our last days in California

We spent our last days in California feeling the inevitability of becoming Utah residents. We wanted to revisit all of our favorite places as if we were dying, instead of just moving to another state.

We visited the Los Angeles temple on a Saturday morning. I don’t think the person that took our picture understood that we kind of wanted the temple in the background, but that’s okay. Trust me, that’s the LA temple behind us.

After a quick lunch at Tito’s Tacos that same Saturday (not pictured), we visited the original Sprinkles in Beverly Hills. If I could have anything from California right now, I’d probably want a Sprinkles cupcake. Anybody want to mail me a black and white Sprinkles cupcake, please?

We visited my family in Imperial for a little less than a week and got to spend 4th of July there. We also took family pictures, which was a lot funnier than it probably should have been. This is one of the decent ones that we took.

Like I said, funnier than it should have been.

When we got back, we visited the Newport Beach temple with Tyson’s family one last time. This temple is extra special to us because it’s where we got married. I wish we’d gotten a picture with his family, but we didn’t think of that.

Our last Saturday in California, we went to the Great Park for their anniversary celebration, which is where Tyson proposed a little over a year ago. In a way, I feel like it’s been longer than a year because so much has happened since that night in July where my favorite boy got on one knee and asked me to be his wife for time and all eternity. Cue the fireworks, literally. It was a nice bookend to our time in California. We’re nothing if not poetic.

how to get through a bad day

When you wake up feeling discouraged, the only remedy is the following: (May be done out of order)

1. Let your husband tickle you. He will do so until you start laughing/crying. Either one works.
2. Eat some lots of ice cream.
3. Drink your Diet Dr. Pepper out of a fancy glass.
4. Take a nap.
5. Go to the temple.
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this is the place

Editor’s Note / Disclaimer: All pictures courtesy of my Blackberry, which does not have the best resolution.

Today, we had plans to wake up early so that we could get good seats at the Cache Valley Pioneer Day parade. (Almost spelled Prada there. We all know where my heart is.) We woke up late but were still able to get decent seats, even though I wore the wrong shoes and I had to take them off halfway through. The day was hot, but my Diet Coke was cold, and I was happy. I was totally new to this whole throwing candy at the crowd thing, but Tyson was all over it. Unfortunately, since we don’t have kids, most candy throwers just ignored us. (Note to self: Borrow a child for next year’s parade and split the candy 50/50. A couple handfuls of Tootsie Rolls don’t last all day.)

Next was the carnival at the park, where we purchased the largest cotton candy I’ve ever seen.

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It was gone in ten minutes.

Then we went home where we made spaghetti, and I felt sorry for myself because I couldn’t write something longer than 43 words and all those 43 words were complete nonsense. I spent hours trying to sound charming, witty, and profound, yet the best thing that I could come up with was, “I hope that one day someone will describe my style as ‘effortless.'” (True story.)

Close to 10 pm, my husband popped his head into my office (the futon in the living room), where I was still getting nowhere with my writing. He told me that we were off to see the fireworks. The lady did protest too much. “But I still haven’t written anything all day,” I said in my best whiny voice as I wrapped a scarf around my head. (No picture available. When we got back home, I realized that I looked effortlessly ridiculous.)

We drove to some back street with no street lights that looks onto the park from which they would be shooting off the fireworks. The afternoon sky is probably my favorite thing about Utah so far and today was no exception. The sun had only been down for about an hour and a half, so the sky was still tinted pink in some places. The fireworks started to go off, and they were great, even though since we got engaged after a fireworks show, all of the fireworks shows we’ve seen after that have been a little anti-climactic. Like, “You’re not on one knee and handing me a beautiful ring? Oh.” Anyway, it was during the fireworks that I found my inspiration. I started thinking about what I should have been writing about all along.

“This is the place.” – President Brigham Young

Today marks the 165th anniversary of the first group of Mormon pioneers that were led by President Brigham Young entering the Salt Lake Valley after a difficult thousand mile journey. Even though I have no pioneer ancestry, I’ve always felt a kinship with these early Mormon settlers. It’s almost impossible for me to listen to their heartbreaking stories of courage without crying. I think of what it must have been like to be asked to sacrifice everything. I’m so grateful for the men, women, and children that made that journey to an unknown land that I now call my home. Every time I visit Salt Lake, I’m so amazed at what these people were able to accomplish with such limited technology and resources. They were able to turn a barren land into a beautiful place.

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So inspiring.

This really is the place.

pilgrimage to Utah

Last Monday at about 7 am, feeling a mixture of emotions, we packed up our little Coco and drove a thousand miles to our new home.

At 7:54 am, I was feeling brave.

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This courage exhausted me, and by 8:04 am, I needed a nap.

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We stopped for breakfast at Bob’s Big Boy, which we agreed has the best bacon in the world.

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Thanks, self-timer.

The diner where we had breakfast was conveniently located next to the largest thermometer in the world.

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It’s seen better days..

Of course we had to stop at the fabulous Las Vegas sign.

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Then there was falling in love with a purse at the Kate Spade outlet in Nevada, almost getting blown away during a storm in Arizona, and finally Utah.

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During this road trip, we discovered that Tyson has incredible tolerance for my being the worst co-pilot ever, that there is no place to get a decent Diet Coke in Nevada, that a gummy bear that has been dropped on the floor will fly quite gracefully out the window if any window is slightly cracked, and that Tyson will hold my hand regardless of how hot it is outside. Regardless, as I saw us getting further and further away from home, there were times when a wave of panic would begin to overtake me. But then, I would look over to my husband, and the fear would subside, if even just for a second. It made me think of the tiny piece of paper that I have been carrying around in my wallet since I found it inside of a locket that I hadn’t worn in a long time. It was a few weeks before my wedding, I was unemployed and terrified. More than a job, I wanted to know that everything was going to be okay. I found the locket while I was cleaning my room at my mom’s house, and I thought I would find my favorite scripture 2 Nephi 5:27 in there: “And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness.”

Instead, I found this scripture:

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And then I wasn’t so afraid.