Spring Cleaning

The weather this past month has been nothing short of insane. It’s perfect spring weather one day and the next day it’s snowing. Today, it’s snowing. After one of the freak storms in April, there were branches all over the roads and it left a serious mess. I remember thinking that no plant or blossom could have survived this storm. Trent’s parent’s house was covered in branches so we went and helped his mom chop them up to clean up their yard. It was such a beautiful night. We ran around the yard picking up twigs and branches and Trent taught me how to use an ax. (It’s harder than it looks, haha) Many blossoms still survived to brighten the world and the day felt so light and happy.

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It was a simple task, but it was one of those days that I felt so grateful to be where I am in my life right now. Don’t get me wrong, life isn’t perfect. We still have our freak snowstorms and we can often get knocked down but just like those strong blossoms, we can come back brighter and stronger than ever. With that in mind, sometimes it takes a bit of effort and cleaning up to bounce back from the crazy side of life. Here are some of my thoughts on the best ways we can “spring clean” up our lives.

  1. Literally clean up. My house can often get a bit out of hand but when I take the time to pick up my surrounding space I feel so much better.
  2. Find something you enjoy doing and get better at it! I have just recently discovered editing photos in lightroom and it’s so much fun! Find something you want to learn or get better at and work at it.
  3. Spend time with people you love and actually “be there” when you’re with them. We can get so caught up in our phones and other distractions that we forget to actually be with the people we love.
  4. Spend time outside. On those perfect spring days, don’t stay cooped up inside! It can be as simple as just walking around the neighborhood, just get some sunshine. It makes all the difference.
  5. Quit comparing yourself to others. Your life is yours and you can’t forget that. Comparing turnings to complaining which turns to self-pity and then no one wants to be around you. Dedicate this spring time to loving you!

Happy spring my friends!

Finding Joy

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I love people. I love meeting new people, learning about who they are and what makes them who they are. I also love people watching. Sounds creepy but I really could sit at the mall and watch people for hours on end. It’s so fascinating! I’m always amazed when I look into a crowd of people and realize that every single person has a story. A story so vastly different than mine and yet I’m sure we can find some similarities in there as well. How cool is that? Everyone has a story.

We live in a world made for comparison. We constantly see images of others peoples lives, see updates, see the success that others are having etc. etc. Social Media is a wild place. I’ve had my fair share of conversations with many people about the positives and negatives of social media. I agree there are a number negative things associated with social media and I also agree that a lot of good can come from sharing our lives with those around us. Often we can fall into the trap of comparing our stories with the ones we see on our feeds. A lot of “why don’t I…” and “that doesn’t seem fair…” comments arise and I am definitely guilty of falling into the hole. What’s important to remember is that each of our stories are so incredibly unique to our own situation that comparison is almost impossible. In a blessing I received a long time ago, it said that I would learn to find joy in the success of others. What a joyful idea! To find happiness when others succeed instead of instantly comparing their lives to mine. It’s also an interesting idea. How can I partake of someone else’s success if I’m not benefiting from it at all? I have a feeling that it’s not only possible but it will help ease the comparing, slow down the worries and make your own lives that much more enjoyable.

My challenge this week to myself and to whoever wants to join with me is to find joy in your own successes but also the success that others have. Let’s see what happens 🙂

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This weekend we took to Midway for some pictures with Shutter Lush by Paige Jackman. First of all, Paige is an absolute doll and we had so much fun getting to know her and hearing her story. She’s a newly-wed, just like us! It was fun to swap our “So how did you meet your husband?” stories as well as simply get to know her. She is such a darling person and we highly recommend getting any photos done by her. Paige knows exactly what she is doing. I love the warm feel her photos have and she plays with light so beautifully. We seriously could not have had a more wonderful time.

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We drove up the lane to the farm and almost got stuck, there was sooooo much snow! I’ve never seen so much snow up there! The fields were covered and everything was frozen. It was crazy beautiful but we were all wondering how these pictures were going to work. Luckily, Paige is an absolute genius and we wound or way down the lane finding perfect little spots to shoot. We eventually ventured into the horse coral for some pictures with Trent’s horse, Britches. There was snow up to my shins and Paige was climbing all over the place. To say it was a simple photo shoot is an understatement…

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Britches thinks we’re crazy…

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There was snow in my boots and my toes were frozen but it was totally worth it. Trent was such a good sport running around with us and he is always fun to take pictures with. I am so in love with this boy…it’s ridiculous. (P.s. It’s his birthday this Thursday and boy do I have a celebration planned…stay tuned for the details)

Photography: shutterlush.com

Dress: shopjessakae.com (Darling new arrivals. Use code elizaj10 for $$ discount)

Everyday Moments

I’m sitting at my computer and listening to the soundtrack of the musical Hamilton. I’m a little late jumping on this wagon but I’m loving it. The song “It’s Quite Uptown” has been on repeat for the last 30 minutes and every time it finishes I think of this world we live in and the turmoil that’s been going on the past couple days. In the song, Alexander Hamilton has just lost his son, is seeking the forgiveness of his wife and quite simply trying to figure out life. I ache for Hamilton as I listen but there is a hopeful tone that carries the song. Yes, his situation is unimaginable but they are going to be alright. We are going to be just fine. There is much sorrow and heartache happening in the world around us but there is forgiveness, there is joy and there is always hope.

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I saw this sunset when I was filling up for gas a couple weeks ago and to me it was just a reminder to treasure the good in life because there truly is so much of it.

“The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments. They are the ones who, thread by daily thread, weave a tapestry of gratitude and wonder throughout their lives. These are they who are truly happy.”

-President Uchtdorf

So go out there and find the good, find the light and realize that happiness is up to you.