happy birthday, dad

Processed with VSCOcam with a4 preset“you be the sun and i’ll be the moon.
just let your light come shining through
and when the night comes, just like the moon
i’ll shine that light right back to you.”

these words always make me think of my dad. he was loving and good and selfless and was always happy to let the people he loved shine – especially his children.
today is my dad’s birthday and while i’m focusing on being positive and thinking about how much i loved (love) him and how much he loved me i can’t help but miss him. no matter what was going on in my life or in his life i never once doubted or questioned his love for me. it was constant.

i was trying to think of a story to share about my dad and this is the first one that came to mind:

when i was younger i made a dumb choice – it was thoughtless and selfish and just so dumb. but i hurt and embarrassed myself and my family. i remember at the time thinking that my parents would never forgive me. they were hurt and disappointed. we had a huge field behind my house where we gardened and raised animals. one afternoon i was working in the garden with my dad and he said he wanted to talk to me about what had happened and the choices i had made. he was so serious and i was petrified.

he told me about a time when he was younger when he’d really messed up and how disappointed his dad had been at him. he told me how his father (my dear grandfather) didn’t speak to him for almost 7 years. i was so shocked and terrified that he was in some roundabout way getting ready to tell him that that was why he wasn’t going to talk to me anymore or something crazy. i stopped what i was doing and just stood, leaning against a rake, staring at my dad with a knot in my stomach waiting for the horrible conclusion to this story. and he stopped working too and looked me in the eye and very softly said, “the reason i’m telling you this is because need to know now that that could never happen to us. no matter what happens.”

he always let me know how important i was to him. even when my brother and sister chose to distance themselves from him we remained close. i’ll always be grateful i was there holding his hand as he quietly left this life. later, as i was going through his belongings i realized he’d saved every card, photo, letter and post card i’d ever sent him, along with things from my siblings and cousins and friends.

i’ve said, “i love you, dad” at least a million times in my life and many more inside my heart. the night he passed away as i was falling asleep at my cousin’s house i could still feel his hand in mine as it had been constantly for the previous weeks. and sometimes i still feel it. i know that death is the only thing that could keep him away and i’m so grateful for the knowledge that death is not the end.

i was trying to think of something to do on his birthday to honor his life and everything i thought of seemed so… not enough. so today i’m making and sending care packages to my siblings and trying to send some of his love back out into the world.

happy birthday, dad. i love you.

perfectly valuable


“have patience with all things – but first with yourself. never confuse your mistakes with your value as a human being. you are a perfectly valuable, creative, worthwhile person simply because you exist. and no amount of triumphs or tribulations can ever change that.”

saint francis de sales

photo: mariana garcia for vogue mexico

American Ballet Dancers and their Dogs

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Two of my favorite things – ballet & dogs! I came across these photos by Noe Dewitt and had to share them. I love bringing Harlow to work (and I think my coworkers like her too) because she lightens the mood and is good for a quick distraction if you need a little break. These dogs are precious too.

From top to bottom are Lauren Post & Pickles, Riley (in a tutu!), Sarah Lane with Hudson, Maya and Cora, The American Ballet Theatre Studio, Thomas Forster with Benson & Maisie, Devon Tuescher with Riley, and Sarah Smith with Hudson.

Also if you’re a dog lover I think you’ll love Noe’s blog: Mrs Sizzle.

Also I think Harlow needs a tutu.

All photos: Noe Dewitt

101 in 1001












rather than making vague, well-intended new year’s resolutions i’ve decided to do that 101 things in 1001 days challenge. i’ve started (but never completed) this challenge in the past but i’m excited to try again.

the criteria for the 101 things is that the must be specific with a result that is measurable or clearly defined. they should also be things that require a some effort or work on my part. some of the things my list may seem super simple but hopefully they’ll kick off good habits that will stay with me longer than the 1001 days.

also i don’t want to jinx things for 2016 because well, we’re only 7 days in, but so far i haven’t hated it.

for my heart

1. reconnect with my favorite high school teacher
2. reconnect with a friend from cardiff/london ysa
3. journal every day for 2 months
4. create a vision board
5. work/collab/do SOMETHING with chloe
6. attend the ballet
7. finish drawing of denham green garden
8. have a painting done of harlow

for my soul

9. attend the temple every week for 8 weeks
10. complete 10 days of truth
11. commit 50 scriptures to memory
12. subscribe to ensign magazine
13. read reread all general conference talks from the last three years
14. read scriptures every day for at least 30 days

for my mind

15. learn to play one song on the piano
16. read 50 new books
17. answer the 50 questions that will free your mind
18. complete the 52 lists
19. take a photography class
20. take an online class
21. take some kind of art class
22. use duolingo every day for at least one month

