The church where we were married

 This summer during our time in Kansas City, we visited the church that we were married in.
 We were married on May 24th, 2008, in a little Episcopalian church near Independence Square.  My mom and I had found the church about 6 months before the wedding, when we were looking for the perfect place in Kansas City to hold the ceremony (Brian gave some guidelines but pretty much said I could pick the church).  I knew I wanted a small church that would feel cozy and beautiful, and I instantly loved this one.  The minister of the church was so nice and friendly, and agreed to let Brian and I be married there, even though we don't belong to the Episcopal church.  When we brought Brian back to see the church, he immediately said it was perfect.
 Our friend Chris took the coolest pic of us jumping on these steps on our wedding day and I really wish I could find it in my computer right now to share it!  We took this one this summer to match it.
Last Friday was our 5 year anniversary, and Brian took me to Biaggi's, an italian restaurant downtown. It was so elegant inside and the food was amazing.  I love their bread pudding and want to go back and eat it right now.
 Brian bought these gorgeous flowers for our anniversary.  There are few things more romantic, in my opinion, than receiving a beautiful bouquet of flowers.  I think it's so meaningful.
 Funny story about the flowers- Brian told me that he had bought a bouquet of peonies (those were our wedding flowers) the day before to give me, but overnight they had wilted and looked really terrible by the morning, so he went out and bought these instead.  I think that makes these flowers even sweeter... and now it's getting gushy.  I have a thoughtful husband.♥  And PS Costco has the best flowers.

Also, this is what happens when it's rainy for two days and you feel so bad about keeping your dog cooped up in the kitchen that you decide to let her spend the day outside in the mud.  Sam's favorite thing is to find a hole (which she dug in the backyard) that has filled up with water and jump in it/lay in it/throw her toys in it.  Guess what, she smelled pretty bad.  But that's still a pretty cute face!


Guess who's a graduate?!

 My mom and dad with Ploopsta
My little brother graduated college last weekend.  I'm so proud of you, Garrett!!

Some thoughts this week-

I have such a caring husband and he is so patient with me.  Sometimes I get really cranky at home and take my mood out on him and then I have to apologize again and again.  

My Gram and cousin Ryan are coming into town this weekend and I cannot wait.  I'm really close with my Gram and talk to her almost every week on the phone.  She has been friends with our family friends here in town for way longer than we have known them, so we all get to spend the week together, and we have so many fun things planned for them.  I'm really looking forward to hiking with my cousin and Brian this week.

I hate it when my mind spins around in circles, thinking or worrying about things, or being impatient for things.  Sometimes I wish I had better control over my thoughts.  I don't like getting all caught up in things that don't matter and then completely ignoring the things that do matter.  I'm praying this week for a mind focused on the right things.

I can't wait for Brian and I to buy a house.  Honestly I love where we are living right now and would kind of like to buy that house, but it's way too small.  Brian and I are both sick of renting and "throwing away" that money each month, and I can't wait to be able to put a down payment on a house of our own.  Since we're going to start looking for houses within the next six months (to a year), we've been talking about our criteria for a house.
My list:
- two bathrooms with lots of counter space
- kitchen with lots of counter space  (can you guess how much counter space these two rooms have in our house right now?  Yep not a lot!  But seriously it's still so cute.)
- hopefully a front porch

Brian's list:
- house that's not on a busy street
- large backyard
- has a garage
Plus a bunch of other little ones but they might change once we actually start looking.
This little house is for sale a couple of blocks over from us and I looove it every time I run past it.  It's on a super busy street though, which wouldn't be the best for kids.  Or Samantha, who runs toward cars that pull into our driveway.  Like she almost tries to run under the tires.


Friday is our fifth anniversary!

This Friday is our five year anniversary!!!
  I love Brian so much, and marrying him has made me happy every day.  I remember the feeling of driving away from our wedding and feeling so excited about going on a trip alone, just the two of us for the first time.  Our honeymoon was spent in a resort in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico.  We took a little kayak out onto the ocean one day, and we spent every day at the pool.  We also went on a sailing trip and I got so seasick and spent the whole boat ride below deck standing over the sink!  I also remember taking bus rides down to the city from our resort and sitting on Brian's lap while the bus flew down the hills with the windows open.

We wanted to go on an anniversary trip this year, but that will have to wait until later this summer because of the post office's rules about time off for new mail carriers.  So I took a tip from a book I'm reading and decided to do five gifts for five years, and to give one each day leading up to our anniversary.  Right now I'm waiting for him to get home because I'm really excited about his gift for today!

On different note, it is so terrible to hear the news about the tornadoes in Oklahoma.  Brian and I both went to college in Oklahoma City, and can't believe that it hit so close to friends and family still living there (who are thankfully safe).  Praying for those who lost homes and loved ones this week.


Painting pics

Petco gives heart doggie treats

I went to an awesome yoga class at Centered City this morning.  It feels great to do yoga in the morning  because you really feel the benefits the rest of the day.  The class was a slower, more relaxing class that focused on stretching.  Usually I like the fast-paced power classes more, but since I've been running this week and had sore legs, this class felt really good. 

My fave running song this week has been California Gurls (Armand Ven Helden remix) by Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg.  Helps me pick up the pace at the end of a work out!!
Brian's been making a lot of healthy snacks lately and I think it's really cool.  This week he borrowed a friend's dehydrator and made his own fruit leather.

