Anxiously Engaged

We got engaged in March 2015. What a day it was. I was NOT expecting a proposal, so it was very spontaneous and romantic for me. We did get some incredible engagements taken by the wonderful Lauren Vand Photo, who also took my header photo. We spent some time on Main Street in Park City, UT — the home of Sundance and skiers extraordinaire. Check out the photos and then check out Lauren’s other work. She is super talented and if you’re looking for a photog in the Salt Lake area, she’s your gal.

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Can you tell I love him? And it’s only gotten better.

I never thought I’d be such a young bride, but when a guy like Alex comes along… Well, we’re married now, so I guess he convinced me!

The Majority

This summer I had an internship at an undisclosed political organization. I worked on data analysis — mostly compiling data sets of voter and census data. I learned a lot, but I got to have some adventures as well. I met lots of cool people with amazing connections. I got to wander through government building like I was supposed to be there. I took tours, went to baseball games, and got “mad scientist” with some great co-interns. “Go east, young man, and be a congressional staffer working crazy hours at low wages.” Somehow, it manages to be a siren song. I don’t understand why, but I totally get it.

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It wouldn’t be an accurate DC post without some nod to the Metro. WOO. Delay, hold, single-tracking, off-loading — I can’t say anymore without shuddering. Commuting seventeen stops twice a day on the red line was DEFINITELY an adventure.

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Still, it was an amazing experience. I mean, look at these people. We can definitely win a majority, amiright?


“Hiltah Head”

I was working all summer, but I was able to slip away for more than a weekend at one point. I am so glad I did. Hilton Head, South Carolina is one of my favorite places in this world. Besides just being heaven, it means a lot to my family and I. One more little family vacay before I got married was just what we all needed. It included the stock activities — trip to eat in Savannah, mini golf where we all get WAY too competitive, Mellow Mushroom pizza (it tastes the best in Hilton Head), pool by the marsh, beach, pool by the beach, San Miguel’s, cheerwine, the outlet mall, naps in the sun and the resulting sunburn. I also got to spend some time with Brother Dos who was gone most of the summer. It was a classic family vacation. I know what my eternity is going to be like — happy times with happy people (and palm trees, of course).

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Two of my faves tied the knot this summer — and I got to be there! My lovely lady McKay (from my many many MANY London posts) found a great guy and they sealed the deal. I flew out to Utah for less than 48 hours to be a part of the celebrations. I would not recommend such a short trip again. I spent almost as much time traveling as I did actually there! But it was totally worth it. It started with a great afternoon bachelorette party. Melissa made AMAZING food and the decor was too cute. We had a wonderful time, and our bride-to-be was practically GLOWING.


The next day SHE GOT MARRIED. They had a beautiful sealing in one of my favorite temples. I am still so honored that I was able to be a part of their incredible day. #timeandalleternity


McKay also assembled one of the greatest squads ever. Like, #lookouttaylor good. She says she can count her friends on her hands, but when I met all of them, I realized why she didn’t feel like she needed more. They are all amazing people!

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Their reception was beautiful. It was a perfect spring day and it was a perfect celebration of two people I love.

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I love you, girl. Thanks for including me in your day.


108 Days

There were 108 days between when we got engaged and our marriage. We spent most of those days working hard at our respective days. But not all of them. It was 108 great days. 108 long days. 108 memorable days.


It started with a road trip. Three days across the country — fast food, every song we know, and way too many sleeping pictures (none will be posted, thank you). Three days on the road meant two nights in hotels. The front desk employees were always confused as to why we asked for two hotel rooms for one couple. “uhh, yes two rooms please. No we don’t mean two beds. Nope, no guests coming. Just us. Yup. Thank you.”

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Alex turned 23! We had a weekend extravaganza — food, family, and freedom (a stretch?)! We went to the Melting Pot and Antietam Battlefield. Turns out Alex is a battlefield fan! We learned that Antietam had the highest casualties of any one day of any American war with almost 23,000 deaths at the battle. We also learned that Alex enjoys fondue — especially when it involves steak!

Then I had my birthday! It was defined by a singular experience. I was endowed in the Washington DC temple. I had the opportunity to make promises to my Heavenly Father that I would live my life to a more excellent standard. In return, I received incredible promises and blessings that have already changed me and my life. I was joined by my parents, Alex, my former seminary teacher and a dear former young women’s leader. I love the temple and I love that I was able to go to temple so much during the summer!


BETHANY CAME TO VISIT. My lifelong friend made a pit stop in DC on her way back from sky-diving in Australia and bungee-jumping in New Zealand to spend Mother’s Day with us. She left a few weeks later for her full-time mission in Cebu, so I was SO grateful to see her — even for just a day.


Alex started working as soon as we got back from school. He was working HARD. Like, hardhat hard. He built a building. Not by himself, but HE BUILT A BUILDING. HOW COOL IS THAT. This was said building at the beginning of the summer.

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Another battle field? Sure. We went to Gettysburg for Memorial Day! (After getting doughnuts, of course).

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On Father’s Day our grill exploded. That pretty much speaks for itself.

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Our summer sounds very exciting, but this is a better representation of what happened:


There are a few other adventures, but I think that they deserve their own posts. Thanks for catching up with us!