for those i love

23. mail a care package to my mom, brother and sister
24. send my grandmother flowers for no reason
25. make chat books for my nanny kids
26. bake a birthday cake for someone
27. get harlow’s shots each year (2016, 2017, 2018)
28. make macarons for someone
29. get harlow’s teeth cleaned
30. make a music playlist for someone

for my blog

31. design (or have designed) a blog logo
23. reach 100k followers on pinterest
33. create a weekly blog series and stick to it for at least 4 months
34. meet 10 blogger friends (that i haven’t already met)
35. interview 6 people for a blog series
36. get business cards for my blog
37. complete a 30 day photo challenge
38. hit 2k followers on twitter
39. combine fb accounts and delete old one
40. take a blogger/social media workshop or conference
41. participate in 6 ‘Roid Weeks
42. blog four recipes

for fun

43. pay for the person behind me in a drive-thru
44. visit the ban.do party house
45. attend high school reunion
46. attend or organize some type of mission reunion
47. make a flower crown
48. build a sandcastle
49. go on a blind date
50. use up a roll of film and get photos printed
51. go to a sporting event
52. go to an outdoor movie
53. start and fill up a sketch book

for a simpler life

54. go one month without eating out
55. produce zero waste for two weeks
56. do 8 zero waste shopping trips
57. go two months without buying any beauty products
58. create a capsule wardrobe
59. unsubscribe from all junk emails
60. clear out and get rid of storage unit
61. go through/clear out items stored at my mom’s house
62. go one month without shopping

for my wandering heart

63. visit a state i’ve never been to
64. visit england and wales
65. visit portugal
66. visit new york
67. take a road trip with a friend
68. attend paris fashion week
69. spend a day at butterfly beach

for my health

70. get new health insurance
71. compile my own cookbook
72. do a raw diet for one month
73. go to the eye doctor
74. find (and go to) a doctor for a physical
75. run a mile without walking
76. lose (xx) pounds
77. do 20 push-ups every day for one month
78. give up soda for at least two weeks
79. floss every day for at least 30 days
80. go to the dentist
81. take a class at dash fitness
82. find a workout i love and stick to it for at least 3 months

for my wallet

83. pay off my car
84. reach (xxx) credit score

for my tastebuds

85. eat a lobster roll
86. go to magnolia bakery
87. make the perfect lavender mint tea latte
88. make perfect (to me) hummus

for my practical side

89. repair/replace laptop
90. buy a nice bed
91. find a place to rent that I love
92. switch car insurance
93. wake up at 6 am for at least two weeks

for a splurge

94. buy a nice watch
95. get my car detailed
96. get my eyebrows threaded
97. save up for a new handbag
98. get a pedicure
99. go to Disneyland
100. buy a pair of tieks
101. find my “signature scent”

if you’ve made it to the bottom then high five! have you done this challenge? will you? if you do link your blog or list in the comments because i’m nosy. happy 2016!

photo: milka_interiors

tiny victories













happy 2016!

while i do like sitting down and making resolutions it can sometimes make me feel like i’m beating myself over the head with “you didn’t do this”, “you should have done this”, “you should have done this”, “you should have done more of…” you get the picture. so before i sit down and make new goals i thought i’d try to think of some things that i’ve been doing that i want to continue. it’s a short list but it’s a good place to start.

i am sleeping better

i’m still trying with my family

harlow is alive and healthy and happy

i am getting better at asking for what i need and saying no to what i don’t

i’ve been spending more time praying and meditating

i’ve been working hard and going to therapy and i think it’s starting to pay off a little.

i hope you’ve had lots of little victories too!



first snow


“i wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? and then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, ‘go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.'”  lewis carroll

if you know me at all then you know how much i dread winter. it’s too cold and too dark and as soon as the snow starts falling i feel trapped.

yesterday it snowed and snowed all day. and you know what? i didn’t hate it. i mean, don’t get me wrong, i didn’t love it but it was kind of pretty and refreshing. but more than that i think the lack of snow tears are a good sign for me personally. putting the effort into my emotional health has been work but i’m definitely in a different (better) place than i was even a year ago. so i’m giving snow a little credit for this reminder.

some things i’m looking forward to this winter:

alyson and her family coming to utah

sleeping under 10 lbs of bankets

sweaters! and scarves!

hot chocolate

seeing the lights at temple square

all of the good wintery smells


harlow (jk i look forward to her every single day)

chocolate dipped peppermint jojos

twinkle lights

what do you love about winter? i’m determined to try to love it.

beautiful photo by anne so of cachemire et soie