He stuck a bunch of different kinds of fruit into our blender with just a little bit of water.
 He blended it until it was all liquid and it turned into this really pretty pink color.  Healthy!
 Then he just poured it into the dehydrator and let it do it's thing for about a day.  It turned out pretty good.  He also made the kale chips from this site.  They were made with some habanero pepper and were spicy but good.
Here's some pictures from our small group's service project last Monday.  We do a project one Monday night each month and it has usually been painting at local community centers.  It's pretty fun, even though are painting skills are usually pretty rough but oh well.  We were missing some people on this last Monday night.  This post on Sarah's blog has more of our church small group and service project pics- they're awesome check them out!
 This is true love
 Taking a break from some strenuous painting.
 Brian and Charlie cleaning the brushes and rollers.  Then we went to Red Robin and I had the best onion rings ever.

This verse stood out to me this week: "It is good to announce your mercy in the morning and your faithfulness in the evening." (Psalm 92:2)  I want to have a grateful spirit during the day.  Brian and I have always valued a simplistic lifestyle and trying to keep a minimalist mindset.  When we moved back to the states, there were so many things suddenly available that I had been missing so much while living overseas.  Everything from restaurants, to cable tv, to air-conditioning and shopping for furniture and bedding seemed really new, fresh, and exciting.  I remember feeling so grateful about driving an automatic car (never again, stick shift, never again) and getting kitchenware that we wouldn't have to pack up for a long time.  Now that we've been back in the states for almost a year, it's easy to look at the things we have and think we need more.  I don't want to fill our house with things that we don't need and I want to have a heart that is thankful for Brian and the people around us and what we have.

pic via


Sunday in Spring

Today we went to the early service at our church, then went to brunch afterward.  Sunday brunch is a part of the week that we always look forward to.  Brian also works six days a week (he delivers mail) so I love Sundays because he's off work and we try to fill it with fun things.

We went to Park Cafe and it was super busy.  We ended up waiting outside for about a half hour, but the weather was the perfect temperature and I think I even got a little tan.  The food was also so good- it was worth the wait.

Love to hang out with him.
Delicious chocolate chip pancakes and biscuits and gravy.
 After church, Brian worked on his bike.  He just bought new tires, peddles, and a derailleur for his mountain bike and installed them today.  Sam was certain he would play with her any minute so she stuck close by.
 Waiting.  She is obsessed with playing fetch.

Then we went to home depot for some stuff for our new garden (pictures coming soon!) and I got my first iced coffee of the summer.  Wait, spring, but it really felt like summer today in the 80's!
Later in the afternoon we hung out with the Young's and took Samantha to play at Memory Grove park.  We waded in the creek (freezing cold from a stream of melting mountain snow!), had a picnic, and walked the dog trail.  Then Sam got into a fight with another dog... because she does that quite often.  We are going to have to enroll her in some kind of a dog class soon, because she's really good with some things (playing with people, obeying commands, always being friendly and good natured with us) but really bad with others (sometimes snapping at random dogs, aggression with food).  I talked to a trainer at Petco a couple of weeks ago, so we are thinking of enrolling her there. 
 Jennilyn brought cupcakes with chocolate in the middle 

Happy Mother's Day to our two wonderful moms... we love you both so much and are so glad you are ours.


SLC spring flowers

 A couple of weekends ago, we went with our friends the Young's to see the flowers at Temple Square.  We live only a couple of blocks from Temple Square, but we hadn't had a chance to walk down and see the flowers yet (we even missed the famous Christmas lights at the square- we have got to see those next year!).  We decided to go with our friends and check it out- beautiful!!
There were tulips everywhere, with pansies and a million other gorgeous flowers mixed in.

 I love this picture Brian took of a statue at the square.

 Bells exploring
me, Gem, and Tess

 It was also the most gorgeous weather that day.  I really like spring in Salt Lake.  It doesn't really rain that much, and the climate is really dry here. 

 Young family, we love hanging out with you!  Picnic time tomorrow!

On most Thursday nights, Brian has been playing ultimate frisbee with a group at the U.  So this Thursday I went with a few of my friends for a walk at Liberty Park.
The weather was again gorgeous so there were a ton of people at the park.  Liberty Park is my favorite park in the valley- I love how there's always a lot of activity there in the evenings.  There are also tennis courts, soccer fields, and a bird aviary, with several walking paths all the way around.

Lindsey, Liz, and Liz
Then we went to get sushi afterwards because we were starving and that's how we roll.  Did you like that?


You're already home where you feel love

The Oquirrh mountains are so gorgeous when the sun is setting.  Such a cool zig zag pattern against a pink sky.
We took an evening walk last week near Emmigration Canyon and got to watch the sun set over the city.

See the Great Salt Lake in the distance?  The landform beyond it is Antelope Island, the biggest of 10 (I've also heard 11?)  islands on the Great Salt Lake.

This is one of my favorite places in the city, the Downtown Public Library.  The lobby is so cool- enormous with lots of natural light, and the little shops in it sell cute little plants and wind chimes, books, stationary, and art.
The library has 4 floors and tons of desks and comfortable chairs on all of the floors so you can look out over the city while you read or study.  
Windows open on a warm night.  Actually, our windows have been open pretty much anytime we have been home the last week.  We love the breeze coming through the house.
Tonight we're going to West Jordan to hang out with Heather and her family and I made rice krispie treats. I also bought extra ingredients to make a bunch for us this week. Brian loves having dessert around the house at night- cookies, cake, anything. I think it's because his mom always made delicious desserts when he was growing up.  Actually, just about everything Brian's mom makes is yummy- she is such a good cook!  We love her :)
 I've also been craving stuffed jalapenos, so I'm going to make some for Cinco de Mayo Sunday.  It's so easy- cut fresh jalapenos in half, scoop out as many seeds as you want to (I scoop out everything bc they are hot enough without the seeds), spread some cream cheese in the middle, wrap half a piece of bacon around them, then bake until they look crispy and a little brown on top.  They are so. good.