Summer Lovin’

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I love summer but usually I am ready for fall & winter to roll in once September comes around. This year was different. I truly would have been delighted if summer lasted forever. We got to spend so many of our summer days with our best friends. It was truly the best.

Over Labor Day we finished up our summer with our final trip to Flaming Gorge. We had such a blast taking the kids out on the boat & enjoying our last moments of summer 2015. We watched fire works & their annual boat parade. We swam. We fished. We took it all in before we had to admit to ourselves that summer was truly over.

I didn’t get many photos on our trip but I got enough to show how much fun we had. I am already preparing the agenda for summer 2016. I hope Lorin & Matt are ready for another epic summer!

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I know I say it all the time but I truly feel lucky to have all these amazing people in my life. My summers, weekends & days wouldn’t be complete without all of them. Our adventures our grand & there are so many more to come.

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Drop a comment below & tell me how you finish off your summer!

xoxo//a

Pie & Beer Day

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If you’re not from Utah you’ve probably never heard of Pioneer Day that’s celebrated on the 24th of July… It’s a Utah holiday to celebrate the Mormon Pioneers that found the state. Neither my husband nor I grew up in Mormon families, so we never celebrated the holiday as children. When we became adults the day turned into Pie & Beer Day for those of us that are not Mormon, but still love our state just as much & want to celebrate the beauty of it.

So here we are. Utah lovin’ beer drinkin’ Utahns & we couldn’t love Pie & Beer Day any more than we do. Lorin & I took the kids down to Liberty Park for the Indian Heritage Festival they were throwing & walked around for a little while. After that we made our way up to Red Butte Gardens. They were doing free admissions that day so we went & walked around. The gardens are stunning. They do summer concerts there every year & I’ve yet to go to one. Hopefully next year we can make the time to break free from the kids, pack up our wine & enjoy a nice summer concert. That night we went to the Salt Lake Bees game which was a blast. They did an awesome firework show & the beer under the summer setting sun set the mood perfectly for Beer & Pie Day!

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When we were at Liberty Park they had a guy taking pictures of people in a giant chair. As a full on joke & celebration of Pie & Beer Day we decided all of us including the kids needed huge fake beer bottles. Lo & I couldn’t stop laughing at the silliness of the photo & the kids less than enthusiastic expressions about what their crazy moms were up to. It’s a photo both Lo & I will cherish & probably a tradition we’ll make with the kids yearly. They’ll learn to love us for it, right?

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I seriously love holidays & any reason to celebrate where I live, I jump on it! What are your favorite ways to celebrate the place you call home?

xoxo//a

Jessica & Matt: Announcement

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Jessica & I have been friends since our early & wild days in high school. She met Matt around the same time I met my Matt & we both married our Matt’s around the same time. I had Stella (my youngest) just a few months after she had Harper. So I guess you could say we’re walking this journey called life side by side.

When I found out she was pregnant I jumped on the photo opportunity that had presented itself. I couldn’t wait to help them announce the pregnancy of their second babe. I got so many cute shots of them as a family of three & can’t wait to get many more photos of them when they become a family of four.

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When we were preparing for our shoot Jessica said Matt wanted some photos of them in their Packers jerseys & the announcement to say “We are adding another fan to the pack.” I thought it was adorable & even more adorable that Matt came up with it all on his own. I love this shot of them & how the announcement came together. It’s so simple & perfectly them.

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I love all the clever ways people announce big news in their lives these days. I can’t get enough of it! What are some of your favorite announcements you’ve created or seen?
xoxo//a

Flaming George: Sunlight & Babes

“Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains.”
-Diane Ackerman
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My best friend has a cabin in Manila, Utah (Well, her grandpa does but it sounds cooler if I say it’s hers) just a ten minute drive to Flaming George. If you’ve never been out that way I suggest you do it. It’s one of the most beautiful lakes. One side is complete desert & the other side is all mountains & big trees. It’s so stunning, the sunsets are incredible & the water is the perfect temperature to jump in & cool off.

I can honestly say our days were the same. Wake up, pack everyone up & head to the lake. For three full days. It was perfect. I know people think we are crazy… us two girls packing up our three kids & dog for a four day mom & kid trip at the lake. We are crazy & we love it. We get to spend quality time all together with no other distractions but the sunshine & water. I wish everyday could be like this…

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I seriously feel so lucky to have such an amazing best friend in my life. My life wouldn’t be complete without her & baby Koi in it. They are our best friends, our family. We love every adventure we get to have with them & I can’t wait to share each one of them with you all! Now… I leave you with the best selfie of us four ever taken.

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We have many more trips to the cabin planned this summer & I can’t wait! What are some of your favorite lakeside activities? Share them with a comment!

xoxo//a

Fireworks, Rodeos & Freedom

This years Fourth of July was something magical. The week was busy & beautiful. Although the days were hot the nights were perfect. We did everything you’re supposed to do during the Fourth of July within the week & it was wonderful. Here are a few of my favorite moments from our Fourth of July. DSC_0517

Taking photos of the girls & Koi was a must do for our Fourth of July celebrations. Doing a few little shoots was so fun & such a wonderful way to celebrate our country & our freedom. Check out the other photos from our shoot here!
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I’ve wanted to do sparkler photos for sometime now… Look how perfect they are! I can thank my husband Matt for them coming out so well. He is the one that’s a pro with the camera & set it all up to capture exactly what I wanted. If you haven’t taken sparkler photos before I suggest you do it. It’s a blast.
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We took the kids to the rodeo. Stella was not a fan so Matt ended up taking her home… But Adalie LOVED it. She is obsessed with lassos & horses so you can imagine her excitement through the whole rodeo. At one point she started booking it down the stand…  I asked her where she was going & she replied with “The cowboy is going to give me his lasso!” Seriously, how cute? I think we have a future cowgirl on our hands.
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I grew up in Riverton, Utah a small country town in the suburbs of Salt Lake City. I grew up going to the parade the day before the Fourth of July & the park for the carnival & fireworks the day of. I love sharing these traditions with my girls & the rest of my family. My favorite photo in this collection is the one of Stella & I. I really wanted to get a photo Matt, the girls & I but they were being impossible… obviously.
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This years Fourth of July was hands down the best I’ve ever had. I spent it with the people that mean the most to me & did the things I love. What are some of your Fourth of July traditions? Tell me in a comment bellow!

xoxo//a

Celebrating One Year of Life

I am in complete shock that I’m preparing to celebrate baby Stella’s first birthday. I knew the year would fly by. I knew that her toothless grin & constant cuddles would slowly fade away leaving me holding on to the little memories that I now have. I wished everyday that I could pause time. That I could keep her as that cuddly little babe forever.

How does one year slip by so quickly? Although I took in every moment possible of Stella’s first year I still somehow feel like I missed the whole thing. Is it because the phases of infanthood are so short lived? Or because I was also busy chasing a toddler around?

Day One

Newborn Photos

One Month Old

One Month Old

Three Months Old

Six Months Old

Baby Mouse Costume

November With No Snow

Merry Christmas!

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Babes

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First Family Photo

Meeting the Baby

It Is Love

As I reflect on her first year of life I think of all the beautiful moments I’ve captured of her. All the times that I was in “awe” of the little life Matt & I created. This little girl made us parents of two & our little Adalie a big sister. This little girl puts a smile on our face daily with her silliness & bright blue eyes.

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Shortly after I had baby Stella my grandparents that live in Washington came out to visit. We got this photo of our family together. It’s my favorite one from this year. It’s all the people that love her the most surrounding her. What a loving family this little girl has come into & how blessed we are to call her our own.

xoxo//a

The Power of a Woman

“If every woman made the same decision, how would my children learn that sometimes motherhood looks like going to work to put food on the table or stay sane or share your gifts or because you want to work and you’ve earned that right. And that other times motherhood looks like staying home for all of the exact same reasons.
As far as I can tell, no matter what decision a woman makes, she’s offering an invaluable gift to my daughters and me. So I’d like to thank all of you. Because I’m not necessarily trying to raise an executive or a mommy. I’m trying to raise a woman. And there are as many different right ways to be a woman as there are women.”
-Glennon Melton

As many of you know I am a strong, independent & very opinionated person who believes in a woman’s choice in every form. My love for my gender & my fellow females is abundant. My passion for female equality is continually growing. I love the beauty we possess & the strength we share that no man could understand nor compete with.

My strong female side is pushing me to pursue a full time career. To show that a momma can be an amazing momma & still have a career she loves & follow her passion of working. I want to prove that choosing daycare doesn’t make you less of a woman nor does it make you more of a woman than any momma that chooses to stay home.

As I lay here listening to the soft breathing of my babes, I dream of the life I want for them. I dream of what I hope I can teach them & what I hope they learn from having me as a mother. I hope that I can teach them to be strong & that they can accomplish anything. That they can be who they choose to be & be proud of the choices they make. I hope that I can teach them that there are many different ways to be a woman & that my path or the path of any other woman might not be theirs. To listen to others with different opinions & learn from them. To know that they can do whatever it is they choose to do.

I know that many would disagree with me. Many would say that putting my children in daycare is putting myself & my desires above my children’s needs. Please, let me promise you that my children are my world. I would go to the ends of the earth to protect them & to make sure they’re well taken care of. For me to be the mother I want to be & to keep the sanity that is needed of me to be a mom, I need this. I need the drive, the interaction & the pursuit of a career. For me, for who I am.

I can’t thank every woman in my life enough for showing me that I can be who I want to be & still be an amazing mom. To my mother who sacrificed so much to stay home with me. To be by my side every step of the way & still is. Who followed her desire & her will to be home. Thank you for teaching me what being a momma looks like. To my best friends sister, April. For raising three absolutely beautiful girls all while working full time & giving every other moment to her babies. For showing me that being career driven & a mom is possible. Thank you for being a woman I look up to.

To every other woman that chooses to work, to stay home, to have children or not have children, thank you. Thank you for being you & loving who you are & the choices you make. I hope that my babies learn from every one of you just like I have.

xoxo//a

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