjoyed the family birthday party we had last week.

Birthday cake is only good if you can get it every where ;-)

And probably the worst part of my birthday was this:
Worst sunburn of my life...it was 20x worse on my legs :(


Sunshine in my soul

These are some of the other photos I took yesterday when I wasn't shooting photos of Brittany.

Baby Hungry

I am please to introduce you to my friends the Stokers. My friend Brittany is expecting her first and I was blessed to take some photographs of Brittany and Steven as they get ready to welcome their little baby girl into the world. 

Isn't Brittany the cutest?!

These are my most favorite baby shoes ever!

I hope that Brittany loves these as much as I do. There are many more photos, but it would take forever to post them all. :)