2014 was a big year for me. A picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s some pictures from my 2014!


It was full of ice castles, shows at the Velour, Polynesian dance, and fun with friends.

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Spring was at home. Rachel came to visit. Sweetlife happened. Elvira and I campaigned in Kentucky. I went to Disney with Mom. I had some very important s’mores.

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London. My girls. Richard Armitage. Ice Bucket Challenge.

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The number of cute couple pictures increases exponentially. Sophomore year started! New roommates, new friends, new research projects. More Mitch and medical emergencies. Arizona and Women in Politics pow-wows!

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I have been extremely blessed. 2014 has been such a great period of growth and fun. Here’s to a productive and exciting 2015!


And Thus We See

I love London. It is a city full of life — vibrant, bustling, soothingly cacophonous. There are people of every shape and color. I love it. People talk over one another, all trying to be heard at the same moment. They move in a piece of artwork; they constantly flow around and by each other, interacting with space. There is a rhythm to the city. The beat is kept by the regular changing of traffic lights. The roar of cars are the bass and the horns are melody. It cannot be contained. It is a upbeat dance at Westminster and Trafalgar, and a romantic waltz in Kensington Gardens and right along the Thames at night. There is something magical about the history, art, and passion. Don’t just trust me. Go see for yourself.   

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Just a Couple Shots to Share

The last few days on the program were crazy. We had been travelling all week, and finals were fast approaching. That doesn’t mean we stopped enjoying the City!

We visited the Tower of London again, which currently has an incredible WWI memorial. There are 800,000+ red poppies. Each one represents a life taken during the Great War.

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We got to see 39 Steps! It was hysterical. Totally funny — and clean! The cast of four plays over a 100 roles in the 2 hour show. I highly recommend it.


We also had our last Sunday in our wonderful ward. We had our bad days, but overall I loved being a part of the primary. The kids were so sweet when sending us off. I’ll always remember my calling in the ward as a highlight of my experience in London.

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That night, we had a powerful sharing meeting. It wasn’t really a testimony meeting, but it was an opportunity for people to express their thoughts at the end of the program. It was almost two and a half hours long, but it didn’t feel like that. We had really become a family over the course of the summer. It’s amazing what throwing 47 people in a house together can do. (I think the crazy long coach rides helped too.)

Monday we had finals. We knocked them out in the morning, and then had the rest of the day to ourselves. It was mostly spent packing. It was a good weekend. Even while studying all the way through it. :)



Brighton Beach Babes

I loved Brighton. Like, “I want to go back there on vacation” loved it. It might just have been because of the fabulous company I was blessed with. I’m not going to say anything more. Just enjoy these pictures:

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We had tons of fun and laughs and terrible pictures that I’m not sharing. (Sorry.) Our hotel that you see above was built in 1559, and it was a REALLY nice place. Our group was split between two hotels, and we definitely got the better end of the deal. The fictional Lydia Bennett might have stayed in our hotel! (#nerdalert)

The pier was very Sovereign Light Café. Let me just leave that here for you…

Brighton was everything I wanted it to be. It was a fabulous last outing in England.

My Canterbury Tales

I’m here! I promise! Sorry I haven’t been posting. This week has been ridiculous. We had a day trip Monday, an overnight trip Wednesday-Thursday, and multiple homework assignments due before today. I’ve made it though! We did have a lot of fun this week.

Monday, we visited Dover and Canterbury. We explored Dover Castle before checking out the white cliffs. I didn’t know very much about Dover Castle before going there, so it was interesting to learn more. It also has a really neat WWI and WWII history, so you should check that out if you’re curious. Of course, the white cliffs were beautiful.

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We also had a bit of fun.

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I think I’m ready for power. I rock that throne. (I even have enemies!) I don’t want to have power for power’s sake. That doesn’t make any sense. But I think I could handle responsibility. I felt that way walking through the Houses of Parliament too. I was strutting down the stairs in the man hall and it hit me: “I could totally do this.” I just have some big dreams, and I think I could make a difference in this crazy world.

ANYWAY. That got a little heavier than I was anticipating. We left Dover and made our way to Canterbury. It was a trek made by pilgrims throughout history. I was able to walk (read: ride a coach) in their footsteps. We stopped at St. Augustine’s Abbey (or what is left of it). It’s not St. Augustine of Hippo, mind you. This is another St. Augustine. Of Canterbury. Yup. I don’t know everything about Anglican saints. I’ll have to look it up.


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We might have had just a little bit too much fun in the ruins of a crypt. You know. Once you start living in history, it ceases being something to stare at and becomes part of your present. When I see historical sights here (so like, hundreds of years old), I just want to explore. No more staying on the sidewalk. It’s awesome that you’re able to interact with the sights here. They want you to explore! I think nothing honors the past more than it becoming part of someone’s life today.

Then we went to the cathedral. I visited Canterbury Cathedral. (!!) I’m still freaking out a little bit. There was such a strong and peaceful spirit inside. It was so interesting. I loved it. Talk about the human experience.


“Yet do not miss the moral, my good men.
For Saint Paul says that all that’s written well
Is written down some useful truth to tell.
Then take the wheat and let the chaff lie still.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales